Airport News - 20/1/10
Following the failed bomb plot on a Northwest Airlines flight
New York (AirGuide - Airport News)
Following the failed bomb plot on a Northwest Airlines flight, passengers travelling to the US are being advised to allow extra time at the airport. Travellers from European airports have been told to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departs, due to increased security.
These additional measures include more bag searches and pat downs. Hand luggage on US-bound flights has been limited to one bag per person. A BAA spokesperson told ABTN: "The standard security procedures at the airports remain the same for all flights. But for US-bound passengers, "the issue is that the TSA (US Transport Security Administration) have insisted that airlines flying to the US carry out a secondary search on all passengers at the gate," said BAA.
The secondary search involves hand held metal detectors and pat down searches, added BAA. Due to the extra security measures, some US-bound flights have not departed on time, with passengers at Heathrow this morning (December 30) experiencing delays of around 40 minutes.
Air Canada will launch daily Toronto-Copenhagen service on June 24 aboard a 767-300ER.
Air Comet Spanish airline Air Comet said Tuesday it had suspended all its flights because of financial difficulties that are preventing it from paying its debts, ruining holiday travel plans for thousands of passengers. The airline, which specializes in flights to Latin America, attributed its problems to a decision Friday by a commercial court in London that enabled Nord Bank of Germany to undertake a foreclosure procedure against the airline.
Air France has underlined its confidence in its newly introduced Airbus A380 despite having its operations with the type disrupted for a third time, in less than a month, by technical problems. Its latest incident, involving an issue with the electrical system deploying leading-edge slats, follows the cancellation of a service from New York Kennedy in mid-December. Air France attributed this earlier cancellation to a fuel-transfer problem.
A third incident, linked to the autopilot, had previously resulted in the aircraft having to return to Kennedy shortly after take-off on 27 November. The most recent cancellation, affecting flight AF006 from Paris Charles de Gaulle, meant the carrier had to transfer travellers to a Boeing 777-300ER - although the lower capacity meant the jet could only accommodate 303 of the 481 passengers. Other passengers have been rebooked on other flights.
Air France will launch five-times-weekly Paris Charles de Gaulle-Abu Dhabi service on May 3 aboard a two-class A330.
Air New Zealand plans to start a non-stop service between Sydney and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands from July-October 2010. The service will be operated once a week on a Boeing 767-300 for a trial period of four months, says the airline. "We already carry a large number of passengers between Australia and the Cook Islands via Auckland," says ANZ general manager Tasman Pacific Airline Glen Sowry. 12/22/2009
AirBaltic launched 737 service from Vilnius to Paris Charles de Gaulle (thrice-weekly) and Munich (four-times-weekly) and plans to begin flying to Berlin Tegel (thrice-weekly from today), Amsterdam (six-times-weekly from Jan. 4) and Rome Fiumicino (thrice-weekly from Jan. 11).
Airlink, BAE Systems South African investigators have determined that slippage of a worn nose-gear steering cable led to an Airlink British Aerospace Jetstream 41's veering off the runway during take-off from Port Elizabeth last month.
The aircraft, bound for East London, had travelled around 400m along Port Elizabeth's runway 08 and reached a speed of about 70kt when it started heading to the left. It came off the runway and stopped about 35m from the left-hand edge. In the early stages of take-off the aircraft is normally steered through a self-centring tiller, which connects to the nose-wheel through a gear and a steering cable. Once the aircraft reaches about 70kt, the rudder gains sufficient authority to take over from the tiller as the primary steering control.
All Nippon Airways, Etihad Airways ANA and Etihad Airways plan to launch a codeshare relationship and link their loyalty programs on March 1. ANA will place its code on Etihad's four-times-weekly Abu Dhabi-Nagoya service scheduled to start Feb. 1, while EY will place its code on ANA's daily flights from Nagoya to Sapporo and Fukuoka and between Tokyo Narita and Osaka Itami. ANA also will codeshare on EY's five-times-weekly AUH-NRT service scheduled to begin March 28. 12/22/2009
An American Airlines Boeing 737-800 overran the runway after landing in heavy rain at Norman Manley International airport in Kingston, Jamaica, apparently with no serious injuries to the 331 passengers and six crew. Flight 331 originated in Ronald Reagan Washington National and stopped at Miami. Separately, a Ryanair 737-800 landing overrun at Glasgow Prestwick left no injuries among 129 passengers on board.
"The care of our passengers and crew members is our highest priority, and we will offer all the assistance necessary," said Gerard Arpey, American Airline's chairman and chief executive officer regarding American Airlines Flight 331.
On Tuesday, December 22, 2009, AA's Flight 331, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, overran the runway on landing at Kingston, Jamaica's Norman Manley International Airport. The flight originated out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, operated into Miami International Airport, and then operated into Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport. Preliminary reports indicate there are no critical injuries. The aircraft was carrying 148 passengers and a crew of six.
Auckland International Airport has completed refinancing of its debt, after securing USD150 million in new funds. It has established a USD150 million bilateral standby bank facility to refinance a syndicated USD100 million standby bank facility maturing on 10 March 2010, says the airport.
The new standby facility will mature on 10 March 2013. It is provided by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and will "support Auckland Airport's commercial paper programme and provide additional committed, but undrawn, funding lines or 'liquidity headroom'," says the airport. 12/22/2009
BAA has won its appeal against the order of the Competition Commission (CC) to sell off two of its remaining six airports. The Competition Appeal Tribunal announced today that there was a "real possibility of bias" in the CC's report which had ordered BAA to sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports. But the airport owner, which has since sold Gatwick, appealed because a member of the CC reporting group, Professor Peter Moizer had connections with a fund which in turn had connections with Manchester Airport Group (MAG), a rival to BAA.
In its report, the Appeal Tribunal said Prof Moizer was a "long-standing fee-paid advisor to the Greater Manchester Pension Fund". The fund was connected to the ten authorities in Greater Manchester region which have 100 percent ownership of MAG.
The Tribunal said it "unanimously concluded that in the light of the material facts a fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility of bias affecting the deliberations, thinking and ultimate outcome of the Investigation." BAA welcomed the Tribunal's ruling.
Baboo launched a weekly Geneva-Oxford DHC-8-Q400 service, which it said is the first international scheduled service at the UK airport in 72 years. The Swiss carrier also announced that it has partnered with Air France KLM's loyalty program.
Taiwan's China Airlines (CAL) plans to start a new service between Taipei and Miyazaki in Japan's Kyushu island. The new route will be operated twice a week from 21 January 2010, says CAL. It will be operated on Boeing 737-800 aircraft. CAL will be the only carrier to operate on the route, according to Innovata.
CityJet will suspend its 10-times-weekly Rotterdam-Manchester F50 service on Jan. 5
Delta Air Lines Federal Bureau of Investigation analysis has identified the explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) as the substance alleged to have been used in the attack on a Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-300 on 25 December. The FBI has formally charged a Nigerian national, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, with wilfully placing a destructive device on board the twin-jet, and attempting to destroy the aircraft, as it approached Detroit as flight 253 from Amsterdam Schiphol.
Affidavit documents filed by the FBI with the US District Court state that, while analysis is continuing, an item Abdulmutallab carried on board, attached to his body, "appears to have been an explosive device", specifically "an explosive bomb". The FBI says that PETN was among the components of the device.
PETN is a chemical which normally appears in the form of white, or colourless, crystals or powder. It can combust violently if exposed to heat or explode if subjected to shock. Witnesses on board the aircraft, says the affidavit, state that Abdulmutallab was in the aircraft's bathroom for around 20min just before the incident. On returning to his seat, reportedly the left-hand window position 19A, he covered himself with a blanket complaining of a stomach upset.
Delta Air Lines An attempted terrorist attack today aboard an Airbus A330-300 with Delta Air Lines livery failed and the aircraft made a safe landing as scheduled at Detroit Metro Wayne County airport.
According to US media reports, White House officials have confirmed a Nigerian passenger aboard Northwest Flight 253 tried to blow up the aircraft. Rep Peter King, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, told media outlets the passenger used a "somewhat sophisticated" explosive device.
Flight 253 landed in Detroit about one hour later than scheduled at 11:42am EST, according to the Flight Aware airline tracking web site. The flight also departed Amsterdam Schiphol airport slightly more than an hour late at 10:02am CET, the site says.
Eyewitnesses interviewed by national media described hearing a firework-like sound, followed quickly by smoke and flames. Another passenger, Syed Jafry, told Fox News TV channel that the explosion occurred as the A330 began its descent to the Detroit airport. 12/22/2009
Eastok Avia launched twice-weekly Bishkek-Moscow Domodedovo service aboard a 737. The Kyrgyzstan carrier is on the EU's list of banned airlines.
EasyJet In a bid to attract more business travellers, easyJet has started offering people who miss their flights a set fare. Passengers who miss their flight can get on the next one available for a flat fee of GBP43.00. Easyjet passengers can also take an earlier flight than the one they are booked on at no extra charge. www.easyjet.com
Emirates Airlines will launch daily Dubai-Prague service July 1 aboard a two-class A330. 12/22/2009
IATA is encouraging security officials to keep increased pat-downs in security checks temporary, and has alerted US government officials that a complete overhaul of security management is necessary.
In the first unified industry response to the 25 December attempt by a Nigerian national to destroy a Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 with explosives, IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani told the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the air transport system "cannot support 100 percent pat-down searches over the long term".
Bisignani says the failed attempt in part emphasised the need for effective cooperation and information sharing among intelligence agencies. During a 29 December update on the government's examination of the thwarted attempt, US President Barack Obama acknowledged wide reports that the suspect's father warned US officials about his son's extremist views.
Jet Airways announced the launch of a daily Delhi-Doha flight on Jan. 21 aboard a 737-800.
Jin Air Korean Air's low-cost subsidiary Jin Air has started its first international service to Bangkok. Daily flights between Seoul-Incheon and Bangkok began on 21 December, says an airline spokesman. The service is operated on Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Jin plans to start services to cities in Japan and China, and is studying these markets, adds the spokesman. The carrier operates a fleet of four 737-800s and is considering getting a fifth in March 2010, says the spokesman.
LAN Airlines, Airbus Chilean operator LAN Airlines has placed a firm order with Airbus for 30 new A320 family aircraft as part of the carrier's fleet renewal. LAN plans to take delivery of the aircraft between 2011 and 2016 for operation on routes within Latin America and domestic routes in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Chile. In announcing the order LAN says it also plans to sell five A318s in 2011.
Midwest Airlines will operate seasonal flights from Omaha to Orlando International (four/five-times-weekly) and Tampa (twice-weekly) Jan. 15-April 18 aboard E-190s.
Pacific Blue will commence a twice-weekly non-stop service on the Auckland-Cairns route from 23 March 2010, operating Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The new service will increase capacity on the route by 79 percent, says Pacific Blue, a subsidiary of Australia's Virgin Blue.
Qantas Airways plans to start a service between Melbourne and London via Singapore on 18 January 2010. The Oneworld carrier says it will launch the service with its fifth and sixth Airbus A380 aircraft. It will start with one to two flights a week, before increasing the service to twice-weekly from 29 March 2010. Qantas received its fifth A380 yesterday, and expects to get its sixth in early 2010.
Qatar Airways From March 2010, Qatar Airways will launch flights to Copenhagen and Barcelona. The airline will serve Copenhagen in Denmark four times a week. It is its second Scandinavian destination after Stockholm in Sweden. Qatar will also boost capacity on its Stockholm route with frequency increasing to daily from March next year. Barcelona will have daily flights from Qatar Airways' Doha hub. It will be the carrier's second Spanish city, after Madrid. www.qatarairways.com
Qatar Airways announced new routes from Doha to Bangalore (daily beginning in February), Ankara (four-times-weekly in April) and Tokyo Narita (daily via Osaka Kansai from the end of April). Flights to Incheon currently operated via KIX will become nonstop from Doha at the end of March.
Regional Express Australia's Regional Express (Rex) will stop operating on the Mackay-Townsville route from 1 January 2010, three months after it launched the service.
Royal Air Maroc Royal Air Maroc will launch twice-weekly Agadir-Lyon service in February aboard an A321.
Ryanair announced a return to Fuerteventura. The LCC pulled out of the Canary Islands airport in January following a dispute with tourism authorities. It will return next March after reaching an agreement with the local government to extend an airport charges discount scheme through February 2012.
It will operate to Brussels Charleroi, Liverpool (each starting March 31); Bournemouth, Dusseldorf Weeze, Madrid (each April 1); Frankfurt Hahn, Glasgow Prestwick, Pisa (each April 2); Dublin and Bergamo (each April 3). It also announced it will launch the aforementioned twice-weekly service to Fuerteventura as well as new twice-weekly flights to Ibiza, Malta (each March 30) and Valencia (April 2).
Scottish police state that a Ryanair Boeing 737-800 has overrun the runway at Glasgow Prestwick Airport. The incident involved flight FR772 which was arriving from Dublin. "It's landed and overshot the runway," says a spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police, but says that there are no injuries among 129 passengers on board. She says that the aircraft has come to a halt on grass but that there appears to be "no damage" to the twin-jet, and says the event is being treated as a "minor incident".
Scandinavian Airlines yesterday said "It is time. . .to expand again" and announced the following new routes: Twice-daily Copenhagen-Vilnius starting Jan. 11 and daily CPH-Lyon beginning April 6; daily Stockholm Arlanda-Visby from June 6 to Sept. 5; six-times-weekly Oslo Gardermoen-Bardufoss from May 31 to Aug. 20. It also will add frequencies from CPH to ARN, OSL, Brussels and Bologna.
Singapore Airlines last week added a fifth weekly Houston Intercontinental-Moscow Domodedovo-Singapore flight and plans to restore its daily Newark-SIN all-business-class service on Jan. 19. It operates a 100-seat A340-500 on the route. 12/22/2009
Telluride (Colo.) Regional reopened last Thursday following completion of Phase II of the airport's modernization project. The USD22 million program included removal/replacement of the existing runway, reducing grades, widening safety areas, extending the length of the runway and adding all new runway lighting. The airport said that Phase III of the reconstruction "will likely begin in 2010 and will widen the remaining safety areas and add an engineered material arresting system for runway overruns." 12/22/2009
Thai Airways will pass operation of routes to Phitsanulok, Ubol Ratchathani and Mae Hong Son to LCC Nok Airways. The change takes effect March 1. Thai said passengers "will continue to receive the same standard of services" on Nok flights.
Turkish Airlines The Turkish national airline some time ago commenced flights into Kenya, following the withdrawal from the route of Kenya Airways in 2008, offering nonstop services between Istanbul and Nairobi.
Some weeks ago, the ambassador of Turkey in Tanzania was also reported to have said that Turkish Airlines may even consider adding Dar es Salaam to their growing Africa network. During a meeting in Brussels on the occasion of SN joining Star Alliance, the opportunity arose to have a chat with Dr. Temel Kotil about the airline's plans in that direction.
In past years, Turkish Airlines has shed its old image and rebranded itself successfully as an upcoming global airline, no surprise for regular aviation observers as they have a joint venture airline, SunExpress, with Lufthansa, aimed mainly at the leisure market from Germany and other source markets to Turkey's Mediterranean coastal resorts and in operation now already since 1989.
Viva Macau Low-cost carrier Viva Macau plans to commence service on the Macau-Hanoi route from 13 February 2010. The carrier will operate it three times a week with Boeing 767 aircraft, says an airline spokeswoman. Viva Macau will be the only carrier operating on the route, according to Innovata.
WestJet announced the following new routes: Vancouver to Waterloo (daily from June 27) and San Francisco (daily from June 28); Edmonton to Kamloops and San Francisco (each thrice-weekly from May 2); weekly Toronto-Puerto Vallarta beginning May 7. The LCC also will expand 18 seasonal routes to year-round service from early May. It launched five-times-weekly Montreal-Las Vegas and twice-weekly Vancouver-Lihue services last week.
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