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NTSB Publishes Additional Comments on Ethiopia’s Final Report on 737 MAX 8 Accident

Ethiopian Airlines Completes Conversion of Africa’s First B767 Passenger Aircraft into Freighter

The final report of the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (EAIB) about the March 10, 2019, accident of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, received additional comments from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The new comments, provided to the EAIB’s investigator-in-charge, detail the NTSB’s concerns about several of the findings in the final accident report. This is in addition to the comments the NTSB made public on Dec. 27 on the EAIB’s final accident report, which detailed the investigation’s insufficient attention to the human performance aspects of the accident.

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Boeing Statement On Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Investigation Preliminary Report(Opens in a new browser tab)

The EAIB issued its final report without giving the NTSB the opportunity to review new information incorporated since the NTSB’s last review and provide comments ahead of the report’s issuance, as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Annex 13.

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Although the NTSB agrees with the overall finding in the EAIB report related to the role the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) and related systems played in the accident, the EAIB’s report contains findings the NTSB said are unsupported by evidence — for example, that aircraft electrical problems caused erroneous angle-of-attack (AOA) output.

In its final report, the EAIB wrote electrical anomalies that existed since the time of the accident airplane’s production caused the AOA sensor heater to fail, which resulted in the AOA sensor providing erroneous values that caused MCAS to repeatedly pitch the nose of the airplane downward until it struck the ground.

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But the NTSB found the erroneous AOA sensor output was caused by separation of the AOA sensor vane due to impact with a foreign object, which was most likely a bird. During the accident investigation, the NTSB provided the EAIB with evidence supporting this finding, but that evidence was not included in the final report.

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The EAIB’s conclusion that flight crews lacked the necessary MCAS paperwork was misrepresented, according to the NTSB, as Boeing had already given all 737 MAX operators the necessary information four months prior to the crash involving Ethiopian Airlines.

The complete text of the NTSB’s comments is available online.

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IndiGo to introduce business class Service on its busiest routes 

IndiGo to introduce business class Service on its busiest routes 

After nearly 18 years of dominating India’s aviation landscape with its single-class economy configuration, IndiGo, the country’s largest airline, is set to make a significant leap by introducing business class service on its busiest routes.

The decision comes as IndiGo aims to offer passengers more choices and enhanced comfort amid the backdrop of a burgeoning economy. Set to be unveiled around August, coinciding with the carrier’s 18th anniversary, IndiGo’s “tailor-made business product” promises to redefine the flying experience for its customers.

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This move follows closely on the heels of IndiGo’s recent announcement of acquiring 30 wide-body aircraft, indicating the airline’s strategic expansion and commitment to catering to diverse passenger preferences.

IndiGo’s foray into business class service represents a significant milestone, especially considering its longstanding reputation as a low-cost carrier focused primarily on economy class offerings. With a fleet exceeding 360 planes and operating approximately 2,000 daily flights, the airline’s entry into the business class segment is poised to reshape the Indian aviation industry.

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Currently, Air India and Vistara are the sole providers of business-class seats on domestic routes in India. However, by December 2024, IndiGo will join this exclusive league, introducing its bespoke business class experience tailored to meet the evolving needs of discerning travelers.

Initially, IndiGo’s business class operations will be rolled out on the busiest domestic routes, ensuring passengers enjoy added comfort and luxury during their journeys. Further details regarding the official launch date, specific routes, and promotional offers will be disclosed by August 2024, heightening anticipation among passengers eagerly awaiting this premium service.

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Air India Gives Salary Increments to Staff; Bonus for Pilots

Air India Gives Salary Increments to Staff; Bonus for Pilots

Air India announced on Thursday that it will implement annual salary increments for its staff and introduce an annual target performance bonus for pilots, according to sources. This marks the first appraisal process since the Tata Group took over the airline a little over two years ago.

Chief Human Resources Officer Ravindra Kumar GP revealed that salary increments will take effect from April 1, 2024. Additionally, performance bonus payouts for the fiscal year 2023-24 will be based on both company and individual performance, sources reported.

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Pilots will see an increase in their fixed pay ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹15,000 per month. They will also be eligible for an annual target performance bonus between ₹42,000 and ₹1.8 lakh, contingent on performance metrics.

Cabin crew members will also benefit from an annual performance bonus of approximately ₹25,000. Alongside this, they will receive a standard salary increase for the financial year 2025, effective from April.

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Air India, which employs around 18,000 people, aims to foster growth and transformation, as stated by Kumar. The airline achieved significant milestones in the last financial year, laying a strong foundation for its future. As part of its Vihaan.AI initiative, the airline introduced a contemporary annual performance appraisal process known as “Rise AI” and transitioned to a simplified, market-competitive, and productivity-oriented compensation structure for employees.

However, it was noted that junior first officers will not receive a hike in their monthly fixed pay. Nevertheless, they will be eligible for an annual target performance bonus, with junior first officers receiving ₹42,000 and first officers and commanders receiving ₹60,000 per annum, provided they meet performance expectations.

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Qantas Expands IndiGo Codeshares from Singapore

Qantas Expands IndiGo Codeshares from Singapore

Qantas has broadened its codeshare partnership with IndiGo, India’s largest domestic airline, enhancing travel options between Australia and India. This expansion allows customers to seamlessly connect from Qantas flights in Singapore to IndiGo’s services to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Previously, the codeshare arrangement enabled passengers on Qantas flights arriving in Bengaluru and Delhi to connect onto IndiGo domestic services to 21 destinations across India. Now, travelers can enjoy a more streamlined journey by transferring through Singapore.

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Additionally, the new arrangement allows customers to incorporate overnight stopovers in Singapore into their travel plans before continuing to Delhi or Mumbai. This provides greater flexibility and convenience for those wishing to explore the city or rest before their onward journey.

Qantas passengers traveling on IndiGo flights benefit from the same checked baggage allowance as their flight from Australia and receive complimentary food and beverages. Furthermore, Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn and redeem points on connecting IndiGo flights (with a QF code) between Singapore and India.

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This partnership expansion comes alongside Qantas’s recent announcement of increased flights to both India and Singapore. Specifically, flights between Sydney and Bengaluru will become daily during the peak holiday season, complemented by additional flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Singapore.

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