Gemini release, SkyGreece cease, Korean Air finally flies & JC Wings it

SkyGreece cease

I’ll be posting a review tomorrow of a 748, but in the meantime, the inevitably sad news that another hopeful has seemingly vanished. We’d never seen a model and nor were we likely to but it would have been pretty cool, with its Greek flag tail.

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SkyGreece is another of those start ups that looked so hopeful but with just a 763ER to its name (though they also claim an A332) and a business model based on serving just Montreal and Toronto from Athens via Zagreb it was always a long shot. On the 25th August they cancelled all of their flights for the foreseeable future and the 767 sits at Toronto Pearson – possibly seized or at least embargoed because the airline appears to owe the airport a fair chunk of money.

Trying to start an airline in Greece with all of its current financial woes seems rather foolhardy. Few come back from the dead, even if they do, it’s usually temporary as few airports will extend a credit line once bills at another remain unpaid.

As Richard Branson once said, “How do you become a millionaire? Become a billionaire then buy an airline”.

Finally Korean Air gets it’s 748i

In the meantime the first of 10 748i’s has finally been delivered to Korean Air. The aircraft has been in storage for 11 months. Partly this was down to the wing flutter issue becoming known and Korean are said to have wanted it fixed before taking delivery. As the victim of a tragic loss of life back in the cold war days of the 80’s when the Russians shot down a 747 passenger plane by mistake, they know the risks of bad publicity. Last years Nut Saga also played a major role. They didn’t want to be seen buying and trumpeting new aircraft when the CEO’s daughter was being shamed for humiliating passengers and staff over a bag of nuts being served as the bag, rather than on a plate.

Photo by Royal King
Photo by Royal King
Let’s hope that JC Wings who have scheduled this for October delivery at least have waited to see the aircraft’s full delivery photos before producing it. Korean Air is the only airline to operate the 748F and Intercontinental versions. When the last one is delivered, that’s the end of commercial passeneger airline production for this aircraft. Only Arik Air of Nigeria (and I’m doubting their finances will stretch to actually taking delivery, but who knows), and TransAero remain to take 4 each. (Incidentally the later has just delayed its A380 deliveries by up to a year). Lufthansa’s final aircraft of its reduced order of 19 (originally 25) is due this year. If Lufthansa keep their word the first of their 748i’s will be going to new homes in just 7 years time, and all will be gone by 2025. I wonder who will take them on at ten years old?

Gemini Release

Did anyone wonder a couple of years ago when Gemini released an A380 in BA livery just as G-XLEB was delivered, why it was G-XLBB and not EB?  So many people pointed it out but they of course did nothing about it. Airspotters.com in the UK even offered a service where they would re-do the registration for you for a small fee to G-XLEB.  And now Gemini have released… G-XLEB on GJBAW1500.

1400ReviewsG-XLEABACpyWrtJonChamps
The G-XLEA model from 2012, enhanced of course for my amusement!
Gemini BA A380 releases:

GJBAW823 – 2008 – G-BBIG – fake reg fantasy model

GJBAW1087 – 2012 – G-XLEA released prior to the first aircraft being delivered in July 2013 but current livery

GJBAW1234 – 2013 – G-XLBB faked or mistaken reg current livery, not popular

GJBAW1500 – August/Sept 2015 – G-XLEB with aerials and current reg

The G-XLEA model was very popular and their are always several on eBay at any time, suggesting a high production run.

The rest of the Gemini release left me totally underwhelmed. Another month of barely interesting, pick a guaranteed seller and stick with it routine. Genuinely, there isn’t one model on there I’ll buy. In fact with the usual Delta, Fedex, C-17’s x 2, the only minor stand out was the KLM 744 in new livery. I can’t even be bothered to mention the rest it was so dull. Quality may be improving but the lack of imagination certainly isn’t.

JC Wings and ANA Star Wars

Because the UK wholesale distributor is on holiday, the Aeroclassics for August and JC Wings ANA Star Wars releases are not being posted as available here. There’s an A321 in TAP livery – the only modern aircraft in the AC release I really want but nobody is listing it (well at least not in the UK or Europe so far). As to the JCW/ANA releases. AMS have listed it and are taking orders. I’ve ordered a 789 R2D2, the others don’t appeal. In honesty, I’m not convinced they’ll ever arrive, I just cannot see Disney/ANA letting unapproved product slip past for something as big as Star Wars. If they do though, I’ll be smiling!

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And before I go, just one bit of breaking news. BA have announced a daily service on their 787-9’s to start in October to San Jose Mineta International California from London. They believe this will directly serve the Silicon Valley market.  Anyone down there think that’s viable? Virgin America tried it domestically and it barely lasted 6 months. Anyone who’s anyone either has access to or uses their own private jet of one sort or another – Google have hangars at Moffat I believe, and SFO is really not that far away up the El Camino Real and the 101…these flights will surely cannibalise passengers from BA’s A380/744 twice daily services at SFO. If we fly domestic US under three hours we charter a Phenom out of San Carlos – and so do many other people.  Anyone got an opinion?

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