Let’s get straight into this this week – here are our headlines from around the world:
- Bali flight cancellations due to Volcanic Eruption
- United Airlines computer glitch
- Berlin seeks private investors for new airport
- Bees attack passengers
The biggest aviation related news story this week was definitely the volcanic eruption in Bali and the flight cancellations as a result from it. On Friday the Wall Street Journal wrote that drifting ash from a volcanic eruption shut down airports on two of Indonesia’s most famous resort islands for a second day Friday, stranding passengers and disrupting local businesses at the peak of the summer holiday season. Authorities closed airports in Bali (DPS) and the neighboring island of Lombok (LOP) on Thursday night as Mount Raung in East Java continued to spew ash into one of the world’s most crowded flight paths. International carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Malaysia Airlines and Etihad Airways were among the airlines affected by the airport closures.
Thankfully for many stranded passengers a change in wind direction allowed the airports in Bali and the neighboring island of Lombok to resume operations on Saturday (…) wrote the Wall Street Journal. Today, however, the Guardian wrote that Virgin Australia cautioned travellers against thinking the volcanic ash cloud disruptions were completely over. “Please note that Mount Raung continues to erupt at this time and it is likely that operations could be disrupted again over the next few days if there are changes to wind conditions,” the airline said.
Wednesday wasn’t a great day for travellers booked on United Airlines as Forbes wrote: United said it suffered a “connectivity issue” Wednesday morning that forced it to ground its flights worldwide for more than an hour. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the ground stop was lifted about 10 am ET. The worldwide ground stop caused delays for thousands of passengers, in airport terminals and on planes around the world. The backup was expected to cause problems for the rest of Wednesday, and possibly longer. United says it typically operates more than 5,300 flights per day to 369 destinations around the world.
Over in Germany we received some news about the troubled Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) from Reuters. According to the article Berlin is wooing private investors including Macquarie and JP Morgan to take a stake in its much-delayed new international airport. The 5.1 billion euro ($5.7 billion) Willy Brandt International airport has been delayed repeatedly by red tape and technical problems, forcing its scheduled opening date to be pushed back from 2012 to 2017.
And for our final news for this week we travel to Russia. There, according to the Daily Mail, Thousands of bees staged an extraordinary attack on a passenger plane at a Moscow airport. They swarmed an Airbus-319 as it was about to start taxiing ahead of taking off from Vnukovo Airport (VKO) bound for St Petersburg. The bees flew from under a wing, said eye witnesses reporting the incident. Some attached themselves to the wing, while others covered windows of the Rossiya airline’s plane. Airport staff then ‘efficiently and quickly’ removed the from the plane’s fuselage. Although reports do not explain how this was done, the usual method is to smoke the bees out and vacuum them up. The flight was delayed by slightly under an hour.
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