Courtesy: Essex Fire & Rescue Service

Julian Bray Aviation Security Expert writes: Yet again the focus is on Stansted, and for all the wrong reasons. This time an airport car park extra-long bendy shuttle bus burst into flames, alarmingly just yards from the entrance to the one and only air terminal building, and on Good Friday one of the busiest days/ weekends of the year....

Brad Miller the Chief Operating Officer jumped to the defence of the airport staff, but in reality Stansted has a fraction of the floating customer care support staff directly employed by the airport that Heathrow has. It chiefly relies on the - at arms-length -  goodwill of airline employed or airline sub contracted ground crew.

Clearly this time the major emergency plan was severely compromised - and for good measure recorded by television for posterity - as passengers still with their luggage (why?) fled from the enclosed smoke filled terminal breaching security areas to escape the acrid smoke caused by the fire from one overworked and decidedly ancient shuttle bus. I know as I've experienced them...

Fire sale?
Transport for London phased out their bendy buses as they kept breaking down and prone to fires...
Could it be the Stansted bus company acquired some of these ex TFL bendy-bus disposals at a knock-down price ???

The problem is compounded as Stansted is supposed to be the UK's top security airport - hijacked and intercept suspect aircraft are sent/forced down here for police and military inspection, but time and time again we hear of passenger handling problems. Last time it was the raft of Ryanair cancellations and backing up of flights unleashing opposing sets of passengers all trying to get to opposite ends of the same corridor.

At the time CEO Brad Miller said they would learn lessons, so perhaps the next review needs to be much wider and some significant money spent on it? The airport is owned by the Manchester Airport Group and when we last suggested Manchester might like to send some experts in to sort out Stansted, you would have thought the roof had fallen in, there were howls of derision from Stansted press officers. This time, well over a 100 flights diverted or cancelled and thousands of passengers of all ages, subjected to possible smoke inhalation from a burning bus that could not be moved.

I guarantee if this had happened in any other major airport that burning wreck would have been contained and moved much, much sooner. Some other airports employ heat/cctv activated 'halo' drenching systems that would automatically douse any flaming object in high security risk areas.  

The smart money might suggest, why was the defective shuttle bus routinely allowed so near a high density enclosed terminal building? Simply the airport in volume terms has grown but some legacy facilities are still back in the stone age, not fit for current and future volumes of expected traffic and increased passenger flows. Clearly to reroute the bus lanes would temporarily interrupt lucrative revenue and passenger flows from traditional long established parking areas.

Accepted hindsight is a great thing, but it cannot be beyond the wit of wo/man to install a weather covered travellator (moving walkway) so buses can safely offload and load at a 'satellite' station? Well away from the major security risk that is Stansteds only air terminal, hemmed in on all sided by motorised highly combustible equipment...

As before there will be an enquiry, but once the dust has settled, and a few tweaks made, Stansted will relapse into the cash cow it has now become. Clearly some may opine the current head of public safety needs an urgent career change? Possibly a refresher course? Even a quick move into a less stressful occupation? possibly ensuring the sand is at the correct level in red painted fire buckets and the hand operated stirrup water pumps are all lined up like soldiers...who knows? 

What will it take for Stansted to take ownership; of this appalling lapse of security and basic operations? Will, the bus company have its maintenance records checked? Why did the bus burst into flames? Why were passengers decanted airside? Why was no clearly defined emergency plan in place? If it was, how did they allow all (or was it some?) passengers to take their luggage into a secure airside area? Should the cases not have been dumped passenger side on security grounds?

Then its a matter of catch up, airline staff tasked with rebooking or dealing with stressed out passengers. Clearly Stansted is chronically understaffed (they will dispute this, but people cost money and that affects profitability). Hopefully Mr Miller will share with us the answers, before the airport slips down the favoured list, and airlines come to a like conclusion...

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March 2018 Current AAIB field investigations

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Airbus has by all accounts, lost a contest race with Boeing to sell wide-body jets to American Airlines [AA]. Boeing is now set to supply the 787 Dreamliner to the U.S. carrier, beating Airbus offer of A330neos.

Discussions with AA on the re-engined model of the Airbus  smallest wide-body jet have now ended, according to Bloomberg on March 23, 2018, suggesting it was unwilling to match the price Boeing offered.

“In this case, the competition simply priced their aircraft lower than we were willing to offer,” Airbus said in a statement. “We look forward to the next opportunity to compete with what we know is a superior product.”

AA meanwhile maintains it has not made any final decisions on the aircraft order. “We are continuing to look at our wide-body options and are focused on making the right decision for American,” the airline’s spokesman stated.

General Electric, jet engines are expected to power the Boeing aircraft, beating proposals from rival Rolls-Royce, Reuters reports.

The U.S. carrier said in January 2018, it was considering the A330-900neo and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner as a possible substitute for a long forsaken deal for 22 of A350-900 twin-aisle aircraft.

The A350s themselves were to be a replacement for the carrier’s Boeing 767s and 777s that it is phasing out.

American inherited the A350 deal from U.S. Airways when it merged with the smaller carrier in 2013, but had put off delivery twice already, in 2016 and 2017.

In recent years, American has renewed its fleet with hundreds of new aircraft. According to industry sources, the airline is currently looking for about 25-30 wide-body jets, which would make a deal with Boeing potentially worth around $7-8.5 billion, Reuters writes.

Second-guessing the A330neo
Airbus updated its A330 series in 2014 with new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, but after an initial foray, the model has been struggling in the marketplace. The recently appointed Airbus sales chief Eric Schulz has made boosting sales of the aircraft a top priority for 2018, Reuters writes.

The latest setback comes weeks after Hawaiian Airlines dropped an order for six Airbus A330-800neos in favour of ten Boeing‘s 787, leaving that particular long-haul A330neo model with no customers.

Airbus is reportedly even considering a cargo model of the A330neo, which would also compete with Boeing – the leader in the global air cargo industry – and its popular 767 freighter.

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Hawker Hunter Jet

The Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] has announced its charging decision following the deaths of 11 people at the Shoreham Air Show.

The reviewing lawyer, Simon Ringrose, CPS Special Crime Division, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has considered a full file of evidence received from Sussex Police in relation to the deaths of 11 men at the Shoreham Air Show in 2015.

“At approximately 1.20pm on 22 August 2015, a Hawker Hunter aircraft piloted by Andrew Hill attempted to perform a loop manoeuvre as part of an aerobatic display. The aircraft failed to complete the manoeuvre and crashed onto the A27 dual carriageway. Eleven men who were either in vehicles on the carriageway or standing by the roadside were killed in the incident. Mr Hill was thrown clear of the aircraft and, although seriously injured, he survived.

“Sussex Police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into the incident and in November 2017 submitted a full file of evidence to the CPS in relation to the actions of the pilot, Andrew Hill. In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have considered whether there is sufficient evidence to charge Mr Hill with any offence and if so whether it is in the public interest to do so.

“Following a careful review of the evidence I have found there is sufficient evidence to charge Andrew Hill with the manslaughter by gross negligence of the 11 men who died. I have also authorised a further charge against Mr Hill of endangering an aircraft, contrary to Article 137 of the Air Navigation Order 2009.

“Mr Hill will be formally charged with the offences and will appear before the courts in due course.

“I would like to remind all concerned that criminal proceedings have now commenced and the defendant has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

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AIRBUS A330neo being targeted by Amazon and UPS as the next giant leap in air cargo short transits

Rumor has it that Airbus might cooperate with UPS and Amazon for the freighter version of A330neo

According to industry gossip -from France, it is thought that both Amazon and UPS are set on including the Airbus A330neo in their cargo derived freighter fleets.

The thinking first leaked on Bloomberg, suggests that a full freighter with fuel efficient state-of-the-art engines could rapidly kickstart A330neo production and dynamically spark new competition with Boeing.

So far uptake of the A330neo has been disappointing with just 200 orders since its launch. Industry sources suggest Both Amazon and UPS proposed the idea of ​​producing a freighter version of the A330-900 with more cargo capacity for shorter deployments.

The addition of a freight model could boost the demand for the type, which has just received 200 orders since its launch. Understandably Airbus and Amazon would not be drawn on the issue. But do not be surprised if one liveried, possibly in UPS colours makes it debut at the enlarged Farnborough Airshow this June ..... 
 UPS routinely taps into the market in order to acquire both new and used freighters, but they unconvincingly described its involvement in the launch of an A330neo freighter programme as "speculation."  Clearly the dynamics of air cargo consignments has changed, and  rebounded sharply in 2017 from a ten-year downturn, according to IATA published figures.  Newish entrants such as Amazon are clearly pushing what is possible.  They are rapidly building an air cargo freighter fleet of 40 Boeing 767s in order to be more independent of rival service providers.
Boeing currently dominates the freighter market. Airbus' freighter A330-200F has received only 42 orders so far. The aircraft can carry 65 to 70 tons of cargo.

Source: Bloomberg, UPS, Aerotime,

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Christmas is a little late this year,...but what lavish presents..
Budget carrier Ryanair has announced (March 20th 2018) that the Dublin based airline has entered into an agreement with the 'rescued' Air Berlin subsidiary operation  Laudamotion to acquire up to 75% of the new airline.
Julian Bray, the aviation expert comments: This is a smart move by Ryanair and no doubt codeshare and cross-marketing feeder operations will be on the cards, for a whole new Austro/German market. Coupled with Mr O'Learys 'be nice' campaign and the charismatic chairmanship of Niki Lauda, marketing teams must have thought they have died and gone to heaven.  Reaction from the Lufthansa camp isn't recorded but clearly a major upset for Lufthansa and other EU vested airlines is on the cards; as the Shamrock clad Laudamotion with a Ryanair topped up warchest and new aircraft will certainly target key Lufthansa routes with some spectacular air fare price cuts ...
Under the agreement, the Irish Ryanair will initially acquire a 24.9% stake in Laudamotion, this rises to 75% as soon as possible subject to EU Competition approval.
Niki, rebranded as Laudamotion, since it was bought back by founder and former F1 Motor racing Champion Niki Lauda, was a subsidiary of the insolvent Air Berlin.
Niki was acquired by the Niki Lauda after an initial deal for the airline with the liquidators of Air Berlin, fell through with the owners of the British Airways brand, Spanish based International Airlines Group (IAG).  The insolvency proceedings for the airline were re-opened in Austria in mid-January enabling Mr Lauda to act.
Under the agreement with Ryanair, Lauda will chair the Board of Laudamotion.  Ryanair will provide financial and management support to Laudamotion as well as 6 wet-lease aircraft for the 2018 season to enable Laudamotion to complete an extensive 21 aircraft flying programme.
The cost of the airline deal is estimated to be under €50 million; however the Irish carrier plans to provide additional €50 million for the first year and operating costs.
This is clearly a significant acquisition for Ryanair which has not bought an airline since 2003.
The deal will also be welcomed by Airbus, since Ryanair, which has exclusively operated Boeing aircraft for the past 15 years stated it will now support an Airbus fleet. 
“The Laudamotion operation will support a fleet of Airbus aircraft which is something we have hoped to develop within the Ryanair Group for some years,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.
Additionally, Mr O’Leary noted the increased competition for Lufthansa, which currently dominates the German  market ...
“With access to the Ryanair fleet and financial resources, Laudamotion will now grow more rapidly, as it seeks to compete in a market which is dominated by Lufthansa’s high airfares with its Swiss and Austrian subsidiaries.
This Laudamotion partnership is good news for Austrian and German consumers/visitors who can now look forward to real competition, more choice and lower fares” commented Mr O'Leary.
Source: CNS, BBC, Aerotime, Ryanair

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Red Arrows Jet incident kills engineer at RAF Valley Anglesey

Royal Air Force via TWITTER 

@RoyalAirForce    Following the aircraft incident at RAF Valley earlier this afternoon, if you were an eyewitness, please send any photographs of the incident to Any images may help with an investigation. Please DO NOT share these online. Please be sensitive, thank you.

Tonight North Wales Police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the Red Arrows Hawk jet aircraft  (BAe Hawk T Mk1) which crashed on Anglesey this afternoon to contact them.

Meanwhile from London, Aviation Expert Julian Bray will considering the latest updates live on LBC News Radio from 10:30pm tonight (Tuesday 20th March 2018).

The Ministry of Defence later confirmed that an engineer with  the Red Arrows aerobatic team died in an air crash involving one of the aerobatic team jets at RAF Valley today. The pilot managed to eject, but according to local reports, sustained serious injuries and is now in hospital.

The MOD released a statement: “It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of an engineer from the RAF Aerobatics Team (The Red Arrows) in a tragic accident today.

“The serviceman’s family have been informed and have asked for a period of grace before further details are released.

“The pilot of the aircraft survived the incident and is currently receiving medical care.”

Local reports suggest the Red Arrows jet aircraft was flying from RAF Valley to their base at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire when it crashed.

North Wales Police were alerted at 1.50pm. Police together with regional emergency and rescue services responded as part of a well rehearsed a major incident protocol targeted at the RAF Valley base.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson commented they were called shortly before 1.30pm this afternoon and sent emergency ambulances and scrambled a Wales Air Ambulance helicopter to the scene.

Police Chief Inspector Simon Barrasford  who is leading the initial response for North Wales Police said:  “The aircraft involved, a Red Arrows Hawk, crewed by two RAF personnel was reported to have crashed. Sadly I can confirm that one of the two personnel has died whilst his colleague is now being treated in hospital. Our thoughts are with both men’s families at this very difficult time. Until then it would be inappropriate to add anything further. The Coroner for north west Wales will also be informed.”

A formal air accident investigation led by the Air Accident Investigation Branch has already started with the aim of  establishing the cause of the crash.

Chief Inspector Simon Barrasford added: “North Wales Police is appealing for help from the public and local communities and so I’d ask if anyone sighted the Hawk aircraft this afternoon to contact North Wales Police via the live web chat or by phoning 101.”

+++ The BAe Hawk T Mk1 is expected to remain in service until 2030 although  replaced as the RAFs advanced fast jet pilot trainer by the new Hawk T Mk2. Like the Mk2, the Mk1 is a fully aerobatic, low-wing, transonic, two-seat training aircraft that is still used in a number of roles for the RAF.

The Mk1 is in use with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton, in addition to the flight test and evaluation unit at MoD Boscombe Down.

100 Squadron, based at RAF Leeming, fly the Hawk T Mk1 in the ‘aggressor’ role, simulating enemy forces and providing essential training to the RAF front-line units.

In addition to this, the Sqn. carries out close air support training to British Army units, defence engagement tasks and participates in numerous overseas exercises throughout the year.


Roles of the Red Arrows

Representing and showcasing the skills and values of the Royal Air Force

The Red Arrows are part of the wider Royal Air Force, the team is a great reminder of the dedication and talented people found across the Service.

Members of the Squadron have served on operational units, whether they be fast jet or helicopters, strategic transport or intelligence-gathering aircraft.

Their various backgrounds hint at the wide range of tasks the Royal Air Force performs today and is prepared for.  For example, the RAF pilots have completed operational tours in Afghanistan and Libya, or been part of the Quick Reaction Alert in the UK and Falkland Islands, protecting our skies.
Supporting British industry.

Being renowned both at home and overseas, the team and the excellence it invokes reinforces the reputation of the UK and the country’s people and equipment.

The Red Arrows fly BAE Systems’ Hawk T1, which is powered by a Rolls-Royce engine, and this technical expertise is crucial to the team’s success.

Assisting in defence diplomacy

Displays by the Red Arrows are one of the ways the UK strengthens its relationships abroad, benefitting defence and prosperity.

The team provides the UK, as the Royal Air Force does, with a great ability and option to promote and support the country’s interests – diplomatically, industrially and militarily.

The Red Arrows by the end of the 2016 season, displayed in 57 countries worldwide. The 2016 Asia-Pacific and Middle East Tour is an example of how the Red Arrows represent the UK far away from home.

The nine-week, 20,000-mile deployment visited 17 countries and drew a global audience of a billion people - seeing the team display in China for the first time.

Aiding recruitment for the UK Armed Forces

The team are members of the Armed Forces and are proud to represent the UK. Many of the pilots and other members of the Squadron joined the Royal Air Force as a direct result of seeing the Red Arrows perform as children.

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Must have accessory for your unreconstructed football manager, a classic Rolls Royce Silver Cloud MkII  and non matching snow plough......

The number of flights cancelled as a precautionary measure out of London has now topped 100, with the number still rising and all intending air travellers are strongly advised to contact their airline ( ie not the airport) before leaving home.

In times like these also follow or seek out on digital radio  BBC5Live The Independent Newspaper Travel editor  @simoncalder who like Father Christmas seems to have a legion of identical clones stationed on all TV and radio channels and broadcasting simultaneously. No mean feat!  

Julian Bray Aviation Expert writes: Simply expect widespread disruption, cancellations and merging of schedules as the 'Beast from the East - ACT 2'  - gale force winds, bitterly cold minus 10 chill factor, heavy dumps of snow, blizzards and drifting - is the dire prospect for this weekend, and then the 'cherry on the chaos' expect substantial knock on delays during the week, as aircraft will either be out of position, 'gone technical' awaiting the limited number of available de-icing crews before they can be moved.  

 The big problem is not so much the prospect of snow but the rapid icing up of aircraft wings which in effect alters the profile and greatly impacts on the 'lift capacity' of the upper wing surface. It also can also seriously affect the operation of an exposed sensor device ( allegedly of French origin....) called a Pitot tube. This can - if iced up - send duff information to the autopilot, and may catch out newer pilots, who may then act on the incorrect information displayed ...  So if you see a man on a cherrypicker spraying your intended aircraft, be very,very pleased rather than grumble about delays!  

SUNDAY UIPDATE: Meanwhile I was distressed to see on the BBC Sunday TV Footy show an interview with a so called football manager of the 'luddite' variety, who claimed there was no travel problems for visiting fans and that all roads were (in his view) clear and the snow was just so much nonsense... In the news bulletin immediately afterwards a picture of a deserted Volvo coach that narrowly missed turning over.

All transport is affected and where there is snow it will drift and freeze over on untreated road surfaces... hence the Met Office Amber Warnings

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Plugged in With Greta Van Susteren: Trade War in the Winds?

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross interviewed by Greta on Voice of America VOA, fascinating stuff and very straight talking if Wilbur Ross gets sacked by President Trump perhaps we can get him to run our Brexit negotiations???. 

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For the first time in 25 years LOGANAIR commercial passenger flights will operate from Carlisle Lake District Airport.

For the first time in 25 years: LOGANAIR commercial passenger flights will operate from Carlisle Lake District Airport. 

From June 2018, Loganair will schedule flights to London Southend, Belfast and Dublin.  Carlisle airport, run by the Stobart Group, is currently used by private aircraft, flying schools and the military.
The airport was allocated £4.75m by Cumbria's Local Enterprise Partnership in 2017 to upgrade both its terminal and runway.
LEP's Nigel Wilkinson, commented: "The opening up of air routes into Cumbria, provides more direct access to attractions and the county's newest UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a real boost for the visitor economy here."

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BREAKING Bangla Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 Aircraft crashes in Nepal, 67 people onboard


On March 12, 2018, (at approximately 08:20 am UK time), a  Bangladeshi Bangla Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 Q400  crashed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, during an attempted landing.

The aircraft caught fire in flight and following the crash the firecrews and military personnel helped extract passengers from the wreckage. 20 of those tackled by airport fire crews. Casualty numbers are rising and those who died in the incident number around 50 and expected to rise even further.

The plane identified locally as a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 flying from Dacca to Kathmandu. All other flights to and from the airport are suspended and the airport remains operationally closed until further notice.

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Virgin Atlantic Airways has finally pulled its long outstanding provisional order for six Airbus SE A380 super-jumbos

Airbus SE A380 super-jumbo

Following widespread industry speculation, and the move to single aisle and smaller wide bodied jets, it's been announced that Virgin Atlantic Airways has finally pulled the order for six Airbus SE A380 super-jumbos.

It took some  detective work as the deletion discreetly appeared in Airbus’s February order-and-delivery note published on Wednesday, and was only confirmed by the airline after city news agencies started calling Airbus.

Virgin originally ordered the planes more than ten years ago, but as the trend is away from the four engine superjumbo style, it seemed to observers unlikely that Virgin would ever get around to actually placing a firm order.  

CEO Craig Kreeger commented:"Virgin is happy with its relationship with Airbus, from which it recently agreed to buy the latest A350 twin-jet model, but that the four-engined, 550-seat A380 was “never really likely to make sense."

 France-based Airbus confirmed on the same day, a reduction in A380 production output to just six units a year from 2020 reflecting a downturn in demand for this toyue of aircraft. Emirates is the only major headline customer for the plane, with most other operators accounting for around 14 in service but none of the airlines feature the superjumbo as the mainstay of their fleet offer.  

The UK carrier’s order book is effectively complete, the CEO said, with 12x A350s set for delivery from early next year through to 2021, by which point it will have 44 aircraft.

Although founded by Richard Branson, Virgin is now 49percent owned by Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, while Air France / KLM Group, has agreed to buy a 31percent stake in a move that will see the billionaire’s holding reduced to 20percent.

Richard Branson is thought to have firmly held onto the Virgin logo and brand identity IP. So far, its thought, no US carrier has plans to acquire the A380.

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IATA and ACETA to Cooperate to Strengthen Spanish Air Navigation Strategy with ENAIRE





Madrid – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and ENAIRE, the Spanish air navigation services provider, together with ACETA, the Spanish Airlines’ Association, have agreed to further reinforce their cooperation for the development and implementation of ENAIRE´s Strategic Plan, "FlightPlan 2020". This will deliver benefits to the travelling public and the Spanish economy through reform and modernization of Spanish airspace and air traffic management (ATM).

At present, air transport contributes 7% to Spain’s GDP and supports around 400,000 jobs. Successful airspace modernization is expected to create significant benefits, generating an extra 1.4% in GDP annually and supporting about 65,000 jobs over the next 20 years.
The demand for aviation in Spain is set to grow by 4% per year until 2020, resulting in 300,000 new flights to, from and within Spain. Servicing this demand - while ensuring safety, reducing costs, CO2 emissions and delays - requires Spain to modernize its airspace and ATM network.

"FlightPlan 2020" builds on the success of recent airspace and wider ATM developments put in place by ENAIRE and Spanish stakeholders to respond to the Single European Sky objectives and to further support the modernization and improvements in safety, environmental footprint, operational performance, cost efficiency and business continuity, which are pillars of the ENAIRE Strategic Plan.

Customer first

The agreement reached by ENAIRE, IATA, and ACETA will be based on three main pillars: a shared stakeholder approach, airspace management, and technical modernisation of the ATM systems. Objectives will include:
  • the strategic direction for the future of ATM
  • airspace evolution to further support capacity and more efficient routes, to further reduce fuel burn and emissions, while maintaining best practice business continuity
  • enhanced cooperation of key Spanish stakeholders with European partners to accelerate the Single European Sky initiative (SESAR).
With the aim to reinforce a well-established collaborative environment and a customer oriented approach, ENAIRE, IATA and ACETA are commited to cooperate with all aviation stakeholders to deliver and implement a successful airspace strategy.

Ángel Luis Arias Serrano, Director General of ENAIRE, explained: "ENAIRE´s Strategic Plan, Flight Plan 2020, will be an essential element in the development of an ATM strategy with the full involvement of stakeholders to further support the on-going modernization of our technology and operations. Our objective is to contribute to the achievement of our ambitious targets and mission, the safety and punctuality of the millions of passengers who fly in Spanish airspace, while contributing to the growth of national and European air transport through efficiency and innovation."

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: "This partnership marks a defining moment in the relationship between ENAIRE and its customer airlines. ENAIRE has shown real vision to bring airlines into the strategic direction of air navigation service provision. Together, we can help create a plan which will bring great benefits to Spain, both now and for the future. This is only the start of a long and fruitful partnership to come. We look forward to working with ENAIRE to make their "FlightPlan 2020" not only a success for Spain, but also a key contribution towards achieving the goals of the Single European Sky."

Antonio Pimentel, Chairman of ACETA, remarked: "ACETA welcomed ENAIRE’s "Flight Plan 2020" as a very positive step towards the improvement and modernisation of Spanish ATM from the beginning. Now, by allowing the participation of airlines, ENAIRE is clearly signalling their openness and that they are ready to improve their National ATM strategy. We’re excited that this cooperation will help ENAIRE expand the capacity of the Spanish airspace to accommodate safely and economically the traffic increases expected in the coming years."

IATA has presented the key drivers for the Spanish ATM strategy to ENAIRE, highlighting its main objectives and benefits in terms of safety, environment, flight efficiency, connectivity (including interoperability), cost efficiency and business continuity.
The air traffic growth forecasts require ENAIRE to maximize its efforts towards meeting the great challenges that air transport is facing in the coming years: operational safety, operational efficiency (which is key to competitiveness), capacity, innovation, quality (with punctuality as a binding commitment), and environmental sustainability.

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Sergei Skripal, the one-time Russian double agent, and his daughter who are both critically ill and currently in intensive care in hospital, was exposed to a nerve agent, police have confirmed.

Speculation suggests the nerve agent in liquid form could possibly be delivered though a small palm size air pressure pump action spray atomiser, normally used for perfume or mouth freshener. 

Sergei Skripal, the one-time Russian double agent, and his daughter who are both critically ill and currently in intensive care in hospital, were both exposed to a nerve agent, police have confirmed. 

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley would not be drawn on the detail of the major incident investigation currently in progress but suggested that a mountain of CCTV and other recorded images were being examined.

He also made an appeal for any member of the public who took video phone footage or pictures to come forward as their images could assist the investigation or give an indication as to how the poison was administered. 

Speculation suggests the nerve agent could be delivered though a small palm size air pressure pump action spray atomiser, freely commercially available and the type normally used for perfume or mouth freshener. These devices are small enough to be carried in a handbag or pocket.

Medical specialists claim that a dose of less than 20 milligrams would be needed to be administered. This style of attack was at one time favoured by Russian female 'honey-trap' agents, during the late 1960's, operating in the Former German Democratic Republic. They would routinely target visiting businessmen attending the Leipzig Trade Fair. The atomised spray would be discreetly directed towards food or drink.

Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia were taken to hospital after collapsing on a bench in Salisbury, on Sunday.

The father and daughter were deliberately targeted, according to Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley . He would not specify the type of nerve agent or if scientists at Porton Down had narrowed down the nerve agent category used.

The Skripals are currently in critical condition at a Salisbury hospital. A police officer who responded to the case was also seriously injured, Rowley said.

Specialist counterterrorist police officers are currently leading the investigation. So far this has not been declared it a terrorist incident but police say they were "keeping an open mind as to what happened." 

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Air Cargo Off to a Robust Start in 2018 
Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 8.0% in January 2018 compared to the year-earlier period. This was up from the 5.8% annual growth recorded in December 2017. 

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 4.2% year-on-year in January 2018.

The continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2018 reflects the fact that demand drivers for air cargo remain supportive. Global demand for manufacturing exports is buoyant and meeting this strong demand is leading to longer supply chain delivery times. Demand for air cargo may strengthen as a result, with companies seeking faster delivery times to make up for longer production times.

"With 8% growth in January, it’s been a solid start to 2018 for air cargo. That follows an exceptional year in which demand grew by 9%. We expect demand for air cargo to taper to a more normal 4.5% growth rate for 2018. But there are potential headwinds. If President Trump follows through on his promise to impose sanctions on aluminum and steel imports, there is a very real risk of a trade war. Nobody wins when protectionist measures escalate," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. 
January 2018

(% year-on-year)
World share¹
Total Market        
Asia Pacific
Latin America             
Middle East             
North America            
¹% of industry FTKs in 2017   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level              
Regional Performance    
All regions reported an increase in demand in January 2018.  
  • Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand in freight volumes grow 7.7% in January 2018 and capacity increase by 2.2%, compared to the same period in 2017. The increase largely reflects the ongoing strong demand experienced by the region’s major exporters, China and Japan which has been driven in part by a pick-up in economic activity in Europe. However, the upward-trend in seasonally-adjusted volumes has paused.
  • North American airlines’ freight volumes expanded 7.5% in January 2018 year-on-year, as capacity increased 4.2%. The strength of the US economy and the US dollar have improved the inbound freight market in recent years. However, this may be offset by the weakening in the dollar although the recently-agreed US tax reform bill may help to support freight volumes in the period ahead. Seasonally-adjusted volumes are broadly trending sideways.
  • European airlines posted a 10.5% increase in freight volumes in January 2018. Capacity increased 5.3%. The strong European performance corresponds with a very healthy demand for new export orders among the region’s manufacturers. Seasonally-adjusted volumes jumped 3% in month-on-month terms in January – the largest increase since March 2017.
  • Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 4.4% year-on-year in January 2018, the slowest growth of all regions. Capacity increased 6.3%. Seasonally adjusted freight volumes continued to trend upwards during the first month of the year, however, the region’s carriers remain affected by the ongoing challenging political environment in the Middle East. 
  • Latin American airlines experienced a growth in demand of 8.0% in January. Capacity increased 5.4%. The pick-up in demand comes alongside signs of economic recovery in the region’s largest economy, Brazil. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are now back to the levels seen at the end of 2014.
  • African carriers’ saw freight demand increase by 12.9% in January 2018 compared to the same month last year. The increase was helped by very strong growth on the trade lanes to and from Asia. Freight demand jumped by 59% between Africa and Asia in 2017 following an increase in the number of direct flights between the continents, driven by ongoing foreign investment flows into Africa. 
World Cargo Symposium
The positive start to the year will set an optimistic backdrop for the World Cargo Symposium which will gather the air cargo industry in Dallas, Texas, 13-15 March.
View January air freight results (pdf) 

IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 280 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.

Explanation of measurement terms:
    • FTK: freight tonne kilometers measures actual freight traffic
    • AFTK: available freight tonne kilometers measures available total freight capacity
    • FLF: freight load factor is % of AFTKs used
  • IATA statistics cover international and domestic scheduled air freight for IATA member and non-member airlines.
  • Total freight traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of FTK are: Asia-Pacific 37%, Europe 24.2%, North America 20.5%, Middle East 13.7%, Latin America 2.7%, Africa 1.9%.

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