BEIJING, 21 August 2014: A Chinese aircraft was forced to delay its landing after two air traffic controllers nodded off, reports said Tuesday, sparking a wave of online anger about airline safety.
The Boeing 737 was preparing to land at Wuhan airport in central China but had no response from the air traffic control tower for 12 minutes, reports said.
Contact was eventually made and China Eastern Airlines flight MU2528 from Sanya landed safely, the Sina.com news portal said.
TOKYO, 20 August 2014: Shares in Skymark Airlines surged Tuesday after a report that Malaysia’s AirAsia may buy the struggling Japanese carrier, which was left reeling after a collapsed jet order with Airbus last month.
The Tokyo-listed stock jumped 27.77% to 230 yen in morning trade, its maximum allowable single-day gain, on the report in Japan’s leading Nikkei business daily.
The story, which cited unnamed sources, said AirAsia was in talks with its lenders over a possible takeover bid for money-losing Skymark, although the putative takeover target questioned the report.
GENEVA, 20 August 2014: The World Health Organisation said earlier this week that it had set up a task force with the global airline and tourism industry in an effort to contain the spread of Ebola.
The UN agency said it was working hand in hand with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the World Tourism Organisation, Airports Council International (ACI), the International Air Transport Association and the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The goal, it said in a statement, was to “support the global efforts to contain the spread of the disease and provide a coordinated international response for the travel and tourism sector”.
BANGKOK, 19 August 2014: Airports of Thailand says the country’s visa fee waiver for Chinese and Taiwanese tourists should help to reverse setbacks in the market by the end of the year.
AoT director Mekin Petplai said: “On average, 900,000 Chinese tourists travel through AoT’s airports per month, however, since polical instability occurred in October, last year, the number dropped to around 560,000 to 700,000 per month.”
“Thailand’s visa fee exemption coincides with the Chinese Gloden Week, 1 to 7 October, which will encourage tourists to travel more.”
BANGKOK, 19 August 2014: Interest in air travel continues to rise according to the inaugural TripAdvisor air travel survey of more than 1,200 respondents from Southeast Asia, released on Monday.
“Interest in international flights continues to rise despite some persistent air travel frustrations, such as uncomfortable seats, limited leg room and unpredictable flight changes, but we are also seeing some positive signs as flyers report easier booking and more flight routes that help improve the traveller experience,” said Andrew Wong, regional director of TripAdvisor Flights, APAC.
But the complaints came thick and fast from those interviewed with uncomfortable seats voted the top complaint.
BANGKOK, 19 August 2014: Qantas has recorded the best on time performance in departures and arrivals for every month for the financial year 2013/14, ahead of any other major domestic airline.
According to data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics(BITRE), it is the fifth consecutive year the airline has succeeded its competitors in both arrivals and departures and the eighth consecutive year more Qantas passengers have enjoyed arriving on time.
Qantas Domestic chief executive officer Lyell Strambi said punctuality is one of the leading reasons customers choose to fly with Qantas, so the airline is committed to reaffirming that decision every time they board a Qantas plane.
HANOI, 18 August 2014: Vietnam will slash fees by 50% at five secondary airport, an offer that remains open until 2015, to boost tourist arrivals beyond the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City gateways.
The discount is applicable on airport fees for international flights to Phu Bai Airport in central Thua Thien-Hue province, Cam Ranh Airport in central Khanh Hoa province and Lien Khuong Airport in Tay Nguyen (central highlands) Lam Dong province, and Can Tho Airport in Can Tho province and Phu Quoc Airport in Kien Giang province; both southern provinces.
The transport ministry said the discount applies to landing, flight control and security checks fees. Airlines can apply for the concession up until 31 December 2015, but once approved the discount will remain in place for up to 3 years from the date of the first flight.
HANOI, 18 August 2014: A reciprocal agreement between Vietnam Airlines and India’s Jet Airways will help to boost tourism and business travel between the two countries.
India’s Jet Airways codeshares on the Bangkok and Singapore to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi sectors. Flights operated by Vietnam Airlines.
Vietnam Airlines codeshares on the Bangkok to Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore to Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai routes, all operated by Jet Airways.
NAIROBI, 18 August 2014: Kenya has become the latest country to ban travellers from parts of Ebola-hit west Africa as Nigeria scrambled to stop the deadly disease spreading through the continent’s most populous nation.
Kenyan Health Minister James Macharia said Saturday that the country is closing its borders to travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — the nations most affected by the worst-ever Ebola outbreak.
National carrier Kenya Airways also said it would suspend its flights to Freetown and Monrovia when the ban takes effect on Wednesday.
NEW DELHI, 18 August 2014: India’s civil aviation regulator said late last week it had ordered Jet Airways to suspend two pilots after a flight to Brussels dived 5,000 feet, forcing air traffic controllers to issue an emergency warning.
The Times of India said the captain was on a scheduled rest break when the plane dropped almost 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) over Turkey, putting it at an altitude assigned to another aircraft.
Air traffic controllers in Ankara had to issue an emergency warning to the co-pilot on duty, who the paper said “did not notice that the aircraft had lost altitude” because she was using her tablet computer at the time.