Airlines, Airports and Airliners 31 January 2024

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

This Week in Airlines, Airliners and Airports

ACSA has zero-tolerance approach to baggage pilfering and theft at airports.
IATA & ICAO extend cooperation on standards for dangerous goods shipments.
Menzies Aviation and SGA Angola agree joint venture.
Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services adds Casablanca as Its 35th freighter destination in Africa.
Lufthansa Group plans to hire around 13,000 new people in 2024.
Schiphol Traffic and transport figures for December 2023.
Heathrow ends year with busiest ever December.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport kicks off 75th Anniversary after near record volumes in 2023.
Worldwide Incidents and Accidents.
Bonus video - Douglas DC3 Dakota


Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is aware of a recent incident at OR Tambo International Airport in which a passenger's baggage was tampered with and possessions stolen - ACSA regrets this incident and would like to apologise to the affected traveller sincerely.

ACSA Regional General Manager Jabulani Khambule says that ACSA will cooperate with the relevant airlines to ensure the incident is thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators are brought to book.

"I would like to remind our customers that ACSA has a zero-tolerance approach to criminality and any forms of illegal behaviour by any airport staff, whether they are directly employed by ACSA or contracted to work at our airports. We will ensure that the investigation into this incident results in the apprehension of the perpetrators who will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," says Khambule.

However, ACSA would also like to point out that it is not responsible for baggage handling as this is done by the airlines themselves. Passengers are therefore urged to report any incidents of baggage tampering and pilfering immediately to their respective airlines so that an investigation can be carried out.

"While baggage handling is the responsibility of the airlines, ACSA will provide assistance and any relevant evidence, such as video footage, to aid the investigation and to bring those responsible to book. I would like to warn all airport staff that any illegal or criminal behaviour will result in serious consequences," says Khambule.

He also points out that ACSA can confirm that a video is currently being circulated on social media that purports to show baggage pilfering taking place at OR Tambo International Airport. However, it should be noted that the video footage is of an incident that took place four years ago. The employee involved was prosecuted and dismissed at the time of the incident.

"I would like to reiterate that ACSA has a zero-tolerance stance against any criminal behaviour perpetrated by any members of staff, as we seek to deter and fight fraud, corruption, dishonesty and theft of any kind," says Khambule.

"ACSA recently adopted an integrated, multi-agency safety and security approach throughout our airport network to enhance airport and aviation security in general. We have rolled out an aviation security model that is vertically and horizontally integrated with various law enforcement authorities to root out criminality at our airports."


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have extended their long-standing cooperation on setting and implementing global standards for the safe carriage of dangerous goods by air. An agreement to this effect was concluded at the IATA Executive Offices in Geneva during a visit by ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar during which greater collaboration between the two organizations was discussed.

IATA began issuing guidance for the carriage of Dangerous Goods on aircraft back in 1956 and has been updating and devising standards ever since. A more formalized approach on this subject was taken at a regulatory level by the adoption of ICAO Annex 18 in January 1984.

This outlines the broad principles for the international transport of dangerous goods. Technical Instructions for The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air amplify the basic provisions of Annex 18 and contain all the detailed instructions necessary for the safe international transport of dangerous goods by air. In addition, they provide guidance to States for inspection and oversight.

Based on the Technical Instructions agreed on at government level through ICAO, IATA works with the aviation industry to develop the applicable practical tools and operational recommendations. These are issued as the Dangerous Goods Regulations and are global standards applicable to the entire value chain - manufacturers, shippers, airlines, freight forwarders and ground handlers. These regulations include operator variations, supporting documents, tools, guidelines and notes which are essential for a practical, consistent approach to the safe acceptance, inspection, handling and carriage of dangerous goods on aircraft.

"The safe carriage of dangerous goods has become common practice, thanks to the strict adherence to global standards and guidelines. Today's agreement ensures that dangerous goods will continue to be handled according to the highest globally applicable standards. To this effect, IATA will continue its advocacy work with key stakeholders to maintain a globally aligned, and practically focused approach to the regulated transport of dangerous goods. This will lead to more efficient and robust supply chains whilst upholding aviation's number one priority of safety", said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.


As part of the new partnership, the newly formed Menzies Angola will handle more than 30,000 tonnes of cargo each year, serving a broad range of customers including Taag-Angola Airlines, Air France, TAP Air Portugal and Ethiopian Airlines. It will also manage the VIP lounge at LAD, which serves more than 45,000 passengers each year.

Reporting to the Angolan Ministry of Transport, SGA Angola manages 18 airports including LAD, the main international airport of Angola. Its main mission is to provide high quality and safe services, with a focus on operational efficiency and sustainability.

Charles Wyley, EVP Middle East, Africa and Asia said: "We are thrilled to announce our joint venture with SGA, and look forward to providing safe, secure and reliable services to our airline customers in the region. Angola's aviation industry is growing with a bright future ahead, which is why now is the opportune time to forge a strategic partnership with SGA. We look forward to working with SGA to provide services at Luanda International Airport, and support its transition to the new, under construction, Angola International Airport."


Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services, the largest air cargo network operator in Africa, commences a freighter service to Casablanca, Morocco as of today, January 09, 2024, marking 35 in its number of freighter destinations served in Africa.

Regarding the launch of the freighter service, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said, "We are excited to announce the launch of the freighter services to Casablanca, Morocco. The new service opens a new chapter as it is our maiden venture into the Maghreb region as part of our global freighter network. This addition increases our total African freighter destinations to 35 and boosts our commitment to delivering reliable and efficient services. As the largest cargo network operator in Africa and a key air cargo service provider globally, Ethiopian Airlines will continue expanding its services around the world by opening new routes to facilitate global trade and the flow of goods. Our freighter service to Casablanca is operated using the modern Boeing 777-200F cargo aircraft with payload capacity of more than 100 tons."

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, one of the major strategic business units within the Ethiopian Airlines Group, currently covers more than 135 international destinations around the world with both belly-hold capacity and 68 dedicated freighter services, deploying more than 145 airplanes, including 17 dedicated freighter aircraft, showcasing its operations connecting five continents, and highlighting its role as a business and investment enabler. It runs a modern warehouse facility that has 1.15 million tons of storage capacity and just completed the construction of an ultramodern e-commerce warehouse with a capacity of 150,000 tons, which is dedicated to mail, couriers, and e-commerce goods. These fully automated state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with advanced transfer vehicles, sorting machines, and the latest technology system to provide a temperature-controlled environment for dry, perishable, and pharmaceutical shipments.

Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services is a multi-award-winning air cargo service provider; in its one of the most decorated years of 2023, Ethiopian Cargo won: - Best Cargo Airline-Africa for five years in row and Cargo Airline of the Year for two years in row at the Air Cargo News Awards 2023, Sustainable Cargo Airline of the Year-Africa Award at the Freight Week Sustainability Awards 2023, African Cargo Airline of the Year and Air Cargo Brand of the Year in Africa from STAT Trade Times Cargo Excellence Awards 2023, and Best Cargo Airline-Africa award at the Arabian Cargo Awards 2023.


The Lufthansa Group plans to hire around 13,000 new employees for a wide range of professions in 2024. New colleagues for the cockpit and cabin, technicians and new colleagues in IT are particularly sought after.

However, jobs are also being advertised in other areas, such as ground staff at the Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. It is planned to recruit more than 3,500 people in the cabin and around 1,000 for the cockpit. In addition, around 2,000 technicians, roughly 800 trainees and approximately 900 IT experts are to join the Lufthansa Group.

Dr. Michael Niggemann, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG responsible for Human Resources and Infrastructure: "In an industry like ours, success stands and falls with those who give their best every day to inspire our customers. We therefore continue to focus on attracting new employees and being an attractive employer. After all, it is our colleagues in the air and on the ground who are there for our passengers every day and give our brands and companies a face."

Lufthansa recruited more than 13,000 new employees in 2023. In total, over 95,000 people are currently working for the Lufthansa Group in more than 90 countries. Job vacancies and other career opportunities are available on the company career website .


4.8 million passengers flew to, from or via Schiphol in December 2023. It's an increase of 18% compared to December 2022 and an increase of 69% compared to 2021. Most passengers flew to the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and the United States. The number of flights to and from Schiphol was 35,699. That is also an increase compared to 2022 (+16%) and 2021 (+18%).

Number of passengers
In December 2023 4.8 million passengers flew to, from or via Schiphol. Of the 4.8 million passengers, almost 3 million departed from or arrived at Schiphol, and almost 1.9 million transferred at the airport. There were almost 950.000 transfer passengers, who are counted twice in accordance with the international counting method: once as an arriving passenger and once as a departing passenger.

Most popular destinations
3.3 million passengers arrived from or flew to a destination in Europe. 1.5 million passengers arrived from or flew to an intercontinental destination outside Europe. The United Kingdom was the most popular destination, with 264,000 local departing passengers travelling to the country in December 2023. This was followed by Spain (almost 196,000 passengers). Almost 93,000 passengers took a flight to the United States.

The number of flights to and from Schiphol was 35,699 in December 2023. This is a 16% increase compared to 2022. Of these flights, 28,637 went to European destinations and 7,062 to intercontinental destinations.

The number of all-cargo flights decreased by 6% compared to December 2022. There were 1,296 cargo flights in December 2023. The total transported volume was 120,029 tonnes in December 2023. That is an increase of 6% compared to 2022.


Christmas and New Year festivities raised passenger numbers with more than 6.6 million travelling through Heathrow in December - bringing the total number of passengers up to 79 million in 2023.

Averaging at around 216,000 daily passengers last month, our busiest day over the festive period was Friday 22nd December with almost 250,000 passing through the airport to reunite with loved ones in time for the holidays.

Forward planning and collaboration with airport partners ensured that 142,000 passengers travelling on the 25th December had smooth journeys, with nearly 800 flights arriving and departing on our busiest Christmas day ever.

Transatlantic travel remained a key driver for passenger numbers with 1.6 million travelling to and from North America in December, as New York (JFK) clinched the top spot as our most popular destination this year with over three million passengers in total.

2023 was Terminal 5's busiest year ever, surpassing 33 million passengers for the second time since opening 15 years ago and serving 2.6 million passengers in December alone.

The gift-giving season saw Heathrow process 133,277 tonnes of cargo in December, culminating in a total of over 1.43 million tonnes processed in 2023 - this represents more than 2% growth compared with 2022, with traders and forwarders taking advantage of our growing long-haul network to fly their goods around the world.

Highlighting Heathrow's position as the fourth busiest airport globally, our routes with over a million passengers rose to 24 in 2023 with Boston and Geneva passing the milestone in December.

Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye said: "As we move into the new year, I want to extend my sincere thanks to all our Team Heathrow colleagues and partners for their hard and successful work over the busy festive period, which went really well in terms of service and operations. By ending 2023 on a high, a strong foundation is laid for 2024 during which Heathrow will continue to grow and to facilitate the UK's potential for global growth."


The Port of Seattle kicked off 75th Anniversary celebrations for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), unveiling a special anniversary logo and announcing a year-long partnership with the Museum of Flight to recognize the airport's place in regional aviation history. Additionally, after near record-breaking passenger volumes in 2023, the airport is planning a variety of in-terminal events throughout the year to surprise and delight passengers with music, entertainment, artwork, and other activities.

"SEA is excited to take a journey through 75 years of history and stories that have shaped the airport's role in the community," said Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed. "In 1942, the Port of Seattle answered a growing call to build a new airport that would serve civilians and support economic activity for the region. Now, 75 years later, SEA continues to meet the call to serve our customers and region in a meaningful way. This includes the opportunity for more than 23,000 quality airport jobs and $22.5 billion in total economic impact. This year will be an excellent opportunity to honour the ongoing commitment to promoting economic opportunities and quality of life."

Today's speakers gave their remarks on the same spot where aircraft parked on the ramp in front of the newly dedicated main terminal in 1949. Back then, it was outside - today, it's inside the recently renovated Central Terminal. The original building is still inside the upgraded terminal, but little from that time remains visible. A couple of Easter eggs that travelers can see include a plaque from the dedication ceremony on a column in the Central Terminal and the 1950s art deco exterior of elevators that go up to the Port of Seattle Police Department. Here's a photo gallery of historical images and video.

Today, the Central Terminal features an iconic 60-foot window wall where passengers can view planes on the airfield as they sip their favourite coffee in relaxing rocking chairs or at tables with modern amenities. The Central Terminal is just one of over 80 projects currently underway as part of $5 billion in capital improvements over the next five years at the airport under the umbrella of Upgrade SEA. Images capturing the transformation of the airport over time will be displayed around SEA, online, and in an updated version of a book on the airport's history to be released in July 2024.

Sustained growth over the decades, including a strong 2023, continues to drive further transformation and upgrades that will improve the customer experience. The airport recorded its busiest day ever on July 24, 2023, with an estimated 198,000 passengers departing, connecting, and arriving. On December 30, the new International Arrivals Facility welcomed a record number of international travellers passing through Customs (8,583). [Note below: That number has already been surpassed in 2024.]

"In 2023, SEA served nearly 50.9 million passengers, just short of 2019 pre-pandemic record-setting volumes, but we're forecasting to reach and surpass those traveller volumes in 2024," said Lance Lyttle, Managing Director, SEA Airport. "We had four record-breaking months in February, September, October, and November. When we think about this in comparison to our first million-passenger year in 1954, it's pretty incredible to see how far demand for travel at SEA has come. It's a great time to celebrate all that we've accomplished, look to it for inspiration, and continue to find innovative ways to accommodate the demand for travel into the future."

To celebrate this year, the Port will release a new edition of its publication," Rising Tides and Tailwinds," with new chapters and stories tracking the airport's evolution to the present day. A mini docuseries exploring SEA Airport history will be published later in the year. Passengers and SEA Airport fans can be on the lookout for fun activities like airport scavenger hunts for prizes, read monthly blog posts highlighting historical moments, and take era-inspired photos in the Central Terminal. In honour of the July 9, 1949, dedication ceremony, expect several customer appreciation events in early July.

USA, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, AZ (AZA/KIWA): An Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214, reported multiple bird strikes on rotation. The aircraft returned and landed without incident. A post flight inspection revealed damage to both engines. The incident aircraft resumed regular service about 46 hours later.

Germany, near Hannover: Narrative: A DHL Air Limited Boeing 777-F, reportedly suffered a loss of pressurization while en route over Hannover, Germany at FL320. The flight made an emergency descent to FL100 and declared an emergency. The flight continued at FL100 and diverted to East Midlands Airport (EMA), U.K., the main base of operations of DHL Air UK.

USA, Anchorage-Ted Stevens International Airport, AK (ANC/PANC): An Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F, suffered a no. 4 engine pod strike during an attempted landing on runway 07R at ANC. The aircraft carried out a go-around and landed safely 13 minutes later. Visibility at the time of the incident was poor with an indefinite ceiling with a vertical visibility of 100-200 feet AGL and a horizontal visibility on runway 07R of 1800 feet, variable to 6000+ feet.

Spain, Las Palmas-Airport de Gran Canaria (LPA/GCLP): A Transavia Boeing 737-8K2, landed on Rwy 03L at Las Palmas-Airport de Gran Canaria (LPA) and stopped, stating they had a cargo fire warning. Airport RFFS surrounded the aircraft and stated no fire or smoke observed. The aircraft elected to taxi off the runway to a nearby stand, stating the intention to conduct a rapid disembarkation via steps. However, on reaching the stand, no steps were available and after some minutes the decision was made to evacuate via slides.

Douglas DC3 Dakota

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