Thursday, 13 December 2007

Should airlines give passengers the legal right to 2 more inches legroom?

Currently the statutory width is 26 inches but now that people are getting fatter and taller should the width be increased to 28 inches?

It's been put forward that the current width prevents tall passengers from adopting the brace position if an emergency occurs.

The committee also added that "An extra tax for those who may have a medical need for extra leg room is unfair."

Airlines have also put forward their defence comments. EasyJet have said that some of their carriers would fall below the recommended statutory minimum that the committee suggested:

"It would not affect that many of our seats and we would clearly implement any new laws asked of us."

British Airways said:

"We already meet and exceed many of the recommendations put forward by the report and are actively working to improve the industries knowledge across key topics of aviation and health. The health and well being of our passengers remains of paramount importance. For over ten years British Airways has provided information to passengers about well-being in the air through an on-board video, information in our in-flight magazine and on ticket wallets."

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Chief Executive backs third runway proposals at Heathrow Airport

Willie Walsh the Chief Executive of British Airways has announced today that he is backing proposals for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

"It is a critical piece of national infrastructure and I am 100% behind the proposals. If we want a strong economy and want to be a world centre for business we have to have growth at Heathrow."

He went on to add that Terminal 5 is "on time and on budget" and would see operations at the UK's biggest airport transformed dramatically.

British Airways will use the new terminal primarily leaving the capacity in other terminals for other airlines.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Five killed in light aircraft crash

A Beechcraft B9L aircraft has crashed near the Czech Republic killing all five people onboard.

The accident happened near Kiev's second airport Zhulyany on Sunday. Nobody on the ground was hurt.

Experts are saying the aircraft caught fire on impact whilst employees are saying it exploded in flight. All five who died are believed to be Czech citizens.

Debris from the wings, engines and the inside cabin are believed to be scattered near a barn in the middle of a field.

"Five people died," the emergency ministry spokesman said.

"There were five people on board - two pilots and three passengers. This was a small plane which was flying to Ukraine and three kilometres from Zhulyany it dropped off the radar screens," he said.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Two Continental Airlines jets involved in near miss

Two jets at Newark Airport have narrowly missed a collision.

A passenger jet landing was within 300ft of another jet taxiing along the runway.

The two aircraft involved were both Continental Airlines jets.

Air traffic control had instructed the taxiing jet to hold at the end of the runway yet the aircraft continued moving. Investigators are looking at radar and radio transmissions to establish what happened between communications.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Malaysia Airlines close to buying up to 8 superjumbos

Airbus are looking at a record year for aircraft orders as they are currently in talks with Malaysia Airlines to sell more A380 jets to them.

MAS, Malaysia's biggest carrier are near to confirming 6 A380s with the possibility of an extra 2 within months. However with Airbus looking more towards making profit on the superjumbos in the Far East, MAS may still struggle to fill the aircraft if air travel numbers decrease.

``The purchase of A380s is quite risky,'' said Hanafi, who has an ``outperform'' rating on Malaysian Air shares at Alliance Research Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur. ``You do need a few A380s, but to expand to a larger fleet, Malaysian Air would be better off buying Boeings'' because it has predominately Boeing Co. fleet.

Malaysia Air despite being on target to exceed 500 million ringgit for next year are still behind Singapore Airlines with regards ordering more aircraft. If they do complete an agreement with Airbus they'll be able to introduce more routes.

The delivery of the A380 scheduled for 2009 could be delayed even longer than that.

``We are working with them on when they would like to have the first one delivered,'' Leahy said.

A compensation settlement won't be seeked until other airlines have completed their negotiations and the Malaysia Air will take a 'pointer' from that.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Fly Monarch for Christmas!!

If you're stuck with what to buy people for Christmas then how about some vouchers!!

It's certainly different.

Malaysia Airlines to introduce more routes to China

Malaysia Airlines is currently reviewing its flight destinations with the intent of introducing more routes to various places in China.

MAS currently fly to six places in China: Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming and Xiamen, but now plans are in full swing to reintroduce four weekly flights to Macau adding to the already existent 63 flights to China.

Managing Director Datuk Seri Idris Jala said: “It is never easy to just fly into any destination but a thorough study must be carried out first like what we did in Macau.

“Another integral part is to ensure we have proper logistics to support our business expansion,” he said, adding that MAS had ordered 20 new aircraft to cater to its subsidiaries, Firefly and MasWings.

MAS are at present trying to boost their position as one of Asia's premier airlines.

The next targeted destination will be India, MAS already flies to Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore & Hyderabad and already has a code share with Air India.

In China they code share with Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong-Kuala Lumpur/Hong Kong-Penang) and Dragon Air (Hong Kong-Kota Kinabalu).

Thursday, 15 November 2007

British Airways new home at Heathrow Airport

British Airways will unveil the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport in March which will be the home for BA handling passengers flying in from the Middle East.

"We've moving into a new home at Heathrow and we are confident that is enough for us to remain at the forefront," Paul Starrs, country manager for BA in Dubai, told Gulf News recently.

BA announced in October that the airline is undergoing a $200 million premium class facelift which will include lie-flat seats along with other features.

The airline have also said they will be pumping in $8.2 billion to add 12 A380s and 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to its existing fleet. This will be the airline's largest aircraft order in nine years.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

New Airline Purchases

It seems airlines are having a spending spree at the moment. Emirates are said to be buying 90 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing while Gulf Airlines are also thought to be placing big orders with the two companies.

Meanwhile Qatar Airways have ordered 82 Boeing aircraft during the Dubai Airshow.

Airbus will also profit from an order by Saudi carriers and Cathay Pacific have ordered 10 Boeing 747-8 freighters.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Aircraft makes emergency landing after engine comes off

A Boeing 737 had to make an emergency landing at Cape Town International Airport when it lost an engine during take off.

The plane was carrying over 100 people and had to circle the runway to lose fuel and to wait for the runway to be cleared of debris before landing.

It's thought the aircraft's right engine separated from the wing, a passenger said:

"I heard this huge bang, and he said, 'That's our engine that's just fallen off.' I couldn't believe it. He had to repeat it to me," she told SAPA.

"The plane started to shake a bit, but what was amazing was the staff and passengers: everybody was so calm. There was no hysteria, no nothing, it was amazing. The guy next to me seemed to know something about planes. He said, 'Don't worry: the plane will go with one engine.' So I thought, 'that's OK.'"

When the plane came to a standstill the pilot entered the cabin and everyone cheered.

The incident is still being investigated.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Green Tea to be served on American Airlines flights

A health drinks company Fuze Beverage have announced that American Airlines will start selling Fuze Green Tea onboard their flights.

The CMO of Fuze Beverage Bill Meissner said:

"As consumers search for healthier beverage choices, many companies in the hospitality business are looking to provide better-for-you options. What better outlet for passengers to benefit from the ingredients of Fuze Green Tea than onboard a flight. Our Healthy Green Tea provides refreshment and rejuvenation with every sip."

The drink will be available on flights departing from Dallas Fort Worth to Chicago and LA, and also on flights departing San Francisco to JFK. This will commence from November 12th until November 18th.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Are more pilots falling asleep during flights?

With the cockpit today being entirely automated it's a wonder pilots are needed at all. However it's something else when the pilots are getting so bored that they're fallnig asleep.

Onboard a flight from Baltimore to Denver in 2004 this is what happened! The pilot and co-pilot had drifted off and only woke up when air traffic control were practically shouting at them as the plane was cruising at twice the required speed on approach. They did however manage to land the plane without mishap. Nobody onboard the flight was none the wiser and the only reason this matter has come to light is because the pilot submitted an anoymous report.

This isn't the first time this has happened as discovered from a Dallas news station, another pilot fell asleep during take off.

"When air traffic control said something on the radio we both woke up," recalled the pilot, "and I was like, oh my gosh, we're already up here."

Does something need to be done to keep all cockpit crew awake?

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Singapore Airlines ban sex onboard A380!!

Singapore Airlines have put a ban on couples having sex on the A380!

Those hoping to make use of the first 'inflight' double bed will be disappointed.

"There are things that are acceptable on an aircraft and things that aren’t, and the rules for behaviour in our double beds are the same ones that apply throughout the aircraft,” said Singapore Airlines spokesman Stephen Forshaw.

"If couples used our double beds to engage in inappropriate activity, we would politely ask them to desist.”

However there may be some hope. The double suites do have closing doors so crew aren't going to know any different!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

China's airport to have new third runway

In an effort to cope with next year's increase in passenger numbers for the Olympics, Beijing airport have opened a third runway.

This is part of a major revamp to include a bigger new terminal opening next February.

"The airport handles 1100 arrival and departure flights every day. That will probably rise to 1500 ... to 1600 and peak at 1900 during the Olympics next year, so the third runway is much needed," a spokesperson for Xinhua news agency said.

The Airbus A380 will easily be accommodated on the runway and the new terminal will be one of the world's largest terminals.

China are expecting at least 500,000 tourists next year and the existing airport terminal handled 48 million passengers last year way above its capacity of 35 million.

The new terminal will be expected to handle 60 million passengers a year.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Philippine Airliner overshoots runway

Another incident where an aircraft overshot the runway occurred in Butuan City.

The Philippines Airline Airbus 320 was landing whilst on a flight from Manila to Butuan City when the aircraft overshot injuring several passengers and crew.

Both the pilot and co-pilot have hurt their necks but no serious injuries have been reported.

The aircraft was loaded with 148 passengers and crew. The airport has been closed until Saturday pending inspections.

Malaysia Airlines to buy more aircraft

MAS are to buy at least 10 ATR72-500 turboprop aircraft.

The aircraft are intended for MAS unit Firefly which serves rural Malaysia.

The price of the aircraft are 18.3 million US dollars.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Planes collide on runway at Heathrow

A British Airways 747 and a Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus A340 were involved in a collision whilst taxiing at Heathrow.

There were no injuries and BA confirmed there was indeed a collision and that investigations were underway.

A BAA spokesman said "Heathrow airport can confirm that two aircraft were involved in an incident earlier this evening on the ground. There are no reported injuries."

A spokeswoman for Sri Lankan Airlines said "It is reported that the wing tips of the two aircraft brushed against each other while taxiing. No injuries were reported. All passengers have been transferred to city hotels until alternate travel arrangements are made during the course of the day."

A passenger onboard the Sri Lankan has said that they hit the BA jet from behind: "We turned our wing, almost hit what looked like the tail end of the British Airways flight, and we ended up chopping off a bit of wing. It cut through it like butter," said Danish journalist Annasofie Flamand.

"It's pretty incredible to see something like that in a place like Heathrow airport. Thank God it was on the ground and not in the air."

The aircraft was then being inspected to assess the extent of the damage.

Meanwhile, passengers were given the option of a refund or to stay the night in a hotel and leave on the next available flight.

Singapore Airlines finally get their A380

The eagerly awaited Airbus A380 has finally been delivered to Singaopre Airlines 18 months behind schedule.

Thomas Enders the chief executive described the delivery of the world's largest passenger jet as "the latest milestone in a long journey".

Five hundred people gathered at Toulouse to watch the exchange of the aircraft and it will be flown to Singapore on Wednesday.

The aircraft will experience its first flight from Singapore to Sydney on 25th October.

"I realise how unsettling recent times, particularly the last 18 months, have been, but that only serves to make this achievement all the more impressive," Mr Enders told Airbus employees at the ceremony.

Airbus have said they don't predict anymore delays with the delivery of the aircraft on other orders and should exchange hands as planned in 2008.

"It is something to celebrate when you launch a new airplane and get it turned over to a client," said John Nance, a US aviation analyst.

"But this has been a very difficult delivery and the troubles will resonate for some time. I am sure she will fly well and it is a magnificent achievement but I think it is a white elephant."

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Aircraft too heavy on Virgin Blue flight to Cairns, passengers asked to disembark!

I've always been amazed at how a plane manages to get into the air with all the weight it carries, but it's come to something else when passengers are asked to get off because the plane is too heavy!!

This is what happened on a Virgin Blue flight flying from Melbourne to Cairns as crew asked for any volunteers that would be willing to disembark because the 737 wouldn't have enough fuel for the flight.

Up stepped three gallant men who offered to get off the aircraft. The flight was able to get underway once their luggage was removed.

A Virgin Blue spokeswoman said that flights had been diverted around Australia due to bad weather in Melburne. She later said that the 737 being used for the Cairns route had a lower weight capacity than the aircraft originally scheduled.

The three passengers who left the plane were compensated with travel vouchers.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Eygptian Airline catches fire whilst landing

An Eygptian owned aircraft caught fire whilst making an emergency landing at Istanbul's International airport.

Luckily the fire was put out quickly and there were no fatalities.

It's thought the plane suffered a technical problem and the landing gear wasn't functioning.

The fire was caused by the plane landing on its main body with 156 passengers onboard and seven crew. The aircraft was on its way to Warsaw.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

First delivery of A380 to Singapore Airlines set to take place next week.

The Airbus A380 was taking part in a test flight and landed in the capital of the Philippines on Thursday.

The aircraft flew from Melbourne to Manila International Airport and managed to land without any problems despite its size.

The flight was part of the many tests to show it could "fit in today's airport infrastructure," without having to adjust anything.

Airbus A380 is now the world's largest passenger jet and has the capacity to carry up to 850 people.

The first delivery to Singapore Airlines is set to take place next week.

Boeing delay order of Dreamliner to Qantas Airlines

Qantas are currently looking to seek compensation for the delivery of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft being delayed. The airline have said that this won't affect its operations or put a dent in its earnings.

Boeing have assured Qantas that the 15 Dreamliners which were due to be delivered between August 2008 and December 2009 would all be received by the 2009 date.

“Boeing said the August 2008 aircraft would slip, but not by six months,'' said Chief Executive Geoff Dixon, ”Once that aircraft arrives, the remaining 14 aircraft deliveries will be staggered until December 2009.''

Qantas have put in 65 definate orders for the aircraft, 20 options and 30 purchase rights.

”Once Boeing confirms a revised delivery schedule we will assess the need for any other measures such as delaying the retirement of aircraft,'' he later said

”Compensation issues will be the subject of commercial negotiations between the Qantas and Boeing companies.''

Monday, 8 October 2007

Airline pilot allows Robbie Savage into cockpit.

An experienced airline pilot has been suspended from duty for what has been described as a breach of the terroism act.

Captain Mason has flown RAF aircraft in the past and then decided to carry holiday makers to their destination. But in a bid to help a nervous passenger overcome their fear of flying the captain allowed the man into the cockpit.

Blackburn midfielder Robbie Savage is scared of flying so the captain allowed Robbie into the cockpit in a bid to overcom this fear. Unfortunately the authorities haven't taken this lightly and investigations continue.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

More scope for passengers flying with Singapore Airlines

An aviation deal has been agreed between Singapore and the UK.

This new deal will allow Singapore Airlines to pick passengers up from Britain and carry them elsewhere including the US. This will be the same for British carriers in Singapore.

The deal has been described by Singapore as "more liberal" than other agreements and will give the scope for airlines from different nations to operate the same as domestic carriers.

This isn't such a strange concept to Singapore as they already have a similar arrangement with United Arab Emirates. For Britain it's a first.

"This is indeed a trail-blazing agreement concluded between two forward-looking countries that share a common objective of promoting free competition," said Singapore's transport minister Raymond Lim.

We will start to see these changes from March 2008.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Budget airline announes all its aircraft are safe

Despite five accidents involving Q400 aircraft this year, budget airline Flybe has reassured passengers that their aircraft are prefectly safe.

Flybe currently operates Q400's from Dublin, Galway & Belfast to various destinations in the UK and Channel Islands.

The move comes following mishaps on 2 different Scandanavian Q400's whilst landing. A Lufthansa Q400 also had problems when its landing gear experienced problems.

Bombardier then called for all Q400's that have built up over 10,000 take off and landings should be grounded and inspected.

Flybe currently has 33 Q400's but told a radio investigative unit that all said aircraft have recently completed inspections successfully.

Niall Duffy Flybe spokesman said it wasn't necessary to remove them from the fleet as they had all been inspected using all checks requested by Bombardier.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Plane crash victim to be buried today

One of the victims of the Thai air disaster is to be buried today by family in Londonderry.

The remains of the 22 year old were sent back home on Friday to the Drumard Park home in the Hazelbank area.

The aircraft crashed on landing when it came down in bad weather killing 88 people.

Patricia Logue Aaron's Aunt said:

"We the parents and brothers of Aaron Toland would like to express heartfelt gratitude to our family and friends who have given us great comfort and support as we mourn the loss of our beloved son and brother Aaron. Nothing could prepare us to lose Aaron in this terrible tragic manner so far away from us, his family.

"We are heartened that he is back home with us. Our only desire now is to mourn our son and brother. We appreciate that the circumstances of Aaron's death and those of 88 other people in Thailand made it world news. However, we are a family in mourning and ask that the media would respect our privacy."

Doctors have said that his friend Chris Cooley is still in hospital in Phuket but is expected to make a full recovery.

Investigators have said that the possible cause of the crash is wind shear, where the wind makes a sudden change in direction or speed.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Gun smuggled onto Ryanair flight from Spain

A 39 year old man was arrested at Blackpool airport yesterday after smuggling a gun onboard a Ryanair flight. He has since been released on bail.

The firearm and ammunition was contained in the man's luggage.

Police recieved a tip-off about the incident and went to the airport ready to meet the flight from Gerona Spain.

Police have said that the man isn't thought to be a terroist and that he wasn't smuggling the gun for anyone else.

“The man has been questioned by officers and released on police bail pending further enquiries,” a police spokesman said.

“At this stage officers are not treating the incident as terrorist related, nor do we believe the gun was intended to be passed on to anyone else.”

Begs the old question again whether safety is being compromised for money, how was the gun not picked up before boarding the flight! Are security checks lapsing again?

Friday, 21 September 2007

KLM And PanAm Aircraft Collision

Don't know if you've already seen this, but I found this on YouTube recently, it put the wind up me, that's for sure!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Britons killed in flight to Thailand named

The eight Britons who have been confirmed dead from the Thai air accident have been named.

Tributes were paid to Neil and Helen Slater, Susan Howell, Steve Saunby, Tony and Judy Weston, Colin Denny and Alexander Collins.

Eighty nine passengers were killed on the One-Two-Go flight from Bangkok to Phuket when the pilot tried to land in bad weather.

Reports are so far blaming the pilot and faulty equipment at Phuket Airport for the accident.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Plane crash survivor hailed a hero

British teacher Peter James Hill who survived the plane crash in Thailand has been praised for his help in pulling passengers from the wreckage.

Thai Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram visited Mr Hill in hospital and gave him grapes, flowers and £75 in Thai currency.

Mr Nitya said: "He is a hero by the way. I believed he pulled two people out at (his own) risk. He is now doing pretty well, sitting up and smiling."

Mr Hill added: "I am sure that there were acts of heroism on this flight, but not from me. I don't want to be hailed a hero. My only thought was to get off that plane."

He later said that as soon as he stepped onto the aircraft he had a bad feeling: "I saw the runway, then grass. We hit with a thud and then we hit a second time, which was the crash."

Are Pilots fully trained to fly commercial aircraft?

Investigators looking into the plane crash which claimed at least 89 lives are asking the question of why the airport remained open when weather conditions were so appalling.

Survivors are also amazed that despite the pilot aborting one attempt to land they were still given permission to come in when palm trees were being bent by the strong winds.

Most of the survivors are recovering in hospital with burns and some broken bones. Ten of the dead are British and forensic experts are expected to be flown in aid the identification of the bodies.

The aircraft's black boxes have been found and sent to the US for analysis.

"Hopefully, we will learn in a few weeks the cause of the accident," transport minister Theera Haocharoen told reporters.

One survivor said:

."I saw palm trees bending back in the wind. I couldn't see how he was going to land," Mildred Furlong, a waitress from British Columbia, Canada, said. "We missed the runway first time, came back up and then tried again. We were all silent, then we suddenly hit the ground and there were screams.

"I thought I was going to die because the carriage was filled with thick black smoke and people had passed out around me. There were people burning in the plane, but the man behind me managed to kick open the exit after a few tries and I escaped through that."

Marcel Squinobal, an Austrian holidaymaker, said the plane had bounced up and down and swerved dramatically to both sides. "I don't understand why we didn't fly to Krabi and we could have taken a bus to Phuket."

John O'Donnell, from Co Clare, Ireland, said the pilot had tried to get the plane back in the air after it first hit the runway. "You can tell it was in trouble, because it kind of landed then came up again," Mr O'Donnell said from his hospital bed.

"The plane was flying around trying to land. It was making some noises and it was bad rain. There was a lot of smoke in the plane. I got out through the doors and I came out on to the wing of the plane ... I saw my friend outside. And next thing, it really caught fire, then I just got badly burned, my face, my legs, my arms."

This latest air disaster has bought into question the possibility of budget Asian airlines using sub-standard pilots. This meaning that pilots aren't fully trained to handle serious situations, and to keep up with the increase in air travel pilots who aren't used to flying commercial aircraft are being drafted in.

That certainly doesn't make me feel at ease!!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Aircraft crashes on Phuket in attempt to land

At least 66 people have been killed on Phuket Island after an aircraft crashed in heavy rain whilst trying to land.

It's reported the aircraft split in two and then burst into flames.

The budget airline One-Two-Go was on a popular route from Bangkok to Phuket carrying 123 passengers and five crew.

Survivors have been describig their escape from the plane's windows as smoke began to consume the plane.

Pairnwit Chusaeng one of the survivors said: ``I saw passengers engulfed in fire as I stepped over them on way out of the plane, I was afraid that the airplane was going to explode so I ran away.''

Deputy Governor of Phuket Worapot Ratthaseema told press: ``At least 66 people have been confirmed dead and 42 have been hospitalized."

He later added that the remaining passengers are still missing.

As many as 27 of the injured passengers are thought to be Irish, Israeli, Australian and British.

One of the survivors who is Irish was badly burned on his arms, legs and back as he escaped the fire. He has told media that he knew something was wrong before the plane landed.

``You could tell when it was landing it was in trouble,'' he said. ``It was making a noise, this bang.''

It's thought the severe weather played a major part in this accident. Chaisak Angsuwan director of Air Transport Authority of Thailand said: ``The visibility was poor as the pilot attempted to land. He decided to make a go-around but the plane lost balance and crashed,'' he said. ``It was torn into two parts.''

This is the second fatal air accident since 1998 when 101 people were killed after a Thai Airways jet crashed whilst trying to land in heavy rain in Surat Thani. Forty Five people survived that incident.

Investigations continue.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Jet Airways to begin flights to Middle East

Indian carrier Jet Airways Ltd has been given the go ahead to add four more routes to the Middle East from January.

The new routes will include flights to Doha, Kuwait, Muscat and Bahrain.

These new flights to the Middle East are likely to commence in February.

The governement is still considering Jet Airways's request to fly on Gulf routes to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Airlines to make 'aviation english' compulsory

Come March 2008 pilots flying international routes must acquire a mandatory level of proficiency in 'aviation english'. If they fail to do so ther licence could be taken off them.

It's likely to be compulsary that new pilots pass the language test as part of their commercial pilot licence training.

Aviation english involves communication of flight plans and landing and take off positions between pilots and air traffic control.

The move comes to try and fill the gap between communication with the cockpit and the control tower. One of the most primary factors responsible for accidents is misunderstanding of communication.

China Airlines spreading its' wings

With an increasing travel demand Air China the mainland's international carrier will be adding 12 new routes covering Europe and North America by the end of 2009.

Flights from Beijing to Berlin and Istanbul will begin in March with the route to Warsaw being added in October next year. Nine more routes will follow in 2009.

With the possibility of new planes and business trips & holidays being more affordable, China Southern, China Eastern, Hainan Airlines and Shanghai Airlines will add 27 overseas routes in 2009.

By that time the country may well become the world's biggest recipient of visitors.

China Southern will be adding flights from Beijing to Newark and from Guangzhou to Moscow from July next year with another 3 routes planned in 2009.

The only route from Shanghai to Los Angeles will be launched by China Eastern next year.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Scandanavian jet spins across runway

A Scandanavian Airlines Q400 caught fire during an emergency landing in Denmark when the right landing gear broke down.

Five people were injured. The control tower were informed of the problem by the pilot before he dumped some fuel.

This type of incident relating to landing gear is a first for the airline and maker Bombardier.

Images broadcast by television reports showed the right landing gear collapsing after touchdown, the aircraft then leaned to the right sending the jet spinning from the wing hitting the ground.

A Propeller broke off the plane and sliced through the cabin miraculously missing passengers.

The fire in the right engine was put out quickly by firefighters and then passengers and crew evacuated.

Investigations are underway as to the cause of the accident.

The Q400 is one of 33 in a fleet owned by SAS. None of the other jets have been taken out of service since this incident.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Is Abromovich going to buy own Airbus A380?

Reports have been rife saying that Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has ordered an A380 just for his own personal use.

All reports have ben denied by the billionaire.

Le Figaro a French newspaper stated Abromovich was having the jet fitted out by a Lufthansa subsidary in Basle, Switzerland.

Lufthansa has responded saying they have no work planned on an A380 and doesn't even have an operation in Basle. Airbus meanwhile have remained silent.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Frankfurt Airport Threat

Three Islamic extremists were put under arrest last night after a plot to ram massive car boms into Frankfurt airport was foiled.

The result had the plan gone ahead would have killed hundreds. The two German converts to Islam and a Turk were in a plan together to unleash several homemade bombs in what would have been Europe's biggest deadly attack.

George Bush was informed on the intended attack and said he was "pleased a potential attack was thwarted".

The three arrested are said to have attended terroist camps in Pakistan and Germany is still exercising vigilance as the country still remains under possible threat. The investigation of the suspects had been going on for 6 months.

In police interviews the plotters said they were prepared to die in order to become a matyr.

All details of the attack had not yet been finalised but the US military base in Ramstein and Frankfurt airport were possible targets. All was driven by a hatred of American citizens.

"The group, which is influenced by al-Qa'eda, set up a German cell in the winter of 2006 with the goal of finding recruits here to carry out attacks," said Monika Harms, a federal prosecutor.

The attack was in the final stages of planning and could have come on America's 6 year anniversary of 9/11.

"They were planning massive attacks," said Miss Harms.

As police moved in on the house the suspects were in to make arrests one of them were informed of the raid and tried to bolt through the bathroom window. Once out the house he pinched a pistol off one of the officers where a struggle took place and the officer was lightly injured.

Head of Germany's Federal Crime Office yesterday said that plot would have caused more carnage than the 2004 Madrid train bomb which killed 191 people due to the amount of hydrogen peroxide to be used.

"This would have enabled them to make bombs with more explosive power than the ones used in the London and Madrid bombings," he said.

The UK and Spain have been victims of bomb plots yet Germany up to date have not been affected by successful plots. Last year they did foil a planned attack when 2 Lebanese men tried to set off suitcase bombs on commuter trains.

This plot has been seen as a warning to German presence in Afghanistan and there will be a decision whether to extend the country's mission there or not.

All security around airports and embassy buildings has been stepped up incase of another attack.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

BMI Baby flight in near miss in Majorca

Passengers on a BMI Baby flight to Majorca narrowly escaped with their lives when the pilot spotted another jet on the runway when coming in to land at Palma Airport.

The pilot pulled up sharply with only a hundred feet to spare. 146 people were onboard the aircraft.

Some passengers did panic on the abrupt pulling up:

'It was terrifying,' one said last night. 'We were coming in to land with the wheels down when the plane suddenly jerked upward and soared back into the sky.

'I'd say we were just a few seconds from touching down when the pilot aborted the landing.'

'It was a bit of a shock. For a few seconds we didn't know what was happening,' he added.

'We were pinned back in our seats. I could see fuel tanks on the ground ... we were that close. Then it all calmed down and the pilot told us what had happened.

'We circled once and then made the landing. Everyone was pretty relieved to get their feet back on the ground.'

A spokesman for the company said:

'He pulled away, following standard operating procedures, and circled the airport briefly before making a safe landing.'

It's not known whether air traffic control warned the pilot about the plane on the runway or whether he acted on his own initiative.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Singapore Airlines set to buy China Eastern

Top Chinese carrier China Eastern is set to be purchased by Singapore Airlines in a US$918mil deal.

The plan was approved by the Chinese government last month after talks which lasted a year.

SIA the world's second biggest airline will be able to compete with Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways better which owns over 17% of the flag carrier Air China.

“This is not a one-off financial investment – it's a strategic move for Singapore Airlines,” SIA chairman Stephen Lee said.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Thomson Fly flight in emergency landing

A Thomson Fly aircraft had to be diverted to East Midlands Airport after a problem with the wheels occurred.

The plane took off from Doncaster Robin Hood Airport and was heading for Corfu. Nobody was injured and the aircraft landed safely. Emergency services were on standby at the airport as a safety precaution.

A spokeswoman stated that 227 passengers were onboard the Boeing 757-200 and the pilot requested emergency assistance shortly after take-off.

When the aircraft had been taxiing on the runway it had developed a fuel leak, fire crews foamed the runway as standard procedure in preparation for the jet to land.

In order to burn off some fuel the aircraft circled the runway first and passengers then got off safely.

Passengers were either transferred onto another flight or taken by coach to another airport. All other flights from East Midlands ran as normal.

18 injured on flight to Hong Kong

Every flight encounters turbulence at some point and 18 passengers certainly felt it on an Air Mauritius flight to Hong Kong. Three had to be admitted to hospital.

A spokesman for Hong Kong's Airport Authority Chris Lam said: "The plane had a safe landing, all we know is that it encountered some turbulence." The plane did however land safely.

Television images showed a young man being taken to hospital on a stretcher wearing a neck and head brace. The others injured had minor injuries and were discharged as soon as they had been treated.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Update on China Airlines fireball

Japanese investigators of the China Airlines plane that burst into flames say that the fuel tank had been pierced.

"We spotted a hole in a fuel tank," the transport ministry's investigative division said in a brief statement.

"We suspect that oil leaked from this hole and spilled from the right wing to the outside."

It’s believed that a bolt in the aircraft’s structure perhaps pierced the tank. The black box has now been recovered and is being analysed to find out the pilots’ conversations.

China Airlines have meanwhile apologised to customers and is going to give compensation. They have also painted over their logo on the wreckage to minimise ay bad publicity. Chairman Philip Wei has also offered his resignation.

British Airways fined for price fixing

British Airways have been fined £150 million for price fixing with Virgin Atlantic.

They got off lightly as guidelines suggest they should be fined a third more.

Senior BA staff may now be investigated for criminal charges whilst the company also face possible lawsuits by thousands of US customers who were overcharged.

Authorities have been looking into fuel surcharges and the increase in price tickets to compensate the cost of rising fuel.

Anybody related to cargo surcharges could also face 10 years in prison if they are found guilty of the said offence. As it isn’t a UK authority investigating they could face being extradited to the US.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Are Airlines sacrificing safety for money?

The China Airlines accident couldn’t have happened at a worst time, the jet was packed with holidaymakers in the peak season of the vacation period.

It’s amazing that all passengers onboard escaped alive even if it was just by a hair’s breadth.

Ground workers have reported seeing fuel leaking from the right engine as the aircraft was taxiing to its parking spot. They alerted the pilots who at once began the evacuation procedure.

Once everyone had evacuated using emergency slides an explosion fired out on the left hand side engine.

It’s now serious questions are being asked. Where and how did the fuel leak happen, did the pilots notice the leak and if not why not, were the fuel tanks already damaged and been ignored?

This especially brings about a very important issue I have talked about before, have safety inspections been compromised in favour of money making? Investigations into this incident will be looking at the airline’s daily maintenance processes.

Nobody who wasn’t onboard the aircraft can imagine the terror and panic filling the cabin. Some have said the smoke that filled the inside whilst they were still evacuating started to take over the plane. It could have been a totally different result had the evacuation process taken longer than it did.

The designs of all aircraft are designed specifically so that all passengers can be evacuated in 90 seconds even with all the seats filled.

The investigation will most likely look at whether the crew did carry out proper evacuation procedures despite the evacuation going well in the accident.

This particular airline hasn’t had a good safety record to say the least. A China Airlines Airbus crashed on landing in 1994 at Nagoya Airport killing 264 people onboard. Four years later another Airbus went down in a residential area, in 2002 a 747 crashed in the Taiwan Straits.

China Airlines need to finally learn an important lesson and review its current operations and safety management. How many more lives are to be lost on their aircraft?

More misery for China Airlines

To add to the bad luck of China Airlines another of its jets nearly ended its routine flight in disaster.

The aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Japan after it ran out of fuel. The pilots had to ask for permission to land at Kansai International Airport en-route to central Japan from Taipei.

Fortunately the plane landed safely with no injuries to anyone onboard.

After refuelling the plane resumed its journey to Chubu International Airport, China Airlines weren’t available for comment at this time.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Airlines - Is Flying the Safest Way to Travel?

Following the recent incident involving China Airlines, and although, miraculously no-one was seriously injured, do you think that flying is still the safest way to travel? Have your say in the poll on the right.

Tough times ahead for China Airlines

China Airlines are preparing themselves for turbulent times ahead following the latest incident in Japan where a Boeing 737-800 burst into flames shortly after landing at Okinawa.

Johnson Sun China Airlines spokesman has said that their cash flow will be seriously affected despite having other aircraft to carry on their operations.

Sales in flight bookings with the airline will also drop until public faith has been restored. Sun also said that total losses from the accident had not yet been established.

A Boeing 737-800 jet is normally worth $70-$80 million but it’s not known how much China Airlines paid for the aircraft or how much compensation the insurance companies will pay out.

"Although TFMI is the lead underwriter, its exposure is limited," Taiwan Ratings said in a statement. "The expected net loss is equivalent to 1 percent to 2 percent of the insurer's total shareholders' funds plus special reserves at the end of June," it said.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Airline Explosion Investigation

Investigators involved with the China Airlines explosion in Japan yesterday are looking into the fact that the fire could have been caused by a fuel leak.

Japanese officials could reach no immediate conclusion to the cause of the explosion and Hiromi Tsurumi said: “We are investigating a possible fuel leak in the engine area. We want to know how the fuel could have leaked and how it could have caught fire.”

The US Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board along with Boeing sent investigators to the scene. On Wednesday efforts will begin by a team of Japanese, Taiwanese and US experts to uncover the cause of the accident.

Speculation is focussing on the possibility of a big fuel leak near the plane’s right engine and also the chance of loose parts or objects being sucked into the engine causing the sparks.

The pilots were the last ones out of the giant fireball after waiting for all passengers to be evacuated first. The crew have been praised by the airline for their bravery and the well-organised evacuation procedure.

Captain Yu Chien-Kuo was seen jumping from the cockpit window only a second after Co-Pilot Tseng Ta-Wei.

“Our pilots were the last to depart,” Mr. Sun said. “They told the flight attendants to execute an evacuation and help passengers escape within the shortest possible time.”

“They did what they should have and acted with great bravery,” he said. The aircraft was evacuated within three minutes.

It’s come to light that this particular aircraft had experienced a problem with its sensor on one of the wings earlier this month. This has been denied that it is related to the fire.

While the aircraft was in the air, air traffic control had received no distress signals from the pilot.

The investigation continues.

China Airlines Jet bursts into flames after landing

Today at Naha Airport on the Japanese island of Okinawa a China Airlines aircraft burst into flames.

There were 165 people onboard all of whom managed to escape. Some only just made it when the plane exploded just seconds before they had evacuated.

Television pictures showed flames and smoke pouring out the 737-800 and even showed the pilot jumping out the cockpit window.

The Airline has said the cause of the explosion is not yet known but some reports have said that the left engine of the plane caught fire.

"Everything was normal, including take-off and landing, until the pilots were told the airplane was on fire," China Airlines spokesman Johnson Sun said.

"Then the crew on board immediately took the due procedure to evacuate all the passengers."

The plane had embarked on a routine flight from Taipei to Okinawa but after only 8 minutes after landing on the Japanese island black smoke and fire was seen coming from the plane.

The aircraft had actually broken in two after the fire was put out. There were 8 members of crew onboard the flight and all eight are reported to be safe despite reports that two had to be taken to hospital.

China Airlines have a reputation for being one of the unsafest airlines in the world and this recent incident will only add fuel to that belief.
During the 1990s the airline had several crashes and in 2002 one crashed into the sea near Penghu with 225 passengers onboard.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Hijacked aircraft lands in Turkey

An AtlasJet heading for Istanbul was hijacked and passengers managed to escape the plane at Antalya Airport in Turkey today.

The plane landed in Turkey for refuelling purposes and security forces managed to negotiate with he hijackers and as a result elderly passengers and children were released.

Some passengers were injured when they rushed for the gates. There are still nine people and two crew members being held hostage.

The hijackers intended to fly the plane to the Iranian city of Tehran.

There is thought to be two hijackers onboard. One of them speaks Arabic and has a knife whilst the other was holding what is thought to be a bomb.

An escaped passenger told NT television: "They said they were from al-Qaida,"

The hijackers tried to take control of the cockpit after the pilots said they needed to refuel but failed taking instead one of the cabin crew and threatened to harm her.

Upon reaching the Turkish city of Antalya to refuel the pilots left the aircraft. In total there were 136 passengers and six crew members onboard the aircraft.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Cabin Crew in 'quality of life' talks with Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines have been hit where it hurts following hundreds of flight cancellations in the summer. This has prompted the company to call their flight attendants to a meeting to discuss quality-of-life improvements.

"The more expeditiously and creatively we can collaborate on improving our flight attendants' work environment and quality of life, the better our prospects will be for long-term success," Chief Executive Officer Doug Steenland said in a letter.

Michigan’s biggest carrier have not guaranteed increasing the cabin crew salary but would instead look for ‘cost neutral ways’ to improve their working lives.

Flight attendants suffered pay cuts when the airline went bankrupt whilst at the same time the company secured court rulings that prevented staff from striking.

President of the Northwest branch of the Association of Flight Attendants Kevin Griffin has taken a ‘wait and see’ attitude.

"He's extending an olive branch," Griffin said. "We want to see whether it will hold any olives."

When the talks will take place is not yet known.

Singapore Airlines announce date of maiden A380 flight

Singapore Airlines will launch its A380 maiden flight on October 25th.

The biggest passenger plane has been long awaited for after an 18 month delay. The first flight will be a long haul journey from Singapore to Sydney.

“Everyone at Singapore Airlines is keenly anticipating the delivery of this new plane,” said Singapore Airlines chief executive Chew Choon Seng. “The first flight promises to be one of the most exciting occasions in aviation history.”

Tickets for the flight will be up for sale by auction on eBay with all money from the sales being donated to charity.

SIA have stated that the first A380 will be configured to allow seating for 471 passengers over 3 classes including the new Singapore Airlines Suites being the most luxurious aspect. The plane will be delivered on October 15th after a special ceremony in Toulouse.

The Super Jumbo is said to facilitate the latest engine and cabin technology, which aims to reduce noise pollution for both those onboard, and people living near the runways.

This A380 is the first from a total order of 19.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Singapore Airlines preparing for A380 flight

The new Airbus A380 arrived at Singapore’s Changi Airport on Thursday for the airport to run trials such as safety, passenger disembarkation, catering etc.

The Jumbo will leave on Tuesday after enduring many trials.

The largest passenger airliner in the world has so far received 154 orders. SIA will be the first airline to fly the plane and already has 10 on order with the option of purchasing another 6.

October 2007 will be the maiden flight from Singapore to Sydney and preparations are already taking place.

The flight date has yet to be confirmed after Airbus gives the final delivery date in October.

All proceeds from the first flight ticket sales will be donated to charity.

Drunk and disorderly onboard Southwest Airlines flight

Passenger Andy Lee Osuna has been accused of shouting profanities, making crude comments and pushing a member of cabin crew onboard a Chicago to Las Vegas flight.

Southwest Airlines flight 2275 had to be diverted to Denver after the passenger became violent and was arrested immediately upon arrival.

Investigators were told that Osuna had drunk 2 malt liquors before the flight and then another 5 cocktails whilst onboard. He had also said that he didn’t remember even being handcuffed upon arrest.

It’s not known where Osuna is from and he made his first court appearance on Tuesday where he was held without bail.

A passenger onboard the plane said that she and her family were sitting behind the accused when he turned round and made an inappropriate comment. He then allegedly grabbed the lady’s husband’s shirt.

When a flight attendant tries to intervene in the situation, Osuna pushed them away. At one point the man’s trousers had to be pulled up as his buttocks were on display.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Protesters set up camp at Heathrow

Protestors set up camp on Monday near Heathrow Airport to in a bid to protest against the proposed new runway and the damage caused to the environment by air travel, they even put up a wind turbine and a solar powered movie theatre.

The protest is to last for at least a week with the campaigners setting up tents near to where the new runway is to be built.

Terminal 5 is expected to open in 2008 and the government has proposed the new runway to open in 2020.

More protestors are expected to join the protest during the week, which is to stand up against environmental damage caused by aircraft not to disrupt people’s travel plans.

Gary Dwyer said he expects the protest to a peaceful:

"There will be the day of direct action, but we've said there will be no attempt to storm runways or anything like that. Public safety is paramount," he said.

"People do have a right to protest in this country, but the government believes that action that would disrupt the running of Heathrow would be unacceptable," a Downing Street spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

BAA Heathrow’s managing director Mark Bullock said they would take all appropriate steps to make sure travellers and staff are protected during all this.

"With the current terrorism threat, keeping Heathrow safe and secure is a very serious business," Bullock said. "Any action taken by the protesters that distracts us or the police from this task is irresponsible and unlawful."

Friday, 10 August 2007

No survivors on doomed Air Moorea Aircraft.

It’s now been confirmed that all 20 people onboard the Air Moorea aircraft died after the plane took off bound for Tahiti.

The flight should have been a routine 15km flight taking only 7 minutes. President Gaston Tong Sang confirmed there were no survivors.

Among those on board are believed to have been 2 Australian tourists and two officials from the European Commission’s delegation to the Pacific.

Investigations are still underway as to the cause of the crash on what seemed to be a perfect sunny day.

Aircraft crashes into lagoon with 20 on board

Twelve lives have been taken following an Air Moorea aircraft crash whilst taking off from the French island of Moorea on its way to Tahiti.

An official said: "Twelve corpses have been recovered, operations are continuing,"

Similar to the Kenyan plane crash this airline plunged into a lagoon with 20 people onboard the Twin Otter Turbopop.

The cause of the accident isn’t immediately clear. The nationality of those killed hasn’t been released and there is no word of survivors as yet.

A police spokesman said: "The investigation is underway there now and police are still combing the area.”

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Monkey smuggled onboard flight!

I’ve heard some funny stories in my time but how no one could notice a furry animal under somebody’s hat is unbelievable.

In Lima, Peru on Monday a man boarded a flight to Lauderdale, Fla with a monkey under his hat. Nobody noticed this until passengers happened to see it perched on his ponytail. He even boarded another flight to LaGuardia airport early Tuesday morning.

The primate whom normally lives in forests began to appear from underneath the hat and a passenger later said: “Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him.”

Astonishingly the monkey was well behaved and remained on the man’s seat for the remainder of the flight.

When the plane landed at 3pm airport police were waiting to question the man but it isn’t yet known whether he will face charges.

The monkey appeared to not be distressed but is being kept in quarantine for 31 days to check for any diseases. If all is ok the monkey could face life in a zoo.

“It is kind of a spirited monkey,” Russell said. “That will be the nickname of the monkey: Spirit.”

Are airports cashing in on passengers' misery?

It seems airports may be cashing in on the chaos bought about by new security measures.

Passengers are being hit with a number of charges before they get to departures. Such charges are for clear plastic bags that contain liquids, gels, and clear solutions etc. to be taken onboard following new security restrictions introduced last year.

Vending machines selling 4 bags for a pound have been installed at Newcastle, Luton and Belfast airports.

Other airports are charging for a ‘fast track’ alternative enabling passengers to get through security quicker, John Lennon airport are charging £2 for this service. Some are even charging travellers just to use terminals.

Norwich charges customers £3 to use the terminal. This all comes as BAA is already being put under the microscope for under-investing in the airport.

Although passenger charges increased by 7.5% the amount spent on the airport dropped from £298 million to £252 million.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Chaos at Heathrow Airport!

Passengers were faced with arrival hell yesterday when they had to wait 9 hours just to reclaim their baggage at Heathrow.

As a result of security reasons baggage handlers struggled with the increase of items put in the hold. This means that travellers are more often than not to expect hefty delays.

This is the second week of disruption for the airport leaving BA and BAA heavily criticised.

In the last month alone BA have lost 22,000 pieces of luggage and the rule of only one piece of hand luggage has only worsened the situation.

Last night BA admitted that the crisis had led to them making special flights with only luggage onboard in an effort to reunite passengers with their possessions.

Baggage handler numbers have also been reduced due to some being relocated in the new terminal 5 building for training purposes. This was later denied by the airline.

People who arrived from Lagos, Nigeria yesterday have said they had to wait from 6am-3pm just to get their baggage.

"I flew in at 6am this morning with my friend. I picked up my luggage at 8am but my friend is still waiting for his and it's now 3pm." Said Adam Kolleve.

A spokesman for BA said: "The average time for the year so far is 30 minutes from the time the plane parks to the first bags coming round on the carousel. Obviously there are times - like when Terminal Four was closed last month - when those delays are more because the airport infrastructure is always at maximum capacity."
Perhaps not the best time to travel with BA!!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

2 Singapore Airlines aircraft involved in small bump.

It seems planes are hitting each other all over the place!!

At Changi Airport in Singapore two Singapore Airlines knocked into the other with the wings whilst preparing for take off.

There were no injuries.

Stephen Forshaw the company spokesman said "It is reported that the wingtips of two aircraft came into contact while both aircraft were taxiing at low speed”.

The incident occurred yesterday morning and both Boeing 777 only suffered minor damage. Passengers were on their way to Rome and Copenhagen and were later transferred onto other flights.

Forshaw later said that an investigation was getting under way with the help from both pilots. The airline would give no information on the number of passengers onboard when the accident happened.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Friday, 3 August 2007

Korean Air come top with Malaysia & Singapore Airlines close behind

The World Airline Awards have been taking place with many categories that airlines can win. For the world’s Best Economy Class the winner has been announced as Korean Air. They have also been recognised as one of the five top airlines with Best In-flight Entertainment.

All the seats are fully equipped with a monitor and the seats have more space in-between them for more comfort.

Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines were runners up coming second and third.

These awards are very well recognised across the world that take into account passenger opinions.

Glasgow Airport bomber dies from injuries.

On June 30th this year a Jeep loaded with explosives was deliberately crashed into the departures lounge at Glasgow Airport.

Today the man responsible, Kafeel Ahmed died from serious burn injuries. He had been in hospital for a month whereas his partner in crime Bilal Abdullah has been charged with conspiring to set off explosive materials.

"We can confirm that the man seriously injured during the course of the incident at Glasgow Airport on Saturday June 30 has died in Glasgow Royal Infirmary," said a spokesman for Strathclyde Police.

Ahmed originally from Bangalore had been burnt on 90% of his body; he never came round from his coma and was kept under armed guard.

His brother Sabeel Ahmed has also been arrested in Liverpool charged with withholding information that could have prevented an act of terrorism. Another doctor Jamil Asha is the third man also being charged with the failed plot.

As with all the suspects in this case, Kafeel was working as a medical worker yet Indian officials have contradicted this saying he was an engineer with a doctorate in design and technology.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Are British Airways really that bad...

According to the Association of European Airlines it is. BA has been found to have the worst performance in all Europe’s major carriers.

The report showed that BA passengers suffered the most delays and flights didn’t arrive or depart on time.

Long haul flights were even worse with 44% arriving late and 36% departing late.

Recent reports have also shown that BA’s baggage handling was not up to scratch. For every 1,000 people, 28 bags were held up.

This bad news has come at a bad time for BA as they are currently facing being sued by passengers for price fixing over fuel surcharges.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Lufthansa Airlines catching up!

Lufthansa are trying to get with the times by planning to install broadband internet connection services on its aircraft used for long haul flights.

This system will be expected to cost around $100m and the final stage of this request is currently in progress.

As well as Wi-Fi access for laptops the system will also allow SMS and email services. For fear of disturbing other passengers on board voice communications won’t be permitted.

Airbus A380 given permission to land!

The eagerly awaited Airbus A380 has been given authorisation to land on 45-meter wide runways by The European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration.

"The A380 has already landed on 45 airports across the world and is scheduled to land on 70 more airports by 2011.”

The A380 will be the world’s largest long-range aircraft and has been shown to be safely controllable possessing the navigation equipment to enable safe runways 45 meters wide or wider.

The current required width of runways stands at 45 or more.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

British Airways no longer best airline...

British Airways have squandered the chance of winning top airline of the year award, dropping from 1st place to a staggering 10th.

But on the brighter side they were named best airline in Europe and best transatlantic carrier in the awards by Skytrax.

Singapore Airlines were awarded airline of the year while Virgin Atlantic won best business class lounge.

From the budget airline prizes Easyjet were voted world’s third best budget airline and second best in Europe.

BA has had to struggle with a few difficulties during the last few months such as cancellations caused by baggage restrictions and bad weather.

The problem escalated whilst trying to reunite people with their luggage.
It’s also thought BA are facing a hefty fine pending an investigation into price fixing relating to fuel surcharges.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Malaysia Airlines wins award for best cabin staff.

Malaysia Airlines has won an award for ‘World’s best cabin staff’ at the World Airlines Award 2007.

The airline has been recognised for its excellent passenger support service resulting in the top position of the 11 month survey.

Chief Executive of MAS Datuk Idris Jala said he feels incredibly proud of the crew for their portrayal of the best Malaysian hospitality.

The survey also concentrated on the “soft service” of attendants such as friendliness, enthusiasm, sincerity and efficiency.

The survey data involved 3 million people who each represented a different nationality and nominated their chosen carriers based on personal experiences flying with them.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Are airlines paying fair?

Further to my previous article relating to poor pay for cabin crew, Sara Nelson who has worked 11 years for United Airlines had to sell her car in order to afford living costs.

Sara believes her pay has come down at least 30% and although has to do without the luxury of a car she does have longer hours and the addition of more broken lavatories to deal with!

"It seems more and more that one or two lavatories are shut down," said Nelson, who is also a spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants union.

With on-board staffing reduced, "There are fewer people to look out for the problems and try to head them off from the get go," she said.

Tensions are riding high as cabin crew have to cope with more and more difficult conditions that the airlines are imposing on them.

Flight attendants are starting to actually resemble prisoners as a result of tighter security restrictions, faster turnaround times and congested planes without being provided adequate food and more importantly more pay.

"You have more people getting off, more people getting on, so the expectation is you basically don't get off the plane," Carla Rogat of Mesaba Airlines said.

"You can work a 14-hour day and get off the plane for 20 minutes,"

Contrary to what people may think, when aircraft are still waiting at the gate due to lengthy delays cabin crew aren’t actually being paid whilst the plane is standing still. It’s only when the plane leaves the gate that crew are being paid, so in effect they are working for free while the aircraft is stationary.

"I can work a 14-hour day and get paid for five of it," said Rogat.
The average salary of US flight attendants can be between $US19,200 and $US33,800 but many stay within this employment for the travel benefits and flexibility.

"I still really do love the job," said Alin Boswell, an 18-year veteran of US Airways Group Inc.

Airlines have in the past promised to ease stress put upon cabin crew but such actions have remained under the belt.

"We have taken a number of steps to improve the quality of life and scheduling flexibility for our flight attendants," said United Airlines spokeswoman Jean Medina.

"People are very, very upset. They've been stretched to the end," said Nelson. "They were stretched to the end before, but at least there was a promise of something better. Now when that hasn't been returned, it's as if the rubber band was broken."

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Two BA aircraft in collision at Heathrow Airport.

Passengers escaped unscathed last night at Heathrow airport when two BA aircraft collided.

A Boeing 777 was taxiing down the runway preparing to take off and clipped the wing of a BA Airbus A321, which at the same time was pulling up to the terminal.

Nobody was hurt and fire-fighters arrived at the scene as a safety precaution.

The Boeing had 213 passengers on board and was on its way to Washington, 102 people were on board the airbus that had just arrived from Zurich.

The Boeing was grounded in order to carry out an examination to check no further damage was obtained. Passengers were transferred onto other flights.

A spokesman for BA commented:

“There was minor damage. An investigation will be launched to determine if anyone was to blame.”

Have your say - Airlines poll!

Check out the crazy4planes poll where you can vote on topical airline issues.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Do airlines pay their cabin crew a fair wage?

Cabin crew have to endure both long and short haul flights so why do they only get a basic salary of £10,000?

True they are experiencing the delightful element of travel but they only have a stop over of one or perhaps in some cases two nights. In order to get to these fabulous destinations they have to first serve people tea and coffee and deal with difficult passengers.

Looking after 50-300 people isn't easy so why do they only earn a very small salary? At the end of the day it is just another type of job, these people still need somewhere to live and put food on the table for families.

How on earth can cabin crew live on that salary!!! Is it really only because the employers believe they are travelling all round the world that they feel justified in paying such low wages?

Businessmen travel the world also yet I don't think they would for that kind of money!!

Monday, 23 July 2007

Cabin Crew applicants sent packing at AirAsia!

Hundreds of applicants that applied to work for AirAsia as cabin crew have been turned down due to their lack of English speaking skills.

A recruitment day was held in Kuching over the weekend and of the 426 hopefuls, around 95 percent failed as they lacked any serious command of the language.

AirAsia executive vice president Bo Lingham said:

"The ability to communicate well in English and Bahasa Malaysia is a criterion, and English is a must"

The 16 applicants that did reach the final interview stage still may not make it to being a member of cabin crew.

The airline is set to add 37-37 new planes at the end of the year and is looking to recruit at least 300 cabin crew.

Lingham further added recruits might have to be sourced from Thailand and Indonesia, which could be to their advantage as cabin crew are required to speak foreign languages.

"For example, we are looking for Mandarin-speaking crew for our China routes."

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Is safety still top priority with low budget airlines?

It’s a well-known fact that while aeroplanes are stuck on the ground they aren’t making money, but with the pressure mounting on individual airline staff to reduce turnaround times is safety being compromised?

Low budget airlines such as BMI Baby have targets for ground staff to get the plane back in the air after only 25 minutes!!

With all this extra pressure on individuals are they really taking the proper time and care with checking the aircraft after it’s previous fight. Do tight timescales cause negligence and only brief checks rather than thoroughly checking a carrier?

True, airlines want the aircraft to be in the air as many times as possible with hundreds of paying passengers on board. But then it’s only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs.

And then what will the excuses be?

“A thorough safety check was compromised because we wanted to get the plane back in the air as quickly as possible to make more money”?

or “It was only a 2 hour flight nothing could have possibly happened to jeopardise safety”?

There are no excuses.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Singapore Airlines wants rid of Virgin Atlantic stake.

Singapore Airlines is considering selling its stake in Virgin Atlantic, which could result in an STGI billion (STG1 = RM6.92) sale.

Singapore Airlines has the biggest stock market value and is said to only be in the early stages of considering options for its 49 per cent stake.

A spokesman declined to comment for SIA while Virgin Atlantic couldn’t be reached for comment.

Corrine Png commented that the sale of the VA stake would be welcomed but may not actually be worth all that is being reported.

"We view this potential exit strategy positively as VA has not contributed significantly to SIA's bottom line nor network connectivity in the past seven years, even though SIA paid a large sum for the stake," she said in a note to investors.

Png later went on to say that SIA would also book a “bumper disposal gain” if the share could be sold for at least STG950 million.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Flying with BMI Baby Airline.

Well I have been away for a while but I'm back!!

Just been on a short European break to Barcelona with BMI Baby. Can't really compare the flight with that of a 747 but it was still enjoyable.

The 2 and a half hour flight went without hitch in the air and was very smooth all the way there and back.

I also briefly saw the pilot and co-pilot and was really pleasantly surprised to see that the co-pilot was a woman. That was the first time I have ever been flown anywhere with a lady in the cockpit. How envious am I!!!!

Anyway after a hefty delay at Birmingham International I was finally on my way. I did however notice that to get through departures is now a much more lengthy process than it normally is.

How surprising when a programme showing how bad security is at Birmingham was screened on the tele not too long before!! I'm a bit worried that they still won an award for best Airport Security afterwards, just how bad at security does that mean all other Eurpoean airports are!!??

Check out my landing and taking off on You Tube. Unfortunately you can't appreciate the views as they were both night flights.

Attack on Glasgow Airport - Houses searched.

After the shocking events from the weekend with a car being driven into the arrivals terminal at Glasgow Airport, police have been searching many properties in the hope of finding anything connected with the terrorist activity.

A Cambridge address has been searched following failed car bomb explosions in both Glasgow and London.

The exact address has not been revealed.

To date eight people have been arrested and all are linked with the NHS, it is believed that four of them already know each other from Cambridge.

Shiraz Maher an associate of one of those arrested said:

“Dr Kafeel Ahmed and Dr Bilal Abdullah, both arrested at Glasgow airport after a burning car was driven into doors of main terminal, were "best mates"”

Hicham Kwieder who is secretary of the Cambridge Muslim Welfare Society said that he knows and saw Dr Abdullah about a year ago.

“ I talked to him, like many other people. He was a nice person. I knew him as someone who attended our mosque. I met him after the invasion [of Iraq]. He felt pain that the country was divided and people were fighting each other.

I recognised his photograph in the paper. I was shocked. Whatever information we have will be passed on to the police. We're helping police with their inquiries."

The Society later said that police had not actually searched the premises.

Dr Ahmed was a research student in the science technology department at Anglia Ruskin University. A spokeswoman said:

"We are aware of media speculation about possible links between recent events at Glasgow Airport and one of our research students.

We are co-operating fully with the police in their inquiries. At this time identities are still unclear and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further.”

Dr Ahmed’s brother was also arrested along with Dr Mohammed Asha and his wife. All currently working at hospitals in the country.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

JFK Airport in alleged bomb threat.

Reports are filtering through from New York about an alleged plan to bomb JFK Airport. Three people have been arrested in connection with the professed threat.

It’s said that the target was in fact ground operations not aircraft or passenger terminals.

Officials have said that the plan was not yet beyond planning stages against one of the world’s busiest airports.

CNN reported that one person was arrested in New York and two others were in a Caribbean country

"There is no threat to air safety or the public related to this plot," said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko in Washington.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Victims of Kenya Airways crash still to be identified.

For the victims of the Kenyan Airways crash almost two weeks ago a day of mourning has been observed in Cameroon.

All 114 people on board the flight died when the aircraft came down into swamps shortly after taking off from Douala Airport.

The official inquiry is still yet to report on the tragedy. Rescuers took 2 days to locate the wreckage.

The people in Cameroon have been very critical about how the crash has been handled by the government. The country’s transport minister still hasn’t visited the site.

Kenya observed a day of mourning on Monday.

Two weeks later and only a few bodies have been formally identified. Most are believed to still be buried in the swampy waters where the plane came down.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Indentification of plane crash victims a slow and painful process

The continuing rescue operation for the plane crash in Douala has been a very slow and frustrating process.

As soon as the aircraft disappeared from radars it appears the confusion started straight away, it was only 24 hours later that a co-ordination team was put together.

When that was eventually sorted the team were looking for the plane 248 miles away from where the actual wreckage was found, questioning whether the authorities can actually manage a major crisis.

One investigator said: "There is too much red tape here. Even when we are faced with a deadline to recover the body parts before they totally decompose,"

Joshua Osih, an aviation consultant in Douala said: "The professionals have been pushed aside in favour of politicians and this has resulted in the mission delays. Despite the urgency of the task, the crisis committee has failed to assemble the appropriate equipment for search operations - even though air force helicopters are readily available in Cameroon”

Human parts that can make up seventy-six bodies had been recovered by Wednesday evening.

Forensic experts from the UK have been flown in to help with the grim process of identifying bodies. But the process of identifying the victims remains difficult.

The crash has been seen as a wake up call for Cameroon’s authorities to assemble a more professional and well equipped team ready to cope with such disasters.

"Going by what happened to the plane it's clear that however rapid the authorities were no lives would have been saved, but we should learn from these mistakes and improve for the future."

Lets hope for everybody’s sake that they do.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Doomed Kenya Airways jet's flight data recovered

The flight data from the crashed Kenyan plane has now been retrieved by rescuers.

It’s hoped that this will be able to give answers as to why the aircraft went down and crashed into a mangrove swamp killing all those on board.

"We found the flight data recorder," Cameroon's civil aviation director general Ignatius Sana Juma was quoted as saying, and then added: "We still need to recover the cockpit voice recorder”.

The plane was located nearly 36 hours after the plane lost contact with the control tower. An official leading the recovery effort at the wreckage said that he had surveyed the entire scene and that nobody had survived. Rescuers began the grim task of removing bodies on Monday.

"There are no chances of finding any (survivors) under the circumstances," Luc Ndjodo said. "There is a crater filled with water and a clearing, then buried in the mud there are scattered plane parts and debris”.

As the swamp is unaccessible by vehicles, recovering bodies will be made more difficult and slow.

Monday, 7 May 2007

No survivors on Kenya Airways Jet crash.

The wreckage of Flight KQ507 has been reached by emergency workers in swamps. It is now confirmed that there are no survivors of the Kenya Airways jet, of those were 5 Britons.

It’s said that the plane was all buried under the swamp, which made the wreckage hard to find.

The plane had taken off from Douala on its way to Nairobi when a distress signal was sent from the plane before disappearing off the radar. The aircraft was located 12 miles from the town’s outskirts in a forest.

A local resident assisting officials in searching for the crash site reported he had seen one body and a body part.

The cause of the plane going down has not yet been established. Patrick Smith a US based airline pilot and aviation expert said: "Whatever happened must have happened very fast, which is usually a sign of catastrophic structural failure".

The aircraft was only 6 months old and had no history of problems. Investigations are continuing to establish the cause of the crash.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Rescuers still working away at flight KQ507 crash sight.

Courtesy of

As I stated before the wreckage of flight KQ507 has been located nearby the airport it took off from in Douala. The aircraft was concealed from view by trees in mangroves therefore making it hard to see.

There has been no information on any passengers as yet and rescuers are still working away at the site.

CEO Titus Naikuni spoke at a news conference in Nairobi: "Kenya Airways regrets to confirm that its flight KQ 507 has been located on a mangrove swamp 20km (12 miles) south of Douala,"

Bad weather may have been a possible factor in events leading to the crash as the plane took off in very heavy rain. But this of course is still speculation until the real facts are established.

Wreckage of Kenya Airways Jet been located.

The five Britons on board the Kenya Airways Jet, which crashed on Saturday, have all been named.

They are Sarah Stewart, Adam Stewart, Anthony Mitchell, Stuart Claisse and Gordon Wright.

The aircraft has been located near a town called Mvengue, which is South West of Yaounde. No details were disclosed of any casualties or the state of the plane.

Relatives of those on board remain in Nairobi for news.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Update on Kenya Airways Jet..

There has still been no word about the wherabouts of the Kenya Airways jet after it disappeared from radar on Saturday.

The search has been hampered by the lack of light and also the terrain the search is being conducted in.

Hope is fading fast of finding any survivors yet officials say that there is a possibility the plane hasn't crashed as it has only disappeared. It's believed 5 Britons are on board one of those being journalist Anthony Mitchell.

The plane is only 6 months old and has no history of any problems, Kenya Airways' safety record is also said to be pretty good.

The search for the plane will continue at dawn on Sunday.

Kenya Airways Jet goes down en-route to Nairobi.

A Kenya Airways passenger jet has crashed whilst carrying 115 people in Cameroon. Among these are at least 5 Britons.

Contact with the jet was lost shortly after take off when air traffic control picked up a distress signal. No contact thereafter could be made.

The plane had stopped off at Douala, which is Cameroon’s largest city. It was here that more passengers boarded the flight to be taken to Nairobi.

The jet was a 737-800 having long-range capability and can carry 189 passengers. There are said to be 8 crew members and a flight engineer also on board.

Titus Naikuni the boss of Kenya Airways said: "The last message was received in Douala after takeoff and thereafter the tower was unable to contact the plane.”

A crisis management centre has been arranged nearby the airport and relatives of those on board will be told of any new information at a nearby hotel.

The last time a Kenya Airways jet went down was in January 2000 where 169 people were killed on a flight from the Ivory Coast to Nairobi.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Watch out BA and Virgin Atlantic!

BA and Virgin Atlantic will have to watch out, BMI are planning new transatlantic flights. However the move isn’t expected to challenge the two main airlines for at least five years.

The new UK to US route is expected to begin from March 31st next year. Fares across the Atlantic will are expected to be slashed following the open skies deal signed earlier allowing EU airlines to fly to anywhere in the US.

BMI chairman Sir Michael Bishop said: "This is a programme that will last three to five years. We will not over-expand the business or anything like that."

Following suit is low budget carrier Ryanair who are also thinking of introducing a low price transatlantic service.

If these airlines get me to New York cheaper then I think it’s great news!

New hotel plans near Gatwick Airport.

For those of us who find it hard to travel to those major airports in London, a new hotel The Tulip Inn is opening up 2 miles from Gatwick. The new establishment is to be situated in the Manor Royal Business Park.

Peter Roberts Chief Executive of Golden Tulip said: "The existing hotels locally are primarily budget or four star models and the Tulip Inn Gatwick will be the area's first limited service, new generation three star hotel.

"We are confident the hotel will also benefit from the millions of passengers who already arrive at Gatwick annually from Europe where the Golden Tulip and Tulip brands are well-established."

This will be the biggest development by this chain accommodating 204 bedrooms equipped with power showers and air conditioning. It will also pave the way for at least 60 jobs.

Plans for opening are estimated in Autumn 2008.

An exciting prospect for holidaymakers and those on business.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Just waiting at Heathrow...

Been away for a while, just trying out my new camera.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

British Airways to be first to use new Terminal 5

For those who travel past Heathrow Airport every day you will have noticed that a lot of building work has been carried out. Well the new Terminal 5 has been predicted to be ready one year from today.

A lot of tests are due to be carried out involving 16,000 volunteers. These will range from testing car-parking facilities to flight journeys.

Work began over four years ago and will see the influx of an extra 30 million passengers each year. The first flight to use this terminal will be a British Airways flight from Hong Kong.

Terminal 5 will on its first day see at least 40,000 people use it from the Far East.

For those who are wondering about what retail opportunities will exist well you may be pleased to know that Harrods will be one store, and Gordon Ramsey will be opening his first airport based restaurant there.

The Chief Executive Tony Douglas said "When T5 opens and 30 million passengers move out of existing terminals, for the first time we will have space to breathe in the central terminal area and have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redevelop the rest of the airport and bring it up to a comparable standard to T5”.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

All aircraft unsafe!

Indonesian Planes have been undergoing assessments which have found that none of the aircraft meet the required safety standards.

Australians have been warned not to fly on Indonesian planes by the Federal Government.

The assessment found that none of the carriers met "requirements of the civil aviation safety regulations". Garuda, Indonesia AirAsia and Mandala Airlines all fall into category two meaning that the minimal requirements regarding safety have been met yet not all have been implemented.

For those airlines falling into category three which meet only minimal safety standards (these include Batavia Air, Adam Air and Kartika Airlines), they have been given only three months to improve standards or face being taken out of flying.

This has come as a result of a Garuda plane catching fire which killed 21 people earlier on in March.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Airbus A380 lands in the USA

The Airbus A380 touches down for the first time in the USA. Report by the BBC - Click here!

JAL announce reduced airfares for flights commencing May 1st

Welcoming news for passengers planning to jet away with JAL. The airline has announced they are slashing ticket prices for international fares from May 1st.

Flights to North America, Europe and Hawaii will be reduced by 1,000 Yen. Routes to Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines are being cut by 600 Yen, China by 500 Yen and for those going to South Korea fares will be reduced by 300 Yen.

So get booking before they change their minds!!

Monday, 19 March 2007

Airbus A380 still being added to Malaysia Airlines fleet

The Airbus A380, which is currently running almost two years behind schedule, is still being sought after by Malaysia Airlines despite reports that the new Jumbo was no longer needed.

MAS said they were "still in discussions with Airbus on the various options available". And then later said "These planes are really expensive. So there is no point wasting taxpayers' money if it no longer fits into MAS's overall plans".

The new jets were supposed to be delivered this year but now the earliest delivery won’t be until 2009.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Indonesian Plane crash investigation still in progress

The cause of the Indonesian plane crash is still underway with investigators concluding that the aircraft came in too fast onto the runway hence over-running it and bursting into flames.

New evidence from the flight recorders has brought to light that the wing flaps weren’t extended for the landing thus causing the increase of speed. This backs up the claims by the pilots that the flaps were not working as they should and prevented them from extending them properly for the landing.

Mardjomo Siswosumarno who is heading the investigation team says the flaps "were not yet in the landing configuration". Yet later he stated that it’s still too early to draw conclusions.

"We need the history of the flight, what happened in the last three minutes before landing so we will have to take some time."

United States experts are still extracting the pilots’ voices off the cockpit voice recording which will be able to provide clarification of the actions of the pilots.

At the time of the crash the weather was calm which contradicts the pilots’ claim that a huge gust of wind made the jet crash into the runway.

Pilot error still hasn’t been ruled out.

Airbus landing at Los Angeles International Airport

Preparations have been made at Los Angeles International Airport, which will see the Airbus A380 touch down on Monday March 19th.

A viewing site adjacent to the airport has been arranged in order for the public to view the landing.

Eager crowds have been told not to camp out at the site overnight in anticipation at the aircraft’s arrival.

Unfortunately viewers on the airport’s south side will only be able to witness the approach to the runway and not the actual touch down.

The Airbus will then depart from the airport on Tuesday 20th March around 7.15pm and this will only be able to be viewed from the south side of the airport.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Cause of All Nippon aircraft landing on 2 wheels established.

It’s thought that the Nippon aircraft, which landed on only two wheels, had a detached bolt resulting in the landing gear getting stuck inside the fuselage.

The bolt, which is positioned in the joint of the arm that opens and shuts the door, had become unhinged thus resulting in the door becoming un-operational.

Investigators have not yet found the missing bolt and the reason why the bolt broke off is still being looked into.

This type of case isn’t unheard of in Japan, there have been three other incidents where the same model aircraft has had problems with the landing gear.

Luckily nobody was injured on the flight.