Air France will operate only 40 percent of flights due to strike

Posted: September 15th, 2014

Pilots are due to strike for a week starting Monday and Air France will run only 40 percent of its scheduled flights. The strike is due to planned cuts. According to Air France CEO, the strike could go until September 22, which will cost the airline between 10 and 15 million euros each day, which is equal to between 12.9 and 19.4 million USD. Air France is the second-largest traditional carrier in Europe and approximately 60 percent of its pilots are planning to strike on September 15. The airline issued a profit warning in past months but efforts to cut costs are hampered by the unions. Passengers will be asked to change their tickets from this time period

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London Luton airport closed following discovery of suspicious package

Posted: September 10th, 2014

London Luton airport was closed on Monday after security officials observed a suspicious item in a passenger’s hand luggage and raised the alarm at 1:36 pm. At least 50 flights were canceled and many others were delayed. It’s thought that it all started because of a hair dryer.

Passengers were left waiting on planes and approximately 2,000 people were evacuated from the airport. Thirteen flights were diverted to Birmingham, Gatwick, and Stansted. Roads nearby were closed as well. A bomb disposal team along with its robot performed a controlled explosion at 5:15 pm and the airport reopened shortly after that. No arrests were made as a result of the scare.

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Virgin Atlantic will stop flying to Canada

Posted: September 7th, 2014

Starting in October, Virgin Atlantic will no longer offer flights to Canada. The summer schedule with flights between Vancouver and Heathrow end on October 11 and will not continue next summer, according to an announcement from the airline on Wednesday. The airline offered five flights per week.

Virgin Atlantic is increasing its flights to the United States, but getting rid of flights between Heathrow and Tokyo and Heathrow and Mumbai in a restructuring move driven by its partnership with Delta Air Lines Inc. Winter flights to Cape Town, South Africa will also stop after April 2015. According to a spokesperson for the airline, they looked at each route and determined if it was profitable or would ever be profitable, and if it was strategic. Those that did not meet one or the the other of the criteria were eliminated.

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CAAP suspending all flights to Tacloban airport

Posted: September 3rd, 2014

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines will suspend all flights to Tacloban airport starting on Wednesday because of potholes on the runway. Tacloban is the main airport gateway to Leyte province but pilots and airline operators are saying that the potholes, which are “fast developing,” will damage planes and make landings and take-offs unsafe for passengers and crew. According to one CAAP official, the runway will be repaired so that smaller turbo-prop aircraft will be able to resume within a week but it could be months before larger aircraft can use the runway. The entire runway will have to be refinished with five inches of asphalt before the larger commercial jets like Boeing B737 and Airbus A320 will resume flights.

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United States launches surveillance flights over Syria

Posted: August 26th, 2014

President Obama gave approval to launch surveillance flights over Syria. This means that the U.S. could carry out airstrikes against ISIS targets there, even though Obama has not yet approved military action there. Additional intelligence is needed before he could make that decision. Officials at the Pentagon have been putting together potential options, including military airstrikes.

According to one official, the President needs reliable intelligence from that area and the surveillance flights is one of the best ways to gather that information. The president has been resisting taking any military action in Syria but there was a failed rescue mission carried out earlier this summer in an attempt to rescue American hostages.

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Overnight flights at Pearson International Airport draw noise complaints

Posted: August 24th, 2014

A city councillor and residents are asking Transport Canada to reverse a decision that permits increased flight traffic between 1230 am and 630 am at the Pearson International Airport near Toronto. Dozens of residents are being woken several times through the night by the roar of jets, according to Etobicoke Center Councillor Peter Leon. He recently tabled a motion at the city’s executive committee, calling on Transport Canada to reverse its 2013 decision hat permits more flights to take off and land at Pearson between 1230 am and 630 am. Transport Canada has not talked about what will happen should the council support Leon’s motion.

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Report warns threat to airliners; United States bans flights over Syria

Posted: August 20th, 2014

Swiss-based researchers and FAA have reported that Syrian rebels have a variety of anti-aircraft missiles. These could easily fall into the hands of extremists intent upon shooting down commercial planes. The report, performed by an international arms research group, was released just a few hours after the FAA notified all U.S. airlines that they must stop flying over Syrian airspace. The Federal Aviation Administration had warned about flights over Syria previously but hadn’t yet prohibited them. Most airlines stopped flying over Syria after the warning in May 2013.

In the notice, the FAA said that opposition groups have already been successful in shooting down Syrian military aircraft using these same weapon systems.

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Two more airlines suspend flights to Ebola-affected areas

Posted: August 18th, 2014

On Saturday, Liberian government officials expanded the number of Ebola treatment centres, and health experts have said that this outbreak of Ebola might go on for another six months. Two more airlines announced they would be cancelling flights to the region: Gambia Bird and Kenya Airways both said they were suspending flights to the capital cities of Sierra Leone and Liberia. This decision was made to avoid spreading the fatal illness beyond the four countries already afflicted. Gambia Bird has already stopped its flights and Kenya Airways will stop flights at midnight on Tuesday, August 19.

So far over 1,000 people have died from Ebola in West Africa, and Liberia has more deaths than the other three countries.

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Korean Air suspends flights to Kenya because of Ebola

Posted: August 16th, 2014

Korean Air Lines Co. has stopped all flights from and to Kenya in an effort to stop the spread of the Ebola virus. Officials from the flag carrier for South Korea said that it would stop offering flights between Incheon and Nairobi starting August 20. Nairobi is the airline’s only destination in Africa, and currently offers the flight three times a week. Korean Air didn’t say when it would start back with its service. Emirates was the first major airline to suspend service to areas affected by Ebola on August 2.

Liberia has received from the United States some experimental drugs that might help those people infected with Ebola. A flight from the U.S. carried the drug, and the Foreign Minister for Liberia, Augustine Ngafuan, accompanied it.

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Russian ban on western flights will add time and cost to Asian travel

Posted: August 10th, 2014

The Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, announced that the Kremlin is considering placing a ban on U.S. and EU carriers, preventing them from flying over Russia. This is in response to sanctions placed on the country by the EU, Canada, the United States, and a couple other countries over Russia’s involvement with Ukraine. If the ban is set, all flights to Southeast Asia, Japan, and China will have to take other routes, increasing the time and fuel costs for every flight. EU carriers Lufthansa, British Airways, Finnair, Air France, and KLM will be the most affected. Lufthansa alone has 180 flights per week over Siberia. Most flights would probably be canceled and would drive up the cost of the remaining flights.

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