Posts with the tag ‘airlines’


Quest For More From CNN From MH-370

March 6, 2016

Full disclosure: The Crash Detectives, my own book on the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370, will be published by Penguin in September. This may have colored my perception of Richard Quest’s new book, The Vanishing of Flight 370. Then again, maybe it really is a rehash of CNN’s original undisciplined coverage. Quest, CNN’s business correspondent, is well known for his out-sized personality and his “say anything” interview style. But in the book he has produced for Penguin Berkley and timed to the second anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia 370, all his insouciant charm is gone. Without that, Quest’s demonstrated ego wears thin long… Read More…


Nick Tramontano; An Aviator’s Legacy of Kindness

February 12, 2016

  Consider this quote from Irish aviation executive Willie Walsh talking about the boss of a competing airline, Virgin’s Richard Branson. “I don’t like him, I don’t admire him, I don’t buy his bullshit.” Or consider Michael O’Leary of Ireland’s Ryanair, “I don’t give a shit if no one likes me. I’m not a cloud bunny or an aerosexual. I don’t like aeroplanes. I never wanted to be a pilot like those other platoons of goons who populate the airline industry.” The world of aviation is full of arrogant, combative individuals who may be providing a service to a world growing ever more reliant on air… Read More…


Note to Allegiant: Emergency Landings Are Not the Problem

January 28, 2016

Recently a friend asked me what airlines were the safest to fly. I get asked that question all the time. I find the question challenging in part because of the chasm between risk and perceived risk. For example, most air travelers will admit to some anxiety about the safety of their flight, but few worry much about the taxi in which they are speeding to the airport. Travelers are also treated to end-of-the-year news reports about the world’s most dangerous airlines based on fatalities. That’s a false relationship as I’ve reported before. Sometimes, however, it is obvious what airlines to avoid. I was reminded of that today when I read… Read More…


Third World Bathrooms in OneWorld Terminal

January 18, 2016

Warning to readers:  Photos of toilets appear in this post. Travelers at the airport hail from many countries and speak many languages but women arriving on oneworld flights into New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport have one word for the condition of the bathrooms in Terminal 8, “Ewwww.” Kisha Burgos stopped at the bathroom in the baggage claim area and was shocked to see paper-strewn floors, filthy toilets and empty and broken paper dispensers in the stalls. “It’s bad,” she told me comparing it to the airports she visited in Bangkok, Vietnam and Laos on her recent five-week trip. “Everything was really clean,” she said of the bathrooms in… Read More…


Aviation Year in Review Has a Star Wars Sci-Fi Feel

December 29, 2015

Star Wars dominated the end-of-the-year entertainment news. Harrison Ford, the ageless superstar most associated with the ageless film franchise also arrives on my list of top aviation news stories as I wrap up the year with a look back at 2015. It was March (and the movie was already in the can) when Ford, a pilot for nearly a quarter century, lost the engine on his Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport. He crash landed on a golf course about 800 feet from the airfield. The NTSB determined a carburetor malfunction allowed too much fuel to flow into the engine causing… Read More…


Happy Birthday from Syria and Other Places in a Troubled World

December 19, 2015

>One of my Facebook messages today Not long after my eyes opened this morning I enjoyed reading some of the early birthday greetings posted on my Facebook page. (Don’t judge me.) It is heartwarming to be remembered by friends and family of course. Then I noticed something else; the remarkable number of countries from which those greetings came. I counted eleven even before 9:00 o’clock. My host family during my 2006 stay in Syria, my daughter’s former boyfriend in New Zealand, an au pair from Spain, a tour guide from Morocco, a pre-teen acquaintance from Australia, an a septuagenarian from Japan, business associates from Norway,… Read More…


Nice Landing or Scary Takeoff A350 Enters Service With Both

December 18, 2015

>A350 arrives in Brazil photo courtesy TAM What a difference a week makes. Early this morning, TAM Airlines happily welcomed its first Airbus A350 when it touched down uneventfully in Brazil after a flight from Airbus HQ in Toulouse France. Earlier this week, however, it was quite a different experience when a Qatar Airways charter flight with aviation writers enjoying a look at the fancy new wide body, attempted to leave New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.   >Honig’s blog post on the Qatar experience In that case, what appeared to be a normal takeoff roll was suddenly aborted. Zach Honig, The Points Guy… Read More…


Merry Christmas for U.S. Airlines With Record Profits in 2015

December 10, 2015

>US Carrier profitability takes off It will be a merry end of the year for North American airlines which will earn nearly $20 billion in profits in 2015, according to numbers forecast today by the International Air Transport Association.  That’s more than half of the $33 billion profit expected to be generated by the world’s passenger carriers for the year about to come to a close. “North American airlines are way out ahead of the pack and producing good operating margins,” said Brian Pearce economist for the trade association in a presentation to journalists in Geneva. But in an industry more comfortable with and more… Read More…


Prudence and Probable Cause Not the Same Thing in Metrojet Crash

November 5, 2015

>UK Prime Minister Cameron Government photo All over the news today is the story of the UK and Irish governments canceling flights out of Sharm el Sheikh. British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters “ a bomb was more likely than not” to have brought down the Airbus A321 flown by the Russian charter airline, Metrojet. But be cautious about drawing conclusions based on the reaction of government officials concerned about protecting the lives of citizens flying out of the Egyptian resort town. It is the job of Prime Ministers and other political leaders to be prudent and investigate what could have happened to determine if a… Read More…


Eyebrows Ascend as Airline Execs Demonstrate Their Plonker-ism

November 3, 2015

It never ceases to amaze me how often senior airline bosses will prattle on regardless of what they know about the subject. The latest you’ve-got-to-be-kidding remarks come from Alexander Smirnov, the deputy general director of the airline, Metrojet whose Airbus A321 crashed over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Sunday. “We rule out a technical fault of the plane or a pilot error,” the executive said at news conference in Moscow on Monday and adding fuel to the speculation that the Airbus A321  was brought down by a terrorist. “The only possible (sic) could be a purely mechanical external impact,” Smirnov said. >Smirnov news conference photo from Poskotanews Well he can… Read More…


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