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Archive for June, 2013

Airlines Say that Inflight Wi-Fi Gives Them a Huge Competitive Advantage

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

It has been a long time in the making, but it looks as though inflight Wi-Fi will soon be the norm on both domestic and international flights.  Routehappy.com compiled a report that indicates that 38% of U.S. flights currently offer inflight Wi-Fi.  The majority of those flights offering connectivity are international flights and about 80% of flights between New York and California are connected.

It is likely that, as more and more airlines become connected, the percentage of flights offering inflight Wi-Fi will increase over the coming years.  Norwegian recently stated that when they became the first airline to offer inflight Wi-Fi in Europe it was a huge competitive advantage for them.  The majority of airlines will offer Gogo as their inflight provider, and on Friday, Gogo had its initial public offering.

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

Third United Dreamliner Flight in a Week to be Cut Short

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

For the third time in a week, United Airlines had to end a Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight early due to a mechanical glitch.  According to aviation officials, these glitches have not compromised the safety of the passengers or crew, but after the planes being grounded for three months due to safety issues with the lithium ion batteries on board, these glitches could compromise the reputation of Boeing.

The latest glitch to disrupt a United flight occurred on Sunday when a flight from Houston to Denver had to return to Houston shortly after takeoff because a brake indicator issue came up.  The plane made an emergency landing as a safety precaution and then a maintenance crew checked the plane and cleared it for service.  Last Thursday a United Dreamliner flight from London to Houston had to land in Newark due to a low engine oil indicator and last Tuesday a United flight from Houston to Tokyo had to be diverted to Seattle due to an issue with an oil filter.

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

Southwest Airlines Flights Grounded Due to Computer Glitch

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Southwest Airlines had to ground 250 flights on Friday night because of a system-wide computer failure.  All flights were grounded for three hours, with a total of 57 flights being cancelled, and full service was re-established shortly after 2:00 am EDT Saturday morning.  However, after flights were moving again, the airline still experienced delays while they cleared the backlog of flights and repositioned both aircraft and crew.

By Saturday afternoon Southwest was operating normally again.  They are the third large airline to experience computer problems recently and they fared better than their two competitors, mainly because of the late time of day the computer problems occurred.  American airlines had to cancel 970 flights across the country when a computer problem surfaced for them in April.  United Airlines had two major computer outages last year, one in August that caused the delay of 580 flights and one in November that caused the delay of 636 flights.

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

Staff Protest to Disrupt Flights in India

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

The Airports Authority Employees Union (AAEU), the largest union of its kind in India, has enlisted its members to take a one-day causal leave from work in protest of the Kolkata and Chennai airports.  The union believes the government is going to move ahead with the privatization plans, despite the fact that an official panel recommended against it.  The protest will be conducted by the fire fighters and engineers at more than 120 airports.

The walkout of the fire and engineering personnel would normally interrupt operations at the airports, but civilian fire fighters and defense personnel have been called in to replace the protesting staff so airport operations will run as usual.  Union officials say that although flight operations at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport might not be affected, the handling of aircraft at other airports could be affected.

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

Egyptair Flight Diverted to Glasgow after Written Threat Found Onboard

Monday, June 17th, 2013

An Egyptair flight that was traveling from Cairo to JFK International Airport in New York was forced to divert to Glasgow Prestwick Airport after a note was found onboard that threatened to blow up the plane.  The Boeing 777 was carrying 326 passengers and was surrounded by armed police when it landed at Glasgow at 2:30 pm on Saturday.  All passengers were interviewed and baggage checked

The note was found about three hours into the flight by passenger Nada Tawfik, a BBC New York producer, in the sink of one of the washrooms onboard the plane.  The note said “I’ll set this plane on fire,” and a seat number was also written down.  Tawfik reported the note immediately and the washroom was locked.  According to the airport, all other flights at the airport are operation as normal.

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

Half of Flights Cancelled at French Airports Due to Strike

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Air traffic controllers in France started a three-day strike on Tuesday in protest of the European Union’s plans to centralize control of European air space.  The of the Civil Aviation Authority said that 1800 flights were canceled in major airports, including Charles de Gaulle, Beauvais, Orly, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Bordeaux, and Toulouse airports.  Eric Herault of the authority said that these cancelations were for safety reasons and to avoid crowding at the airports.

On Tuesday in Strasbourg, EU commissioner for transportation gave a speech in which he asked to speed up the process of centralizing European air space will help reduce inefficiencies that cost airlines and customers 5 billion euros ($6.6 billion) per year.  It is expected that strikes will occur across the European Union on Wednesday.

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

Qatar Airways has Resumed Flights to Tripoli

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Qatar Airways resumed daily nonstop flights from Doha to Tripoli on June 1 and they have also resumed flights to Benghazi, which operate four days per week.  The route to Tripoli was operated previously three days per week via Doha to Alexandria, Egypt, but due to the high demand on this flight, the flights have been upgraded to daily nonstop flights.  This allows travelers from Tripoli to access more than 100 destinations worldwide through the Doha hub.

The route between Doha and Tripoli was brought back in February 2012 after a temporary suspension due to the instability of the political situation in Libya.  Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the reintroduction of the Libyan flights shows Qatar Airway’s commitment to the Libyan market.  He added they are happy to be bringing back the Doha-Tripoli flights.

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

The TSA Decides Against Allowing Small Knives on Flights

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had been planning on relaxing the carry-on rules so that passengers would be allowed to carry on small knives and sports equipment, such as bats and gold clubs.  Now the TSA has done a complete reversal and has declared that small knives will not be allowed on flights.  This decision is the result of the protests from flight attendants and their unions.

The Coalition of Flight Attendant unions commended the TSA for their decision to continue with the no knives policy and for altering their course based on what those who work in the front lines of the aviation industry had to say.  The American Federation of Government Employees was also happy with the decision, saying it was the right decision to protect the safety of all passengers, airline employees, and Transportation Security Officer.

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

Mid-Air Scare for Two Jet Airways Flights

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Two Mumbai-bound Jet Airways flights had a mid-air scare on Friday.  One of the planes got too close to the other plane, closer than the safety distance set by the aviation regulator.  One of the flights was coming from Delhi and the other from Indore and the incident happened at about 1:30 pm.  According to a report from the Mumbai air traffic control (ATC) office to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), one plane strayed from their assigned altitude.

ATC reported that at one point the planes were separated by 7 nautical miles before the cockpit crew of one flight corrected their altitude.  The flight rules indicate that planes should have a minimum of 10 nautical miles separation between them at all times.  The altitude correction came after the pilots of the flights received a warning from the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), an automated system that warns pilots of other aircraft in close proximity.

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

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