Flight diverted because pilot locked out of cockpit
May 16th, 2013 by elisa

An Air India flight was forced to divert and land after the pilot was locked out of the cockpit during a toilet break.

“The commander of the flight had left the cockpit for a short while to visit the toilet and on returning to the cockpit found the door locked,” an Air India statement said.

“The door had got jammed and all efforts to open the door, even from inside by the co-pilot, failed. The co-pilot, after taking permission from ground control, diverted the flight to Bhopal and landed…at 17:55 hrs.”

The flight from Delhi to Banalore was diverted to Bhopal airport, where the door was fixed by maintenance engineers. It resumed its journey less than three hours later.


Kingfisher Airlines suspends international flights
Mar 21st, 2012 by elisa

Cash-strapped Indian airline Kingfisher will suspend international operations to eight overseas cities, including London Heathrow, as well as reducing domestic flights on 10th April.

Earlier this month British Airways announced that it was suspending its codesharing agreement with the airline, but had refused to comment fully on its reasons.

The suspension of these operations are to give Kingfisher Airlines time to come up with a rescue plan.

India’s aviation authorities have decided not to suspend the airline’s licence following a meeting with the owner Vijay Mallya, but are continuing to monitor the situation. However, India’s aviation minister appeared doubtful when he spoke to reporters in New Delhi yesterday: “The problem is in the last two to three months, he’s given so many plans and he’s not adhered to any of them.”

The level of debt run up by the airline is believed to be £900m, and since banks have refused to lend it more money it has been struggling to keep flying. Kingfisher will tackle this by reducing its domestic operation to no more than 125 flights a day, less than half the number in October. Mallya admitted that this was only “a holding plan”.

The news provoked a 5.5% fall in Kingfisher shares, their lowest level since it began trading. This is good news for rival airlines Jet Airways and IndiGo as they increase their market share and pricing power.


2011 Round up
Jan 3rd, 2012 by elisa

Happy New Year to all our readers! Before we move on to this year’s news, here’s a round up of some of the biggest stories we covered on this blog in 2011, it certainly was an eventful year!

January started with the troubled BMI threatening to withdraw its Heathrow – Glasgow route after passenger charges at Heathrow were raised (this was confirmed a month later). Ryanair returned to Manchester with four new routes. And the political troubles in Egypt disrupted flights.

Spiraling conflict in Egypt caused complete cancellation of routes to popular holiday destinations in February. Meanwhile, Which? launched a super complaint on airline card fee charges,the cost of Qantas’ engine troubles were revealed, and airlines flying from the UK finally started to show clearer air fares.

March brought faster flight times under a deal signed by traffic controllers. But by far the biggest news of the month was the huge tsunami which hit Japan and led to re-routing of flights to avoid possible radiation risk, and advice to leave Tokyo.

A Skyscanner survey found Spain back in favour for British holidaymakers in April.

In May Belfast Airport started to charge for going for a cigarette break, and the ongoing battle between Unite and British Airways was finally settled!

More natural disasters happened in June with violent aftershocks in Christchurch, New Zealand and volcanic eruptions in Chile.

The News of the World phone-hacking scandal broke in July with airlines withdrawing their advertisements as a result.

In August research revealed the use of smartphones were ruining people’s holidays.

The Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand in September, where Wales’ hopes were dashed.

The first biofuel passenger flight took place in October, however green campaigners claimed it wasn’t as environmentally friendly as everyone thought.

Europe announced a ban on body scanners at airports in November, but the UK decided to go against the decision.

Finally, December saw 150mph winds hit parts of Scotland, which is where we are now at the start of 2012 as tremendous winds continue to batter the UK once more.


So, what travel news is in store for 2012? Keep up to date here!


Indian airlines’ unqualified pilots scandal
Mar 16th, 2011 by elisa

A pilot working for Air India was arrested at the weekend for faking his qualifications, and at least four other pilots have recently been accused of using false documentation to obtain their licences. The situation has prompted a large scale investigation amongst Indian aviation regulators and means that thousands of commercial airline pilots will have to have their licences checked.

India’s director general of civil aviation (DGCA) Bharat Bhushan has told reporters that around 4000 licences will come under scrutiny and the Delhi police will also be part of the investigation.

India’s growing wealth and increase in low-cost flying has seen a surge in demand for pilots.

Suspicions were raised about some pilots last month when the DGCA revoked a licence of a pilot for domestic carrier IndiGo Airlines after it was found she had handed in forged qualifications. The pilot had not landed an A320 well and caused considerable damage which made her superiors question her capability.

Her airline transport pilot’s licence was found to have been gained from forged papers. Two more pilots, flying for IndiGo and MDLR Airlines, also lost their licences after it was discovered that they had never properly graduated from co-pilot status.


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