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Andreas Spaeth

Hamburg, Germany
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About Andreas
Andreas Spaeth is an international aviation journalist and expert based in Hamburg, Germany.
He has been a known figure in the civil aviation industry for decades with excellent contacts to global airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers and aviation organisations.
Andreas has a wide spectrum of capabilities, he is most well known as a feature writer for a wide spectrum of print, online and audiovisual, electronic media.
His face is widely recognized as a trusted expert for all matters in civil avaition on live TV and radio. He specializes in aviation safety and has two decades of experience in commenting on breaking news concerning aircraft accidents.
German English
Interview (Video / Broadcast) Feature Stories Content Writing
Breaking News Fact Checking

Fifty years ago, the Airbus A300 made history

02 Jul 2024  |  aeroreport.de
On October 28, 1972, the Airbus A300B, Europe's first widebody aircraft, completed its maiden flight in Toulouse, France. Initially overshadowed by the Concorde, the A300B was part of a joint European effort to challenge U.S. aviation dominance. The aircraft, powered by GE Aviation's CF6-50 engines, underwent a successful flight test program and received certification in 1974. Despite early challenges, the A300B eventually sold 561 units and became the foundation for Airbus's market leadership. The A300-600 variant continues to serve as a freighter and as the base model for the BelugaST transporter. MTU, a Munich-based engine manufacturer, has been a key partner in the CF6 engine program, contributing to its success and longevity.

More and more airlines are celebrating 100 years in the skies

02 Jul 2024  |  MTU AEROREPORT
Airlines around the world are celebrating their centennials in the 2020s, with KLM of the Netherlands being the first to reach this milestone under its original name. The article recounts the history of several airlines, including Avianca, Qantas, Czech Airlines, Finnair, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, American Airlines, Iberia, and LOT, highlighting their early days, expansion, and modern developments. It also touches on the Wright Brothers' first flight and the role of Queen Wilhelmina in bestowing the 'royal' title on KLM.

Antarctica by passenger plane: White Desert flies Airbus A340

04 Apr 2024  |  nzz.ch
Patrick Woodhead, founder of White Desert, has revolutionized transport to Antarctica with the use of an Airbus A340-300, operated by Hifly, for the 2022/23 season. This solution addresses logistical challenges of reaching remote Antarctic stations, previously serviced by outdated Soviet aircraft. White Desert has established a private airstrip in Queen Maud Land, overcoming environmental and technical hurdles. The flights carried over 500 passengers and cargo, with the operations being climate-neutral and powered by solar energy. The company combines transportation for station crews and luxury tourism, with trips starting at $14,000, aiming to turn visitors into ambassadors for the conservation of Antarctica.

Green and economical – the promise of the new airships

01 May 2023  |  aeroreport.de
Airships are experiencing a resurgence as sustainable aviation alternatives, with several companies developing new models. Germany's historical CargoLifter project failed, but the country remains a hub for airship innovation, such as the Zeppelin NT. Google co-founder Sergey Brin's company LTA is building the Pathfinder 1, a 'green' airship for humanitarian missions. Hybrid Air Vehicles in Europe is advancing with its Airlander models, and the H2 Clipper in California promises long-haul cargo transport powered by hydrogen fuel cells. French project Flying Whales is targeting the large cargo segment. Experts highlight the potential of airships but also note challenges in cargo handling and the need for robust infrastructure. Skepticism remains about the commercial viability of airships in passenger and freight markets.

Is the wind of change blowing for private jets?

20 Apr 2023  |  www.dw.com
Private jets, often used by celebrities and the wealthy, are facing increased scrutiny for their environmental impact. Kylie Jenner and Bill Gates are among those criticized for their carbon footprint. The EU's Charles Michel had to justify his private jet usage, while LVMH's Bernard Arnault is monitored for his fleet's emissions. Activists and politicians, including France's Clément Beaune and Germany's Martin Schirdewan, are pushing for regulations and taxes to mitigate the climate impact of private aviation. Alternatives like trains are suggested for short distances, and some airports are taking measures to limit private jets.

Two Special NASA Aircraft Retire

25 Jan 2023  |  www.nzz.ch
NASA's two legendary aircraft, the Boeing 747SP and the Douglas DC-8, have been retired. The Boeing 747SP, modified into the flying observatory Sofia, has been notable for its infrared astronomy capabilities, discovering water molecules on the moon's surface among other achievements. Despite its success, the Sofia project was prematurely ended in fall 2022 due to budget reasons. The aircraft now resides at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Arizona. The Douglas DC-8 has been a versatile platform for various scientific missions and is known for its robust construction. However, a twenty-year-old Boeing 777-200 is being converted to replace the DC-8, signaling the end of an era for these historic aircraft.

Norway as a Pioneer in Electric Flight

09 Sep 2022  |  nzz.ch
Norway is poised to become a global leader in electric aviation, with plans to electrify all domestic flights by 2040, potentially reducing emissions by 80% compared to 2020. The initiative, led by the state company Avinor, could see the world's first electric commercial flights between Bergen and Stavanger as early as 2026. The challenging terrain of deep fjords and mountain regions makes air travel the preferred mode of transportation. Wideroe, a Norwegian regional airline, is at the forefront of this transition, collaborating with Rolls-Royce and Tecnam, which is building a nine-seater electric aircraft, the Tecnam P-Volt. Larger electric aircraft are also in development, with the aim to replace Wideroe's current fleet by 2035. The move towards electric aviation aligns with Norway's leadership in electromobility, as the country already has the highest per capita number of electric cars and operates electric ferry connections.

Supersonic aircraft with new design and seagull wings

02 Aug 2022  |  Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Boom Supersonic, an American company based in Denver, has announced a radical redesign of its Overture supersonic jet at the Farnborough Airshow in the UK. The aircraft, expected to enter service in 2029, will carry 65 to 80 passengers and reach speeds of Mach 1.7 over water. Despite skepticism from industry experts regarding the project's financial viability and sustainability concept, Boom has raised $600 million in capital and has pre-orders for 35 jets from Japan Airlines and United Airlines. The new design features seagull wings, which are expected to be 20% more efficient than the previously planned delta wings. However, the company has yet to secure engines for the aircraft, raising concerns among experts. The Overture aims to be more environmentally friendly by potentially operating on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), but the availability of SAF remains uncertain.

Maiden flight of the Airbus A321XLR: suitable for any distance

17 Jun 2022  |  www.nzz.ch
The Airbus A321XLR successfully completed its maiden flight on June 15, marking a significant milestone for the aircraft manufacturer. The new model, which can cover true long-haul distances of up to 8,700 kilometers or nearly 11 hours of flight time with full payload, is expected to enter a new market segment starting early 2024. The A321XLR's design includes additional fuel tank capacities and a new landing gear to accommodate the extra weight. Airbus has already received 508 orders for the new type, with major customers including Indigo, United, and American Airlines. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is currently addressing unresolved questions regarding fire safety for the new fuel tanks.

Leonardo AW609: The dream of the tiltrotor is getting closer

30 Dec 2021  |  nzz.ch
The Leonardo AW609 tiltrotor aircraft, which combines the advantages of helicopters and airplanes, is nearing the final stages of development and may receive certification in 2022. With over 1600 flight hours across four prototypes, the AW609 has demonstrated its capabilities, such as vertical takeoff and landing, and high-altitude, high-speed travel. The aircraft, now under the Italian-American helicopter manufacturer Leonardo, has undergone significant changes, including new Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67A engines and updated systems. The AW609 is expected to serve various sectors, including offshore industries, VIP transport, rescue services, and energy providers. The certification process is complex due to the novel nature of the tiltrotor design for civilian use, but there is industry anticipation for its potential impact on aviation.

End of an Aviation Legend

16 Dec 2021  |  dw.com
The last Airbus A380, the 251st of its kind, was delivered to Emirates, its main customer, without any celebration due to the COVID-19 situation in Germany. Emirates, which has a fleet of 123 A380s, has been a significant supporter of the aircraft, with Sir Tim Clark being a notable advocate. Despite the end of production, some airlines like British Airways and Singapore Airlines have reactivated their A380s due to a surge in passenger numbers. Qatar Airways, after initially criticizing the A380, also had to bring it back into service. The A380 faced challenges such as competition from more efficient aircraft like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350, integration issues within Airbus, and a changing market preferring smaller, more efficient planes. Despite its commercial failure, the A380 project led to valuable lessons and integration within Airbus.

Airbus ends A380 production. 'The world's largest passenger plane turned out to be a billion-dollar flop'

16 Dec 2021  |  nextgazetapl
Airbus has ended the production of the A380, the world's largest passenger plane, which has been deemed a financial failure. Emirates, the largest operator of the A380, received the final unit, marking the end of an era. The A380 faced numerous challenges, including high operational costs, inefficient engines, and market shifts towards smaller, more efficient aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Despite its economic shortcomings, the A380 program forced Airbus to unify its operations, leading to the successful development of the A350. The COVID-19 pandemic further impacted the demand for large aircraft, although some airlines like British Airways and Singapore Airlines have reintroduced the A380 to address capacity issues. Qatar Airways, initially critical of the A380, has also resumed its use due to a shortage of aircraft.

The Blue Globe Opened the World

02 Dec 2021  |  nzz.ch
Pan American World Airways, known for its iconic blue globe, revolutionized air travel with affordable mass air transport, thanks to the vision of founder Juan Terry Trippe. The airline's history spanned from its first mail flight in 1927 to its bankruptcy in 1991. Pan Am's achievements included pioneering transoceanic flights, introducing the Boeing 707 and 747 jets, and establishing luxurious hotels for stopovers. Despite its downfall due to financial struggles, lack of a domestic network, and the Lockerbie bombing, Pan Am's legacy endures, influencing modern aviation and remaining a symbol of American entrepreneurship and freedom.

When pilots become train drivers

09 Jun 2021  |  nzz.ch
Due to the pandemic, there is an oversupply of pilots, leading to new career opportunities outside the cockpit, particularly in the railway industry. Major railway companies, such as SBB, are seeking qualified train drivers, and pilots' skills are transferable to this role. In Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, and Australia, pilots are successfully transitioning to train drivers, but attempts to establish a similar model with Swiss railway operators have not been successful. The Deutsche Bahn has hired around 280 former airline employees, including 55 ex-pilots. The salary difference between pilots and train drivers is significant in some regions, but former pilots are adapting to new roles in transportation.

Feature film about inaugural flight Vienna-Cape Town, Andreas Spaeth acting as reporter-anchor

Lufthansa bailout: 'There'll always be critics'

25 Jun 2020  |  www.dw.com
German aviation expert Andreas Spaeth discusses the complexities of the state bailout for Lufthansa, highlighting disagreements among investors and opposition policymakers regarding the extent of state influence on the airline.

How the clash of aircraft titans boiled over in Tahiti

14 Oct 2019  |  Airline Ratings
Air Tahiti Nui, the national airline of French Polynesia, replaced its aging Airbus A340-300s with four Boeing 787-9s after a competitive and politically charged bidding process. The airline, which serves a small network of destinations, received a favorable deal from Boeing, partly as a reaction to Boeing losing a significant order to Airbus from Delta Air Lines. Air Tahiti Nui collaborated with Future Brand to revamp its brand identity, which has won several awards. Despite facing new competition and a changing tourism market, Air Tahiti Nui remains the market leader for travel to Tahiti. The switch to the more efficient 787-9s has resulted in operational savings and improved performance, although the airline has decided against launching non-stop flights to Europe due to the nature of its market.

The Strangest Airline in the World. You've Probably Never Heard of It

14 Sep 2015  |  podroze.onet.pl
Interflug, the state airline of East Germany, served intercontinental flights to destinations like Dubai, Havana, and Bangkok, providing Western currency and a 'world standard' for GDR leaders. It was a pioneer of low-cost air travel in the 1980s, mainly serving West Germans and West Berliners with competitively priced tickets. Interflug's predecessor was Deutsche Lufthansa, which East Germany operated until trademark laws favored West Germany's Lufthansa. In 1963, East Germany rebranded its aviation sector to Interflug, encompassing everything from pest control to civil airport services. The airline was dissolved in April 1991 by Treuhand after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and most of its Soviet-made aircraft were scrapped. However, an IŁ-62 long-range jet was preserved as a museum exhibit, landing on a grassy airstrip in Stölln in October 1989, weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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