Pakistan Approves 30% Increase In International Flight Departures

Following a sharp rise in the number of people infected with COVID-19, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA)…

Pakistan Approves 30% Increase In International Flight Departures

Following a sharp rise in the number of people infected with COVID-19, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has said that airlines can increase their number of outbound flights from the country. The air transport department of the PCAA issued a notification on Wednesday saying that airlines could fly 30% more International outbound flights.

Qatar Airways used to have 56 flights per week to Pakistan.Photo: Getty Images

After looking at the terrible scenes of what is happening in India, medical professionals in Pakistan are worried that a similar scenario could develop in Pakistan. On May 2, with cases in Pakistan rising and the upcoming Eid holiday, the PCAA decided to reduce the number of international flights by 80%.

Flights allowed will be reviewed on May 18

The restrictions came into force on May 5 and will run until May 20. On May 18, the government body set up to respond to the pandemic, The National Command Operation Center (NCOC), will review the infection rate and advise the PCAA about what to do.

Details about how the decision shared by the PCAA has impacted flights show that Qatar Airways was previously allowed to operate 56 flights per week. Now Qatar Airways is flying11 times a week between Doha and Pakistan. Likewise, fellow Persian Gulf carrier Gulf Air is down to just eight flights instead of the 35 it previously flew between Bahrain and Pakistan.

Turkish Airways, the most successful airline during the pandemic, is now limited to just three flights per week instead of the 21 it used to fly. Fellow Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines used to fly to Pakistan four times per week but is now allowed only one flight per week.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has seen its flights reduced from 32 to six while Sri Lankan Airways has gone from four flights to two. Thai Airways has gone from 18 to four flights per week.

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The 30% can only carry outbound passengers

On reporting the 30% increase in outbound flights from Pakistan, Karachi-based media conglomerate BOL Network quotes the PCAA as saying the following:

“We have taken the decision in the wake of a crowd and fewer number of available flights.”

The additional flights will only be allowed to carry departing passengers but can carry cargo on inbound flights to Pakistan. According to Pakistan Urdu language news television network SAMAA, a spokesperson for the PCAA said the decision to increase outbound flights was due to an increasing number of passengers looking to leave the country.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER
Turkish Airlines now only flies to Pakistan three times per week due to the restrictions. Photo: Getty Images

Even though the number of COVID-19 infections in Pakistan has stabilized following a rapid rise in April, authorities are worried that the Eid holiday that marks the end of Ramadan could see the number going back up. To help prevent this, the authorities have implemented a partial lockdown, with all non-essential businesses having to close until next week. The big worry, however, is family gatherings to celebrate Eid.

Eid is the big worry

Following the Eid holiday last year, hospitals in Pakistan began to struggle with an influx of people infected with the coronavirus. This year the fear is that the fast-spreading new variant crippling India could do the same to Pakistan.

Compared to other nations, Pakistan has fared well when you consider it has a population of 220 million yet has had only 19,000 deaths related to COVID-19. This could perhaps be due to a younger population, and its cities are not as crowded as those in India.

Gulf Air Tail
Pakistan is worried that Eid celebrations could cause an increase in COVID-19 cases. Photo: Getty Images

Regarding the 30% increase in outbound flights, why can’t they carry inbound passengers if the people on the plane meet Pakistans’ COVID-19 requirements?

What do you think about Pakistan allowing 30% more outbound flights? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Air France And Airbus Face Manslaughter Charges For Deadly 2009 Crash

Air France and Airbus are looking likely to have to stand trial for the crash of an aircraft…

Air France And Airbus Face Manslaughter Charges For Deadly 2009 Crash

Air France and Airbus are looking likely to have to stand trial for the crash of an aircraft that took place over 10 years ago. Air France flight 447, operated by an Airbus A330, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1st, 2009. A French appeals court has today overturned a previous decision not to press charges on the planemaker or the airline.

Air France and Airbus will face charges over the crash in 2009. Photo: Getty Images

Involuntary manslaughter

The crash of Air France 447 was the deadliest in the history of the airline. 216 passengers and 12 crew members lost their lives after the Airbus A330 stalled in a thunderstorm and crashed into the ocean. Subsequent investigations blamed pilot errors, but also highlighted an issue with faulty speed monitoring equipment.

Following the crash, the Public Prosecutors Office had called for a manslaughter trial against Air France, alleging that the airline did not provide sufficient information to its pilots on the procedures to be followed. It cited several incidents of a similar nature that had occurred in the months preceding the crash of AF 447.

However, in September 2019, all charges were dropped. At the time, the investigating judges said, as reported by the Financial Times, that,

“[This] accident is evidently due to a conjunction of elements that had never occurred before, and thus highlighted dangers that could not have been perceived before this accident”.

Air France 447
It took two years to recover the ‘black box’ from the crash site. Photo: Getty Images

However, the association representing the relatives of the victims, ‘Association entraide et solidarité vol AF447’, appealed the judgment. Today, the Court of Appeal of Paris has overturned the 2019 decision, and has ordered that Air France and planemaker Airbus be tried for involuntary manslaughter in relation to the accident.

Danièle Lamy, president of the Association entraide et solidarité vol AF447, told France 24 that,

“It is an immense satisfaction to have the feeling of having finally been heard by the courts.”

Iced Pitot tubes

Following investigations, the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) cause of the crash of Air France flight 447 has been attributed to a combination of factors. The main issue is believed to have been faulty readings from the Pitot sensors, which had become iced up during the flight. The report states that one of the causes was likely,

“Temporary inconsistency between the measured airspeeds, likely following the obstruction of the Pitot probes by ice crystals that led in particular to autopilot disconnection and a reconfiguration to alternate law.”

Air France 447
The recovery made use of an ROV to find wreckage on the ocean floor. Photo: Getty Images

It goes on to say that the problem was further compounded by the crew making incorrect decisions. Most crucially, the crew did not identify the approaching stall, and therefore could not implement corrective actions in time.

The aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil at just after 2 AM on the 1st of June 2009. It took two years for the flight recorders to be recovered from the ocean floor, which required the use of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) due to the depth involved.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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