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Flights Interrupted By War/Invasion  
User currently offlineLatinTraveller From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3045 times:

What's going on guys?

Well, I am a B.I.G. Wikipedia bluff. Tonight, I ran across Kuwait and read about the 1990-1991 Iraqi occupation. One of the things that captured my attention is the fact that it was a surprise attack.

I'm pretty sure that there were flights flying to and from KWI at the time. So my question is this: What happened to those flights? Did they actually continue on or divert? Return to the departure city? What kind of announcement would the passengers receive on board?

And this doesn't just apply to this particular scenario. I would like to hear about every type: EL AL flights to Iran in 1979, Lebanese Civil War, etc.


All replies appreciated!!!

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1376 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3025 times:

I suppose the best "in our time" example is 9/11, where the whole American airspace was closed down.


I can imagine that the outbreak of WWII, sep 1, 1939 also caused for at least a few cancellations. Though then the war was kinda expected and I do believe quite some commercial airlines had already been grounded or were flying for the military.

I wonder if there's a refund policy for flights being canceled due to the outbreak of hostilities  Smile



I love my Airport Job! :)
User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2762 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3019 times:

Re Kuwait war: wasn't it there that a BA B747 stranded due to the war activities?

Re Lebanon: I was on a flight from LHR to Damascus on July 15th 2006 (don't know how to call this war that took place between Israel and Lebanon). BA cancelled the flight to Damascus and stopped at Ammann, from where they were so kind to arrange a trip by taxi to Damascus. At that time they were afraid that the war activities could involve Syria, too. Well that's at least what they said.


User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2957 times:

Talk about times to look for an alternative airport FAST!

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently onlineGCT64 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 1416 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2888 times:



Quoting N14AZ (Reply 2):
Re Kuwait war: wasn't it there that a BA B747 stranded due to the war activities?

G-AWND was destroyed (not stranded) in Kuwait when it landed 4 hours AFTER the Iraqi invasion had started.
There have been many conspiracy theories related to this flight - mainly involving stories about SAS soldiers.



Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A388,BA11,BU31,B190, B461,B462,(..51 types..),VC10,WESX
User currently offlineUPPERDECKFAN From Spain, joined Jun 2007, 992 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2696 times:



Quoting GCT64 (Reply 4):
G-AWND was destroyed (not stranded) in Kuwait when it landed 4 hours AFTER the Iraqi invasion had started.
There have been many conspiracy theories related to this flight - mainly involving stories about SAS soldiers.

What happened to that BA crew and the one suppose to cover the upcoming flight back to London? How did they get out?



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User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2676 times:

All of the passengers and crew were held by Iraq until Saddam Hussein made one of his "humanitarian gestures" and released many of the passengers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_149

There's even a picture of the destroyed 747.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2628 times:

In 1983 I spent several months at the Beirut Airport, with a lot of USMC grunts - 200+ of which left in transfer cases.

MEA was trying to maintain some kind of air service at the airport and we never really knew if they were coming in or not.

The day I and the rest of my team left, there was artillery falling on the airport property the evening before.

We were assured the flight to Heathrow would fly that day, but nearing arrival time of the 707 from the Gulf - don't know from which airport - more incoming artillery. The plane went in to Larnaca, Cyprus. They brought the plane back to Beirut, where the on ground turnaround was about 10-15 minutes before we were off to London.

They bussed us departing pax out to near the intersection of the runways/ displaced threshold while the plane was on short final. We saw the plane rollout and stop near us. They got the arriving pax off, put us on, turned and took off. The engines never shut down. The plane landed on Rwy 18 and took off on Rwy 36. It did not taxi, just made the single 180 turn.

They even loaded bags for the departing pax, I assume they unloaded the bags of arriving pax.

MEA was using Larnaca as their base - the refuel there was planned because not only were they not going to keep the plane on the ground long enough to refuel in Beirut, there was not fuel available.

That's about the extreme of flying in a war zone, though a local country airline operated in Vietnam throughout that war. US troops were brought into and taken out of country at Saigon via commercial charter aircraft.

Quoting LatinTraveller (Thread starter):
What happened to those flights? Did they actually continue on or divert? Return to the departure city? What kind of announcement would the passengers receive on board?

If there is any way possible, a pilot is not going to land an aircraft near active fighting. One of his responsibilities besides the safety of the passengers is the safety of the aircraft itself.

I don't have any references handy, but there have been many stories of pilots starting to set down in Africa, seeing armed men and executing a missed approach - and diverting.


User currently offlineLatinTraveller From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2512 times:

Thanks guys. Besides the BA flight in KWI, are there any other reports or sources when I can read about some of these stories?

-Thanks


User currently offlineElmoTheHobo From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

During the most recent Iraq War, BA routed a number of it flights to the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia and Kuwait IIRC through Larnaca, CY.

The security situtation in Saudi Arabia, though not a war, led to BA routing its flights to Jeddah and Riyadh through Kuwait on the return sector. Eventually, BA decided that they could no longer justify the cost of their Saudi services (which I would imagine were an absolute gold mine) and dropped them.

Quoting LatinTraveller (Thread starter):
One of the things that captured my attention is the fact that it was a surprise attack.

Surprise? I wouldn't go that far, the Ba'ath had been bumbling on about this since they came to power, and nationalist parties before the Ba'ath saw Kuwait as an Iraqi province. Post 1988, Iraq and Kuwait were at each other's throats and Kuwait had been egging Iraq on the lead up to the invasion. It was a matter of when and not if around the time of the invasion. The British knew it, which is why they were sending intelligence officers to Kuwait.


User currently offlineLatinTraveller From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2445 times:



Quoting ElmoTheHobo (Reply 9):
Surprise? I wouldn't go that far, the Ba'ath had been bumbling on about this since they came to power, and nationalist parties before the Ba'ath saw Kuwait as an Iraqi province. Post 1988, Iraq and Kuwait were at each other's throats and Kuwait had been egging Iraq on the lead up to the invasion. It was a matter of when and not if around the time of the invasion. The British knew it, which is why they were sending intelligence officers to Kuwait.

Well yea, thats a given. But its not like war was declared or anything. Kuwaitis just woke up and..."Oh wow honey...we have visitors"


User currently offlineFerengi80 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 693 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2373 times:
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Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 5):
Quoting GCT64 (Reply 4):
G-AWND was destroyed (not stranded) in Kuwait when it landed 4 hours AFTER the Iraqi invasion had started.
There have been many conspiracy theories related to this flight - mainly involving stories about SAS soldiers.

What happened to that BA crew and the one suppose to cover the upcoming flight back to London? How did they get out?



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 6):
All of the passengers and crew were held by Iraq until Saddam Hussein made one of his "humanitarian gestures" and released many of the passengers.

The BBC made a documentary about this, which was shown on BBC2 in March. It was entitled "The Last Flight out of Kuwait", and told the full story from the flight arriving after the war had begun, to the passengers being returned to London on an Iraqi Airways Boeing 747 thanks to Saddam's "humaitarian gesure".



AF1981 LHR-CDG A380-800 10 July 2010 / AF1980 CDG-LHR A380-800 11 July 2010
User currently offlineFDH From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2354 times:

Somehow related, I was supposed to fly STR-FRA on the day the Kosovo air strikes started on March 24, 1999. Our flight got cancelled because of the increased slots usage by NATO planes in FRA. The LH flight finally ended up being a bus ride from STR to FRA.

FDH


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7641 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2296 times:



Quoting LatinTraveller (Reply 8):
Thanks guys. Besides the BA flight in KWI, are there any other reports or sources when I can read about some of these stories?

For a description of the Kuwait flight try googling 'British Airways Flight 149' and you will find an article on your favourite web site!


User currently onlineCOSPN From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Oct 2001, 1626 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2164 times:

No Was had it worse than PanAm and WW2 one clipper was MDY-GUM returned to Midway then shot up, & 7 PanAm workers died but it managed to fly to HNL and SFO...

Another clipper was destroyed in HKG while being fueled for MNL

and a third diverted to New Zealand and came the long way around back to the US...

January 6th, a startled officer in the control tower of New York's LaGuardia Airport heard on the loudspeaker: "Pacific Clipper, inbound from Auckland, New Zealand. Due arrive Pan American Marine Terminal at LaGuardia in seven minutes." The incredible month-long, 31,500-mile journey was the longest ever made by a commercial aircraft and the first around the world. The Pacific Clipper had flown over three oceans, made 18 stops in 12 different countries, and crossed the equator six times.


http://www.flyingclippers.com/clippersatwar.html


User currently offlineRDUDDJI From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1519 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2089 times:

I was fortunate enough about 5 years ago to sit next to an 88 year old woman who was in the first class of female flight attendants at Pan Am. When I told her I worked for UA, she and I started telling stories, and one of the stories (they were all stunning) she told was about flying on the constellation from Tokyo to Shanghai. She said they were over halfway there and they lost radio contact with Shanghai. They had to turn around and go back to Tokyo only to find that Shanghai had fallen (to the Japanese?) while they were in flight. I could have it hosed up but I think the timeframe she was speaking of was the 1940s.

I was most interested in navigational techniques of those days (esp over the oceans). We talked about the sexton, and I asked her what they did when it was cloudy (since the constellation couldn't fly over many layers). She said they would fly a heading and try to get a glimpse at the waves to see which way the wind was blowing to guess how far off course they were. Sometimes it was just educated guesswork. Now that's flying... How did she know so much about what they did I asked...she used to go into the cockpit to smoke with the pilots during the flights.  Smile

She was without a doubt the most interesting person I've ever sat next to. And she told me, even after all these years, she still loves to stare out the window at the ground from the air.



Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1987 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2047 times:

I'm not sure whether i remember about re-direct flight between HKG and LHR in around 1990's during the war time. My dad told me that BA flew from HKG to LHR past over North Africa in order to avoid non-fly zone around the Middle East. I'm not sure exactly. That was long time ago. I do remember no commercial airliners were allowed to fly through non-fly zone.


The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineKL577 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1966 times:

Only a minor story; but I was flying KLM from AMS to NBO in August 1998, a week after the Al-Queda attacks on the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam. The morning I was flying Bill Clinton ordered air attacks on Kharthoum, Sudan and Afghanistan. Subsequently Sudan closed their air space, only for a day or so, but our flight had to reroute over Tchad/ Extreme West Sudan and Uganda. This all came through as the plane was preparing for take off. We then had to go bakc to the gate, taking extra fuel, request a new flight plan etc. In the end the KLM 767 we took arrived about three hours late in NBO.

User currently offlineIADCA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1327 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1952 times:



Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 15):
She said they were over halfway there and they lost radio contact with Shanghai. They had to turn around and go back to Tokyo only to find that Shanghai had fallen (to the Japanese?) while they were in flight. I could have it hosed up but I think the timeframe she was speaking of was the 1940s.

Probably to the Maoists (1949). The original occupation for WWII by Japan began in 1937.


User currently offlineBrightCedars From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 1289 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1894 times:

So how is the situation being handled in Beirut these days as there is renewed violence and as the airport is clearly a target of the power struggle. It seems yesterday only 4 flights landed at BEY, all MEA. The passengers may be stranded at the airport as the airport road is blocked by protesters.

Looks like the airport is closed today yet again, at least for the morning.



I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
User currently offlineJoKeR From Serbia, joined Nov 2004, 2241 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1879 times:

In 1986, a packed JAT Boeing 727-200 on a scheduled BEG to TIP flight was intercepted in the early hours of the morning close to MLA and ordered by a US F14 to immediately return back to base due to an unspecified "intervention" in the area. US Air Force escorted the airliner back to Italian airspace - to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the JU aircraft, pax and crew.

That night, US bombed Libya.

None of the pax objected to turning back to Yugoslavia Big grin



Kafa, čaj, šraf?
User currently offlineManu From Canada, joined Dec 2004, 406 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1755 times:

I heard the BA 747-100 actually was destroyed by friendly fire in the reoccupation by the Allies in KWI. I saw first hand the monuments and museum when I was in Kuwait City in Jan of this year for work. It is interesting that the Boeing did still land after occupation occurred. So I am with the idea of the conspiracy theory that it was a way to insert troops.

User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7641 posts, RR: 17
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1692 times:



Quoting Manu (Reply 21):
I heard the BA 747-100 actually was destroyed by friendly fire in the reoccupation by the Allies in KWI.

BA149, the flight in question, was on 1 August 1990. The aircraft, G-AWND, was 'grounded' or stranded in KWI because after it arrived on 2 August and before it attempted to leave the Iraqi Air Force attacked the airport. This attack resulted in damage to the airport (but not the BA 747) and made it impossible for the aircraft to depart. So the passengers and crew were subsequently captured when invading Iraqi ground forces advanced to and captured the airport.

All the 367 passengers and 18 crew - the final destination of the flight was KUL - were captured by the advancing Iraqi ground forces. One passenger, reported to be a Kuwaiti prince, was executed. The remainder were all eventually released.

The aircraft remained stranded until after the start of the Allied invasion in February 1991. On 27 February 1991, almost exactly seven months after it had arrived at KWI, it was severely damaged (for the first time) and effectively written off. I do not know whether this damage was from 'friendly fire', 'enemy fire' or a mixture of fire from both sides.


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