Saturday, 28 May 2016

HEY YOU! RECRUITMENT JOB AD WRITER VACANCY SOON and PS Kev needs a Broadcast Hack to do the news bit...

Always happy to help. Kev needs some assistance at Heart Radio - be quick... must be able to work 'YOU' into every line ....

Senior Broadcast Journalist

A full-time job at Global in Cambridge
Posted 23 May, 2016 in News

We (GLOBAL RADIO) are looking for a Senior Broadcast Journalist with a fantastic broadcast voice and great writing skills to produce and present news bulletins on Heart Cambridgeshire’s Breakfast Show.

You will be able to create original and compelling news content that will appeal to our target audiences.

You’ll also make sure that everything you do is compliant with legal and broadcast regulations, and consistent with Global’s values and standards.

You’ll be using a full range of multi-media tools, to research, write and edit local online news that creates an interactive experience for our listeners and improves our online figures.

What you will be doing

You’ll be “on desk” writing and reading bulletins as well as thinking about story ideas and coming up with prospects for Cambridgeshire and the wider East region.

You will be researching and presenting news bulletins, and you will be passionate about writing original and exciting news and current affairs content across our multiple platforms.

You will work with the rest of the East Team to develop and produce original content that goes above and beyond everyday reporting.

What we expect of you

  • You’ll need at least 2 years experience in a newsroom, creating original radio and online journalism including reporting, desk editing and bulletin production.
  • You’ll be reading the news and so you should have an excellent ‘radio’ voice as well as experience of presenting and delivering both live and pre-recorded bulletins.
  • You'll have a BJTC journalism qualification, which includes media law.
  • News is 24/7 and not a 9-5 job so you’re expected to be flexible should a big story break.
  • You’ll have excellent networking skills, with experience of contributing to effective contacts databases.
  • You should have a good understanding of the region in which you are working and the key issues facing that region.
  • A full, clean UK Driving License [SIC] is essential
Who you will work with
  • Regional News Editor
  • Deputy Regional News Editor and Senior Journalists
  • Managing Editor
  • Regional and Group News Teams
  • Managing Director of the Broadcast Centre
How to apply
Please send a CV plus an MP3 recording of an example bulletin to  REF: YOU
Closing date: June 3rd 2016
If you'd like more information, please call Huw James, Regional News Editor, East on 01908 591640

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476


This intentional 'cutaway' view of  the new Harmony of the Seas' will all be safely contained before the 'maiden voyage'.

Julian Bray writes: A quick trip to Rotterdam on the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas is certainly not and was never intended to be a maiden voyage (which is scheduled to depart on its official maiden voyage tomorrow May 29th, fireworks and all from Southampton to Barcelona), but more a trip to pick up the bulk of soft furnishings, music and theatre kits, drumsets, amplifiers, retail shop stores and products from all over Europe and beyond, from the worlds largest Europort which just happens to be Rotterdam.

However one fair maiden Georgina Beaton (from Southampton by all accounts) is livid, and has posted videos all over the internet. 

Far from the fair maiden being bowled over, a walking video 'moanalogue', highlighting areas that are little more than a building site or complete 'off limits' sections; but has posted little of the areas that are finished off and fully working. 

True the lady concerned had paid the full advertised price for the pre-maiden voyage trip, but this was deeply discounted from the post maiden voyage schedule when the ship is based this summer in Barcelona and will be offering seven day cruises (or rotations) of the Mediterranean; whilst an earlier ship the splendid 'Independence of the Seas' (once briefly the worlds largest cruise ship will be 'steaming' out of Southampton - hopefully with ace Cruise Director team Joff and Amber Eaton still in charge - and is essentially what the trade calls a 'shakedown' cruise, however cruise company PR people hate the shorthand term as it has unsavoury connotations outside of the cruise industry, and wish us hacks to call it a 'pre-inaugural sailing' but the shortform for this is unfortunate possibly a p-i-s-take... so its a shakedown....

When the RMS Titanic went on its true maiden voyage, it too had an army of craftsmen on board, some left the fated ship at Cobh (Queenstown) Nr Cork Ireland, their fellow workers perished when the ship went down having hit an iceberg.    

A 'shakedown' or 'pre-inaugural sailing' is when the basic hotel and technical services are all tried out, virtually to destruction and people/travel agents can get a first impression of most of the ship. 

Harmony of the Seas will have in addition to its regular crew an army of tradespeople travelling with the ship, essentially fitting out the public areas and testing under seagoing conditions the technical elements of this very complex ship.

The BBC News channel has been running some of the videos, and clearly the mainly French tradesmen need to brush up on PR skills!  

The shakedown' additionally gives the cruise ship an opportunity to pick up fittings and furniture from the worlds largest port Rotterdam, and there will be huge container loads of kit leaving for other ports of call on these proving trips. 

A vast warehouse operation operates below decks supporting an ever changing population of some 6,000 souls.  It was never intended that all areas pre-shakedown would be at presentation level, and indeed the shakedown series of cruises are also used to train up the staff and iron out any technical and/or access problems.

The flowrider surf machine first seen on the Independence of the Seas wasn't working the lady says. Thank goodness. It will take a few weeks for that to be technically up and running, as the safety staff need to be first tested, at expert level, to surf along with the full fare paying guests.

The zipline wasn't working, and again I suggest, its training up the safety staff possibly during the early hours or when onboard guests are normally sound asleep in the blissfully comfortable beds, and enjoying power showers that would put a water cannon to shame.

Nothing about the virtual balconies for inside cabins either. Floor to ceiling video screens mirroring the sea flow outside.

Simply the Southampton maiden needed to read the small print and sadly if successive British Governments hadn't killed off our own shipbuilding industry these new cruise ships would have been built in the UK rather than in France.

And you know what they say about French plumbing?  Just as well all UK plumbers seem to hail from Poland !    

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476


According to a report in The Seattle Times, and as forecast a few weeks back by this blog, Boeing is after many more job cuts. This time Boeing has distributed 60-days involuntarily layoff notices for several hundred people in the IT department in the Puget Sound region.

A Boeing representative confirmed the reduction of the workforce, but would not comment on the specific numbers involved. The reductions are due to the tech-support related work decline and include both managers and line employees. So the 'geeks' must go.

Although the commercial aircraft department offers voluntary buyouts, IT units' reduction is separate and the process involuntary. The company says jobs are not being shifted or outsourced to another region. 

The reductions come as the plane manufacturer is trying slash productions costs and meet the challenge from Airbus. According to Boeing's spokesperson: "the layoffs will enable the company to meet and exceed the customers expectations."

In March, the company announced plans to cut around 4,500 jobs in the commercial aircraft unit by June 2016. About 2,400 positions were expected to be lost by attrition and around 1,600 through voluntary layoffs.   This clearly isn't the end of the matter, expect more layoffs nearer December, says an insider! 

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Thursday, 26 May 2016


Thomas Cook cabin crew have voted in favour of a strike over a health and safety dispute, involving rostering rest breaks, according to the Unite union.

74% of union members (approximately half of the TC membership) are backing industrial action.
Thomas Cook Airlines claim they have plans in place to ensure customers would still go on holiday in the event of strikes.

For a strike to go ahead, the union needs to give Thomas Cook seven days' notice, and that notice has not yet been served.

The airline reduced its cabin crew's breaks from one 20-minute break every six hours, to one 20-minute break every 12 hours worked - the safety minimum indicated in the Civil Aviation Authority's guidelines.

Unite says crew should have at least two 20-minute breaks every 12 hours.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook Airlines said: "We're disappointed Unite cabin crew members have taken the decision to vote for strike action.

"The safety of both our people and our customers is our top priority and we rigorously adhere to the rules around crew breaks."

"Meanwhile, we've put together plans to ensure that our customers will still be able to go on holiday, despite any possible strike action."

Thomas Cook Airlines has a fleet of 31 planes, employs 2,500 people and has its head office at Manchester Airport.

Sources BBC NEWS, AP, Reuters, CNS.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476



As we flagged up several  weeks ago, French air traffic controllers [ATC] are on strike, Its a long running dispute and the 47th period of strikr action by French ATC and many flights into and out of  France, and through French air space have been cancelled. The best advice is talk to your airline BEFORE heading to the Airport

Also due to widespread strike action with millions of French workers on the streets protesting about new harsh labour laws, they are specifically targeting and halting petrol and fuel distribution.

So if you decide to boycott the airport; taking the Ferry or Eurostar instead and possibly hire a car or taxi  MOST FRENCH GARAGES AND FILLING STATIONS HAVE LITTLE OR NO FUEL.

Ryanair  via twitter  

We regret to inform you that due to the 47th French ATC strike, we have been forced to cancel a number of flights: 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Recent Aviation Incidents May 24th 2016

Easyjet A320 near Madeira on May 24th 2016, electrical problem

An Easyjet Airbus A320-200, registration G-EZWK performing flight U2-8704 from Tenerife South,CI (Spain) to London Gatwick,EN (UK) with 167 passengers and 5 crew, was enroute at FL340 about 60nm east of Porto Santo Madeira (Portugal) when the crew...
Read full story »

Republic E175 at Washington on May 24th 2016, engine shut down in flight, suspected bird strike

A Republic Airways Embraer ERJ-175 on behalf of American Airlines, registration N423YX performing flight YX-4378/AA-4378 from Washington National,DC to Memphis,TN (USA), departed runway 01 and was in the climb about 2.5nm from the runway when the...
Read full story »

Endeavor CRJ at Toronto on May 9th 2016, runway incursion

An Endeavor Canadair CRJ-900 on behalf of Delta Airlines, registration N307PQ performing flight 9E-4067/DL-4067 from New York JFK,NY (USA) to Toronto,ON (Canada) with 71 people on board, had landed on Toronto's runway 24L and was instructed to...
Read full story »

Southwest B733 near Seattle on May 23rd 2016, cabin pressure problems
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300, registration N389SW performing flight WN-2701 from Seattle,WA to Saint Louis,MO (USA), was climbing through FL230 out of Seattle when the crew initiated a rapid descent to 10,000 feet, the passenger oxygen masks...
Read full story »

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Friday, 20 May 2016


Saturday 21/05/2016 Debris recovered and confirmed as being from Flight NS804
Julian Bray Aviation Security & Operations
Courtesy Daily Mail


The primary objective will be to fully consider, but strip out many of the 'wilder suggestions' and drill down into, and highlight important core elements. Technical terminology and jargon explained, but being kept to a minimum. All comments welcome use box below post. 

Julian Bray 


The systematic grid pattern search continues, with specialist ships and remote submersibles being deployed. Egyptian Government collecting DNA from relatives of the victims, however local officials adopting an exceptionally hard line on media reports and speculation. Locally based journalists and broadcasters targeted. Egyptian tourist industry particularly badly hit as cancellations continue to rise.


Associated Press are reporting comments of 'a lone Egyptian forensics officer' that human remains recovered and examined strongly suggest an explosion on board the Egyptair Airbus caused flight 804 to crash.  Julian Bray will be updating reports LIVE on National and International Networks starting with RT Television after 11am (UK BST) 

CAIRO (AP) — A senior Egyptian forensics official says human remains retrieved from the crash site of EgyptAir flight 804 suggest there was an explosion on board that may have brought down the aircraft.

The official is part of the Egyptian investigative team and has personally examined the remains at a Cairo morgue. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn't authorized to release the information.

He says all 80 pieces brought to Cairo so far are small and that "there isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head." The official adds that "the logical explanation is that it was an explosion."

All 66 people on board were killed when the Airbus 320 crashed in the Mediterranean early Thursday while en route from Paris to Cairo.
Since the publication of that early Associated Press report, and Julian Bray Aviation Security on AP Radio, a furious row has broken out. The Egyptians not known for being totally open to media scrutiny or a lack of censorship put out a series of blistering rebuttals:
 MENA news agency.
A statement from the government's investigative committee also warned media outlets to be cautious about what is published "to avoid chaos and spreading false rumors and damaging the state's high interests and national security."

The Egyptian expert told the AP that all 80 pieces that have been brought to Cairo so far are very small. "There isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head," said the official, adding that one piece was the left part of a head.

He said the body parts are "so tiny" and that at least one piece of a human arm has signs of burns - an indication it might have "belonged to a passenger sitting next to the explosion."

"But I cannot say what caused the blast," he said. He did not say whether traces of explosives were found on the human remains retrieved so far.

The expert's comments mark a new dramatic twist surrounding last week's crash, which still remains a mystery.

The plane's black boxes have yet to be found and photographs of retrieved debris published by the Egyptian military over the weekend were not charred and appear to show no signs of fire.

Egyptian officials have said they believe terrorism is a more likely explanation than equipment failure, or some other catastrophic event, and some aviation experts have said the erratic flight reported by the Greek defence minister suggests a bomb blast or a struggle in the cockpit.

But so far no hard evidence has emerged on the cause of the disaster.

Also Tuesday, the investigative team led by Ayman al-Moqadem issued its second report on the case, saying that so far pieces of the plane wreckage have been taken to Cairo in 18 batches. It added that the priority is to locate the black boxes and to retrieve more bodies.

France's aviation accident investigation agency would not comment on anything involving the bodies or say whether any information has surfaced in the investigation to indicate an explosion.

A French patrol boat took one doctor on board to help with searches when and if the body parts are found. But the French Navy said that if it finds debris and body parts, this would be first reported to Egyptian authorities and French justice officials.

In a search for clues, family members of the victims gave been arriving during the day Tuesday at the Cairo morgue forensics' department to give DNA samples to help identify the remains of their kin, a security official said. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Also, a technical team from Egypt's forensic medicine department went to a hotel near the Cairo International Airport where relatives of the victims are gathered to take DNA samples to use in identifying the bodies.

The EgyptAir crash shocked a nation struggling to revive its ailing economy and contain a resilient insurgency by Islamic militants.

Safety onboard Egyptian aircraft and at the country's airports have been under close international scrutiny since a Russian airliner crashed in the Sinai Peninsula last October, killing all 224 people on board, shortly after taking off from an Egyptian resort.

The crash - claimed by the Islamic State affiliate in Sinai and blamed by Moscow on an explosive device planted on board - decimated Egypt's lucrative tourism industry, which had already been battered by years of turmoil in the country.

If mechanical or structural failure is found to be behind the crash of Flight 804, that would deal another severe blow to both tourism and the national carrier.

If downed by an act of terror, the Egyptians can point to security at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, from which the plane took off.

Egypt has dispatched a submarine to search for the flight's black boxes and a French ship joined the international effort to locate the wreckage and search for the plane's data recorders.

Ships and planes from Britain, Cyprus, France, Greece and the United States are also taking part in the search for the debris from the aircraft, including the black boxes.

Julian Bray writes: Although the ACARS coverage is widespread, it is a system
employing legacy technology, there are substantial 'service unavailable'
parts of the world (see map) where the AM delivered ACARS
one line data reports will not immediately be transmitted to
ground stations, but stored until the next AM ground station
is in range and can take the data, then onwards to individual airline
 engineering centres.  So consider if an incendiary device was triggered, after it exited the
earlier transmission area, the contaminated smoke could have been spreading for a considerable time before ACARS alerts were generated and relayed to the Egyptian ground station.

The supposed position of the
search site would suggest the ACARS transmissions were picked up
immediately the EGYPTAIR aircraft entered into Egyptian 
 'area of responsibility' and the descent pattern
triggered not only an ACARS transmission
 but possibly an explosive device   
Decent Flashcard - easily available, incident might have initiated at FAVA
(start of side 2 of the flashcard above. Click on picture to enlarge.  


Unconfirmed, rpt UNCONFIRMED. lengthy report but from local usually reliable well placed source, suggesting same 'terror' cell usually dedicated to the production of IEDs is behind both the Metrojet and the Egyptair incidents.

Source continues: Small device taped to an 'off the shelf' flight level indicator (barometric) device and a cell/satphone chip and one source now suggesting (BUT UNCONFIRMED) possibly powered by USB 'dongle' style  from aircrafts own power system (detailed Airbus technical training on flashcards are easily available).

Repeated Ground/land based calls from within Egyptian area of responsibility (or from small boat in area) is made by phone to arm/prime the device, possibly just outside air responsibility boundary. As plane starts descent into Cairo - and inside Egyptian air space the pre-set altitude trigger is released. Airbus probably carried hidden device for several days, if not weeks. New chilling development in terror technology. Needs a new aviation security rethink. 

Smoke reports via ACARS although immediately detected, might not be so quickly transmitted as ACARS is patchy only operates on AM radio spectrum over land and the transmission coverage map shows a dead transmission area extending from the 'Heel of Italy' to the approximate search area, in other words collected ACRAS reports were transmitted in a burst once it encountered the Egypt based ACARS AM receiver.  

UPDATE SUNDAY MAY 22 2016: First funeral has been held, for a member of the air crew. Many of the mourners still in Egyptair uniforms. French Maritime & US Navy specialist ships steaming towards search zone. Julian Bray will be live on CNN International commenting on latest developments after 10am  (UK time  BST) which is 5am (EST) and later LIVE on FRANCE 24.


UPDATE SATURDAY MAY 21 2016: Automatic data system for airline engineers based on the ground [ACARS - Aircraft Communications Addressing & Reporting System] report series of automatic data transmissions (pings) as smoke detectors were triggered in front toilet area moments before all systems went down.  System also flagged up problem with 'F/CTRL SEC 3 FAULT in addition to 'AVIONICS SMOKE' and 'SMOKE LAVATORY SMOKE'   Egyptair has now (Sat 10:00am) confirmed validity of the ACARS messages. ACARS messages use the AM air band frequency (TX duration each message under 1 second) and are mainly transmitted during take-off and landing segments  of the overall flight, suggesting the aircraft was possibly starting its descent to the destination airport in Egypt.

The change in altitude (descent) may have set off a timer enabled barometric trigger on any device covertly placed or carried on board. But this is pure speculation.

Human remains have been recovered along with more debris, seats, luggage from search area.  Oil slick detected by satellite also reported but might not be related to Egyptair NS804. It could be a ship illegally discharging waste oil while cleaning ouit its tanks for a new cargo.  To add to the complicated recovery logistics, sea conditions in the search zone have deteriorated, with white tipped waves and gusty wind conditions  

An irate Egyptian Tourism Minister Yehia Rashid said: "The tourism problem isn't just an Egyptian problem - but a problem for all of us" commenting on reports that "tourists 'in droves' are boycotting Egypt and Turkey"   

UPDATE FRIDAY MAY 20 2016:  Debris and luggage from EgyptAir flight NS804 has been found says the Egyptian Army.

Julian Bray writes: The authorised Egyptian Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir, who uses social media for announcements, posted a statement on his Facebook page earlier today confirming Egyptian jets and naval vessels from several countries including the Royal Navy, participating in the search for the missing plane have found “personal belongings of the passengers and parts of the plane debris,” 180 miles north of the city of Alexandria.

EgyptAir flight MH804 crashed after vanishing from radar screens. The Airbus 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo. 

This chilling statement now effectively confirms the status of the aircraft is no longer 'missing' but 'lost and destroyed' The 'search and rescue mission' is now in effect 'a recovery operation'. Later reports confirm 'a human body part' has also been recovered, along with part of an aircraft seat 

The current sea conditions in the search areas is rated as 'Sea State 2 which means that waves are less than half a metre and will not present an issue for the recovery teams. 

The sea depth at the recovery point is around 10,000 ft so a remote underwater vehicle will first locate the 'pinger' then map the area. The two data/voice recorders, the 'Black boxes' will be found, cut out of the wreckage and recovered. Then depending on the results of the mapping and photography of the recovery site, a master plan and logistics agreed to recover other items and/or structures.   

An EgyptAir Airbus A320 (flight NS804) carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar screens  over the Mediterranean on Thursday in a crash that Egypt said may have been caused by a terrorist attack.

Air travel expert Julian Bray in a series of radio and television interviews said no alert being made could mean the airliner suffered a “catastrophic failure” possibly as a result of an explosion. It would only take a small amount of 'home-made' explosives, a barometric trigger device, possibly a timer or cellphone, meaning the device probably no larger than a soda drink can could have been covertly introduced at any number of airport stops, where security and monitoring is not up to western standards.

This particular airbus had recently visited destinations all over North Africa passing through active conflict zones. Igniting such a device at say 34,000 ft  would cause an immediate loss of cabin pressure, possibly imploding and destroying parts of the computer driven 'fly-by-wire' technology. But this is just one so far unsupported theory, as the seemingly painfully slow investigation enters day two. Egyptian media still refer to the aircraft as 'missing' in an attempt to shield relatives who are converging on a reception centre set up in an Cairo hotel, families have been offered free air tickets from Paris to Cairo, the Egyptair Airbus started its journey from Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris.  

Twenty four hours later, still no answers to many questions and the Egyptians are now withdrawing comments that debris has been found.  The small items did not come from the missing  EgyptAir Airbus A320 (flight NS804).  

The UK is joining in the search with Royal Navy ships, helicopters, and the Royal Air Force assisting in aerial investigations of the search zone. Merchant shipping and cruise ships are also converging on the area.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said it was too early to rule out any explanation for the crash.  The country's aviation minister said a terrorist attack was more likely than a technical failure.

The Egyptian civil aviation ministry initially reported Greek authorities had found "floating material" and life jackets likely to be from the plane, an Airbus A320.

However, late on Thursday EgyptAir Vice President Ahmed Adel  reversed his position and told CNN that the wreckage had not been found.

"We stand corrected on finding the wreckage because what we identified is not a part of our plane. So the search and rescue is still going on," Adel said.

Greek defence sources told Reuters the material was discovered in the sea 230 miles (370 km) south of the island of Crete. 
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the civil aviation ministry, the army's search and rescue centre, the navy, and the air force to take all necessary measures to locate debris from the aircraft.

Officials from multiple U.S. agencies told Reuters that a U.S. review of satellite imagery so far had not produced any signs of an explosion aboard the EgyptAir flight.

The U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the conclusion was the result of a preliminary examination of imagery and cautioned against media reports suggesting the United States believed a bomb was responsible for the crash.

They said the United States has not ruled out any possible causes for the crash, including mechanical failure, terrorism or a deliberate act by the pilot or crew.

Greece had deployed aircraft and a frigate to search for the missing plane. Egypt said it would lead the investigation and France would participate. Paris said three investigators would arrive in Egypt on Thursday evening.

In Washington, President Barack Obama received a briefing on the disappearance from his adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, the White House said. A White House spokesman said it was too early to know the cause of the crash and offered condolences.

Sources: Reuters, CNN, BBC, AP, France24, CBC, Egyptair,

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Scotland's justice secretary urged to make a statement over claims concerning the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

BBC NEWS are reporting that Scotland's justice secretary has been urged to make a statement over claims made by his predecessor about the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

In a new book, Kenny MacAskill says Scottish ministers sought concessions from the UK government to expedite the transfer of Abdelbast al-Megrahi to Libya.

Mr MacAskill was justice secretary when Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds in 2009.

Megrahi died in Libya in May 2012.

He was the only man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, in south west Scotland, that left 270 people dead on 21 December 1988.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said Mr MacAskill's revelation contradicted previous statements on Scottish ministers' involvement in Tony Blair's prisoner transfer agreement with Libya.


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476


Julian Bray writes:  Industrial action by French Air Traffic Controllers is due to start from 05:00 hrs Thursday 19th until 05:00 hrs Friday 20th May, UK time. This is likely to cause severe delays and cancellations to flights to and/or from France, plus many connecting flights and other seemingly unrelated destinations.

This particular event is part of a long running dispute and will also cause 'knock-on' effects for possibly two weeks - certainly impacting on Bank Holiday travel -  after the industrial action ends. Aircraft will be out of position, and airlines will be playing 'World catch up' to move delayed, re-booked passengers, in addition to new passenger bookings and to reposition aircraft.

Intending travellers are strongly advised to telephone their airlines, long before setting out for the airport!

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Ryanairs newly opened European Training Centre at Stansted Airport to create over 1,000 jobs in 2016

Ryanair's CEO Michael O’Leary.

In the full glare of the media and backed by a pristine Boeing 737-800 with a Pro-EU slogan emblazoned on its side,  Ryanair opened what it calls the Ryanair European Training Centre at London Stansted Airport.

The Centre will, they say. create over 1,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew, and engineers in 2016. But with any Michael O'Leary enterprise, there is a sting in the tail. Should the UK decide to exit the European Union, the centre could well shut down and relocate somewhere in Europe.  

Over four hundred and fifty jobs  will be stationed at Ryanair’s thirteen UK airport bases designed to support its new fourteen strong Boeing 737-800 aircraft fleet, with further orders in the pipeline.
“We are pleased to welcome Chancellor Osborne to open our new European Training Centre which now includes 4 flight simulators, a full aircraft interior for cabin crew training, and an industry leading full-scale engineering training aircraft," said Ryanair's CEO Michael O’Leary.

Charles Cornish, Chief Executive of MAG, owner of London Stansted Airport, added: "As competition has strengthened, airlines have become more efficient, air fares have fallen, and choice has increased.

"By opening up the European travel market to competition, the EU has done far more for British consumers and businesses than any government could ever have done acting on its own."

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476


They say the truth will out. Any UK athletes and visitors worried about contracting the deadly Zika virus in Rio, during the Olympics later this year will have been reassured by the blustering Mayor of Puerto Rico, all over UK television and Radio Channels, gleefully proclaiming they have more cases of mosquito spread Dengue Fever than Zika Virus cases in the region where the Olympics village is situated!

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms appear three to fourteen days after infection, so possibly on return to the UK after a holiday break, typically a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.

Recovery generally takes two to seven days. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue haemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Meanwhile the Zika Virus disease is also mainly spread by the mosquito. For most people it is a very mild infection and isn't harmful.  However, it may be more serious for pregnant women, as there's evidence it causes birth defects – in particular, abnormally infants with very small heads (microcephaly).

Zika outbreaks have been reported in the Pacific region, and the virus has now spread to South and Central America and the Caribbean.  Experts predict that Zika virus will spread to all countries in the Americas (including the Caribbean), with the exception of Chile and Canada.

THE NHS helpfully suggests People travelling to affected areas should seek travel health advice before their trip.

It is recommended that pregnant women postpone non-essential travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission. These are areas where cases of Zika virus disease have been acquired locally, through mosquito bites, and reported by health authorities within the last three months.

Olympics vistors and competitors will have also been reassured by leading medical experts suggesting the Olympics region is known for having the highest outbreaks of the Zika bearing mosquito and contracting pregnancy puts both mother and baby at risk, and the male a possible carrier of the Zika virus on return to the UK.

But more bad news the Zika Virus is expected to spread to Europe by this summer, says the World Health Organisation [WHO] , but the risk to people will be "low to moderate".

WHO says there is a "high" chance the virus will appear in areas where a type of mosquito called the Aedes Aegypti lives.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says the mosquito type has been recently reported in Madeira, the Netherlands and the north-eastern Black Sea coast (southern Russia and Georgia).

There is a "moderate" chance the virus will appear in the 18 European countries where another type of mosquito - the Aedes albopictus - is endemic.

But fear not, one of the worlds largest public relations firms Hill & Knowlton [H+k] deploying a heavyweight international PR and media campaign to 'reassure and correct any  misinformation' has been employed. This is how the leading US PR Newsletter O'Dwyers puts it:  

Mon., May 16, 2016
H+K Aids Puerto Rico in Zika Outbreak
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is relying on Hill+Knowlton Strategies as it tackles the Zika virus crisis and its effect on tourism.

H+K's Miami office leads the account.

Puerto Rico's health department said May 13 that a pregnant woman there became the first American whose fetus contracted microcephaly from a Zika infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 20 percent or more of Puerto Rico's 3.5M people will contract the Zika virus this year.

H+K and the PRTC are working to calm fears and correct misinformatioon regarding Zika. That includes educating travellers and potential travellers about using insect repellent wearing proper clothing to avoid the mosquito bites that spread Zika.

"Accurate information about Zika is the key to making educated decisions about visiting Puerto Rico," said Ingrid Rivera Rocafort, executive director of the PRTC. 

PRTC said this month fewer than have of one percent of Puerto Ricans have contracted Zika and the majority of cases are away from "typical tourist destinations."

The island suffered a PR blow last month when Major League Baseball cancelled a series of games slated for San Juan because of the Zika outbreak.

The fact the story broke on Friday 13th is pure coincidence -  so that's all right then! 

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

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