Showing posts from 2010

Ryanair CEO says airline contemplating order for ‘up to 300 aircraft’

Ryanair is contemplating an order of up to 300 aircraft from either Boeing or Airbus, CEO Michael O’Leary told the Financial Times. The LCC late last year walked away from the negotiating table with Boeing after it was unable to agree on a follow-up order for 200 737s for delivery in 2013-16, and decided to use the freed-up cash to award shareholders with €500 million ($637.5 million) in dividends. The dividends, its first since going public in 1997, will be paid out next month. “All other things being equal, if we’re still generating this amount of cash and we haven’t found any acquisition or aircraft acquisition for it, then we would certainly consider a second dividend by about the end of 2013,” O’Leary said. “But if I was a shareholder I wouldn’t be banking on that yet.” He added that he saw no airline on the market worth buying, yet there is still the option of purchasing “200 to 300” aircraft from either Boeing or Airbus, he told FT. Ryanair had informed both manufacturers in

Roissy : 2000 travelers evacuated from terminal 2E

The decision was taken based on fears that the weight of snow over the roof of terminal 2E in Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport. Thousands of stranded travelers who couldn't get on their flights due to the bad weather will certainly spend Christmas Eve in the airport. Terminal 2E had already collapsed just after its opening in 2004 under the weight of the snow. On friday 24/12/2010, 2000 people were evacuated smoothly and firefighters have started to work on removing the 60cm of snow accumulated on the roof. This morning, 50% of every flight had been canceled and the DGAC (National Authority for civil aviation) advises airlines to cancel 35% of their flights. Of the 1,160 planned flights, 670 have already been canceled. 100,000 people have been affected by the chaos. Apat from the cold temperatures, one of the problems is that the supply of Glycol, used as anti freeze on airplanes, is insufficiant and would only allow 200 more flights to depart. A french industry that produces

Travel Woes: The High Cost of Europe's Big Freeze Read more:,8599,2039296,00.html#ixzz18piq7JBV

Forget dreams of a white Christmas. On Tuesday, millions of stranded travelers in Europe faced another day of being trapped in a Noël nightmare, as severe weather continued to disrupt air, rail, and road transportation — and threatened to do so through the holiday weekend. The chaos first broke out late last week, when heavy snowfall brought movement in many European cities to a crawl. By Dec. 21, the Continent was still in slow mode, as early morning flurries forced Frankfurt's airport to temporarily close. That had followed disturbances at Germany's busiest air hub on Monday, when 376 of its total 1,400 flights were canceled. Things were even worse Tuesday at London's Heathrow airport — Europe's air-traffic leader — which allowed just 30% of flights to leave, and warned travelers the situation wouldn't improve before Wednesday at the earliest. By contrast, some relief was expected Tuesday at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports that serve Paris. Warming weather and

EU: Shorter shifts for pilots could reduce fatigue

The European Union wants to limit the number of hours that pilots can work daily in order to reduce fatigue that some scientist say is a cause in a fifth of all fatal air crashes worldwide. The European air safety agency recommended Monday that pilots not work more than 14 hours during the day or 12 hours at night, including time spent at airports while waiting to get airbound. The proposal was immediately criticized by Europe's umbrella pilot union, which said that the agency had buckled under the pressure from the commercial airlines. The European Cockpit Association, which represents some 39,000 European pilots, wants bigger reductions. Supporters of shorter working days have been pressing for years for tighter regulation and enforcement of working hours and rest periods, driven by worldwide concerns about exhausted pilots working taxing schedules. They say scientific research has identified fatigue as a factor in a fifth of all fatal crashes worldwide. The new rules would

Spanish military takes over airspace following controller walkout

Spain’s military was forced to take control of the country’s national airspace Friday after a mass industrial action that left some 330,000 travellers stranded and was expected to cause a national emergency Saturday if continued. Spain’s military took control of the nation’s airspace Friday night after air traffic controllers staged a massive sickout that stranded at least 330,000 travelers on the eve of a long holiday weekend, forcing the government to shut down Madrid’s big international hub and seven other airports. About six hours after the nation descended into total travel chaos, Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba announced that the Defense Ministry had “taken control of air traffic in all the national territory.” He said the army would make all decisions on air traffic control, organization, planning and supervision. If enough controllers do not show up for work Saturday to restore normal flight operations, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero plans to decla

Tracking Tardy Flights

The Transportation Department thinks they do, and it now requires carriers to disclose the information when customers search for fares online. But in complying with the rule, the airlines have chosen very different ways of presenting the information, suggesting mixed feelings about revealing before the ticket is purchased that some flights consistently arrive late. Continental includes a link next to each flight in its search results saying, “See On-Time Performance,” while JetBlue tells customers in big text at the top of the page, “Did you know you can click on a flight number to see its on-time performance?” But US Airways, Delta and United Airlines do not even hint that this information is available. Customers have to know to click on or hover over each flight number to make that flight’s on-time record appear. American and Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, provide links that are easy to overlook. “There’s a huge disparity in how airlines choose to display this information,” said

Venezuela halted flight crew in 2008 over remark

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The captain and crew of an American Airlines flight were briefly detained in 2008 after a crew member advised passengers to set their watches to "local Chavez time" upon arrival in Caracas, according to a confidential U.S. report released by WikiLeaks. President Hugo Chavez in 2007 created a new time zone for Venezuela, moving the clock back a half hour on a permanent basis. The U.S. Embassy report, dated Oct. 1, 2008, and released Friday, said there appeared to be a misunderstanding over one crucial word in the crew member's announcement: "local" vs. "loco" — which means crazy in Spanish. The embassy said one passenger, who was a friend of pro-Chavez lawmaker Carlos Echezuria Rodriguez, thought the crew member said "loco Chavez time." American Airlines local manager Omar Nottaro reported to the embassy that the crew member announced to passengers: "Welcome to Venezuela. Local Chavez time is ..." The memo,

787 may again be delayed

Boeing will not confirm or deny a French newspaper’s report that deliveries could be pushed to next summer. Deliveries of the Boeing Co.’s 787 could start next summer — a delay of four to five months — according to a French newspaper. The new delivery date is based on conversations between Boeing and Air France officials, reported the newspaper, Les Echos. Boeing neither confirmed nor denied the report. “While we work to resolve the issues associated with the flight test incident in Laredo, Texas, we are updating our overall program schedule,” wrote Yvonne Leach, Boeing spokeswoman, in an e-mail. “We expect to finalize a revised schedule in the coming weeks.” The delivery schedule for Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner has been in question for a month, since an electrical fire broke out on a 787 test plane Nov. 9.  The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Texas. Boeing halted test flights on all six test airplanes after the incident. On Nov. 24, after an investigation int

Laser incidents worry aviation officials

Federal Aviation Administration officials are worried about a substantial increase in the number of people pointing lasers at aircraft cockpits, saying the intense light can distract and temporarily blind pilots and has caused some to relinquish control to their co-pilots or abort landings. This year, there have been more than 2,200 incidents reported to the Federal Aviation Administration, up from fewer than 300 in 2005. California, Texas and Florida have recorded the most, but the problem is widespread across the country. There hasn't been an air crash so far, but the incidents have aviation officials concerned. "It sounds silly, but this is a serious problem," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt wrote Wednesday in a post on a Transportation Department blog. "We know that laser pointers are an important tool for astronomers and casual stargazers," Babbitt wrote. "But we just can't stress enough the importance of being careful when you are shining them i

Underprivileged kids get flight to the 'North Pole'

Eighty underprivileged kids got a special Christmas surprise Saturday: an airplane ride that took them from one gate at the Boise Airport, up in the sky, and then back down to a gate made to look like the North Pole. This unique event is called Operation Santa's Sleigh. This was the 5th year United Airlines did the event in Boise, but Saturday was the the first time it's taken place since 9/11. The kids who went on this special trip are special themselves. School counselors picked the kids they thought needed a Christmas surprise the most. United Airlines employees dressed like elves, leading the kids through security and the boarding process. The airplane was temporarily renamed "Santa One" for the flight. Many of the kids had never been on an airplane before. "I'm hoping we might fly for a couple of minutes or so because I've really wanted to fly, but I've never gotten the chance because we don't have enough money," Elija Edwards said b

Weather conditions delay flights in Europe and Northeast of the USA

As of 5 p.m. ET. flights at many of busiest airports in the Northeast were being affected by delays, though some of the worst delays begin to subside. The longest delays of the day were encountered by passengers at the three airports in the great New York City area. Average delays had exceed four hours this afternoon at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. LaGuardia was especially hard hit, with average delays approaching 5 hours, 22 minutes around 2:3o p.m. ET today, according to the FAA. The delay averages eased somewhat by dinnertime, however, dropping to 2 hours, 30 minutes at LaGuardia and and 3 hours, 12 minutes at Newark. As of 5 p.m. ET, average delays at JFK were just shy of 4 hours. Boston flights were being delayed by about 65 minutes. In Philadelphia, the FAA's website showed storm-related delays had disapated after averaging about 90 minutes earlier in the day. Earlier delays at Washington Dulles and at Was

Lufthansa to become first airline to use biofuel on a passenger flight

Lufthansa is launching the world’s first scheduled commercial passenger flights using biofuel in the first half of 2011, with an IAE-V2500-powered Airbus A321. In April 2011, LH will begin a six-month trial with an A321 on scheduled commercial flights on the Hamburg-Frankfurt-Hamburg route. Pending certification, one of the aircraft’s engines will use a 50-50 mix of biofuel and traditional kerosene. The primary purpose of the project is to conduct a long-term trial to study the effect of biofuel on engine maintenance and engine life. The daily flights are part of the ‘burnFair’ project to study the long-term impact of sustainable biofuels on aircraft performance. Airbus’ role is to provide technical assistance and to monitor the fuel properties. The biofuel will be supplied by Finland-based Neste Oil, a fuel refining and marketing company that has cooperated with Lufthansa for many years, LH said. Certification of its biofuel is expected in March 2011. LH Chairman and CEO Wolfgang M

ICAO Takes Clean Sheet Approach To Checkpoints

Security officials convening in Montreal Nov. 30-Dec. 1 will adopt a “clean sheet” approach to designing a checkpoint of the future. Their goal: Make substantial gains in screening technology to frustrate terrorist attackers while making the ritual of passing through airport security more tolerable for travelers. About 50 specialists from government and industry will look at developments in the pipeline or in theory in the three major components of a security program—intelligence, behavior analysis and technology. They hope to “combine the different ingredients to produce a better system,” says Steve Berti, chief of aviation security and facilitation policy for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Airports Council International (ACI) requested the brainstorming session from ICAO’s Aviation Security Panel, the chief adviser to the ICAO Council, the legislative body that sets technical standards and practices.

Korea to boost aviation industry

In a bid to develop the domestic aviation industry, the government laid out a specific plan yesterday based on a blueprint it had announced earlier this year to help it become one of the world’s top seven aircraft industry leaders by 2020. According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the government will focus on securing key technologies and promoting research and development. “We have selected 10 key aviation-industry-related technologies that the country should develop and acquire to be recognized as advanced in the field,” Cho Seok, deputy minister for new growth engines, said during a briefing yesterday at the government complex building in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi. He noted that the ministry had made its selections by gathering opinions from industry leaders, universities and institutions. The selected technologies include aircraft design, passenger-seat comfort, flight safety, next-generation materials, and a highly efficient, eco-friendly promotion system. As for R&D, severa

Experts Zero In on Jet-Ice Risk

International aviation-safety experts are targeting an emerging flight hazard: tiny, high-altitude ice crystals that can clog airspeed sensors on jetliners and, in extreme cases, even cause planes to lose lift and stop flying. Boeing Co. and Air France-KLM SA have been leading a broad study delving into this previously little-understood icing phenomenon, according to industry officials briefed on the preliminary findings. The conclusions are likely to prompt a major push for changes in the way regulators, airplane makers and parts suppliers confront such dangers. The companies are advocating adoption of tougher industrywide testing requirements for the sensors, the officials said, along with new procedures and more-precise checklists to help pilots maintain control of commercial jets if their airspeed indicators suddenly malfunction or fail. The crystals—typically suspended above intense storms and found circulating on top of towering clouds where they are invisible to both pil

EasyJet Chases Business Market With Flexible Tickets

EasyJet Plc Chief Executive Officer Carolyn McCall said Europe’s second-largest discount airline will offer flexible tickets to lure business flyers, increasing competition with network carriers including British Airways Plc. McCall, who has been conducting a strategy review since taking over in July, said today that Luton, England-based EasyJet will seek to lift profit margins by sharpening the focus on corporate customers, who account for 18 percent of its sales. The switch will boost average fares and help differentiate EasyJet from Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest discount carrier, which is adding business-friendly routes at city-center airports but which offers no flexibility. At the same time the move brings its model closer to those of BA and low-cost rival Air Berlin Plc, and could also increase administrative costs. “This would create a ‘low-cost plus’ carrier, sticking to discount principles but incorporating less traditional fare elements,” said Gert Zonneveld, an a

Knife found on Delta flight to Japan

Japanese police say they are investigating a Delta Air Lines flight from South Korea to Japan following the discovery of a small knife under passenger seats. A police official at Japan's Narita airport said Tuesday a flight from the Atlanta-based airline with 86 passengers and eight crew members arrived at Narita from Pusan, South Korea. Following the arrival, cleaners found a folding knife with a blade about 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) long. The police official declined to be named as he was not authorized to talk to the media. A Delta spokeswoman in Tokyo could not be reached for comment. Source :
Volcanic ash spewing from Indonesia's Mount Merapi has forced some airlines to cancel flights out of Jakarta's international airport, airport officials said Wednesday. Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways had canceled flights at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, airport spokesman Andang Santoso said. Singapore Airlines said it was continuing to fly. Large clouds of gas and dust from Merapi's recent eruptions also have forced some flight cancellations into and out of the Yogyakarta airport. Travelers were asked to check with their airlines for schedule changes. On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama shortened his visit to the Indonesian capital because of concerns that volcanic ash could ground Air Force One in Jakarta, according to administration officials. Recent eruptions of Merapi, which started on October 26, have killed at least 156 people, officials at Sardjito hospital have said. The eruptions also have displaced an estimated 200,0

U.S. Flight Cancelations Soar as Delays Fall

New rules that prohibit airlines from keeping passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours has cut long delays, but also boosted flight cancellations in the U.S., according to a U.S. Transportation Department report released Tuesday. U.S. flight cancellations jumped about 50% in September from the same month last year, with about 0.9% of domestic flights canceled compared to 0.6% a year earlier, according to the report, which reviews data from 18 of the largest carriers. But the September cancellation rate was actually down slightly from the previous month. Meanwhile, only four tarmac delays lasted longer than three hours in September, down from six a year ago, the Transportation Department says. And no wonder: Airlines face fines of thousands of dollars per passenger after the prohibition on keeping passengers cooped up during lengthy delays took effect in April. Carriers also improved their on-time arrivals and baggage handling from a year earlier. About 85% of domestic f

Boards flight as old white man, comes out as a young Chinese!

Toronto, Nov 6 (IANS) In a story that reads like a spy thriller, a young Chinese fooled customs and security at Hong Kong airport last week to board an Air Canada flight faking as an elderly white man and land in Vancouver to seek asylum. But his mask was blown off halfway through the journey when he went into a toilet as an elderly, wrinkled man and came out as a young Asian man Oct 29. He was taken into custody on landing in Vancouver and is now under custody even as he has filed for refugee status in Canada. Reports say the man managed to hoodwink airport security and immigration authorities in Hong Kong by wearing a prosthetic mask to make him look like a 55-year-old US citizen, who actually acted as his accomplice. The older American passed on a boarding pass to the young masked man after he had cleared the initial security check-up. Clearing the final gate security check was no difficult as the masked man had the boarding pass from his accomplice white man. For his ID, he u

Qantas jumbo makes emergency landing in Singapore

SINGAPORE – Qantas grounded all six of its Airbus A380 superjumbos after one of them blew out an engine Thursday, shooting flames and debris that forced the plane to make an emergency landing in Singapore with 459 people aboard. The carrier said the double-decker Airbus A380 plane landed safely with no injuries. It was most serious midair incident involving the A380, the world's largest jetliner, since it debuted in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines flying it to Sydney — the same route that Qantas flight QF34 was flying when it was stricken Thursday. Qantas said there had been no explosion, but witnesses aboard the plane and on the ground reported blasts. After the plane touched down in Singapore, the engine closest to the fuselage on the left wing had visible burn marks and was missing a section of plate that would have been painted with the red kangaroo logo of the airline. The upper part of the left wing also appeared damaged. One passenger, Rosemary Hegardy, 60, of Sydney