American Airlines Flight Diverted After Flight Attendant Assaulted

An American Airlines flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Orange County’s John Wayne Airport…

American Airlines Flight Diverted After Flight Attendant Assaulted

An American Airlines flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Orange County’s John Wayne Airport had to be diverted following a passenger assaulting a female flight attendant. This incident is the last to make the news among many unruly passenger cases in 2021.

American Airlines diverted a flight due to an unruly passenger onboard. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

What happened?

On Wednesday, American Airlines operated a flight, number AA976 between New York and Orange County, in California. The airline used an Airbus A321 transcon, registration N103NN, with a capacity for 102 passengers distributed in four classes.

While in-flight, a male passenger “physically assaulted” a female flight attendant, said American Airlines in a statement. Due to this incident, the crew decided to divert and landed at Denver International Airport.

As reported by Business Insider, American Airlines stated,

“The aircraft landed safely and taxied to the gate, where law enforcement removed and apprehended the passenger.”

Following the incident, American Airlines barred the passenger from flying ever again with the company. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the incident.

The airline added,

“The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Police Getty
Law enforcement meets an aircraft on arrival if there are reports of an unruly passenger. Photo: Getty Images

The unruly passengers increase

In 2021, the FAA has had an increase in incidents involving unruly passengers all across the United States. These people have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior.

Up to October 26, 2021, there have been 4,941 unruly passenger reports in the US. According to the FAA, 3,580 incidents were related to the use of face masks onboard flights. The Administration has launched 923 investigations and initiated 216 enforcement cases.

The minimum fine for assaulting a crew member or a fellow passenger is around US$30,000, said the FAA.

Moreover, the FAA has launched a Zero Tolerance for Unruly and Dangerous Behavior Toolkit.  FAA’s Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order directing a stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers on January 13, 2021.

The FAA stated,

“Historically, the agency has addressed unruly-passenger incidents using a variety of methods ranging from warnings and counseling to civil penalties. Under the new zero-tolerance policy, FAA will not address these cases with warnings or counseling. The agency will pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members.”

The FAA’s Steve Dickson is tackling the increase of disruptive passengers. Photo: Getty Images

The airline industry is worried

The rise in the number of incidents related to disruptive behavior has worried the airline industry all across the US.

Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, recently said that the staggering increase in the number of incidents is a “new normal” that the industry won’t accept. She urged the government, airlines, airports, and stakeholders to take action together to keep on flying safely and friendly.

The latest national survey on the subject shows some alarming numbers:

  1. 85% of all respondents had dealt with unruly passengers as air travel picked up in the first half of 2021
  2. 58% had experienced at least five incidents this year
  3. 17% reported experiencing a physical incident.

Sara Nelson said,

“This survey confirms what we all know, the vitriol, verbal and physical abuse from a small group of passengers is completely out of control and is putting other passengers and flight crew at risk. This is not just about masks, as some have attempted to claim. There is a lot more going on here, and the solutions require a series of actions in coordination across aviation.”

What do you think about this latest incident? Let us know in the comments below.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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aha! Routes The Reno Startup May Take On Next

With two routes from Reno already started, aha! has seven more to launch from Nevada’s ‘biggest little city’.…

aha! Routes The Reno Startup May Take On Next

With two routes from Reno already started, aha! has seven more to launch from Nevada’s ‘biggest little city’. These include Spokane, a new route that is bookable but hasn’t yet been promoted. We examine the carrier’s aircraft schedule and see gaps – expect more route announcements soon.

At the launch, Subodh Karnik, President and CEO of ExpressJet, said that aha! will be going eastwards in the future. Given the likely range of routes from Reno, he probably meant from another base. Photo: via aha!

What’s happening?

New entrant aha! took to the sky on October 23rd on its first revenue-generating service. The route: Reno to Pasco Tri-Cities (PSC on the following map). It was joined two days later by a new service to Bakersfield (BFL), a drive of perhaps six and a half hours or more. The inauguration of aha! meant it became ExpressJet’s second shot at independent operations.

The 468-mile (753km) route to Pasco operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. In 2019, it had around 6,000 round-trip passengers, booking data indicates. As with all brand-new routes, aha! will need to grow demand meaningfully; it’ll do this through lower average fares, non-stop service, and hopefully strong promotions.

If Pasco is to operate all year, it’ll have 300 annual flights and 15,600 annual seats. It’d need to grow the market by around 200%+, very straightforward for low-cost carriers – but aha! is using 50-seat regional jets renowned for high seat-mile costs, even more so when the fuel price is so high. Offsetting it might be cheap as cheap ownership costs. The deciding factor will be how intensively its aircraft are utilized.

Eight initial routes from Reno

Pasco and Bakersfield are two of eight initial routes for the new brand, whose snappy name refers to ‘air, hotel, adventure’, signifying its intention to grow ancillary products and revenue. Also coming soon are:

  1. Eugene (EUG): starting November 1st, three-weekly
  2. Eureka (ACV): November 9th, three-weekly
  3. Fresno (FAT): November 10th, three-weekly
  4. Medford (MFR): October 31st, three-weekly
  5. Ontario (ONT): November 4th, three-weekly
  6. Redmond (RDM): November 5th, three-weekly
aha N844HK
When writing, the last flight operated by N844HK was from Bakersfield back to Reno on October 27th. Image:

Reno to Spokane is bookable; where next?

A ninth route has appeared on the carrier’s website and is bookable, although strangely, it hasn’t been promoted at the time of writing. Beginning on December 15th will be Spokane (GEG), also running three-weekly. It had about 5,000 passengers in 2019.

At 572 miles (920km) and a block time of almost two hours, the Washington state airport will be aha! ‘s longest route to date, two-thirds higher than the average of 346 miles (557km).

Where else could be served from Reno? Assuming similar-sized unserved markets to the carrier’s coming services and a rough distance of 600 miles, Bellingham, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Jackson (Wyoming), Palm Springs, and Grand Junction fall into the same overall category. Whether any will launch is an entirely different question!

aha route map from Reno
This is aha! ‘s current network from Reno, including Spokane (GEG), which is new. The circle shows a 600-mile radius of Reno. Image: GCMap.

How will aha’s! aircraft be used?

aha! currently has three 50-seat Embraer 145s (N839HK, N844HK, and N846HK). Analyzing the schedules of the nine routes for the week beginning December 15th shows that aircraft will have relatively leisurely days; a key way for aha! to reduce operating costs, like Allegiant, especially with older, less expensive, but fuel-inefficient aircraft.

Aircraft 1Daily scheduleAircraft 2Daily scheduleAircraft 3Daily schedule
MondayEugene (10:25-11:50; 12:35-14:00); Fresno (14:30-15:33, 16:15-17:18)MondayRedmond (09:50-11:11, 11:55-13:16); Bakersfield (15:00-16:15, 17:00-18:15)MondaySpokane (13:40-15:39; 16:35-18:34)
TuesdayEureka (09:30-10:40, 11:25-12:35); Ontario (13:35-15:03; 16:00-17:28)TuesdayMedford (10:00-11:10, 11:55-13:05); Pasco (14:05-15:40, 16:25-18:00)Tuesday
WednesdayEugene (10:25-11:50; 12:35-14:00); Fresno (14:30-15:33, 16:15-17:18)WednesdayRedmond (09:50-11:11, 11:55-13:16); Bakersfield (15:00-16:15, 17:00-18:15)WednesdaySpokane (13:40-15:39; 16:35-18:34)
ThursdayEureka (09:30-10:40, 11:25-12:35); Ontario (13:35-15:03; 16:00-17:28)ThursdayMedford (10:00-11:10, 11:55-13:05); Pasco (14:05-15:40, 16:25-18:00)Thursday
FridayEugene (10:25-11:50; 12:35-14:00); Fresno (14:30-15:33, 16:15-17:18)FridayRedmond (09:50-11:11, 11:55-13:16); Bakersfield (15:00-16:15, 17:00-18:15)FridaySpokane (13:40-15:39; 16:35-18:34)
SundayEureka (09:30-10:40, 11:25-12:35); Ontario (13:35-15:03; 16:00-17:28)SundayMedford (10:00-11:10, 11:55-13:05); Pasco (14:05-15:40, 16:25-18:00)Sunday

Expect three new routes to be announced

Aircraft will start between 09:30 and 10:25 daily and finish between 17:18 and 18:34. One set of crew should be able to be used per aircraft per day. It seems that aha! is avoiding scheduling aircraft on Saturday, at least for now. Given the initial scheduling, it is unlikely that it will add early morning or later evening flights.

Aircraft one and two are likely to be fully deployed while the third isn’t. Assuming new services will also be three-weekly, expect three new route announcements shortly.

Where would you like to see aha! fly next? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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