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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British Airways halts flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia due to Ebola outbreak

Posted: August 7th, 2014

British Airways is the latest carrier to suspend flights to two West African countries affected by Ebola. The airline released a statement on Tuesday, saying all flights would be halted until August 31 due to the “public health situation” in the two countries.

The airline cited the safety of crew, passengers, and ground teams as reason to suspend flights. Future flights will be determined on an ongoing basis depending on the situation and how the outbreak is controlled. Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest air carrier, and Emirates Airlines have made the same decision to stop flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The above article is a summary. Please see the source article at Google News.

Man arrested after hoax bomb threat; plane escorted by fighter jet to Manchester Airport

Posted: August 6th, 2014

British police have arrested a man after he made a hoax bomb threat on board Qatar Airways Flight QR23 to Manchester from Doha. The flight crew received a threat about a possible bomb; the pilot reported a suspect device and the Royal Air Force sent a fighter jet to escort the commercial flight to the Manchester Airport. The man was arrested and taken off the plan while the other passengers waited. Chief Superintendent John O’Hare said the public should not be alarmed at seeing the police and other officials at the airport. The airport has now been re-opened and flights are back in operation.

The above article is a summary. Please see the source article at Google News.

Why you’re safer on some flights compared to others

Posted: August 3rd, 2014

More people are flying than ever before, which means more planes in the sky at one time. Every day, just over eight million people take flights, most of which land safely. Some, though, are safer than others. For example, you’re five times more likely to be involved in a crash in Africa, according to the ICAO. The least safe areas to fly also happen to be the areas where air travel is increasing the fastest.

To avoid crashes, airlines need to hire and train qualified mechanics and pilots, governments will have to put safety regulations into place, and new runways will have to be built. Experts in the industry recognize this, but say air travel will only get safer.

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Auditor General said Premier Alison Redford’s flights had fake passengers

Posted: July 31st, 2014

Alberta’s Auditor General has done a review and found out  several “false passengers” were booked on at least 12 government flights, which allowed the Premier of the province to fly with a group of people not in government. Merwan Saher, the A.G., said Redford took her daughter on dozens of flights using government aircraft. On March 4, Redford finally caved in to public and opposition pressure and not only suspended all out-of-province flights on government planes, but also asked the A.G. to review the use of government aircraft.

A political scientist at University of Alberta says he’s never seems such poorly disguised contempt for taxpayers’ money.

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Air Canada flight circles Tel Aviv airport after rocket fire targets the airport

Posted: July 28th, 2014

An Air Canada flight to Tel Aviv from Toronto had to circle above the airport after multiple rockets were fired at the Ben Gurion airport on Friday. Flight AC84 altered course eight kilometres after rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip. Israeli Air Traffic Control ordered the pilots to perform a standard go-around until the airspace conditions could be cleared as safe for landing.

The rockets were fired around 11:445 am local time and were brought down by Israel’s defense systems. No one was injured and the return flight to Toronto left Sunday at 2:00 pm as planned.

The above article is a summary. Please see the source article at Google News.

Algerian plane disappears from radar

Posted: July 27th, 2014

A plane being operated by Air Algerie disappeared from radar Wednesday, approximately 50 minutes into its flight. According to authorities there were 110 passengers and six crew members on board Flight AH5017 that was going from Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso to Algiers. Contact was lost around 1:55 GMT, according to the official Algerian news agency. The incident occurred hours before it was reported to the public.

The owner of the plane, Swiftair, said it’s not possible to contact the plane and people are trying to figure out what happened to it. There were two pilots and four cabin staff on board in addition to the passengers. Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan.

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