Entries in flights (7)


Mass turtle crossing delays flights at New York's JFK Airport

A large group of diamondback terrapins stopped takeoffs at New York's Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK) yesterday morning.  The turtles' annual summer migration route runs from Jamaica Bay (which borders Kennedy International to the south) to a nearby beach, where they lay their eggs.  They attempted to cross runway 4L/22R en route to the beach.

A post to http://nycaviation.com explains that Kennedy International is "almost entirely surrounded by bays, creeks, swamps, and undeveloped land."  150 turtles made up the slow-moving caravan, according to a video from the Associated Press (below).  Any air traffic backlog created by the terrapins' migration route worked itself out by the end of the day.

original stories

JFK Airport Runway Closed Due to Turtles (NYC Aviation)

Flight delays as JFK airport runway taken over by turtles! (New York Daily News)

Turtles halt flights at JFK airport (The Daily Telegraph)

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American Airlines, Air Berlin expand already-existing codeshare

Air Berlin's recently-added non-stop flights between Tegel Airport (IATA: TXL; ICAO: EDDT) in Berlin, and Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK) in New York, are now part of the codeshare agreement in force between Air Berlin and American Airlines since late last year.  The arrangement allows American Airlines customers in the United States to access the Berlin-New York and Düsseldorf-New York non-stops operated year-round by Air Berlin, on the American Airlines website.  The Berlin-New York round trip operates four times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.  The Düsseldorf-New York round trip operates daily between late June and late October.  Both routes are flown with the Airbus A330-200.

High-ranking representatives of both airlines expressed enthusiasm for the newly expanded codeshare.  Air Berlin's Chief Financial Officer Ulf Hüttmeyer, identified the United States as a "growing market" for Air Berlin, and expressed eagerness to "[sign] more codeshares [with American Airlines] in the future."   According to American Airlines, global distribution systems "will display the [codeshare] flights...for travel starting this Friday, June 24."

American Airlines is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.  Air Berlin is expected to join the alliance in 2012.  Its sponsoring member is British Airways.

Also, this coming Saturday, Air Berlin, along with Berlin Airports and Boeing, will host a ceremony for the German premiere of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  Air Berlin boasts that it will be the first airline based in Germany to receive a shipment of the Boeing 787.  Air Berlin flies a fleet of 147 aircraft, comprised of 74 Airbus models, 63 Boeing models, and 10 Bombardier models.  It was founded in the American state of Oregon in 1978 as Air Berlin USA.  It relocated to Berlin in 1985.  Air Berlin operates a semi-low-cost business model.

related stories

Air Berlin will commence year-round JFK routes this coming fall (February 3, 2011)

American Airlines and Air Berlin codeshare is in effect (November 8, 2010)

Air Berlin makes codeshare agreements with Finnair and American (July 29, 2010)

original stories

airberlin and American Airlines expand codeshare agreement (Air Berlin)

American Airlines and airberlin Expand Codeshare Agreement (American Airlines)

airberlin: German premiere of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Air Berlin)

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Iceland's Grímsvötn erupts; only 500 flights cancelled

The Icelandic volcano Grímsvötn began spewing ash and smoke into the air last Saturday, but will not cause near the disruption to trans-Atlantic air traffic that the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull did last spring.  Two large Irish airlines, Aer Lingus and Ryanair, have had to cancel dozens of flights over volcanic ash-related concerns, according to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).  And the total number of flights cancelled across Europe due to the eruption is around 500.

But Iceland itself expects no major disruption to its travel industry as a result.  The country's Director General of Tourism, Olof Yr Atladottir, said that hotel bookings, tour bookings, and other tourist services are not decreasing.  The site www.icenews.is reported that this summer is still expected to be "one of [Iceland's] biggest travel summers to date."  Though there are small amounts of ash lingering over northern Scandinavia and Russia, the (nearly) pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol also expects very little, if any, additional disruption to air traffic over Europe because of the eruption.

original stories

Ireland steers clear of volcano woes as 500 flights in Europe are grounded (Irish Central)

'Little harm done' to Iceland tourism sector (IceNews)

Eurocontrol: No major impact on air traffic anticipated in next 24 hours (Washington Post)

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Finnair adds flights to Japan and South Korea

Yesterday Finnair, the national airline of Finland, added a new weekly flight in each direction between its Helsinki hub Vantaa Airport (IATA: HEL; ICAO: EFHK) and the Japanese city of Nagoya.  Finnair flies to Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport (IATA: NGO; ICAO: RJGG), a facility constructed on an artificial island in the Ise Bay between 2000 and 2005, 22 miles (35 kilometers) south of Nagoya.  Chūbu Centrair International Airport is one of five Japanese offshore airports and is one of two built on a manmade island.  Despite its relative isolation, passengers may easily access the facility by automobile via a toll road, by train, by bus, or by ferry.  This additional weekly flight introduced by Finnair increases the number of weekly round-trips between the two locations to five.  The newly added round-trip will operate each Friday, indefinitely.

Moreover, as of today, Finnair has increased the frequency of its flights between Helsinki and the Japanese city of Osaka.  Finnair operates out of the North terminal at Kansai International Airport (IATA: KIX; ICAO: RJBB), 24 miles (38 kilometers) southwest of central Osaka.  With this addition of one more weekly flight, Finnair now flies between Helsinki and Kansai International - the other Japanese airport constructed on an artificial island - six times a week.

Today, Finnair also added a weekly flight in each direction to Incheon International Airport (IATA: ICN; ICAO: RSKI) in the South Korean capital of Seoul.  Finnair plans to resume a suspended route between Helsinki and Changi International (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) in Singapore in May, and to increase the frequency of its existing service between Helsinki and Hong Kong International (IATA: HKG; ICAO: VHHH) in June.

Finnair heavily promotes its non-stop connections to eastern Asia, of which it boasts more per week than any other European-based airline.

original stories

Finnair increases flights to Asia (GlobeNewswire)

Finnair adds flights to Nagoya (GlobeNewswire)

Finnair's growth in Asia continues, additional flights to Osaka (GlobeNewswire)


JFK, LGA, EWR, trains, buses all shut down for snow in NYC

On account of the first blizzard of winter 2010-2011, transportation and infrastructure in the City of New York is all but shut down this morning.  Reuters reported that "up to 29 inches of snow" fell on the area.  And the region's three largest airports, Kennedy International (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK), Newark International (IATA: EWR; ICAO: KEWR), and LaGuardia (IATA: LGA; ICAO: KLGA) have shut down, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights, and stranding tens of thousands of post-Christmas travelers.

Earlier this morning a camera aimed at an intersection near Times Square showed absolutely no automobile traffic on the road, at an hour of the day when it is usually very crowded.  Moreover, the Associated Press reported that two subway trains operating near Kennedy International had been stranded overnight for "several hours" on the tracks.  Ice formation on the third rail, which delivers the electricity necessary to power the trains, caused the lengthy delay.

New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority advised travelers to expect delays on all bus routes, to expect limited service buses to make local stops, and to expect delays on subway routes.  All Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service has been suspended indefinitely "in both directions."  Metro-North service is suspended indefinitely on the Hudson, New Haven, and Harlem lines; and there are service disruptions on the Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines.

AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark, which provide service from local transit hub and subway stops to the airport terminals, have also suspended service indefinitely, and are being temporarily replaced by bus service.

original stories

New York hard hit as winter storm slams northeast (Yahoo News)

East Coast storm strands travelers, vexes drivers (Yahoo News)

NYC subway stalled for hours in snow drifts (Yahoo News)

New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Official Website


Mount Merapi erupts; many Jakarta flights cancelled

Eruption of the Javanese volcano Merapi in the southeastern Asian island country of Indonesia snarled air traffic at the country's largest airport today.  Three dozen flights involving Soekarno-Hatta International Airport west of the Indonesian capital Jakarta (IATA: CGK; ICAO: WIII) have been cancelled by their operating airlines because of the eruption.  The red dot on the computer-generated image below shows the location of Merapi on the island of Java.

The Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times said ash from the volcano, located about 268 miles to the southeast of Jakarta on the island of Java, has not in fact reached the Indonesian capital.  A spokesman for Soekarno-Hatta Airport said the flights, from 11 different carriers based in both Europe and Asia, were cancelled as a precaution.  This series of cancellations comes just a few days prior to a scheduled state visit to Indonesia by an official delegation from the United States of America.

This delegation, of unknown size, accompanies President Barack Obama, who spent four years in the country as a child, following the enactment by second Indonesian President Suharto, of a policy recalling all Indonesian students studying abroad, which included Obama's step-father.

In any case, the name Merapi means "mountain of fire" in the Javanese languageMerapi has erupted regularly since 1548, and an eruption of the volcano a millennium ago is said to have completely covered central Java in ash, and even had political consequences.  Java is home to sixty percent of the Indonesian population, and is by far the most populous island in the world.

Soekarno-Hatta International opened in 1985 as a replacement for Kemayoran Airport (the latter now the site of the annual Jakarta Fair).  The facility is named for Indonesia's first President, known internationally simply as Soekarno, and his Vice President Mohammad Hatta.  It is a hub for the Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, the international airline Batavia Air, and several domestic carriers and cargo airlines.  Soekarno-Hatta served a little more than 37 million passengers last year, about as many as San Francisco International (IATA: SFO; ICAO: KSFO) in the United States, and slightly fewer than Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS; ICAO: EHAM) in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

original stories

Merapi ash disrupts int'l flights after Saturday eruption (Jakarta Post)

Airlines stop Jakarta flights after volcano blast (Jakarta Post)

Mount Merapi sparks travel chaos (Jakarta Post)

All Jakarta flights cancelled (The Straits Times)

Jakarta flights cancelled due to volcano (Reuters India)



Air Berlin makes codeshare agreements with Finnair and American

In anticipation of joining the Oneworld airline alliance in 2012, the German carrier Air Berlin has signed codeshare agreements with American Airlines and Finnair.  Information posted to Air Berlin’s website on Tuesday explains that these arrangements will give Air Berlin’s customers convenient access to many destinations in Asia, and also to many destinations in North America.

The President and the CEO of American Airlines and Air Berlin respectively, Tom Horton and Joachim Hunold respectively, told the press they were “pleased” and “very pleased,” respectively, at the agreement.  The President of Finnair, Mika Vehviläinen meanwhile, was “delighted” at the intent of Air Berlin to join the Oneworld airline alliance, and noted that customers of Air Berlin, through partnership with Finnair, would gain "first class access to destinations in Asia."  British Airways will act as the alliance sponsor for Air Berlin.

Indeed, geographically, Air Berlin now stands to gain indirect access to a number of new destinations on both sides of its base.  As of this post, it directly operates flights to only seven North American destinations non-stop, year-round.  And it directly operates flights to only seven Asian destinations, non-stop, year-round, only two of which are located in the eastern part of Asia.  The new partnership significantly increases the number of flights available to customers of Air Berlin.

Finnair was founded in 1923.  Its main offices are in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, and its largest hub is Vantaa Airport in Helsinki (IATA: HEL; ICAO: EFHK).  Finnair flies non-stop to ten Asian cities.  Eight of those are in the eastern part of Asia.

American Airlines was founded in 1930 in New York, when dozens of smaller airlines combined to form American Airways.  The company moved its main offices to Dallas, Texas in 1979.  American’s main hub is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW).

Air Berlin is a German airline operating a semi-low-cost business model.  It is the second-largest German-based airline behind Lufthansa.  Air Berlin was formed in the American state of Oregon in 1978 as Air Berlin USA, by former employees of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) and the supplemental carrier Modern Air Transport.  The airline relocated to the German city whose name it shares, in 1985.  It has hubs in the German cities of Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Nuremberg, and also on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

related stories

American and JetBlue launch partnership at JFK and Logan (July 20, 2010)

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU (July 14, 2010)

Alitalia joins network of Air France/KLM and Delta (July 5, 2010)

Qantas and China Eastern codeshare more flights (June 25, 2010)

JAL and AA take another step toward anti-trust immunity (June 24, 2010)

United Airlines and Jet Airways agree to codeshare (June 18, 2010)

Malév and Etihad sign a codeshare deal (June 9, 2010)

The United-Continental merger is not yet a sure thing (May 19, 2010)

Two airlines looking for awards in Hamburg next week made a deal (May 12, 2010)

United and Continental will probably merge (May 3, 2010)

original stories

Air Berlin concludes codeshare agreements with American Airlines and Finnair after joining oneworld (Air Berlin)

Air Berlin to join oneworld alliance (British Airways)