British Airways subsidiary operates to wrong airport

WDL Aviation ‘filed wrong flight plan’

The wet-lease flight which landed in Edinburgh instead of its scheduled destination of Dusseldorf has attracted considerable media coverage. The aircraft – a 96-seat BAE-146 regional jet – was operated by German charter operator WDL Aviation on behalf of BA CityFlyer. WDL filed the wrong flight plan with the authorities, which the flight crew then followed as per their procedures. After safely landing at EDI, it took off again and flew customers on to Dusseldorf.

BA have responded with the following statement: “We are working with WDL Aviation, who operated this flight on behalf of British Airways, to establish why the incorrect flight plan was filed. We have apologised to customers for this interruption to their journey and will be contacting them all individually.”

Ryanair jibe backfires

A number of media outlets report how a Ryanair twitter jibe against us backfired. The Irish airline posted a picture of a book called ‘Geography for Dummies’ after our wet-lease flight landed in Edinburgh instead of its scheduled destination of Dusseldorf. The mix-up occurred when German operator WDL filed an incorrect flight plan. But the Ryanair tweet prompted dozens of social media users to remind the airline of its own failings. One user wrote: “You need to borrow the whole series mate, starting with ‘getting off the ground for dummies’ / ‘how not to strand your customers for dummies’.”

Boeing ‘fix’ for 737 Max

Boeing has issued changes to controversial control systems linked to two fatal crashes of its 737 Max planes in the last five months.

But it’s still not certain when the planes, that were grounded worldwide this month, will be allowed to fly.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the accidents reports the worldwide press.

As part of the upgrade, Boeing will install as a standard a warning system, which was previously an optional safety feature.

737 Max pilots ‘had 40 seconds to recover aircraft’

During flight simulations recreating the problems with the doomed Lion Air 737Max, pilots discovered that they had less than 40 seconds to override an automated system and avert disaster.

The pilots tested a crisis situation similar to what investigators suspect went wrong in the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last autumn. In the tests, a single sensor failed, setting off software designed to help prevent a stall.

Once that happened, the pilots had just moments to disengage the system and avoid an unrecoverable nose dive of the Boeing 737 Max.

The automated system, known as MCAS, is a focus for the authorities as they try to determine what went wrong in the Lion Air disaster in October and the Ethiopian Airlines crash of the same Boeing model this month.

Expected loss for easyJet

easyJet will release a trading update on Friday ahead of its first-half financial results in May.

Britain’s largest airline operator suffered a £15 million hit in the first quarter from disruption caused by rogue drone flights in and around Gatwick airport, which affected 82,000 customers and resulted in more than 400 cancelled flights.

Half-year figures are expected to detail a loss of about £280 million, according to analysts, blaming weak ticket sales owing to Brexit and the rise in fuel prices for the slump.

The U.K.’s faltering attempt to exit the European Union is hurting demand for air travel, just as the busy summer season gets under way.

EasyJet Plc dropped the most in more than two years after warning the crucial holiday months will be weaker than expected as low-cost airlines feel the brunt of the U.K.’s political crisis over Brexit and waning consumer demand.

“We had hoped for a little more clarity and certainty around Brexit at this point,” Chief Executive Officer Johan Lundgren said on a call. That uncertainty “has been accelerated in the last four to six weeks and that clearly has had an impact on customer demand.”

Another spanner in Rolls’ works

The pressure on Rolls-Royce over its troubled Trent engines increased yesterday when Singapore Airlines revealed that it had grounded two Boeing 787-10s, report The Daily Telegraph and The Times.

Articles cite engines wearing out faster than expected as the reason for Singapore’s decision, adding to Rolls’ woes. Rolls has put a £1.5bn price tag on resolving problems with the first version of the Trent 1000.

Flybe cancels dozens of flights

Regional carrier Flybe has cancelled dozens of flights this morning for what it describes as “operational reasons”.

The airline reports that five flights from Belfast City Airport and four from Birmingham are among those affected, along with departures from Southampton, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

The airline said it would like to “sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused” and that “All customers affected have been emailed and advised they can rebook for travel on an alternative flight or apply for a full refund”.

Flybe have said the issues include a shortage of pilots which is a worldwide problem and pilots opting to use up their annual leave. The company has said it is entering a consultation period with staff groups and unions with possible job losses at its bases in Exeter, Norwich, Doncaster and Cardiff. The airline is currently recruiting pilots.

Latest Air France news

Au revoir to Air France’s Joon?
The new boss of Air France-KLM may consider closing Joon, the group’s newest airline, reports Reuters. The article, also published on ThePointsGuy blog, quotes an Air France source as saying CEO Benjamin Smith “has made clear he doesn’t understand the positioning or identity of Joon”. Joon was launched last year aimed at millennial travellers on routes where Air France faces heavy competition from budget carriers.

Air France says adieu to A380s

Air France is scrapping half of its fleet of Airbus A380s. The airline has announced it is not renewing the leases on five of its 10 super-jumbos. It’s another blow for Airbus, who have struggled to attract orders for the aircraft in recent years. There were just two new orders in 2015 and none in 2016 or 2017. Emirates offered a lifeline with new orders in January, but no other airlines have followed suit.

IT outage causes hundreds of US flights to be delayed

Hundreds of flights were delayed and tens cancelled as Southwest, Delta, United, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines were impacted by the outage.

The issue stems from a computer program called AeroData, which is used to calculate the weight and balance of flights before takeoff to determine flight plans and make fuel calculations, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Delta Airlines told passengers on social media: “We are currently experiencing a system-wide outage. We are working diligently to get it back up and running”.

Ryanair ‘the new coal’ as airline enters Europe’s pollution top 10

Ryanair has become the first non-coal company to join Europe’s top 10 carbon emitters, according to EU figures.

The Irish airline, which transports 130 million people a year, declared 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9% on last year and 49% over the last five years, according to raw data in the EU’s latest emissions trading system registry.

EasyJet was Europe’s next worst-performing airline, in 31st place on the list, after an 11% surge in emissions in 2018. It was followed by Lufthansa and Norwegian.

Emirates profits slide

Emirates has posted an 86% fall in profits, following rising oil prices and currency devaluations.

The Dubai-based carrier recorded a profit of just $62m in the six months to 30 September, compared with $452m in the same period last year.

Virgin pilots balloted over industrial action

The Financial Times reports that Virgin Atlantic’s largest pilots’ union — which the airline has yet to recognise — has started to ballot its members about industrial action that could lead to strikes over Christmas.

The Professional Pilots Union said anger at the airline’s recent review of pilot benefits was “merely a symptom” of its dissatisfaction with “the continued broken industrial landscape” within Virgin.

We will provide updates as and when we receive them.