Contact numbers Main: 07944 217 476 BACK UP Mobi: 07435 303 145 OFFICE: 01733 345581 email:



Julian Bray writes: Contact me for amplification of news agenda studio-based quality audio broadcasting and media commentary pieces, jargon free explainers, relating to the business worlds of aviation, cruise industry, travel, holiday industry and transport in general.

Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment and forward thinking speculation on conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline groups, as clients, CEO of City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Included in Debretts People of Today and the first PRWeek Black Book.

Julian Bray adds: In addition to topical guest lectures on cruise ships, I also cover wider maritime topics, rogue operators/agents, the up-market cruise industry, long haul travel, travel and medical insurance perils, holiday organisations and leisure industries in general. Where politics has an impact, I usually have a view...

Direct links to a selection of television and radio contributions can be found at foot of this page. Scroll down.

Join the conversation here or on Twitter at @aviationcomment

A retweet, comment or other publication by any means does not constitute an endorsement, All published editorial comment particularly relating to news agenda incidents prior to official reports is at best, opinionated expert speculation, unless directly sourced and quoted from CAA, AAIB, or other official sources.

Content subject to creditline 'Julian Bray, Journalist & Broadcaster, aviation expert' ' An NUJ Life Member and Equity Full Member.

At one time an active MCIPR, MMC, and TV & Film Industry Location Director, founded and owned 1970's BRAYS Wine Bar, Chelsea and a brewpub in East Anglia. ... Location services on Minder, The Professionals, LWT Drama. Ben Fitz Prods, and Tony Scott RSA Commercials plus many others..

Main UK telephone contact number 01733 345581

Mob: 07944 217476 ( this number attached to a 16 year old NOKIA simply as it is still the only mobile with a battery lasting a full week ( 7 DAYS) between charges!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Recent Aviation Incidents:Cockpit smoke, lack of oxygen, depressurised cabin, wheel fire and emergency evac.

United B772 near Las Vegas on Sep 26th 2016, smell of smoke in cockpit
A United Boeing 777-200, registration N771UA performing flight UA-1469 from Los Angeles,CA to Newark,NJ (USA) with 269 people on board, was enroute at FL370 exactly overhead Las Vegas' McCarran Airport,NV (USA) when the crew reported the smell of...
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American A333 over Atlantic on Sep 25th 2016, lack of flight crew oxygen
An American Airlines Airbus A330-300, registration N276AY performing flight AA-719 from Rome Fiumicino (Italy) to Philadelphia,PA (USA), was enroute at FL360 over the Atlantic Ocean about 960nm eastnortheast of Gander,NL (Canada) when the crew...
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Nepal A320 at Kathmandu on Sep 26th 2016, smoke in cockpit
A Nepal Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration 9N-AKX performing flight RA-206 from Delhi (India) to Kathmandu (Nepal) with 154 passengers and 9 crew, was descending through 13,000 feet towards Kathmandu when the crew reported smoke in the cockpit....
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Skymark B738 at Nagoya on Sep 25th 2016, cabin did not pressurize
A Skymark Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration JA73NA performing flight BC-951 from Nagoya to Okinawa (Japan) with 168 people on board, was climbing out of Nagoya when the crew stopped the climb at FL150 due to problems with the automatic cabin...
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Cebu AT72 at Cebu on Sep 26th 2016, rejected takeoff due to engine oil fluctuation, wheel fire on taxi and evacuation
A Cebu Pacific Avions Transport Regional ATR-72-212A on behalf of Cebgo, registration RP-C7252 performing flight DG-6577 from Cebu to Tacloban (Philippines) with 67 people on board, was accelerating for takeoff from Cebu when the crew observed...
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JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Monday, 26 September 2016


A new development in the continuing MH 17 investigation. In a major development the Russian Air Force claimed earlier today they had detected a Ukrainian radar near MH17 crash site, and say this proves the tactical presence of Kiev's air defence system.


Julian Bray Aviation Expert comments:

As I suggested on the RT television news channel earlier today, although the release of this sensitive data by the Russians, is a huge and welcome step forward, it comes with a demand that Ukraine and others also release sensitive top-level military information. Something that is in the current political climate is sadly unlikely to happen.

A kind of political tit-for-tat, after two years, in reality, it matters little to the families who have lost loved ones on flight MH17, who actually fired the missile, the terrible deed has been done, it cannot ever be reversed.

Some say, it could have been an horrible mistake, 'collateral damage' mistaking an innocent civilian aircraft for a military transport. Or someone with little experience accidentally 'trigger happy' launching the missile. But launched it was. That cannot ever be undone.

What is important, some two whole years on, is to give the families sound verifiable information as to what did really happen, to bring closure, so they can move on with their lives. Compensation really is not the issue,  and in any event even at the highest comparable rates still would be a minute financial fraction of any defence budget.

It must be possible for all sides to release data under highly controlled security conditions, to an independent 'isolated' third party or panel, and for them, to make a rapid determination and then promptly securely return the data to the respective sources?

The redacted information, would then be included as  an annex and materially contribute to the Dutch final report.

This is not about apportioning blame, but providing families with closure.

It has been two years since the crash. Two long years. I would be pleased to be part of any investigating independent panel, if it would rapidly move the process along, and provide the answers the bereaved are urgently seeking.  JB

During a press conference to release this new information Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov suggested that satellite data relied on by the US and Ukraine could quickly clarify the issue of the missile launch on the Malaysia Airlines aircraft, and if it did indeed fire from from Kiev-held territory.

His argument is simply that if Kiev is withholding data showing the images of MH17 crash, as in his view the flight was within airspace wholly controlled by Ukrainian radar and air defence.

Essentially the Russians are suggesting Kiev's refusal to release its radar data suggests that the missile had been launched from Kiev-held territory 

"It's not a coincidence that the Ukrainian side is hiding information that could help to reveal the whole picture of the crash. The flight MH17 was controlled by Ukrainian radars, air defence units and Ukrainian air traffic controllers."

By suggesting Ukraine should unveil information on the exact location of its mobile Buk SAM system location and matching that with air traffic control communication on the day of the MH17 crash in east Ukraine, would in the Russian view clear matters up.

"Kiev has not made public the information on the locations of its Buk missile systems on the day of the crash, negotiations of air traffic controllers, servicemen, on its radars, data on the work of Ukrainian air defense, witnesses' comments." BlinovAnti-Bellingcat Reports Debunk Myths about MH17 Crash and Russia's Hand in It

The Russians are keen to get across that Kiev has both military and civilian information related to the airspace movement near the MH17 crash site.

Russian radar has not detected any 'third-party objects' except for two civilian aircraft around MH17 crash site,  that could have caused its destruction, said Deputy chief designer of the Ust-Donetsk Utes-T air route radar surveillance complex of the Research and Production Corporation 'Lianozovo Electromechanical Plant,’ a part of Almaz-Antey concern, said Monday.

Russian radar systems would have detected a missile that hit Malaysia Airlines plane if it had been launched from the area controlled by the Donbass militia, Konashenkov said.

The Russian Defence Ministry said that in their view the MH17 crash investigation 'is on the wrong track' because the missile type and launch point are they claim identified incorrectly.

In an uncompromising statement the Ministry said "As a member of the joint investigative group, Ukraine clearly holds back data and manipulates the probe which is taking a wrong path; from providing controversial data on projectiles to wrongly identifying the type of the missile and subsequently the time of its launch."

Russia vowed to provide data by Almaz-Antey on the airspace situation near the MH17 crash site to Netherlands investigating the tragedy.

Read more:

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

National Crime Agency (NCA) says fake passports being used by illegal migrants to enter the UK by air cost just 700 euros.....

Air Pakistan senior steward Shaukat Ali Cheema,59,  as reported by the Birmingham Mail, jailed for five years who attempted to smuggle into the UK, 26 passports, 37 biodata passport pages and 13 driving licences all concealed in his specially adapted underpants.

Julian Bray reports: According to the National Crime Agency (NCA) Fake passports and a variety of European identity cards are being seized in greater numbers at small regional airports, from an increasing  influx of air passengers, who in reality are migrants attempting to illegally enter the UK.

Clearly the flow should have been stopped at the departure point, before the aircraft took to the skies, but due to the pressure of loading, backhanders, and despatching aircraft within a small turnaround time slot, many passengers, admittedly with valid boarding cards, are being let through on a daily basis.  

The problem is highlighted as security at Calais is tightened and professional traffickers seek to find other access routes into the UK. Many of the passports being discovered are real, but stolen, and have little more than a change of photograph pasted in, covered with clear sticky back plastic.

It is possible to buy on the 'dark web' a passport for as little as 700 euros. Gangs of Albanian pickpockets are known to work the major European capitals, and tourists are always an easy source of supply. 

Specially adapted underpants  with multiple pockets...

There is also the shocking case of Air Pakistan steward Shaukat Ali Cheema,59, as reported by the Birmingham Mail, jailed for five years who attempted to smuggle into the UK, 26 passports, 37 biodata passport pages and 13 driving licences all concealed in his specially adapted underpants, in custom pockets which had been expertly sewn in.....

Just some of the fake passports Cheema attempted to smuggle into the UK

Border Force acting on a tip off, arrested the senior air steward at Birmingham Airport. It is thought that Cheema had been acting as a courier for these documents for some time, so many hundreds could be already circulating within the UK, along with fake driving licences, effectively putting everyone on the road at risk.   

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Possibly better late than never. Monarch finally get around to releasing an official rebuttal to the weekends shock financial rumours...  Julian Bray will be discussing the latest position live on BBC Three Counties Radio at 17:10hrs on Monday

Monday September 26 2016

Over the weekend, there has been negative speculation about Monarch’s financial health.

Monarch is trading well and is expected to achieve an EBITDA of over £40m at the end of this financial year (October 2016). This is despite a difficult period for the holiday industry due to terrorist incidents, Brexit and the resulting devaluation of sterling.

Our flights are operating as normal, carrying Monarch customers as scheduled.

To weather tougher market conditions and to fund its ongoing growth, Monarch expects to announce a significant investment from its stakeholders in the coming days.

UK budget airline Monarch has been forced to deny a growing number of rumours, that its flying days are numbered, about to cease trading and set to call in administrators. Passengers meanwhile are taking to Twitter for urgent reassurance, their future booked seats are indeed safe. 

Speculation began to circulate on Sunday, over several social media boards, that the airline, was ceasing operations.

Julian Bray Aviation expert commented: The airline maintains the social media tweets are just a series of unfounded would have helped their case, if the airline had immediately blitzed the media with formal press statements (even though, it was a Sunday) rather than just leaked tweets sent to worried customers....a City PR consultants head may roll for this lapse... it turns out that Bell Pottinger, are the tardy City PR firm in the frame.

Who are the mysterious and very private backers, and how did the City rumours start? Julian Bray looks at the background:

Greybull purchased ninety percent  of Monarch Holdings Ltd, a UK airline, trading as Monarch, on October 25, 2014, in return for a £50m capital commitment,  the remaining 10 percent passing directly to Monarch's pension scheme.

Greybull Capital's partner Marc Meyohas, said at the time: "We are delighted to acquire Monarch and invest our capital into a very strong brand with great potential" 

On the back of Greybull's investment, the airline then secured £125m of capital and liquidity facilities, but at a price. The airline had to restructure, reducing its aircraft fleet by 8 from 42 to 34. The payroll was slimmed down with some 700 redundancies, and overall fairly harsh wage and salary reductions.

The FT reported: Since Greybull bought Monarch, the travel airline has been transformed. Monarch in 2015 delivering its first profit in three years.

Greybull employed Deutsche Bank in April 2016 to 'explore strategic options for Monarch Airlines', including growth opportunities in Europe and/or possibly selling it.

Monarch Airlines were also seeking in June 2016 to secure an additional financial facility of £35m, either from Greybull or a third party, and it could be a combination of the Deutsche Bank feelers being put out, and the series of poor investment decisions Greybull has made recently.  

Morrisons sold M local to a team led by retail entrepreneur Mike Greene from Peterborough, backed by Greybull Capital, for £25m.

The deal incurring a loss of about £30m. Under Greybull, 140 of the convenience stores were rebranded ‘My Local’, safeguarding jobs of the 2,300 staff.

M local's operating loss for 2014 was £36m, so Greybull put My Local into administration in June 2016, just nine months after buying it.

Ninety stores closed, and more than 1,200 shop workers laid off, some allegedly without redundancy pay.  

The remaining thirty five stores sold off.  Morrisons then offered to rehire former employees, who lost their jobs.

Part of the sale to Greybull involved Morrisons guaranteeing some store rents if the business collapsed. So Morrisons was left with a potential liability of some £20m.

Earlier deals were somewhat rocky.

Graybull Capitals COMET store all boarded up just months into the rescue deal.

Comet’s demise caused the loss of more than 6,000 British jobs   

Greybull Capital, which has invested many millions of pounds in attempts to rescue some of Britain’s best-known retail brands.

Greybull alarmingly backed the abortive buyouts of Comet, the electrical goods chain; Game Group, the computer games retailer; and Rileys, the snooker hall business.

Until now, almost nothing was known about the two brothers behind it, Marc and Nathaniel Meyohas, but their recent involvement and the subsequent financial failure has cause the reclusive financiers to come reluctantly into the glare of the media spotlight. 

Hopefully Greybull will quickly find a buyer for Monarch, if only to remove the continuing uncertainty surrounding the airline.  

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Saturday, 24 September 2016


Julian Bray aviation expert comments: In what is now sadly a regular series of events, being reported on this blog. Brits seem to be increasingly early morning ... 'pre-loading', before arriving at the final gate, i.e. already consumed a substantial amount of alcohol, possibly duty free on the ground.

The effects of intoxication are however rapidly felt and magnified at 33,000 ft due to the dehydration factor of being inside a pressurised cabin and breathing scrubbed recycled air.  

To compound the issue, some in this sorry state, are then choosing to have all out public rows once they have boarded their holiday aircraft.  In a sorry list of incidents, a couple really stand out.

 A female adult passenger was removed from an easyJet flight from Barcelona to Liverpool on Friday morning after swearing at passengers, and also hurling abuse at her mother. 

The commotion is said to have started on the easyJet flight to Liverpool's John Lennon airport from El Prat [SIC] in Barcelona.  
According to the Liverpool Echo, two women were taken off the flight because of 'disruptive behaviour'. The mother went voluntarily.  Easyjet apologised to customers for the delay in a statement. 

Earlier in the week,a woman who was removed from a Monarch flight from Ibiza was defended by her family after she was accused of racism. 

Naomi Watts, from Runcorn, Cheshire, was asked to leave the Monarch flight along with three female friends, after four groups of passengers asked to be moved away from the women. 

A number of people, including the captain, phoned the police and the group were then removed from the aircraft. 

Source Liverpool Echo, CNS, Daily Mail, BBC
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Aviation Incidents September 23 2016

Network Australia F100 at Perth on Sep 23rd 2016, hydraulic problem, fumes on board
A Network Aviation Australia Fokker 100 on behalf of Qantas, registration VH-NHY performing flight QF-1623 from Newman,WA to Perth,WA (Australia) with 97 passengers and 5 crew, was on approach to Perth, when the crew reported hydraulic problems...
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American B773 over Pacific on Sep 20th 2016, pilot incapacitated
An American Airlines Boeing 777-300, registration N730AN performing flight AA-192 from Hong Kong (China) to Los Angeles,CA (USA), was enroute at FL350 over the Pacific Ocean about 100nm west of San Francisco,CA (USA) when the crew declared a medical...
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Expressjet CRJ2 at Chattanooga on Sep 22nd 2016, nose gear door remained open
An Expressjet Canadair CRJ-200 on behalf of Delta Airlines, registration N860AS performing EV-5583/DL-5583 from Chattanooga,TN to Atlanta,GA (USA), was in the initial climb out of Chattanooga's runway 20 when the crew reported a nose gear door had...
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Germania B737 at Erfurt on Sep 22nd 2016, unusual odour in cockpit
A Germania Boeing 737-700, registration D-AGEQ performing flight ST-3356 from Erfurt (Germany) to Tenerife South,CI (Spain) with 119 passengers, was in the initial climb out of Erfurt's runway 10 when the crew stopped the climb at 5000 feet due to...
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JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Friday, 23 September 2016


Samsung Galaxy Note 2

A Samsung smartphone stored in an overhead baggage compartment on an Indian plane emitted smoke in mid-flight on Friday. India's aviation regulator has confirmed, due to the prompt action of cabin crew there was no damage and the aircraft landed safely

Passengers on board an IndiGo flight smelled and saw smoke coming from the overhead baggage bin, alerted cabin crew who opened it up and were met with sparks and acrid smoke coming from a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phone.  The airline, is owned by InterGlobe Aviation,

Flight crew used a fire extinguisher and then put the phone in a container filled with water. The IndiGo flight was on its way to Chennai from Singapore.

The regulator formally described the incident as a suspected fire however the airline said there had been no fire.

Samsung had earlier issued a worldwide recall for its new Note 7 smartphone this month due to faulty batteries causing the device to catch fire while charging and in normal use.

There have been no previous reports of problems with the Note 2 model, first released in 2012.  Samsung is looking into Friday's incident, a company spokesman said: "We are in touch with relevant authorities to gather more information."

India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), is to send an advisory to airlines warning passengers to keep all Samsung Note smartphones switched off during flights or avoid carrying the phones on commercial jets altogether, a spokesman said.

The DGCA has called Samsung representatives to its office in New Delhi on Monday to discuss the incident.

Regulators and airlines in several countries, including the United States and China, have now issued a series of warnings to air travellers to keep Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones turned off and unplugged during flights.

Asked about the incident in India, a spokesman for Europe’s air safety regulator, the European Aviation Safety Agency, referred to previous guidance stating passengers should inform cabin crew if any electronic device is damaged, hot, produces smoke, is lost, or falls into the seats.

It has advised airlines to tell passengers not to turn on or charge their Galaxy Note 7s when on board.

Source: Reuters, CNS,  CompUni, Samsung

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 


Amazon plc has been found guilty of attempting to ship dangerous goods by air, including lithium-ion batteries and flammable aerosols between the years 2014 and 2015. The firm was fined £65,000 at Southwark Crown Court . 

It was found guilty earlier today at Southwark Crown Court of causing dangerous goods to be delivered for carriage in an aircraft in breach of air navigation rules.

The prosecution had been brought by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under the Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 2002.

The goods were scheduled for flights both in and outside the UK, comprising four shipments between January 2014 and June 2015.

During a Royal Mail routine screening they were discovered when the cargo was seized before departure, and before they were loaded on board the aircraft.

Southwark Court heard that Amazon had tried to ship a lithium-ion battery to Jersey on a day before 7 January 2014, and a flammable gas aerosol to Romania on a similar date.

Another shipment, destined for Ireland on a day before 17 July 2014, contained another aerosol, while Amazon illegally tried to send two more lithium-ion batteries to Northern Ireland between 12 May and 3 June 2015.

The CAA's general counsel, Kate Staples, said: "There are important international and domestic restrictions to prohibit the shipping of certain goods that pose a flight safety risk.

"We are constantly working to further improve and will continue to work with the CAA in this area."

Julian Bray aviation expert comments: It was only in August this year, reported by this blog, that IATA launched a major campaign to raise awareness of the hazards of lithium battery shipments, more particularly ones they term 'rogue shippers'

Governments must urgently clamp down on Rogue Lithium Battery Shippers says IATA


Airline and battery manufacturers call for stricter enforcement coupled with stiffer penalties 
Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has partnered with leaders of the lithium battery supply chain to demand stricter enforcement of international regulations regarding the transport of lithium batteries.

In a joint letter to Ministers of Trade, Industry and Transport, and Directors of Civil Aviation in the world’s largest lithium battery manufacturing and export countries, IATA, PRBA, the US Rechargeable Battery Association, RECHARGE, the European Advanced Rechargeable and Lithium Battery Association, the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) and the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) have called for lithium battery safety regulations to be enforced at the point of origin including the initial shipper and the battery manufacturer.

The letter also called for implementation of cooperative enforcement initiatives between jurisdictions to address situations, where lithium batteries manufactured in one state are driven over a border to be flown from another state.

The global associations also called for significant fines and custodial sentences to be imposed on those who circumvent the regulations.

"Safety is aviation’s top priority. Airlines, shippers and manufacturers have worked hard to establish rules that ensure lithium batteries can be carried safely. But the rules are only effective if they are enforced and backed-up by significant penalties.

Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for regulating rogue producers and exporters. In addition, flagrant abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations, which place aircraft and passenger safety at risk, must be criminalized," said Tony Tyler IATA CEO.

"The actions of a minority threaten to undermine confidence in legitimate battery and product manufacturers. This a matter of deep concern for our members," said George A. Kerchner, Executive Director of PRBA which represents most of the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium ion and lithium metal batteries and manufacturers of products powered by these batteries.

IATA and the PRBA have repeatedly called upon governments to address the danger posed by the wilful disregard of the international regulations by rogue manufacturers and shippers and to close existing legal loopholes that prevent prosecutions of serial offenders.

Lack of enforcement is increasing pressure on airlines and regulators to unilaterally ban all forms of lithium battery shipments from aircraft.

This would add to the cost of global supply chains and consumer goods, and encourage those who flout the law to increase mislabelling of batteries, further increasing safety and security risks.

"A ban on the shipment of lithium ion batteries aboard aircraft would put lives at risk by slowing delivery of life-critical and life–enhancing medical equipment and jeopardize the security of many countries because a large number of military applications are powered by lithium batteries," said Kerchner.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476



MG is to stop making cars at its Longbridge, Birmingham plant and is moving production to .......... China !

The firm said vehicles in future will arrive in the UK "fully built ready for distribution". The move of production to China, will immediately cause 25 redundancies although the company claims that sales, marketing and after-sales operations are currently at and will remain at the Longbridge plant.

The first new MG for 16 years rolled off the production line in the West Midlands in 2011.

It marked the first large-scale production at the plant near Birmingham since the demise of Rover in 2005.

Longbridge plant from the air
Longbridge, no longer financially viable for manufacturing, cannot compete with China .... 
More than 400 design engineers and other staff at the SAIC Motor Technical Centre (SMTC) at the site and MG Motor employees are not affected.

Two models are currently designed and assembled in Birmingham - MG3 and an SUV, the MG GS - sales are increasing, the company   reporting a total year on year rise of 18 per cent.

Matthew Cheyne, of MG Motor UK, said moving production abroad was "a necessary business decision".

Not taking that view is Richard Burden, Labour MP for Birmingham Northfield, he criticised the decision, "hugely disappointing and premature".

"I understand the business concerns that MG have surrounding costs of assembly at Longbridge,  aggravated by problems with the strength of the pound (sterling)," he said.

"However, more discussions should have taken place to explore alternatives and options before any decisions were finalised."

He said the government was willing to meet MG to discuss options and he had hoped the announcement would not be made until further talks had been held. Clearly that will not now take place.

Julian Bray commented: China has long been dumping very cheap steel on world markets, so the move to China would seem to be designed to take advantage of substantive cost savings at all stages of manufacture and assembly. Just to 'rub salt into the wound' the manufacturing assembly plant will all be crated up and shipped out to China.

Source BBC, CNS,

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476


This afternoon (Friday 23rd September) on BBC 3 Counties Radio Julian Bray Aviation expert will be live in the studio talking about the 'elephant in the room' or 'obese people in aircraft seats,' and what can be done about it, if they are sitting next and possibly over you......
A disgruntled flyer from Italy is suing Emirates airline, claiming his nine-hour flight was 'ruined' by an obese passenger plonked into the seat next to him. The hapless passenger Giorgio Destro, a lawyer from Padua in northern Italy, claims the 'spillover' caused by the person next to his bokked 29K window seat, made for a deeply uncomfortable journey from Cape Town to Dubai.

Unhappy Giorgio Destro snaps an  s'elfie' pulling a 'bravissimo face on being squeezed
into his pre-booked window seat by an obese passenger

According to an Italian newspaper,  Mr Destro is 'gold member' flyer, but says Emirates - who claim the plane was fully booked - wouldn't let him change seats, refused to offer an apology or any form of compensation.

Mr Destro speaking to Italian Newspaper Mattino Padova: 'For nine hours, I had to stand in the aisle, sit on [jump] seats reserved for the cabin crew when they were free, and in the final phase of flight resign myself to suffer the "spillover" of the passenger at my side.'

He reportedly asked to be moved a few hours into the flight but was told it was fully booked.

Mr Destro, who at one time worked for the Italian Consulate in South Africa, captured his predicament by taking a selfie as evidence. He is asking for €2,759.51 (£2,375.23) in compensation; €759.51 (£653.87) as a refund for the flight, and a further €2,000 (£1,721.81) in damages. 

The case hearing is scheduled for October 20th in Padua. 

It's not the first time a passenger has escalated a complaint regarding an overweight flight companion.

Last July, interior designer James Andres Bassos took Etihad Airways to court in Queensland saying he was forced to twist and contort his body for long periods on a 2011 flight from Sydney to Dubai.

Mr Bassos' District Court claim - which sought $227,000 (£132,500) - stated that the 'grossly overweight' passenger was spilling into his seat and coughing frequently.

Etihad tried to have the claim thrown out and argued it was not unusual to have overweight passengers taking up too much space, or coughing passengers.

Source  CNS,Mattino Padova, BBC 3Counties, Daily Mail,

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476


There is a P&W marketing man with his head in his hands "This changes everything?" US Aero engine maker Pratt & Whitney certainly changed everything adding to the problems at Airbus by cutting its 2016 deliveries for the PW1000G geared turbofan engine from 200 to 150. Due to supply delays of fan blades.' 

Expect a head on clash with the unions at  French based Airbus, as the company prepares to introduce a savage job and cost cutting  restructuring plan starting in October, as a precursor to a major digitalisation program of all its operations.

This latest news is unexpected as Airbus was earlier reported to have a cost-cutting plan in place to counter losses on its A380 aircraft production. However, Chief Executive Tom Enders, Airbus Group, says the earlier plan has not yet been finalized. However, it will in result in job cuts within the group’s companies, talks with the unions to be held soon....should be interesting.

Airbus was recently reported to be in difficulties in making significant cost savings as it announced an extra unexpected €1.4 billion ($1.56 billion) was needed to cover engine problems on its A400M military freighter,  this coupled with supplier delays which had a knock on effect, delaying deliveries of the A350.

US Aero engine maker Pratt & Whitney added to the problems at Airbus by cutting its 2016 deliveries for the PW1000G geared turbofan engine from 200 to 150. This is say P&W 'due to supply delays of fan blades.'  The PW1000G engine is one of the options for the A320neo aircraft, the second being CFM International LEAP-1A.

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Alitalia pilots and cabin crew went on strike for 24 hours on Sept. 22, triggering  a series of flight cancellations, but maintained a majority of services.

In an earlier statement, Alitalia said it was implementing “special measures” during the walkout.  “The trade unions ANPAC, ANPAV and USB, representing some of the Alitalia pilots and flight attendants, have confirmed a 24-hour strike Sept. 22, despite cancellation of industrial action by the national unions FILT-CGIL, FIT-CISL, UIL Trasporti and UGL.

As a consequence, Alitalia was forced to cancel many flights scheduled on September 22,” The Alitalia spokesman commented.

The strike was originally scheduled for September 6, but was deferred following the recent earthquake in Italy.

Alitalia rebooked passengers, brought in extra staff at Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate and set up special call centre numbers in a bid to minimize disruption.

SkyTeam member Alitalia, is 49 percent owned by Etihad Airways, flies to twenty seven domestic and some seventy international destinations.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) issue schedule of UK and overseas current field investigations

Current field investigations

This lists the current field investigations being undertaken by the AAIB which include both accidents and serious incidents. 

 It does not include those that are being investigated by correspondence or AAIB involvement in overseas investigations. 

An investigation is removed from the list shortly after the report has been published.

DateRegistrationTypeAccident/Incident typeStatus
14 Aug 2016G-ARNZDRUINE D.31 TURBULENTAircraft ditched in the sea during airshow near Herne Bay, KentUnder investigation
06 Aug 2016G-CDERPIPER PA-28-161Aircraft ditched in English Channel 1 mile from WinchelseaUnder investigation
02 Aug 2016D-ETDKBREEZER B600ELoss of control at Lochnell Castle, Oban, ArgyllUnder investigation
28 Jul 2016G-MEPUROTORSPORT UK MT-03Fatal accident at Turweston Aerodrome, BuckinghamshireUnder investigation
21 Jul 2016G-VLCCSCHLEICHER ASW 27-18 EFatal accident at Southwood Farm, Bradley, HampshireUnder investigation
17 Jul 2016HA-PPCSud SA-313B Alouette IIFatal accident at Breighton Aerodrome, YorkshireUnder investigation
16 Jul 2016G-MZCRPEGASUS QUANTUM 15Struck a tree during go around at East Haxted Farm Airstrip, near Edenbridge, KentUnder investigation
08 Jul 2016G-YAKBYAK-52Fatal accident near Dinton, WiltshireUnder investigation
30 Jun 2016G-EZEWAIRBUS A319-111Inadvertent flap retraction on departure from Bristol AirportUnder investigation
26 Jun 2016N276AYAIRBUS A330-300Smoke and evacuation on stand at London Heathrow AirportUnder investigation
09 Jun 2016G-OJDSIKARUS C42 FB80Aircraft missing near Cushendall, Northern IrelandUnder investigation
30 May 2016G-MYESRANS S6-ESD (MODIFIED)Fatal accident near Shifnal Aerodrome, ShropshireUnder investigation
30 Apr 2016G-BNSOSLINGSBY T67M MKIIFatal accident at Whitwell Grange cottage, Whitwell, North YorkshireUnder investigation
14 Apr 2016G-EZFJAIRBUS A319-111Incorrect takeoff performance data on departure from Malaga Airport, SpainUnder investigation
20 Mar 2016G-CDNRIKARUS C42 FB100Fatal accident near Burrows Lane, Middle Stoke, KentUnder investigation
04 Mar 2016G-COBOATR 72-212 APitch trim issue en route Manchester to Guernsey, diverted to East MidlandsUnder investigation
27 Feb 2016G-CDNIEV-97 TEAMEUROSTAR UKLoss of control during go around at Peterborough Conington Airfield, CambridgeshireConsultation stage
30 Jan 2016G-CIVXBOEING 747-436Landing gear lever jammed on departure from London Heathrow AirportPublication Scheduled - AAIB Bulletin 10/2016
26 Jan 2016G-BUURBAE ATPAutopilot issue and subsequent elevator control problems on approach to Guernsey AirportPublished - AAIB Bulletin 9/2016
29 Dec 2015G-BYRXWESTLAND SCOUT AH1Loss of control at about 30 ft near Barn Farm, Ruddington, NottinghamshireUnder investigation
14 Dec 2015G-LGNO*SAAB 2000Loss of control in flight near Sumburgh, Shetland IslesPublished - AAIB AAR 2/2016
14 Nov 2015N186CBPIPER PA 46-350PFatal accident at Buttles Farm, Churchinford, SomersetConsultation stage
06 Nov 2015G-LGNRSAAB 2000Reduction in aircraft controllability on departure from Manchester AirportConsultation stage
03 Oct 2015G-BYCPBEECH B200Fatal accident near Chigwell, EssexPublication Scheduled - AAIB Bulletin 10/2016
22 Aug 2015G-BXFI*HAWKER HUNTER T7Fatal accident near Shoreham Airport, SussexUnder investigation
17 Aug 2015OK-OKDPA 34 220TFatal accident at Newquay Airport, CornwallPublished - AAIB Bulletin 9/2016
31 Jul 2015HZ-IBNEMB505 Phenom 300Fatal accident at Blackbushe Airport, SurreyConsultation stage
06 Jul 2015YU-HETSA342 GazelleInadvertently became airborne and landed heavily at Stapleford Tawney Aerodrome, EssexConsultation stage
*formal investigation

Current status

Under investigation – the investigation is underway and includes the drafting of the report prior to consultation.

Consultation stage - when an investigation is largely complete and a confidential draft report has been sent out for consultation under Regulation 12(1) and EU Regulation 996/2010 Article 16. The consultation process includes the time taken to consider representations and amend the draft report prior to publication

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Thursday, 22 September 2016


Travelopia brands up for sale....

Europe's biggest tour operator TUI  has picked advisers to launch the sale of specialist holiday arm Travelopia in a deal potentially worth 500-600 million euros ($557-$669 million).

TUI has (according to Reuters) instructed Citigroup to find a buyer for Travelopia, which comprises over 50 brands offering specialist luxury, adventure and education holidays. Travelopia contains brands such as Hayes & Jarvis, which focuses on luxury holidays, adventure company Exodus and polar expeditions company Quark.

TUI confirmed the mandate, while Citi declined to comment.
The auction, in which the business will be marketed to private equity groups as well as some other specialist travel groups, is set to start in the coming weeks, insiders added.

TUI previously said it planned to start marketing Travelopia in the autumn and the unit's head was quoted last week by Travel Weekly as saying he hoped to close a deal in early 2017. The unit has annual revenue of 1.5 billion euros and earnings before interest, tax and amortization of 48 million euros.

Market sources expect TUI to ask for bids valuing the business at 10-12 times forecast core earnings of about 50 million euros.

TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen has said the group is selling because the specialist brands don't use the TUI brand, IT, hotels, cruise ships or planes, meaning the opportunities for mutual savings and benefits are limited.  TUI will keep hold of the Crystal Ski and Thomson Lakes & Mountains brands, which help to fill its planes in the winter season.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Lufthansa Group and Air China have signed a full Star Alliance code share partnership agreement in Beijing

Lufthansa Group and Air China have signed a partnership agreement in Beijing (September 20, 2016) which enables them 'to jointly operate all connections between Europe and China as part of a commercial joint venture.' The arrangement will debut in time for the start of 2017 summer flight timetable, and to significantly expand mutual code-sharing connections, and a closer commercial partnership.

Julian Bray Aviation expert comments: This is a huge coup for Lufthansa Group, Star Alliance and Air China and substantially and very rapidly increases product offer and guaranteed market share for all partners, and seamless feeder and connection code sharing on a biblical scale. Many rivals will be wondering why they overlooked or missed this rapid expansion portal. Expect some miffed airline marketing directors to be looking for new jobs...

Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “The Chinese aviation market is one of the most important growth markets worldwide. We want to profit from this growth together with our Star Alliance partner Air China.”

Cai Jianjiang, Chairman of Air China, stated: “Under the Joint Venture framework, we'll further expand network coverage in China and Europe, enhance the flight connections in beyond markets and optimize flight schedules, enabling us to bring more and flexible flight choices ands favourable fare products.

The expanded code-share connections will enable Air China’s customers to travel on more code-sharing routes to/from various destinations in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland via the Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Vienna hubs. In turn, Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will gain access via Air China to additional routes in China, the second-biggest aviation market in the world. Further destinations are set to be added soon as part of code-sharing. 

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

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