Airlines, Airports and Airliners 25 April 2024

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

This Week in Airliner, Airports and Airlines
Encouraging Europe's sustainable aviation leadership to support ICAO goals.
SAA welcomes Gauteng High Court order in Airlink matter.
Ethiopian turns 78 honouring a 78-year legacy of distinguished servant leadership.
Boeing announces first-quarter deliveries.
LaGuardia Terminal B Achieves LEED gold certification for operations and maintenance.
Delta Sky Club levels up with major lounge expansion at Miami International Airport.
DXB secures top spot for a decade straight.
Lufthansa Group celebrates 55 years connecting Osaka with Germany.
Accidents and Incidents
Bonus Video - Puma Energy Flying Lions Intro Flight


Europe is playing a crucial role in accelerating progress towards the global net zero carbon emission objectives adopted by ICAO, and the region's leadership in the sustainable development of civil aviation could further be heightened by deepening and broadening its support for ICAO's decarbonization, air transport liberalization and digitalization efforts.

This was ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar's key message to the region's aviation leaders, which he delivered at a series of bilateral meetings in Belgium and the "Europe's Flight Plan to a Sustainable Future" conference, which was organized by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
Deploying SAF is expected to account for the majority of the needed emissions cuts to achieve ICAO's long term global aspirational goal.

Highlighting this fact in his keynote address to the conference, Mr. Salazar declared that "Europe is leading the way in all of ICAO decarbonization priorities, and your support for our sustainable aviation fuel work is particularly crucial."

He pointed to the European Union's policy leadership, exemplified by ReFuelEU Aviation, and its financial support, as demonstrated by the flanking measures to the ReFuelEU aviation rules and the importance of its Global Gateway initiative to the development of SAF in developing countries.

The Secretary General focused his advocacy on the crucial importance of European assistance to States in other parts of the world, and he expressed his gratitude to the contributions from the EU and European States to capacity building on SAF, including in the context of the ICAO's Assistance, Capacity-building and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (ACT SAF) programme.

"By the end of 2023, ICAO had completed seven SAF feasibility studies in Africa and in the Caribbean, which were funded by the European Commission," Mr. Salazar announced. "We will launch around 20 or more such studies on SAF by 2026, among which 10 will be in Africa and India, again funded by the European Commission."

Mr. Salazar had begun his two-day mission in Brussels, with a meeting on 8 April 2024 with the Director General of EUROCONTROL, Mr. Raķl Medina Caballero, and discussions with the Director General of Civil Aviation of Belgium, Mr. Koen Mills.

This was followed by bilateral meetings with the European Commission's Directors General of Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and International Partnerships (DG INTPA), Ms. Magda Kopczynska and Mr. Koen Doens, respectively.

Finally, the Secretary General's agenda comprised bilateral discussions with the newly appointed Executive Director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Mr. Florian Guillermet.

The Secretary General also took the opportunity to meet with DG MOVE to review the recent progress of activities under Europe's "Renewable and Low-Carbon Fuels Value Chain Industrial (RLCF) Alliance".

Mr. Salazar was accompanied throughout his mission by Mr. Nicolas Rallo, the Director of ICAO's European and North Atlantic Regional Office in Paris.


The recent High Courtorder issued by Judge Unterhalter of the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, regarding a matter brought against SAA by Airlink. Judge Unterhalter's order was by mutual agreement of the parties without any admission of guilt on the part of the respondents. It orders the removal of the matter from the urgent court roll to be dealt with by the ordinary courts.

Airlink had alleged that a valued SAA staff member who resigned from Airlink in September 2023 and rejoined SAA had shared commercially sensitive information with SAA.

The court order provides that, while a court date is awaited, SAA accedes to destroy any alleged commercially sensitive information. SAA contends that it does not need information from any other airline to run its operations and that the information Airlink claims to have proprietary rights to, is generally available on airline industry platforms.

The order contains an explicit declaration that, "The Twelfth Respondent [SAA] does not concede that Airlink is entitled to such relief."

"SAA is pleased with the conclusion of this matter. In the event that Airlink elects to take the matter further, SAA will vigorously defend its case. It is unfortunate that certain media reports bordered on a campaign of defamation against SAA," said SAA's interim CEO, Professor John Lamola.

Lamola adds that, "As a responsible national flag carrier with an interest to promote a vibrant and competitive South African airline industry, SAA is pursuing its internal processes in dealing with all aspects of Airlink's allegations. These processes are now subject to the sub judice rule, as the matter is being litigated in court." he added.


Ethiopian Airlines Group, Africa's largest airline group, has marked its 78th anniversary, highlighting a legacy of resilience and innovation since 1946. Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mesfin Tassew and Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Lemma Yadecha accompanied the crew on a flight to Cairo, marking the airline's inaugural international service. Their involvement extended beyond in-flight duties, as they also provided assistance to passengers during check-in and boarding processes, ensuring a seamless travel experience.

Regarding the occasion Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said, "This event symbolizes our unwavering commitment to our passengers and our belief that true leadership lies in serving others first. Serving our passengers on this special flight to Cairo is not just a tribute to our first international service but a reaffirmation of our commitment to the ethos of servant leadership. From our humble beginning back in 1946, we've come to be the aviation giant in Africa that we are now, pioneering the African aviation with many first aviation innovation introductions to Africa along the way. As we are maturing beautifully, our commitment only gets stronger."

In line with Ethiopian's values of community engagement, passengers received Seasons Greeting Packages and Happy Fasting Messages, reflecting the airline's respect for diverse traditions. The packages included a postcard commemorating the anniversary, serving as a tangible reminder of the airline's enduring legacy.

"Our mission extends beyond transportation,' said CCO Lemma Yadecha. 'We strive to foster a sense of unity and belongingness among our passengers, regardless of their background or belief. This anniversary is a celebration of unity and diversity. By stepping into the roles of our dedicated ground and flight crew, we honor every individual who has been part of our story. Our service today is a promise of continued service excellence for all our passengers."

In a remarkable display of commitment, all executives at Ethiopian Airlines, have taken a hands-on approach to service, personally attending to the needs of our valued customers. This initiative underscores the airline's ethos of servant leadership and its dedication to providing an exceptional travel experience.

Celebrating its 78th anniversary, Ethiopian Airlines, a pioneer in aviation, continues to set industry standards with its commitment to innovation, safety, and customer satisfaction. Upholding its mission to bridge Africa with the world, Ethiopian Airlines remains dedicated to enhancing passenger experience, as evidenced by its consideration to offer complimentary Wi-Fi to Cairo-bound travellers.


The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced today major program deliveries across its commercial and defense operations for the first quarter of 2024.

The company will provide detailed first quarter financial results on April 24. Major program deliveries during the first quarter were as follows:


LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), the private manager and developer of LaGuardia Terminal B and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today announced that Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport has been awarded its second LEED Gold certification, this time for its operations and maintenance (O&M) practices. This prestigious accolade underscores LGP's unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship in aviation infrastructure.

LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the most widely used rating system worldwide that recognizes excellence in sustainability and design construction, and it represents the standard to which the Port Authority's airport redevelopment projects are being held. Buildings may earn one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. Terminal B's attainment of LEED Gold v4.1 for O&M complements its 2021 achievement of LEED Gold v4 certification for design and construction. LEED O&M evaluates the actual performance of a facility over a one-year period following substantial completion, with rigorous criteria covering energy and water usage, waste management, transportation options, human experience, and indoor air quality.

Key factors contributing to Terminal B's LEED Gold certification for O&M include:

Energy Efficiency: Terminal B incorporates innovative design features that optimize natural elements for heating, cooling, and lighting, thereby reducing reliance on traditional energy sources. Utilization of natural light and a programmable lighting system, along with an HVAC system that utilizes outdoor air when available, significantly enhances energy efficiency.

Renewable Energy Integration: Rooftop solar hot water systems supplement the domestic hot water supply for restroom facilities, harnessing renewable energy and contributing to overall energy savings.

Waste Management: Terminal B has implemented strategies to increase organic waste diversion for composting and saw a year over year increase of 500%, demonstrating a commitment to reducing waste generation and promoting recycling initiatives.

Innovative Technology: The terminal's baggage handling system (BHS) utilizes permanent magnetic motors, allowing for controlled movement of bags only when they are present in the system. The system's capability to enter 'sleep mode' when not in use saves more than 35% of energy compared to standard technologies, further enhancing energy efficiency.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners kept sustainability top of mind in both the design of construction work and terminal operations systems. Following the demolition of the old parking garage, LGP was able to recycle 99 percent of debris into materials for new construction. To reduce summer cooling loads and greenhouse gas emissions, Terminal B's roof was covered with a light-coloured aluminium membrane that reflects solar heat more effectively than conventional materials. With a technology-based Building Management System, LGP is able to optimize the performance of heating and cooling by supplying the right amount of fresh air when and where it's needed.


Delta Sky Club recently raised the curtain on its newly expanded Miami lounge. With the addition of nearly 4,000 square feet and 100-plus seats to the Club-a capacity increase of more than 50%- the Club now stands at just over 12,000 total square feet, ready to welcome around 300 guests.

"Miami is an important global transport hub, with increasing prominence in the Delta network," said Claude Roussel, Vice President - Sky Clubs and Lounge Experience. "The expansion and renovation of the MIA Club helps us support the growth in this market and elevates the lounge experience to one suited to the profile of this vibrant city."

The expansion's design takes inspiration from Miami's bright colors and sunny beaches. A new mosaic pays homage to the city's classic Art Deco architecture, while the overall color palette reflects the nearby turquoise waters, blue sky, and white and gold accents seen in south Florida designs.

The Club expansion features a new service buffet and additional beverage station to support that higher guest volume. Seating in the expansion is tailored to the needs of the business traveler, with single-seat dining tables, a communal table with a charging source in the center, and power outlets at almost every seat. Throughout the Club, seating has been refurbished to match the elevated look of the newly added space.

Guests of the renovated lounge can enjoy a view to the H Concourse below from the expansion space.

The Miami expansion kicks off a year of growth for Delta lounges, with two new Delta Sky Clubs coming to Charlotte and Seattle and three highly anticipated Delta One Lounges opening in JFK, LAX and BOS.


Acknowledging Dubai International's (DXB) achievement of retaining its title as the world's busiest international airport for the 10th year running, as announced by the Airports Council International (ACI), Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths makes a statement on this remarkable feat:

"While this milestone was greatly anticipated, its official confirmation instils us with great pride. DXB is proud to uphold its status as the world's foremost international airport for an unparalleled ten years. Throughout this decade, DXB has surpassed many records and attained numerous milestones, from welcoming our billionth passenger to introducing new terminals and facilities, collaborating with numerous airlines to broaden connectivity to diverse global destinations, all the while enhancing every aspect of the airport experience for our guests. Our unwavering commitment to operational excellence has set new benchmarks, cementing DXB's position as a leading entity in global aviation.

"This remarkable achievement underscores Dubai's collaborative ethos. Our success owes much to the collective efforts of all service partners within the airport community and the broader aviation, travel, and tourism sectors. Together, we have bolstered Dubai's reputation as the premier destination, offering unparalleled travel experiences worldwide. As we look ahead, our focus remains clear. We are determined to maintain DXB's dominant position for the next decade and beyond. Through sustained collaboration and innovation, we are poised to shape the future of global aviation, ensuring DXB remains synonymous with excellence across every facet of the passenger journey."


With a tradition that extends more than five decades, Lufthansa Group celebrates 55 years connecting Japan's Kansai region with Germany. Described by many as the cultural center and the historical heart of Japan, the Kansai region - including Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Kobe - has had a direct connection to the European nation of Germany since 1969 thanks to Lufthansa German Airlines.

While a lot has changed in the past 55 years, the relationship between Lufthansa Group and Japan remains strong and continues to grow. Late last year Lufthansa reintroduced Japanese catering in all cabins on flights between Japan and Germany (and vice versa), while sister airline SWISS introduced Japanese catering in Business Class for connections between Switzerland and Tokyo (and vice versa).

The Lufthansa Group network into Japan includes direct connections to Haneda, Narita and Osaka airports with 31 weekly flights during the 2024 summer schedule. In fact, connections from Munich to Kansai airport will be increased significantly this year. According to Larry Ryan, Senior Director Sales, Japan and South Korea:

"Based on customer needs, we're extremely pleased to be able to return to daily operations from Kansai to Munich, enabling connections via our 5-star hub to the entire European continent and beyond. This is particularly exciting as we see so many of our partners gearing up for Expo'25 in the Kansai area."

In recognition of Japan's strong heritage and our deep ties to the country, Lufthansa Group is pleased to commemorate this important anniversary by increasing capacity and strengthening our investment in the Kansai region of Japan.

South Africa, Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB/FAOR): A FlySafair flight FA212, a Boeing 737-800, lost the outer wheel on the left-hand main gear during take-off from JNB at 09:48 UTC. The flight entered holding patterns to burn fuel before landing back safely at JNB at 12:06 UTC.

Japan, near Yakushima Island: An ATR 42-600 of Japan Air Comutter, operating flight suffered crack (40 cm long and 1 cm width) on anti-ice film on the cockpit windshield while enroute at FL220. The flight returned to Kagoshima where a safe landing was carried out. No reported personal injuries. Three successive flights of this particular airplane were cancelled.

USA, Milwaukee-General Mitchell Airport, WI (MKE/KMKE): ABX Air flight GB2042, a Boeing 767-231 (BDSF), declared an emergency due to striking several seagulls flying across runway 19R at Milwaukee-General Mitchell Airport, WI (MKE) as the aircraft was about to touchdown. A post flight inspection revealed damage to fan blades of the right engine.

Russia, over the Baltic Sea: Airbus A321 (RA-73709) of Aeroflot took off from Kaliningrad on flight SU1003 to Moscow (Sheremetyevo). There were 188 passengers and eight crew members on board. After half an hour of flight over the Baltic Sea, the depressurization sensor of the passenger compartment was triggered. The pilots sounded the alarm (squawk 7700) and began to descend. In nine minutes, the plane dropped from 10.6 thousand meters to 3.3 thousand. Oxygen masks fell out in the cabin. An hour later, the plane made an emergency landing in Pulkovo (LED/ULLI) safely.

Canada, CYYZ - Lester B. Pearson Intl - Toronto: An Air Canada flight AC1204, an Airbus A220-300, struck a flock of birds on the left side of the aircraft. The flight crew could feel light aircraft vibrations following the impact, declared a PAN-PAN and returned to CYYZ. The initial maintenance inspection found 3 blades damaged on the left engine and are continuing the engine inspection.

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