Showing posts from December, 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