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News of May 2011


iPad enters the cockpit on Alaska Air

30 May 2011

Alaska Airlines is dumping paper flight manuals for its pilots in favor of electronic documents stored on company-issued iPads.

The Seattle-based carrier will be the first major U.S. airline to make the switch from paper to iPad when all its pilots receive a tablet by mid-June. Alaska is making the switch “as part of an ongoing effort to use technology to enhance flight safety, improve efficiency and protect the environment,” according to a statement from the airline.

Apparently the iPad was the first device to impress Alaska higher-ups enough to consider going digital.

source: PC World


Wizz Air celebrates 7th anniversary

27 May 2011

The airline’s first flight took to the skies on 19 May 2004 from Katowice in Southern Poland. Since then, the airline has gone on to become the largest airline in Central and Eastern Europe operating from 15 bases, in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Lithuania.

Wizz Air has carried more than 10 million passengers in the past 12 months – up by more than 22% compared with the previous 12 months.

The airline has one of the youngest fleets in the world, consisting of 35 Airbus A320s with a further 104 aircraft on order, which will deliver the airline’s growth plans for many years to come.

source: Reuters


Korean Air launches duty-free showcase

26 May 2011

Korean Air last week launched the world’s first duty-free onboard showcase, to be featured its new A380 aircraft at the Tax Free World Association Asia Pacific exhibition in Singapore. The airline also unveiled its onboard Celestial Bar during the exhibition.

The duty-free showcase has been designed and produced in partnership with L’Oréal Luxury Products and a variety of duty-free products such as cosmetics, perfumes, liquor and accessories will be displayed.

source: dfnionline.com


Flights back on schedule after eruption dies down

26 May 2011

Airline passengers breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday as a gap in the ash cloud from Iceland’s latest volcanic eruption allowed almost disruption-free travel.

Seismologists reported that Grimsvotn’s eruption had died down, with no ash plume seen since 3am GMT yesterday.

But there were warnings that clouds of ash already in the sky could return to Britain tomorrow in time for the start of any bank-holiday getaways.

Across Europe, just under 1,000 flights have been disrupted by the Grimsvotn eruption – a fraction of the chaos caused last year when Eyjafjallajokull erupted.

source: Independent.co.uk


Thai Airways to launch short-haul carrier

24 May 2011

Thai Airways International is going ahead with plans to establish a new, full-service, short-haul carrier and hopes it will start operating early next year. The plan was approved by the airline’s board on Friday.

This new airline, which will be based in Bangkok and will operate under a new sub-brand, will be a business unit of Thai Airways and will operate domestically and on short-haul international routes using 11 aircraft, it says. The aim is for it to differentiate itself in the marketplace with a new image and price differentiation, says Thai.

Thai Airways Chairman Ampon Kittiampon told journalists in Bangkok Friday that the new carrier, tentatively named Thai Wings, would start flying in March or April and will operate 737s. But he stopped short of saying if these will be 737-400s or -800s.

source: aviationweek.com


Volcanic ash cloud threat hits airline shares

23 May 2011

Airline shares dived on Monday in fright at the threat to traffic from an Icelandic volcanic ash cloud closing the skies over Europe, a year after European airlines were hit by month-long ash chaos.

Iceland’s Grimsvoetn volcano began erupting late on Saturday. Ash from the eruption is expected to reach Scotland on Tuesday, and might reach France and Spain on Thursday.

In April 2010 Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano erupted, spewing a massive cloud of ash that caused the planet’s biggest airspace shutdown since World War II with more than 100,000 flights cancelled and eight million passengers stranded.

source: AFP


Singapore Airlines confirms Airbus A380 with all-business class upper deck

23 May 2011

Singapore Airlines has confirmed the imminent arrival of a new series of Airbus A380s with an extended business class cabin running the entire length of the upper deck.

The carrier has listed its second-gen A380 on the new Singapore Airlines website unveilled today and released a seatmap for the new-look superjumbo which shows the upper deck will be exclusive to business class passengers, with 86 seats spread over 22 rows.

This is sub-divided into four cabin areas, including the oddity of a single row cabin (row 96) with just four seats – with the rearmost exit in front and the toilet, galley and stairs to the lower deck below.

source: ausbt.com.au


Pilot error emerges as the most likely cause of Air France crash

21 May 2011

Pilot error is emerging as the most likely cause of the crash of the Air France Rio-Paris airbus which plunged into the South Atlantic in June 2009, killing all 228 people on board.

Preliminary investigation of black-box flight recorders, found three miles down in the ocean last month, suggest there was no major technical failure in the Airbus A330.

The accident occurred when severe tropical storms lay directly in the aircraft’s path. One of the mysteries of flight AF447 is why the pilots flew directly into the eye of the storm. Other flights over the South Atlantic that day steered around the bad weather.

source: Independent.co.uk


Jet passengers charged over £100 to correct typos on tickets

20 May 2011

Passengers are being charged more than £100 to correct simple spelling mistakes on plane tickets.

New research shows even a small typing error in someone’s name will incur a hefty extra charge.

Monarch and easyJet both charge a flat fee of £100 per person per ticket for a name change. But it could cost people even more for a mistake with bmibaby, easyJet, Jet2 or Flybe, says Which? Travel.

It’s the latest example of the rip-off surcharges imposed by airlines who are facing an Office of Fair Trading probe into complaints about debit and credit card fees.

source: Mirror


United inadvertently revives 9/11 flight numbers

19 May 2011

United Airlines temporarily revived the flight numbers of two hijacked planes used in the September 11 attacks but said on Wednesday the move was inadvertent and they would not be used.

We are taking immediate steps to remove them and apologize for the error,” a United spokesman said.

Call numbers 93 and 175 were mistakenly assigned to two flights by Continental Airlines, which has merged with United.

United declined to explain how the numbers found their way back onto flights. Unionized flight attendants urged the company to permanently retire them, while pilots said the move was insensitive.

source: Reuters