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Old August 12th, 2005, 03:10 AM   #1
Luka
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BA grounds flights until Friday

British Airways has cancelled all flights in and out of Heathrow until Friday evening because of unofficial strike action by ground staff.
Some 70,000 passengers, many of them stranded, will be prevented from travelling until 1800 BST.
BA grounded all flights after hundreds of baggage handlers, ground staff and loaders took unofficial action in support of 600 sacked catering staff.
A further five airlines have been affected by the disruption.
These are Sri Lankan Airlines, Finnair, GB Airlines, British Mediterranean Airlines and Qantas, which are also serviced by BA ground staff.
Earlier talks with the Transport and General Workers Union aimed at reinstating 600 sacked staff from the caterers that serve BA flights, Gate Gourmet, broke down without agreement.
BA chief executive Rod Eddington apologised to passengers and called for more talks to begin urgently between the TGWU and Gate Gourmet.
The catering firm said the door was open, but the union said it could not see a way forward.
Sir Rod said BA was forced to cancel so many flights because it did not have "sufficient airport staff to operate flights into or out of Heathrow

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Old August 12th, 2005, 10:42 AM   #2
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I just heard on BBC, complete chaos at Heathrow.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 05:47 AM   #3
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British Airways' London Heathrow services facing days of disruption

LONDON, Aug 13 (AFP) - British Airways was facing another day of chaos Saturday as it began to restore flights at London Heathrow airport following strike action which left tens of thousands of passengers stranded.

BA ran its first flight in over 24 hours from the world's busiest international airport late Friday after a wildcat strike paralysed services.

The airline said half its short-haul flights for Saturday in and out of Heathrow and a quarter of its long-haul flights had been scrapped as operations slowly returned to normal.

Flights from Australia, South Africa, India and the United States were due to arrive Saturday morning after being delayed from August 11.

BA geared up to clearing a massive backlog of flights that could take days to complete.

"The airline faces a complex logistical challenge with at least 100 aircraft and 1,000 flying crew out of position. As a result it will take some time to return to a normal flying programme," BA said in a statement.

"We plan to operate up to 50 percent of our short-haul and 75 percent of our long-haul services in to and out of London Heathrow on Saturday.

"We recognise how frustrating this must be but we are working as hard as we can to get customers away."

A flight to Paris, the first of 31 departures the company pledged to operate late Friday, took off just before 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) with a full load, BA said.

Hordes of other passengers were left behind, queuing for food, drink and blankets at makeshift snack corners set up in the airport's departure lounges, and looked for ways to modify their flight arrangements.

More than 500 BA flights had to be scrapped from Thursday afternoon onwards after 1,000 baggage handlers, cargo loaders and drivers walked out in sympathy with sacked workers at the catering firm that prepares its in-flight meals.

The company's staff in the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) started to return to work on Friday after a walkout in support of sacked employees of Gate Gourmet, BA's catering supplier at Heathrow.

The breakthrough followed an agreement by Gate Gourmet managers to meet officials from the TGWU to try to resolve the row.

Talks between the union and Gate Gourmet were to resume Saturday at 10:30 am (0930 GMT). A TGWU spokesman said Friday's discussions had been "useful".

Across Heathrow departure lounges, thousands of passengers continued an unbroken vigil for alternative travel arrangements.

"It's going to take an awful long time to get things back to normal," a BA customer services official said. "There are planes still on the tarmac which need to be unloaded, and food on board that needs to be dealt with, and that's going to take a long time."

Australian carrier Qantas, Finnair and Sri Lankan Airways, which use the same baggage handlers, also felt the blow.

Mercedez Alvarez, a 45-year-old corporate communications officer from the United States, was not amused.

"I'm never going to Heathrow again," she fumed, lugging a massive suitcase.

Inside Heathrow's terminals, staff distributed fold-up chairs, bottles of water and sandwiches to stranded, bewildered and angry travellers.

Keen to stop their disgruntled passengers from starving, staff set up makeshift snack corners where they handed out packed lunch boxes containing biscuits, pate, cake, fruit juice and water. Bored children were also given entertainment packs containing a comic, yoyo and a pencil.

The chaos stemmed from the sacking of up to 800 workers from Gate Gourmet International, an in-flight catering firm owned by US private equity group Texas Pacific that makes 80,000 meals a day for British Airways, its biggest Heathrow client.

Gate Gourmet, once a part of failed Swiss carrier Swissair, and which has been trying to restructure in a bid to cut its financial losses, dismissed the workers on Wednesday after an unofficial stoppage over the casual employment of 130 seasonal workers.

But the TGWU, one of the biggest unions in Britain, accused management of acting in a "disgraceful" fashion and urged BA to put pressure on it.

Henk Potts, an analyst at Barclays Stockbrokers, said the dispute could cost BA 10 million pounds (14.6 million euros, 18.1 million dollars) a day, at a time when it is grappling with soaring fuel prices.

BA is among the world's most profitable airlines after clearing 415 million pounds last year, thanks in part to job reductions and abandoning of money-losing routes.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 05:49 AM   #4
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2,000 Hongkongers stuck
13 August 2005
South China Morning Post

Nearly 2,000 Hong Kong residents had been left stranded in Hong Kong and London by the British Airways strike yesterday.

The airline cancelled three London-bound flights and three Hong Kong-bound flights. A Qantas flight from Hong Kong to Sydney which was due to fly tomorrow has also been cancelled.

Affected passengers can rebook their flight or ask for a refund. Local travel agents and Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yiu-chung said no Hong Kong tours were stranded. Affected passengers can call British Airways on 22617280 or 28229000 from 9am to 5pm today and tomorrow.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 05:49 AM   #5
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Strike leaves 2000 Aussies stranded at Heathrow
13 August 2005
The Australian

LONDON: Up to 2000 Australia-bound passengers have been stranded in London after industrial action grounded flights at Heathrow airport.

Up to 70,000 passengers have been prevented from travelling following the walkout of 1000 catering staff at Heathrow.

The industrial action is in support of 800 workers fired on Wednesday by the US Gate Gourmet catering firm.

British Airways had to cancel all flights into and out of Heathrow until at least 6pm (3am Saturday AEST).

Some long-haul flights into Heathrow have been diverted to alternative British airports while others have been cancelled.

A Qantas spokeswoman said QF2 and QF10, both scheduled to depart Heathrow about 10pm local time on Thursday, had been grounded at least until today.

QF2 had been scheduled to land in Sydney at 6.05am today, QF10 at Melbourne at 4.45am.

Up to 800 passengers could be affected, the spokeswoman said.

At this stage there was no indication when the flights would leave, she said.

However, all Heathrow-bound departures were to go ahead as scheduled, she said.

"At the moment, our flights due to leave Sydney are not delayed."

A BA spokeswoman said two flights bound for Sydney and one bound for Melbourne were among its 121 cancelled departures.

Up to 1200 Australia-bound BA customers could be affected by the disruption at Heathrow, she said.

A spokeswoman for Sydney airport said there had been no major delays to international flights yesterday.

However, if the dispute lasted more than 24 hours, Australian services could expect flow-on disruptions.

Three flights from Heathrow to Melbourne were expected to be delayed as a result of the strike.

A spokeswoman for Melbourne airport said there was no indication that other airlines would be affected by the strike. Virgin Atlantic said it was working with BA to take on stranded passengers, and had waived ticket conditions for those affected.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 06:05 PM   #6
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BA works to clear backlog after crippling strike

LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - British Airways resumed more than 80 percent of its scheduled flights from London's Heathrow Airport on Saturday as staff struggled to clear the backlog from a wildcat strike during the peak summer holiday season.

A spokeswoman warned it would take several days to resume normal service however after the two-day strike grounded more than 110,000 passengers.

Some flights resumed late on Friday after being cancelled since Thursday but thousands of passengers remained stranded at the airport.

Marquees were erected outside two of the terminals to provide refreshments and somewhere to sleep while a spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said it had treated several people for exhaustion, stress and dehydration.

Mike Street, the airline's director of customer services and operations, said BA also faced a complex logistical challenge, with at least 100 aircraft and 1,000 flying crew in the wrong place.

"We are working as hard as we can to get customers away on their holidays," he said.

A spokesman for the airline said 85 percent of short-haul flights, some 170 departures, and 80 percent of long-haul or 60 flights were scheduled to leave Heathrow on Saturday.

"We now have visible signs of people moving through the airport and getting on planes and we're hoping to continue that," he said.

Around 1,000 BA staff walked out on Thursday in support of workers who were sacked at the company's catering supplier, Gate Gourmet. More than 700 flights have since been cancelled.

UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION

"We apologise unreservedly to our customers," BA said on its website. "This is an unprecedented situation."

The airline said only customers with confirmed reservations would be accepted into the airport for travel. Barriers were in place at Terminal 4 to prevent anyone without a reservation from entering.

Arbitrator ACAS has begun talks with the catering workers' union and Gate Gourmet, in a hotel near Heathrow. A spokesman for ACAS said he could not give any details on their progress.

Passengers who did get a BA flight out of Heathrow on Friday were given food parcels and vouchers before leaving due to the absence of on-board catering.

Around 100,000 passengers fly daily with BA during August, and about two thirds of its flights, excluding franchises, use Heathrow, the world's busiest international hub.

Several passengers told Reuters they were not angry with the situation, just tired and weary.

One passenger, Australian Glen Perryman, 25, was desperate to get home as his wife was due to give birth.

"My wife was due to give birth yesterday," he said. "I don't know what's happening. I could be a dad already. I just want to get out of here and get back home.

"I'm not angry though, because what can you do?"

Analysts said the cancellations could cost Europe's No. 3 airline tens of millions of pounds.

Shares in BA, already suffering from record oil prices and competition from low-cost carriers, fell as much as 2.5 percent in early trade on Friday. However, they recovered during the session and closed down 0.8 percent at 290 pence.

Unofficial strikes in 2003 cost BA around 40 million pounds ($72 million), and analysts said the firm was getting a reputation for letting customers down.

BA said it was too early to estimate the cost.

BA's relations with staff have been strained since the airline axed thousands of jobs in an industry downturn that followed the September 2001 attacks on the United States.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #7
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BA jet skidded off runway at Hannover

Yesterday,14.08.05,a plane of British Airways skidded off runway at Hannover Int. Airport (Germany) about 200 meters and stopped on a meadow.fortunately nobody of the 45 passengers was injured.they plane came from Birmingham.the cause is still not sure,but propably this accident happened because of heavy rain!
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Old August 15th, 2005, 07:31 PM   #8
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HUH? this is wierd, there have been a lot of plane crashes in the past week or so, first a plane crash in Italy, then a plane skidded off a runway in Toronto, then a plane crashed in Greece, now this. What's going on???
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Old August 15th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #9
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200m just like T.O.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 02:41 AM   #10
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yes,but fortunately there was no ditch!!
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Old August 16th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #11
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If Toronto had no "ditch," the result would most likely have been the airplane going onto the 401, causing numerous deaths.......
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Old August 16th, 2005, 04:24 AM   #12
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Actually the news stations and investigators clearly stated that the plane wouldn't have gone onto the 401. Surprising, yes, but false, no
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Old August 16th, 2005, 04:36 AM   #13
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weird....maybe aliens are messing with things!!
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Old August 16th, 2005, 05:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP!RE
Actually the news stations and investigators clearly stated that the plane wouldn't have gone onto the 401. Surprising, yes, but false, no
mite not have crashed into the 401 because the highway is parallel but the result would have been devastating, it is good that there was ditch
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Old August 16th, 2005, 05:37 AM   #15
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So many incidents with planes these days. Also add the skid that happened during the Mumbai rains and how two United planes' wings touched at O'Hare.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 05:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desven
yes,but fortunately there was no ditch!!
Yes, but perhaps Pilots should land at an acceptable measure from the threshold of the runway instead of being high and long. I have heard the Air France 340-300 (a plane not that much smaller than a 747) had landed 4000ft beyond the threshold of RWY 24L, instead of the preferable and necessary 1000ft. This gave him 5000ft of runway instead of the required 8000ft, totally unnaceptable for an Aircraft of that size.

For those pointing fingers at runway conditions. No airport in the world could guanantee a bare and wet runway surface with heavy rain and unpredictable wind patterns. The Pilot has access to Meteorological reports and is at the helm of one of the most sophisticated Aircraft in the world. He is ultimately responsible for the decision to land or not. If there was another reason that forced the Pilot to land, is currently unknown but will come up in the investigation.

There are many airports in the world where the same scenario, largely a jumbo jet landing high and long in less than ideal weather and overshooting the runway, would have met a similar or even more tragic fate.

Last edited by Rockefeller; August 16th, 2005 at 06:01 AM.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 03:31 PM   #17
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of course you're right!i never wanted to say that the Pearson Airport was guilty for that accident!
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Old October 10th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #18
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BA And AA To Possibly Merge...& BA A380's?

Interesting article.....looks like Walsh is really running in high gear....pssst..don't blame the messenger about this article (me)

and I doubt anything like this will happen, or if the article is even has any credibility to it..

"BA to forge new ties with American

Partnership could be first stage in eventual merger

Oliver Morgan, industrial editor
Sunday October 9, 2005
The Observer

Willie Walsh, who took over as chief executive of British Airways last week, wants to re-open talks with American Airlines, the US's biggest carrier, about forging a closer commercial partnership.

Walsh wants to deepen ties between BA and what he sees as the strongest US player by co-ordinating the airlines' pricing, scheduling and flight patterns. This could be the first step towards reviving the idea of a full merger between the two carriers.

American and BA, both members of the Oneworld airline alliance, have tried twice before to build closer ties but have been thwarted by US regulators on competition grounds.

The last attempt stalled in January 2002, when the US authorities demanded that BA and American surrender a total of 224 valuable take-off and landing slots at Heathrow in return for crucial immunity from anti-trust actions in the US."

this is the interesting part...looks like we're getting a bit of some mixed signals here rgarding BA getting some A380's

"However, he indicated that he was interested in the Airbus A380 superjumbo, although not as a replacement for the existing fleet. 'We have fifty-seven 747s and forty-three 777-300s. I don't see us getting fifty-seven A380s. It would probably be an aircraft that was additional to the fleet.'"

full article:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/busin...html?gusrc=rss

of course, BA has no 777-300's
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Old October 10th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #19
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I don't think the EU and/or the US Justice Department would let the largest European airline and the larges American airline even codeshare on flights, especially between NYC and Heathrow.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 11:39 PM   #20
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I doubt it, unless they gave a lot of their Heathrow gates up.
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