Showing posts from October, 2010
Air Passenger Duty will climb by 50 per cent to some destinations next week, the second significant rise in two years. Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of BA, has branded the increase a "disaster". Announcing its half-year results, the airline said: "Excessive taxation puts aviation's social and economic benefits at risk." Thomas Cook, the travel company, said the move was counterproductive. Willie Walsh, the British Airways chief executive, branded the higher taxes a "disaster". Virgin Atlantic said family holidays would be "unaffordable for many". Air Passenger Duty is paid by all travellers on leaving Britain, with the world split into four bands. The division includes some anomalies. For instance, all of America is in Band B, whose rate will increase from £45 per person to £60 for those flying economy, or rise from £90 to £120 for those in any other class, including premium economy. However, the Caribbean is in Band C along wi

US, Japan Sign Open Skies Aviation Pact

The United States and Japan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Open Skies air transportation that will vastly expand international passenger and cargo flights between the two countries. The MoU was inked in Tokyo by U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos and the Japanese Minister for Transport & Tourism Sumio Mabuchi. Provisions of the MOU will be incorporated into an agreement on Open Skies to be concluded between the two governments through an exchange of diplomatic notes, the U.S. State Department said. The agreement will strengthen and expand "our already strong trade and tourism links with Japan," it added. Liberalizing U.S.-Japan air services for the carriers of both the countries benefits air travelers and businesses on both sides of the Pacific by expanding air service and encouraging vigorous price competition by airlines, while safeguarding aviation safety and security. Achieving Open Skies with Japan, a major U.S. transportation and trade

Lessons From Flight Crews Can Help Surgical Teams Work Better

Surgical death rates might be reduced if operating room staff borrowed team-building procedures used by the airline industry, a new study suggests. A program that trained operating room workers to talk about potential challenges before surgeries, to use checklists and to review what went right or wrong after surgeries significantly reduced the surgical death rate at participating hospitals, the study says. In the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 182,000 patients who had undergone surgery at 108 Veterans Health Administration hospitals between 2006 and 2008. Of those hospitals, 74 had implemented the Medical Team Training program, using error-reducing techniques borrowed from the aviation industry and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). After one year, deaths at facilities that had implemented the training program fell by 18 percent, compared to 7 percent at hospitals that had not yet gone through the training. The decline in the annual surgical mo

Air travelers found to lose billions to delays

There is now a dollar amount to put on the collective rage of U.S. airline passengers over flight delays: $16.7 billion. That's the annual cost to fliers when planes don't run on time, according to researchers who delivered a report Monday to the Federal Aviation Administration detailing the economic price of domestic flight delays. The total cost to passengers, airlines and other parts of the economy is $32.9 billion, according to the FAA-commissioned report. More than half that amount comes from the pockets of passengers who lose time waiting for their planes to leave and then spend money scrounging for food and sleeping in hotel rooms while they're stranded, among other costs. The report is the most comprehensive so far on the true cost of flight delays because of the method it used to calculate the costs, said Mark Hansen, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of California at Berkeley who led the study. Other research, Hansen said, w

Air France CEO Calls for EU Curbs on Expansion by Gulf Carriers

Air France-KLM Group is teaming up with Europe’s biggest airlines to push for European Union action to slow the encroachment of Emirates and other Gulf carriers, saying the region’s status as an air-travel hub is under threat. “Europe is at the crossroads of international air travel, and this is a role we need to value and defend,” Air France Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said in an interview. “What we’re telling the authorities is that we need a strategy that gives us a chance to resist.” Gourgeon, British Airways Plc CEO Willie Walsh and Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Wolfgang Mayrhuber are among executives scheduled to attend a meeting of the Association of European Airlines on Oct. 15 in London. They will discuss a joint push with American rivals for a change to the export-guarantee regime and the trans-Atlantic trade agreement that enshrines it, said Christian de Barrin, a spokesman of the Brussels-based industry group. For the past two decades, the U.S. and Europe

Dancing flight attendants make it to CNN, Time

MANILA, Philippines - What started as a local airline's effort to "make people interested, showcase homegrown talent and raise morale" has become a huge Internet sensation picked up by news organizations across the globe. The YouTube video of Cebu Pacific's dancing flight attendants, which was uploaded last Thursday, now has over 6 million views and was featured in the online platforms of CNN, Time Magazine, The New York Times and The Daily Mail, among many others. "Lady Gaga is on board in spirit, and she's part of the safety demonstration -- how to put on your seat belt, how to put on the oxygen mask if needed," the CNN wire staff wrote. It was also picked up by, a popular celebrity gossip website. Carrying seat belts, life jackets and oxygen masks, young female flight attendants of Cebu Pacific danced to Lady Gaga's Just Dance and Katy Perry's California Girls while demonstrating safety procedures. (Read: Netizens mix