Sunday, 20 May 2018

Man punches deaf pregnant woman in stomach and hits her service dog on Frontier Airlines flight to Orlando

A Frontier Airlines passenger punched a deaf pregnant woman and her service dog on a flight from Colorado Springs to Orlando on Friday.

The incident took place shortly after the aircraft had landed at Orlando and was taxing to the terminal. Local media is reporting that Matthew Silvay and Hazel Ramirez, a deaf couple had ben travelling with their two children and a service dog on the Frontier Airlines Flight 1752.

Timothy Manley, a fellow passenger, viciously punched the 20 weeks pregnant, Ms Ramirez in the stomach, as well as punching the couples service dog, causing it to yelp in pain. Local media also report that Mr Manley also touched or manhandled the couples two children during the incident. 

Endeavor CRJ900 runway excursion

An Endeavor Bombardier CRJ-900 operating a Delta Connection flight from Atlanta to Lexington ran off the runway during torrential rain on Saturday.

There were no injuries among the 73 passengers and 4 crew onboard the aircraft after its runway excursion that occurred at approximately 1.30pm on Saturday at Blue Grass Airport.  The passengers were bussed to the airport terminal and appeared to be in good spirits according to airport staff. 

Endeavor Air released a statement Saturday afternoon, advising “Upon landing in Lexington, KY., Endeavor Air flight 3359 from Atlanta, operating as Delta Connection, turned off the active runway and came to a stop in the grassy area between taxiways A2 and A1. Endeavor crew members made the decision to deplane customers through the main cabin door into the grass where buses took all on board to the terminal. We apologize to our customers impacted by this incident.”

IAG boss says 'no hostile bid' on horizon for Norwegian

The boss of International Airline Group, Willie Walsh told the media last week that the deal to take over the rapidly growing low-cost airline Norwegian won't go hostile! Yet we've been told that staff are still working on a bid.

Norweigan recently confirmed that they have so far unanimously rejected two approaches from IAG, the owner of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus because they seriously undervalued the company. Speaking at the CAPA-Centre for Aviation conference, Walsh doubted that he had got the value wrong, "We know what the value to us would be." he said, whilst also indicating that a hostile bid wouldn't be forthcoming, "This isn’t a deal I have to do. We have expressed an interest. If they don’t want to be bought by IAG, fine,” he told various media organisations, adding “I am not going to do anything hostile, that’s not my style.”

More union trouble ahead for Ryanair

There is more trouble ahead for Ryanair, as an Irish pilots union has given the airline a deadline of 24th May to agree to new working practices, or a ballot for industrial action would be called. Such a ballot could pave the way for more strikes at the low-cost high-fee airline. 

Management is, its fair to say, more than a little annoyed that after recognising unions for the first time in its history in December last year that industrial action may be taken so soon.

 The Irish airline has come to certain agreements with other unions in the UK as well as Italy and some other locations, however, it was still negotiating with Irish and Spanish unions. It has already faced some industrial action in Germany and Portugal which has lead to some cancellations and changes, yet no full-on strike had been called, at least so far.  

Previous safety complaints about Mexican Airline that crashed in Cuba

It has been revealed that the Mexican charter airline whose 39-year-old Boeing 737 crashed in Havana, Cuba, on Friday leaving 110 dead, had been the subject of two serious safety complaints during the last decade.

Mexico's National Civil Aviation Authority will now carry out an operational audit of Damojh Airlines, the government confirmed, in order to ascertain if the carrier's “current operating conditions continue meeting regulations” The government also said that it would help collect information for the investigation. 

According to authorities in Guyana, the 737 that crashed on Friday had been banned from Guyanese airspace last year after authorities found that crew had been allowing dangerous overloading of luggage on flights to Cuba.  Guyanese 

Friday, 18 May 2018

737 crashes in Cuba just after take-off

The Caribbean island of Cuba is in mourning today after a plane carrying 104 passengers and 9 crew crashed shortly after takeoff from Havana today.

The Boeing 737 aircraft had just departed Jose Marti International Airport at 11am local time, when it came down in a field. Wreckage and debris from the crash was scattered across the field near the municipality of Rancho Boyeros. 

Local media reported that three people had been pulled from the wreckage of the airliner and taken to Calixto Garcia hospital in Havana. One subsequentially died from the trauma and burns, while the two others are said to be in a serious condition.

The aircraft was operating flight CU972, a domestic flight from Havana to Holguín and according to local media had been leased to state airline Cubana de Aviación by the Mexican company Damojh Aerolíneas. Mexican transport officials confirmed that the 737 jet belonged to Damojh Airlines, which was founded in 1990, which operates by the name of Global Air. The charter carrier has three 737 aircraft and the one that crashed was manufactured in 1979.    

Getting ready to say farewell to SilkAir

Singapore Airlines has confirmed that the end is nigh for its regional wing, SilkAir!  The popular short-haul airline will start an intense programme to upgrade its airfraft cabins that will see it eventually merge into the parent airline Singapore Airlines.

The upgrade programme is estimated to be costing the company more than $100 million and will see Silk's fleet fitted out with new lie-flat seats in Business Class and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class which will homogenise service across the SIA Group’s full-service network.

According to SIA, the cabin upgrades are expected to begin in 2020 and the absorption into Singapore Airlines main fleet will only take place after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products.

Saratov Airlines to close

The troubled Saratov Airlines looks ready to close and cease operations at the end of this month, just a little over three months from the tragic crash of one of the Russian carriers Antonov An-148s.

The 86 year-old company has had little choice after Rosaviatsia, the Russian air transport regulator ordered the airline to stop selling and issuing its own tickets as well as those for other companies from the end of this month.

In addition, Rosaviatsia has ordered the airline to make sure all its passengers are repatriated on or before that date and no new flights should be sold if the return date is after the 30th May. However, despite that direction from the authorities, we were able to book a return ticket to Moscow from Saratov travelling in June, earlier this afternoon. 

The airline has failed to cope following the fatal crash of one of its An-148 aircraft just outside Moscow Domodedovo on the 11th February which killed all 71 people onboard. The initial investigation found that despite the snow showers and -5c temperature at Domodedovo airport on the day of the flight, the pilot decided the aircraft should not be de-iced. Analysis of the black boxes showed that pitot tube heaters had not been turned on which resulted in them becoming iced over of blocked and therefore different airspeeds were indicated in the cockpit. One was showing increasing speed, one showing decreasing speed, whilst a third showing no airspeed at all. The aircraft was being flown manually by the pilot when it dived downward. The investigation found the first officer had tried to stop the decent but failed to persuade the captain before the aircraft crashed into the ground.

It's understood that the closure of the airline will result in the loss of 1200 jobs.

Another battle between Boeing and Airbus

The battle between Boeing and Airbus to replace United Airlines 767's continues at a rapid pace, as Boeing wants the airline to buy more 787 aircraft, while Airbus is hoping the US giant will take its A330neo offering.

Boeing is the favourite, as they have already sold United the Dreamliner 787 aircraft and the airline has options on a number of airframes and thanks to significant discounts on list prices, is unusually cheaper than the A330neo's that Airbus is offering.

Southwest to offer iHeartRadio on flights

The US low-cost giant, Southwest Airlines announced earlier a new collaboration with iHeartRadio to bring the financially troubled iHeartMedia's free all-in-one digital music and live streaming radio service to Customers as the exclusive music offering within the onboard entertainment portal on Southwest flights.

iHeartMedia is currently in 'chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US, with filings showing the company has a total of $20.4 billion in long-term debt, about $13 billion of that is secured. Some of the big names the company owes money to include - $20.9 million to Nielsen, SoundExchange are due $6.4 million, Warner Music Group is owed $3.9 million, Spotify is waiting for $2 million,  Global Music Rights are also owed $2 million. ASCAP is owed $1.5 million, BMI $1.43 million whilst Universal Music Group is owed $1.3 million.  

Alaska Air Cargo to deliver more than 64,000 pounds of wild Copper River salmon to Seattle

 More than 16,000 pounds of fresh Copper River salmon arrived in Seattle on a fish-filled Alaska Airlines plane touching down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after 6:30 a.m. this morning. Today officially marks the beginning of the summer salmon grilling season that is anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In total, Alaska Air Cargo has three more flights scheduled throughout the day to bring in an additional 48,000 pounds of salmon to market.

BA - TSA Precheck programme

British Airways customers along with customers of other select airlines could benefit from shorter security queues, and more ‘me time’ in US airports now the airline has signed up to the TSA Precheck programme.

People who are accepted under the US government scheme can use fast track security queues and do not need to remove shoes, light jackets, or belts. Laptops and compliant liquids can also remain in hand luggage, making the trip through security at the airport easier. In March 2018, TSA research found 93 percent of customers using the scheme waited less than five minutes.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Fly Leasing's Acquisition of Major Aircraft Portfolio Approved by AirAsia

Fly Leasing Limited  a global leader in aircraft leasing,  announced this week that all agreements relating to FLY's acquisition of 55 Airbus narrow-body aircraft and seven CFM engines on operating lease, and the option to purchase an additional 20 Airbus A320neo family aircraft, were approved by the shareholders of AirAsia Group Berhad ("AirAsia") at their extraordinary general meeting on May 14, 2018.

"The positive vote by AirAsia's shareholders was the final approval needed to complete the acquisition," said Colm Barrington, CEO of FLY. "The addition of these aircraft and engines will grow FLY's fleet significantly and will drive improved returns for our shareholders. We look forward to completing the transfer of the 34 aircraft and seven engines that comprise the initial part of the transaction by the end of the third quarter."

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Launch operator A330neo completes maiden flight

Airspace cabin checks commence with TAP Air Portugal aircraft

The first A330neo for launch operator TAP Air Portugal - MSN1819 - completed its 4:32 hours maiden flight.

The aircraft now joins the fleet of two A330-900 test aircraft already performing flight tests since 19 October 2017.

MSN1819 is the first aircraft fitted with the Airspace cabin by Airbus. It is equipped with light Flight Test Instrumentation during its test phase to check cabin systems such as air conditioning, crew rest etc.

With over 1,700 orders, the A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft ever, performing nearly 1,000,000 flights every year. Today, more than 1,400 aircraft have been delivered to almost 120 customers worldwide on a wide range of routes, from domestic and regional flights to long-range intercontinental services.

Offering the lowest operating costs in its category, and thanks to continuous investments in latest innovations, the new generation A330neo is the most profitable and best performing aircraft in its size category. The A330neo first delivery is planned in summer 2018.

The A330neos will usher the brand-new Airspace by Airbus cabin concept, a consumer-centric cabin developed with passengers at heart and airlines in mind around the four pillars: Comfort, Ambience, Service and Design. These cabin options will ensure that the A330neos will set the benchmark in passenger experience and airline value, alongside its widebody partner, the A350 XWB.

WTO confirmed: no prohibited subsidies at Airbus

On Tuesday, the WTO (World Trade Organisation) Appellate Body published the first of two rulings expected this year on subsidies in the large commercial aircraft dispute between the US and the EU.

The first ruling is the Appellate Body’s final report on the EU’s compliance with previous World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) findings in the case against Airbus (DS316). The second ruling – dealing with Boeing’s case – is expected later this year.

94 percent of all US / Boeing’s 
original claims now dismissed by WTO

The Appellate Body confirmed in its report the legality of the loan partnership approach between Airbus and European governments. The WTO Panel agrees further with earlier findings that the European repayable launch investment (RLI) loans for civil aerospace development projects do not constitute a prohibited subsidy and only a few modifications are needed to achieve full compliance. The WTO has now dismissed in their entirety 94 percent of Boeing’s original claims. 

The WTO confirmed that all aspects of the A320 and A330 programs are now in full compliance and that only minor action remains on the A380.

On A350, minor elements of the RLI remain to be addressed. Airbus is currently implementing changes to respond to these findings. This means that any potential US sanctions, now likely to be minor compared to what had been expected, on the case against Boeing’s subsidies, could result to be counter-productive and ill-timed.

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