New York Times: One Germanwings pilot was locked out of the cockpit before the crash

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

French investigators struggled according to the New York Times to explain why one Germanwings pilot was locked out of the cockpit before the tragic crash. French investigators announced this dramatic turn of factual events after reviewing the cockpit voice recorder. One pilot left the cockpit before the descent started. The locked-out pilot is heard banging on the door to attempt to gain entrance.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have not yet officially commented on this stunning report. French investigators did go further in trying to explain the odd actions.

A news conference is now scheduled for March 26.

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Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The New York Times has published a follow-up report: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa has issued this statement:

Lufthansa will offer special flights to Marseille for the next of kin of flight 4U 9525 passengers.

Airline to provide two special flights from Barcelona and Dusseldorf to Marseille.
Lufthansa will provide two special flights to Marseille for the relatives and friends of passengers of Germanwings flight 4U 9525. The flights operated by Lufthansa on behalf of Germanwings will depart Dusseldorf en route to Marseille tomorrow at 8.40 CET and take off from Barcelona to Marseille at 8.45 CET. Relatives and friends will be taken care of by Lufthansa and Germanwings employees at a special assistance center in Marseille.

Germanwings and Lufthansa will continue to provide all the care and assistance needed by relatives and friends of passengers of flight 4U 9525 in this difficult situation.

Alitalia to start a new route connecting Venice with Abu Dhabi

Alitalia (3rd) (Rome) has issued this announcement on new Venice-Abu Dhabi service in connection with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) :

Venice – Abu Dhabi is set to be the first new route opened by the new Alitalia since the January 1, 2015 launch of operations, after Etihad Airways acquired a 49% stake in the company.

The daily connection was presented to business leaders, media and other institutions in Venice today by Alitalia’s Chairman Luca di Montezemolo and CEO Silvano Cassano, together with Enrico Marchi, Chairman of the SAVE Group – Venice Airport, and Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, the strategic equity and codeshare partner of Alitalia, which has added its ‘EY’ code to the service.

Alitalia will reinforce its presence in Italy’s North Eastern airports with the new route, reaching a total of 89 weekly connections from Venice (64) and Verona (25). From Venice alone, Alitalia will offer approximately 600,000 seats on direct flights during the summer season for air transportation (March-October), including those on partner airlines, to Rome, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow and Tirana.

The new connections with Abu Dhabi will strengthen Alitalia’s intercontinental offering, allowing passengers departing from North Eastern Italy to reach not just the United Arab Emirates, but continue, thanks to Etihad Airways’ extensive global connections, to 30 destinations in the Middle East (Bahrain, Muscat, Kuwait, Dubai and Al Ain), Africa (Johannesburg, Nairobi and Khartoum), the Indian Subcontinent (Mumbai, Kochi, Delhi, Bangalore, Karachi, Lahore, Dacca, Malè, Seychelles and Colombo), Asia (Beijing, Seoul, Phuket, Chengdu, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta) and Australia (Melbourne, Sydney and Perth).

The Venice-Abu Dhabi flight will take off on March 29, 2015. Simultaneously, Alitalia will also launch a new flight from Milan Malpensa Airport to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, tripling the number of its flights for Abu Dhabi, which will reach a total of 42 weekly flights.

From Venice’s Marco Polo airport, the first Alitalia flight for Abu Dhabi will take off this Sunday, March 29, at 9:55 pm, landing in Abu Dhabi at 5:55 am (local time) on the following day.

Flights from Abu Dhabi to Venice will depart at 9:05 am (local time) to arrive at the Marco Polo Airport at 1:35 pm. The service will be operated using a 250-seat Airbus A330 aircraft, arranged in three service classes: Magnifica (business class), Classica Plus (premium economy) and Classica (economy).

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-202 EI-EJM (msn 1308) in the promotional Expo Milano 2015 special livery approaches the runway at JFK International Airport in New York.

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RwandAir signs MOU for two Airbus A330s

RwandAir A330 (09)(Flt)(Airbus)(LR)

RwandAir (Kigali), the national flag carrier of the Republic of Rwanda, has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for two Airbus A330s. The agreement makes RwandAir a new Airbus customer and the first airline in East Africa to order the A330.

RwandAir’s A330s will be delivered in the second half of 2016 and will be equipped with Rolls Royce Trent 772B engines.

Rwanda’s flagship carrier will deploy the new A330 aircraft on medium and long haul routes from their Kigali home base to long-haul destinations throughout Europe, the Middle-East and Asia.

Image: Airbus.

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Teamsters: A number of LAN Airlines flights could be affected today

LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) and its associated carriers in Latin America could be affected today (March 25) by “a series of actions” by its unions.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) has issued this statement:

A number of flights of South American LAN Airlines could be affected. The unions of LAN Airlines will begin a series of actions on Wednesday, March 25 in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Miami. To date the company has not responded to the union’s demands to improve working conditions. LAN Airlines workers are responsible for passenger safety, airplane maintenance, and customer connections in airports.

“National and international passengers could be subject to extensive delays and cancellations. Chile, Colombia and Ecuador are important hubs for the airline”. So reads the leaflets to be distributed to passengers visiting airports “Arturo Merino Benitez” (Santiago, Chile) and “El Dorado” (Bogotá, Colombia). In Ecuador, the leaflets will be distributed at “Mariscal Sucre” in Quito, and “Olmedo” in Guayaquil.

The conflict of the workers of LAN Airlines has gained support from many of the large transport unions in the United States. Teamsters Local 769 of Miami, other transport unions, and the community organization South Florida Voices for Working Families will be joining others in handing out information at the 2015 Sony Open tennis tournament in Miami, Florida. LAN Airlines is an official sponsor of the event. Leaflets will alert the public about the conditions of the LAN Airlines workers and the potential delays that could affect those attending the tennis tournament.

Chile, Colombia and Ecuador are important connecting hubs to flights throughout Latin America according to Luis Chavez, President of the LAN Express union in Chile. “These difficulties are preventable and predictable. The problems are cascading due to LAN Airlines refusal to provide fair conditions for their workers.”

Workers will be asking passengers and cargo users throughout the region to call the company’s toll free numbers to find out the latest information about the possible delays and cancellations. Passengers may also want to suggest that the company be responsible and provide fair conditions for workers at the airline.

The LAN Airline unions involved are members of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) representing more than 4.5 million transport workers from 150 countries around the world. The company, the LATAM Airline Group, includes both Chilean LAN Airlines and Brazilian TAM Airlines and is the largest airline company in Latin America.

Possible Strike in LAN Express Chile

On Wednesday March 25, a general assembly of the Union of LAN Express will take place at the Santiago airport. Leaders of unions throughout Latin America and Chile will attend the meeting. The General Assembly could affect the operations of all of the country’s airports and international connections.

On Monday March 30 and Tuesday March 31 the workers of LAN Express union will vote on whether to strike.

The Chilean workers are seeking both improvements in their own working conditions and also the reinstatement of the leader of the LAN Ecuador union, Jimena Lopez.

Conflict in Ecuador

Since October 2014 demonstrations and protests have erupted throughout the region because LAN Ecuador unjustly dismissed the founder, flight attendant and general secretary of the first aviation union in Ecuador, Jimena Lopez.

LAN Ecuador refuses to reinstate her, even though Carlos Marx Carrasco, Minister of Labour and the President Rafael Correa government have called the company’s actions unconstitutional and counter to Ecuadorian labour law and international labour standards.

Conflict in Colombia

In Colombia the company is laying off experienced mechanics and cargo workers. The union is taking action. Passengers in Colombia will also be warned about potential delays in their flights.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-31B ER CC-CXL (msn 26265) touches down at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

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Volaris to fly to New York (JFK) from Guadalajara

Volaris (Mexico City) announced today a new nonstop route to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport from Guadalajara, starting on July 15, 2015.

Volaris has consolidated as the carrier with the greatest international connectivity from Guadalajara, where it now operates 20 international and 18 domestic flights, and to date has transported 16 million passengers, a number on the rise as a result of significant growth achieved by the carrier out of this city in 2014.

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-233 N524VL (msn 6161) names “Itzali” also includes a pink ribbon in fight against Breast Cancer.

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Emirates is coming to Orlando

Emirates (Dubai) has announced it is commencing a daily service to Orlando, Florida from September 1, 2015. The route will be served by Boeing 777-200LR aircraft with eight First Class suites, 42 Business Class lie-flat beds and 216 Economy Class seats.

Emirates flight EK 219 will depart Dubai International Terminal 3 (DXB) at 03:50 hours local time and arrive at Orlando International Airport (MCO) Terminal B at 11.40 hours local time, a flying time of 15 hours 50 minutes. The return flight, EK 220 will depart Orlando International at 14:20 hours and arrive into Dubai at 12:30 the following day, a 14 hours 10 minutes flight.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates Airline Boeing 777-21H LR A6-EWI (msn 35589) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

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French investigators reach the Germanwings crash site, all 150 dead, weather is an issue today

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

French investigators reached the rugged mountain crash site of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 late yesterday afternoon (March 24). All 150 people on board are dead including 67 Germans and 45 Spaniards. The remains of the crashed Airbus A320-211 D-AIPX (msn 147) is scattered on the mountainside in the French Alps as the airliner smashed into the mountain located between Digne and Barcelonnette, France.

None of the remains have been recovered due to the harsh weather conditions today. Snow is forecasted for the remote area today.

The priority today will be the recovery of the remains.

Lufthansa and Germanwings called for a minute’s silence today at 10.53 a.m. to commemorate the victims of 4U 9525.

According to Airbus, the ill-fated A320-211 (D-AIPX, msn 147) was “delivered to Lufthansa from the production line in 1991. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 58,300 flight hours in some 46,700 flights. It was powered by CFM 56-5A1 engines.”

According to CNN, “The cockpit voice recorder recovered from the crash site is damaged, but officials will be able to reconstruct it in the coming hours, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told French radio station RTL.”

The flight data recorder is reportedly still missing.

There was no distress call from the cockpit.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa, on behalf of its subsidiary Germanwings, issued this statement:

We must confirm to our deepest regret that Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has suffered an accident over the French Alps. The flight was being operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft, and was carrying 144 passengers and six crew members.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have established a telephone hotline. The toll-free 00800 11 33 55 77 number is available to all the families of the passengers involved for care and assistance.
Everyone at Germanwings and Lufthansa is deeply shocked and saddened by these events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew members.

“We do not know exactly what happened to Flight 4U 9525. Our thoughts are now with all the relatives and friends of our passengers and crew. We will do everything possible in order to provide further information.”

Carsten Spohr

Meanwhile, Lufthansa’s pilots have called off for now any further strikes against Lufthansa or Germanwings.

Video: Raw footage of the crash site: