Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport operational disruptions were caused by a severe power outage that occurred on Sunday morning 1 January 2023. At around 9:50 a.m. local time, a blower for the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) began breaking down. At this time, the backup UPS also failed to come online, which resulted in the internet, radios, radars, and other communication channels shutting down. Because of this, the airport’s Air Traffic Management Center was forced to suspend operations. Just after noon, some power was able to be restored. However, due to a following power surge, several critical very small aperture terminals (VSATs) were broken.
As a result of this power outage and the Air Traffic Management Center suspending operations, 282 flights were impacted. Some were delayed, some canceled, and several inbound flights were forced to divert to other airports. For example, Qantas Flight #19 departed Sydney, Australia, bound for Manila at just after noon local time on Jan. 1. However, three hours into the flight, it was forced to turn around and fly back to Australia as a result of the air traffic control shut down. By that afternoon, all airlines were restricted from landing in Manila.
To make matters worse, as a result of these disruptions, no aircraft could even use the airspace above the Philippines. This meant several flights that were currently en route were forced to deviate from their flight plans and take an alternative course.
On New Year’s Day alone, 56,000 passengers were impacted by the power outage. By late afternoon, several flights were able to arrive and depart from Manila, but many have criticized the Philippines’ air traffic control technology and questioned how something like this could happen.
Jaime Bautista, the Secretary of Transportation for the Philippines, explained that he too was frustrated by the power outages and unhappy with the current technology the country’s air traffic control system uses, saying, “This was an air traffic management system issue. If you will compare with Singapore’s, for one, there is a big difference—they are at least 10 years ahead of us.”
Fixing the issues with the Philippines’ outdated air traffic control system would be a complex and costly task that could take years to fully implement. In fact, by the time the current system was fully in place, it was already outdated due to delays in the rollout of the technology. In the meantime, the transportation department has worked with the airlines to get passengers food and accommodations. Future investigations into this problem and the entire air traffic control system are likely to follow in the near future.
With traveler numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels, airports are navigating their way through an increasing surge of eager travelers. While the return to travel is a sigh of relief for many, travel over the holidays remains a stressful thought for some. To help travelers prepare for a busy holiday season, InsureMyTrip identified the worst performing airports in the U.S. by looking at data collected from 2019-2021 encompassing various negative factors.
Ted Stevens Anchorage International
Newark Liberty International
Palm Beach International
West Palm Beach
Luis Munoz Marin International
El Paso International
San Francisco International
Fort Laurderdale-Hollywood International
Gerald R. Ford International
The Worst Performing Airports Overall
Statistically, these are America’s worst airports for delays, cancellations, and diversions.
Ted Stevens Anchorage International in Alaska performed the worst overall, with a 27.15% chance of delay. System delays, with an 8.32% chance of causing delay, and late aircraft arrivals with a 7.06% chance of causing delay, appear to be this airport’s downfall.
Newark Liberty International in New Jersey grasped 2nd place, with an overall average of 23.55% chance of delay. It has a 12% chance of a system delay which is around 4% more likely to hold you up in comparison to Anchorage International, which has an average system delay of 8%.
Air carrier delays present a challenge for all airports, as this may cause a hold-up when preparing for boarding. Luis Munoz Marin International in Puerto Rico and El Paso International in Texas led this category, with 10.27% and 9.05% respectively, potentially signifying issues regarding staff.
The Best Performing Airports Overall
For travelers looking for the top performers, these airports can be considered the best as a result of less delayed, cancelled, or diverted flights.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International in Georgia has been crowned the best or most efficient airport with a 14.39% chance of experiencing any issues. They boast a tiny 0.04% possibility of being diverted or delayed due to security problems on average.
BWI Marshall in Maryland is awarded least likely to sustain weather difficulties, recording just a 0.12% chance of weather-related delays on average. Narrowly beating Chicago Midway International in Illinois and George Bush Intercontinental in Texas, which both had an average weather delay of 0.14%.
Alternatively, Hawaii’s Kahului International, at 2.8% and Daniel K Inouye International, at 3.4%, held 2 of the 3 lowest percentages for late aircraft arrivals, proving to be well organized despite high levels of tourist traffic.
Worst Air Carrier Delays
These airports average the most delays due to the operating airline preparations.
Across the three years presented it is clear to see a contrast in results, best explained by the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 presents a decrease in delays, potentially due to the decrease in overall flights. However, 2021’s influx of holidays and business travel has pushed these airports to the brink.
Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International endured the most air carrier delays across the three years, recently jumping from 6% in 2020 to a whopping 14.6% last year. This airport also sustained the largest decrease from 2019-2020, suggesting the pandemic severely halted Puerto Rico’s tourism industry.
Despite this, Tucson International in Arizona appeared to take pride in delivering consistently poor service, fluctuating the least of all the airports on this list throughout the three-year period with an overall average of 7.7%.
System Delays between 2019-2021
System delays are identified by being within the control of the National Airspace System (NAS), this includes operations, traffic volume, and traffic control. The airports listed show an overall percentage alongside another three-year comparison.
Newark Liberty International dominates this sector, with 12.2%. However, the real standout lies in 3rd place. In 2021 Nashville International held 19.3% (2019) but has since dropped to 2.96% (2021) despite all flights reopening. This indicates huge improvements as the number of flights put on was just 230 less in 2021 with 11,192, than in 2019 with 11,422.
Both New York airports; John F. Kennedy International, with 5.53%, and LaGuardia, with 6.65%, appear in this list, possibly due to the heavy amounts of traffic the city receives. Nevertheless, an area for improvement.
Late Aircraft Arrivals
This list identifies the airports with the most frequent number of previous flights arriving late, causing the present flight to depart late.
The top 10 list only differentiates 1.01%, with a 4.3% difference across all data gathered, the tightest of all the data sets.
As previously mentioned, Anchorage performed the worst in this category with 7.06% of delays caused by late aircraft arrivals. Next is Hollywood Burbank with 7.02% and El Paso International with 6.96%.
What do Hollywood Burbank (7.02%), Sacramento International (6.96%), Mineta San Jose International Airport (6.33%) and Metropolitan Oakland International (6.27%) all have in common? They are all in California, with 4 out of the 10 worst performing airports, California, is the worst state for aircraft arriving late.
Ted Steven’s Anchorage International was named the worst performing airport overall. System delays and late aircraft arrivals were identified as the airport’s weakest aspects.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International was crowned the best performing, scoring as low as 0.04% in diversions and security delays.
Whilst acknowledging the pandemics’ influence the data still presented valuable insights, as already this year we’ve seen major issues with airports struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels of travelers.
The first is how the contextual impacts on tourism have potentially led to difficulties surrounding delays. Specifically, Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International is enduring a large increase in air carrier delays. Though it can be noted Tucson International remained consistently poor across the three-year period.
Nashville International in Tennessee seized the spotlight regarding system delays, having decreased by 16.3% throughout 2019-2021. Signifying either major improvements or a decrease in tourism.
Lastly, the late aircraft arrival list presents a minimal differentiation across 1st to 10th place, with airports within California standing out with some of the highest delays.
InsureMyTrip gathered data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics over November and December for 2019, 2020 and 2021. An overall percentage was then gathered, taking the overall percentage from each year and dividing it by the number of years.
An average was also created from the three biggest reasons for flights to be delayed or canceled.
Korean Air says jet overran runway in Philippines, no injuries reported
A Korean Air Lines Co Ltd (003490.KS) jet with 173 people on board overshot the runway at Cebu International Airport in the Philippines late on Sunday, the airline said, adding that there were no injuries and all passengers had evacuated safely.
The Airbus SE (AIR.PA) A330 widebody flying from Seoul to Cebu had tried twice to land in poor weather before it overran the runway on the third attempt at 23:07 (1507 GMT), Korean Air said in a statement on Monday.
“Passengers have been escorted to three local hotels and an alternative flight is being arranged,” the airline said of flight KE361. “We are currently identifying the cause of the incident.”
Video from the scene verified by Reuters showed widespread damage to the plane. The nose landing gear appeared to have collapsed.
Korean Air President Keehong Woo issued an apology on the airline’s website, saying a thorough investigation would be carried out by Philippine and South Korean authorities to determine the cause.
“We remain committed to standing behind our promise of safe operations and will do our very best to institute measures to prevent its recurrence,” Woo said.
The A330-300 jet involved in the accident was delivered new to Korean Air in 1998, according to flight tracking website FlightRadar24, which said that other flights to Cebu had diverted to other airports or returned to their origin.
The Cebu airport said on its Facebook page that it had temporarily closed the runway to allow for the removal of the plane, meaning all domestic and international flights were cancelled until further notice.
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Korean Air has not had a fatal passenger crash since 1997, according to Aviation Safety Network, a website that compiles aviation accidents.
The airline had a poor safety record at that time but sought outside help from Boeing Co (BA.N) and Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) to improve its standards.
“Booking channels and other applications have been significantly disrupted since yesterday,” it said in an official notice lodged with the London Stock Exchange.
The hackers, calling themselves TeaPea, contacted the BBC on the encrypted messaging app, Telegram, providing screenshots as evidence that they had carried out the hack.
The images, which IHG has confirmed are genuine, show they gained access to the company’s internal Outlook emails, Microsoft Teams chats and server directories.
“Our attack was originally planned to be a ransomware but the company’s IT team kept isolating servers before we had a chance to deploy it, so we thought to have some funny [sic]. We did a wiper attack instead,” one of the hackers said.
A wiper attack is a form of cyber-attack that irreversibly destroys data, documents and files.
Cyber-security specialist Rik Ferguson, vice-president of security at Forescout, said the incident was a cautionary tale as, even though the company’s IT team initially found a way to fend them off, the hackers were still able to find a way to inflict damage.
“The hackers’ change of tactic seems born out of vindictive frustration,” he said. “They couldn’t make money so they lashed out, and that absolutely betrays the fact that we are not talking about ‘professional’ cybercriminals here.”
IHG says customer-facing systems are returning to normal but that services may remain intermittent.
The hackers are showing no remorse about the disruption they have caused the company and its customers.
“We don’t feel guilty, really. We prefer to have a legal job here in Vietnam but the wage is average $300 per month. I’m sure our hack won’t hurt the company a lot.”
The hackers say no customer data was stolen but they do have some corporate data, including email records.
TeaPea say they gained access to IHG’s internal IT network by tricking an employee into downloading a malicious piece of software through a booby-trapped email attachment.
They also had to bypass an additional security prompt message sent to the worker’s devices as part of a two-factor authentication system.
The criminals then say they accessed the most sensitive parts of IHG’s computer system after finding login details for the company’s internal password vault.
“The username and password to the vault was available to all employees, so 200,000 staff could see. And the password was extremely weak,” they told the BBC.
Surprisingly, the password was Qwerty1234, which regularly appears on lists of most commonly used passwords worldwide.
“Sensitive data should only be available to employees who need access to that data to do their job, and they should have the minimum level of access [needed] to use that data,” said Mr Ferguson, after seeing the screenshots.
“Even a highly complex password is just as insecure as a simple one if it is left exposed.”
An IHG spokeswoman disputed that the password vault details were not secure, saying that the attacker had to evade “multiple layers of security”, but would not give details about the extra security.
“IHG employs a defence-in-depth strategy to information security that leverages many modern security solutions,” she added.
INCIDENT Two French fighter jets were scrambled over France after a A330’s captain apparently fell asleep
Two fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the plane and urgent messages sent between Paris and Rome when the captain failed to respond for 10 minutes.
A pilot triggered a terrorist alert over French airspace after falling asleep in the cockpit of a passenger jet for 10 minutes, it has emerged.
The co-pilot was also sleeping, but was taking an authorised nap within the context of a “controlled rest” period. The captain of the jet was the only one at fault, having fallen asleep accidentally during this time.
The Italian pilot and co-pilot were flying an ITA Airways Airbus A330 flight from New York to Rome on April 30 when the incident occurred, leading the plane to remain silent for 10 minutes while flying over French airspace.
This sparked concern with the French authorities, who warned Italian authorities that the Airbus A330 could be hostage to terrorist hijackers.
French authorities scrambled two fighter jets to intercept the Airbus A330 and check that it was not subject to a hostage situation.
Italian authorities then contacted ITA Airways’ central command centre, which also tried to contact the pilots, firstly through a satellite phone and then through ACARS messages. After 10 minutes, the communication finally got through.
ITA Airways has reported that both the captain and the co-pilot were both asleep for a short time, although only the captain fell asleep accidentally.
The captain has now been fired for committing “a grave error”. He denies having fallen asleep and instead said that the silence was due to problems with the communication system.
Davide D’Amico, ITA Airways spokesperson, said that the plane’s passengers were never in danger at any point as the plane’s automatic pilot system was in place. The plane never diverted from its planned flight route during the entire incident.
Pilots of Air France #AF11 reported their Boeing 777 didn’t react to commands on final approach to Paris CDG
Pilots of AF11 had a serious issue with commands on final approach to Paris.
The crew of AF11 from New York JFK to Paris CDG had to deal a serious issue at very low altitude this morning Tuesday 5 March 2022.
UPDATE The BEA opens a safety investigation regarding Air France #AF11 Boeing 777-300 incident yesterday, CVR and FDR data are currently analyzed.
The Boeing 777 (reg. F-GSQJ) was on approach to runway 26L when the crew reported an issue.
The plane didn’t respond to the commands and started to deviate to its left. Pilots could not talk to the ATC as they were dealing with the issue. We can hear them fighting with the commands in the following video.
They finally managed to go around at only 1,200 ft then hold 4,000ft and returned to Paris CDG for a safe landing on runway 27R.
Thousands of Russians scramble to leave Thailand as sanctions hit
More than 5,000 Russian tourists have found themselves stranded in Thailand, as international sanctions following the war in Ukraine hit worried holidaymakers.
Thousands of Russian tourists in Thailand are struggling to find a route home, officials said Sunday, as international sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine hit holidaymakers.
Russia’s invasion in February provoked a host of international measures targeting businesses and banks, with some Russian carriers cancelling flights and global payment firms suspending services.
Russians tourists have been among the largest group of visitors to return to Thailand’s beachside resorts since pandemic restrictions eased, but many now find themselves without a return ticket.
Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, the deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said 3,100 Russians were stuck in Phuket, while just over 2,000 were in Samui, and smaller numbers were in Krabi, Phangnga and Bangkok.
The agency was working on helping those who wanted to return home, he said, including “discussion on return flights which could be regular or special flights”.
Russian tourist and mother-of-three Evgenia Gozorskaia said her family discovered their return Aeroflot tickets had been cancelled.
“We are very nervous because the children are very small, we don’t have enough money to live here,” said the 41-year-old psychologist who arrived from Moscow with her husband and children — aged seven, four and two — on Feb 27.
“We want to go tomorrow to the airport, but I don’t know what the situation will be,” she said from Phuket, adding that they were supposed to fly home March 28.
She said while some people had their tickets replaced others — including her family — had not been so lucky.
“They say that they cannot do it and put the phone off,” she said.
While Thailand has not banned Russian flights, international airspace restrictions have seen some firms — such as Russia’s flagship Aeroflot — cancelling services, leaving tourists to seek alternative routes, such as through the Middle East with different carriers.
Many tourists have also been hit by Visa and Mastercard suspending operations.
“We have seen instances of difficulty in card payments by Russians in Phuket due to how Mastercard and Visa have suspended services in Russia,” said Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association.
He said officials were considering adopting the Mir system — a Russian electronic fund transfer structure — as well as digital currencies.
Local communities across Thailand were also stepping in.
“We will pay for water, electric, everything for them,” said Archimandrite Oleg, representative of the Orthodox Church in Thailand, who said they were helping at least one family with four children stranded in Koh Samui.
Pandemic travel curbs have hammered the kingdom’s tourism-dominated economy, but 2022 saw a surge of visitors as restrictions eased.
Around 23,000 Russians travelled to Thailand in January this year, according to the TAT.
Tourists from Russia previously accounted for the seventh-largest share of visitors to the kingdom, with around 1.5 million travelling to Thailand in 2019.
While Bangkok has backed a United Nations resolution calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, it has stopped short of imposing sanctions.
Incident: TAAG B737 at Maputo on Feb 9th 2022, rejected takeoff due to bee in pitot tube
A TAAG Angola Airlines Boeing 737-700, registration D2-TBJ performing flight DT-582 from Maputo (Mozambique) to Luanda (Angola), was accelerating for takeoff from Maputo’s runway 05 when the crew rejected takeoff at about 80 KIAS due to an airspeed disagree between captain’s and first officer’s instruments. The aircraft slowed safely and returned to the apron.
The airline reported a bee was found in one of the pitot tubes forcing the crew to reject takeoff. The passengers disembarked and were taken to a hotel. The aircraft was handed to maintenance to return it into an airworthy condition and was returned to service.
The aircraft departed again the following day after about 28 hours on the ground and reached Luanda with a delay of 28:15 hours.
A pitot tube, also known as pitot probe, is a flow measurement device used to measure fluid flow velocity.
Air Asia’s slogan “Now Everyone Can Fly” took a new dimension on Air Asia flight AK-5748 when a snake appeared on the flight.
On 10 February 2022, an Air Asia Airbus A320-200, registration 9M-RAN performing flight AK-5748 from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Tawau (TWU) in Malaysia, was enroute at FL330 over the South China Sea about 250nm westnorthwest of Kuching (Malaysia) when a snake appeared in the overhead lockers in the passenger cabin. The crew diverted the aircraft to Kuching for a safe landing about 45 minutes later.
A replacement A320-200N continued the flight and reached Tawau with a delay of about 5:50 hours.
The occurrence aircraft was still on the ground in Kuching about 28 hours after landing.
Video posted on YouTube shows the outline of a small snake in the structure of the overhead lockers, above passenger heads.
The Airbus A320-216(WL), with tail number 9M-RAN was put it to service in May 2019 and belongs to lessor Castlelake.