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Airbus A350 fire risk triggers EASA emergency directive

Air Transport World’s Victoria Moores reported that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD), warning operators about a risk of the Airbus A350 hydraulic engine driven pump (EDP) overheating and causing a fire. EASA issued the AD because the A350’s hydraulic fluid cooling system is located in the fuel tanks. 

Read the full ATW story online >


Airberlin cancels 100 flights as pilots call in sick

On September 12, Air Transport World reported that Airberlin cancelled more than 100 flights after pilots called in sick in unusually high numbers fearing possible redundancies at the bankrupt German carrier. If the situation does not change in the short term, Airberlin said it will be forced to suspend operations.

Airberlin filed for insolvency Aug. 15 after 29.2% shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew financial support and is in the process of seeking buyers for its assets. Potential buyers are required to submit offers before September 15.

CEO Thomas Winkelmann confirmed in a statement that Airberlin has been “forced to cancel more than 100 flights today from our planned 750 flights. The reason for this is that 200 of our 1,500 pilots called in sick on short notice during the crew briefing and just shortly before they arrived at the aircraft.”

Read the full ATW story online >


Ryanair files competition complaints over airberlin assets

Meanwhile, Air Transport World’s Kurt Hofmann reported that Irish LCC Ryanair has filed complaints with Germany’s competition authority and the European Commission (EC) over the handling of Airberlin’s assets since it filed for insolvency. In an email to ATW, Ryanair called the insolvency “manufactured” and said was being structured to allow Lufthansa Group to take over a “debt-free Airberlin, which will be in breach of all known German and European Union competition rules.”

Airberlin filed for insolvency Aug. 15 after Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which owns a 29.2% stake in Airberlin, withdrew financial support.

Read the full ATW story online > 


Nokia’s latest drone activity to assist in search and rescue

UAS Vision reported that Nokia has big plans for drones, having announced early in the year that it was using them for search and rescue operations. A set of drones, flying in formation, can be used very effectively to search for people in a disaster area, or if they are lost in a remote area.

The company also pairs these drones with its own Ultra Compact Network system. This can be used from the ground – either in a backpack, on a vehicle or mounted to a balloon or even flown from another drone. These portable LTE networks are then used to get video feeds back from aerial search drones where no existing infrastructure exists or has been knocked offline due to a disaster.

Read the full UAS Vision story >


Drones in Australia use AI for Shark Detection

UAS Vistion reported that drones equipped with a shark detection system powered by artificial intelligence will start patrolling some Australian beaches from next month in a bid to improve safety.

The battery-powered drones will provide a live-video feed to a drone operator who then uses the shark-spotting software to identify sharks in real time and with more accuracy than the human eye.

Studies have shown that people have a 20-30 percent accuracy rate when interpreting data from aerial images to detect shark activity. Detection software can boost that rate to 90 percent, said Dr Nabin Sharma, a research associate at the University of Technology Sydney’s School of Software.

Read the full UAS Vision story >


Icelandair pushes US service

The Business Travel News reported that with connections between the UK and US via Iceland already a hot topic with Wow air expansion, the country’s main carrier, Icelandair, is upping the stakes with more flights.

The first will link Reykjavik with Tampa, Florida, starting on Wednesday (6 September) with a schedule the company says has been designed so flights connect with those from four of the seven UK gateways it serves – Manchester, Glasgow, Heathrow and Gatwick.

Read the full BT News story >


Is the airline industry the last place where labor has something to celebrate?

By Forbes Contributor Ted Reed produced on Labor Day in the United States

Let’s just say upfront that this is not a good time for the labor movement.

Membership has declined for decades; high visibility organizing campaigns in the South keep failing; few gains were made during the tenure of a moderately pro-union president and now an anti-union president, leading a virulently anti-union Republican party, holds power.

Still, this is Labor Day --- and the success of the heavily unionized U.S. airline industry provides something to celebrate.

It’s not just that airlines are producing record profits and that their unions have ensured those gains are shared with workers.

It’s more than that. In 2017, unions and even some airline managements have worked to improve the lot of low-paid workers who serve passengers but work for third party vendors, not for the airlines themselves.

The most recent example came Aug. 30, when contractors employing about 1,400 passenger service workers at Philadelphia International Airport agreed to bargain with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

These workers are baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants, aircraft cabin cleaners and sky caps. Many are paid minimum wage. For years, they have staged airport protests.

While U.S. airline industry wages and benefits have grown by $24 billion, or 46%, since 2010, according to industry trade group A4A, wages for these workers, as well as for airport kitchen workers, have barely moved.

SEIU said American encouraged the start of collective bargaining. “We commend American Airlines for bringing their contractors, PrimeFlight and Prospect, to the table and working towards an equitable resolution for all parties,” said 32BJ SEIU President, Hector Figueroa, in a prepared statement.

Read the full story >

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