Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Non paying passenger found on Thai Airways flight

A non-fare paying passenger was found on a Thai Airways Boeing 777 flying from Hokkaido, Japan, to Bangkok, last month.

However, this stowaway didn't take up much space or consume the contents of the business class bar on the quiet! It just seemed to be enjoying the adventure, scurrying around the airline's magazines and in-flight safety briefing cards.

Filmed by one of the passengers on the flight, this little stowaway was a large dark red cockroach that popped out of a magazine pouch, just after the in-flight snack was served.  As the UK's Daily Mail reported.

It is not known when or where the little critter boarded the jet, but it is most likely to have arrived on the aircraft in Thailand and had perhaps become immune to Thai Airways usual pesticides. The airline apologised for the little interloper and promised that its cleaning staff would double check the seat pockets for insects during the usual between flight cleaning. The carrier also said that it would introduce a different more powerful bug spray.

This particular Boeing 777 has since had a deep clean during its scheduled maintenance the airline reports, so hopefully, no other passengers will have to share their seat pitch with another non-fare paying creature.  

British Airways to launch new route to Kos

The UK's British Airways has confirmed the launch of a new route to the island of Kos from London Gatwick Airport. 

The flights are scheduled to operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 15th May until  26th October 2019, with fares starting at £70 one-way in economy. The new Kos flights will be served by a mixture of A319 and A320 aircraft from Gatwick’s South Terminal.

Adam Carson, British Airways’ Managing Director for Gatwick, said: “Greece is incredibly popular with our customers, so we’re excited to add another sunshine route to our growing network, giving holidaymakers even more choice of destinations at competitively low prices. From Gatwick, we fly to more than 50 short-haul destinations and 70 long-haul and our wider network continues to expand as we add in new routes designed to appeal to both leisure and business customers.”
 BA already operates 11 Greek routes,  Athens, Santorini, Rhodes, Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Zante, Mykonos, Kefalonia, Kalamata, Crete and Corfu. 

(Photos British Airways) 

Three new Bombardier Q400s for Philippine Airlines from Chrous

Chorus Aviation from Canada has confirmed this week that is placing three Bombardier Q400 turboprops with Philippine Airlines on a long-term lease basis.  

The new Q400s are scheduled for delivery to Philippine Airlines during the latter part of this year and are the first leasing transactions in the fast-growing Southeast Asia region for the Halifax based Chorus Aviation.  The company's president, Steven Ridolfi said: "Philippine Airlines is a celebrated airline with a long and renowned history as the flag carrier of the Philippines, and we are very proud to count them amongst our customers."

PAL President & Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista said, "We are very pleased to form this working partnership with Chorus Aviation Capital and we look forward to building business ties with them. By joining their growing portfolio of aircraft lessees, Philippine Airlines will be able to further grow its domestic market. New aircraft help us to build new air links and increase flight frequencies on routes that are vital to national commerce."

United Airlines changes boarding policy

Today, one of the largest US airlines changes its boarding procedures designed to give passengers less wait time, more gate space and less stress.

Sarah Murphy, is the vice president of United Airlines Global Operations Strategy, Planning and Design department, "The boarding process was one of the top areas customers told us they wanted improved," she said today as the new boarding method comes into force around the world. "We listened to customers and employees as we tested a variety of processes on thousands of flights until we found a better boarding process that results in less time spent waiting in lines, improved communication and a better way to recognise our premier customers while balancing out the number of passengers in each boarding group."

Singapore Airlines pilot over the limit to fly

Passengers in Melbourne waiting for a Singapore Airlines flight to Wellington and then on to Singapore had a longer wait than expected after one of the flight crew was found to be over the alcohol limit to fly.

Passengers waiting for the SQ247 report being told that the pilot was 'under the weather' first and claim that Singapore staff lied to them.  

A spokesperson for Singapore Airlines Karl Schubert told media that the flight had been cancelled because “an operating crew member was deemed unfit to fly". The Australian “Civil Aviation Safety Authority officials undertook a random drug and alcohol test of all crew prior to them starting their pre-flight checks,” 

“The pilot in question did not pass the test due to having a higher than suitable blood alcohol limit. The pilot in question was stood down and has been suspended from all duties effective immediately."

The pilot in question has returned to Singapore and an investigation by officials from both Singapore and Australia has started. "We will also work closely with the Australian and Singaporean authorities to ensure they are supplied the information they require.” the spokesperson said.

Delta Air Lines 757 aborts take-off following smokey engine

The crew of a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 had to abort take-off at the weekend after smoke was spotted pouring out of one of the engines.

The aircraft was operating flight DL1658 from San Francisco to Detroit and had taxied to the runway ready to depart. However, shortly but aborted shortly after. Some of the 229 passengers on the flight took to social media to exclaim concern. However many were complimentary regarding the Delta crew that kept them informed and transferred them to another aircraft.

A Delta spokesperson advised that the "Crew of Delta flight 1658 from San Francisco to Detroit elected to suspend the takeoff out of an abundance of caution due to an indication of an issue with one of the Boeing 757's engines. After the incident, the aircraft returned to the terminal. Passengers were put on another plane shortly after and returned home safely. No one was hurt."

Monday, 17 September 2018

Frontier Airlines heading to Portsmouth

News has reached the Air101 office that the US carrier with the funky fury animals upon its aircraft tails is heading to Portsmouth.

When we saw this on our twitter feed, we were at first a little puzzled, could the ultra-low-cost carrier be stretching its wings and crossing the Atlantic to little old Portsmouth in Hampshire? Then of course we realised that couldn't be true, for Portsmouth Airport closed its doors in the early 1970's and is now little more than a memory!

Of course, Frontier Airlines isn't flying to Portsmouth, Hampshire in the UK, it will, however, be flying in an out of Portsmouth International Airport, in New Hampshire in the USA. The carrier will be operating a service between Portsmouth and Orlando, Florida.  The new service is due to start on 7th December this year and could be the start of more services from the airline at the airport. "With 200 planes on order, we have to put them somewhere, so we're hoping to extend services here at Portsmouth." William Evans a senior manager at Frontier said at a press conference to launch the route. 

Frontier will become the second commercial airline offering flights from Portsmouth to Florida, as  Allegiant Airlines already operates flights to Florida as well as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Beer on tap mid flight..........Lufthansa celebrates Oktoberfest

Fresh draft beer available on board again after 50 years to celebrate Oktoberfest 

“Leberk√§se”, pretzels, white sausage available in Lufthansa Lounges during Oktoberfest

The German carrier, Lufthansa is going back in time to help visitors celebrate the forthcoming Oktoberfest. The popular airline will be serving draft beer on flights as well as members of the crew donning traditional Bavarian costumes – just in time for Munich’s Oktoberfest. 

Lufthansa has a tradition of getting cabin crew to wear traditional Bavarian costumes on selected flights from Munich instead of their uniforms. Additionally, this year Lufthansa is bringing beer kegs on board to serve fresh draft beer to customers as this year’s special treat on these flights. 

Lufthansa traditional costume flights taking off from Munich to New York, Singapore and Shanghai 

Some members of the carriers cabin crew have participated in developing an exclusive Oktoberfest menu for Business Class customers, that pairs perfectly with the fresh draft beer. This year, the first Lufthansa traditional costume flight will be taking off from the Bavarian capital on 19th September and going to New York (Newark). 

Love can cost you your job at China Eastern Airlines

Love can cost you a lot, including your job if you work for China Eastern Airlines!

Back in May, a flight attendant for the airline was working on a China Eastern flight, when around 30 minutes into the flight, the attendant's boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her.  Her answer seems obvious as the pair embrace and kiss and the passengers in the cabin applauded.

 Love is in the air, you might think, but this happy union that sounds a little like a fairytale, but this one doesn't have a happy ever after.   Last week, the cabin crew member was fired by China Eastern Airlines, according to local media Asia One, in a letter. 

The airline issued her a termination notice because they say her actions - in accepting a marriage proposal caused her to “neglected passenger safety” and that the “private romantic behaviour caused turmoil among passengers” and was “extremely irresponsible for the safety of passengers”.

In a video, shared widely on local social media, passengers can be seen filming the proposal and applauding the happy couple and the fasten seatbelt sign is off. Therefore it is unclear how the cabin crew member had put passenger safety at risk. Video below.

Major development on the cards for China Southern Airlines

A Major development programme is on the cards for China Southern Airlines, the company's boss has revealed at the World Routes conference today.

Tan Wangeng, the chief executive officer at China Southern told the gathering in Guangzhou, that his airline is planning to boost its fleet to more than 2000 aircraft before the end of 2034. He also confirmed the major full-service carrier is looking at ways in which to work with a number of low-cost carriers in the region.

Local media is reporting that Tan said the plan was for China Southern to increase fleet numbers to 1000 by 2020 - the airlines current fleet is over 780 aircraft. The number of aircraft, both passenger and cargo will then rise to 2000 between 2020 and  2035.  According to Tan Wangeng there will be 200 million tourists from China by 2020 which would give the carrier a mass of opportunities.

Alaska Air August Results

Alaska Air Group has reported its August and year-to-date operational results on a consolidated basis for its mainline operations and for its regional subsidiary Horizon Air and third-party regional carriers SkyWest Airlines and Peninsula Airlines.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Award for LATAM

LATAM Airlines Group was named in the 'World' category of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for a fifth consecutive year, earlier this week.

The DJSI World comprises the leading 10% of companies in the 'S&P Global Broad Market Index' in terms of sustainability, based on an annual independent assessment of economic, social and environmental criteria. LATAM is the only airline group in the Americas listed in this category. 

"Businesses have to think and act sustainably to deliver value both today and in the long-term for customers, shareholders, partners and the communities in which they operate. For LATAM for example, this means advocating sustainable tourism and supporting relief efforts in the event of natural disasters in the region," said Enrique Cueto, CEO, LATAM Airlines Group. "To be recognized as one of the world's leading airline groups in this field for a fifth year running is the culmination of a company-wide commitment to incorporating sustainable practices into every aspect of how we operate.".
(Photo LATAM aircraft welcomed to Lisbon Airport - LATAM)

Saturday, 15 September 2018

New lounge unveiled at Saskatoon International Airport

The Canadian airline Air Canada unveiled its newest Maple Leaf Lounge at Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport (Skyxe) a little earlier this week.

The lounge can host up to 40 passengers at a time in an elegant space showcases Canadian design and art, including work by two Saskatchewan artists, Shawn Evans and Holly Friesen.  "We are excited to welcome Air Canada and Star Alliance eligible customers to our new Maple Leaf Lounge at Skyxe, which has been created to enhance the overall travel experience for our premium customers," said Andrew Yiu, Vice President, Product at Air Canada. "Showcasing contemporary Canadian design and artwork, and drawing on the pastoral landscape of Saskatchewan, the lounge is decorated with maple wood screen walls, Canadian-made furnishings and Canadian materials. Customers will be warmly received and enjoy a calm environment in which to work or relax before an Air Canada or Air Canada Express flight."

Turkish Airlines scores its highest ever load factor in August and unveils new uniforms

The national airline of Turkey, Istanbul based Turkish Airlines, recently released its latest stats for the month of August which showed the airline scored its biggest ever load factor in its history with 85.6%. 

Some of the key results for August 2018 included the news that the airline carried some 7.6 million passengers, up by around 2.4% over the same month last year. Total Load Factor improved by 1.3%, with a minimal increase of 0.5% in capacity (Available Seat Kilometre), while international load factor increased to 85.3%, domestically the carrier took the loads to 87.6%.

In August, Africa, Far East, Domestic Lines and N. America showed load factor growth of 3.1 points, 2.3 points, 2.2 points and 2.1 points, respectively.  Cargo and mail volume continued the double digit growth trend and increased by 21%, compared to the same period of 2017. Main contributors to the growth in cargo/mail volume, are N. America with 32% increase, Europe with 24% increase, Far East with 22% increase and Middle East with 18% increase.  

Read on for details of Turkish Airlines new stylish fresh uniforms.

Friday, 14 September 2018

More transatlantic routes for Dublin based Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus, the Irish airline that is part of IAG, has announced another two new destinations in North America for summer 2019.

The airline says it will operate direct services from Dublin to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Montreal, Canada, starting in July and August next year. 

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota joins Montreal as the 14th and 15th North American destinations to Aer Lingus’ expanding transatlantic network. 

The summer flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul will commence in July 2019 and will operate with daily direct service from Dublin, Ireland on Boeing 757 aircraft. Winter service will operate four times per week.

In August, Aer Lingus will launch flights to Montreal’s Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport with daily direct service from Dublin. The service will be reduced to four times a week during the winter period. The service is scheduled to be flown by Airbus A321 neo long-range aircraft.

Since joining IAG in 2015, Aer Lingus has launched eight new direct transatlantic services between Dublin and Los Angeles, Newark, Hartford, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle and now Montreal and Minneapolis-St. Paul, marking the largest ever transatlantic expansion in the airline’s history.
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