Crew Member Spills Hot Chocolate On Flight, 10-Year-Old Suffers Burns
NEW DELHI, Aug 18: Ordering a cup of hot chocolate on a flight turned into a traumatic experience for a 10-year-old after the beverage was accidentally spilled on her by a cabin crew member. The child allegedly suffered second-degree burns on her left leg.
The incident took place on an Air Vistara flight from Delhi to Frankfurt on August 11 and the family has alleged that the airline did not apologise or pay for the medical costs.
The airline has, however, clarified that its teams have been in touch with the family throughout, their return to India has been facilitated, and that all medical expenses will be borne by it.
Rachna Gupta, who was travelling on the flight to Frankfurt with her daughter, Tara, also claimed that they missed their connecting flight to Lisbon because of the incident. Ms Gupta said that while a paramedic administered immediate first aid to Tara and the airline arranged an ambulance for them, they didn't get an apology and had to foot the high medical costs.
"@airvistara air hostess causes 2nd degree burn to 10 year old on flight to Frankfurt.
An unfortunate accident poorly handled. Vistara hostess didn't apologize, captain or crew members didn't apologize," Ms Gupta posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"After basic first aid on flight my daughter and I were left in an ambulance to fend for ourselves (pay for ambulance / navigate the German medical emergency services ) in an unfamiliar environment. Our luggage had to be taken out by friend of a friend who made 3 trips to the airport and spent 4-5 hours pillar to post," she added.
Ms Gupta said she had to pay the ambulance bill of 503 Euros as well as the hospital bill. She said they missed their connecting flight and alleged that the airline did not make efforts to arrange an alternate flight for them. She claimed that the airline did get in touch with her, but only after her post.
In a detailed statement, Air Vistara clarified that they have already facilitated the mother and daughter's return to India and are reviewing their processes to ensure such situations are avoided in the future.
"We confirm an unfortunate incident occured onboard UK25 flying from Delhi to Frankfurt on 11 August, 2023, where a child sustained injuries due to spillage of hot beverage on the body. Our cabin crew had served hot chocolate to the child on the request of her parents, however, the hot water spilled on her since the child was playful during the service," the airline's statement said.
The airline said that the girl was given first-aid and support was sought from a paramedic onboard, who volunteered to assist until the flight landed in Frankfurt. Medical care was also ensured upon landing by arranging an ambulance for the child and sending her and her mother to a hospital, it said.
"Our teams have been in touch with the customer ever since. We have already facilitated their early return to India, arranged for ground transportation in Frankfurt, met them at the airport and extended extensive on-ground support. We have conveyed to the customer that all medical expenses arising from this incident will be reimbursed by us," said the statement.
Air Vistara reiterated that it continues to be in touch with family to provide any assistance that is needed.
"We are also reviewing and refining our processes, wherever required, to ensure such situations are avoided in the future. As always, safety and comfort of our customers is of utmost importance to us," it said.
'Terrifying' Experience For Passengers As US Plane Drops 15,000 Feet In 3 Minutes
GAINESVILLE (Florida), Aug 13: In a shocking incident, a Florida-bound plane of American Airlines dropped over 15,000 feet within three minutes, as per a report in Fox News. American Airlines Flight 5916 was headed to Gainesville, Florida from Charlotte, North Carolina, in the United States. The incident shook the passengers when the plane reported a "possible pressurisation issue".
Harrison Hove, a passenger on the flight and a professor at the University of Florida took to social media to narrate his ordeal. He said the incident was "terrifying" and "photos cannot capture the burning smell, loud bang or ear pops". In the pictures shared on X, oxygen masks are seen hanging in the plane with many passengers, including him, trying to breathe with its help. "I've flown a lot. This was scary. Kudos to our amazing flight crew- cabin staff and pilots on @AmericanAir 5916. The photos cannot capture the burning smell, loud bang or ear pops. Good to be on the ground," he said in the caption.
As per the data shared by FlightAware, the flight dropped almost 20,000 feet within 11 minutes. The plane descended 18,600 feet in less than six minutes after 43 minutes into the journey.
In another tweet, Hove said, "Something failed midflight and depressurized the cabin. The burning smell can apparently be attributed to using the oxygen canisters."
He stated that the "wing flaps came out to immediately lower our altitude so there would be more oxygen." He added, "It was terrifying but turned out ok."
American Airlines said in a statement to Fox News that the crew decided to safely descend at a lower altitude because of the pressurisation issue. "American Eagle flight 5916, operated by Piedmont Airlines, from Charlotte (CLT) to Gainesville, Florida (GNV) landed safely in GNV on Thursday, August 10. While in flight, the crew received an indication of a possible pressurisation issue and immediately and safely descended to a lower altitude. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience and thank our team for their professionalism," a spokesperson said.
Air India Unveils New Logo, 'The Vista', And Aircraft Livery
NEW DELHI, Aug 10: Air India today unveiled a new brand identity and new aircraft livery as the airline plans to transform its fleet with a historic purchase of 470 new aircraft.
The Tata-group-owned airline said the new logo, 'The Vista', "captures the essence of bold new India, which marks a milestone in its Vihaan.AI transformation."
Two Pilot Friends In US Break Aviation Record, Fly Across 48 States Sharing Borders
NEW YORK, July 8: A truly spectacular feat was done by two pilot buddies, who also set a world record as a result of their achievement.
According to the Guinness World Record, the fastest journey by plane through all 48 contiguous states is 1 day, 14 hours, and 13 minutes and was achieved by John Skittone and Robert Reynolds (both USA) from May 17 to 19, 2023.
The team decided to break this record for four reasons: personal accomplishment-while accomplishing a longstanding bucket list item to visit all 48 states in one trip; to promote general aviation; to demonstrate how easy it is to travel the country in a small aeroplane; and to encourage others to get out and see the world!
"So we just set a Guinness World Record for landing in all 48 of the lower contiguous states. We did it in 38 hours and 13 minutes," pilot John Skittone told TMJ4 News.
Skittone and Bob Reynolds flew their plane to every state in the lower 48, landed, and then quickly took off again.
"The shortest distance we spent between two states was probably about four minutes and that happened twice Nebraska and Iowa and Ohio and West Virginia," Skittone said.
This trip checked off a bucket list item for Skittone.
"You know, for me, it was personal. I have a bucket list. I wrote the bucket list about 15 years ago, and a lot of things on that list were aviation-related places I wanted to go, things that I wanted to see. Well, one of the things on that list - I wanted to visit all 48 states in the same trip," he said.
SpiceJet Is The Most Delayed Airline In India
NEW DELHI, July 4: Passengers on cash-strapped SpiceJet Ltd. are experiencing the most flight disruptions in India, the world's fastest-growing aviation market.
With the busy summer travel season arriving, only 61% of SpiceJet's flights departed on time from the country's four biggest airports - Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad - in May, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. That's down from the already trailing figure of nearly 70% in April, the agency's data showed.
SpiceJet, which is operating about 250 flights a day, isn't alone. Air India Ltd., the nation's second-largest carrier, slid to fifth from second in the punctuality ranks, with almost twice as many flight delays in May as a month earlier. Akasa Air, launched less than a year ago, was the most on-time, though its performance also slipped.
Frequent delays underscore the challenges of the post-pandemic boom in India's intensely competitive aviation market. Travel surges during the school holidays in May and June, and carriers struggled to keep pace. Demand for some routes was higher than normal after the insolvent Go Airlines India Ltd. stopped selling tickets in May, placing a greater burden on the country's flight networks.
Domestic passenger traffic climbed 15% to 13.2 million in May from the month earlier. The airlines, meanwhile, are dealing with shortages of workers and planes after both were sidelined during the pandemic. A global issue with Pratt & Whitney engines is adding to the tension by grounding dozens of planes that normally serve the Indian market.
"There is a huge pressure on airlines to expand services," said Harsh Vardhan, chairman of New Delhi-based Starair Consulting. "The traffic has suddenly come back with a vengeance. But airlines are still in the process of streamlining operations."
The weather also isn't helping, and social media is awash with complaints.
Some 350 Air India passengers en route to New Delhi from London spent hours stranded in Jaipur at the end of June. The airline's pilot timed out after clocking the maximum work hours allowed while waiting for the Indian capital's weather to clear. A SpiceJet flight from Pune to Dubai departed 10 hours late. A school teacher in Bengaluru missed her uncle's funeral when an AirAsia India flight was delayed.
For SpiceJet, deteriorating punctuality comes hand-in-hand with financial challenges. It hasn't made money for four years, losing $40 billion over that period, and has delayed releasing its latest fiscal year results. More than two dozen of the budget carrier's aircraft were grounded at the end of May, when its market share plunged to 5.4% from 7.3% at the start of the year.
SpiceJet is "striving hard to continuously improve performance on all aspects, including our on-time performance," a spokesperson said.
It's not universally bad across India, which is experiencing fewer flight delays than other top aviation markets. Some 15% of flight departures were delayed from January through June 20, compared with 30% in the UK and 20% in the US, according to data obtained from FlightAware.
There are signs of improvement as airlines add staff and capacity. Market leader IndiGo, which placed a record order for 500 Airbus SE jets in June, plans to hire 5,000 workers in fiscal 2024. Air India will recruit more than 4,200 cabin crew and 900 pilots as it gears up for a fleet expansion, following its order of 470 Airbus and Boeing Co. jets. SpiceJet aims to introduce 10 additional Boeing 737 jets that it has leased by October.
It will take time for those efforts to pay off. In the meantime, the summer season is exacerbating supply woes.
The sudden spike in demand often prompts carriers to put backup jets into service, leaving fewer in reserve in the event of complications. And planes are prone to wear and tear in hot temperatures. The result can be last-minute flight delays that might otherwise have been averted, Vardhan said.
"All these factors are cumulatively adding to the problem, and last-minute flight delays are becoming acute," Vardhan said.
Things should be better next year, he said.