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EasyJet to Operate Charity Northern Lights Flight

The crippled aviation charity Aerobility and EasyJet are teaming up once more to offer a special “Aurora Flight”

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The crippled aviation charity Aerobility and easyJet are teaming up once more to offer a special “Aurora Flight” that will give passengers the chance to view the Northern Lights from 30,000 feet in the air.

The journey will be the first Northern Lights experience the airline and charity have offered since before the pandemic when hundreds of passengers had previously been able to enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the “Aurora Borealis” over the preceding eight years. Even a marriage proposal has occurred during the flights; Oli and Steph Bruce from Oxfordshire will wed in June 2022 after proposing on the Aurora voyage in February 2020.

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The “Aurora” flight departing from London Gatwick on February 18, 2023, includes a two-course meal at the Gatwick Sofitel Hotel, pre-departure presentations, in-flight commentary from special guests including Sky at Night host Pete Lawrence and Aurora specialists from the British Antarctic Survey, as well as entertainment and refreshments onboard.

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On February 18, 2023, the “Aurora” flight departing from London Gatwick will feature a Aerobility.com/aurora now offers tickets for just £349 per person, with special discounts available for children, carers, and those with disabled flyers.

The charity’s CEO, Mike Miller Smith, said: “This offers the utmost feeling of freedom and escapes from disabilities, making everything else in life appear just a little bit more feasible.”

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“To Aerobility and the people we care about, the Aurora Flight with EasyJet means so much. Because our aircraft is just a little bit smaller, it naturally funds many more life-changing flights at Aerobility in addition to providing a life-changing experience at night. We cannot express our gratitude to everyone at EasyJet and the other businesses enough for making the Aurora Flight possible.

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Captain Chris Foster of EasyJet, who flies the Aurora flight, said: “We are tremendously happy to be able to provide this exceptional Northern Lights journey once again and it is an honor to support Aerobility and the fantastic job they do. Anyone interested in taking a flight that is likely to be amazing and that supports a worthwhile cause while also providing a unique experience is encouraged to do so.

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Airlines

Comac Eyes Saudi Arabian Market to Challenge Western Aircraft Giants

Comac Eyes Saudi Arabian Market to Challenge Western Aircraft Giants

Chinese state-owned aircraft manufacturer Comac is setting its sights on Saudi Arabia as a strategic launch pad for its international ambitions.

The company is stepping up efforts to sell its aircraft overseas and penetrate a passenger jet market that has long been dominated by Western manufacturers, such as Airbus and Boeing. Comac’s Chairman Dongfeng He made his inaugural visit to Saudi Arabia this week, a significant follow-up to a visit by a Saudi delegation to Comac’s facilities in Shanghai in February.

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This reciprocal visit highlights the growing interest and potential partnership between Comac and Saudi Arabia. The centerpiece of Comac’s international strategy is the Comac C919, a narrowbody aircraft designed to compete directly with Airbus’ A320neo and Boeing’s 737 Max.

While the C919 has primarily received orders from China and Southeast Asia, Comac is now looking to expand its market reach into the Middle East. Speaking at an aviation conference in Riyadh, He expressed Comac’s vision of enhancing global connectivity and diversity by contributing to the development of Saudi Arabia’s aviation transportation.

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He detailed plans for improving connectivity within a 2,000-kilometer radius of Saudi Arabia, encompassing the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, Turkey, and North Africa. In addition to the C919, Comac has ambitions to launch a long-haul wide-body aircraft, the C929, which could support Saudi Arabia’s aspirations to become an international aviation hub. However, the C929 program has encountered delays and the aircraft has yet to make its maiden flight.

By focusing on Saudi Arabia, Comac aims to establish a foothold in a region that could serve as a gateway for further international expansion, positioning itself as a formidable competitor to Western aircraft manufacturers once it addresses remaining safety and technological concerns.

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Severe Turbulence on Qatar Airways Flight from Doha to Dublin Injures 12

Severe Turbulence on Qatar Airways Flight from Doha to Dublin Injures 12

Twelve people, including six crew members, were injured when a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin encountered severe turbulence.

The incident occurred while the aircraft was flying over Turkey. Dublin Airport confirmed the injuries through a post on X (formerly Twitter), stating that the plane was met by emergency services upon landing.

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This response included the Airport Police and the Fire and Rescue department due to reports of injuries among both passengers and crew. The airport’s statement noted, “Upon landing, the aircraft was met by emergency services, including Airport Police and our Fire and Rescue department, due to six passengers and six crew reporting injuries after the aircraft experienced turbulence while airborne over Turkey.

The Dublin Airport team is providing full assistance on the ground to passengers and airline staff. Qatar Airways has initiated an internal investigation into the incident. The airline emphasized that the safety and security of its passengers and crew are its top priorities.

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Health authorities reported that 20 people remain in intensive care following the turbulence incident. Some individuals sustained serious injuries, including those to the spinal cord, brain, and skull.

Passenger Paul Mocc described the chaotic scene to Irish broadcaster RTE, recalling people “hitting the roof” and food and drink being thrown around. He noted that despite some crew members limping with bandages, they managed to continue providing service to passengers.

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FAA reveals that 300 Boeing planes could result in fuel tank explosions

FAA reveals that 300 Boeing planes could result in fuel tank explosions

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has brought attention to a concerning issue with Boeing aircraft that could lead to fuel tank explosions, adding to the litany of safety concerns surrounding the aerospace giant’s products.

According to a proposed rule from the FAA, Boeing’s 777 liner has been found to have dangerously poor electrical insulation near its fuel tank, posing a significant risk of ignition and subsequent fire or explosion. This revelation comes amid heightened scrutiny of Boeing’s aircraft due to several recent incidents highlighting potential safety flaws.

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The impacted aircraft encompass nearly 300 Boeing 777s across the United States, including various models such as the 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series. In response to the discovery, the FAA has proposed a $14 million solution to address the issue across all 292 affected US-registered airplanes.

The proposed solution involves the installation of electrical bonding and grounding components in the center fuel tank, as outlined in the proposed Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued by the FAA. This comprehensive repair process includes extensive inspections, lasting approximately 90 hours per aircraft, followed by the installation of Teflon sleeves and cap fasteners in specific areas of the fuel tanks.

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Crucially, the financial burden of these repairs would not fall on Boeing but on the operators and airlines that own the affected aircraft. The proposed timeline for completing the repairs extends up to 60 months.

Boeing, in response to the FAA’s proposed rulemaking, expressed its full support for making the guidance mandatory and emphasized that the issue does not present an immediate safety-of-flight concern. The company highlighted the multiple redundancies built into modern commercial airplanes to mitigate risks from electromagnetic effects.

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