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Thank you for flying Van Gogh Earlines

New look of the Jet2 set

New look of the Jet2 set

Darlings, last year almost to the day, I wrote about UK budget airline Jet2 where a promotion to give out free air tickets caused a massive brawl instead. [See Fight Club Class]

This time the story Jet2 is in the news with a passenger who had his ear bitten off while flying from Newcastle to Ibiza. It happened just as the plane was about to land.

From the Daily Mail:

One passenger told the Daily Mirror that the victim ran to the front of the plane when it landed covered in blood, with ‘half his ear just hanging off’.

He added: ‘It was a relief to get off and an absolutely horrible thing to happen in a confined space in front of families.’

Another witness told the paper: ‘It was absolutely sickening. To bite someone’s ear off on a plane packed with other people at such close quarters and with families sitting around him is absolutely appalling, people were getting off the plane complaining of feeling physically sick.’

Not sure why they are bringing families into it as if it there were no kids around, it would it be ok but that is Geordies for you, a hard bunch.

You know what Dahlings, they really should look at giving out peanuts like their US Cousins Southwest does to keep hunger at bay. It seems to help as you never see this sort of thing across the pond.

Ciao for now,
Cleo

PS: I still love the Jet2 logo.

Jet2 Logo: Unfriendly low passengers !

Reality: Unfriendly low passengers !

Coroner declares first case of aerotoxic syndrome

Airplane warning

Airplane warning

An update to a prior story “Flying on fumes : Are aircraft leaks poisoning cabin crew?“.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Dorset Coroner declared “aerotoxic syndrome” as the cause of death for pilot Richard Westgate. From the article:

Toxic fumes in cabin air pose a health risk to frequent fliers and aircrew, a coroner has said in a landmark report.

Stanhope Payne, the senior coroner for Dorset, said people regularly exposed to fumes circulating in planes faced “consequential damage to their health”.

Mr Payne, who is inquiring into the death of Richard Westgate, a British Airways pilot, called on BA and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to take “urgent action to prevent future deaths”. Most airline passengers, who fly only occasionally, will not be affected by the problem, but some frequent travellers who are genetically susceptible to the toxins could fall ill.

Mr Payne’s call for urgent action is likely to be welcomed by campaigners who have raised similar concerns for a number of years.

His report, obtained by the Telegraph, is the first official UK recognition of so-called “aerotoxic syndrome”, a phenomenon long denied by airlines but which is blamed by some for the deaths of at least two pilots and numerous other incidents where pilots have passed out in flight. Co-pilots can normally take over, but campaigners claim the syndrome is a suspected cause of some mid-air disasters.

At issue is the source of where the airplanes sources their compressed air to pressurize the cabin- the engines themselves which if it malfunctions, is a potential source for contamination from oil particles.

Trajan.

Pigs will fly : The Case against flag flying airlines

Sabina : A ghost of National Airlines passed

Sabina : A ghost of National Airlines passed

Malaysia Airlines is cutting 30% of it’s staff in an attempt to be viable business. It is getting a $2B bailout from the Malaysian Government and will de-list itself from the stock exchange. It will focus on becoming a regional routes which sounds like a smart business move: There is no need to fly everywhere and travelers accept changing at hubs.

The two disasaters were a factor in that it led to reduced number of passengers booking on them.

Khazanah [the investment arm of the Malaysian government]said there would be “significant changes to leadership” at Malaysia Airlines and that it would consider “global aviation industry executives” in its search for new talent. The current chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, will remain as chief until July.

The government said it would carry out the restructuring by creating a new company with a “right-sized work force and work practices and contracts.” Malaysia Airlines has been burdened in recent years by contracts with politically connected suppliers.

The burden — and the risk — of the restructuring plan appears to fall heavily on the airline’s creditors. They will be offered a swap of the airline’s debt for shares of the new company, according to the plan. Among the airline’s largest bondholders is the government employee pension fund, known as Kumpulan Wang Persaraan, which, according to Friday’s announcement, agreed to swap 750 million ringgit, or about $240 million, for ordinary shares. The move is likely to be controversial because investors have long assumed that the debts of the state-controlled airline were guaranteed by the government.

Continue reading..

Flying on fumes : Are aircraft leaks poisoning cabin crew?

Airplane warning

Airline advisory?

As if we don’t have enough hassle with flying: Is Your Airline Poisoning You? asks Bloomberg.

Richard Westgate. A former pilot with British Airways, Westgate died in December 2012 after more than a decade of illness that he believed had been caused by long-term exposure to jet-engine lubricants bleeding into cabin air. Samples of Westgate’s blood and tissue were provided to Mohamed Abou-Donia of Duke University Medical School, an expert in organophosphate poisoning, who published the results of his investigation late last month in the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry.

According to Abou-Donia, Westgate’s tissues were riddled with clear evidence of organophosphate poisoning, including significant brain injury. “It was the worst case I’d seen in all these years of doing this work,” Abou-Donia told me.

In theory, organophosphates — which are derived from jet-engine lubricants and the chemicals added to them — should not be floating in cabin air. All jets (except for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner) pressurize their cabins using warm, compressed air that’s “bled” from the jet engines and recirculated through cabins. Seals are meant to separate the air from the oil and other chemicals.

Occasionally, however, those seals fail or leak and result in a “fume event” that contaminates the cabin. Such events happen with disturbing frequency: An online search brings up numerous fume events with human health impacts from recent years. A 2014 study by the Australian Transportation Safety board reported that it had received reports of “over 1,000” such cases between 2008 and 2012. While most were “minor in consequence,” others included “a single flight crew incapacitation event and a further 11 minor injury events to crew.” 

Oh, the joys of travel.

Swissport, Swisswhine: Baggage fiasco in Gatwick airport tied to low wage contractor

Following on from Heathrow T5 fiasco where BA fliers had problems of no luggage for a few days, we now hear about luggage problems with passengers going through Gatwick. In the Heathrow example,the issue was equipment related. In Gatwick’s case, the problem is staffing. It seems that the contractor, Swissport, cannot get staff to want to work.

From the Telegraph:-

Travellers flying from Gatwick this weekend can expect chaotic scenes because Swissport, the baggage handling firm, does not have enough workers to load and unload planes. Two airlines warned that difficulties at the airport could worsen over the next four months because airlines are locked in to contracts with Swissport.

The problem is most acute at weekends because the firm is using staff on zero-hours contracts who do not wish to work anti-social hours, it is claimed.

Airlines using Swissport at Gatwick for baggage handling services include British Airways, Virgin, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.

The firm is having its contract terminated by at least one airline after it was blamed for failing to load passengers’ bags on to outgoing planes and not returning luggage to those arriving at Gatwick.

It get’s worse. Continue reading..

Falling for the story hook, (air)line, and sinker : Problem in finding the story behind the headlines

SouthWest Airlines: Copyright Roads-2-Roam.com

SouthWest Airlines at Lovefield: Copyright Roads-2-Roam.com

According to ABC headline “Airline Hiring Taking Off as Travel Zooms“.

“It’s getaway day for millions of Americans with the start of the Memorial Day weekend. The travel industry is set to enjoy its best summer since 2007, just before the recession hit. The airline industry is slowly adding jobs after shedding workers in recent years. And more hires are likely in the next few months. The U.S. Transportation Department says passenger airlines employed more than 383,000 full-time workers in March, up nearly 1 percent from last year. Delta Air Lines added the most jobs, followed by US Airways, American, and Jet Blue. Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air grew fastest in percentage terms, both posting double-digit gains. United Airlines and Southwest shed jobs.”

And that was it. Throw out a morsel to whet the information appetite but give no meat. Continue reading..