Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PARIS-TOKYO BY A380: OVER 1,600 MEALS SERVED

On a single A380 flight between Paris and Tokyo, Air France can serve over 1,600 meals to 538 passengers.

As this flight lasts 12 hours and even 12 hrs and 35 min on the journey back from Japan to France, Air France provides three meal services - two meals (lunch and breakfast in the Paris-Tokyo direction, and lunch and dinner in the opposite direction) and a snack suited to the time of day and duration of the flight.

Passengers can savour French gastronomic cuisine as well as Japanese dishes and culinary specialties and local produce, such as tofu, sukiyaki beef or shiitake mushrooms. Customers travelling in La Première or Business classes can taste saké or Oolong green tea on flights between Japan and France.

To accompany the meals, red wines and Champagne are offered in all the cabin classes. At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, 115 bottles of Champagne and 115 bottles of wine are loaded on board the A380.

Halfway through the flight, outside meal times, snacks are available as self-service in all the cabins, including in Voyageur. Soups, osenbei and Misoshiru soup are available to customers who feel like something to eat.

22 flight attendants, of which at least 5 are Japanese, serve the meals. They are divided between the A380's three cabin classes - La Première( First), Affaires (Business) and Voyageur (Economy).  In total, 170 Japanese air hostesses and stewards work on board Air France aircraft.

Source : http://www.travelio.net/paris-tokyo-by-a380-over-1600-meals-served.html

Crew protests move to separate kids from adults

Air France cabin crew fear a new rule to protect children from paedophile passengers could expose youngsters to greater risk in the event of an accident, labour unions said Monday.

The airline issued instructions in February that unaccompanied minors must not sit next to adults unless a plane is fully booked, following complaints from parents that some had been molested in flight.

But the UNAC and Alter unions, which represent Air France cabin crew, said this rule contradicts previous advice that children must sit near responsible persons who can help them don oxygen masks if the cabin depressurises.

"This flies in the face of child safety," said Alter official Guillaume Pollard. "In an emergency or a depressurisation an adult should remain seated and fit a child's mask. How can they do this if they're across the aisle?"

A copy of the seating rules, seen by AFP, says children travelling without a parent or guardian must be given a block of seats on their own, with an adult in the next section across the aisle to keep an eye on them.

Several cabin crew, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that they suspect Air France is more concerned about the possibility of lawsuits linked to alleged child abuse than by more general in-flight safety.

With 7000 unaccompanied minors a day that transit through Charles De Gaulle airport with Air France, this type of passenger is considered to be a startegic source of ancillary revenue where value is created in the safety of the trip.

Contacted by AFP, Air France would not say how many cases of alleged molestation had been reported.

Source : http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/crew-protests-move-to-separate-kids-from-adults-20100831-14f4u.html

Thursday, August 26, 2010

International Aviation Body Says Industry Growth Continues

The leading aviation organization says the global industry continues to grow, with international passenger and freight traffic rising in July. Speaking in Australia, the International Air Transport Association chief executive says he is "cautiously optimistic" about the rest of the year.
The International Air Transport Association predicts that 2010 will be a good year for the 230 airlines it represents.

The optimism is fueled by strong growth in first and business class ticket sales. However, IATA expects growth to slow in the coming months because of weakening consumer demand.

Chief executive Giovanni Bisignani forecasts that the global aviation industry will earn about $2.5 billion in 2010, following two years of losses, should the international economic recovery continue.  

The IATA boss says profits will be pushed by stronger demand in Asia, the Middle East and South America, while business in debt-hit Europe remains gloomy.

In July, international passenger demand was up by more than 9 percent, while cargo rose 22 percent.

Bisignani, who is visiting Sydney, said Wednesday the strength of the upturn has come as a surprise.

"The recovery has been faster than expected. The first month has been very positive," said Bisignani. "The numbers of July is [are] a very clear explanation; 9 percent worldwide growth, Asia-Pacific 11 percent. But, you know, you have here two giants, India and China. China is doing everything in the right way. Domestic China in aviation is booming - over 20 percent. India is also growing up very quickly, so you have a great advantage of having two lions in a very interesting moment."      

IATA, whose members account for more than 90 percent of international airline traffic, says Asia-Pacific carriers are expected to be the biggest contributors to industry earnings this year.

Bisignani called on governments and regulators to make it easier for airlines to merge and open new routes by reducing what he calls outdated national restrictions on ownership.

IATA also stresses that controlling costs and reaching agreements with trade unions to avoid strikes is another key to continued growth.

Source : http://www.voanews.com/english/news/economy-and-business/International-Aviation-Body-Says-Growth-Continues-101463464.html

Monday, August 23, 2010

A380: Delivering on all commitments, exceeding expectations

Two and a half years into its commercial service life, the young A380 fleet of 33 aircraft has met all its commitments, and is even exceeding expectations at its four initial operators: Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, Air France and most recently Lufthansa.

The A380 Family starts from a baseline passenger aircraft with a capacity of 525 passengers in a three-class configuration, seated over two spacious decks, and with a range of 8,300nm / 15,400km.

Two and a half years into its commercial service life, the young A380 fleet of 33 aircraft has met all its commitments, and is even exceeding expectations at its four initial operators: Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, Air France and most recently Lufthansa.

The original “A3XX” concept promised a lot – now the A380 delivers. Indeed, the A380’s economic efficiency already allows airlines to boost profitability, stimulate demand and grow market share, while the A380 popularity with the travelling public has led to significant capacity growth and higher load factors on major routes.

In short, the A380 is clearly delivering the lowest fuel burn and operating cost; it is flying higher, further, and quieter; it is achieving greater revenue and profits by attracting passengers with its more spacious, more comfortable, and quieter cabin, resulting in higher average load factors; it has been seen to have the ability to increase its operator’s market share.

Over six million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board the all-new A380, between 18 major airports worldwide. The A380 programme has garnered 234 firm orders from 17 customers, while the in-service fleet has accumulated over 156,000 revenue flight hours in around 17,000 commercial flights.

With seating capacity ranging from 400 to more than 800 passengers, the A380 is an essential part of the solution to sustainable growth, doing more with less: alleviating traffic congestion at busy airports by transporting more passengers with no additional flights and at much lower cost.

Fleet highlights

Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first production A380 on 15th October 2007 and now has 11 aircraft in operation on routes from Singapore to Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris, Zurich, Sydney and Melbourne. Emirates took delivery of its first A380 on 28th July 2008 and now has 11 aircraft in service on routes from Dubai to Bangkok, Seoul, Toronto, London, Paris, Sydney, Auckland, and Jeddah.

Qantas received its first A380 on 19th September 2008 and now has six aircraft in operation on routes from both Sydney and Melbourne to Singapore, London and Los Angeles. Air France received its first A380 on October 30th 2009, and now has three aircraft in operation on routes from Paris to New York and Johannesburg. Lufthansa received its first A380 on 19th May 2010, its second on July 16th 2010 and is operating its new aircraft between Frankfurt and Tokyo.

The fact that these A380 customers all started flying long sectors right from the start, is proof both of confidence in their carefully prepared A380 entry into service (covering airport operations, technical and spares support from Airbus), and in the A380’s maturity.

A380 operators have publicly reported a very smooth service entry, and, remarkably, significantly higher load factors on their A380 flights compared with other aircraft types in their fleets. In short, the A380 is having a noticeable effect on the market, comparable only to that of the 747 introduction in January 1970, over 40 years ago.

Outstanding fuel efficiency, superior performance, and half the noise

The former largest aircraft, the venerable Boeing 747-400, burns 20 percent more fuel per seat than the A380—a fact confirmed by A380 operators. Even the latest 747 derivative, the 747-8, burns eight percent more fuel per seat than the A380. And the twin-engined 777-300ER burns 12 percent more fuel per seat than the A380.

These figures result from Airbus best-estimate engineering analysis using same-comfort standards, three-class cabin layouts - a basic requirement for meaningful and credible comparisons. In fact, all four A380 operators have stated that the aircraft meets or exceeds all fuel efficiency expectations and guarantees.

The A380 excels in performance too. Compared with the 747-400, the A380 offers 1,100nm more range, requires 17 percent less runway to take-off and uses 11 percent less runway to land. In addition, the A380 not only offers a 4,000ft higher initial cruise altitude capability than the 747 (35,000ft versus 31,000ft), but also demonstrates a 20kt lower approach speed. Moreover, compared with the 747-8i derivative, the A380 offers 500nm more range and similar improvements in take-off, landing and climb capability.

The A380 also delivers on reduced noise, being the quietest long-haul aircraft for the foreseeable future, generating only half the noise on departure than the 747-400, and three to four times less noise on landing – while carrying 40% more passengers. These are facts which have now been documented by several airport noise-monitoring reports.

With the lowest fuel burn per seat, the A380 allows airlines to reduce substantially that environmental footprint in terms of CO2 emissions and to achieve profitable, sustainable growth for decades to come.

The A380 enables profitable growth... and profitable consolidation

The A380 also brings profitable consolidation, both in good times and in times less good. For example, the A380 allows operators to increase capacity by around 20 percent at no overall extra cost, or maintain the same capacity but fly it at 15 to 20 percent lower cost per trip and per seat, over a week’s schedule.

A key enabler for these figures is the A380’s step-change in cash operating costs, building on the fuel efficiency advantage mentioned above. This is due to cutting-edge technology in both structure and systems, thus substantially reducing maintenance costs. On a per-seat basis (again using same-comfort standards and comparable cabin layouts) the 747-400 costs 24 percent more, the 747-8i costs 14 percent more, and the 777-300ER costs 22 percent more to operate than the A380.

Importantly, as its early operators have said, the A380 delivers, on every single commitment. And the A380 even exceeds the high expectations it had generated. The A380 offers the most comfortable, quietest, most efficient and innovative cabin; the lowest fuel burn, cost per seat, and noise of any large aircraft; it leverages the latest technology, and has been certificated to the very latest standards; it has superior performance, and family development potential.

And it is hugely popular with passengers, leading to higher load factors and more revenue, for higher profitability. In short, the operator feedback is unanimous – and enthusiastic: nothing compares. It takes an A380 to compete with an A380.

Source : http://www.emg.rs/en/emplus/130585.html

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

US air steward in shock plane exit after passenger row

Steven Slater allegedly grabbed some beer before leaving the plane
A US flight attendant has been bailed after he had a row with a passenger on a plane and allegedly fled using the emergency exit slide.

Steven Slater, 39, reportedly became furious with a passenger as the plane arrived at JFK International Airport after a row on take-off.

He was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, trespassing and reckless endangerment.

The JetBlue plane was travelling from Pittsburgh to New York on Monday.

Mr Slater's lawyer, Howard Turman, told journalists that his client had been drawn into a fight between two female passengers over space in the overhead bins as the flight was awaiting take-off in Pittsburgh.

Somehow, Mr Slater was hit in the head, Mr Turman said.

After the flight landed in New York, the woman attempted to retrieve her bag before the plane came to a complete stop, the lawyer said, and swore at Mr Slater.

'Drove away'
Mr Slater then used the loudspeaker to tell the passenger off, before allegedly grabbing some beer from the kitchen and activating the slide.

After making his dramatic exit, he then walked to his car and drove away.

He was arrested at his home in Queens shortly afterwards. A New York City judge set his bail at $2,500 (£1,590), AP reported, rejecting a defence lawyer's request that he be freed without bail.

The airline said it was investigating the incident.

"At no time was the security or safety of our customers or crew members at risk," it said in a statement.

Some Facebook users have created a page in support of Mr Slater for walking off the job.

Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10922843

Friday, August 6, 2010

Zimbabwe fools media with plane accident report

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Around the world, the news went out: Plane accident in Zimbabwe, black smoke on runway, ambulances screaming in.

Except the disaster never happened.

Harare airport authorities tricked the public and the world's media into believing a security drill Thursday was a crash to make the drill and the emergency response seem more real.

It's a practice that's been used elsewhere, but is seen as especially risky in a world where panic is only a few tweets or clicks away.

"Emergency drills are all well and good as part of regular safety procedures and operational awareness in the event of the real thing, but there is a danger of a 'cry wolf' syndrome if emergency drills are repeatedly confused with 'real-life' events," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

Financial markets appeared unperturbed by Thursday's incident in economically and politically isolated Zimbabwe. But the lie disrupted hospital staff in the country's capital, confused airport passengers, and provoked worries about its impact on the struggling air industry.

It started around midday, when Zimbabwean aviation officials told news organizations that a Boeing 767 arriving from London was involved in an accident at Harare's airport.

Soldiers, paramilitary police and security agents sealed off approaches to the airport and guarded the perimeter. Military helicopters hovered aloft as smoke rose from one runway. Ambulances rushed in.

At Harare's Parirenyatwa hospital, extra doctors and nurses were rushed in and told to expect casualties from the airport. The atmosphere at the hospital was tense with staff evidently believing it was a genuine emergency.

All-news TV networks and websites in several countries flashed the reports of an accident, and the alerts were passed along dozens of times via Twitter.

Several hours later, David Chawota, head of the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority, told journalists that the drill's scenario — involving a nonexistent Boeing 767 airliner arriving from London — was designed to simulate a hijacking in which nine people had been killed and 30 were injured.

"Telling the media was part of the exercise. We wanted to see how the media would react," he said. "In the event, the drill was a success because all our systems worked perfectly. Police, security and hospital staff reacted swiftly" — along with the media.

Emergency hospital facilities in Zimbabwe have suffered acute shortages of equipment and drugs in the nation's economic meltdown. Emergency services are ill-equipped to handle bus crashes and highway accidents.

It was not the first time civil aviation authorities have intentionally issued fake statements to the public, only to retract them after the exercise ended.

In 2002, a false report of an airplane crash at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport sent journalists rushing to the scene only to discover it was a practice drill. And in 2006, Kenyan officials again told journalists that a passenger plane had crashed near a Nairobi airport with 80 people on board — but when reporters arrived, they found that nothing had happened. Nairobi saw similar cases in 2001 and 1999.
Media watchdogs warned against such manipulation.

Gilles Lordet, editor-in-chief at Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, called the incident "totally absurd" and said the media should have been warned in advance.

"You must think about the human consequences, but also those for the media," he said. "This further discredits journalists, and encourages those who say journalists only flap their gums."

He said that there is more of a risk in today's interconnected world that rumors and misinformation could spread farther and faster than in the past.

News that it was all just a drill traveled swiftly too, however, and produced far more action on Twitter and elsewhere online than the original false report.

Aviation analysts also say the practice, which has also been used in Europe, has troubling implications for an industry still struggling to recover after a deep downturn caused by the global economic crisis and the volcanic ash cloud that blocked European air traffic earlier this year.

"Safety-related stories like this do get into the press very, very quickly, and people will be concerned that there has been a plane crash that hadn't really occurred," said Richard Maslen of Airliner World, a British aviation industry publication.

"This shouldn't happen if the drill is managed and organized properly and information is provided so that the public understands what's happening."

The spokesman for the umbrella group for world airline pilots said he was puzzled by the need to mislead the public.

"It's kind of surprising, why anyone would do that. It's difficult to see what kind of benefit would that bring to a drill," said Gideon Ewers, from the 105,000-member International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations.
Experts agree that while emergency procedures need to be practiced regularly to make sure that all elements of the system work together, it's important not to make them too real. A number of such exercises have gone badly wrong recently, including some that have placed the traveling public at risk.

In January, airport police in Slovakia slipped 3.4 ounces (96 grams) of plastic explosive into the check-in luggage of an Irishman returning home after Christmas holidays.

The move was supposed to be part of a training test for a bomb-sniffing dog, but an the ensuing mix-up, the bags were loaded onto the plane and allowed to fly across Europe to the passenger's destination.

Several years ago, French police discontinued the technique of using unsuspecting travelers' luggage in exercises after a bag containing explosives disappeared on a conveyor belt ferrying luggage to dozens of international flights. The explosives were never recovered.

"It's not just Zimbabwe's goof," said William Voss of the Flight Safety Foundation based in Alexandria, Virginia. He cited examples in the United States where security exercises had caused alarm among people convinced that a real attack was taking place.

"The planning of emergency preparedness drills is something that needs to be thought out carefully, because they can easily go wrong," he said.

"There's a very fine line between simulating emergencies and actually creating them," Voss said.

Monday, August 2, 2010

How legal action is enforcing security for civil aviation

Firemen set up a yellow tarp near the crash site of an Aeropro Beechcraft King Air 100 in Quebec City, Wednesday June 23, 2010. The Beechcraft crashed shortly after take off near the airport.

Transport Canada has grounded a Quebec-based charter aviation company, effectively ending its air operations.

The agency revoked Aeropro's operating permit this weekend following an audit that found repeated violations of Canadian aviation regulations.

Aeropro is a 22-year-old company that runs business and recreational charters.

It says it has 250 employees based out of the Quebec City airport.

The move by Transport Canada comes on the heels of an Aeropro plane crash near the airport last June that killed seven people.

An Aeropro spokesman says the company was disappointed by the court's decision and takes passenger safety seriously.

Source : http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100801/mtl_aero_100801/20100801/?hub=MontrealHome





Mexico's aviation safety rating was downgraded Friday due to concerns about the country's safety oversight, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The action won't stop flights between the two countries, but it will prevent Mexican airlines like AeroMexico and Mexicana from expanding service to the United States, the FAA said.

Mexican airlines also will not be able to carry passengers to or from the United States in so-called code-sharing agreements with U.S. airlines. Code-sharing means one airline puts its code or symbol on another carrier's flight and sells the seats as if the plane were its own.

Delta Air Lines Inc., the world's largest airline, has a code-sharing arrangement with Aeromexico, and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines has one with Mexicana.

Delta spokesman Kent Landers said the airline will remove its code from AeroMexico flights. About 140 AeroMexico flights per day operate with Delta's code.

"Our customers are still permitted to travel on AeroMexico, but must be rebooked with an AeroMexico flight number to do so," Landers said in a statement. The airline said it will work with the affected AeroMexico codeshare passengers so there is "minimal impact to their travel plans."

Passengers who bought tickets aboard an Aeromexico flight with a Delta flight number will have to be re-ticketed or booked on a Delta flight, Landers said. He added that the earning or redeeming of frequent-flier miles will not be affected because both airlines are members of the same SkyTeam alliance of global carriers.
American Airlines officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mexico's Communications and Transport Department said in a statement the demotion was due "exclusively to administrative and organizational matters" — a shortage of flight inspectors — and not a lapse in flight safety itself.

"The FAA measure does not imply any decline in the safety of civil aviation in Mexico," the department said. "Mexico's airlines are safe and will continue to offer high quality service, comparable to the highest international standards."

"While Mexico has been responsive to the FAA's findings and has made significant improvements in recent months, it was unable to fully comply with all of the international safety standards," the U.S. agency said in a statement.

The ratings are based international aviation safety standards, not U.S. regulations. The category 2 rating is usually the province of Third World countries, but the U.S. has previously downgraded other important allies, including Israel in December 2008. When the FAA takes such an action, it usually aims at the government regulation of aviation and safety and not at individual airlines.


Source : http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gEDAEwMxta5wBtbILSDi1lR6MUKAD9H9LC180