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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 launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

Direct links to a selection of television and radio contributions can be found at foot of this page. Scroll down.

Join the conversation here or on Twitter at @aviationcomment

A retweet, comment or other publication by any means does not constitute an endorsement.

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Saturday, 23 September 2017

INSOLVENT AIR BERLIN SETS CUT OFF DATE FOR NEGOTIATIONS AS 'BATTLE' FOR SLOTS AND CREWS HOTS UP...



A Christmas cracker for one lucky bidder (including easyJet) awaits...
 
 
Air Berlin’s creditors are favouring the German Lufthansa and the Uk's easyJet as preferred buyers for the insolvent carrier’s aviation interests and are to enter into a three week negotiation period.

The news emerged in a statement issued by Air Berlin. However other assets including the maintenance unit will probably reside with other bidders. The failed airline has circa 8,000 employees and operates a leased in fleet of over 144 aircraft.

Air Berlin was declared insolvent after major financial supporter and shareholder Etihad pulled out in August. Industry insiders suggest that Lufhansa who have 38 wet leased (crew and plane) Air Berlin aircraft and are said to be in the market for some 30 to 40 short haul planes.

Air Berlins negotiation team have set October 12 as the cut off date for deal-making.
 
Two sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Thursday that Lufthansa was set to pick up a large part of the carrier.
 
In addition to the hard assets such as plans, Berlin’s prized airport slots, and operational crews have attracted interest those airlines and other investors, including former Formula One driver Niki Lauda,
Also, two people familiar with the matter had told Reuters earlier this week that Spanish based IAG who own the British Airways brand have expressed an interest for parts or all of Air Berlin.
 
Meanwhile, the deadline for bids for the Air Berlin maintenance unit, and its 850 employees, has been unexpectedly extended to Oct. 6.
 
The main bidders have all declined to comment on progress, but an insider suggested the maintenance unit bid indications were 'disappointing' and needed to be revised upwards.
 

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Friday, 22 September 2017

CARGOLOGICAIR FLIES UK GOVERNMENT SUPPLIES TO THE CARIBBEAN: TO FEED AND REHYDRATE ITS UK TROOPS AND UK GOVERNMENT SUPPORT STAFF



A Boeing 747-400 [Jumbo] all cargo freighter operated by British cargo airline, CargoLogicAir, departed from East Midlands Airport yesterday carrying 110 tonnes of goods. Included in the consignment was 70 tonnes of bottled water and 40 tonnes of ready-to-eat meals for UK troops delivering expert emergency assistance to those affected by Hurricane Irma. 
 
The cargo flight on behalf of the UK Government to support over 1,000 British troops and Government support staff now helping to deal with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.
 
Its not known if the UK Government flight also included emergency supplies and equipment for local rescue workers and survivors as on two earlier flights chartered on behalf of the French government...

 
The flight to BarbadosGrantley Adams International Airport was organised by UK charter broker, Air Charter Service (ACS).

Onboard the CargoLogicAir aircraft were 70 tonnes of bottled water and 40 tonnes of ready-to-eat meals for UK troops delivering expert emergency assistance to those affected by Hurricane Irma. 

 
This was CargoLogicAir’s third charter flight carrying goods to the Caribbean region in the last seven days. It has already delivered over 200 tonnes of relief goods for the French Government.

The earlier flights on 13 and 16 September from Vatry to Pointe-à-Pitre Le Raizet Airport, Guadeloupe, carried special equipment to restore power supplies on the island as well as bottled water, non-perishable food, sanitary products and other equipment to help rescue workers.

 
Dmitry Grishin, CEO of CargoLogicAir, said: “In the immediate period after a natural disaster, the first priority is to ensure a fast response to help victims and relief workers by providing basic essentials such as fresh water, food and medical equipment, and to help restore the power, water and communications infrastructure. Once some stability is restored in the region, the next phase will be to begin the huge rebuilding programme that is needed across the Caribbean, which is likely to require further air logistics support. With our network into Mexico, we’ll be able to offer more capacity, not only on a charter basis but also by utilising our regular services into the region.”

 
Howard Ebison, East Midlands Airport’s Operations Director, added: “We’re delighted to be able to facilitate CargoLogicAir’s flight which is taking goods to a stricken part of the world. The reputation we have for being a leading cargo hub combined with our central location means that we can respond quickly to such requests. I’m proud that we are playing a part in supporting British troops overseas, enabling them to receive much needed supplies to allow them to continue with their relief efforts.”

 
East Midlands Airport handles 330,000 tonnes of cargo a year. Last year it facilitated over £9bn of trade which helped UK business export to over 200 different countries around the world. Latin America, Asia and sub-saharan Africa are the three biggest regions for exports. The airport’s cargo operation is a critical piece of national infrastructure and is home to major logistics firms such as DHL and the Royal Mail.

Background: CargoLogicAir is Britain’s only all-cargo airline, headquartered at London Stansted Airport and currently operating a fleet of three modern Boeing 747 cargo aircraft capable of transporting up to 135 tonnes of cargo. Since awarded an Air Operator Certificate by the UK Civil Aviation Authority in January 2016, the airline has been providing global charter services, outsourced cargo capacity to other airline partners, and has recently introduced the first scheduled route linking the UK and Mexico via Atlanta and Houston.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com,
... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

RYANAIR WE MESSED UP



Ryanair cancelled more than 160 flights last weekend, with roughly the same number failing to operate over the next three days as a result of pilot holiday block bookings.

Cancellations up to and including Wednesday 20 September are listed on Ryanair’s website, however there will be further cancellations over the coming six weeks, with more announced on Thursday 21 September. All cancellations proposed have now been published.

The airline is trying to clear a backlog of pilots’ holidays that has resulted in no pilots being available to complete a full summer weight schedule and this has also impacted on reduced punctuality. The airline is offering passengers – estimated to be some 400,000 – affected by the disruption the option of a full refund or a change of booking, subject to availability.

The airline is only obliged to re-book at “the earliest opportunity.” Under EU/261/2004 regulations, the airline is obliged to offer either €250 or €400 cash compensation, depending on the distance of the flight cancelled (up to 1,500km and 3,500km respectively). This is in addition to a any fare refund or re-booking.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/angry-ryanair-pilots-say-o-leary-is-dragging-us-through-the-dirt-1.3230929   Airline unlikely to become Unionised says Julian Bray.


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121  ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment,
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UK's CARGOLOGICAIR’S FAST BOEING 747-400 ALL CARGO JUMBOJET RESPONSE TO HURRICANE-STRICKEN GUADALUPE FOR THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT


A Stansted UK based CargoLogicAir 747-400 ALL CARGO JUMBO being loaded with disaster relief supplies on instructions from the French Government....In the aftermath of Irma, CargoLogicAir has so far operated two flights, carrying nearly 200 tonnes of humanitarian goods to hurricane-affected areas. 

'Mothballed' Jumbo jets all parked up. With very little effort they could all be quickly pressed into service to ferry disaster relief supplies to devastated areas, rather that relying on sea transport...
 
 
The devastating impact of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and Florida and its impact on the region has highlighted the vital importance of fast response logistics services to deliver humanitarian aid to the worst affected areas. Something the current UK Government has yet to grasp.  
In the aftermath of Irma, CargoLogicAir has so far operated two flights, carrying nearly 200 tonnes of humanitarian goods to hurricane-affected areas.
Both of the flights were operated by the British cargo airline’s Boeing 747-400F on behalf of the French Government.
The first flight on 13th September from Vatry to Pointe-à-Pitre Le Raizet Airport, Guadalupe, was followed shortly afterwards by the second flight on 16th September.
The first flight from France departed within less than 48 hours of the initial enquiry being received.
Dmitry Grishin, CEO of CargoLogicAir, said: “We may still be a relatively new name in the world of aviation but our highly experienced team of air logistics professionals have many years’ expertise in the airline industry, including providing a fast response to such situations where humanitarian relief is urgently needed.
We anticipate operating several more flights in the coming days.
 CargoLogicAir is Britain’s only all-cargo airline, based  at London Stansted Airport and currently operating a fleet of three modern Boeing 747 'JUMBO' cargo aircraft each capable of transporting up to 135 tonnes of cargo.
Since being awarded an Air Operator Certificate by the UK Civil Aviation Authority in January 2016, the airline has been providing global charter services, outsourced cargo capacity to other airline partners, and has recently introduced the first scheduled route linking the UK and Mexico via Atlanta and Houston.


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Monday, 18 September 2017

RYANAIR EUROPEAN REGULATION 261/2004 RIGHTS IN THE EVENT OF DENIED BOARDING, FLIGHT DELAY OR FLIGHT CANCELLATION

 
 
The EC notice  below (known as a V13) appears on the Ryanair website which as of 12:10pm on Monday September 18 2017 seems to have crashed. V13 sets out your rights to compensation and other matters.... It follows on from Julian Brays' BBC radio broadcasts throughout the day on BBC5Live, BBC Scotland and BBC Local Radio Stations throughout the UK...


Just published: FULL LIST of proposed Ryanair flight cancellations


NOTICE OF YOUR RIGHTS IN THE EVENT OF DENIED BOARDING, FLIGHT DELAY OR FLIGHT CANCELLATION

(V13) The contact details of the EU National Enforcement Body (NEBs), in the United Kingdom is: Passenger Complaints Unit Civil Aviation Authority CAA House 45-59 Kingsway London WC2B 6TE Tel: +44 20 7453 6888 Fax: +44 20 7240 7071, E-mail: passengercomplaints@caa.co.uk. For information on other NEBs  enquire at the Ryanair airport ticket desk.
This notice contains important information about your rights established by European Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 (‘the Regulation’) and applies to you if:


You have a confirmed reservation on a flight operated by Ryanair DAC purchased at a fare available directly or indirectly to the general public; and (except in the case where your flight has been cancelled) you have presented yourself for check-in before the Check-In Deadline as specified by us in our General Terms & Conditions of Travel or related regulations; and  your flight is departing from an airport in the EU or from an airport in a country outside the EU to an airport in the EU (unless it is evident that you received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in such other country and that those benefits, compensation and assistance directly correspond to your entitlement under the Regulation); and  you have not been denied boarding by reason of a matter set out in our General Terms & Conditions of Travel or related regulations; and you have been denied boarding involuntarily or your flight is delayed by more than two hours beyond its scheduled departure time, or cancelled. 

DENIED BOARDING
Ryanair, as a policy, does not overbook its flights. However, in the unlikely event that a seat is not available for a passenger with a confirmed reservation, we will seek volunteers to surrender their seats in exchange for benefits that we and the volunteer may agree upon before involuntarily denying boarding to other passengers. If there are insufficient volunteers and we deny you boarding involuntarily, you are entitled to the relevant rights set out in paragraphs 1 to 3 below.


FLIGHT DELAY
If we reasonably expect your flight to be delayed for two hours or more beyond its scheduled time of departure in the case of flights of 1500km or less (but three hours or more in the case of all intra-EU flights of more than 1,500km and of all other flights operated by us between 1,500km and 3,500km), you are entitled to the relevant rights set out in paragraphs 1 to 3 below.

 
FLIGHT CANCELLATION
If your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to the rights set out below (see following sections 1.; 2.; and 3.). As regards your right to compensation, please note that Ryanair is entitled to refuse compensation when: you are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure; or you are informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing you to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and reach your final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or you are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing you to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or 
we can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken by Ryanair, including
not limited to political instability, safety and security reasons, weather disruption, labour disputes or failure or delay of air traffic control facilities.


1. RIGHT TO COMPENSATION 

If you are involuntarily denied boarding or your flight is cancelled or delayed by three or more hours with respect to the scheduled arrival time (provided no extraordinary circumstances occur), you are entitled to receive the following amount from us:

 €250 in respect of all flights of 1,500km or less; or
€00 in respect of all intra-EU flights of more than 1,500km, and for all other flights between 1,500km and 3,500km. 

If we are able to offer you re-routing on an alternative flight and the arrival time of the re-routed flight does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the flight booked:
 by two hours, in respect of all flights of 1,500km or less; or
by three hours, in respect of all intra-EU flights of more than 1,500km, and for all other flights between 1,500km and 3,500km. 
The compensation set out above may be reduced by 50%. Distances shall be measured by the great circle route method.


2. RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OR RE-ROUTING 

If you are denied boarding (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) or your flight is cancelled, you are additionally entitled to choose between:


a) reimbursement pursuant to Article 8(1) of the Regulation within seven days, by means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan; or


b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity; or
c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination at a later date at your convenience, subject to availability of seats.

If your flight is delayed by at least five hours and you elect not to travel, you are entitled to receive reimbursement as set out in point (a) above, together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity.


3. RIGHT TO CARE 

If you are involuntarily denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed by more than 2 hours, we will offer you, free of charge:
a) meals and refreshment vouchers in reasonable relation to the waiting time, as long as it will not further delay the departure of the aircraft;
b) two telephone calls, telex or fax messages or e-mails;
c) hotel accommodation in cases where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary, or where a stay additional to that intended by you becomes necessary;
d) transport between the airport and place of accommodation (hotel or other).

If your flight is delayed as specified under ‘Flight Delay’ above or cancelled without notice being given to you prior to your arrival at the airport of departure Ryanair will offer you items (a) and (b) above. If, as a result of the delay or your being re-routed following a cancellation, your new time of departure is reasonably expected to be at least the day after the original day of departure, we will also offer you items (c) and (d) above. Where it is not feasible for Ryanair to arrange the care set out above, Ryanair will reimburse you for your reasonable receipted expenses upon application to: Ryanair Customer Services Dept., P.O Box 11451, Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

(V13)



JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121  ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment,
  ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Sunday, 17 September 2017

BA LONDON BOUND FLIGHT DETAINED IN FRANCE ON SUNDAY FOR EXPLOSIVES SEARCH FOLLOWING THREAT

BA passengers on apron at Charles de Gaulle airport as detailed security search carried out on aircraft parked up in security holding area.         Pic Credit REUTERS

Passengers were evacuated as a security precaution from a London Heathrow bound British Airways (flight BA 303) airplane at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris on Sunday morning although after an exhaustive search it turned out to be a false alarm.

The aircraft was surrounded by a squad of armed police and airport based firefighting crews reported passenger James Anderson, 20, who tweeted “ British Airways flight BA0303, currently being held on tarmac at Paris due to [alleged] security threat, surrounded by police and fire vehicles.” He added: “Apparently an individual has made a direct threat to this aircraft. “We will all be led off the aircraft and baggage searched in due course.”

Other reports suggest that a full search of the aircraft and hold baggage was carried out, along with body searches of individual passengers. Service dogs were also deployed sniffing all the baggage, suggesting that an explosives device may be concealed in hold baggage.

In accordance with international agreed aviation safety protocols, the aircraft was moved to a secure holding area prior to the searches being carried out.  In a tannoy message to passengers the pilot claimed that a threat against a specific flight had been received.

A spokesperson for British Airways said: “The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority. “Additional security checks are being carried out as a precaution. “We would never operate a flight unless it is safe to do so.”
 

Sources: PA, Twitter, BA, ORTF,


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Saturday, 16 September 2017

PARSONS GREEN TUBE FIREBOMB OUTRAGE... SERIOUS MEDIA LESSONS TO BE LEARNED....




Julian Bray writes:  The Parsons Green firebombing on a London Underground station that in the case of Parsons Green is an old 1940's style elevated wooden shuttered overground structure, on a line that eventually ends up in Wimbledon, South London.

Many millions of tennis fans will have used this line over the years. Its being widely reported but there are elements of the information stream that need to be addressed.

As I understand it, at no time did police report in the early stages, the 'home made device' was 'defective' and had gone off early, and indeed none of the news organisations seem to be able to back this up from a credible source.

The initial reports were not of an explosion, but more a dull crump (possibly like a mortar, consistent with the charge being in an open ended bucket or container ) then flames shooting along inside the closed tube carriage, in the process severely injuring many people some now with life changing multiple burns.

That in my book, suggests the device duly detonated and produced an effect, speculation by deskbound University 'experts' who should really know better than 'it had gone off early' is not the point. It should never have been on the Tube in the first place!  

The fact is that a viable explosive device with some form of remote or simple delayed timer was transferred from a bomb factory, possibly many miles away, under the gaze of many hundreds of CCTV and other cameras, plus Underground staff - themselves in danger of being axed in the not too distant future - and placed in the railway tube carriage, in seemingly a plastic white bucket and that in turn placed inside a Lidl branded cool bag.  

But consider, yet another style of cover could have been captured on CCTV. The device could have been easily placed in an outer case of a different colour and style with possibly a missing bottom floor panel, the device is then simply released as the case is casually rested by the exit door on the carriage floor, a timer may be preset or started with a simple string pull, to put the delay device in motion. 

The bomber then calmly walks off with the outer (now bottomless and empty) case still in his hand, but his post incident CCTV image would remain consistent with any earlier footage showing him/her still with a hand carried case (Its an old trick employed by shoplifters and stage illusionists alike).  

Rightly the police have appealed for any video/icam footage, but the media information response by the authorities to my mind has been muted and fragmented. (I say a co-ordinated and concerted programme of comprehensive support information is needed, with a return to formal news conferences set in a room or area with informative visual aids and additionally the content immediately streamed. Doorstep briefings by a single uniformed officer reading from a hastily prepared script are clearly no longer appropriate).     

You have only to compare the current output with the constant police press briefings that were a defining element of the IRA bombings in London. I know as I was news reporting the entire IRA London campaign, and sometimes far too close to the incidents.  

Clearly police and military resources have been capped and stretched by this government, and what used to pass for effective home beats and neighbourhood policing has all but vanished.

To my mind a huge and damaging mistake, many of these terrorist attempts or suspicions would have been relayed by concerned neighbours and others to the visible home beat police, and the suspects rounded up, but clearly not now.  

The problem is simply the police and authorities not constantly pumping out important news release updates, so the 24-news-programmes have gone elsewhere and resorted to a ragbag of hastily gathered skype delivered speculative pieces, some of which are not at all helpful, others downright misleading and needlessly raising alarm.

Old retired coppers and a variety of security salesmen have also cashed in, some clearly not having updated their knowledge, and routinely trotting out some very 'suspect advice, which is then repeated every 20 minutes.

Its also not helped by some of the newer  'second-jobber' TV news anchors failing to challenge some (or indeed any) of the dafter ideas such as that the bombers latent DNA would be on the package. How can that be, when the whole lot had been fried and roasted by the explosion and the resultant fire flashover within the confined tube like railway carriage?

Some of these pundits, are just not thinking it through, and some TV news producers are being lazy in not filtering out this unhelpful material.  There are lessons to be learned on all sides.... The national threat level remains as CRITICAL...  Possibly a word to be pasted on the newsroom wall for all to see.           


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

IS IT RIGHT THAT REPORTERS IN FLOOD AND HURRICANE REPORTING SITUATIONS SHOULD TAKE RISKS TO PROVIDE 24/7 TELEVISION NEWS FOOTAGE

J

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE

Julian Bray Aviation Security Expert writes: The RCI cruise ship Navigator of the Seas, has just one more Port of Call this cruise calling in at La Havre, before slipping into Southampton after a 14 day cruise which took in the Azores.

During that time, normally a quiet period in news terms, I have seen the hurricane season unleash its worst on the Caribbean and Florida. Many of the conurbations hit will not recover for several years, and some may not recover at all as upto 90% of structures were literally flattened. 

This cruise has however given me an opportunity to take a view of global satellite television news coverage from the aspect of an outsider looking dispassionately at the services of CNN African feed and that of BBC World, seems to be a Polish/African slanted feed delivered to cruise ships (Perhaps the BBC's commercial arm might reconsider the mix, as its very confusing to the 3,900 passengersd on board ?).  

What is striking that although the severity of the news agenda required CNN to send its seemingly unprotected news reporters into the very teeth of the elements, why on earth were they sent without adequate life jackets, safety lines and harnesses and industry approved hard hats? The same can also be said of some ( not all ) BBC reporters covering these events.

The antics of some of these intrepid correspondents need to be seriously looked at, it cannot be right that with buildings and tree collapsing, some reporters safety headwear was nothing more than logo bearing baseball caps and ski jackets. We didn't see the rest of the crew but suggest they too were not equipped for these extreme conditions..

Simply health and safety considerations seems to have taken a back seat, for the sake of getting the pictures to the screen.

Producers and News/content managers really must take a more robust stance in protecting their crews, some of the reports made me distinctly uneasy for all the wrong reasons. 

Repeated lame remarks from several studio based anchors urging the hapless reporter to 'stay safe' really doesn't cut it!         



JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Conservatives Party Conference causes Manchester restricted airspace for a full two weeks starting September 20th

 

 

Restricted Airspace (Temporary) - Manchester, 20 September - 4 October 2017

Restriction of Flying Regulations for Conservative Party Conference, Manchester, between 20 September and 4 October 2017. Details by NOTAM and in AIC M076/2017.
Restrictions also apply to the operation of all drones.
SW2017/181


Julian Bray Aviation expert comments: The extended length of the Tory Party Conference NOTAM from September 20 to October 4 does make you wonder just how long do politicians really need an extended shoulder period for a party conference.

Few apart from the party faithful, bother to listen whilst a fair proportion of the delegates will be caught sleeping, only roused by the call for a vote or the odd applause. Its not as if the politicians will have anything to say as they've been tight lipped over Brexit so far, and certainly not in a position to report progress by September 20th, if the current non communiques are anything to go by.   

The latest NOTAM will provide a clear skies environment over Manchester for a full two weeks. Its going to be grim up North.

It could well be the foretaste of things to come as if the Brexit negotiations don't quickly produce something concrete, or bear fruit even? We could see the clear skies policy becoming a permanently embarrassing  reality as Europe denies the UK the use of European air space.   

True the actually conference is over in a few days, but the blanket restriction on flying also seemingly covers the build and the deconstruction of the exhibition and staging.

The restrictions also apply to the flying of all drones, so those dreamy aerial shots of tired and emotional party faithful will just have to be done the old fashioned way with a long pole and a piece of string...blue of course.


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Saturday, 19 August 2017

FRENCH FIGHTER JETS KEEPING TABS ON JET2 HOLIDAY FLIGHTS FOLLOWING DRUNKS ON PLANE TV PROBE


Passengers on board a JET2 holiday jet flying from Spain to Birmingham said it was shadowed by a French fighter plane for some 15 minutes.

 Jet2 operations say they are awaiting clarification from French aviation why Flight LS1204 was apparently physically tracked and escorted over French air space by the French air force on Friday afternoon.


We understand that French air traffic control have according to security sources placed JET2 flights passing through French air space on their special interest flight watch following the appearance of the airline on the BBC TV Panorama 'Drunks on a plane'  episode and the airing of covert video taken on board flights.

An official confided said: We take the view that if unruly and drunken behaviour is likely to happen on holiday flights, we have identified, we need to be in a position to ensure the safety of our citizens on the ground, and will not hesitate to send up French fighter escort jets,  if foreign pilots ( ie Jet2 and others ) are at all late or delayed in responding by radio or squawking data identity details when requested by French Air Traffic Control.

Julian Bray Aviation expert comments:  It could be that the Jet2 pilot did not or could not (possibly for technical reasons) react quickly enough to a request for information, in that case local air traffic controllers will immediately send up a military escort to make visual eye contact with the pilot, and to assist or in extreme cases intercept, and escort to the nearest security cleared airport or landing strip.

The fact that passengers say the fighter jets were alongside the Jet2 aircraft for 15 minutes indicates that some technical issue might be at the root of this engagement. 






JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Friday, 18 August 2017

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group awarded Boeing Performance Excellence Award



The Cambridgeshire based Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has picked up an impressive possibly 'brexit' proof gong from the USA.  It has been awarded along with 480 other suppliers, a 2016 Boeing Performance Excellence Award.

Marshall designed and manufactures the auxiliary fuel tank system for the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, the military derivative of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft and used as a refuelling and VIP transport platform. To date Marshall has delivered more than 500 tank sets to support the Boeing P-8 programme.

Britain is purchasing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing in a contract estimated to be worth £2bn,  The jets – based on the workhorse 737 airliner - will protect the Royal Navy’s nuclear missile submarines and new fleet of aircraft carriers, though very little of the work on them will be carried out in the UK. Marshalls auxiliary tank system being one of the exceptions.
The Performance Excellence Awards recognise suppliers who have achieved superior performance for each month of the 12-month performance period, from October 2015 to September 2016. Marshall was one of more than 480 suppliers that were recognised with this award.

Alistair McPhee, CEO of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, comments: “Through close collaboration and a relentless commitment to first-time quality, on-time delivery and affordability, we have been able to deliver on our promises, which is at the heart of our business. 
 
I am incredibly proud of this achievement and it is testament to the hard work, focus and professionalism of the team.”
 
In 2014, Marshall was presented with a Boeing Supplier of the Year award for its performance on the same programme.


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com,  ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121  ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment,   ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

BARCELONA - THE OPTIONS FOR HOLIDAYMAKERS AND CONVENTION VISITORS TO SPAIN


Recent terrorist events may force some families to question how and where they should be taking their holidays this year and indeed if the holiday is already booked and paid for, will you get your cash back?

And what about the huge conventions booked into the City over the next few weeks including the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) conference, which is expected to bring 32,000 delegates to Barcelona, when it opens on 26 August ?


The wicked van attack killing innocent people just enjoying a stroll down La Rambla  (aka Las Ramblas) is just the latest in a series of cowardly attacks.

The Foreign Office offers some advice but unless our government declares formally it is a no go area- unlikely- travel insurance firms will not pay out and your various holiday and travel contracts will stand.

The FO says: “If you're in the immediate area you should take care and follow the advice of the local security authorities.”  Well sage advice, but that might not help if you are in the middle of it.

True there are transport links out of Barcelona to other parts of Europe and it also has a well connected but busy airport. But your own air tickets may be of the type that cannot be changed or the date altered to suit an early departure?

So an early departure will be at your own expense and you might think that is a small price to pay. However consider Spain like many other major destination has been high on the terrorist bucket list, and indeed the local Catalan Government has attracted some local political unrest so you might say this was to be expected? And you should have known about it before booking?

Having said that a few airlines and a handful of holiday firms have in the past, offered their clients the option of returning early if there is space on any of their flights. But there again the incident has happened and the location now has to be one of the most secure in Europe, so why not show solidarity with the locals and carry on regardless, and enjoy what remains of your precious holiday time?

Still not convinced?  The budget airline easyJet, holiday provider and most active UK operator to Barcelona, easyJet, commented: “Any passenger not wishing to travel on flights to or from Barcelona in the next 48 hours can change their flight with no change fee.”

This reaction from British Airways is also encouraging: "Customers due to travel to or from Barcelona in the coming days are being offered a range of options if they wish to bring forward or postpone their journey, and we encourage anyone with concerns about their booking to contact us or their travel agent to discuss their travel plans.”



The port in Barcelona is reasonably close to the airport ( and an early morning 20 minute walk- impossible once the sun rises!), easily reached without the need to go into the city centre. But the word is cruise lines will not be offering changes or refunds, although there is talk any overnight stays in Barcelona may be cut, and had the situation deteriorated, the usual form is for the ship to miss out the destination and head for the next port of call.

But can anyone guarantee there will be no futher attacks? The simple answer is no. We all have to keep out wits about us and be aware of our surroundings. Harsh words maybe but practical advice. All major cities and popular destinations are potential targets for these deluded evil people.  

Meanwhile with commendable speed Barcelona Turisme has set up a 24-hour call line and is offering alternative hotel rooms for those affected by the terror attacks.

The convention bureau says the city has activated its emergency plan, and that it is working with Gremi d'Hotels to house those who need it.

It comes after a vehicle drove into crowds on Las Ramblas late Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring dozens more.

A second attack took place early Friday morning in Catalan, when a vehicle drove into seven people including a police officer, leaving one person in a critical condition.

Barcelona Turisme said that it condemned the attack in Barcelona and that it would join in a minute's silence at Catalunya Square at 12pm to "share the grief with all victims".

London & Partners has also reacted to the attacks, saying on Twitter that the bureau's "thoughts and sympathies are with those affected by the incidents in Barcelona and Cambrils".

The terror attack comes ahead of three major conventions this month, including the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) conference, which is expected to bring 32,000 delegates when it opens on 26 August.

Barcelona came in third in the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings, behind Paris and Vienna, after hosting 181 conferences in 2016. 

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com,  ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121  ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment,   ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Thursday, 17 August 2017

BARCELONA TERROR UPDATES: OVERNIGHT TERRORIST INCIDENT IN CAMBRILS 5 SHOT DEAD BY POLICE. TERRORISTS DRIVE VAN INTO BARCELONA CROWDS IN LA RAMBLA, 100+ INJURED AND AT LEAST 13 ARE DEAD


This initial emergency rolling blog is now complete, any new developments will appear on subsequent blog posts ....

From the Foreign Office website: Updated information and advice following incidents in the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona, and Cambrils, near Salou:

The Spanish authorities have set up a helpline for people affected by the incidents - the number is 0034 93 214 21 24; addition of a link to information about support available if you've been affected.


UPDATE: 08:02AM: OFFICIAL: Catalan Police have made a third arrest. 

Will Geddes, MD, Corporate Protection Group has popped up on several news networks, BBC Breakfast and now on CNN, warns with returning jihadists':'We have bleak times ahead of us'





OVERNIGHT UPDATE: Friday 07:20AM BST: People of eighteen different nationalities are now said to have been injured or killed in recent attacks.

Several controlled explosions to be carried out later today (Friday)in Cambrils.

Local sources strongly suggesting a major terrorist bomb making factory uncovered.

Earlier Terrorist incident, house explosion, possibly gas, in Alcanar south west of Barcelona is now being actively linked to later Barcelona attack.

Terrorist incident in Cambrils (115 km south west of Barcelona) with several men, hours after the Barcelona attack, said to be wearing explosives belts engaged in shoot-out with Catalan Police.

Catalan Police shot and killed five. Local security services say 6 civilians hurt.1 Police officer hurt. 

Two arrests in connection with the Barcelona incident now confirmed.

Witness tells Spanish TV that Barcelona van was being driven at 80km per hour. Driver of the van is still on the run.

Update THURSDAY 20:15pm BST: Casualty figure now officially 90 to hospital. Suspect van confirmed as driven 'zig-zagging' at high speed down La Rambla.

Arrest total given by Police as two. Islamic State said to have claimed responsibility but not confirmed. 


WANTED: DRISS OUKABIR He allegedly rented second white van... 

Update 19:50pm BST:  Catalan Police release picture and named him as Driss Oukabir, described as a North African male, Spanish resident, who allegedly rented the van, and is officially a suspect.


Update 19:40 BST: Second rental van detained in VIC a town 60 miles north of Barcelona.

Suspect driver allegedly killed in shoot-out with local police says town Mayor.

Update 19:30 BST: Government Official puts dead as 13 and seriously injured at 50.


Update 19:10 BST: Police say NO ONE is being held hostage 'in a bar or restaurant.'

Update 18:50 BST:  One suspect arrested and alive according to RTVE the Spanish broadcaster.


What is being termed a major terrorist incident is currently unfolding in Barcelona Spain. A van has been deliberately driven into pedestrians walking along pavements in La Rambla, seriously injuring many and killing at least thirteen  people, according to local sources. Official Police 'confirmed dead' figures are currently much lower at 1. 

This happened on a day, when in addition to many tourists in Barcelona, the Catalan capital is also playing host to six cruise ships and 10,000 extra visitors visiting the city centre from the nearby port.  

Police armed with machine guns are following two gunmen, who decamped to a Turkish restaurant on Barcelona's La Rambla, and reportedly holding the occupants hostage, after their van was driven at speed into pedestrians, in this crowded and popular tourist area. This 'hostage' story later officially discounted.

Police have cited the incident a "terrorist attack" local media are reporting thirteen people have died of their injuries. 

Police are now calling for the extensive Metro underground railway to be closed, as they suspect a third gunmen fled from the crashed vehicle, and may have entered the train system.

Police are reporting multiple injuries and openly calling the incident a 'massive crash'.



Police are currently throwing a 'cordon sanitaire' around the crime scene, and entering all buildings and the huge highly attractive flower, fruit and vegetable market, dotted with food , wine and tapas bars, half way up La Rambla, known as la Boqueria.

Security forces urging people to evacuate, and armed police are escorting residents at a fast pace, away from buildings overlooking the crime scene, and all are being urged to keep away from the area around Plaça de Catalunya, the city's central square where the main railway station is located.

Photos and videos being shared on social media show pedestrians fleeing and many injured and 'dozens' lying wounded on the ground.  Las Rambla is a plane tree-lined pedestrian mall, with a single file narrow roadway either side of the central pedestrian walkway, dotted with news kiosks and flower shops.  

It stretches for 1.2 kilometres (0.75 miles) connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla forms the boundary between the quarters of Barri Gòtic, to the east, and El Raval, to the west.

Police are also appealing for any cameraphone footage of the incident to be handed in: 

Comisaria de Policia de Barcelona (Ciutat Vella)
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 76-78
08001 Barcelona, España.
Tel: +34 93 306 2300
Fax: +34 93 306 2301

Police are urging people to stay inside, away from windows,  and off the usually busy pedestrian areas. According to eye witnesses, local churches are said to be full with armed police protecting the locked entrances.

Police sources are suggesting locally that a second attack cannot be ruled out or that the gunmen may be operating in concert with others.


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com,  ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121   ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment,   ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476
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