[Metro] Heathrow Airport has denied claims four planes in British airspace made ‘mayday’ distress calls as they came close to running out of fuel while battling gale-force winds.

Planes that were unable to land at either Gatwick or Heathrow on Friday were diverted to Manchester and met by emergency response teams.

It had been reported by the Sunday Times that three of the four planes made distress calls after they thought their reserve fuel was coming to an end.

In addition, it was thought that another, an American Airlines flight, had experienced problems with its rudder.

However, a spokesperson for Heathrow said this morning: ‘The story in the Sunday Times is untrue. There were no mayday or distress calls received at Heathrow.

‘Due to high cross winds some aircraft were diverted to other UK airports that have spare runway capacity.’

Read the full story at Metro……


BBC News
17th Jan, 2014


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[BBC News] An Airbus A380 plane operated by Singapore Airlines was forced to make an emergency landing in Azerbaijan due to loss of cabin pressure.

Oxygen masks were released ahead of the emergency landing

Oxygen masks were released ahead of the emergency landing. Picture: BBC / Amelia Yeh

The plane was flying from London to Singapore and had 467 passengers and 27 crew members on board.

The airline said that oxygen masks were deployed and the aircraft landed “uneventfully” at the Baku airport.

It said that none of the passengers or crew was injured and that it was investigating what caused the problem.

“We are seeking clearance from local authorities to transfer affected customers to a hotel until a replacement aircraft arrives from Singapore,” a spokesman for the airline said in a statement.

In response to passenger reports that it was because of a faulty door, a Singapore Airlines spokesman said that “on the earlier flight into London there was a noise reported from one of the main deck doors”.

But he added that “the door was inspected by engineers on the ground in London with no findings, and the aircraft was cleared for continued operation”.

Read the full story at BBC News…..


BBC News
6th Jan, 2014



[BBC NewsRyanair has warned that profits this year may miss its forecast.

Ryanair says it will make aggressive price cuts

Ryanair says it will make aggressive price cuts

Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier says that profits may miss or be at the lower end of its range of 570m to 600m euros (£480m to £508m).

Ryanair said there had been a dip in ticket prices and booking levels for September, October and November.

Its shares plunged 13% on the news and other airline shares were hit too, with Easyjet falling 6% and British Airways owner IAG Group down almost 4%.

Lower fares
Ryanair says the weakness of European economies is partly to blame as well as price cutting by rival airlines.

In a conference call chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “We are going to respond to this by being out there first and being aggressive in fare response”.

He said that Ryanair will offer its £14.99 one way fare on up to 1,000 routes in September, October and November. That is up from 600 routes over the summer.

It is also launching an advertising campaign in the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

Investor surprise
Mr O’Leary said the weakness of the pound was hurting profits as 25% of the airline’s sales are made in sterling.

“This is a surprise statement from Ryanair and comes contrary to some of the commentary from the peer group and indeed Ryanair’s own commentary at its June investor days,” said Donal O’Neill, analyst with Goodbody stockbrokers.

To compensate for the weak demand, Ryanair will ground 70 to 80 aircraft during the winter months, after initially expecting to ground just 50.

That should mean its annual seat capacity will be 81 million seats, still up 2-3% on last year.

Read the original story at BBC News …..

 


BBC News
4th September, 2013



[BBC NewsHeathrow Airport has unveiled three options for a new runway, saying each one would be “quicker and cheaper” than plans for a rival hub airport.

One of the airport's preferred options is to have a runway to the south-west of the existing airport

One of the airport’s preferred options is to have a runway to the south-west of the existing airport.  Image: Heathrow Airport

The airport’s submission to the Davies Commission, which is looking at raising airport capacity, outlined a runway to the north, north-west or south-west of the existing airport.

It said a new runway could be in place by 2029, allowing 260,000 more flights.

 

The full 40 page report can be downloaded here……

Heathrow Masterplan video download link here…..

 

London Mayor Boris Johnson said such an expansion would be “disastrous”.

‘Global hub status’

According to Heathrow’s submission, building a new runway would deliver extra capacity at the airport by 2025-29 and would allow it to operate 740,000 flights a year – up from the current limit of 480,000.

The plans would “maintain the UK’s global hub status for the foreseeable future” and “protect the thriving businesses and plentiful jobs that surround Heathrow”, it said.

Heathrow’s preferred option would be to place a new runway to the north-west or the south-west of the airport.

This would “deliver a full-length third runway while minimising the impact on the local community”.

The submission also detailed how a new westerly runway would help reduce noise pollution because planes would not have to fly so low over London.

It predicted that, even with a third runway, there would be 10-20% fewer people affected by noise under its new plans.

The option of building north of the airport would be the quickest and cheapest, the airport acknowledged – but it would also be the noisiest and have the biggest impact on residential property.

Heathrow expansion options

Heathrow expansion options

Each of the options would mean the compulsory purchase of some properties and some property demolitions, as well as potentially major work on the M25.

The submission also outlined the need for a sixth terminal at Heathrow as part of the plans – which would enable the airport to handle 130m passengers a year, rather than the current figure of 70m.

‘Flying pigs’

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “After half a century of vigorous debate but little action, it is clear the UK desperately needs a …….

Read the full story with video of Colin Matthews at BBC News…..


BBC News
17th July, 2013



[ITV NewsThomson Airways said a Dreamliner flying to Florida returned to Manchester after a “technical issue”.

Thomson Airways says Dreamliner forced to return to UK

Thomson Airways says Dreamliner forced to return to UK

A spokeswoman said: “Thomson Airways can confirm that flight TOM126 travelling from Manchester to Sanford, Florida experienced a technical issue and the aircraft returned to Manchester Airport, as a precautionary measure.

“Passengers have disembarked and our dedicated team of engineers are now inspecting the aircraft. Our customers will be moved to an alternative aircraft to ensure they get away on their holiday as soon as possible.

“The safety of our customers and crew is of paramount importance and we would like to apologise for the delay caused.”

Read the original story at ITV News…..


ITV News
12th July, 2012



[BBC News] Runways at London’s Heathrow airport have closed after a fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet.

No passengers were on board at the time of the fire

No passengers were on board at the time of the fire.  Image: BBC News

Arrivals and departures were suspended after the incident at 16:30 BST, a spokesman for the airport said. No passengers were aboard at the time.

Fifty Dreamliners worldwide were grounded in January because of battery malfunctions.

BBC Video Here

Aerial pictures show damage to the planes structure under the tail fin.   Image: BBC News

Aerial pictures show damage to the planes structure under the tail fin. Image: BBC News

Boeing later modified the jets with new batteries and flight resumed in April.

An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner named the Queen of Sheba – the same plane involved in the Heathrow incident – flew from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on the first commercial flight since the grounding.

Pictures of the Heathrow fire on Twitter show an aircraft close to a building and surrounded by fire vehicles. London Fire Brigade said its crews were standing by to assist Heathrow staff.

Fire-retardant foam appeared to have been sprayed at the airliner, but no damage to the aircraft was immediately apparent.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “We can confirm there has been an on-board internal fire involving an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft and the airport’s emergency services are in attendance.

“The aircraft was parked on a remote parking stand. There were no passengers on board and there are no reported injuries at this time.

“Arrivals and departures are temporarily suspended while airport fire crews attend to this incident. This is a standard procedure if fire crews are occupied with an incident.”

The airport is advising passengers to check the status of their flights with the airlines.

The Metropolitan Police said: “Police at Heathrow were alerted to a fire on a plane. Emergency services are in attendance.

“At this time it is believed no one was on board and there are no reports of any injuries. The fire is being treated as unexplained.”

Read the original story at BBC News……


BBC News
12 July, 2013



[BBC News] A Boeing 777 aircraft has crash-landed at San Francisco international airport, killing at least person and injuring as many as 30, diplomats say.

The plane reportedly landed and then crashed on San Francisco International Airport's Runway 28L

The plane reportedly landed and then crashed on San Francisco International Airport‘s Runway 28L

Pictures posted on Twitter showed passengers jumping down the inflatable emergency slides and leaving the area, as plumes of smoke rise from the plane.

Firefighters and rescue teams are at the scene of the downed Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which had taken off from South Korea’s capital, Seoul.

The cause of the crash is unclear.

Early indications suggest the plane came in too short and hit the seawall at the airport.

There were 291 passengers and 16 crew on board, Asiana said.

While the sequence of events remains unclear, it appeared the plane landed and then crashed on San Francisco International Airport’s Runway 28L, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown.

Footage of the scene showed debris strewn on the runway and smoke pouring from the jet, as fire crews sprayed a white fire retardant into gaping holes in the craft’s roof.

One engine and the tail fin appeared to have broken away from the main wreckage.

Passenger David Eun tweeted a picture of people jumping out of the plane’s emergency inflatable slides and wrote: “I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok. Surreal…”

Mr Eun, who describes himself as a “digital media guy” and “frequent flier”, added: “Fire and rescue people all over the place. They’re evacuating the injured. Haven’t felt this way since 9/11.”

A witness to the crash, Ki Siadatan, said the plane “looked out of control” as it descended over San Francisco Bay to land just before 11:30 (18:30 GMT).

“We heard a ‘boom’ and saw the plane disappear into a cloud of dust and smoke,” he told the BBC. “There was then a second explosion.”

He saw events unfold from the balcony of his home in the Millbrae area of San Francisco, which overlooks the airport.

Weather conditions were fine and there was little wind, he added.

Arrivals and departures at the airport have been suspended since the incident……

Read the full story at BBC News…..


BBC News
6th July, 2013



[Airport Informer) In a note to the Star Alliance airlines group, CEO of Heathrow Airport Colin Matthews has confirmed that the new terminal currently referred to as Terminal 2 will be given a royal title.

Heathrow's Newest Terminal, Terminal Two will be known as the Queen's Terminal.

Heathrow’s Newest Terminal will be known as Terminal Two: The Queen’s Terminal. Image: Heathrow Airport

Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal

Today, on the day before the Queen celebrates her official birthday, we are announcing that our new Terminal 2 will be known as ‘Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal’, in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Nearly sixty years after the Queen opened the original terminal 2 we’re delighted that she has kindly agreed to give her name to our new terminal.

Terminal 2 has a regal past. The original building was the first passenger terminal at the airport, opened in1955 by the Queen. During fifty-five years of operation over 300 million passengers passed through it. The original terminal was closed in November 2009 and demolished to make way for the construction of a new Terminal 2 designed around the passenger.

 Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal will open on 4th June 2014, and Heathrow is proud to continue Her Majesty’s long association with the airport:

 1952: The former Princess Elizabeth returned to Heathrow as Queen Elizabeth II, after her father, George VI, died whilst she was touring Kenya.

 1955: Queen Elizabeth II opened Heathrow’s first permanent passenger terminal, the Europa Building, which was later renamed Terminal 2, as well as the Queen’s Building and the airport’s original control tower.

 1969: Her Majesty formally inaugurated Terminal 1

 1977: Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the London Underground connection between central London and Heathrow – the first link of its kind to connect a capital city with its major airport.

 2008: Terminal 5 was opened by Her Majesty.

 2012: A giant Union Flag with an image of Queen Elizabeth II was painted next to Heathrow’s northern runway to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

The new Heathrow Terminal 2 is designed to provide a great experience even before take-off.

The new Heathrow Terminal 2 is designed to provide a great experience even before take-off. Image: Heathrow Airport

The terminal is the next major step in the transformation of Heathrow, and will continue the progress the airport has made in recent years with the opening of Terminal 5 and the refurbishment of Terminals 1, 3 and 4. £11bn has been spent on the airport over the last decade and passenger satisfaction scores now rank Heathrow as among the world’s very best large airports…..

Read more of the original letter here…..


The Airport Informer
14th May 2013



[Airport informer] If  you have to occasionally collect friends and family from Gatwick Airport‘s terminals, from July 1st you need to dig further in your pockets and pay for the privilege ….. and subsidise the taxi industry.

Minimum parking charges will rise from £1.50 to £3.00 to subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven cars

Minimum parking charges will rise from £1.50 to £3.00 to subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven cars. Image is for editorial purposes: Gatwick Airport Ltd

Gatwick Airport is planning a major shakeup of the Gatwick meet and greet industry.

Approved Operator Scheme

A recent consultation period has ended hosted held by Gatwick Airport in partnership with West Sussex County Council, Surrey Trading Standards and a number of meet and greet companies operating at the airport, the airport plans to introduce an approved ‘operator scheme’ and has launched a consultation period for meet and greet operators.

The aim is to ….

  • Reduce forecourt congestion by limiting meet and greet operations to specific, controlled areas
  • Expands the ‘user pays’ principle to cover meet and greet parking
  • Address the issue of sub-standard meet and greet operators at Gatwick by only allowing meet and greet companies that are part of the ‘approved operator’ scheme to operate at Gatwick
  • Recognise meet and greet operators that meet minimum customer service standards and ensure passengers can identify these operators.

The trouble is with these fine principles is that everyone now has to pay more to collect their loved ones as well.

In the words of the Gatwick Airport Ltd, in their full findings published here…  

Any individual not in the Approved Operator scheme will not be allowed to use the dedicated areas …, and will have to operate from the non-dedicated areas in the Multi-Story Car Park …. paying the regular tariff.

By the way the regular tariff has just had it’s minimum charges raised by 100%

Why, well in the words of Julia Gregory, Gatwick Airport’s head of Surface Transport….

“The implication for regular passengers using the forecourt is that the rules in place today will be more strictly enforced, that is to say that the forecourts must be for drop-off only, and any pick-ups should be carried out in the short-stay car park. If the scheme achieves its objectives, customers using the forecourts to drop-off friends/family will also benefit through better management of the traffic on the forecourts, and therefore shorter waiting times.”

she continues….

There have been changes to the tariff for the short-stay car parks, the key change is that the entry price point is now 0-30 minute at £3.00 rather than 0-15 minutes at £1.50. This change brings us in line with all the other main London airports, and we expect the vast majority of short-stay users to be unaffected (as most people take longer than 15 minutes to use the short-stays).

In effect the public will subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven car companies 

“This price change also allows us to offer discounted rates to the ‘Approved Operators’ that use the short-stay car parks, so forms a key part of the scheme. “

“expect …..push-back from customers”

“……this will have most impact from 1st July when the new rules on the forecourt start to be strictly enforced. In particular I expect there to be push-back from customers who today pick-up friends and family on the forecourt in contravention of the signage in place – they will not be allowed to do so from 1st July”.

In conclusion, from July 1st, bring some money….

You just know that when an auspicious entity like Gatwick Airport Ltd or a local council extols the virtues of a scheme to improve things……. it’s going to cost you more money somewhere along the line….

Don’t forget… Gatwick is “Your London Airport”


Airport informer
5th June, 2013