Flight News & Airline Gossip

 Updated – 24th June 2019

Flight News & Airline Gossip from around the World, just small bits of information that we feel you might be interested in.

 

Air Canada investigates how woman was abandoned on parked plane

Air Canada has launched an investigation into a woman’s claims that she was abandoned on a plane after she fell asleep during the flight.

Tiffani Adams claims she woke up several hours after the 90-minute flight from Quebec had landed in Toronto.

She claims she was still strapped in her seat, but the aircraft was dark and she was freezing cold.

Adams called a friend to tell her where she was, but then her phone died less than a minute into the call.

Her friend called Toronto Pearson Airport, but Adams claims she was only found when she used a torch she discovered in the cockpit to open the aircraft door.

She hung out of the door to signal to a baggage trolley operator, who managed to rescue her.

Air Canada has confirmed that the incident took place, which came to light via Ms Adams’ friends’ Facebook post. The airline said it is investigating but it has declined to comment further.

 

RAF jets scrambled after mid-air drama on Jet2 flight

A 25-year-old woman is in police custody after becoming disruptive on a Jet2 flight from Stansted, which was forced to return to the UK, escorted by two RAF jets.

The sonic boom from the Typhoons were so loud that people called 999, fearing an explosion.

The female passenger reportedly became abusive 45 minutes into the flight to Dalaman, Turkey, early on Saturday evening, allegedly attacking staff, threatening fellow passengers and attempting to get into the cockpit.

After a struggle, she was eventually restrained and the aircraft returned to Stansted, with backup from fighter jets from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

The sonic boom from the Typhoons was felt up to 40 miles away.

Jet2 said: “We are aware of an incident regarding an extremely disruptive passenger on a flight from Stansted to Dalaman earlier this evening.

“The aircraft has returned safely and we are liaising with the relevant authorities to support their investigation. We are working hard to ensure the remaining customers reach their destination as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were made aware of a disruptive passenger on an inbound flight to Stansted this evening, Saturday June 22.

“There is a possibility that residents nearby heard a loud noise, often associated with a sonic boom, as the aircraft descended into Stansted airspace.

“Officers attended and arrested a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of two assaults and endangering an aircraft. She remains in custody.”

 

Jet2 adds Twilight Check-In service at two more airports

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have rolled out their Twilight Check-In service at two more airports.

Edinburgh and Newcastle have been added to the list, so the service is now available at seven UK bases.

Twilight Check-In is aimed at customers staying at a hotel or who live near the airport as it saves time on the morning of their flight.

Customers can check in online at least 24 hours before their flight, then visit the Twilight check-in where they can drop their bags at the Jet2.com check-in desks between 3pm and 8pm the night before.

They can then arrive at the airport the following morning and head straight to security, bypassing check-in.

The service only applies to flights departing before 12 noon the following day.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “The popularity of this service means we are delighted to be launching it from Edinburgh and Newcastle Airports, meaning customers can start their holiday with us luggage-free and breeze through the airport to catch their flight.”

 

IAG orders Airbus extra long-range narrowbody aircraft

International Airlines Group has placed orders for eight Airbus A321XLR aircraft for Iberia and six for Aer Lingus, plus 14 options.

The extra long-range narrowbody aircraft will be used to expand both airlines’ existing longhaul fleets with first deliveries scheduled for 2023.

IAG said Aer Lingus will be able to launch new routes beyond the US East Coast and Canada. It is already taking eight A321neo LR on lease with the first delivery scheduled for this summer.

For Iberia, this is a new aircraft type that means it can operate new transatlantic destinations and increase frequencies in key markets.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “The A321XLR has the same unit cost as a widebody longhaul aircraft which will enable profitable network expansion. This will strengthen both Dublin and Madrid hubs providing new transatlantic routes and additional flexibility for connecting passengers. These aircraft will also bring further cost efficiencies and environmental benefits.”

 

American Airlines bosses will fly 737 MAX before it takes passengers

American Airlines will fill its next 737 MAX flight with company managers before it starts carrying paying passengers again.

Executives and other staff members will take to the skies in its first flight once regulators clear the aircraft for travel again.

It hopes to build some confidence in the plane’s safety ahead of commercial service with the general public.

“We’d like to get it flying again so when customers get on it, they realise it’s been flying potentially for weeks,” said American spokesman, Ross Feinstein.

American has taken the Boeing 737 MAX out of schedules until September 3 and still believes it will get official clearance by the end of the summer.

“We wouldn’t be selling seats today if we didn’t think it was a highly likely possibility that the aircraft will be flying by September 3,” said American CEO Doug Parker.

That looks like an over-optimistic timeline with the FAA still not prepared to give an exact date.

The FAA’s associate administrator for airline safety Ali Bahrami said he expects it to be back in the air by the end of the year.

Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg also hinted at a similar timeline in an interview last week.

 

TUI to add new Egypt route from Manchester

TUI will launch flights from Manchester to Marsa Alam, the most southern resort on Egypt’s Red Sea coast, early next summer.

The new weekly service, starting on May 6, 2020, will operate every Wednesday throughout the season.

TUI has three properties in the resort, the five-T TUI Sensimar Alaya, the four-T Jaz Dar El Madina and the four-T SuneoClub Reef Marsa.

TUI is also adding more flights from Manchester to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico to give customers the option of seven, 10, 11 and 14 night holidays.

Director of aviation planning Karen Switzer said: “The new route to Marsa Alam from Manchester provides holidaymakers with even more choice when deciding where to go next summer on holiday.

“As the market leader in Mexico~the additional flying days added to the Puerto Vallarta programme provide holidaymakers in the North West with greater flexibility on durations and more opportunity to experience our wide range of hotel concepts and destinations.”

Manchester Airport commercial director Stephen Turner said: “I am sure these routes will be incredible popular, and will please the 22 million passengers in our vast catchment area.”

 

High-tech escalators could transform airport experience

A glimpse of what airports could look like in the future has been unveiled on a design website, promising to cut check-in, security and immigration checks to less than a minute per passenger.

Called Aerochk, the concept would see travellers arrive at an airport and step straight on to a high-tech escalator.

According to the description on design inspiration website Imaginactive, passengers would place their passport on the left side of the machine and their luggage on the right.

A robotic passport conveyor would check if the passport is valid and if the individual is registered for a flight.

It would then check them in and perform all other necessary background checks, using facial recognition technology.

Their height and weight would be recorded to optimise the ‘weight and balance’ of the aircraft and other equipment would be used to identify passengers and determine if they pose a security threat.

The Aerochk could even ask questions and record vocal answers, and could be adapted for children or disabled travelers.

Meanwhile, a luggage conveyor would use various types of scanners to check if bags contain dangerous or prohibited items.

Each suitcase would be photographed, weighed, and automatically associated with its owner.

Larger bags would be diverted into the cargo hold while hand luggage would be picked up by passengers upon leaving the Aerochk.

“If a problem was detected on a suitcase or if more information is required, then it would be routed to a different exit and inspected by an airport agent,” say designers Charles Bombardier and Ashish Thulkar.

The concept is based on technologies that already exist, they add.

“The Aerochk also reduces the likelihood of human error which is prevalent in areas where large volumes of people are passing through.

“It is very easy for workers in airport security to miss contraband in luggage simply due to the excessive volumes that they have to process every hour.”

 

BA A350 unveils Club Suite

In a bid to outmaneuver Virgin Atlantic, whose new Upper Class will be revealed shortly, British Airways has launched what it calls its ‘Club Suite’ for both the A350 and Boeing 777. Delivery of the first A350 is expected in July.

It follows news of BA’s new look for its First Class cabins being introduced from 31 March, also as part of the £6.5bn revamp of customer service under way by the airline.

The newly-branded Club Suite (below) will have direct-aisle access, a door for greater privacy and flat-bed seats in a 1x2x1 configuration. Other features include 40% more storage, PC/USB power points, wi-fi and 18.5in inflight entertainment screens.

BA says its A350s will also promote “a feeling of well-being, space and calm” thanks to reduced noise levels, high ceilings and time-sensitive lighting plus higher levels of humidity and refreshed air with cabin pressure equivalent to an altitude of 6,000ft.

Along with the new 56-seat Club World cabin, the A350 will also feature the latest World Traveller Plus cabin, also with 56 seats, with new furnishings, enhanced service and improved dining.

The A350 will begin long-haul operations from 1 October as another three A350s join the fleet and two Boeing B777 aircraft are retrofitted with the new cabin.

The Club Suite: Direct-aisle access, a door for greater privacy and flat-bed seats.


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