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Archive for May, 2012

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Gatwick Flights Cancelled Due to Fog

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

More than 1500 flights were diverted from Gatwick Airport to other airports and many other flights were delayed or cancelled when a runway had to be shut down due to fog.  Mayor Boris Johnson said that this situation shows the “extreme fragility” of the airports of London.  He said they are bursting at the seams and they need more runways at airports other than Heathrow.  Heathrow is full and had no room for new routes and business leaders say that this will cause the British economy to miss out on a whopping £100 billion over the next 20 years.

 

Business travellers do not like Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton and these airports are struggling to support new long-haul routes.  Mayor Johnson wants to see a new airport built in the Thames Estuary, which he believes will solve the problem.  The fog this morning at Gatwick came after a night of maintenance during which the runway was closed.

 

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

Turkish Airlines Cancels Flights as Staff Calls In Sick

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Turkish Airlines is the latest airline to be hit with staff calling in sick in protest.  The airline has had to cancel flights while staff protests a draft law that would make it illegal for aviation workers to go on strike.  According to Binali Yildirim, in addition to the absence of staff, Turkish Airlines’ website was hit by a cyber attack and is currently not working.  Yildirim also said that 108 flights have been cancelled so far and that he will take steps to rectify the situation if it doesn’t get resolved soon

 

The head of the aviation union Hava-Is, general secretary Mustafa Yagci, said that while the current action is in response to the draft law, it isn’t an official strike, which the workers cannot take without going through a statutory process.  He also said that many airline workers are too sick to be able to operate flights safely.  A spokesperson for the airline, Ali Genc, said that the union has made an illegal call to strike and that the workers have answered the call.  This is the cause for the flight disruptions.

 

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

Palestinian Airlines Back in Business After 10 Years

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Palestinian Airlines has resumed flights after 10 years of being grounded.  The airline’s inactivity can be attributed to the Israeli-Palestine conflict.  The airline, once grand, is now a small operation that has two planes, each turboprop with 48 seats, and they have borrowed a hub in Egypt.  The airline’s two flights per week are all it has for now.  However, according to the Palestines, just the fact that they have a carrier is enough for now.  They are back on the map.

 

Zuhair Mohammed, a 38-year-old teacher from Gaza, was one recent passenger of Palestinian Airlines and he said his hands were shaking when he bought his ticket and it said the airline’s name.  The airline is actually 15 years old, despite its 10-year hiatus, and the future of the airline is closely tied with the future of the Palestinian state.  Through war, the destruction of the Gaza airport, and the eventual complete lack of passengers, the airline that once flew thousands was grounded indefinitely.  Regional director Azmi Samaan says that at least now they are in the market.

 

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

Southwest Adds International Flights

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Southwest Airlines, the largest domestic carrier in the US, has now set its sights on international travel.  Since the airline’s purchase of AirTran last year, they are set to take over AirTran’s flights to the Caribbean and Mexico.  The airline is also in the process of getting a new reservation system put into place to handle overseas flights and wants to build a new terminal at Houston’s Hobby Airport, from which it says it could operate up to 25 international flights daily.

 

Southwest’s success was build on offering low-fare domestic service in the US, so the shift to international travel is a big one.  More and more Southwest is competing on the same level as the legacy carriers in the US, including Delta, United, and American.  Basili Alukos, an airline analyst at Morningstar, says it seems as if Southwest is becoming a legacy carrier, as well, and he says that if they can replicate their domestic success, then they will have a great opportunity for international travel.

 

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

Transatlantic Flight Diverted Due to Concerns of Possible Terrorism

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

On Tuesday, a US Airways flight that was on its way from Paris to North Caroline had to be diverted to Maine when a passenger told a flight attendant that she had a surgically-implanted device.  Officials have said that there is no evidence the flight was ever in danger, but the FBI and the Homeland Security Department have given warnings about the possibility of terrorists using surgically-implanted bombs so they could bypass airport security.

 

According to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, there were two doctors on board the flight who examined the woman, but found no signs of surgical procedures.  The woman is a French citizen who was born in Cameroon.  The Boeing Flight 787 was escorted to Bangor International Airport by two F-15 fighters.  The flight had 179 passengers and nine crew members on board.  One passenger, Stuart Frankel of Baltimore, said that they saw a lot of police and federal customs officials escort the handcuffed woman off the plane.

 

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

It Will Cost More to Sit with Your Family and Friends on a Flight

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

One of the major revenue boosts for airlines in the US is the added fee passengers are paying to reserve window and aisle seats.  This is nice for these passengers, but for those travelling together, such as families, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sit with each other without paying the same fee, especially during the peak of the summer travel season.  With base fares on the rise, this is making it a lot more expensive for families who want to go on vacation.

 

Khampha Bouaphanh, a photographer from Fort Worth, Texas, said that it gets more ridiculous every year.  In order to reserve three seats together for him, his wife, and his daughter for their trip to Disney World this summer, he had to pay an extra $114 round-trip.  He is hoping that when they check in at the counter, the airline will be able to find them seats together for free.  The airlines say that their gate agents try to help families with children sit together, particularly those flying with small children.

 

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

Air India International Passengers Stuck Abroad

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The ongoing Air India pilot strike that hit last week has had an unpleasant effect on those who have return tickets and are already in a foreign destination.  During the strike, Air India made last-minute flight cancellations to and from the US, UK, and Europe, which left many passengers stranded, passengers who then had to then reschedule their return bookings at a much higher fare, says D Sudhakara Reddy, national president, Air Passenger Association of India (APAI).

International air fares have increased by 10% in wake of the Air India Strikes.  Fortunately, Air India has inter-line agreements with a few foreign carriers so that they can accommodate some of the Air India passengers who need to return home.  Reddy says that if Air India endorses their tickets, these passengers will be able to travel back to India for free, but it will all depend on the availability of seats.    He also adds that despite the troubles, Air India is accepting new bookings, something they shouldn’t be doing at this time.

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

UAE Issues Travel Warning for Lebanon, But Flights Still Taking Off

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Despite the fact that the government of the UAE has issued a travel warning for Lebanon, flights are operating according to schedule.  The UAE was not alone in issuing the travel warning, which was also issued by Bahrain and Qatar.  The concerns center on security as they fear that the violence in the neighboring country of Syria has spilled into Lebanon.  However, a spokesperson from Etihad Airways said that there have been no changes to the flight schedule.

A spokesperson with Air Arabia echoed the statement made by Etihad Airways, adding that they are monitoring the situation closely and that if the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority were to issue a directive, then they would obey the rules.  In addition, Air Arabia is ready to help any UAE citizens that wish to fly out of Lebanon due to the increasing level of violence.  Tripoli, Lebanon has seen some heavy fighting this past week, which has resulted in the death of ten people.

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

Multi-City Europe Trip from Toronto for $357

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Sunwing is offering some really cheap flights from Portugal to Toronto, which means that, if you time it right, you can get to Europe, see more than one city, and get back for as little as $357, taxes and fees included!  The key is to find some relatively cheap flights from Toronto to a European city and then catch the cheap flight back from Portugal.  The Portugal flights are as follows: June 19 from Porto for $104 and June 21 from Lisbon for $94.

What about finding the cheap one-way flights to Europe?  There are a number of great AirTransat flights that will take you to various cities in Europe and that will give you enough time to be a tourist and get to Portugal in time for the flight home.  These include Toronto to Glasgow on June 5, or 6 for $263; Toronto to Manchester on June 2, 4, 6 for $283; Toronto to London on May 29, June 11, 12, 13 for $303; Toronto to Amsterdam on June 6 for $353; and Toronto to Frankfurt on June 2 for $353.

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

Air India Resumes International Flights

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Air India has entered into it ninth day of pilot strikes and, as the pilots ask the government to step in an initiate talks between the two parties, the airline has resumed international flights to Europe and the US, flights that had been cut due to the unavailability of the pilots.  An Air India official has said that they hope as they resume international flights international operations will stabalize.  Early Wednesday morning the airline operated flights on the following routes: Delhi-Paris-New York (JFK) and Delhi-Frankfurt-Chicago.

The official went on to say that to accommodate the flights they have merged their Mumbai-London and Mumbai-Shanghai flights with the Delhi-London and Delhi-Shanghai flights and will be operating them on Boeing 777 ER aircraft so that all the passengers can be accommodated.  This will also bring relief to the airline’s customers, many of whom bought tickets for their flight months ago.  As for the pilots, Jitendra Awhad, chief of Indian Pilots Guild, said that they are ready for talks and are waiting for the government to issue a formal invitation.

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

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