Aviation News – Aviation Voice https://aviationvoice.com Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:22:24 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Pacific Coastal Airlines Hit By Lightning https://aviationvoice.com/pacific-coastal-airlines-hit-by-lightning-2-201709201320/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:20:17 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16800 There were some scary moments for passengers aboard a small plane en route from Comox to Vancouver on Monday night.

Emergency crews were called to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) after Pacific Coastal Airlines flight 713, carrying 27 passengers and three crew members, was struck by lightning.

Airline spokesperson Kevin Boothroyd said the aircraft was struck when it was about 20 minutes out from Vancouver.

The Saab 340 twin-turboprop landed safely around 7:45 p.m, Boothroyd said.

“As to procedure and training, the crew immediately declared an emergency situation due to the lightning strike,” he said. “The aircraft was in operation normally, as it was operating normally throughout.”

YVR staff said there were no impacts to airport operations due to the incident.

Boothroyd added that despite the crew’s emergency response, modern aircraft are built to handle exactly these types of situations.

“It’s a pretty unusual event to happen at this time of year around the Vancouver Airport. But a thing to note is that aircraft are designed to withstand a pretty severe lightning strikes,” he said.

Boothroyd said there were no reports of injuries associated with the strike.

Russia’s Advanced Su-35S Fighter Put Into Operation https://aviationvoice.com/russias-advanced-su-35s-fighter-put-into-operation-2-201709201305/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:05:33 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16797 The multi-task highly-maneuverable Su-35S fighter has been put into operation, the press service of the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“In the recent years, the army and navy put into operation various military equipment which has been tested and proved effective in combat conditions,” the statement reads. “This particularly applies to the Su-34, Su-35S and MiG-29K aircraft, the Kamov Ka-52 and Mi-28N attack helicopters, the Tigr-M armored vehicle and the BTR-82A armored personnel carrier,” the ministry’s press service added.

According to the press service, in the past ten years, Russian defense companies had significantly increased their exports.

“In the past ten years, military exports have more than doubled,” Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said as cited by the press service.

According to the minister, more than 100 countries purchase Russian military hardware. “Apart from traditional markets for Russian military equipment, there are some new regional markets, which particularly include countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America” Manturov pointed out.

According to media reports, more than 50 Su-35S aircraft were earlier provided to the Russian Aerospace Force for operational tests.

The Russian Defense Ministry elaborated that the tests were aimed at determining the efficiency of the aircraft’s weapons when used in the supermaneuverability mode, as well as of its on-board equipment and automatic control systems.

Flydubai Doubles Its Capacity To Russia For The Winter Season https://aviationvoice.com/flydubai-doubles-its-capacity-to-russia-for-the-winter-season-2-201709201137/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:37:58 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16789 Dubai-based flydubai will double its operations to Russia for the winter season in response to growing passenger demand.

The airline presented its seasonal offering at the Leisure 2017 Exhibition that opened today in Moscow where it is participating for the third time in partnership with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

From the end of October, flydubai will operate 40 weekly flights to 10 points in Russia. This year the airline will add Makhachkala, Voronezh and Ufa to its existing network in the country that includes Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Yekaterinburg.

Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) at flydubai, said:

“We are pleased to increase our services to Russia as Dubai increases in popularity among Russian travellers. Since 2010, flydubai has been committed to connecting previously underserved points in Russia with Dubai. With three more routes and our additional flights, we look forward to offering tourists from Russia more choice and flexibility when travelling to Dubai.”

This year, the UAE has seen a growing demand from Russia after changes to visa requirements enabled passengers to get a free 30-day Visa on arrival to the country. Travel from Russia to Dubai grew by 97% in the first six months of 2017, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

flydubai operates flights to 97 destinations in 44 countries, including popular routes among Russian travellers, such as Dubai (UAE), Bangkok (Thailand), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Kathmandu (Nepal) and Zanzibar (Tanzania). Passengers can also benefit from flydubai’s interline agreements with other carriers, providing opportunities for onward travel to more than 200 destinations.

United Gives 747 Special Send-Off https://aviationvoice.com/united-gives-747-special-send-off-2-201709201122/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:22:47 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16784 United Airlines will say goodbye to the Boeing 747 Nov. 7 with a special flight to Hawaii that commemorates its first use of the airliner in commercial service.

The flight sold out within hours on Tuesday. The last scheduled United 747 revenue flight will be from Seoul to SFO on Oct. 29.

United was the launch customer for the aircraft, which went into revenue service on July 23, 1970 with a flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. United now uses 777s on that route. The Nov. 7 flight will feature flight attendants in period uniforms, food, drinks and entertainment from the era. It will be designated Flight 747 and temporarily named Friend Ship in honor of the first United Jumbo Jet. It will depart at 11 a.m. after speeches, drinks and apples. It’s scheduled to land at 2:45 p.m.

First class customers will be entered in a draw to occupy one of the few seats available on the upper deck, which was originally an opulent lounge with a full-service bar on the early aircraft. Most of those seats will be unavailable because United will let everyone on board spend at least a few minutes in what was once the most expensive airline seat available.

Ironically, some airlines, including EVA Air, which recently flew its last 747 flight, crammed economy seats on the upper deck both to help make the aircraft pay and to spare its most lucrative customers the inconvenience of climbing a set of stairs to get to their seats.

Auckland, New Zealand Ops Disrupted Over Fuel Shortages https://aviationvoice.com/auckland-new-zealand-ops-disrupted-over-fuel-shortages-2-201709201041/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 07:41:10 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16779 Auckland Int’l Airport has warned of severe flight delays and cancellations following the closure of a fuel delivery pipeline this past weekend.

The airfield said in a statement that Refining New Zealand, which owns the Marsden Point fuel refinery, closed the pipeline to allow for repairs to a damaged section. The refinery supplies refined petroleum products to Wiri Oil Services Ltd in Auckland, which in turns supplies airlines with aviation fuel at the airport.

“Oil companies are responsible for transporting, storing and supplying fuel for use by airlines at the airport, and as a result of the pipeline damage, the oil companies are currently rationing the amount of fuel they are supplying to airlines,” it said.

Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said approximately twenty-seven domestic and international flights were cancelled over the weekend, while those that did depart were forced to make technical refuelling stops en route to their final destinations.

Air New Zealand, Auckland’s most prominent operator, said it had cancelled four trans-Tasman and fourteen domestic flights to date, with more expected in the coming days.

The majority of its longhaul flights will be required to undertake refuelling stops at Wellington, Pacific or Australian airports.

Thomas Cook Launches Economy Plus https://aviationvoice.com/thomas-cook-launches-economy-plus-201709191125/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:25:59 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16762 UK leisure carrier Thomas Cook Airlines will launch Economy PLUS service on its short- and medium-haul flights from Nov. 1.

The new product offering includes services such as priority boarding, an increased luggage allowance and complimentary drinks inflight.

Economy PLUS will supplement Thomas Cook’s existing Economy fare, giving customers the option to add small, but significant luxuries to their flight.

“Customers choosing the Economy PLUS package will enjoy a priority security lane and check-in, an additional 4kg of hand luggage, 25kg of hold luggage, the option to reserve a seat, and complimentary inflight drinks and premium James Martin meal. They will also have access to Thomas Cook’s mobile in-flight entertainment service, Sunstream,” according to the company.

Horizon Airlines Exits Colorado Springs Over Pilot Shortage https://aviationvoice.com/horizon-airlines-exits-colorado-springs-over-pilot-shortage-201709191109/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:09:19 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16760 Horizon Air – operating for Alaska Airlines – will cancel its 1x daily Seattle service from Colorado Springs due to a pilot shortage.

The service is expected to end on November 4, the airport has announced.

Horizon’s operations have been severely hampered this year by a lack of qualified pilots for its fleet of fifty-two Dash 8-400s and ten EMB-175s.

Portland Int’l, OR and Seattle Tacoma Int’l services were reduced in July following the forced cancellation of more than 318 flights in March. The airline has also deferred delivery of six EMB-175s as it does not have enough pilots to fly them.

“While we are disappointed that the Colorado Springs Airport is losing service from Alaska Airlines in November, we are aggressively pursuing other carriers to provide service to Seattle, an important destination for our region,” said Greg Phillips, the airport’s Director of Aviation, adding that Horizon’s load factors had been around 83% for its Seattle flights.

Middle Eastern Carriers Flock To Africa To Boost Profits https://aviationvoice.com/middle-eastern-carriers-flock-to-africa-to-boost-profits-2-201709191101/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:01:58 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16757 In five years, Turkish Airlines has nearly tripled the number of destinations it flies to in Africa. But the ‘Eurasian’ carrier, operating out of Istanbul on the edge of the Middle East, isn’t the only carrier in the region looking to find gold on the continent.

By the end of October, Flydubai, will operate 14 flights a week to Zanzibar and Tanzania, increasing capacity to East Africa by 133 percent. Since 2014, it has added 12 destinations to its network in Africa offering 80 flights per week.

Also during October, Etihad Airways has announced it will add seven weekly flights to Egypt as well as an additional one to Nigeria. Emirates too is considering restoring capacity to Nigeria after cutting its four times weekly service last year, owing to a decline in the value of the Nigerian Naira. Meanwhile, outside of the UAE, Oman Air has signed a codeshare agreement with Kenya Airways after curtailing weekly services to the country in 2004.

Resurgent economies across the continent are the primary factor in the increase in demand for travel across Africa.

Nigeria’s GDP growth rate for instance is expected to double this year, while weaknesses seen in the Egytian pound owing to a contraction in the supply of the dollar are also being seen to abate. Currency weaknesses across Africa were cited as a key factor toward Emirates curtailing frequencies in Nigeria last year, according to president Tim Clark.

This year, tourist arrivals from Cairo, Abu Dhabi’s largest traffic market, are scheduled to increase to 6 million passengers in 2018 from 5 million in 2016. And deman for air travel across Africa is expected to increase well beyond IATA’s estimated global traffic growth rate of 4.7 percent.

The trend has allowed a Turkish Airlines spokesperson to claim Somalia “one of our most profitable destinations worldwide,” according to a report by Reuters. Almost a tenth of Turkish’s global passenger and cargo revenues now come from Africa.

Frontier Fined $1.5 Million For Denver Tarmac Delays https://aviationvoice.com/frontier-fined-1-5-million-for-denver-tarmac-delays-201709191048/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:48:48 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16755 The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Frontier Airlines (F9, Denver Int’l) USD1.5 million for lengthy tarmac delays following a snowstorm in Denver Int’l last December. Of the total fine, the DOT has waived USD900,000 because of compensation already paid by the airline to passengers.

Under DOT regulations, aircraft with more than 30 passenger seats are not permitted to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without allowing passengers to deplane, except where it is unsafe to do so. Every airline must have contingencies in place to ensure the comfort of passengers during lengthy delays.

Between December 16 to 18, 2016, Denver airport’s operations were affected by Winter Storm Decima, which caused heavy snow and ice. Due to a series of mechanical faults, several of Frontier’s gates became unusable, however the airline continued to land aircraft at Denver, leading to a backlog. Even as gates became available, Frontier did not have enough staff to cope with the operations. Additionally, in one instance the airline prioritised a departing flight at a gate, rather than deplaning one of the arrivals.

A total of eleven arriving flights were found to have violated DOT regulations, along with one departing flight.

“In conclusion, Frontier failed to adequately adjust its operations in response to the snowstorm and resulting gate congestion at DEN,” the DOT’s decision reads. “Moreover, Frontier failed to delay, divert, or cancel a sufficient number of flights scheduled to arrive at DEN, even though it was aware of the conditions at DEN, to allow the carrier to recover and reduce the probability of flights experiencing long tarmac delays.”

In its defence, Frontier says that the snowstorm had been sudden and unpredictable, and that it had taken the utmost steps to secure extra gates and staff. In addition, Frontier distributed USD1.2 million in cash and vouchers to reimburse affected passengers.

Nevertheless, the DOT issued the USD1.5 million fine, reduced to USD600,000 in consideration of compensation already paid.

Northrop Grumman To Acquire Orbital ATK For US$9.2bn https://aviationvoice.com/northrop-grumman-to-acquire-orbital-atk-for-us9-2bn-2-201709191026/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:26:18 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=16750 Northrop Grumman Corporation, a leading global security company, and Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, have entered into a definitive agreement under which Northrop Grumman will acquire Orbital ATK for approximately US$7.8bn in cash, plus the assumption of US$1.4bn in net debt.

Orbital ATK shareholders will receive all-cash consideration of US$134.50 per share.

The agreement has been approved unanimously by the Boards of Directors of both companies. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and Orbital ATK shareholder approval.