Showing posts from November, 2010

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