Category Archives: News

Is the Volcanic Disruption Over? Or is this Merely an Interlude?

The previous eruption of the Icelandic volcano which has been disrupting air travel for a week now was in December 1821 and continued until January 1823. Hopefully it will quiet down much sooner this time. The cloud seems set to disperse enough to permit aviation to resume tomorrow in Ireland, Scotland, and Northern England. A new ash cloud which is heading toward Europe may keep London’s airports closed, however. French airspace has reopened, but the reopening will be gradual and controlled. Lufthansa has already resumed some limited service and extra planes are flying to bring home stranded passengers.

EU vs the Volcano: Round Three

This is your latest Volcanic Update. The closure of most of European airspace continues. Today, out of nearly 25,000 flights, only 4,000 are expected to operate. Closures include Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, most of France, most of Germany, Hungary, Ireland, northern Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, north Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the UK.

EU vs the Volcano: Round 2

European airspace continues to be shut down as conditions in the skies continue to remain dangerous. The following areas will likely have all flights cancelled:  Ireland, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, the north of France including all Paris airports, parts of Germany including Düsseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin and the airspace…

EU vs. the Volcano

Large portions of European airspace are closed today due to volcano ash due to the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Many airports in Europe have been closed till tomorrow, and thus there is much chaos as stranded passengers struggle to find their way home.

If you are flying to/from/within Europe today, please check with your carrier.

More on this later.

The Cookie is Gone But the Cookies Live On

Republic Airways Holdings, owners of Frontier and Midwest Airlines, has advised that the two carriers will merge, operating as Frontier Airlines. It means that the distinctive animal mascot tails of Frontier will remain. For those of you afraid about the loss of the signature cookies, Midwest’s signature fresh-baked cookies will be rolled out to Frontier soon. Repubican CEO Bryan Bedford promised that Frontier would add a plane with Wisconsin’s state animal, the badger, but this will take time as “it’s hard to find a cute badger.”

Flight Wisdom Briefing 14

[caption id="attachment_1706" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Lavatory - Virgin America A320"][/caption] This is the Flight Wisdom Guru with Briefing #14, once again reporting in from Flight Wisdom HQ…We ran a little long today, and will try to have a second briefing out tomorrow afternoon, to catch up before the weekend rush. Show Notes Virgin Atlantic to Launch…

The Big Deal – JetBlue and American – Our Take

There is a lot here to go over. JetBlue Airways and American Airlines have signed an interline deal, and American is ramping up in New York at both LaGuardia and JFK. So, let’s summarize the developments before we analyze them.

Flight Wisdom Briefing 10

After this Briefing, our editor will be heading on the road for a few days. Lots of interesting things going on, but we’re bringing along our portable recording equipment to report on it.

More Developments in the Delta-US Airways Slot Swap

Back in August, Delta Air Lines and US Airways announced a deal to give Delta dominance at LaGuardia in exchange for Delta helping US Airways dominate Washington-National. The DOT advised that in order for them to approve the transaction, the airlines would have to divest a certain number of slots at each airport in order for it to be approved. This week, the two airlines shot back with their own proposal. They will transfer up to five slot pairs each to AirTran, Spirit, and Westjet at LaGuardia. And at National, they will transfer five slot pairs to JetBlue.

Virgin America Suffers its First Major PR Issue

Virgin America Flight 404 circled JFK till it was diverted to Stewart Airport in Newburgh, which is also run by the Port Authority of NY & NJ, as is JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia, to refuel and wait out the weather. This is hardly out of the ordinary. But as the hours passed, supplies grew slim, tempers frayed, and things started to come to a boil.

Continental to Become Last Domestic Carrier to End Meal Service

The Examiner reports that Continental Airlines will end its free meal program on flights shorter than six hours. We always find it amusing that companies, airline or not, spin taking away services that were previously free and replacing them with a paid option as an improvement for their customers. Certainly, we demand that if we pay for it, it be a better quality experience, but beyond that…

In Honor of Peter Graves – Watch Airplane this Monday

In honor of Peter Graves, who unfortunately passed away Sunday evening at the age of 83, we present a tribute to him in the form of the movie Airplane!, in which he starred as Captain Clarence Oveur.

We here at Flight Wisdom have decided to schedule a group watching of Airplane. So, everyone break out your copy of Airplane. We’ll be doing this at 8PM Eastern Time the evening of March 15, 2010 and again at 12AM Eastern.

We’ll be using a web-based chatroom if anyone wants to join us and will tweet the location a few minutes beforehand on Twitter @FlightWisdom.

Everything is Going Regional

We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the issues of regional jets. Recently, we pointed out how the Colgan Crash last year had brought to light several issues with the system of regional carriers. The Regional Airline system is based on the idea that a major carrier, let’s say Continental, can subcontract out its work to a regional carrier, like Colgan Air. The plane is painted in Continental colors, in little tiny letters by the door it says, “operated by Colgan Air.” It used to be, without such airlines and their smaller planes, airlines would never serve certain routes, especially into smaller cities.

One Year Later: The Colgan Crash in Buffalo

A year ago today, on Thursday, February 12, 2009, Continental Connection flight 3407 crashed into a house in Clarence Center, NY. The flight, a Q400 turboprop operated by Colgan Air, killed 45 passengers, 4 crewmembers, and 1 man on the ground. The plane was on approach into Buffalo-Niagara international Airport from Newark’s Liberty Airport.

Obama Insists Security Failure was in Leveraging Intelligence

President Obama said today that the December 25th attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound flight was not a failure of the U.S. Intelligence gathering system, but a failure to analyze that information and respond to it. Instead of focusing solely on defending the performance of his government, which his predecessor might have done, he came out and said that this was unacceptable and we had to do better. We may not do better, but we choose to respect him for being so direct about making a mistake, if nothing else.