Norwegian’s Singapore revolution – world’s longest low-cost flight
Business Travel News reported that a new era for long-haul travel has begun now Norwegian Air has entered into the UK to Far East market, with a four-time-a-week service between Gatwick and Singapore.
Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate, who said: “Norwegian has raised the bar. Singapore is one of the world’s premier destinations and a significant addition to Gatwick’s 60-strong long-haul route network.”
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Monarch in administration
Air Transport World’s Alan Dron reported that UK leisure carrier Monarch Airlines entered administration in the early hours of Oct. 2 and its air operator’s certificate (AOC) has been suspended, marking the UK’s largest ever airline collapse.
In addition, later in the day, the joint administrators of Monarch Airlines Ltd. and Monarch Travel Group confirmed that 1,858 employees have been made redundant. “Of these, 1,760 were employees of Monarch Airlines, while 98 were employed by Monarch Travel Group.
Meanwhile, Business Travels News said KPMG have been appointed administrators to Monarch Airlines Limited and Monarch Travel Group Limited.
All flights from the UK, operated by Monarch Airlines, have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
Some Monarch flights to the UK were replaced with alternative flights, organised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with assistance from the administrators.
Rescue plans are in hand for 110,000 passengers overseas, with The Sunday Times reporting a fleet of Qatar Airways aircraft had been lined up by the CAA to help in any repatriation.
For more information, see the full BT News story >
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MH370 unknowns are ‘unacceptable’, ATSB says
Air Transport World reported that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which coordinated and led the huge underwater search for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that went missing in 2014, issued its final report, saying it is “almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable” that what happened to the aircraft and those onboard remains unknown.
The ATSB’s report, issued Oct. 3, does not reveal any new information about the search or add to what little has been established about flight MH370, but it does recommend further efforts to ensure airliners are tracked continuously.
MH370 disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur March 8, 2014. The aircraft, with 12 crew and 227 passengers onboard, was scheduled to go to Beijing, but the aircraft veered far from its course, turning west then south over the vast Indian Ocean.
The search for the missing aircraft continued for 1,046 days until Jan. 17, 2017, when it was suspended in a joint decision by the governments of Malaysia, Australia and China.
“It is almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era with 10 million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those onboard,” the ATSB report notes.
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Drone remotely monitors human vital signs
UAS Vision reported that a new development has been hailed as step forward for search and rescue technology, researchers in Australia have used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to measure the vital signs of people on the ground.
Working in collaboration with the country’s Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, the team from the University of South Australia successfully trialled UAVs equipped with remote-sensing imaging systems to measure heart and respiratory rates while hovering three metres from humans.
Video footage from the drones can detect changes in human skin tone and minute head movements to read vital signs, providing a low cost, accurate and convenient way to monitor heart rates without physical restrictions, according to the group.
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BID TO RETAIN PILOT WORKFORCE: Ryanair, rocked by rostering errors that have forced the Irish LCC to cancel thousands of flights over the next five months, has appealed to its pilots to stand by the company. The LCC has also offered to increase salaries to match or exceed those of competitor airlines, a move that CEO Michael O’Leary hopes will help attract new personnel from other carriers.
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COO STEPS DOWN: Irish LCC Ryanair has announced the resignation of COO Michael Hickey, who has been with the company for 30 years and overseen operations since 2014.
Hickey’s resignation, which takes effect from the end of October, comes after the airline was forced to make hundreds of cancellations, costing the company millions of euros, because of crewing problems related to a government-mandated change in how it allocates vacation time. Ryanair declined to comment on whether Hickey’s departure was related to that issue.
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TRAFFIC UP 10 PERCENT DESPITE CANCELLATIONS: Ryanair has posted a 10 percent increase in traffic for September, despite high-profile crewing problems that have forced the Irish LCC to cancel thousands of flights.
During the month of September, Ryanair carried 11.8 million passengers, up 10 percent on the same month in 2016. Rolling annual traffic grew 12 percent to 127.3 million. The airline’s average load factor rose two points to 97 percent.
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Qantas to use biofuel on Australia-Los Angeles flights
Qantas Airways released a statement that it has made a major move toward renewable fuels, announcing plans to use biofuel in its aircraft that stop at Los Angeles International Airport. The carrier intends to use a blend of 50% renewable fuel and 50% regular jet fuel in its aircraft operating from Los Angeles from 2020. To support this goal, it has agreed to purchase 8 million gallons of renewable fuel every year for the next 10 years from US-based company SG Preston.
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World’s largest pilots union offers support for Ryanair colleagues’ unionisation efforts
In October, at the biannual meeting of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) Executive Board, pilot leaders voted unanimously to provide financial, logistical, and staff support for the recent unionisation efforts by pilots at Europe’s Ryanair.
“ALPA is well-positioned to offer the vital support and resources needed for our colleagues in Europe who are fighting to protect their careers against a hostile management who threatens the livelihood not only of Ryanair pilots, but all pilots as well with their current business model,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA president.
“We stand united with our brothers and sisters at Ryanair, and are prepared to provide them with the help and support they need to win this fight.”
Headquartered in Ireland with more than 80 pilot bases in countries throughout Europe and North Africa, the majority of Ryanair’s pilots are employed on short-term contracts through agencies rather than by Ryanair directly. These “atypical” employment models dramatically undermine pilots’ ability to organise and negotiate fair terms and conditions of employment.
“We remain steadfast in our opposition to airline operations that avoid the direct employment of pilots by utilising brokers that act as employers or requiring pilots to create their own companies that then rent themselves out to the airline. If these atypical employment models are allowed to proliferate, they will ultimately erode high labour standards.”
ALPA’s Executive Board, composed of pilot leaders from each of the union’s 33 airlines, authorised providing the financial, logistical, and staff support necessary for Ryanair pilots to successfully bargain as a group on a trans-European basis.