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Pilots have the privilege of a birds-eye view, but should they resist the temptation to snap from the cockpit? Frans Zwart/Flickr

When ‘selfies’ extend to plane cockpits, pilots could land themselves in trouble

Last week, Quartz published an article showcasing photographs pilots have taken from the cockpit of aircraft to post on Instagram. As explained in the story, by taking these photos - many of which appear…
China’s first homegrown commercial jet, the C919 is soon to be a reality. EPA/Ym Yik

China sets its sights on breaking the Boeing-Airbus duopoly

The global civil aerospace market has long been a classic duopoly. The sector has been dominated by European company Airbus and the US giant Boeing, with only limited competition in the regional jet market…
There’s a lot of technical re-invention in store for the airliner. Boeing & NASA

What commercial aircraft will look like in 2050

The aircraft industry is expecting a seven-fold increase in air traffic by 2050, and a four-fold increase in greenhouse gas emissions unless fundamental changes are made. But just how “fundamental” will…
It should be possible to enjoy your holiday and give the planet a break. lazyllama/Shutterstock

Can you be a sustainable tourist without giving up flying?

Australians love to travel. About 9 million Australians travelled overseas last year, 60% of them on holiday. For most tourists, sustainable development and climate change were probably not high on their…
Questions are being asked of the Qantas board over fleet decisions made years ago. Halans/Flickr

Did Qantas bet the house on the wrong planes?

When Qantas posted a A$2.8 billion loss - the highest in the airline’s history - last week, one critical point was that $2.6 billion came from a write-down of the value of the aircraft in the Qantas international…
Planes and airports both have big carbon footprints – and the sector is still growing. ssguy/Shutterstock

Airline emissions are set to rise – and people are threatening to sue

No matter what the aviation industry does to reduce emissions, it will be outweighed by growth in air travel, according to a new analysis. Growth will trump emissions cuts even if significant (and contentious…
A coffin bearing the remains of a victim from flight MH17 arrives in the Netherlands. In determining compensation, the onus is on the airline to prove it wasn’t at fault or negligent. EPA/Bas Czerwinski

The loss of flight MH17: how much compensation – and who pays?

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight 17 (MH17) – an international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur – crashed in eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. It appears…
A separatist soldier hands an MH17 black box to a Malaysian delegation. EPA/Robert Ghement

Explainer: what will MH17’s black boxes reveal?

The news that the black boxes from Malaysia Airlines flight M17 has been handed over to Malaysian authorities, will lead to many questions about what information they have to offer. The two recorders have…
Like Icarus, passengers on aircraft during solar flares can cop the effects of flying close to the sun. HK.Colin/Flickr

Are you a frequent flyer? Solar storm radiation can be harmful

Space weather impacts many modern-day technologies. But one of the most concerning – and least reported – space weather effects is the increased radiation exposure to passengers on commercial long-distance…
With clear international agreements families of passengers lost to air disasters could be granted some certainty. Azhar Rahim/EPA/AAP

MH370 cost sharing agreement a chance to avoid future mistakes

More than 100 days on from the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the search for the plane continues at a mounting cost for all involved, including the Australian government. Last month senior…
Malaysia Airlines is still in business, but is rethinking its business model. ailing_/Flickr

A season on from MH370, how is Malaysia Airlines doing?

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, almost three months ago. Despite comprehensive, almost unprecedented search operations involving dozens of states, the aircraft, or what remains…
Putting old airliners out to pasture early and replacing them would fill fields, but clean the skies. Benny Davis/USAF

Aircraft scrappage scheme could clean up dirty airlines

Although aviation emissions contribute only 3-5% of the total impact on the planet’s climate, this is steadily growing and is a surprisingly intractable problem to solve. As prosperity around the world…
Qantas is investing in a loss-making strategy, and there’s no easy way out. Dave Hunt/AAP

Qantas can bleed now or later, but capacity war must end

Tony Abbott has thrown a curve ball at Qantas in refusing to offer up the debt guarantee it wanted, but seeking to abolish Part 3 of the Qantas Sale Act in its entirety. This opens the door to foreign…
Qantas: out of options? Neuwieser/Flickr

Nothing short of a debt guarantee will save Qantas

Imagine that Virgin Australia was majority owned by a Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE). Then, if the owners of Virgin tipped A$350 million of new equity into the company to sustain Virgin through a…

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