In news from Frankfurt, German courts have ordered a halt to the ongoing strike that is affecting operations at Frankfurt’s Airport. The strike has been ruled “illegal” and the courts are demanding that “industrial peace” is restored.
The court’s decision came late on Tuesday and still resulted in 235 flights being canceled on Wednesday. Barring any other surprises, operations should be far more normal on Thursday.
It appears that officials at German union Verdi, representing workers at both of Berlin’s Airports (Tegel and Schoenefeld), must have been reading LufthansaFlyer or more likely watching the news and now have come up with the novel idea of spreading the strikes to Berlin. In this attempt to capture attention, Verdi is threatening to strike with as little as 15 minutes notice as a reply to an ongoing wage dispute affecting ground staff at these airports.
In all of this, Lufthansa is now in a position to seek damages from the union since the strike has been ruled illegal. Lufthansa’s board member, Stefan Lauer stated that if in fact the strike is deemed illegal, Lufthansa would consider filing a claim seeking damages which have been calculated to be several million Euros.
Starting March 1 and continuing through April 30, rent a car through any Budget Rent-A-Car worldwide (3,400 locations) and you will earn twice the miles in your Lufthansa Miles & More account.
For more information please visit the Miles & More Website
Today marked the delivery of the first passenger configured 747-8I. The owner is nearly confirmed as Qatari Amiri (Qatar Goverment Airline) and the aircraft was delivered basically as an empty shell but in a VIP configuration.
The owner however will not actually be able to put it to use for ANOTHER 2 YEARS!! Imagine buying your favorite “toy” only to have it tease you for 2 years while it is retrofitted and customized to your specifications. Personally, that would drive my quite nutty. I probably would have to move in to the factory where it is being retrofitted and be with it everday.
The plane left Seattle today and flew to Vancouver for customs/export processing and will then fly to Kansas to begin its custom interior installation. According to Boeing, it will take 6 months to install the Aeroloft system in the upper deck. Once that is finished, Lufthansa will actually have the plane in Hamburg for 2 years where Lufthansa’s Technik engineering superstars will complete the VIP installation.
Boeing indicated that it has sold 9 of these VIP versions, with most going to heads of states in the Middle East. Must be nice to be a head of state these days I suppose. Now we just need to get Congress to approve one for our own head of state.
Here are images from today’s delivery (Courtesy of SeattlePI.com):
Imagines Of Potential VIP Interior (Courtesy of Boeing):
Read yesterday’s post regarding the delivery of 747-8i here
My 747-8i Gallery
A few updates from American Airlines, British Airways & LAN……..
Miami-Kingston effective April 3 to August 19 will increase from 3x/day to 4x/day.
London(LHR)-Hong Kong effective from September 3 to October 2 is reduced from 17x/week to 14x/week.
Billund-Munich effective March 12 is beginning 2x/day service (weekdays only). Operated by Sun Air.
Johannesburg-Harare effective April 4 will increase from 1x/day to 10x/WEEKLY. Operated by Comair.
Bogota-Miami effective July 1 will increase from 4x/week to 1x/DAY.
Previous oneworld Updates: ONE TWO THREE
UPDATE: Since posting this originally at 8:00am on 28 February, EUROCONTROL IS NOW REPORTING that Frankfurt’s airport may be closed tomorrow from 6:00a to 12:00p tomorrow, 29 February due to a sympathy strike by Air Traffic Controllers….
In news from Frankfurt this morning, it appears that the labor union representing the ground handlers that are currently on strike is seeking to recruit Air Traffic Controllers to join the strike. GdF, the German union who represents the airport workers currently on strike came out with a plea for Air Traffic Controllers to join the strike as a sign of solidarity on Wednesday 29 March from 5:00a to 11:00a local Frankfurt time. If Controllers agree, it could lead to 300 flight disruptions or cancellations. With the current strike, approximately 150-200 flights are being canceled daily with the brunt of these cancelations being burdened by Lufthansa.
In my opinion this is where the Union really loses substantial credibility with me. Normally I am not a fan of unions, and I am not one in this case. However, I can understand the ground handler strike. With a new runway open there’s more activity at the airport, and they feel they deserve more compensation for a higher work load. I get that and hope a favorable resolution is reached (selfishly, please have this resolved by May 1 ahead of my travel to Germany, Istanbul and London!).
What I don’t like is the new tactic of dragging in Air Traffic Controllers who are at this point innocent bystanders, and most likely happy with their jobs and using them as pawns in the union’s scheme. Something like this will just lead to all parties digging in their heels even deeper and creating additional animosity. Thoughts? Am I wrong here?
A United Airlines flight from Atlanta had to make an emergency landing without it’s nose gear tonight. Flight 5124, an ERJ170, landed without further incident and the airport reopened most of its runways approximately 1 hour later. No injuries were reported.
For a few more details, please visit the New York Post link.
Being reported today by SeattlePI, it looks like Boeing is finally going to turn over the keys to the first passenger version of the 747-8i.
No major official ceremonies are planned and it appears that the delivery will be very much off the radar. Rumors have circulated suggesting it is a Boeing Business Jet configuration and may be headed off to serve the government of Kuwait. This article suggested that it may be going to Qatar and be placed into service for the Qatari government.
By the way, wouldn’t everyone agree its time for a new Air Force One?? I would think our government would want to show off the latest and greatest technology first!
In any event, the new 747-8i finally gets to go to a new home, and the rest of us need to wait another month or so to get our hands on Lufthansa’s edition!!
Beijing-London(LGW) effective March 25 decreases from 4x/week to 3x/week.
Shanghai-Paris(CDG) effective March 25 decreases from 5x/week to 4x/week.
Beijing-Copenhagen planned start of service on June 2 has been postponed indefinitely.
Istanbul-Kharkov effective March 13 will begin 2x/week service.
Chicago-Sarasota effective November 4 will begin 1x/day service.
CSA CZECH AIRLINES:
Prague-Ljubljana effective March 4 is canceled (Route will be codeshared on Job Air)
Prague-Berlin effective March 4 is canceled (Route will be codeshared on Job Air)
RECENT STAR ALLIANCE UPDATES: ONE TWO THREE
RECENT SKYTEAM UPDATES: ONE TWO THREE
Conde Nast Traveler is sponsoring a contest that could win you a $25,000 personalized Dream Trip! To enter, all you need to do is submit a favorite travel photo that you took and explain why that picture is special to you. Conde Nast judges will pick their favorites. The Winner will have a personalized Trip planned by Conde Nast worth $25,000!! In all 25 finalists will be in the running for various prizes. The contest runs between February 21 and April 20, 2012.
For more information and to enter, please visit the Conde Nast Dream Trip Website
Since February 1, Miles and More members have been able to earn double award miles for stays at Accor properties world wide. This earnings bonus period will end on March 31, 2012. Please visit the Miles & More website that goes into more detail regarding this promotion. In order to earn the miles, you need to set your A-Club earnings preference to Miles & More.
For those who are not enrolled in A-Club:
View From The Wing had recently posted the opportunity to open a new A-Club account at the Platinum Level, so if you are not currently enrolled in A-Club you can use Gleff’s info to start as a Platinum member. If the platinum promo for some reason is no longer available, you can sign up for a regular A-Club membership here.
I came across this article from Foxnews.com reporting that a whistleblower who works at the Westchester Country Airport (New York City Metro Area) has come forward with revelations that involve controllers napping in the tower, using their cell phones and other violations based on FAA policies for Air Traffic Controllers.
The FAA has extremely rigid rules and regulations as to what is acceptable Controller behavior in an Airport Tower and this black eye is not going to do any favors for the Airport or the FAA. The airport in it’s defense has suggested that it has special FAA approval due to a broken elevator that allows Controllers to take breaks in the tower. This comment made me chuckle a bit. I wonder if the stairs are broken as well. The whistleblower indicated that these behaviors have been in place for years. I’ll let the FoxNews piece tell the rest of the story.
Unfortunately I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this one.