Monthly Archives: November 2007

Nationwide Airlines (South Africa) Grounded for Safety Violations

(Maybe I should just turn this site into an African aviation news thingy…)

South African carrier Nationwide Airlines has been shut down by government authorities after it ignored warnings to improve its maintenance processes.  Nationwide offers low fares to a bunch of cities in South Africa and Livingstone, Zambia, (gateway to Victoria Falls).  If (somehow) you were scheduled to fly on them, other airlines are accomodating passengers.  This is actually a really good sign – many African countries (hello Nigeria) have waited until airlines suffer a crash before declaring them unsafe.

Another Air Zimbabwe Mess: President Commandeered Flight

I’ve heard stories before about Zimbabwe President taking an Air Zimbabwe plane for personal trips (while passengers waiting for the plane were left stranded).  Those stories are apparently true:

Mugabe commandeered an Air Zimbabwe flight from Harare that was supposed to go to Victoria Falls and took it to Mozambique instead, leaving passengers in Harare waiting 6 hours for the plane to return. 

Air India: We Have a 33% On-time Rate

If you’re concerned about flight delays, be glad you aren’t flying Air India.  The Indian flag carrier has reported an official 33% on-time rate for the past six months, a showing that is all the more pathetic as some observers actually think it’s worse.  Subsidiary Air India Express boasts a 12% on-time rate.  Competitors report better numbers, but that’s because some of them call a flight "on-time" if it’s delayed an hour or less. 

Air traffic in India grew 35% (35%!) last year.

$49 from New York and Philadelphia to Florida

(via Travelzoo)…

USA 3000 is offering a $49 fare from New York and Philadelphia to Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, and St. Petersburg for travel the first two weeks of December and January 6 through February 10.  Check out the link for details on how to book.

Want to Be an Air Force One Flight Attendant?

The WSJ has an interesting article about being a flight attendant on Air Force One.  Short version?  It’s a giant pain in the ass (you do all the cooking, cleaning, etc).

Hole Found in Southwest Plane’s Engine

(Thanks to reader Pierre for the heads up)

A Southwest Airlines pilot noticed a vibration coming from one of his 737’s engines on a November 17th flight from Dallas Love and decided to return to the airport.  Upon landing he noticed a large-ish hole in the engine (see here for photo).  Investigators are looking into the cause, but I’ll give Southwest props for sending a letter to every passenger explaining exactly what happened.

Buy One Get One Free on Virgin America

Virgin America is offering a buy one get one ticket free deal for flights through March 19 (holidays are blacked out).  Transcon flights work out to less then $200 per person.  (Use the link for details).

Cheap Flights to the Caribbean

JetBlue has a pretty good sale to St. Maarten and Puerto Plata for travel in the new year.  Seats are available for just $99 when you fly between January 8th and February 13th.

British Airways Cancels Flight Because of Drunk Crew

An odd one:  British Airways canceled a flight from Manchester to New York on Friday because the airline received an anonymous call saying that the cabin crew was "partying" in their hotel bar until 2 o’clock in the morning.  The pilots were allegedly not involved. 

Tall? Beautiful? Chinese? China Southern Wants You to Be a Flight Attendant

The LA Times has an interesting article about China Southern Airlines’ search for 100 new flight attendants.  You must be under 24, pretty, and tall.  The airline has created a reality show to help with the process and, unlike, say, The Apprentice, (yet like Survivor: China) the competition features a swimsuit competition.  It’s a good read.