It may not have involved a one-horse open sleigh, but 2009 was certainly quite a ride.
The ups and downs for Commercial Airplanes and our industry this past year are well-publicized. For me, personally, I’ve traveled through the hills and valleys not only along with you here in the blog, but also while circling the globe.
Now you can put a bow on 2009 - the year ended on a high note with the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner.
In just the second half of this year my travels took me to Dubai for the air show, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam. I also journeyed to the Caribbean and South America.
Yes, I do travel a lot. One interesting observation is that in terms of miles, I did just about as much traveling this year as I did in 2008, but my travel costs were down about 30%. It tells you that the travel industry definitely struggled this year in terms of yields. Traffic was down for business travelers, and fares were significantly lower.
But those issues aside for the moment, as we end the year I’m recalling some great memories. A tango show in Buenos Aires, a rugby game in Wellington, the weekend market in Bangkok, and of course, all the food, such as Korean barbecue in Seoul, seafood in Sydney, and always seeking the best possible fish heads and chili dishes.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights:
A pair of Qantas A380s, with Sydney visible in the distance. Notice the three boarding bridges. Two for the lower deck and one for the upper deck. I still haven’t had the opportunity to fly on the airplane.
The Beehive building, part of the New Zealand Parliament complex.
This dish was my chance to try what’s acclaimed as the best Peking Duck in Beijing, at the “Made in China” restaurant.
And this was my fish head curry dish in Shenzhen.
Turns out that Godzilla wasn’t such a giant after all.
A rugby match in Wellington during the Air New Zealand Cup 2009.
A moment along the waterfront in Trinidad.
I was fortunate enough to end the year at the ultimate “VIP event” - the Dreamliner’s first flight.
As a finishing touch, I’ve gift wrapped for you a little walk around video I did in Dubai last month. It’s always fun to do these at the big air shows. Take a look.
Click above to view my video from Dubai 2009.
I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did. For now, let’s look to a 2010 in which the economic recovery continues and airlines see increases in passenger and cargo traffic.