Canada follows the U.S. and bans the shipment of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights in Canada

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The government of Canada through the Minister of Transport has issued this statement:

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced a suite of amendments to Canada’s Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). The updates include a ban on transporting lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights in Canada, as well as new labelling and Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) requirements for certain dangerous goods.

In 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted a ban on the shipment of lithium metal batteries as cargo aboard passenger aircraft. The main concern is that if ignited, they can cause any nearby batteries to overheat and catch fire as well. Most passenger airlines in Canada have already voluntarily banned lithium metal batteries as cargo.

The prohibition comes into effect on January 1, 2015, to comply with the ICAO ban. It applies to all shipments of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger planes within Canada. It does not apply to batteries already contained in or packed with equipment, but only to those packaged and shipped separately. The ban will not affect travellers’ personal devices such as laptops and smartphones, which use lithium ion batteries.

Other updates to the TDGR include:

Incorporating Protective Direction (PD) 33 into the TGDR. Introduced in April 2014, PD33 ordered rail shippers of ethanol, petroleum crude oil, gasoline, and other petroleum products to have an approved Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) in place to ensure proper emergency response in the event of an incident or release involving these flammable liquids.

Adding ERAP requirements for petroleum sour crude oil and Alcohols N.O.S. (typically used to classify ethanol in the US), which were not previously included under PD33.
New United Nations (UN) product numbers for petroleum sour crude oil and biomedical waste.

Transport Canada held extensive consultations on the amendments with stakeholders from across Canada. The updates will align the TDGR with UN recommendations and other international norms.

Quick Facts

The new ban under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) applies only to lithium metal batteries shipped as cargo on passenger aircraft.

It does not apply to batteries already contained in devices, therefore passengers with medical equipment are not affected by the ban.

The U.S. has already banned the transportation of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights.

Gambia Bird ceases operations, an apparent victim of the Ebola crisis in west Africa

Gambia Bird Airlines (Banjul), since the Ebola crisis spread, continued to operate the Banjul – London (Gatwick) route but dropping the stop in Sierra Leone due to the on-going crisis. A few days ago, the company announced they would add London (Gatwick)-Accra and Gatwick-Lagos flights. However yesterday (December 30), the west African airline ceased all operations.

The airline issued this statement yesterday:

Gambia Bird Airlines has suspended commercial flight operations until further notice. This operational decision is effective as of December 30.

We wish to express our sincere regrets for disrupting the travel plans of those of our esteemed guests who are booked on the suspended flights. We further wish to confirm that we will provide a full refund of all tickets purchased prior to this flight suspension.

Furthermore, Gambia Bird Airlines wishes to reaffirm that we will comply with all our obligations and that we will provide all necessary support services to passengers affected by the flight suspension.

Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Gambia Bird Airlines-AJW Aviation (Germania) Airbus A319-112 D-ASTB (msn 4691) arrives at LGW.

Gambia Bird aircraft slide show:

Sonar may have detected the wreckage of AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (part of the AirAsia Group) (Jakarta) missing flight QZ 8501 may have been located. Indonesian searchers battled bad weather today in the Java Sea. The searchers are using sonar and may located the fuselage of Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC possibly with the remaining passengers on board. Divers are trying to reach the possible wreckage but rough seas are hampering the attempts.

The debris found yesterday has been confirmed to be from the missing flight. Ten bodies has been recovered that were floating in the water. There were 162 passengers and crew members on the ill-fated flight.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes told reporters he hoped there was “at least some closure” for families according to CNN.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

AirAsia issued this statement yesterday:

AirAsia Indonesia regrets to inform that The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) today confirmed that the debris found earlier today is indeed from QZ 8501, the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th December 2014.

The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles south west from Pangkalan Bun.

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots, 4 cabin crews and one engineer.

At the present time, search and rescue operations are still in progress and further investigation of the debris found at the location is still underway. AirAsia Indonesia employees have been sent to the site and will be fully cooperating with BASARNAS, National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), and relevant authorities on the investigation.

Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia said: “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances. We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ 8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.”

Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia added: “I am absolutely devastated. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”

AirAsia Indonesia will be inviting family members to Surabaya, where a dedicated team of care providers will be assigned to each family to ensure that all of their needs are met. Counsellors, religious and spiritual personnel have also been invited to the family center to provide any necessary services.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) taxies at Singapore before the accident.

 

AirAsia Zest Airbus A320 overshoots the runway at Kalibo, Philippines

AirAsia Zest A320-200 RP-C8972 overshoots the runway at Kalibo

AirAsia Zest (AirAsia Philippines) (formerly Zest Air) (Manila), another associated airline of the AirAsia Group (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur), today (December 30) was involved in an incident in the Philippines while the world attention focuses on the crash of an AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320. An AirAsia Zest Airbus A320-216, registered as RP-C8972 (msn 2826), today overshot the runway on landing at Kalibo on the island of Panay in the Philippines. Flight Z2 272 was operating from Manila to Kalibo with 159 passengers and crew members on board. There were no reported injuries.

Twitter photo by Jet Damazo-Santos.

Lufthansa to add two new routes from Munich to the Canary Islands

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will add new weekly service from its Munich hub to both Lanzarote and Tenerife Sur for the winter 2015/2016 season. The two routes will be operated with Airbus A321s according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 D-AIRX (msn 887) in the 1955 retro jet scheme departs from London (Heathrow).

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

Brussels Airlines to add Bordeaux and Zagreb

Brussels Airlines (Brussels) will launch a new service to Bordeaux on March 29, 2015. Bordeaux is the twelfth destination of Brussels Airlines in France.

Brussels Airlines will fly to Bordeaux four times a week during the entire summer season which starts at the end of March and lasts till the end of October. All flights are operated with Airbus A319 aircraft and the flight time is 1 hour 35 minutes.

Brussels Airlines has also announced flights to a second Croatian destination: Zagreb. On October 24, 2014 Brussels Airlines already announced six new European destinations for the 2015 summer season: Dubrovnik, Calvi, Lourdes, Olbia, Billund and St. Petersburg.

Starting on September 20, 2015, Brussels Airlines will operate six flights per week between Brussels and Zagreb, in the afternoon. Zagreb is the 18th European capital that Brussels Airlines connects to Brussels, and the third capital in Eastern Europe, next to Warsaw and Riga.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 OO-SSK (msn 1336) prepares to touch down in malaga, Spain.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

Virgin Atlantic Airways to retire the last Airbus A340-300 on October 24, 2015

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is currently scheduling the last Airbus A340-300 revenue flight on October 24, 2015 subject to change. The last route for the type is currently planned to be from Johannesburg to London (Heathrow) per Airline Route. The A340 is currently also operated to Boston (ending on May 14, 2015) and New York (JFK).

In other news, Virgin Atlantic will now introduce the new Boeing 787-9 on the daily London (Heathrow) – Shanghai (Pudong) route on June 15, 2015 (moved up from October 25 per Airline Route).

Copyright Photo: Airbus A340-313 G-VELD (msn 214) departs from London (Heathrow).

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show