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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo, British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in premier edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Latest Trump release and Air France has recently changed its remaining orders for two new Airbus A380 superjumbos to the three of the lighter twinjet A350s, according to Reuters.

You may not recognise this, after the events of the last week but this is the latest media release from Trump Towers aka The White House. No wonder Air France is changing its remaining orders for two new Airbus A380 superjumbos to the three of the lighter twinjet A350s!  Expect others to follow, once the implications of the Trump executive orders and portfolio appointments impact on the aviation industry. We might not even need the additional runway at London Heathrow! 


The White House

Trump Administration This Week:
Rolling Back Harmful Regulations, Empowering Female Leaders, and Focusing on National Security

This week, President Donald J. Trump continued to fulfill his promise to expand opportunities in America’s workforce by signing two bills that will roll back burdensome Obama-era regulations.

President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met at the White House this week. They affirmed that ensuring equal opportunities for women in the workforce is a priority for both countries and announced the creation of the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.

On Wednesday, during a productive day with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump reaffirmed our unbreakable bond with Israel and vowed to strengthen the relationship between the two nations to continue fighting the threat of terrorism.

To find out more, please follow President Donald J. Trump and The White House on Facebook and watch his weekly address.

To get more involved, be sure to add your name to our Support Empowering Female Leaders and Trump Stands with Israel petitions.  

   








Air France has recently changed its remaining orders for two new Airbus A380 superjumbos to the three of the lighter twinjet A350s, according to Reuters.

Air France originally ordered twelve A380 aircraft and the cancellation had been expected after the change was flagged in March 2016. The remaining ten aircraft are already in operation.

Lately, airlines tend to replace large four-engine aircraft like the A380 to smaller and newer jets like the A350 and Boeing 787, making the former aircraft‘s demand wane. The demand for the main competitor in the segment - Boeing‘s 747. The model saw two its cancellations in January 2017.





In January, Airbus registered four new orders overall, or two, after the A380 cancellations. So far the industry projects a slower year, as the airlines continue to take stock after a longer than expected order cycle.

It delivered 25 aircraft in January 2017.
In 2016, Airbus net orders fell by 32%, concluding to 731 jets. Due to slower demand for aircraft, especially for bigger jets, the company is predicted to target something closer to 600 jets in 2017. 


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

Thursday, 16 February 2017

AVIATION INCIDENTS & ALERTS FEB 14 2017



Hop! CRJX near Strasbourg on Feb 14th 2017, first officer incapacitated
A Hop! Canadair CRJ-1000, registration F-HMLI performing flight A5-3557 from Toulouse to Strasbourg (France) with 46 passengers, was about to reach the top of descent when the first officer started to feel unwell. Just after the aircraft left cruise...
Read full story »


China Eastern A332 near Krasnojarsk on Feb 15th 2017, engine problem
A China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330-200, registration B-5973 performing flight MU-552 (dep Feb 14th) from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Shanghai Pudong (China) with 186 passengers and 17 crew, was enroute at FL350 about 450nm westnorthwest of...
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Westjet B737 near Orlando on Feb 4th 2017, burning odour in cabin
A Westjet Boeing 737-700, registration C-GWJG performing flight WS-1336 from Winnipeg,MB (Canada) to Orlando,FL (USA) with 114 people on board, was descending towards Orlando when a flight attendant reported a burning odour in the cabin. The flight...
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PSA CRJ7 at Charlotte on Feb 15th 2017, deer strike on departure
A PSA Airlines Canadair CRJ-700 on behalf of American Airlines, registration N709PS performing flight AA-5320 from Charlotte,NC to Gulfport,MS (USA) with 44 people on board, departed Charlotte's runway 36C at 11:42L (16:42Z) and was in the initial...
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Thai AirAsia X A333 at Tokyo on Feb 14th 2017, runway incursion
A Thai AirAsia X Airbus A330-300, registration HS-TXC performing flight XJ-607 from Tokyo Narita (Japan) to Bangkok Don Muang (Thailand), was taxiing for departure from Tokyo Narita's runway 34R at about 20:15L (11:15Z) and had been instructed to...
Read full story »








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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Russia demands extra security at Egyptian airports before considering resumption of flights





"The work on this project is almost finished, most items on the agenda for the improvement of the security on flights from Egypt have been carried out. However, there is a number of details that we are not satisfied with," Matvienko said.

Speaking to Sputnik News Agency, Matvienko stressed that Russian stance on the matter had not changed and the security of its citizens remains a priority.

The upper house speaker confirmed that she would go to Egypt at the beginning of March on a planned official visit, unrelated to the flight security issues.


Russia has carried out a series of security checks at Egyptian airports after a crash of a Russian passenger plane that exploded soon after it took off at the Sharm El-Sheikh airport in October 2015.

The Airbus A321 crash over the Sinai desert killed 224 people aboard. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) classified the air disaster, the deadliest in Russian and Soviet history, as a terrorist attack.

Russia grounded flights to and from Egypt in November 2015. Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said in January that the February inspection would likely be the last and suggested restrictions could be lifted in the near future, but the latest inspection showed that some details still had to be improved.







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

FRESH WAVE OF BRITISH AIRWAYS STRIKES BY 'MIXED FLEET' LOWER PAID CABIN CREW FROM FRIDAY




IAGs' British Airways 'mixed fleet' category  cabin crew strikes from Friday
British Airways (a brand within the International Airlines Group -IAG) cabin crew are staging a another series of four strikes in their long-running dispute over pay. 

The Unite union claims its members at the airline were 'piling on the pressure' by walking out from February 22, on top of a four-day stoppage from the end of this week.

Members of the so-called 'mixed fleet', essentially newer employees,  claiming 'poverty' pay levels, have taken 11 days of industrial action so far this year in protest.

Making the point that strike action is expensive both for employees and the employer, Unite regional officer Matt Smith said: 'Every hour British Airways "wet leases" an aircraft from another airline to cover striking cabin crew it pays out £2,000 to £3,000 to that airline.

'Our estimates put the amount of money British Airways has spent on defending the dispute and poverty pay at £1million.
'This is money which the airline has taken a conscious decision to give to other airlines rather than addressing pay levels which are forcing hard-working mixed fleet cabin crew into financial hardship.

'We urge British Airways to reconsider its costly intransigence and enter talks at ACAS to reach an agreement.'


The two sides have clashed over pay rates, with Unite union pointing out that 'mixed fleet' cabin crew earned an average of £16,000 a year, including allowances, however BA insist  no one was paid below £21,000.

British Airways said all of its customers will fly to their destinations during the strikes from Friday.
All flights to and from London Gatwick and London City will operate as normal, as will the 'vast majority' of flights to and from London Heathrow.

The airline said in a statement: 'To enable all customers to travel we will be merging a very small number of flights at Heathrow - about 1% of total flights planned. We are contacting customers on those flights with the options available to them.

Source IAG, BBC, Daily Mail, Reuters, CNS


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

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Joint statement on [alleged] State spying on Trade Unions



Joint statement on [alleged] State spying on Trade Unions



We the undersigned are outraged at the news that despite court orders to the contrary, the Metropolitan Police Service has destroyed evidence required for use in the Undercover Policing Public Inquiry. State spying on trade unions and political campaigns is a human rights scandal that affects millions of British citizens.

Despite continued reassurances, the Pitchford Inquiry has failed to secure the documents that will be central to the investigation.



Trade union core participants are beginning to question whether the Inquiry team has the ability to stop the police from obstructing the pursuit of justice. Lord Justice Pitchford needs to act now to restore our faith.

We are calling on Lord Justice Pitchford to announce an urgent Inquiry hearing to examine the destruction of evidence by the police.



The Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe should be forced to give evidence under oath to explain why, how and under whose authority documents have been destroyed.

Lord Justice Pitchford needs to take immediate measures to secure all documentation held by the police, in order to prevent future destruction and avoid the entire inquiry descending into a hugely expensive cover-up on the part of the Metropolitan Police.

SIGNED:


Gail Cartmail (Acting General Secretary)
and
Len McCluskey UNITE the Union, incorporating UCATT


Matt Wrack (General Secretary) Fire Brigades Union


Chris Kitchen (General Secretary) National Union of Mineworkers


Mick Cash (General Secretary) RMT


Michelle Stanistreet (General Secretary) National Union of Journalists


Dave Smith and Roy Bentham (joint secretaries) Blacklist Support Group




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

The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) has secured €4.3 million of funding from the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility to encourage the early transition of the UK GA (General Aviation) fleet to 8.33 kHz-capable equipment.



ATTN:  Autogyros, flight training private, gliders, maintenance / engineers, manufacturers, micro-lights, private pilots.

Applying for 8.33 kHz radio funding

In view of UK 'brexit', very early application is suggested for a share of Euro 4.3million funding, if you are in the process of  re-equipping GA communications equipment to provide 8.33kHz capability.


 The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority)  has secured €4.3million of funding from the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility to encourage the early transition of the UK GA (General Aviation) fleet to 8.33 kHz-capable equipment.

The funding will be distributed by way of reimbursement  to aircraft owners or pilots to contribute toward the cost of new radio equipment. For more information on funding and to access the claim form see our
8.33 kHz funding application page.

Before applying, please make sure to read our page about
8.33 kHz radios, and ensure you are eligible for funding.




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

AVIATION INCIDENTS FEB 14 2017

Aerolineas B738 at Bariloche on Feb 13th 2017, tail strike on go-around
An Aerolineas Argentinas Boeing 737-800, registration LV-FUA performing flight AR-1672 from Buenos Aires Aeroparque,BA to Bariloche,RN (Argentina), was on final approach to Bariloche's runway 29 at 12:51L (15:51Z) when the crew initiated a go...
Read full story »


KLM B789 at Amsterdam on Feb 10th 2017, suspected bird strike
A KLM Boeing 787-900, registration PH-BHF performing flight KL-895 from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Shanghai Pudong (China), had departed Amsterdam's runway 36L and was enroute at FL330 about 180nm northeast of Amsterdam in German Airspace when the...
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American A321 near Las Vegas on Feb 10th 2017, smoke and haze in cabin
An American Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration N150UW performing flight AA-2098 from Las Vegas,NV to Dallas Ft. Worth,TX (USA), was climbing out of Las Vegas when passengers detected smoke and haze in the cabin, the observations prompting the...
Read full story »


Thai B788 near Bangkok on Feb 11th 2017, engine vibrations
A Thai Airways Boeing 787-800, registration HS-TQA performing flight TG-477 from Bangkok (Thailand) to Brisbane,QL (Australia), had departed Bangkok's runway 19L and was enroute at FL330 about 50nm southeast of Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) when the...
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United B763 over Atlantic on Feb 12th 2017, engine problem
A United Boeing 767-300, registration N651UA performing flight UA-972 (dep Feb 11th) from Chicago O'Hare,IL (USA) to Brussels (Belgium), was enroute at FL290 over the Atlantic Ocean when the crew decided to divert to Shannon (Ireland) reporting a...
Read full story »








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Sunday, 12 February 2017

BREAKING: German firefighters evacuated hundreds of passengers at Hamburg Airport after 69 people affected by toxins in airports' air conditioning system.

Hamburg Airport - evacuated ... 


German firefighters have this morning (SUNDAY) evacuated hundreds of passengers at Hamburg Airport after an initial fifty then another nineteen people were affected by an unknown toxin that is thought to have spread through the airport's air conditioning system.

A police spokesman later confirmed a suspicious gas or toxin - possibly pepper spray - was found during a security check after staff and passengers complained of irritated eyes and respiratory  problems.

Reports claim an irritant type gas cartridge was found in a waste rubbish bin near the security area, suggesting a passenger or staff member possibly mistakenly activated the contents, sprayed gas then threw away the leaking container.




Julian Bray an Aviation Expert and Broadcaster  commented: "The airport would have immediately invoked a major incident protocol, which automatically alerts local hospitals, ambulances and paramedics. Within minutes Doctors and paramedics would have been deployed.  


"The authorities whilst not immediately  confirming any terrorist involvement, would initially treat it as a full emergency, until the cause of the 'toxin attack' can be fully established, the source made safe, and the atmosphere 'scrubbed' and fit to breath."


German news agency DPA initially reported that fifty people complained of breathing problems and eyes burning. the numbers affected later rose to 69 transferred to nearby hospitals. Firefighters and Doctors triaged affected passengers and airport workers; then medevac'd an initial fifty to hospital. Airport buildings were totally cleared and people assembled on the tarmac outside the terminals in sub-zero weather conditions. A spokeswoman for the Airport said: “We have cancelled all flight at least until 2 p.m. (1300GMT) and most parts of the airport have been evacuated.”












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Friday, 10 February 2017

JET2 Boeing 737-800 encounters a bounced landing and tail damage at Funchal Airport, Madeira..







Portuguese investigators have released details of a bounced landing at Funchal Madeira in which a Jet2 Boeing 737-800 was substantially damaged by a tail-strike.


The inquiry finds that an “excessive” nose-up input on the control column after the bounce – during which the aircraft travelled about 300m at a height of 8ft – resulted in a sharp nose-up attitude of 9.15°.


Portuguese investigation authority GPIAA adds that the manual deployment of speedbrakes caused a loss of lift as a result the aircraft subsequently struck the runway with a force of 2.15g, at a pitch attitude sufficient to scrape its tail.


Inspection revealed damage to the 737’s aft fuselage including bent struts, cracks in stringers, and deformation from frictional abrasion.


Madeira's Funchal airport is subjected to turbulent winds, and the aircraft (G-GDFC) had been conducting an approach to runway 05 in such conditions on 17 February 2014.


GPIAA says the approach was flown manually from around 1,200ft, but that it deviated from the glidepath, and was below it some 15s before touchdown.


During the last few moments of the final approach the aircraft encountered varying tailwind and crosswind components, and its descent rate reduced and increased with commanded thrust. It experienced oscillations as the control column was turned up to 50° right and 65° left.






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IATA Q4 2016 AIRLINES FINANCIAL MONITOR SOLID PERFOMANCE BUT FUTURE WEAKER







http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/Documents/economics/airlines-financial-monitor-jan-17.pdf


Julian Bray Broadcaster and Aviation Security Expert comments: The IATA Q4 Airlines Financial Monitor has just been released and the devil is in the detail and could call into question the need for an additional runway at London Heathrow or elsewhere. Travel patterns have changed, but still premium travel is underpinning economy classes. The shift from Hub Airports to point to point is underlined by IAG returning its British Airways (using smaller aircraft)  brand to Birmingham, albeit only at the weekends but IAG already have their other brands providing a weekday service out of that regional airport,   Although IATA claims 'solid performance' for the air transport industry, it then points up the soft underbelly of the industry, the price of oil. A few airlines have sufficiently hedged against future price fluctuation ( Ryanair being streets ahead in fuel hedging technique and the purchase of new aircraft reputedly their forward financing costs are around 2%!!)  whereas the majority are at the mercy of the markets. For example IATA says "Brent crude oil prices have been broadly stable around $US55/bbl since the start of December and spent January trading in a tight range. Prices are expected to rise only gradually."




IATA Q4 2016 AIRLINES FINANCIAL MONITOR


KEY POINTS:




The initial financial results for Q4 2016 indicate a continued solid performance for the air transport industry, albeit with ongoing signs that momentum in the profitability cycle has weakened.
Global airline share prices began the year on a positive note, rising 1.5% in January and a healthy 6.8% over the past year. However, the industry has lagged the overall performance of global equities on both measures.


Brent crude oil prices have been broadly stable around $US55/bbl since the start of December and spent January trading in a tight range. Prices are expected to rise only gradually.


Downward pressure on industry-wide pax yields remains, despite increases in key cost components, particularly fuel and, in some markets, labour. The aggregate, however, masks differences in individual markets.


Both pax [passenger] and freight demand ended 2016 on a strong note, delivering above-average growth for the year. Likewise, load factors also performed strongly in 2016, with the passenger measure registering a record annual outcome.


Premium airfares continue to generally hold up better than those of the economy cabin, helping to support airline financial performance.








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Thursday, 9 February 2017

RMT declares dispute on Arriva Rail North and confirms ballot for action over failed assurances on guards


The RMT Union declares a formal dispute on Arriva Rail North and has confirmed a ballot for action over failed assurances on guards


RAIL UNION RMT has notified Arriva North, the union is now in formal dispute and will begin immediate preparations for a ballot for industrial action.


This comes says RMT after the rail operating company failed to provide any assurances, around the future of the safety critical role of the guard' during a recent meeting between the union and the company.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:  “The union’s position on Driver Only Operation (DOO) is perfectly clear. We will not agree to any extensions of DOO and will fight to retain the safety critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train.

“We asked Arriva North whether they were prepared to guarantee a second person on all passenger services operated by the company.  And whether that second person would retain full operational responsibility, for train despatch, Platform Train Interface and current rule book requirements for dealing with contingency arrangements, such as evacuation and protection of the train.

“The response from the Company was ‘we are not in a position to offer either of these guarantees at this present time’. This has been particularly disappointing as Arriva North have reneged on their previous position when they stated they ‘were prepared to offer guarantees around a second person on board trains in addition to the driver’.

“This dispute, and the ballot for industrial action, were entirely preventable if the company had listened to the unions deep-seated safety concerns, had taken them seriously and had put passenger safety before profit.

“The union remains available for talks.”





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

BRITISH AIRWAYS OPENS UP NEW SUMMER ONLY ROUTES OUT OF BIRMINGHAM TO SPAIN AND FRANCE

BA liveried Embraer 190 jet aircraft.

British Airways is to start flying from Birmingham Airport again after a gap of some ten years, with the launch of four new summer-only weekend point-to- point routes to European destinations using the new 98-seat Embraer 190 jet aircraft.
 
From May the airline begins direct flights from Birmingham to Spanish destinations of Malaga, Ibiza and Palma and to the Italian city of Florence.
 
They will operate 98-seat Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with spacious cabins and two abreast seating, every air passenger can either have an aisle or window seat.
 
The new return flights will operate once a week only at weekends.
 
British Airways last flew from Birmingham in 2007 when the BA regional airline business was sold to Flybe.
 
Since then Vueling and Iberia Express,  other subsidiaries of the BA parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), have started up services to Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante, Tenerife, Paris Orly and Madrid from Birmingham, while Aer Lingus has continued to operate to Dublin from Birmingham since 1984.
 
Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager, said: “We are very excited to be returning to Birmingham with four routes. We look forward to a busy summer at Birmingham.”
 
Basic each way fares from Birmingham to Ibiza start at £45 and to Florence, Malaga and Palma from £49.
 
A delighted David Winstanley, Chief Operating Officer for Birmingham Airport, said, “Having British Airways return to Birmingham is not only great news for the airport but also the Midlands region; we are confident this is the beginning of a long-term growth plan with BA. Launching these four routes, of which Florence is currently unserved, means travellers looking for a two-class cabin product can now travel from their more convenient airport, than those further afield.
 
“We look forward to welcoming BA back to Birmingham in May.”
 
Route
Depart
Arrive
Birmingham-Florence
7.30pm
10.40pm
Florence-Birmingham
5.10pm
6.35pm
Birmingham-Ibiza
10.10pm
1.45am
Ibiza-Birmingham
7.50pm
9.25pm
Birmingham-Malaga
11.05pm
2.55am
Malaga-Birmingham
8.25pm
10.20pm
Birmingham-Palma
11pm
2.30am
Palma-Birmingham
8.40pm
10.15pm
 

*** Birmingham Airport is the UK’s third largest airport outside London, and the UK’s seventh largest overall, handling 12m passengers a year. It serves more than 140 direct routes.  
Find out more: www.birminghamairport.co.uk
or on Twitter  @bhx_official
 
 






 


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THOMAS COOK POSTS UP LOSSES OF £49million BUT STILL INCREASES REVENUE BY 1PERCENT AS HOLIDAY PRICE HIKES ON WAY







Thomas Cook reported a loss of £49.1million during the last quarter, (however revenue in the quarter had grown 1% to £1.6bn) their future now lies in the introduction of more upmarket holidays this summer, with prices hiked by some 9 percent across all price points. They blame mounting competition, in their traditional package tour markets,  and continuing terror attacks.


The firm told City Analysts it had to be "cautious" about prospects for this year, and accordingly shares were off as much as 10 percent when the markets opened but recovered slightly during trading.


Thomas Cook, the Peterborough based firm claims 6 million UK customers but due to terrorist incidents fewer tourists visited Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia but Spain is enjoying a boom, Spanish hoteliers have responded by bumping up room rates by some 8percent - Thomas Cook say they have to pass these increases on.


Rival airlines and holiday firms have also ramped up their services to hotspots such as Majorca and the Canary Islands.


Despite reporting a loss, the firm said revenue in the quarter had grown 1percent to £1.6bn.


It also said bookings for holidays in Greece were up more than 40percent offsetting a drop in visitors to Turkey that sliced into profits in its last financial year.




Commenting, chief executive Peter Fankhauser said the firm had made a "solid start" to the year, despite the "backdrop of continued uncertainty, we remain cautious about the rest of the year, given the uncertain political and economic outlook."









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

February 2017 edition of the Air Accident Monthly Bulletin



Library Picture




https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/air-accident-monthly-bulletin-february-2017


AAIB investigations are conducted in accordance with Annex 13 to the ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation, (the link will take you to the February 2017 edition of the Air Accident Monthly Bulletin) EU Regulation No 996/2010 and The Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 1996.

The sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident under these Regulations is the prevention of future
accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of such an investigation to apportion blame or liability.

Accordingly, it is inappropriate that AAIB reports should be used to assign fault or blame or determine liability, since
neither the investigation nor the reporting process has been undertaken for that purpose.





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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

RAF TYPHOON JETS ESCORT AND DIVERT PIA AIRBUS A350 TO STANSTED







A mid air drama was in progress over the English countryside on Tuesday afternoon, as a pair of armed RAF typhoon jets were scrambled to 'escort' a London Heathrow bound Pakistan International Airlines flight, causing it to divert to the 'hijack ready' London Stansted.  I


nitially there were confusing mixed messages from the authorities and also the airline. However a passenger was arrested by UK police, after a flight bound for Heathrow from Pakistan was diverted to Stansted and escorted in flighrt over UK airspace by RAF fighters.


This is said to have been triggered following a seemingly unrelated 'security threat' and 'disturbance' on board.  

Two RAF Typhoon jets from RAF Conningsby were scrambled to meet Pakistan International Airlines flight PK757, the flight landed safely at Stansted at around 3pm on Tuesday.


Mixed media messages were issued but The London Metropolitan Police confirmed a 'wanted' 52-year-old man who was due to be arrested upon arrival at Heathrow, was instead detained at Stansted on suspicion of multiple fraud offences.

Meanwhile PIA officials 'were busy treading water' suggesting the flight was diverted due to an 'anonymous phone call' to UK authorities containing a 'vague security threat'. 

But on the ground, Essex Police had earlier said the diversion had been due to a 'disruptive passenger', but neither police force confirmed whether the passenger was the same person as the one arrested at Stansted.


 Passengers reported that paramedics had been seen  boarding the aircraft, although no injuries or hospital admissions confirmed,  also that 'luggage was being taken off the aircraft and scanned airside on the tarmac'. 




Essex Police said the disruptive passenger incident was 'not believed to be a hijack situation or terror related'. 
The plane landed safely just before 3pm, with no injuries reported. 

Photos posted on Twitter showed several fire engines and a row of ambulances waiting on the ground at Stansted.

Contrary to earlier reports the aircraft did not continue to Heathrow but was detained for 'an enhanced aircraft technical search' It is understood the passengers disembarked at Stansted and made alternative travel arrangements to get to Heathrow.
 

Julian Bray Broadcaster and Aviation Analyst told BBC Essex that London Stansted is the preferred strategic default airport for any security threat. A designated 'security dispersal area' is situated in a remote part of the airport to the north-west of the terminal building. Police and military assets are well versed in joint operations, where a 'major incident plan' would have been automatically actioned and military assets located in the region called up.  

The RAF jets would perform the escort by flying either side of the PIA jet close enough to give visual reassurance to both passengers and crew on board.  In an extreme emergency it is possible for the fighter jets to 'tip the wings' of the escorted jet to ensure it is physically re-directed to a safe area possibly over the sea. The RAF would pass incident control over to the police once the plane had landed. The jets would not normally land with the escorted aircraft but stay airborne until recalled to base. 




 














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

Monday, 6 February 2017

Aviation Incidents and Near Miss Register February 2017

Lufthansa A320 at Munich on Feb 5th 2017, repeated lavatory smoke indications
A Lufthansa Airbus A320-200, registration D-AIQD performing flight LH-2085 from Hamburg to Munich (Germany) with 137 people on board, was on approach to Munich descending through FL130 when the crew advised they had some possible technical problem...
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Canada A333 at Brussels on Feb 5th 2017, rejected takeoff
An Air Canada Airbus A330-300, registration C-GFAJ performing flight AC-833 from Brussels (Belgium) to Montreal,QC (Canada) with 179 passengers, was accelerating for takeoff from runway 07R when the crew rejected takeoff at high speed (about 90...
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Algerie AT72 at El Oued on Feb 5th 2017, both nose wheels separated
An Air Algerie Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-212A, registration 7T-VUN performing flight AH-6252 from Algiers to El Oued (Algeria) with 67 people on board, landed on El Oued's runway 13 at about 12:00L (11:00Z) but came to a stop on the runway...
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Cathay Pacific B773 at Vancouver on Feb 4th 2017, poor braking action, lightning strike
A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300, registration B-KPL performing flight CX-888 (dep Feb 5th) from Hong Kong (China) to Vancouver,BC (Canada), was on final approach to Vancouver's runway 26R (runway 26L was not available due to snow clearing)...
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Jetblue A320 near Orlando on Feb 2nd 2017, cabin did not pressurize
A Jetblue Airbus A320-200, registration N621JB performing flight B6-658 from Fort Lauderdale,FL to Cleveland,OH (USA), was climbing through 13,000 feet out of Fort Lauderdale when the crew stopped the climb and descended to 10,000 feet due to...
Read full story »
 






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

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