Archive for December, 2012


[BAA] In a note tinged with sadness, BAA’s new CIO Neil Clark announced to his team and to the Heathrow community, that his predecessor Philip Langsdale had passed away suddenly on 22nd December.

Philip Langsdale, ex CIO at BAA dies suddenly just before his 57th birthday

Philip Langsdale, ex CIO at BAA died suddenly a day before his 57th birthday: Photo: Airport Technology

Mr Langsdale was BAA Chief Information Officer serving four years with the UK airports company, he tended his resignation and left his post in August of this year (2012). He moved to a new position taking on the role of Chief Information Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mr Langsdale replaced Joe Harley as CIO at the DWP in September 2012, his role at BAA was filled by Neil Clark. Mr Clark was previously the Director for IT Programme delivery.

In an email released on the morning of Christmas Eve, Mr Clark said…..

It is with deep sadness that I have to bring you the news that Philip Langsdale passed away on Saturday 22nd December, the day before before his 57th birthday.

He will be remembered fondly by us all. 

I will of course pass our condolences to Philip’s wife and daughters.”

Philip Langsdale will be remembered for his great achievements at BAA. In the 2012 Appleton Lecture at the Institute of Engineering and Technology he explained the systems that Heathrow needed to make the airport run smoothly.

The then CIO of the world’s busiest airport announced that £1.5 billion was to be sunk into improving real-time and decision-making software systems at Heathrow.

We wish to pass on our deepest condolences to Mr Langsdale’s family.


Reporting: ChrisNewman
The Airport Informeer
Dec 31st, 2012



[The Local] Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has admitted that the much-delayed new Berlin BER international airport may miss its October 2013 opening deadline, yet indirectly criticised the capital’s mayor for the continuing fiasco. 

Initially the airport's opening date was set for 30 October 2011. In June 2010

Initially the airport’s opening date was set for 30 October 2011. In June 2010. Photo: Wikipedia

“The co-owner, the federal government, sees signs that the opening date of October 27, 2013 might possibly not be met,” Ramsauer told Die Welt newspaper on Wednesday.

The state governments of Brandenburg and Berlin are the other two owners of the airport which is being built to replace the Schönefeld and Tegel airports, and was last expected to open in the summer.

The latest official reason for the non-opening of the airport was that the fire warning system was not working, and Ramsauer said many tests were still needed to see whether it was now going to function.

He said the BER supervisory board, chaired by Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, was responsible for the management of the project – but also that they were reliant on the managers providing all necessary information.

The main problem with the project has been that, “not all decisive facts have been laid on the table of the supervisory board,” said Ramsauer.

Yet the transport minister, who is also responsible for construction, said such problems were not unique to publicly-run projects. “Public and private building contractors cook with the same water – both give out contracts to companies,” he said.

“There are botches, delays and cost increases. That does not excuse anything for public projects, but one should not make it worse than it is,” he said.

Read the original story at The Local – Germany’s News in English


The Local
26th Dec, 2012



[The Guardian] A fresh row over boardroom pay at easyJet is looming after the airline announced a share award that could see the chief executive, Carolyn McCall, net another £2m on top of her annual salary and bonus of £2m. 

Airline defends Carolyn McCall's performance-related incentive plan amid fears easyJet founder will vote against £2m package

Airline defends Carolyn McCall’s performance-related incentive plan amid fears easyJet founder will vote against £2m package: Photo: easyJet

The low-cost carrier said the long-term incentive plan was dependent on tough new targets that would require the company to exceed this year’s record performance.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyJet’s founder and largest shareholder, is understood to be unhappy with the scheme, despite modifications to take into account his criticisms of how return on capital is calculated. He is likely to vote against the directors’ pay package again at the annual general meeting in February, although he sees the real potential for a “shareholder spring” as coming in 2014 when new rules make the vote on pay binding.

McCall has received similar performance-related share incentives each year since joining the airline in 2010. The first batch came to fruition for her this month with just over 300,000 shares, which the former Guardian Media Group boss could cash in from July for £2.2m at current rates. An easyJet spokesman said the shares would……

Read the full story at The Guardian…..

 


The Guardian – Gwyn Topham
18th Dec, 2012



[Yahoo News] Friday’s unimaginable massacre in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people dead is still incomprehensible for many of us. As a nation, we mourn the loss of life and innocence, particularly of the 20 children from Sandy Hook Elementary School. Two of the young victims’ funerals will be held today, for Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner.

News of what JetBlue did traveled through Twitter and all over social media.

News of what JetBlue did traveled through Twitter and all over social media. Photo: Wikipedia

Noah’s family wanted letters from his friends and family buried with him, and now thanks to social media and the compassion displayed by one airline, the Pozner family’s wish will be granted.

On Sunday, Noah’s aunt, Victoria Haller, tweeted to Delta and JetBlue asking for help getting letters from her 5-year-old son, who lives in Seattle with her, to Connecticut in time for today’s funeral. Both airlines responded. Delta tweeted back a phone number to its cargo department. JetBlue tweetedHaller back asking for her number so they could get in touch with her.

Using the hashtag #LoveForNoah, Haller tweeted, “My friends at JetBlue really took a risk taking on this huge responsibility and we will all be eternally grateful. #LoveForNoah.” JetBlue quickly sprang to action and got the letters from Haller’s family onto the red-eye flight from Seattle to New York to make it to Noah’s funeral in time. JetBlue tweeted to Haller, “Again, we here at JetBlue find it a privilege and an honor to have been a part of this. #LoveForNoah from our family to yours!”

News of what JetBlue did traveled through Twitter and all over social media. People were impressed by the airline’s response and sent messages such as, “well done JetBlue” and “the smallest thing makes the biggest difference.”

The Trending Now team spoke with a JetBlue representative who confirmed Haller’s story. We hope that this act of kindness from JetBlue will help bring some sort of solace to Noah’s family…..

Read the original story at Yahoo News…..


Yahoo News
By  | Trending Now
17th Dec, 2012



[FT.com] British Airways stands to strengthen its grip on Heathrow by gaining the right to buy a large chunk of take-off and landing slots at the airport, as part of proposals Ryanair is offering European regulators to seek approval for its contentious takeover of Aer Lingus.

Ryanair is trying to secure regulatory approval for its third takeover bid for the Irish flag carrier.

Ryanair is trying to secure regulatory approval for its third takeover bid for the Irish flag carrier. Photo: Wikipedia

The UK flag carrier, the largest airline at Heathrow, has struck a deal with Ryanair to purchase more than 85 per cent of Aer Lingus’s slots at the airport, which are currently used to provide services to Dublin, Shannon and Cork, said three people familiar with the agreement between Ryanair and British Airways.

Heathrow is running at near full capacity, so the opportunity to buy Aer Lingus’s slots at the airport could provide British Airways with an important means to eventually expand its long-haul services

Last month, the European Commission objected to Ryanair’s bid on competition grounds. The commission prohibited Ryanair’s first bid for Aer Lingus in 2007, and Brussels has never cleared a merr that it previously rejected.

British Airways is offering to take responsibility for many of Aer Lingus’s services out of Heathrow for at least three years.

With British Airways operating these services, Ryanair is privately saying that a combined Ryanair-Aer Lingus would not be dominant on those routes, said people familiar with the Irish budget carrier’s stance.

However, British Airways would run these services in place of Aer Lingus for between three and five years – after that it would have the right to buy the Irish flag carrier’s Heathrow slots and reallocate them to different destinations, such as New York.

Aer Lingus is the third-largest airline at Heathrow, and British Airways would be able to purchase up to 20 pairs of slots for daily flights that are held by the Irish flag carrier at the airport…….

Read the full story at FT.com…..

 


Financial Times
By Andrew Parker in London and Alex Barker in Brussels
Dec 14th, 2012



[The Moscow Times] British budget airline easyJet on Wednesday started selling tickets for a Moscow-Manchester service to begin in March, as the no-frills carrier looks set to slash the cost of flying between Russia and Britain.

easyJet plans to launch its low-cost Moscow-London and Moscow- Manchester flights in March

easyJet plans to launch its low-cost Moscow-London and Moscow- Manchester flights in March. Photo: Wikipedia

A one-way trip from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport to Manchester, the third largest city in Britain, starts at $72.49, easyJet director Paul Simmons told The Moscow Times. The price for Moscow-London flights, with sales set to begin in mid-January, will be similar.

As of March 18, there will be four daily flights between Moscow and London, leaving London at 7 a.m. and 2:10 p.m. and Moscow at 2:30 p.m. and 9:40 p.m., Simmons said. The Moscow-Manchester service will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

While there is a fixed quota for tickets sold at the starting price, easyJet operates a system whereby fares increase with demand, making them more expensive in peak periods.

The company’s first commercial flight from Manchester to Moscow is scheduled for March 28. By mid-afternoon in Moscow a one-way ticket on easyJet’s website was selling for £59.99 ($96.70).

As well as stealing market share from Russian carriers, easyJet also expects to boost the numbers of tourists and businessmen travelling between the two countries.

“We will grow the market,” Simmons said. “We tend to do that when we go to a new destination.”

And the company expects the new routes to be lucrative. easyJet could reap profits of up to $2.4 million flying 300,000 passengers annually, he said.

easyJet was awarded the right to operate the Moscow-London route from Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority in October, beating off competition from Richard Branson‘s Virgin Atlantic.

Under a bilateral agreement between Russia and Britain only four carriers can fly between the two countries’ capitals. A space became available earlier this year — for the first time since 1998 ……..

Read the full story at The Moscow Times…..

 


Moscow Times – By Howard Amos
14th Dec, 2012



Heathrow Airport today announced that the new Terminal 2 will be home to STAR Alliance and Aer Lingus flights as well as Virgin Atlantic’s domestic routes when it opens in 2014.

The decision on which airlines will operate from the terminal follows a nine-month consultation with airlines which was prompted by the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways.

The decision on which airlines will operate from the terminal follows a nine-month consultation with airlines which was prompted by the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways. Photo Courtesy BAA Media Centre

The new Terminal 2 will give Heathrow the best passenger facilities of any major hub in Europe. 75% of passengers at Heathrow already rate their experience as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ following the opening of Terminal 5 and the refurbishment of Terminals 1, 3 and 4 (up from 41% in 2006). The airline moves announced today would enable the early closure of Terminal 1 which would allow all passengers to travel through new or refurbished terminals from 2016.

The new terminal marks the latest phase of an £11 billion transformation of Heathrow. 20 million passengers a year will eventually use the new terminal, which consists of a main terminal building plus satellite building and aircraft parking stands. The £2.5billion development is the largest privately-funded construction project in the UK and has been delivered at no cost to the taxpayer. 35,000 people will have worked on the terminal over the lifetime of the project.

The decision on which airlines will operate from the terminal follows a nine-month consultation with airlines which was prompted by the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways.

Since the review began in March 2012, Heathrow has met with airlines and the Civil Aviation Authority on a regular basis to agree the terms of reference and evaluation process and to listen to feedback. All the relevant data has been shared with all parties to ensure a fair and transparent process. Heathrow is required to treat all airlines equitably, and 18 separate options for the new terminal were considered and assessed against agreed criteria. The process has led to the decision that the following airlines will operate from Terminal 2:

STAR Alliance. The STAR Alliance network is one of three global airline alliances, and the second largest alliance operating from Heathrow. Its airlines currently operate from Terminals 1, 3 and 4. Globally, STAR has the highest number of member airlines, daily flights, and destinations of any airline alliance. Its airline members operating from Heathrow include: Aegean Air, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Thai Airways International, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways.

Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland and Heathrow’s fourth largest airline. Aer Lingus currently operates from Terminal 1.

Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic is the UK’s second largest long-haul airline with a fleet of 40 aircraft. From summer 2013, Virgin Atlantic will operate domestic routes from Heathrow to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen following the award of ‘remedy slots’ as a result of IAG’s acquisition of bmi. These flights will initially operate from Terminal 1 (where bmi was based) before moving to Terminal 2 in 2014. Virgin Atlantic’s international flights will continue to operate from Terminal 3. Heathrow will continue to work with Virgin Atlantic on how its services might be co-located in the future.

Heathrow is still in discussion with those airlines which currently operate from Terminal 1 and are not members of the Star Alliance (El Al, Icelandair, Cyprus Airways, Germanwings and Transaero), about their future location when Terminal 1 closes. We expect to conclude these discussions in early 2013.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Development Director, said:

“Terminal 2 will offer a significant improvement for passengers travelling through Heathrow. Providing all airlines and their passengers with great facilities is a key part of our vision for Heathrow. Terminal 5 was recently voted by passengers as the best airport terminal in the world and the opening of Terminal 2 will mark another major step forward.”


BAA Press & Media Centre
11th Dec, 2012



[Reuters] U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines said it had bought Singapore Airlines‘ 49 percent stake in Britain’s Virgin Atlantic for $360 million (223.7 million pounds) and agreed a transatlantic joint venture with Virgin.

The airlines said they would file an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for competition clearance

The airlines said they would file an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for competition clearance: Photo: Wikipedia

Virgin and Delta on Tuesday said under the joint venture they would share costs and revenues on routes between Britain and North America.

The pair plan to cooperate on services between New York and London, with a total of nine daily round-trip flights from London Heathrow to John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

“Our new partnership with Virgin Atlantic will strengthen both airlines and provide a more effective competitor between North America and the U.K., particularly on the New York-London route, which is the largest airline route between the U.S. and Europe,” said Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson.

The airlines said they would file an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for competition clearance and that the deal would need to be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union’s competition regulator.

The deal will enable Delta to expand at London’s Heathrow airport, a lucrative hub for corporate passengers where landing slots are generally hard to acquire. Virgin is the second-largest carrier at Heathrow after IAG’s British Airways.

Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, is operating at close to full capacity after Britain’s coalition government blocked its expansion in 2010.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson said he would…….

Read the full story at Reuters……

 


Reuters
11th Dec, 2012



[Daily Mail] A Ryanair plane carrying 141 people from Manchester came within seconds and feet of disaster at a German airport after the pilots tried to make up lost time on their landing, according to an official air safety report. 

A Ryanair 737 nearly crashed over Germany after pilots tried a new manoeuvre in a bid to make up 30 minutes of lost time. Photo:  Wikipedia

A Ryanair 737 nearly crashed over Germany after pilots tried a new manoeuvre in a bid to make up 30 minutes of lost time. Photo: Wikipedia

Investigators said the late-running Boeing 737 – with 153 passengers and six crew – almost crashed when landing at Memmingen Airport in Bavaria on September 23 when the 30-year-old pilot and his co-pilot, 29, tried to ‘make good on some of the time lost in Manchester’.

It triggered a series of increasingly urgent automated warnings to the pilots to pull up to avoid hitting the ground before reaching the runway.

The German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation in Braunschweig classified the drama as a ‘serious incident’ that happened ‘within seconds’.

Setting out how the drama unfolded, the official report said that, some five miles out from the airport, the pilots noticed the plane was descending too quickly.

At one point, the plane was just 450ft (150m) above the ground while dropping at a rate of 500ft/sec, according to the interim report.

The auto-pilot was deactivated and moments later an alarm sounded in the cockpit warning the pilots of the plane’s proximity to the ground.

The official report said that, according to the flight recorder, a warning sounded in the cockpit at 16.39 and 42 seconds with the words: ‘Terrain, terrain. Pull up.’

The pilot then instigated a procedure known as a ‘go-around’ which involves pulling up sharply from the runway descent and then attempting the landing afresh.

The report highlights a series of increasingly urgent warnings from the plane’s ‘Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System’.

The first alarm came at 16.39 and 20 seconds when the plane was at 1,319ft. Then, 17 seconds later, ‘the auto-pilot was deactivated’.

Three seconds after that another warning urged ‘Caution Terrain’ when the jet was at just 480ft from the ground.

A second later, the plane reached its lowest flight altitude of 450ft and a second after that the ground warning system barked: ‘Terrain, Terrain. Pull up, pull up!’

The crew was then forced to conduct a ‘missed approach procedure‘ before coming into land safely……

Read the full story at The Daily Mail Online…..

 


Daily Mail – By ALLAN HALL and RAY MASSEY

10th Dec, 2012



[BBC News] Work has started to extend the runway at Birmingham Airport in a bid to compete for long-haul flights.

Airport officials say the runway extension could be in use by spring 2014.  Photo: Wikipedia

Airport officials say the runway extension could be in use by spring 2014. Photo: Wikipedia

Planning permission was granted in 2009 and in February final approval was given for the £40m project to extend the runway by 400 metres.

Chief executive Paul Kehoe said the extension would allow Birmingham to compete with Manchester for flights to the US and the Far East.

The runway extension is also part of a wider plan to increase capacity.

Birmingham is currently England’s second largest regional airport after Manchester, serving 9.6m passengers a year.

Airport bosses said an investment programme could allow it to double its capacity and increase the number of routes it serves.

They believe the runway extension could be in use by spring 2014.

The airport opened a new control tower in June, incorporating the latest technology, which managers hoped would help it attract airlines.

Paul Forrest, from the West Midlands Economic Forum, said having the runway extended would be “very significant” for the region’s economy and could potentially boost regional growth by 3-4%.

He said: “Birmingham is much more competitive than many other airports.

“It’s quicker to get from Birmingham International to Euston than it is to get from Heathrow to Euston on the Tube.

James Puxty, of the NEC Group whose base is next to the airport, said the runway extension was “really positive news” for the company…..

Read the full story at BBC News…..

 


BBC News
28th Nov, 2012