Airbus Delivery Centre @ Toulouse Airport

2 05 2011


The Airbus Delivery Centre is where aircraft which are ready for customer final inspection and testing are parked. It is quite remote from the aircraft production facility. The delivery centre is designed and built like a small airport. In fact it’s larger than all but the largest airports in Malaysia!

These are some pictures of the delivery centre model found in the lobby of the building itself. The largest “terminal” is used very high profile deliveries such as the delivery of the first aircraft to a customer. This is typically when the Senior management and VVIPs are present for the handover ceremony. The curved viewing hall affords a great view of the finished product. This terminal also houses immigration and customs facilities so customers may depart directly form the facility after taking possesion of their aircraft.

For subsequent deliveries, the customer aircraft are positioned in the other 3 terminals  (round in shape) connected to the main one. Each of these smaller terminals can handle up to 4 aircraft at any one time. Customers are normally provided with 2 offices each on the first floor of the terminal whilst their respective Airbus representative offices are on the ground floor closest to the aircraft. This means each customer’s office overlooks his own aircraft.

In total the Airbus Delivery Centre can handle up to 13 aircraft at any one time. This makes a lot bigger than most airports in Malaysia.

As most of my work involves paperwork, I am usually in in the terminal building shuffling between main office and the office given to the Malaysian Department Of Civil Aviation surveyors. Above is the view of the aircraft I and the team of 10 other people are here to deliver back to Malaysia Airlines.

The next day whilst sitting in the same office, I caught my first live view of the A380. It was taxing ever so slowly so i was able to take a few snaps of it with my Iphone camera. It really is huge. I hope I get a chance to get up close to it while I am here. Unfortunately the A380 production facility is way over the other side of the airport and put of view from the delivery centre. In fact new Airbus A380’s are delivered to their customers in Hamburg facility where Airbus has built a 2nd such delivery centre.

The Toulouse facility outs the A380 together and then flies it to the hanburg facility where the interior finishing and external painting are done before handing over each finished aircraft to their customers.

The picture above was taken as our team were leaving the facility for the hotel at the end of the first day. It’s the picture of the delivery centre and if you’ll look to the left of the picture you can catch a glimpse of the first A380 ever built.

It was about 8 p.m when we finally pulled up at the hotel but as it was nearly summer, there was still lots of daylight left and I managed to snap this picture of the hotel I was staying at.

First day in Toulouse

27 04 2011

I finally arrived in Toulouse yesterday at Noon, 18 hours after leaving KLIA. Arriving in Toulouse our small entourage was greeted by an Airbus staff who took us directly to our hotel. Adagio Parthenon is actually an apartment hotel near the centre of Toulouse and 30 minutes drive from the airport and Airbus production facility.

The hotel reception is actually on the 9th floor. I was checked into room 1206 which faces the city. The apartment has a living room and a kitchenette. The brown sofa you see in the living room folds out into a bed which can sleep another 2 persons. The separate bedroom is small but very comfortable. The apartment is also equipped with a decent  internet connection but no wifi.

Above is the view of  Toulouse from the apartment. As you can see the city has no tall buildings. Most of the buildings in this part of the city are apartments and about 4 to 5 stories high. It is because of this that I have a commanding view of the city. By contrast, if this was Hong Kong, I’d be surrounded by tall buildings and my view limited to a few hundred metres if not just metres.

After a brief rest and a shower, we went out for lunch. En. Kamal of the DCA took us to a Kebab restaurant nearby the hotel. Here  you can have your lanb kebab with cheese or plain nan and/or fries. I ordered a kebab with plain nan bread and fries. Total cost was Euro 5.70 with a bottle of water . They don’t give you a plate. The fries comes wrapped together with the meat in the nan bread.

After lunch we took a walk around the city. Toulouse is a very old city and it shows in the buildings. The architechture is gothic. presently we entered a square in the middle of the city where we came by a mime performing for money.

All his belongings are in the trolley which doubles up as a pedestal. I watched him for a good 5 minutes before moving on. What you’ll notice immediately about Toulouse are the people sitting around the square, public parks and sidewalk cafes. It was 3.30 p.m on a weekday and it seems that nobody was working!

Today, I’ll be going to Airbus Industrie at the airport.

First Time in First

25 04 2011

I’ve been in the airline business for nearly 22 years and work in two countries for two different companies but never have I had the privilege of flying in first class.
Tonight will mark a few firsts for me. It’ll be the first time I fly in first class and also the first time I am traveling to pick up a brand new aircraft from a production plant.
I am heading for the Airbus Factory in Toulouse, France via Amsterdam.
Firs class travel is a whole world of difference from economy. Before I even get a chance to sit I am asked if I wish to have a drink.
Earlier on I had the chance to use the first class lounge operated by the airline in the airport. It was superb. Ok they have closed the air raft doors and we are about to push back so I’ll have to continue this post when I arrive in about a day’s time.


Two “Egg”traordinary

16 04 2011

Never count your chicken until the are hatched, so goes the old saying. I saw this on Yahoo today and thought it was really bizarre. Nature really is unpredictable.

I wonder if both the eggs would have hatched and how the chicks would have looked like. I guess we would never know now.

A Good Lesson to Remember

8 04 2011

Since coming back from my holiday in Hong Kong I have been a little slack in updating my blog. I admit being too caught up with work. I have taken loads of pictures, had lots of ideas but never got down to writing.

Then today a friend and colleague of mine emailed me a story which I thought was very appropriate not only for restarting my posts but for the times we live in.

The Money is yours but the resources belong to the Society

Germany is a highly industrialized country. It produces top brands like Benz, BMW, Siemens etc. The nuclear reactor pump is made in a small town in this country.
In such a country, many will think its people lead a luxurious life. At least that was my impression before my study trip.

When I arrived at Hamburg, my colleagues who work in Hamburg arranged a welcome party for me in a restaurant. As we walked into the restaurant, we noticed that a lot of tables were empty. There was a table where a young couple was having their meal. There were only two dishes and two cans of  beer on the table. I wondered if such simple meal could be romantic, and  whether the girl will leave this stingy guy.

There were a few old ladies on another table. When a dish is served, the waiter would distribute the food for them, and they would finish every bit of the food on their plates.

We did not pay much attention to them, as we were looking forward to the dishes we ordered. As we were hungry, our local colleague ordered more food for us.

As the restaurant was quiet, the food came quite fast. Since there were other activities arranged for us, we did not spend much time dining. When we left, there was still about one third of unconsumed food on the table.

When we were leaving the restaurant, we heard someone calling us. We noticed the old ladies in the restaurant were talking about us to the restaurant owner. When they spoke to us in English, we understood that they were unhappy about us wasting so much food. We immediately felt that  they were really being too busybody.

“We paid for our food, it is none of your business how much food we left behind,” my colleague Gui told the old ladies.

The old ladies were furious. One of them immediately took her hand phone out and made a call to someone. After a while, a man in uniform from the Social Security organization arrived. Upon knowing  what the dispute was, he issued us a 50 Mark fine.

We all kept quiet. The local colleague took out a 50 Mark note and repeatedly apologized to the officer.


Our face turned red. We all agreed with him in our hearts. The mindset of people of this rich country put all of us to shame. WE REALLY NEED TO REFLECT ON THIS. We are from  country which is not very rich in resources. To save face, we order large quantity and also waste food when we give others a treat. THIS LESSON TAUGHT US A LESSON TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT CHANGING OUR BAD HABITS.

My colleague Photostatted the fine ticket and gave a copy to each of us as a souvenir. All of us kept it and pasted on our wall to remind us that we shall never be wasteful.


I really do not know who wrote this story but it is so true of Malaysians nowadays. We indulge in expensive buffet dinners, hardly finishing the food on our plates before going for seconds and thirds. We leave our engines running while waiting for someone to arrive. We do not bother to report a leaking tap or broken toilets.

“Waste Not, Want Not”, goes the famous Engilsh Idiom. The meaning goes somewhat like this, “if you are not wasteful (of food, resources, money etc), you’ll probably not end up lacking the same”

Hong Kong . . . .

9 02 2011

It’s been 6 years since I left this wonderful city and now I am back again. This time  for a relatively short 8 day holiday with plans to meet up with old friends, shopping and least but not last, to do a bit of hiking. Not known to many people, Hong Kong is actually a great place for outdoor sporting activities and of these I love hiking the most.

The pictures above shows you two different faces of Hong Kong. One is of the district of Mongkok, probably the heart of the shopping district and another the the coutryside as seen from a hiking trail on Lantau Island. I loved them both.

After I started this blog I had wanted to write about Hong Kong but I thought it would have been inappropriate as I was no longer livng in this city that never sleeps. Yes I can attest to this, the city or at least what the world understands as Hong Kong never sleeps. I could find food, entertaiment and transport any time of day. I could find busses to take me from the Airport where I worked to my home which was in North New Territories even at 3 a.m in the morning.

Now that I am back, I thought I would start writng about Hong Kong and my experiences while I was staying here. This post will be the start of my Hong Kong series.

White Water Rafting Part 1

30 01 2011

Can anybody guess what I was doing here (again) today? It started off as a rainy Sunday and remained that way throughout the day. A great day if you planned on getting soaking wet!

The full story and more pictures later.

Ok so where was I?

Sunday morning saw us driving off North to toward the sleepy town of Kuala Kubu Baru. I wasn’t doing the driving but the navigating . . . withthe help of a GPS unit. I decided we would bypass the town of Rawang and use a little known route which is supposed to be scenic. Well, it wasn’t really but still it was much faster and offered some interesting views. The rain had by this time eased into a drizzle and Beadon decided to open the sunroof. for the rest of the journey. It was really nice to get a blast of cool wet wind in your face. really woke me up that.

This town was once one of  the main stopovers on the route from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Nowadays the town is a sleepy hollow except for weekends  holiday makers on the way to Fraser’s Hill stopover to have some breakfast. It’s also a meeting point for those who have come here to do some white water rafting. There were scant few restaurants open in this town on a Sunday. We found two that were open, one a modern mamak style restaurant which you normally find in the Klang Valley and the other a Malay restaurant across the road. Beadon decided to go for the quaint Malay restaurant. It so happens that this restaurant is also owned by the couple En. Piee and Kak Ros, who runs the outdoor adventure company that is taking us white water rafting today. The nasi lemak here is simple but very taste. Almost like homemade. After paying our bills we headed on foot to the post office where Piee was already waiting. Apart from our group of 18 he had another 34 people who had paid him to take them white water rafting, making it a total of 52! We waited for half an hour for the whole group to arrive but by 9.45 there were still some who had not made it.

I told Piee that i would take my group on ahead to see the river from the bridge nearby the starting or drop in point. he okayed it and off we went.

The rain had picked up again by the time we reached the bridge but that did not stop some of us form leaving our cars and having a peak at the river. As expected it looked terrifyingly dangerous from way up here. After a brief stop we headed to the drop in point and waited for the rest of the group.