Ireland – Part 1

Now that my internship is over, I have a week of vacation before heading to Daytona Beach for my third year of university. Over the past week, I visited Ireland with my family. This is first part of a two-part story.

Day 1 – Travel from Canada to Europe

The first day of the trip was a travel day. We first flew in the evening from Montreal (YUL) to London (LHR) on an Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER. We landed the next morning in London and had a two-hour layover before catching a flight to Dublin (DUB). The flight was operated by Air Canada’s partner Aer Lingus. 

Starter: smoked trout Niçoise said with roasted garlic aïoli.

Appetizer was served after takeoff on the flight to LHR: smoked trout Niçoise said with roasted garlic aïoli.

Day 2 – Travel from London to Dublin and Arrival 

My family and I arrived at our hotel in downtown Dublin at around noon. For our first lunch in Europe, we had tea accompanied with an assortment of sandwiches, scones, and pastries. It was pretty good! In the afternoon, we walked and explored the city. We ate our first dinner at our hotel.

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Walking in the streets of Dublin.

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Restaurants, bars, cafés, and shops.

Day 3 – Guided Tour of Dublin 

The next day we had a private guide to show us the city and its culture. We toured the city with the guide for about three hours before heading to lunch.

Trinity University.

Trinity University

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Christ Church Cathedral

 Day 4 – Travel from Dublin to Killarney

We rented a car and drove from Dublin to Killarney. It was a four-hour drive south west of the capital city. One big thing that is different in Ireland unlike most countries in the world is that people drive on the left side of the road instead of the right. It can get confusing, especially at road intersections. Also the roads there are really narrow.

The speed limit on these roads can be up to 100 km/h (62 mph)!

We arrived at our new hotel at noon. After lunch, we took a walk close to our hotel. The concierge said that the 10-kilometer trail would take us an hour but it actually took way more than that! The views were amazing though.

View from our hotel.

View from our hotel.

View of our hotel.

Day 5 – Golf at Waterville 

The next day we drove to a small town named Kerry.  We had to wake up at  5 in the morning because we had an early 7:50 tee time, and the golf course was located at about 1 hour drive from our location. We played 18 holes at the Waterville Golf Links. It was very windy and cold and we lost many golf balls.

Waterville Golf Links

Waterville Golf Links

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The course is recognize as one of the best in Ireland.

In Part 2 (Days 6 to 10), I will go over the second part of the trip which brings us to a new destination in Ireland. Playing another round of golf and hiking is on the menu.

Nicolas

Network Planning Internship Wrap-Up

Today is my last day as a Network Planning Intern at Air Canada. I started the internship at the beginning of May after my spring semester at Embry-Riddle. I will give a brief summary of my amazing experience.

Boeing 787-9 (Photo Credits: Air Canada)

Boeing 787-9 taking off at Toronto-Pearson International Airport (Credits: Air Canada)

Aircraft Programs
I began my first two weeks with the Aircraft Programs group. For the first week, I shadowed an aircraft program manager while he was performing his duties of post-delivery activities at an MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) close to Montreal. The airline had just received a brand new Boeing 777-300ER (77W). I tested the seats, tray tables, IFE (inflight entertainment), reading lights, and various galley compartments. The aircraft entered into commercial service a few weeks after.

Economy section of an Air Canada B777-300ER

Economy section of an Air Canada B777-300ER

The second week was very exciting as it was my first business trip. I travelled all the way to Seattle because Air Canada was going to take delivery of its 19th and last 77W. I met with the same aircraft program manager at the Boeing Everett Factory. During the first few days, we tested the systems in the aircraft, a bit similar to what we did the previous week in Montreal. We were looking for any defect the plane had before it would be handed off to Air Canada.

Chicken or pasta was served as the main course on the flight to Seattle.

Chicken or pasta was served as the main course on the flight to Seattle (Credits: Author)

My last day in the state of Washington was probably the best. I had the opportunity to fly on the jump seat of the aircraft that was going to be delivered to us the next day. The flight had a duration of about 2h45 and included a touch-and-go and a go-around at Moses Lake (KMWH). Many tests were performed by the flight crew and by mechanics and engineers throughout the flight. The pilots extended the flaps and the slats during the flight. The speed brakes were also deployed for a short period.

Flight path of the aircraft (C-FKAU) via FlightRadar24

Flight path of the aircraft (C-FKAU) via FlightRadar24.

I really enjoyed my week at Boeing Everett Factory. I would like to come back to Seattle soon as I did not have the time to truly visit the Emerald City. I learned a lot about Aircraft Programs in the short two weeks I spent with them.

Network Planning
Right after I returned from my trip to the West Coast, I started working in Network Planning. I was part of the long-range team that planned the flight schedule about a year before it is actually flown. I assisted in planning the schedule for North America, which includes Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Network Planning works closely with other departments such as Intermediate Scheduling, Aircraft Programs, and Revenue Management.

Route Map from Air Canada's largest hub, Toronto-Pearson.

Route Map from Air Canada’s largest hub, Toronto-Pearson.

Before I started my internship, I did not know all the items that are taken into account when scheduling a flight. We need to take into consideration aircraft maintenance, turnaround times, flight connectivity at hubs, ideal departure times, flight crew duty time and aircraft types. Our team also analyzes past performance to see if we should add frequencies or put a larger aircraft on a route.

Besides planning future flights, Network Planning consists of expanding the airline’s route network. I had the chance to sit with a few co-workers as they explained me how an airlines evaluate new route opportunities. In one month this summer, we introduced 10 new international routes to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Since May, Air Canada launched 11 routes to the United States.

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On June 3, Air Canada launched non-stop service between Montreal and Casablanca (Credits: Air Canada)

I really enjoyed the time I spent this summer in Network Planning. Air Canada has a great team of passionate and energetic aviation enthusiasts. I am proud and honored to have been able to play a small role in planning the schedule for the upcoming seasons.

Summary
I am proud and happy I got the opportunity to get a summer internship at an airline in the aircraft programs and network planning department. This is my second summer in a row doing an internship. Last summer, I worked as an intern in the finance department at Aéroports de Montréal, the authority that manages the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. So far, I got to experience both the airport industry and the airline industry. After experiencing both, I can definitely say that I belong to the airlines.

Last year on this same day, August 3, I said in my blog: “Now that I have experienced a job in an airport, I would like to go work at an airline in the near future. We’ll see what happens next!” My wish has come true this summer! Next year after I graduate from Embry-Riddle with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business Administration, I wish to go work full-time at an airline. In about nine months, we will see if my dream can be fulfilled for a second time!

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Quick Update

This past week has been quite busy juggling between work and my online summer class. I am working currently working with the 2017 summer schedule. My online class is almost coming to an end with less than two weeks remaining. Students must always request permission to take courses online, but it’s a good way to keep moving towards graduation during the summer months.

Last week, we had to turn in a rough draft of a research paper on leadership, which is due in a week. I only have a few assignments left before finishing the class. Since I work 40 hours a week, I have to study and do homework during the evenings after work and on weekends. This week, I will review and edit my essay and turn in my final submission. We also have a final exam in two week. It consists of five short essay questions.

In less than two weeks, my internship at Air Canada will end. I am taking the time to enjoy my last few days as an intern. I hope to come back next spring as a full-time employee.

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Pre-Delivery and Test Flight of a B777

MUKILTEO, WA – On Tuesday of this week, our Aircraft Programs team did a customer walk on the B777-300ER (C-FKAU, FIN 749) Air Canada is receiving next week. Our team consists of various managers, mechanics, and engineers. The customer walk is an important step because it is basically a final inspection of the aircraft before delivery.

Air Canada and Boeing inspected the aircraft for the day and looked for snags and other issues on the airplane. We had to put a piece of red tape when we snagged something on the plane. We tested the mechanical characteristics of the seats, such as recline, headrest, armrest, and tray table. The team also tested the flight attendant call button and reading light from every seats. Over 400 seats were inspected during the day!

(Photo Credits: Jen Schuld)

Our Boeing 777-300ER landing at Paine Field after a successful test flight on May 18. (Photo Credits: Jennifer Schuld)

Test Flight (C1)

The next morning, I was aboard the customer test flight (C1) of the aircraft. It is the second test flight of the plane since it was built. The flight lasted around 2h45 with a touch-and-go and a go-around at Moses Lake (KMWH). The aircraft headed West of the state of Washington after takeoff from Paine Field. The Boeing 777 then followed the shoreline to the South before taking a left turn towards the East. At our cruising altitude of 39,000 feet, the pilots performed several tests on the aircraft.

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Flight path of the  aircraft via FlightRadar24.

Go-around at Moses Lake.

Go-around at Moses Lake.

Some of the tests included the extension of the flaps and the slats close to cruising altitude. The spoilers (speed brakes) were also deployed for a short period of time.

Extension of the flaps.

Extension of the flaps.

Extension of the spoilers.

Extension of the spoilers.

The landing gear was also extended during the flight. The cabin started to shake when the gear was deployed because the aircraft was flying in cruise phase at a higher speed than usual when the aircraft is about to normally land at a lower speed. The gear is the part of the aircraft that creates the most drag.

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Flying over the mountains in the beautiful state of Washington.

The flight crew decompressed the cabin at an altitude of 39,000 feet with a feeling for the passengers that the cabin was pressured at 11,000, 12,000, and 13,000 feet. The cabin is usually pressurized at 8,000 feet for the comfort of the passengers. At lower cabin pressure altitudes, passengers will feel better and rested after a long flight. The Boeing 787 is pressurized at 6,000 feet, which is an improvement from the current generation of aircraft.

Blue skies!

Blue skies ahead!

Flight deck of the Boeing 777-300ER (77W).

Flight deck of the Boeing 777-300ER during flight.

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Flight line of Boeing 787s at Boeing Everett Factory.

I am now heading back home to Eastern Canada for the long weekend (Victoria Day). I am not working on Monday since our office is closed for the Holiday! Next Tuesday, I am leaving the Aircraft Programs team and I will be joining the Network Planning group for the rest of the summer. During my trip, I had the opportunity to tour one-on-one the Boeing Everett Factory! Stay tuned for an overview of the factory tour as well as my first few days in the Network Planning department.

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Aircraft Programs: Post-Delivery of a B777

Last week, I started my internship at Air Canada. I am working with the Aircraft Programs team until the end of this week. Next week, I will head to the Network Planning department for the remaining of the summer.

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Economy cabin of Air Canada’s Boeing 777-300ER (77W) in a high density configuration of 450 passengers, which includes 28 Business, 21 Premium Economy, and 398 Economy class seats.

I spent most of my first days in the cabin of a Boeing 777-300ER. This aircraft was just delivered from Boeing a few weeks ago. It is now sitting outside on the tarmac at a maintenance facility in Mirabel, Canada, about 30 miles from the Montreal Airport. I was shadowing an Aircraft Program Manager while he was performing his duties of post delivery. The aircraft needs to be ready soon because it will enter fly its first revenue flight next week from Toronto to Vancouver.

Flight deck of the Boeing 777.

Flight deck of the Boeing 777.

The manager has to make sure the aircraft gets ready before entry into service (EIS). Many tests had to be completed to ensure all the systems work perfectly. All oxygen masks should drop from the overhead panel. Most of the resting was related to the inflight entertainment system (IFE). We played movies as well as the safety video. All the functions of the business class seat such as reclining were tested.

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My favorite features of this aircraft are the meal order and text messaging functionality. Passengers can order drinks and meals from their own seat. There is even an option to add ice and a lemon in your glass/cup. They can also buy duty-free products aboard the airplane. Customers are also able to message their friends and relatives or any other passenger on the flight.

Passengers can order refreshments, meals, and duty free items from their personal seat.

Passengers can order refreshments, meals, and duty free items from their personal seat.

I had the chance to pretty much explore the whole aircraft! I saw a crew rest for the first time. On the Boeing 777 there are two beds and two seats at the front of the cabin on the second floor. For the flight attendants, there are eight beds at the rear of the aircraft on the second floor.

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Door to enter the rear flight attendant rest area.

Rear flight attendant rest area.

Rear flight attendant rest area.

I am really happy and blessed to have the opportunity to do this. What can an Embry-Riddle student ask more than spending entire afternoons aboard an aircraft!?

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Summer Plans

Finals are now over for Embry-Riddle students! For some, it’s finally summer and it is time to rest and relax. For others, jobs and internships are starting in the following weeks.

In my last blog, I mentioned that I would be flying on Delta’s first Airbus A321 flight on May 2. However, the airline made a last minute equipment change and postponed the inaugural  flight. I therefore cancelled my trip to Atlanta on that day.

Last week, my friend flew down from Canada and visited me in Daytona Beach. We enjoyed the beach and warm weather before leaving Florida on Saturday to drive my car up to Canada. The drive from Daytona to Montreal is about 1,400 miles and two days of driving. The first day, we drove close to 1,000 miles and stopped for the night close to Philadelphia. The second day, we drove about seven hours to see my brother in Boston. The next day, we drove the last five hours to Canada. I was exhausted after arriving home in the late afternoon!

Photo Credits: Air Canada

Photo Credits: Air Canada

Now I barely have time to rest since I am starting a summer internship at Air Canada in Network Planning on Wednesday of this week. For the first two weeks of the internship, I will be working with the Aircraft Programs team. It is the department that buys and leases aircraft for Air Canada. After that, I will be spending the rest of my internship in Network Planning. Stay tuned all summer to learn more about my internship!

I hope everyone enjoys their summer!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@y.erau.edu

Two Week Recap

These past two weeks have been pretty crazy around Embry-Riddle. Last week was Finals Week, which means all of us students were studying, not sleeping, and trying to pack up our belongings, all at the same time.

Finals run from Saturday through Wednesday (excluding Sunday). Luckily, I only had to take three exams, instead of five! I had Business Law, Marketing, and Business Quantitative Methods exams. None of them were on the same day, which was nice. Last year I had two exams on the same day, and that was not fun at all. I managed to earn all A’s on my final exams, which was such an awesome end to the semester!

Unlike last year, I also did not have to be out of my dorm room after my last exam, so I wasn’t rushing to pack my room, either. I chose to stay a bit longer in Daytona, which allowed me to pack up my room at my leisure. It also allowed me to focus on checking out my residents, for whom I am an Resident Assistant, or RA. It’s taken me about four days to get everything packed up and moved into storage. I really did not realize just how much stuff I had until I had to move it all. Word of advice: do not bring anything unnecessary to school with you!!

I stayed an extra week in Daytona so that I could help out with Summer A Orientation. It started today, and ends tomorrow. I am working with the O-Team to make sure the new students feel welcome at ERAU. I love working doing this because I get to be that first impression of ERAU for a student. I like to help other students, and the perfect way to do that is by greeting them at Orientation. Although Summer Orientation is nowhere near as crazy and hype as Fall Orientation, it is still a lot of fun getting to bond with everyone.

On my couple days off, I was working at my on-campus job, as well as taking in the last few days I had in Florida. I work at the University Development Office, so I was helping them get some projects finished up during the mornings. In the evenings, I went out to try restaurants I had always wanted to go to. I also spent one day at the beach, since I need to get some color on my skin before I go back to Washington for the summer! Of course, I also had to take in my last weekend at Disney for awhile. I spent Saturday and Sunday at Disney World. It was the perfect time to go, since there weren’t large crowds and it wasn’t too hot. It was nice to have one last mini vacation before I return home for the summer to work at my internship.

Enjoying a Dole Whip at Disney World

The next update will be from Washington, since I am leaving Florida tomorrow! I’ll keep you updated on how quickly I get acclimated to Washington, again. Let’s hope it’s not too chilly up there!

Until next time,

Lindsey

 

It’s Almost Summer!

Last Thursday was the final day of classes of the Spring 2016 semester. Friday is a study day before the first day of exams starts. The Hunt Library is providing donuts and other snacks to students in the evening in an event called “Cram With Cookies.” I have no idea why “cookies” is mentioned because they mainly serve donuts…strange.

Finals will begin on Saturday and continue from Monday to Wednesday evening. I was lucky this semester to be exempted from a few final exams. In my Airport Management class (BA 310), we did not have any quizzes nor exams throughout the semester which was fun. Instead, the professor gave us four assignments related to the airport industry, such as airport security. At the end of the semester we were assigned a large group project and a take home final exam consisting of four short essays which were quite similar to the assignments.

In my Airline-Operations class, we had a total of two exams during the semester, excluding the final. The professor would drop the lowest grade of the three exams so you didn’t have to take the final if you were satisfied with your current grade in the course.

This semester I have to take three finals: International Aviation Management (BA 426), Corporate Finance I (BA 332), and Managerial Accounting (BA 312). Like my colleague Jack mentioned in his latest story, most of the finals in the College of Business are just a regular test and are not cumulative. My only cumulative exam is in my Finance class where I will have to refresh my mind with the material we studied back in January.

This weekend, I plan to study for finals obviously and enjoy my last days in the beautiful sunny and warm weather of Florida before heading back home for the summer. On Monday, I am taking a study break as I will be flying to Atlanta to be onboard’s Delta’s inaugural passenger flight of the Airbus A321 that was just delivered over a month ago. The airline has ordered a total of 82 airframes. The first flight is scheduled to depart Atlanta (ATL) at 8:55AM and arrive at 10:19AM in Orlando (MCO). Stay tuned for a summary of the flight and some pictures!

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Photo Credits: Delta

In the meantime, I wish all of the students from our Daytona Beach, Prescott, and Worldwide campus good luck on their finals. Go Eagles!

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Does your home airport use a common or exclusive use gate system?

Last Thursday in my Airline-Airport Operations class, we had an interesting debate in whether or not we should favor common-use gates over exclusive leased space gates. There are many advantages and drawbacks in both cases that I will explain briefly below.

Exclusive Leased Space

In an exclusive leased space agreement, an airline will have the right to use the gate and ticket counters space in exchange it has agreed to pay a rent on the area used. For an airline that has only one scheduled flight to that airport, it might not be a plus because it will have to pay for the gate while it only uses it maybe an hour per day.

Large airlines in the United States such has Delta Air Lines might prefer the exclusive leased space even though it is more expensive. They can operate their own gates and not bother about another competitor using their gate. Airlines can also show their brand at the ticket counters, gate area, and inside the jet bridge since they basically “own” the space.

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Common Use Space

At a common-use airport, airlines do not have to pay rent on the space. The airport’s gate schedule coordinator will assign each gate to the airlines. It will collect a per-use fee from the air carriers using the space. Common use airports usually have TV monitors at check-in counters and at the boarding area instead of painted walls with the airline’s brand. They can change the image of an airline in a matter of a second.

Common-use airports can generate more revenue by negotiating contracts with companies who want to show their branding around the airport. The HSBC bank branding is present in various airports worldwide.

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Picture taken at around 5:30AM.

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Picture taken at about 6:45AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture above on the left was taken in the morning one day last summer when I worked as an intern at the Montreal Airport in Canada. The picture on the right was taken at the same place about an hour after the first one was taken. We can see that the airport operates with common-use space.

There were four United Express’ regional jets at the gates getting ready for their morning flights back to the airline’s hub. About an hour later on that same day, we can see that those planes are gone and replaced with new Air Canada jets.

For airline ground operations, airlines usually have to move their ground vehicles around the airport to the new assigned gate for the next flight. Airports often try assign the gates to the airlines next to each other so it makes it easier for airline operations.

That’s it for this week! In my next story, I will close the 2015-16 school year and share my summer plans.

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Already Half of the Semester

I can’t believe we have already been through half of the fall semester. First, let’s go back to the beginning of the semester back in August.

About a week before the beginning of classes, I left Montreal, Canada and drove all the way south to Florida. The 1,400 miles drive takes 20 hours without traffic (I wish it took us 20 hours). Trust me, there is a lot of traffic between the New York area and Baltimore.

This year, I am living in an apartment with one of my friends. I spent a good amount of the week getting settled in the apartment which is 10 minute away from campus. I also spent many hours building IKEA furnitures. I built my bed, my dresser, the kitchen table, four chairs, and the sofa. Thanks to my mom for packing a small drill in my luggages.

I like living in an apartment off campus because I can have my own room and I am able to cook whenever I want. One thing I miss living on campus is the proximity. If I had a question on an assignment, I could just walk a few steps and knock on my friend’s door. The College of Business computer lab and the library were also a close reach.

For the fall semester, I have decided to take 18 credit hours. I am taking Speech, Western Humanities II (Renaissance to Postmodern), Airline Management, Business Law, Transportation Principles, and International Business.

Speech is definitely not my favorite class even though I know it will help me to develop skills to become a better public speaker. As of today, we have done four speeches.

The humanities class is also not in my top classes. Some of the material we are going over in class is the same than my history class from my sophomore year of high school. This class should be easy, but I already forgot the material from high school.

Airline Management is certainly my favorite class because it is an area I want to work for after I graduate from Embry-Riddle. So far, we learned about network structures (point-to-point and hub-and-spoke system), time banks, and important measures such as available seat-miles (ASMs) and revenue passenger-miles (RPMs). Now, we have just started talking about revenue management.

My longest class is Business Law with a duration of 3 hours, and we only have a break of five minute during the class. The good thing about this class is that we only meet once a week on every Monday.

In Transportation Principles, we have learned about the railroads and ports. I hope the aviation part comes soon because this is what I like the most.

My last class on my schedule is International Business. We are doing a project where we act as a U.S. based company selling a video game system trying to sell our product in foreign countries. I decided to pick Mexico since it borders the United States.

Well, this is all about my classes. I am enjoying my semester so far but I look forward to Fall Break so I can rest  for a few days.

Until next time!

Nicolas