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Southwest Airlines Announces New Crew Base for Pilots and Flight Attendants

Southwest Airlines Announces New Crew Base for Pilots and Flight Attendants

Southwest Airlines announced the addition of a Crew Base at Nashville International Airport (BNA) in the second quarter of 2024, strengthening its ties to Music City. With an expected 150–250 Pilots, who will increase to 500–600 Pilots, and a projected 500–700 Flight Attendants based in the new Crew site starting in 2024, Nashville will become the 12th Crew Base in the Southwest® system, with further expansion anticipated.

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According to Andrew Watterson, chief operating officer of Southwest Airlines, “hundreds of Southwest Employees who work in the air and on the ground already consider Middle Tennessee to be their hometown, with our presence in Nashville remaining a key factor to our success, future growth, and the Reliability of our network.” Given our affection for Nashville and the crucial role it plays in our network, building a Crew Base and strengthening our ties to Music City are obvious choices for additional investments.

On March 18, 1986, Southwest Airlines® started offering service to BNA, with eight nonstop departures each day to Chicago (Midway) and Houston (Hobby). Since then, it has expanded to operate more flights and carry more passengers, becoming the largest carrier at BNA, with up to 166 daily departures to 57 cities nonstop, and it now employs approximately 1,000 people.

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With a goal of having 20 gates altogether by the end of the year to accommodate future passengers travelling into and out of Nashville, the airline is working to add four gates in the fourth quarter of 2023 to support its operation.

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By investing in partnerships and initiatives that have a positive influence on the economy, society, and environment, Southwest Airlines continues to expand its corporate citizenship and outreach efforts. The carrier is putting its Heart into action by encouraging each employee to succeed through service to others, creating programmes to serve the needs of its many diverse communities, and interacting with business, civic, and community leaders in order to become a globally renowned corporate citizen and foster real connections that strengthen communities.

Southwest keeps funding upcoming BNA projects. BNA launched a restored and redesigned Grand Lobby earlier this year. To improve the customer experience of those leaving BNA, the carrier is in the process of moving its ticket desks. Additionally, Southwest is still working to improve the BNA airport’s infrastructure, equipment availability, and overall winter availability in order to support employees in operating more effectively and dependably during severe weather.

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Virgin Atlantic Sued Over Alleged Age Discrimination: Cabin Crew Seek Justice

Virgin Atlantic Sued Over Alleged Age Discrimination: Cabin Crew Seek Justice

Virgin Atlantic finds itself embroiled in legal proceedings as over 200 former cabin crew members launch a lawsuit against the airline, alleging discriminatory practices during the period of the pandemic.

The dispute centers on accusations that the company unfairly targeted older employees for dismissal while retaining newer, less costly hires.

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The pandemic’s onset in March 2020 triggered a cascade of challenges for the aviation industry, leading Virgin Atlantic to ground a significant portion of its fleet. In response, the airline swiftly implemented cost-cutting measures, including the reduction of its workforce by over 40%, amounting to the loss of 3,000 jobs.

Additionally, it established a “holding pool” for potentially rehiring redundant staff once normal operations resumed. However, the crux of the legal battle lies in the claim that Virgin Atlantic retained approximately 350 new cabin crew members, some with minimal training periods as short as a week.

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While simultaneously letting go of experienced onboard managers, many of whom boasted an average age of 45 years and two decades of service. This perceived discrepancy forms the backbone of the lawsuit, with former employees contending that age became a determining factor in the airline’s decision-making process.

In response, a Virgin Atlantic representative stated: “Virgin Atlantic had to make very difficult decisions following the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.” Regretfully, this meant a 45% reduction in the total number of employees within the company.

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End of an Era: Qantas Retires Final Boeing 767 Freighter

End of an Era: Qantas Retires Final Boeing 767 Freighter

Qantas has officially bid farewell to its last Boeing 767 aircraft, marking the end of an era that began nearly four decades ago.

The final 767, a dedicated freighter variant registered as VH-EFR, operated its last flight on May 17, 2024. This concluding journey took it from Hong Kong (HKG) to Sydney (SYD) under the flight number QF7526, closing the chapter on Qantas’s use of the 767 after 39 years.

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The Australian airline commemorated the occasion with an Instagram post on Friday, announcing the retirement of VH-EFR, their last remaining 767. According to Cirium Ascend Fleet Analyzer data, this aircraft is a little over 18 years old. It joined the Qantas fleet in 2011, having previously served Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) as a cargo plane.

Despite being owned by Qantas, the aircraft was operated by Express Freighters Australia under the Qantas Freight brand.

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The Boeing 767 has had a versatile history with Qantas. Initially, the aircraft was used on international routes, flying to destinations in New Zealand, Asia, and North America. Following the 1992 merger with Australian Airlines, the 767s were increasingly deployed for domestic services as well.

Although Qantas is retiring this specific freighter, the Boeing 767-300 freighter model remains active globally. Records indicate that 280 of these aircraft are still operational, serving 14 airlines around the world.

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United Flight Diverts to Shannon, After Stuck Laptop in Business Class Seat

United Flight Diverts to Shannon, After Stuck Laptop in Business Class Seat

A United Airlines flight from Zurich to Chicago O’Hare was forced to make an emergency diversion to Shannon, Ireland.

On Saturday afternoon after a passenger got their laptop wedged in a Business Class seat aboard the Boeing 767-300. Operating as United Flight 12, the aircraft departed from Flughafen Zürich at 9:46 a.m. local time and took off at 10:08 a.m.

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The captain decided to divert the flight not because the passenger couldn’t access their laptop, but because any device powered by lithium-ion batteries that becomes inaccessible could pose a significant safety risk.

Such devices, if damaged or overheated, could lead to a thermal runaway event, potentially causing a fire on board. The Boeing 767-300, featuring United’s relatively new Polaris business-class cabin, landed safely at Shannon Airport in County Clare at 1:43 p.m. IST (Irish Summer Time) and reached the gate at 1:51 p.m.

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In a statement, United Airlines acknowledged the diversion: “United flight 12 scheduled from Zurich to Chicago landed safely in Shannon to address a potential safety risk caused by a laptop being stuck in an inaccessible location.” This situation led to the cancellation of the flight, and the airline is working to reroute the 157 passengers who found themselves unexpectedly in Ireland.

Frequent flyers are often reminded in airline safety videos not to move their seats if they lose mobile phones or other gadgets powered by lithium-ion batteries within the seats. Attempting to retrieve such items by moving the seat can damage the battery and potentially cause a dangerous situation.

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