Monday, 11 December 2017

The Spirit of Shame - Airline kicks off passenger because baby cries

This is the festive season, the season of goodwill, however that goodwill doesn't extend to Spirit Airlines passengers if they have a crying baby!

It appears the cabin crew of a Spirit flight took exception to a mother nursing her baby onboard their aircraft on Friday 8th December. 

Mei Rui, a cancer researcher and pianist from Houston, Texas USA was kicked off the flight due to go to New York, she says because her baby was crying, but the airline says because she failed to comply with safety instructions. “The only 'non-compliance' is that my son was crying for 25 minutes straight after I force-buckled him into the airplane seat.” Ms Rui stated.

 In  Facebook post Ms Rei wrote “After a three-hour delay due to ‘insufficient de-icing solution’ to thaw the ice on the plane and having to deplane and re-board everyone, I was nursing my exhausted baby (we woke up at 3am for the early flight, as I have a very important recording session in NY this afternoon) as a crew attendant approached me and asked me to stop nursing him and buckle him in his seat. 

“Since the plane hadn’t finished re-boarding, and the doors were still open, I politely asked for a couple more minutes so I could finish nursing him. She waved for another flight attendant to come. I explained to them both that giving me a couple more minutes to finish nursing him would prevent him from crying and disturbing the other passengers. 

“Seeing that I did not stop breastfeeding him promptly, they went back and at that point must have called the captain. I didn’t want to cause any trouble, so I immediately pulled my son off and forced-buckled him into the seat, which set off uncontrollable crying for the next 25 minutes to the great dismay and earache of everyone on the plane.

“The crew came back (baby had been strapped in the seat for over 20 minutes at that point) and asked us to leave. We said that we haven’t violated any regulations and asked why? They left, and at that point must have called the police.
The family was escorted from the aircraft and greeted by the police in a traumatic experience for them all. 

Find out what lies the airline said in its statement - 

Air China launches new non-stop service between Shenzhen and Los Angeles

The inaugural flight for Air China's non-stop route between Shenzhen and Los Angeles took place on 7th December. The new route adds to Shenzhen's growing portfolio of international long-haul routes and will help to promote economic and cultural exchange between southern China and the U.S. West Coast.

In 2016, more than 5 million tourists travelled between China and the U.S., while China became the top destination for U.S. travellers in the Asia Pacific. Los Angeles also became the first U.S. city to welcome over one million Chinese visitors in the space of a year. Air China's new non-stop route will reduce the journey time between Shenzhen and Los Angeles to just over 12 hours and provide a convenient new link for tourists and business passengers.

Record November for Gatwick as Asia connections soar

London Gatwick has achieved its busiest-ever November as 2.9 million passengers travelled through the airport last month, bringing Gatwick to 45.5 million annual passengers.

Long-haul routes continue their significant growth at Gatwick, growing +12.1% in November, driving a +25.6% cargo increase from the increased belly hold capacity in the aircraft serving these connections.

The airport’s Asia connections proved particularly popular in November with passengers to Hong Kong +75% and Tianjin +46.1%.

Gatwick’s regional connectivity also continues to perform strongly with passengers to the Isle of Man, Glasgow and Guernsey +12.9%, +11% and +6.8% respectively.

Meanwhile, St Lucia +85.8%, Mauritius +55% and Liberia, Costa Rica +47% were the winter sun destinations experiencing the fastest passenger growth in the month.

November also marked the first anniversary of the Gatwick Foundation Fund which annually distributes £300,000 to deserving projects across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

To date, 80 organisations and more than 46,000 people have benefited from the grants and reported improvements in the services they provide, which cover four main areas: Employment, training and skills; Families; Widening horizons and Elderly people.

read on to see what Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said:

Air Canada's New Boeing 737 MAX Enters Regular Service

Air Canada embarked today on the next phase of its transformation with the entry into scheduled service of its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Flight AC137 from Toronto to Calgary this morning was the first to be operated using the 169-seat, fuel-efficient aircraft, featuring Air Canada's next generation in-flight entertainment system, spacious overhead storage bin capacity and Boeing's Sky Interior. Throughout the day it will then fly passengers from Calgary to Montreal, followed by service from Montreal to Vancouver.  

"Introducing a new aircraft type to the fleet is always exciting for an airline, but we know customers will be even more thrilled by the Boeing 737 MAX, which is set to become the mainstay of our North American, narrow-body fleet. With this new aircraft we are introducing the next generation of our onboard entertainment system and customers will find ample storage space for carry-on baggage in its generous overhead bins," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

"The 737 MAX is also more fuel efficient and quieter than the older, narrow-body aircraft it will replace, benefitting the environment. This increased efficiency will also enable us to compete more effectively and gives the aircraft extended range capabilities so we can launch new city pairings within North America, and routes to select international destinations. Combined with our fleet of Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, the Boeing 737 MAX will ensure Air Canada continues to have one of the most modern fleets among global carriers," said Mr Smith.

Deer Jet Crowned "World's Leading Private Jet Charter" for Three Consecutive Years

The World Travel Awards (WTA), the travel industry's leading awards programme, reunited hundreds of leaders representing the best of the world's hospitality for a glamorous night on December 10, 2017 at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay. For the third year in a row, Deer Jet has been selected as the "World's Leading Private Jet Charter".

Once again, Deer Jet has showcased its superior Seven Star services and outstanding business innovation, winning the votes of hundreds of thousands of industry leaders and business travellers who had selected the company from a pool of global leaders, including Net Jets and Royal Jet among others.

Aeroflot Named World's Leading Airline Brand

Aeroflot has taken the prestigious World's Leading Aviation Brand 2017 prize at the World Travel Awards, the first time the nomination has been awarded.


Known as the Oscars of the tourism industry, the World Travel Awards are given every year to leading tour firms, hotels and airlines. Country-level and regional awards take place during the year, followed by the world event. Winners are decided by an online vote that attracts hundreds of thousands of travel professionals and millions of travellers to take part. The key criteria are product quality and level of service.

The global WTA ceremony took place on 10 December at the renowned Vietnamese island resort of Phu Quoc.

Aeroflot took the World's Leading Airline Brand nomination in a highly competitive field including carriers such as Emirates.

"This award is a great honour for us, and also a well deserved result," said Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Saveliev. "The World Travel Awards are the Oscars of the tourism industry, and to triumph in such a prestigious category has taken many years of work. Today Aeroflot is one of the world's top-20 airlines by passenger numbers. We hold 4-Star Airline status from Skytrax and were recently named a Five Star Global Airline by US passenger association APEX. I am proud that we have been recognised as the world's leading aviation brand. Aeroflot will do everything it can to hold on to this title going forward."

Earlier this year Aeroflot won two key categories at the regional World Travel Awards: Europe's Leading Airline Brand and Europe's Leading Airline - Business Class. This result meant Russia's flagship carrier was able to advance to the global awards, something no other Russian company has previously achieved.

In February Aeroflot was named the world's most powerful airline brand by Brand Finance, the leading authority on brand value and strategy. Aeroflot was also named the most powerful brand in Russia in any sector.

Who are Aeroflot?  Read on for more.

Allegiant's November Results

Allegiant Travel Company last week  reported preliminary passenger traffic results for November 2017. 
Scheduled Service

November 2017
November 2016
Revenue passenger miles (000)
Available seat miles (000)
Load factor
1.8 pts
Average stage length (miles)

Total System*

November 2017
November 2016
Revenue passenger miles (000)
Available seat miles (000)
Load factor
1.6 pts
Average stage length (miles)

*Total system includes scheduled service and fixed fee contract.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Belavia to Add a Further E195 to its Embraer Fleet

 Embraer and Belavia, Belarusian Airlines, the national carrier of Belarus, announced during the week a further firm order for one current generation E195 jet for delivery in 2018. The firm order, with a list price value of USD 53.5 million, will be included in Embraer's 2017 fourth-quarter backlog.

"To receive a further order so soon after announcing their last order is a great source of pride for Embraer. It confirms that our aircraft and the team that supports them are delivering significant value to Belavia and their customers. Belavia's success continues, their traffic has grown 20% year on year, and Embraer is ready to support further fleet growth and renewal," said Martyn Holmes, Embraer Vice President Sales and Marketing for Europe, Middle East, and CIS.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

United's Share buyback and November results

United Airlines announced during the week that the Board of Directors of its parent company, United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL), authorized a new $3 billion share repurchase program. This amount represents approximately 17 percent of the company's market capitalization based on the closing stock price on 6th Dec. 2017.

"We continue to invest in our employees, our customer experience and the growth of our business. Returning cash to our shareholders reflects the strength of our balance sheet and the confidence we have in our future," said Andrew Levy, executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Airlines.

The company is expected to complete its most recently authorized July 2016 $2 billion share repurchase program by the end of December 2017. The company's share repurchases under today's $3 billion repurchase authorization will be made in accordance with applicable securities laws in open market, or accelerated repurchase transactions from time to time, depending on market conditions, and may be discontinued at any time. There is no expiration date for the share repurchase program.

Read on for the November results

Continued wintry precipitation hampers Atlanta operations

Delta has cancelled more than 1000 flights Friday and opens Saturday with about 350 due to a winter storm that hit its Atlanta hub. 

Delta people have been working around the clock to reset the Atlanta Airport operations for weekend travel; however, the continued stream of winter precipitation in metro Atlanta throughout the night continues to impact the airline’s startup at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  

 Aircraft parked overnight on gates require a heavy pass of deicing before their first departures of the day, but as wintry precipitation tails off and temperatures rise, the operation expects to see increased momentum throughout the morning.

Delta ended Friday with more than 1000 system-wide cancellations, most departing from or arriving into Atlanta. Saturday’s operation opened with more than 350 system-wide cancels, again, with the bulk touching the Atlanta airport. 

Customers are encouraged to use to change travel plans. Customers affected by weather may make a one-time change to their ticket without fee if they are scheduled to travel to, from, or through the affected destinations on Delta, Delta Connection or Delta-coded flights during the specified time periods listed here. Additionally, if customers’ flights are cancelled or significantly delayed, they may request a refund.

 ♻ We care about the environment, please think twice before you hit ‘print’  

Jet2 breaks the hearts of dozens of dying children

It looked like UK Budget airline Jet2 were coming to the rescue of dozens of terminally ill and sick children when a special 'Meet Santa' flight was cancelled by the demise of Monarch Airlines.  

Monarch had been running special Santa flights for disabled and terminally ill children for a number of years but the collapse of the airline ended that dream that many of the children had of meeting Santa, possibly for the very last time.

However, Jet2 seemed to come to the rescue after being approached and said they would do the flight and offered some seats to Martin House Childen's Hospice.  In total at least 40 severely disabled and children with life-shortening illnesses and their carers were due to go on the special flight.  The flight would have flown around the UK, during which the children would have received presents and then meet Santa himself. 

The flight was due to depart from Leeds Bradford Airport on Wednesday, but Jet2 axed the trip for children and their carers with just a weeks notice.   The airline blames Leeds Bradford Airport at the hospice for not giving them enough details about the medical conditions of the children from Martin House Children's Hospice in Wetherby claiming they had not been told full details of the medical conditions of the children before the flight. They say they couldn't provide a 'safe and enjoyable flight'. 

There is more on this story - 

Azul and Turkish agree a codeshare deal

Azul the largest airline in Brazil by the number of cities and departures, and Turkish Airlines, the largest airline group in Turkey, announced this week, the signing of a codeshare agreement effective as of 08 December 2017.

Through the codeshare partnership, Turkish will add its code (TK) on Azul domestic flights. As a result, customers will be able to purchase tickets directly from all of Turkish Airlines' sales channels to fly to Brazilian domestic destinations operated by Azul.

"The codeshare with Turkish Airlines will be very important to strengthen our international presence, especially for customers travelling from Europe and Asia to Brazil. Now they will be able to enjoy the convenience of thru ticketing, check-in and boarding passes.  On the domestic connection customers will experience the market leading and award-winning service of Azul, "says Abhi Shah Azul's Chief Revenue Officer.

"As Turkish Airlines, we are glad to be a codeshare partner with Azul, one of the most important airlines of Brazil. In conjunction with this new commercial cooperation, passengers would enjoy travelling from Sao Paulo to different Brazilian destinations as a continuation of their seamless Istanbul-Sao Paulo flight", said Bilal EKŞİ, Turkish Airlines Deputy Chairman & CEO.

New routes for Brussels Airlines, Zadar and Split start next year.

Brussels Airlines expands its network in Croatia, one of the fastest growing holiday destinations. Next to Zagreb and Dubrovnik, the Belgian airline will now add two new destinations to its portfolio. From 12th May onwards, Zadar is connected to Brussels Airport and on 28th April, the first Brussels Airlines flight to Split takes off.

Tourism is on the rise in Croatia. More and more holidaymakers are looking at the youngest EU member state for a summer holiday along the beautiful coastline, in one of the historic cities or to sail past the breathtaking islands. Brussels Airlines is following up on this growth trend and expands its flight offer next summer with Zadar and Split as newcomers. In total, Brussels Airlines will fly to four Croatian destinations during the following summer season: Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Zadar and Split.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Southwest Airlines Named A 2018 Military Friendly Employer By Victory Media

 Southwest Airlines  announced that it has earned the 2018 Military Friendly® Employer designation by Victory Media. To achieve this prestigious designation, Southwest Airlines® was evaluated in four different categories using publicly available data from federal agencies, personal opinion data from veteran Employees, and proprietary Military Friendly® survey data from participating organizations. Southwest Airlines is pleased to share it has received the "friendly" label in all four categories, earning the overall Military Friendly® Employer designation.

Military Friendly Brands: ranked #1 in the Trucking & Transportation industry
Military Friendly Supplier Diversity: ranked  #1 in the Trucking & Transportation industry
Military Friendly Employer: ranked  #6 in the Trucking & Transportation industry
Military Spouse Friendly Employer: ranked  #4 in the Trucking & Transportation industry

"Southwest Airlines is committed to being a military friendly Company, and this designation is an honor," said Julie Weber, Vice President People at Southwest Airlines. "We owe everything to the dedicated service members whose sacrifices and bravery give us freedom to fly, connecting People to what's important in their lives."


OpenSkies to Close

IAG airline British Airways has confirmed it will be shutting down the boutique business airline OpenSkies after 10 years of operations.

OpenSkies currently flies between New York and Paris, will cease operating from September next year. According to the airline, no staff will lose their jobs as they will all be transferred to the new IAG budget long-haul airline called Level. 

IAG will also pass other OpenSkies assets to Level including slots and departure gates at Paris Orly airport.