Qatar Airways Trip Review - Manchester to Mumbai - August 2022

Janam Parikh

15 Aug 2022

After months of disruptions between 2019 and 2022, air travel has finally seen a steady rise in the demand from hungry air travelers. Recently, air travel has risen to a level where airports across the United Kingdom are struggling to cope. The post-COVID-19 travel regulations have changed, and so has the demand for air travel. Everyone wants to fly again, from holidays to business trips to their favorite destinations. Let's read about my experience flying with the finest, and most highly awarded airline, Qatar Airways. I took a flight from Manchester to Mumbai via Doha, and here is my raw experience, penned down for you all to know what it is like flying with them. 


Flight Details 

Airline: Qatar Airways

Flight Number: QR22 and QR556

Sector – Manchester (MAN) to Doha (DOH) & Doha (DOH) to Mumbai (BOM)

Equipment: Boeing 777-300ER

Registration: A7-BAY and A7-BES

Seat Numbers: 35A and 35J 


Why did I select Qatar Airways for our trip? 

Over the past few months, I have been exploring various airlines and options to fly to Mumbai from Manchester, where I was based, for the past few months. Since there is no direct flight between the two cities, I started exploring airlines with transit options. As I need a transit visa for most EU countries, I decided on the most common and hassle-free route to India: transiting via the Gulf countries.

 Also, I have been using the American Express British Airways co-branded credit card in the United Kingdom, which proved to be a savior on this flight. Every GBP I spend, I earn Avios, which I can use on various bookings, be it flights, hotels, experiences, etc. How cool is that! And, for this flight, too, I redeemed the Avios. By giving away a few thousand Avios, I could buy a one-way ticket in this sector for GBP 334, a steal deal during the holiday season when average ticket prices range between GBP 800-1300 for a one-way ticket to Mumbai. Also, after my previous experience flying on Etihad and Saudi Arabian Airlines that was unpleasant, I wanted to try something new this time. 


The Airport Experience at Manchester 

Qatar Airways operates out of Terminal 2, one of the busiest terminals that also houses flight operations of Emirates, Etihad, Saudi Arabian Airlines,, TUI Fly, and a few more airlines. The early morning hours at the airport are always busy, chaotic, and full of people. As this terminal operates international flights out of Manchester, it is always busy and rare to find quieter places to relax. Passenger queue at Manchester Airport Qatar Airways operates a dedicated set of self-check-in kiosks and counters at Terminal 2. 


How does this help the passengers? 

If I am a traveler with the specified amount of luggage as per my ticket, I need to head to one of these kiosks, place my luggage, get my tags and boarding pass, and drop the bags on the baggage belt. A simple and quick way to check in and hop on to the next step of the journey. However, I was told to proceed toward the check-in counters to drop off my bags. Generally, due to the high volume of passengers at this time of the year, and also, due to the enhanced network Qatar Airways provides, most of the flights from Manchester to Doha, are always full to the brim. We experienced something similar on this journey too, where we had to wait in the queue to check in for almost over an hour. 

Fun fact: Swissport, a ground handling agency, looks after the ground operations of Qatar Airways. 


Note: Qatar Airways will charge additional costs to check the luggage if you are traveling with excess luggage. Therefore, always check your allowance on the ticket. 


Security, Duty-Free, Pre-Boarding Experience | Manchester v/s Doha 


Ringway International Airport, Manchester 

Manchester Airport generally has a busy security check queue during the early hours. Due to the staff shortage, it had been in the limelight before when the security queues waiting could range between 3-7 hours due to the short-staffing. Thankfully, things have changed now, and I spent less than 15 minutes on August 6, even though it was a weekend and a busy day at Terminal 2. How cool and efficient! Duty-free shopping in Manchester is a paradise for shopaholics. With a wide range of options in almost everything you need, the place is always busy, lively, and full of smiling and supportive staff who would share their best recommendations so you can shop correctly. You can check out what to shop for or pre-book your purchase on the website: 

With a quick few minutes at the duty-free and not having much to shop, I planned to use the best possible time I had before the check-in commences at one of my favorite spots in the Terminal, the airside-facing seats. I was lucky enough to get over 45 minutes to enjoy this hobby while waiting for the beautiful bird, a Boeing 777-300ER of Qatar Airways, to land and park. 


Hamad International Airport, Doha 

While Doha was my transit stop, the airport itself feels like a city in the terminal. Qatar Airways is based out of Hamad International Airport and caters to hundreds of flights and millions of passengers. The airport feels modern, busy, and lively. Unlike my previous experiences of transiting from Jeddah and Abu Dhabi, where I had to re-clear my security checks on a transit flight, this experience was relaxing, and I didn’t have to go through security queues all over again after a tiring first half of the journey where I had been awake for more than 30+ hours already. The airport is spacious, offers many shopping options, and is constructed considering the number of people that travel to and from Doha. The staff at the airport is super friendly, and they look after every passenger's query with a smile. 


So which airport provided a better experience?

I would say it was Hamad International Airport, Doha. With just over 2 hrs in the terminal, I felt it was surely one of the best options to fly through this airport. 


The Boarding Experience at Manchester Airport v/s Doha Airport 

Manchester Airport

Our ride for the day was the Boeing 777-300ER, A7-BAY, a 10-year-old bird with the old configuration of Qatar Airways (24 Business Class seats and 388 Economy Class seats). The aircraft was slightly delayed after arriving at Manchester due to the busy ground movements in the morning hours, further delaying our boarding. Qatar Airways still follows strict COVID-19 guidelines as laid down in Qatar that make it mandatory for people to wear a mask on an airplane. Did you forget to carry a mask? Don't worry; they also provide it at the gate and on the flight. As I mentioned, the ground handling operations of the airline are handled by Swissport, which means they would ensure the aircraft's quick turn-around. 


How would I rate the ground staff of Swissport? 

Helpful - 3/5

Customer Friendly - 2/5

Energetic - 3/5

Smiling and Caring - 2/5 


Briefly, I missed the warm and friendly ground staff, and this was not the first time I experienced this with Swissport at Manchester. The airline was surely not supposed to be blamed, but I hope they do take corrective actions after reading this trip review and make the third-party staff, more customer-oriented. I feel the ground staff defines an airline's image as they are the first point of contact at the airport for a nervous flyer (surely that wasn't me). So, we are now done with: Check-in, Security, Immigration, Duty-Free Shopping, Plane Spotting from the Terminal, Waiting at the gate to board. 

I couldn't resist clicking this shot as I walked toward my gate at Manchester Airport. 


I was left awestruck! After a brief wait at the boarding gate, seeing a mix of nervous, over-excited, arrogant and rude, tired, mixed-emotions passengers, it was now time to board the beautiful Boeing 777-300ER. PS: Boeing 777-300ER is my all-time favorite aircraft. Look at this stunning "Bae," our "BAY" for the first sector. Isn't this bird, a gorgeous one? Qatar Airways Boeing B777-300ER Whenever I am flying, the first impression of any airline is often from the friendly crew, both, on the ground and in the cabin. However, being a little disappointed with the ground experience, I was now looking forward to experiencing the much-spoken onboard hospitality and award-winning cabin crew. Masks may have covered the smile, but the warmth was always there, and my mood completely changed with the first welcome. 

The cabin crew was super friendly, smiling, and had a different energy to ensure guests felt welcomed and had a great start to their journey. Once boarded, I walked past the busy Economy cabin of "Alpha Yankee" to my seat 35A for this sector (MAN to DOH). Qatar Airways B777-300 Economy Seats After the boarding was completed, with a little bit of operational delay, which is common sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, the aircraft was off to take me back home from Manchester. Powered with the mighty General Electric GE-90 engines, the start-up sounds of the engines are always mesmerizing to an avgeek's ears. 

A quick taxi to the Runway 23L and I was all set to listen to these powerful engines as we were ready for take-off. Trust me; I was an excited kid on board, enjoying the music of my favorite jet engines and onboard my favorite aircraft. With a stunning view, heavy loads, a beautiful bird, and a happy passenger (that's me), we were all set to roll out of Manchester. Here are a few pictures of the stunning wing view from our Push-back, Taxi, and Take-off respectively. 

Doha Airport Being on a transit flight, I had little time to explore the airport. Nevertheless, I did explore a bit of the shopping options around. Our ride for the second leg to Mumbai was another Boeing 777-300ER, A7-BES, a 4-year young bird with the new configuration of Qatar Airways. 

Here is a summary of my airport experience with the staff of Qatar Airways at the airport where I had requested a seat change from my existing 43K (Window) to 35J (Emergency Exit). 

Helpful - 4/5

Customer Friendly - 4/5

Energetic - 5/5

Smiling and Caring - 3/5 


Again, the crew was super welcoming, had a smile behind the mask, and assisted all the guests in the best possible manner possible. Operational challenges are stressful for any airline, and helping guests at such times is always challenging. However, the crew, including the captain, ensured everyone was kept aware of the situation. As I swapped my Window seat with an Emergency Exit seat, I felt relaxed despite an operational delay. With ample leg space for a tall traveler like me, the 35J onboard "Echo Sierra" offered me enough space to stretch myself out. 


In-flight Meals | MAN - DOH v/s DOH - BOM MAN - DOH 

Let's talk about one of the most exciting topics on the flight, the in-flight meals. Qatar Airways' renowned hospitality and meals have won them several awards, including the Skytrax Best Airline award. The airline is also the official airline partner for the upcoming FIFA 2022 world cup, which will take place in Doha this winter. Qatar Airways provides a variety of meal options that can be selected on web check-in, and that too absolutely free of cost. As I was flying with Qatar Airways for the first time, I wanted to try the Vegetarian Oriental Meal. The meal service (breakfast) had commenced within the first 45 mins of the flight as passengers had been at the airport very early. The meal consisted of a rice dish, cut fruits, a sweet dish, multi-grain bread, and some coffee/drinks of choice. Unlike Saudi Arabian Airlines, which I flew in May 2022, the airline does serve a wide variety of both, Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic beverages to its guests on board. 

We were offered two meal services in this sector, breakfast, and a snack (sandwich), before landing in Doha. DOH - BOM Again, I had pre-selected a Vegetarian Oriental Meal (VOML) on my next sector from Doha to Mumbai, which had a flight time of approximately 3 hours. The dinner service had started as we were cruising over Dubai. Since the flight time was less than the previous sector, one full meal (dinner service) was served along with a choice of alcoholic/non-alcohol beverages and a tea/coffee service later. One of my favorite dishes this time was hot and spicy noodles with gravy, salad, cut fruits, and a multi-grain bun with butter. 


Arrival Experience | Mumbai Airport 

Mumbai was our final destination on this long journey from Manchester. Despite operational delays, our landing in Mumbai was just 10 mins behind schedule. It was amazing to see how we covered up the lost time with the help of efficient operations. When we landed, Mumbai experienced some heavy rains, but the flight was smooth and comfortable. After a long walk to the immigration (approx. 20 mins) from the gate, having spent 45 mins in the immigration and almost 1.5 hours in customs, it was tiring to see a super long queue everywhere at Mumbai Airport. 

Note: You must declare if you are carrying taxable items. Check out for more information. 

Let’s Wrap Up! Phew! That was quite a journey, ain’t it? While the journey from Manchester to Mumbai via Doha was memorable, we’d like to rate our experiences at each checkpoint: 

Check-in at MAN – 2/5

Security at MAN – 4/5

Duty-Free Shopping at MAN – 4/5

Duty-Free Shopping at DOH – 4/5

Boarding Experience at MAN – 2/5

Boarding Experience at DOH – 4/5

Cabin Experience – 5/5

Seating – 4/5

Comfort – 5/5

In-Flight Experience – 5/5

Meal and Services – 5/5

Crew Friendliness – 5/5

Overall Qatar Airways Experience – 4.5/5

Walk from the gate to Immigration at BOM – 3.5/5

Immigration in BOM – 3.5/5

Baggage Claim – 4/5

Customs - 2/5

Exit and Way-out – 4/5 


We hope you find this virtual journey along with us meaningful. If you enjoyed reading this article, kindly share it with your friends and family. We would love to hear from you, so please share your comments below. It would help us improve our content. Thank you for reading this detailed flight review. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy!

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With India's LCA Tejas catching everyone's attention, what really makes it tick?


15 Aug 2022

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas - India's answer to its counterparts of the same class, has managed to grab eyeballs on an international level like never before. According to a recent statement by the government - six countries — the USA, Australia, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines — have expressed interest in procuring the light combat aircraft (LCA) with Malaysia already placing an order for procuring 18 India’s indigenously-made fighter jets.

Thanks to its features, Tejas has competed with, surpassed and overshadowed the developed aircraft of its worthy counterparts-China, Russia and South Korea and reportedly, the demand for India’s indigenous fighter jets seems to be soaring in the global market.

What is it about the aircraft that makes it tick and which apparently has caught the fancy of many countries?

HAL Tejas

Emerging from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India's ageing MiG-21 fighters, the HAL Tejas is an Indian, single-engine, delta wing, light multirole fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Avion Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

The LCA received initial and final operational clearance in 2011 and 2019 respectively.

The number 45 Squadron- Flying Daggers, is the first Tejas Squadron with the Indian Air Force, to be operational since 2016. The second Tejas Mark 1 squadron, Squadron 18 was formed at Sulur on 27 May 2020. The Tejas Mark 1 made its international debut on 21 January 2016, at the fourth Bahrain International Airshow.

The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed by HAL after the HAL HF-24 MARUT It currently has three production models – Tejas Mark 1, Mark 1A and a trainer variant. The IAF currently placed an order for 40 Tejas Mark 1 and 73 Tejas Mark 1A and 10 trainers.

HAL HF-24 Marut

The IAF plans to procure 324 aircraft in all variants, including the Tejas Mark 2 currently being developed by the HAL. The Tejas Mark 2 is expected to be ready for series production by 2026.

As of 2022, the indigenous content in the Tejas Mark 1 is 59.7% by value and 75.5% by the number of lines replaceable units. As the defence minister announced, the indigenous content of the Tejas Mk 1A is expected to be 50% and rise to 60% by the end of the programme.

Tech and specs

Crew1 or 2Length 13.2 m (43 ft 4 in)Max takeoff weight13,500 kg (29,762 lb)Payload5,300 kg (11,700 lb) external storesPowerplant1 × General Electric F404 IN20 with FADEC 85 kN (19,000 lbf) with afterburnerMaximum speedMach 1.6Combat range500 km (310 mi, 270 NMI) with internal fuelGuns1x 23 mm twin-barrel GSh-23 cannonHardpoints8 (1 × beneath the port-side intake trunk for targeting pods, 6 × under-wing, and 1 × under-fuselage) with a capacity of 5300 kg, with provisions to carry combinations ofService ceiling16,000 m (53,500 ft)g limits+9/?3.5Wikipedia

The Tejas is a multi-role combat aircraft and its flexibility permits it to carry out interception, air-to-air and anti-shipping roles in a single mission. The wind tunnel testing and computational fluid analysis have optimised the design of Tejas for minimum transonic and supersonic wave drag, as well as low wing-loading

The relatively smaller size, extensive use of airframe composites, the Y-duct inlet which shields the engine compressor blades, the application of radar-absorbent material (RAM) coatings and so on, reduce the overall radar-cross section of the aircraft.

Apart from aluminium-lithium and titanium alloys, carbon fibre composite materials are used in the construction of the Tejas. The composite materials constitute 45% of the airframe by weight and 90% by surface area-the highest among contemporary aircraft.

The avionics of the Tejas Mark 1 are centred around Elta EL/M-2032 radar.

Representative | Elta EL/M-2032 radar

Tejas is fully capable of carrying a load of eight to nine tonnes. It can fly with as many weapons and missiles as Sukhoi, which weighs more. Its biggest advantage is its speed. Despite being light, its speed is unmatched. These aircraft can fly as fast as the speed of sound, i.e., Mach 1.6 to 1.8, up at an altitude of 52,000 feet. The Tejas Mark-1A is also costlier than the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft because many latest types of equipment have been added to it. For example, it has radar developed in Israel. Apart from this, the aircraft also has an indigenously developed radar. It is very light and its fighter power is also better. It is a multifunctional fighter aircraftDefence expert Qamar Agha

 It has electronic warfare (EW) suite domestically developed by the Defense Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), which consists of a radar warning system (RWR), integrated self-protection jammer, chaff and flare dispenser system.

The Tejas Mark 1 is currently powered by the F404 IN20 engine. The Mark 1A variant will be powered by the same powerplant, while the heavier Tejas Mark 2 will be powered by a General Electric F414 INS6 engine.

Tejas Mk-1A

Reportedly, the Indian government has awarded a contract worth Rs 48,000 crore to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for manufacturing 83 Tejas jets to be delivered by 2023. Consequently, HAL has doubled the production capacity of Tejas from eight to 16 aircraft per year.


Image courtesy: All credits to respective owners

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Maldives Hanimaadhoo International Airport to be redeveloped by India's JMC Projects

Radhika Bansal

16 Aug 2022

India's JMC Projects Limited has been awarded the development of Hanimaadhoo International Airport in the Maldives. JMC is already involved in flat construction and water and sewerage projects in the Maldives.

An announcement issued by the Economic Ministry on Wednesday, August 10 said the project was awarded to JMC for USD 136.6 million. 

The Hanimaadhoo International Airport is being redeveloped under a USD 800 million line of credit scheme provided by Exim Bank of India.

The Hanimaadhoo International Airport is being redeveloped under a USD 800 million line of credit scheme provided by Exim Bank of India.

Therefore, only Indian companies shortlisted by the Exim Bank were allowed to submit bids for the project. The deadline for submission of bids expired on March 21 this year.

The Hanimaadhoo Airport redevelopment project will include a 2.46 km runway and a brand new terminal with a capacity to accommodate 1.3 million passengers annually.

Other facilities needed to expand international flight services will also be established. While the airport's reconstruction is scheduled to begin later this year, it is expected to reach completion and start service in 2024.

Hanimaadhoo International Airport to be redeveloped by India's JMC Projects

After the completion of the airport project, the airport will be able to accommodate Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft for international flights. As per the Economic Ministry, direct flights to the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Africa will be operated from Hanimaadhoo.

Hanimaadhoo International Airport is located on the island of Hanimaadhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives, opened as a domestic airport.

It was upgraded to an international airport on 2 February 2012, with the introduction of direct flights to Thiruvananthapuram in India by Maldivian. As of June 2019, it is one of three international airports in the Maldives.

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SpiceJet commences taxi service at 28 airports

Radhika Bansal

13 Aug 2022

SpiceJet announced the commencement of taxi service for its passengers at 28 major airports, including Dubai on Friday, August 12.

The taxi service is available in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Varanasi, Amritsar, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Pune, Tirupati, Dehradun, Port Blair, Dubai and many more cities.

The airline stated that passengers booking SpiceJet flights will receive an SMS with details of the SpiceJet taxi service. The SMS link will enable travellers to update details of pick-up location and pick-up time.

"This end-to-end service will enhance the SpiceJet experience for our passengers. We are eliminating the stress of booking a cab to or from an airport with a convenient doorstep service, zero waiting and confirmed cabs at arrival station as well."Debojo Maharshi, Chief Business Officer, SpiceJet

When it is updated, their cab will get confirmed and a well-kept sanitized cab will be reserved for them for their departure to make their journey more convenient and hassle-free.

SpiceJet commences taxi service at 28 airports

The service offers multiple benefits such as zero cancellation fee, zero wait time, 100% confirmed, and sanitised cabs. Additionally, passengers also get an instant cashback on completing their rides with SpiceJet’s taxi service.

ALSO READ - SpiceJet in active discussion with a Middle Eastern carrier for a possible stake sale

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Emirates' CEO wants Airbus to create replacement for the A380 superjumbo

Radhika Bansal

13 Aug 2022

The A380 superjumbo has many supporters around the world, but none quite as vocal and powerful as Tim Clark, the president of Emirates, by far the largest operator of the aircraft.

The Dubai-based airline purchased nearly half of all A380s ever produced and now has 118 in its fleet, about 80 of which are currently flying.

The entire fleet will be back in the air by spring of next year, as part of a resurgence that has seen the super jumbo reintroduced into service with many of its operators, after the pandemic led many to believe it was ready for retirement.

Emirates' CEO wants Airbus to create a replacement for the A380 superjumbo

"The notion that the A380 was a spent force was always a little bit of a difficult one for us to swallow," Clark told CNN Travel in an exclusive interview.

"I was chuckling to myself, thinking 'Wait and see.' We started flying the A380 into Heathrow six times a day in October of last year, and we haven't had a [free] seat on any of them since."

The airline will start refreshing the interiors of almost 70 of its A380s later this year, adding a new premium economy class that will slightly reduce passenger capacity from 519 to 484.

The most distinctive feature of Emirates' super jumbo, however, will remain the legendary shower spa, which offers first-class passengers the luxury of a full-fledged shower at 35,000 feet.

The A380 superjumbo has many supporters around the world, but none quite as vocal and powerful as Tim Clark, the president of Emirates, by far the largest operator of the aircraft.

There are two such suites, at the front of the upper deck, and Emirates is the only airline to offer them, after Clark explicitly requested them during the final design phase of the plane, in the early 2000s.

Convincing Airbus to install them, however, wasn't easy.

"Airbus had come up with a fairly sad possibility of putting benches and having little lounges there, but the notion that you would have bathrooms with showers and all the other bits and pieces was an interesting one.It was a bit of a risk for us, but these were dead spaces which we couldn't generate income from. I realized that actually they would be hugely popular. We designed the showers and then went to Airbus, who were very much arms folded at that time."Tim Clark, President, Emirates

"But before the A380's launch, the marketing program showed double page spreads with avenues of shops, lounges and cafes, so naturally I said, 'that shouldn't be a problem for you.'

"It was, but because we were such a big buyer, they complied. And it's no mean feat trying to get water up two decks, keep the pressure up, the heating and all that. But we succeeded, they worked with us, and the rest is history. People talked about these showers for years and they still do."

The airline will start refreshing the interiors of almost 70 of its A380s later this year, adding a new premium economy class that will slightly reduce passenger capacity from 519 to 484.

Clark has long lamented the fact that neither Airbus nor Boeing plan to build a new plane the size of the A380. Currently, the largest planes offered by the two leading manufacturers are the Airbus A350-1000 and the upcoming 777-9, which both seat just over 400 people in a standard configuration.

However, deliveries of these planes have been delayed and Clark believes they are too small to replace the A380 in Emirates' fleet. "The math tells you that you need a big unit, much bigger than we're getting at the moment," he says.

"The biggest one will be the 777-9, whenever that comes to market, which in our configuration [will seat] 364 people against 484 on the A380s with our new premium economy. And it was 519 before, so you get where I'm coming from."

Clark has long lamented the fact that neither Airbus nor Boeing plan to build a new plane the size of the A380.

The "math" Clark refers to comes from the demand for air travel, which he says was growing by about 4.5% per year before the pandemic. Assuming that curve is recaptured, it would take just 10 to 15 years to see demand increase by half.

"Even with multiple 787s and A350s all busy flying around the world, I still don't get how you will pick up that growth curve. Supply will be suppressed, demand will continue to grow, and when that happens prices rise, it's inevitable."

"If you take the A380s out of the frame by the mid-2030s, how are you going to make it work? Do we see massive upgrades of airfields or new airfields?

Emirates currently plans on retiring its A380 fleet in the mid-2030s.

"At Heathrow, they can't even agree on the third runway. [Amsterdam's] Schiphol has just reduced the number of landings and takeoffs that they will allow. So, one wonders, how would this demand be accommodated?"

Clark's answer is a new plane as big as the A380, if not bigger, with modern features such as lightweight composite materials and more efficient engines.

"Is it possible to redesign a new A380? Yes. Is it possible to lighten the aircraft? Yes. When they brought this aircraft to market, composites weren't really [widespread]," says Clark.

One of the A380's biggest drawbacks is its four engines, which are inefficient to today's standards and fuel prices

"Imagine a composite wing and a predominantly composite fuselage. Imagine engines that are giving you a 20 to 25% improvement compared to what you get today. So you get a lighter aircraft, far more fuel-efficient, which ticks all the boxes as far as the environmentalists are concerned."

One of the A380's biggest drawbacks is its four engines, which are inefficient to today's standards and fuel prices. A new version would require an entirely new engine technology.

Clark says there are "very interesting studies" going on in this field, but he adds that most of the research over the last 20 years has been focused on narrow-body aircraft.

The most distinctive feature of Emirates' super jumbo will remain the legendary shower spa, which offers first-class passengers the luxury of a full-fledged shower at 35,000 feet.

An "open fan" engine, which appears to be a propeller but is actually a larger, unducted version of the fan found inside every modern jet engine, is one of the most promising new types of engines and could cut fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 20%. It will be trialled on an A380 test plane.

However, it's not meant for the aircraft: Brand new planes will need to be designed to fit these engines, and at least in the beginning, they will most likely be single-aisle aircraft, similar to the 737 and A320.

"We're trying to get everybody working on the big fans for the bigger aircraft as well. If you can get them to do what I think they could do in terms of fuel efficiency and power, then you have the makings of an airplane that would match or beat the economics of the [twin-engine aircraft] that we see today, by quite a long way."

An "open fan" engine is one of the most promising new types of engine and could cut fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 20%.

The problem with this plan is that just like the A380 wasn't popular with airlines, a similarly sized successor likely wouldn't be.

"Do I think that airlines will step up and sign up for this project? Doubtful at this stage. On the one hand, I'm very keen to take a good hard look at this, on the other I'm not optimistic that the stakeholders in the ecosystem are up for it."

"The airline industry is, rightly so, populated with conservative people, because they've lost their shirts -- this has been a seriously bad time for air travel. But now, things are starting to look a lot better, demand is back. So they can think hard about the future. Whether they've got the appetite for it, I don't know. I know we have it."

"I've spoken to Airbus more than once," he says. "I think they're beginning to take it a little bit more seriously, but at the moment they are concentrating on their single-aisle planes and the A350 line.

"I suspect people like [Airbus CEO] Guillaume Faury really would like to see something like this and recognizes what I could call the commercial imperative for it. But he is very much a technologist and will only do what his engineers and the technology will allow him to do."

Looking at the post-pandemic travel chaos that is causing cancelled flights, endless security lines and heaps of lost luggage, Clark isn't very optimistic. "I think you'll see a continuation of this until the summer of next year," he says.

The Emirates boss says he's amazed at the resilience of the travelling public for putting up with all of this, but they'll have to be patient for a while longer.

"We are not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination. And as more markets like China, Japan and Korea open up, they will exacerbate the problem, unless the likes of Heathrow, Frankfurt and Amsterdam get their act together and start getting people into place."

The Emirates boss says he's amazed at the resilience of the travelling public for putting up with all of this, but they'll have to be patient for a while longer.

"I see strong demand for the next year," he adds. "It's a patchy one, but my instinct is telling me the airline industry will be okay in a year and things will gradually become good when we get back into equilibrium -- middle of next year, or end of next year."

The airline also operates a sizable fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft.

Emirates currently plans on retiring its A380 fleet in the mid-2030s. The airline is hopeful that a new jumbo will come along before this, but it is preparing to operate without these jumbo assets.

ALSO READ - Emirates not so happy with its delayed B787-9 order, says don’t expect the delivery till 2024

The airline has ordered 50 smaller, more fuel-efficient A350 aircraft to fill the crucial role played by the A380, as well as the 777X. The airline also operates a sizable fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft. Unfortunately for the airline, neither the A350 nor the 777 can rival the capacity of the A380.

ALSO READ - Emirates threatens to cancel the Boeing 777X orders if delivery postponed beyond 2023

(With Inputs from CNN Travel)

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LUFTCAR and NEUROBOTX collaborate to bring the roads to the skies - Here's how


13 Aug 2022

LuftCar, an autonomous EVTOL manufacturer based out of Orlando, Florida, collaborates with Neurobotx and signs a paid partnership to expedite the process of bringing out its innovative, energy-efficient and multi-purpose modular autonomous air and road mobility (AARM) eVTOL to the market.

According to the company, LuftCars can be used during the daily commute and for regional travel (city to city) with both road and air travel capability while ?cargo vehicles can carry hot shot commodities, air inspection and surveys, with drivability into air inaccessible sites.


Apparently, they can also be used for military and healthcare applications- doctors can hop between hospitals and beat congestion while hospitals can own a fleet with a mix of LuftClinics and regular ambulances.

Representative | luftcar




LuftCar can use the Neurobotx XR simulations for testing, development and validation of air and road transitions, evaluate human factors, communicate cargo, passenger and disaster relief use experience through digital twin, and develop exclusive defence mission training campaigns for the air force, navy and marine corp. LuftCar would also demonstrate hydrogen handling, safety and refuelling, and VTOL experiences to customers and stakeholders through the VR

LuftCar CEO Santh Sathya says

Santh Sathya | Twitter

Santh Sathya founded LuftCar - an autonomous air and road mobility eVTOL mobility company in March 2021 and had served as the Director of Strategy for L3Harris prior and was also the head of systems engineering at Boeing - Insitu drones, and led Model-Based Systems Engineering and digital twin development.

Representative | Luftcar

Commenting further on the partnership:

Neurobotx is thrilled to work with LuftCar and leverage our technology, marketing and business development abilities to bring it faster to market. On our platform, millions of users will be able to experience the patented LuftCar docking model, have their car take of and travel long distances, while generating much needed data for pilot training, regulatory approval, investor and client diligence. Our unique neuromorpjhic backend fits the energy efficiency demands for EVTOL to become fully hydrogen-based. Most importantly, we love working with colleagues from the Boeing family!CEO of Neurobotx, Dr. Diana Deca

Dr. Diana Deca | Robotics Planet

NEUROBOTX is pioneering the cognitive metaverse using neuromorphic AI. It is a team of some of the world's brightest minds in neuroscience, VR, AI and robotics building the ultimate cognitive metaverse.

Metapilot | Representative |

This is just one of the many partners we have onboarded on our Metapilot platform. Unlike industry competitors that just gather simulation data without much change from the 1980's, Metapilot is a fully immersive XR experience, with a neuromorphic backend, haptics, and based on my own doctoral research in 2xNobel laureate lab that discovered the brain's navigation system. Essentially, we are rebuilding the pilot brain inside the aircraft. And only 2 weeks after launch, we are in the top games on Steam, a platform that gets 700 new games per day. These are exciting times. And for LuftCar, we will simulate unique applications in governmental and commercial applications to show its unique features. We will also partner for discussions with investors, governmental and airline clients, as well as regulatory approval via our joint NASA partnerships.Dr. Deca adds on the LuftCar commercial partnership

By combining state-of-the-art simulation, haptics and spiking neural networks, the company is presenting us with the ultimate pilot experience while making fully autonomous flying taxis a reality.

Reportedly, Santh could highlight several advantages in the Neurobotx partnership that he could not find elsewhere. He added that he was excited to have the Neurobotx team fueling their growth with the latter having stellar backgrounds in neuroscience, computer vision and XR.

Moreover, LuftCar can use the VR simulations for testing, development and validation or air and road transitions, evaluate human factors, communicate cargo, passenger and disaster relief use experience through digital twin, develop exclusive defense mission training campaigns for air force, navy and marine corp. LuftCar would also demonstrate hydrogen handling, safety and refueling, VTOL experiences to customers and stakeholders through the VRSanth

The partnership is touted to be just the beginning of the cognitive metaverse designed to bridge the retro-futuristic dream of flying cars and the actual present.

Very recently, Luftcar had signed a memorandum of understanding with Bosch Aviation as a part of its efforts to develop vehicle prototypes. Bosch will develop BoP (balance of Plant) fuel cell components for proof-of-concept, with the aim to support LuftCar commercialization.



COVER: Twitter