Tag Archive: Airline

Diverting for danger: Airline cancels all flights and holidays to Egyptian holiday resort

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DEMISE: Once a popular tourist resort, attracting 700,000 Brits a year, Sharm El-Sheikh’s tourism industry has suffered massively since the blowing up of a Russian plane last year

DEMISE: Once a popular tourist resort, attracting 700,000 Brits a year, Sharm El-Sheikh’s tourism industry has suffered massively since the blowing up of a Russian plane last year

One of the UK’s leading independent airline group’s have confirmed the cancelation of all flights and holiday bookings to Sharm El-Sheikh for the foreseeable future, following the downing of a plane last year.

On 31st October 2015, a St Petersburg-bound flight crashed as it left the Egyptian airport, causing the deaths of 224 Russian passengers and crew members.

Moscow subsequently stated that the incident was caused by an explosive device, leading the British government to declare it an unsafe place to travel.

British holidaymakers, who were staying in the Red sea destination at the time of the crash, were subsequently evacuated in the first two week of November last year.

A number of airlines have stated their intention of not returning  a service to Sharm El-Sheikh in the future, with the latest of those being Monarch at the start of November.

With no indication from the Government as to when the airport will re-open to flights from the UK, the airline is cancelling all flight and holiday bookings for winter 2016/17 and there are now no plans for the destination to be part of Monarch’s summer 2017 programme.   

DIVERSION: Monarch planes will not travel to Sharm El Sheikh for the foreseeable future

DIVERSION: Monarch planes will not travel to Sharm El Sheikh for the foreseeable future

If the airport is re-opened to UK flights in the future, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed that they would ‘re-assess flying there as a new route’.

For Monarch customers who have existing flight and holiday bookings, they can re-book to an alternative Monarch destination, free of charge, or obtain a full refund.

Monarch Group Chief Executive, Andrew Swaffield, said: “Much hard work has been done by the UK and Egyptian Governments, along with the travel industry, to improve safety measures at Sharm El-Sheikh Airport and it is very disappointing that it remains closed.

“If and when the airport does reopen then we will assess whether we start flights and holidays again.”

Prior to the closure of the airport, roughly 700,000 Britons visited Sharm El-Sheikh every year, making it a popular and important holiday destination for the UK travel industry.

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P.I.A delay: Airline’s American flight is the most held-up in the UK

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WAIT FOR TAKE-OFF: The PIA flights between Manchester and New York was officially the most delayed flight on average in the UK

WAIT FOR TAKE-OFF: The PIA flights between Manchester and New York was officially the most delayed flight on average in the UK

A Pakistan International Airline flight from Manchester to New York was officially the most delayed flight in the UK last year, statistics released this week have shown.

Eight out of 10 recorded flights from January 2015 to March 2016 were delayed on the flight route with an average wait time of 88 minutes for patient passengers.

In total, delays added up to a massive 190 hours as departure boards

A spokesman for Manchester Airport said: “The Pakistan International Airlines service doesn't impact on any other flights operating from Manchester.”

PIA are yet to comment on the figures.

Worryingly for PIA’s regular passengers, the airline was also second on the list for companies with the highest average delays in the UK, only behind Turkmenistan Airlines.

Meanwhile, London Gatwick Airport had the most flights delayed in the same period, averaging an 18 minute wait for passengers.

A spokesperson said: “A spokeswoman for Gatwick Airport said: “We regret any delays our passengers experience however several incidents beyond Gatwick's control influenced the airport's performance during this period, including numerous air traffic control strikes across European airspace, impacting the airport's whole flight schedule including our long haul routes.

“Gatwick has more flights to Europe than any UK airport and can therefore be impacted disproportionately by events on the continent.”

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Sonu Nigam in row with aviation authority over “mid-flight concert”

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Sonu Nigam 2 (800x566)

Airwaves spat

An Indian airline has suspended five crew members who let a prominent Bollywood star sing over its public address system - sparking a row on social media.

Singer Sonu Nigam entertained his fellow passengers with some of his popular numbers on a Jet Airways Mumbai-Jodhpur flight in January.

The airline confirmed that the crew had been "taken off from flight duty" after an inquiry.

Sonu Nigam 1 (299x450)However, Nigam criticised the decision, saying it "lacked common sense".

"To suspend crew members for asking me to sing on the address system, when the seat-belt signs were off, and no announcements were to be made, is nothing less than punishing someone for spreading happiness," he said.

Nigam's mid-flight performance on 4th January was filmed by those on board, and subsequently went viral on social media.

India's aviation watchdog - the Directorate General of Civil Aviation – instructed the airline to suspend the crew members after conducting an inquiry.

The watchdog said that crew members had been distracted by the performance, "thus reducing their preparedness/alertness", and that "the frequent movement of the dancing crew may have affected the aircraft's centre of gravity during flight and created turbulence".

Allowing the use of mobile phones in the air was also "against present regulation", the paper added.

Jet Airways said in a statement: "All cabin crew on the flight have been taken off flight duty for enquiry and corrective training to reinforce strict adherence to operating procedures."

Sonu Nigam's name began trending on Twitter in India on Friday, with many criticising the decision to suspend the crew members.

However, others supported the airline, saying the performance could have endangered the flight.

It is not the first time a mid-air performance has sparked controversy in India.

In 2014, the aviation watchdog asked another private airline to suspend two of its pilots because they had allowed the crew to dance to a Bollywood number to celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi.

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Pakistani airline takes off

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FROM MANCHESTER TO ISLAMABAD: The new airline will take to the skies next month, with fares from £540

FROM MANCHESTER TO ISLAMABAD: The new airline will take to the skies next month, with fares from £540

A Pakistani airline will commence a new service between Manchester Airport and Islamabad next month, in aeroplanes that have 326 seats and fares that start from £540.

The Pakistani airline, called Shaheen Air, will offer three services a week to Benazir Bhutto International Airport from 15th March 2016 with A330-200 aircraft.

The services will operate inbound on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. With departing flights on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from Manchester Terminal Two at 22:00 and arriving at 18:30 on an Airbus A330.

Raza Channa, UK Country Manager from Shaheen Air said: “We are proud to announce the return of Shaheen Air to the UK by launching direct flights between Manchester and Islamabad.

“We are pleased to offer a fantastic service at the lowest fare and maximum baggage allowance of two piece 60kgs.”

Stephen Turner, Commercial Director for Manchester Airport, said: “I’m delighted that Manchester Airport has been chosen by Shaheen Air as they resume flights into the UK. Islamabad continues to be a popular destination with the 22 million people across our catchment area and this new service will provide them with additional choice for reaching the city, and also connecting around Pakistan, with Shaheen’s extensive network.”

 

Shaheen Air is the biggest private airline of Pakistan with a fleet of 19 aircraft comprising of A330-300, A320 and B-737-400 planes, with the planned induction of four A330-200 and three A320, the fleet size will increase to 26.

Currently Shaheen Air serves 13 international and seven domestic destinations, and has plans to operate flights to Copenhagen, Oslo, Milan, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok in the near future.

Manchester Airport is the UK’s third largest with over 210 destinations served by 70 plus airlines. It has in excess of 23m annual passengers.

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Tur-banned

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HOME BOUND: Waris has since returned home and thanked AeroMexico for their eventual co-operation

HOME BOUND: Waris has since returned home and thanked AeroMexico for their eventual co-operation

Airline requested actor remove religious headwear before boarding

Sikh actor and model Waris Ahluwalia claims he was barred from boarding an AeroMexico flight bound for New York on Monday because of his traditional turban.

41-year-old Ahluwalia - who has appeared in the Wes Anderson films, ‘The Darjeeling Limited’, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, and ‘The Life Aquatic’ - says he was stopped trying to board a flight to New York for fashion week.

Ahluwalia wrote on his Instagram account that whilst going through security, AeroMexico staff told him he would have to fly a more 'inclusive' airline when he refused to remove his holy headwear.

He then refused to board another flight until he received an apology.

Ahluwalia has asked for 'a public apology from AeroMexico, Sikh awareness training for airport security, and training on how to screen passengers with religious headwear.’

UNMOVED: The story was told through Waris’ Instagram account

UNMOVED: The story was told through Waris’ Instagram account

Speaking with The Washington Post on Monday night, he said: “I realise that this isn't about my convenience or getting home for lunch today. I realise that if I walk away, somebody else was going to go through this experience again.”

He added: “It doesn't feel like a choice I can make. I don't think I can just get on that plane.”

Ahluwalia has since returned to his New York home after talks with the airline and updated his followers on Instagram about his travels.

He wrote: “Home sweet home. Thank you to each and every one of you on social media for your support and for continuing the dialogue on tolerance and understanding of all cultures.

“It is with your help we were able to effect change. This is one small step forward for humanity. Keep the conversation alive, and with patience, LOVE will prevail.”

US guidelines, which were put into effect in 2010, no longer require air passengers to remove turbans if it makes them uncomfortable, and Sikhs have argued body scanners and metal detectors already make it unnecessary.

This is not the first time that Ahluwalia has been targeted because of his faith.

In 2013, he became the first Sikh man to appear in an advertising campaign for GAP.

Racist graffiti was then daubed over several billboards featuring Ahluwalia sporting a beard and turban.

The slogan for the national retailer's holiday campaign was ‘Make Love’ but one person scrawled over a poster that appeared in The Bronx, ‘Make Bombs’. The offensive scribbles also included the line: ‘Please stop driving taxis!’.

 

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