Foreign airlines reverse boycott of Kaduna airport as Ethiopian Airlines complete first flight

Some foreign airlines have reversed their boycott of Kaduna International Airport as alternative aerodrome during the temporary closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja, for repair works.

The Guardian learnt that following an inspection of the refurbished Kaduna airport, carriers like Lufthansa have now expressed their intention to fly to Kaduna.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 787 Dream Liner was welcomed to a ceremonial water shower Wednesday in Kaduna, to flag off the beginning of Abuja-bound flights diversion and closure of Abuja airport.

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, while welcoming Ethiopian Airlines and rounding off inspection of the new terminal, said: “I told Lufthansa in Frankfurt and British Airways that we are in the time of need but not stupid to close down Abuja and open Kaduna. It borders on safety.

“My disappointment was that none of them came to inspect the Kaduna airport to see what we have or don’t have. If they had done so, I would have provided for them what they need.

“Ethiopian Airlines are here today because they came here to inspect. They said, well, your fire cover is Category 7, you need to upgrade to Category 9. They said also your tower is obstructed where it is, is not fair enough, bring in the mobile tower. And I said done, to prove to them that we are ready to please back them.”

Sirika disclosed that the foreign airlines, however, came on March 1 to inspect the Kaduna airport and began to have a change of mind. “They visited Kaduna and saw the amount of work done. They saw the airfield lighting, runway markings and other things we have done. They saw the general ambiance of the security.

“They saw all these and said they would reconsider, sending reports to their headquarters. Most of them have called us that they have considered. One of the airlines (Lufthansa) has said that they will begin next week,” he said.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said given the level of investment already deployed to Kaduna, “it is better for the airlines and also for commercial reasons, to operate from here.”

In a related development, the House of Representatives yesterday called for urgent acquisition and installation of Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) in all federal airports in the country.

Following a motion by Igariwey Iduma Enwo (PDP, Ebonyi), lawmakers maintained that the equipment would specifically help airlines and airports to continue operations in low visibility conditions such as heavy rain, very low cloud or harmattan haze and at night.


Source: The Guardian

All-clear after Lufthansa flight diverted to New York after threat.

U.S. authorities gave the all-clear on Tuesday after a Lufthansa flight from Houston, Texas, to the German city of Frankfurt was diverted to New York’s John Kennedy airport after a telephoned threat.


“Authorities cleared a Lufthansa plane, diverted to JFK tonight after a threat. Passengers deplaned and a search of aircraft was negative,’’ New York’s Port Authority said.


A spokesperson for Lufthansa said some 500 passengers and the cabin crew had exited the plane safely and were staying in nearby hotels.


The spokesperson further said that the flight would continue its journey to Frankfurt, but without passengers on board, meanwhile, other flights were not affected by the incident.

Lufthansa flights grounded for third day.

Lufthansa pilots extended their pay strike into a third day on Friday, with domestic and European flights worst hit and the travel plans of over 100,000 passengers affected.

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union threatened to ground flights on Saturday as well.

The 14th round of strike since the dispute began in April 2014, has resulted in some 2,500 flights being cancelled over the past three days, affecting 315,000 passengers.

VC has refused to enter into arbitration as called for by the company.

On Saturday, it plans to target the German flagship carrier’s long-haul flights leaving from German airports.

Lufthansa said some 830 more flights would be cancelled, but that long-haul flights would be “carried out virtually according to schedule” during the week.

“Domestic and short-haul flights within Europe would be worst hit ahead of the weekend,’’ the company said.

German airports, including the main hubs at Frankfurt and Munich, were reported to be quiet.

Chaos was avoided by many Lufthansa passengers simply staying away from airports.

The company was providing updated information on its website and arranging alternatives for stranded passengers.

Lufthansa cancels 912 flights as pilots strike enters Day 2

The strike by Lufthansa pilots in support of a pay demand is in its second day on Thursday, with the German flagship carrier cancelling 912 flights for the day.


The strike has hit the travel plans of some 100,000 long-and short-haul passengers.


The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) Pilots’ Union announced that the strike, the 14th in a dispute stretching back to April 2014 would be extended to a third day on Friday, from the two originally planned.


The stoppage, aimed at pressing demands for a backdated pay increase of 22 per cent over the five years to April 2017, grounded 876 flights on Wednesday.


In total, 215,000 passengers have been affected over the first two days.


Report says the Friday action is likely to hit primarily short-haul flights taking off within Germany.


The company said it planned to service all its long-haul destinations on Friday.


Airports across Germany were noticeably quieter than usual, with Munich badly hit as well as the main hub near Frankfurt.


Group human relations head Bettina Volkens repeated a call for the union to enter into arbitration with Europe’s largest airline.


However VC spokesman Joerg Handwerg rejected arbitration, saying pilots had been “uncoupled from changes in pay in Germany for the past five years” and that they were no longer prepared to be left on the sidelines.


Chaos was avoided by many Lufthansa passengers simply staying away from airports.


The company was providing ongoing information on its website and arranging alternatives for stranded passengers.

No Plan To Reduce Nigerian Flights- Lufthansa

An international carrier, Lufthansa Airline, yesterday said it had no plan to reduce its flight operations in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the airline’s Media Consultant, Mr. Hakeem Jimoh, made the disclosure to aviation correspondents in Lagos.

Two foreign airlines, Emirates and Kenya Airways , recently announced the suspension of their flights to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

While Emirates Airlines said it would stop flights to Abuja from October 22, Kenya Airways said its flights to the nation’s capital would be suspended from November 15.
Both airlines attributed the decision to the economic downturn in the country, foreign exchange challenges, and the shrinking passenger traffic.

Jimoh said Lufthansa Airline, which operates flights to Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airports, would not be following a similar path for now.

“Yes, there has been challenges, particularly with the issue of forex, but I can tell you that Lufthansa has no plan for now to reduce flight operations in Nigeria,” he said.

Jimoh said Lufthansa had been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years, adding that the country was important to the airline’s operation, especially in West Africa.

The efforts of the current administration in the aviation sector have received a boost with the coming in of Airbus Group of France to set up an office in Nigeria.

Read More: thisdaylive

Lufthansa Passenger Tries To Open Plane Door Mid Flight

A passenger on a Lufthansa flight on its way from Frankfurt to Belgrade on Sunday was detained after he threatened to open the plane door and bring down the aircraft.

Banging on a cockpit door, the man reportedly threatened to down the Lufthansa plane as it was flying over Austria. He was quickly restrained by the crew and some passengers on-board.

“A passenger got up and tried to do something at the door, but was stopped by crew members and other passengers,” said Lufthansa spokesman Andreas Bartels.

Flight 1406 eventually landed in Belgrade, its planned destination, where the troublemaker was handed over to local police and arrested.

The man, who turned out to be an American citizen of Jordanian descent, is currently being interrogated by the police and will spend 48 hours in detention before facing trial, according to Serbia’s public prosecutor, as reported by the Blic daily.

Milan Djukic, a Serbian handball team player who was also on the same plane, said the man had looked suspicious even before they boarded the plane.

“About halfway into the flight he tried to open a plane door, but the cabin crew stopped him,” Djukic told Blic. It was a normal door, which of course cannot be opened in-flight… it was not the cockpit door,” Bartels added.

Assistant coach Milan Mirkovic and handball player Aleksej Rastvorcev calmed the man down, while other passengers had no idea what was going on, he said, adding that two players kept an eye on the rowdy, who was in business class, for the rest of the flight.

Lufthansa Knew Co-Pilot Suffered “Severe Depression”

Lufthansa knew that the co-pilot of the passenger plane that crashed in the French Alps last week had suffered from an episode of “severe depression” before he finished his flight training with the German airline.

The airline said Tuesday that it has found emails that Andreas Lubitz sent to the Lufthansa flight school in 2009 when he resumed his training in Bremen after an interruption of several months.

In them, he informed the school that he had suffered a “previous episode of severe depression,” which had since subsided.

Read More: yahoo