Airline Industry News

Self-Made Businessman Launches Britain’s First Sharia Airline

13 Jun 2018

Bangladeshi-British businessman Kazi Shafiqur Rahman calls himself the “Halal Richard Branson”. The 32-year-old says the idea came to him when he was cleaning toilets in London City Airport, and he has always dreamed of following in the footsteps of the Virgin boss to launch his own airline.

Firnas Airways is on the brink of its launch and is compliant with the teachings of Islam, with modest dress for cabin crew, Halal food, and strictly no alcohol on board.

Rahman, himself a Muslim who has experienced stigma when travelling, said in a comment:

“All Muslims are loving it. But on the other hand you have the Islamophobic people,” He added: “I am a British citizen but whenever you pass through security you feel like you have done something wrong.”

The entrepreneur hopes to see Firnas Airways eventually fly long haul to the Middle East but to start with the airline, which is leasing a 19 seater Jetstream 32 plane at a cost of £8,500 a month, will fly short haul commuter routes between UK cities.

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Image credit: Metro

Flight From Rome to Chicago Diverted After Bomb Threat

11 Jun 2018

A flight from Rome to Chicago was diverted to Ireland’s Shannon Airport on Monday after security discovered a message on board making reference to a bomb, Ireland police and airline officials said.

The message was found in the plane toilet, officials said, but declined to comment further on the nature of the threat. It was not clear whether the note was posted in the bathroom prior to takeoff or during the flight.

“After assessing the situation, our crew made the decision to divert to the nearest available airport,” said United. “Additional security screenings will be performed on all customers and baggage.”

A U.S. government source said similar incidents involving threatening notes found on aeroplanes happen about once a week.

The airline said on Twitter that the flight was now cancelled and would depart for Chicago on Tuesday.

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Image credit: NBC

Passenger on Jet2 Flight Banned for Life

10 Jun 2018

A passenger on a Jet2 flight from Belfast to Ibiza was handed a lifetime ban after forcing it to divert to Toulouse due to his abusive behaviour.

A passenger on the flight with her four month old baby reported that the man was part of a "large stag group" that was "quite rowdy" when they came on board.

The captain gave a stern warning that only alcohol bought on board could be consumed during the flight, and nothing that was purchased in duty free could be consumed.

When the already intoxicated passenger, who was reportedly ‘playing with a blow up doll’, was refused to be served alcohol on the flight he became verbally abusive.

Jet2 spokesperson said such behaviour would "not be tolerated", and the plane made a diversion to Toulouse to remove the passenger as the situation escalated. The diversion almost doubled the length of the 3 hour flight.

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Image credit: Pixabay

Some Airports in Europe Could Get Nap Pods With Netflix

08 June 2018

European airports could soon introduce ‘Airpods’, self-contained comfy capsules designed for sleepy travelers at their gate. The pods are still in early stages, but will start to appear around European airports as part of a commercial test later this year. After that, they could appear around the globe.

The Airpods are available to rent by the hour, and come equipped with air purifiers, a tv screen travellers can watch Netflix on, a wifi connection, and an armchair that can be reclined into a bed for napping. The pods are designed to keep outside noise out, but flyers can still keep up to date while inside by setting special alarms inside, and checking on flight alerts.

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Image credit: Fox News

Qatar Airways CEO Makes Sexist Comment

05 Jun 2018

The issue of gender equality and imbalance in airline services, particularly more senior positions, was a hot topic among over 200 airlines represented at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Sydney, with the predominantly male gathering agreeing more had to be done to address the issue.

But when Qatar Airways Chief Executive, Akbar al Baker, was asked about the issue among Middle Eastern airlines in particular, he answered with a provocative statement, drawing gasps from the crowd:

“Of course it has to be led by a man because it is a very challenging position,”

It’s not clear weather Baker was serious or trying to make a joke.

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Image credit: Reuters

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