Capt.Fantastic
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Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:55 am

Official: Swiss banned airline
Sunday, January 4, 2004 Posted: 9:48 AM EST (1448 GMT)

BERN, Switzerland (AP) -- The Egyptian charter company whose plane crashed into the Red Sea killing 148 people had been banned from flying to Switzerland for more than a year because of technical problems, a civil aviation official said Sunday.

"A series of safety shortcomings showed up in a plane of Flash Airlines during a routine security check at Zurich Airport in October 2002," said Celestine Perissinotto, spokeswoman for the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation, confirming Swiss and French television reports.

She told The Associated Press that she was unable to go into detail and did not know what type of plane had problems in Switzerland, but that she understood the company had two airliners.

The plane that crashed after takeoff from Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, Saturday was a Boeing 737. Everyone on board was killed. Most of the passengers were French tourists.

Flash Airlines said in Egypt that the 737 that crashed was one of two it owned.

Perissinotto declined to go into detail about the shortcomings of the company.

"It concerned violations of the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization," she said.

Perissinotto said the Swiss report was given both to the airline and to Egyptian civil aviation authorities.

"Since then we have had no reaction," Perissinotto said.

French Transport Minister Gilles de Robien said neither he nor his ministry knew of the Swiss ban. He told Europe-1 radio that he had heard "it was more for economic reasons that this company did not fly over Switzerland."

"I call for extreme caution with this type of announcement that adds emotion for families who certainly don't need it at the moment," he said.

Although Flash Airlines has been banned from entering or flying over Switzerland since October 2002, one of its planes was allowed to make a landing in Geneva last year for exceptional reasons, Perissinotto said, confirming a report in the weekly newspaper SonntagsBlick.

That plane was supposed to land in Paris but was diverted to Geneva because of bad weather, she said.

Swiss authorities demanded that the airline explain why it had needed to land in Geneva rather than another airport, but "these explanations were also insufficient. The situation had not improved."
 
RJ100
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:12 am

Hello

There were also some aircraft interior pictures of a Flash Airlines 737 in the SonntagsBlick newspaper today.

If the technical part of the aircraft was maintained like the interior then...

RJ100
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Capt.Fantastic
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:24 am

Where the findings of these maintenance short-comings by the Swiss made available to other countries that Flash flew into? If so, maybe this accident could have been averted? I'm sure if the French were aware of this they would not have allowed Flash into their country.
 
Leskova
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:29 am

The really strange part is that Egypt is now actually stating that Flash was safe and that the statement from the Swiss side that Flash "never responded to the Swiss concerns" was "inaccurate and baseless".

Let's wait and see how far both sides will go on this sideline-discussion...

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
trident2e
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:30 am

It would have been the responsibility of the Egyptian aviation authority as a member of ICAO to act on this information. If no action was taken by them then they have some difficult questions to answer.
 
tokolosh
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:31 am

The answer to that is yes, according to BBC and CNN. Both Egypt and France were informed about the Swiss ban on Flash Airlines. It was also reported by CNN that a Flash aircraft made an emergency landing in Zurich after the ban had been imposed because of "bad weather". The Swiss authorities asked for a full explanation but never got a satisfactory one. An Italian passenger took video coverage upon disembarkation of the right engine which had its cowls open and appeared to be smoking.
You might find that footage on cnn's site.
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
codeshare
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:32 am

There was supposed to be a flight from HRG or SSH by Flash to Warsaw. The flight eventually got cancelled.

How much A is there is Airliners Net ? 0 or nothing ?
 
airways
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:35 am

...Flash aircraft made an emergency landing in Zurich

Wasn't that an emergency landing in Geneva, en route to Paris?

Michael
http://airsider.net
 
tokolosh
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:36 am

It thought they reported Zurich, but maybe I'm wrong on that. In any case, in Switzerland.
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
SR3496
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:39 am

It was Geneva and not Zurich.
 
tokolosh
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:42 am

OK. And I forgot to say the reports mentioned it is not known if it is the same plane that crashed.
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
Leskova
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:42 am

I'm actually surprised that Flash was not banned from the EU as well - I would have expected that a ban by Switzerland would also be looked at by the JAA (or whoever is responsible for that).

If the situation is/was really as it's being described here and in the news, I don't doubt that they'd've been banned...
Smile - it confuses people!
 
airways
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:43 am

I found the report with the information about the GVA incident again. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3367661.stm

Michael
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tokolosh
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:47 am

Airways, thanks for posting that latest report. Gosh, it looks like heads are going to roll on this one. Already people are pointing fingers at each other.
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
Leskova
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:48 am

This is getting stranger by the minute... now it's not only Egypt saying that the Swiss claims are/were baseless - but now, Airways - thanks for the link, France says that it had no knowledge of Flash being banned from Switzerland...

I'm getting the feeling that coordination within Europe (EU and non-EU countries) must be improved - if a complete ban of an airline can be declared without the others noticing it...

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
tokolosh
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:57 am

Switzerland is not part of the EU but, still, that's not excuse for a lack of coordination. Indeed, this is getting stranger by the hour. Finger pointing, as I said.
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
airways
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:03 am

...Switzerland is not part of the EU...

That really can't be an excuse. There must be some kind of standard procedure for such cases. I think time will tell whether France knew about the reports or not. The news about the Swiss ban came up today - a sunday. Sure, some people have already given statements to the press, but it will probably need a bit more time to see whether the French got the report or not.

And even if only the government of Egypt got the report. Why didn't they take action then? That is the most important question here!

By the way, why haven't they be banned or warned by other countries? Switzerland can't be the only country to do such routine tests...

Michael
 
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yyz717
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:08 am

Switzerland is not part of the EU but, still, that's not excuse for a lack of coordination.

I agree.....all EU nations should have immediately assessed Flash Airways safety in Oct 2002 when this came out. Maybe those 148 French citizens would still be alive today......

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
tokolosh
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:17 am

When I mentioned the Italian filming the plane upon debarcation, it was actually another incident. I think the plane made an emergency landing in Bologna. That's two incidents then, which raises more questions about why about why they could still continue flying all over the place. By the way, has anything been heard from Flash Airways itself yet?
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
fraT
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:25 am

The problem is that every country has it's own agency which is responsible for aviation security. They are trying for some time to build up an European agency at least for the EU countries but so far it hasn't happened because some countries don't want to give up their authority.
This miscommunication was also one reason for the inflight crash of the DHL and the Bashkirian A/C in southern Germany last year.
 
Skymonster
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:39 am

We are a million miles away from common certification, common standards, and shared and agreed lists of banned airlines. The US FAA banned a number of foreign airlines from using US airspace in the early '90s due to maintenance concerns (Dominican Repulic, for example), but that didn't mean those airlines were automatically banned from the rest of the world. The Swiss are not part of the JAA, and whilst I agree that there would be some advantages there's no automatic obligation for what the Swiss decide to be applied by other countries.

Andy
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Leskova
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:43 am

Skymonster, you're absolutely right - but I would have expected at least some form of information going out to other European countries (ones that could possible be served by Flash Airlines)... but it's probably too early to say if other countries were informed - and if they were, I'd guess that they'll have some explaining to do as to why they judged Flash Airlines to be safe.
Smile - it confuses people!
 
m404
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:43 am

"A series of safety shortcomings showed up in a plane of Flash Airlines during a routine security check at Zurich Airport in October 2002,"

"It concerned violations of the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization," she said.


"it was more for economic reasons that this company did not fly over Switzerland."


After reading all the above quotes I note that one says "Security check" another mentions rule violations and a third proposes economic reasons. Not one mentions mechanical reasons. Perhaps security was the reason to begin with. If it was I next wonder if such security shortcomings will in fact ever be released to avoid a blueprint for watching terrorists. Not that the press in America hasn't already told everyone with a cause exactly how to do it before.

Just a thought. We need to find out what "security" means to these entities.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
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yyz717
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:57 am

whilst I agree that there would be some advantages there's no automatic obligation for what the Swiss decide to be applied by other countries.

There's no legal obligation, but you would think that this Swiss banning would have triggered some review of Flash Airways on a voluntary basis.


I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
tokolosh
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:09 am

Well, perhaps this accident will lead to lots of improvements for the future. Hopefully.
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
777ER
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:27 pm

Heard on the 6pm News that the plane could have had suffered a mechanical problem just after take off!
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Unique
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 pm

Which aircraft did crash? Some reports to be SU-ZCF while a.net reports to be SU-ZCD...
 
RJ100
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:51 pm

Hello

I have just found this article (sorry, only in German).
It says that the French authorities have been immediately informed by the Swiss after the Flash incident in 2002! It is even confirmed by the French now...

Regards,
RJ100

Paris war über Probleme bei Flash Airlines informiert

Paris. AFP/BaZ. Die französischen Behörden sind vor dem Flugzeugabsturz über dem Roten Meer mit 148 Toten über technische Probleme bei der ägyptischen Fluggesellschaft Flash Airlines informiert gewesen. Paris habe im Laufe des vergangenen Jahres eine entsprechende Warnung aus der Schweiz erhalten, sagte Verkehrsminister Gilles de Robien am Sonntagabend im französischen Fernsehsender LCI.

Bei daraufhin veranlassten Kontrollen der Maschinen seien jedoch keine Unregelmässigkeiten festgestellt worden. Die Fluggesellschaft wies unterdessen Vorwürfe zurück, die am Samstag abgestürzte Boeing 737 habe Sicherheitsmängel gehabt. Nach der Warnung durch die Schweizer Behörden seien die Maschinen der Fluggesellschaft an drei französischen Flughäfen auf ihre Sicherheit hin kontrolliert worden, erläuterte der französische Verkehrsminister. Bei der ersten Kontrolle habe es "einige kleine Vorbehalte" gegeben, zwei weitere Kontrollen im Herbst hätten zu keinen Auffälligkeiten geführt. Dies habe die französische Zivilluftfahrtbehörde veranlasst, Flash Airlines in Frankreich die Flugerlaubnis zu erteilen.

Die Überprüfungen fanden demnach im Oktober und November vergangenen Jahres statt. Eine polnische Inspektion im Rahmen des europäischen Kontrollsystems sei zu den gleichen Ergebnissen gekommen. De Robien warnte weiter vor vorschnellen Schlussfolgerungen zur Absturzursache. Die Indizien wiesen bislang daraufhin, dass die ägyptische Maschine wegen eines "Verlusts der Leistungsfähigkeit" abgestürzt sei, sagte der Minister dem Radiosender Europe 1. Mit Blick auf eine Anschlagshypothese sagte de Robien, es habe offenbar keine Explosion an Bord gegeben. Zudem habe sich bislang niemand zu einem möglichen Attentat bekannt. Dennoch könne die Frage nach der Ursache noch nicht sicher beantwortet werden, betonte de Robien im TV-Sender LCI. Zunächst müsse der Flugschreiber gefunden und ausgewertet werden.
In der Pariser Kathedrale Notre-Dame nahmen am Sonntagabend rund 2000 Menschen in einem Gedenkgottesdienst Abschied von den Absturzopfern. Unter den Trauergästen war auch die Ehefrau des französischen Premierministers Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Anne-Marie, wie ein AFP-Reporter berichtete. Bei dem Absturz waren 133 Franzosen getötet worden, zum grossen Teil Touristen.
none
 
airways
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 5:04 pm

Obviously, the report has been forwarded to the French authorities. Here's another link, this time in French: http://www.leparisien.fr/home/info/faitjour/article.htm?articleid=225897098

Michael
 
F+ Rouge
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:46 pm

French radio stations confirm that the French authorities had been informed by the Swiss, but that three random security checks did not show any maintenance deficiencies. Thus Flash Airlines were not banned from French airports.

Regards

F+ Rouge
 
debonair
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:14 pm

Yeap! I would like to point this out! French minister of aviation, Mr. Gilles de Robien, stated today that the French authority's couldn't find any violation of safety-standards.

click on (sorry! German only!) http://www.tagesschau.de/aktuell/meldungen/0,1185,OID2813396_REF3,00.html
 
BRU
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:53 am


How could the Egypt government so quickly and decidedly exclude "foul play" ? The airframe and black boxes are out of reach.
Were there other indications ?
 
teva
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:50 am

I have just seen something very interesting on the DGAC website (French civil aviation)
http://www.dgac.fr/html/actu_gd/fsh604.htm
This is in French only. Here is the sentence I find interesting:
La compagnie égyptienne Flash Airlines a subi en 2002 trois contrôles dont deux en Suisse et un en Norvège ; l’un des contrôles effectués en Suisse a révélé des anomalies ne mettant pas en cause la sécurité mais ayant incité ce pays à interdire la compagnie d’atterrissage et de décollage de son territoire. La Suisse n’a pas demandé de démarche collective de la Conférence européenne de l’aviation civile (CEAC).

Quick translation: Flash has been controled 3 times in 2002, twice in Switzerland and once in Norway. in one of the controls, the Swiss have found anomalies not linked to safety, but leading to the ban of this airline. Switzerland didn't ask the European Civil Aviation conference to take a collective action.

That is in contradiction with what Mrs Celestine Perissinotto, spokeswoman for the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation, said yesterday.

Later in this article it is said that the SAFA (Safety assessment of foreign aircraft) has been informed, and that's why Flash has been controled 3 times in France, in 2003.

Teva
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
aviationmaster
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:13 am

Just found this on Bluewin's website (only in german):

In der Kontroverse mit dem Carrier Flash Airlines hat das Bundesamt für Zivilluftfahrt (BAZL) erstmals Resultate von Flugzeugkontrollen veröffentlicht. Festgestellt wurden unter anderem Wartungsmängel bei Triebwerk und Flugsteuerung.
[sda] - Die an den zwei Flash-Flugzeugen durchgeführten Kontrollen, am 27. April und am 11. Oktober 2002, hätten gravierende Sicherheitsmängel ergeben, sagte ein BAZL-Sprecher an einer Medienorientierung in Bern.

Bei den Kontrollen wurden im Bereich des Fahrwerks, der Triebwerke und der Flugsteuerung offensichtliche Wartungsmängel festgestellt. Zudem sei festgestellt worden, dass Unterlagen für die Navigation an Bord fehlten, die Berechnungen der Treibstoffreserven nicht nach internationalen Standards erfolgt sei, und die Beschilderung der Notausgänge zum Teil in unbrauchbarem Zustand gewesen sei.

Diese "gravierenden Mängel", die am 16. Oktober 2002 zum Entzug der Landelizenz für die ägyptische Flash Airlines geführt hatten, waren am Sonntag mit Verweis auf die Vertraulichkeit der Information nicht näher benannt worden.

Das BAZL wich im vorliegenden Fall aber von der Praxis ab, Zustandskontrollen von Flugzeugen als vertrauliche Information zu behandeln, wie ein BAZL-Sprecher präzisierte. Die in Bern durchgeführte Medienorientierung solle dazu dienen, die in der Öffentlichkeit entstandenen Unklarheiten auszuräumen.

Gleichzeitig wurde betont, dass die im Oktober letzten Jahres durchgeführte Kontrolle keinen Aufschluss über den aktuellen Zustand der Maschinen von Flash Airlines zulasse und keinerlei Rückschlüsse auf die Unfallursachen erlaube.

Nach der letzten Kontrolle eines der beiden Flash-Flugzeuge orientierte das BAZL im Oktober 2002 die ägyptische Luftfahrtbehörde und verlangte von Flash Airlines, vor einer weiteren Landung in der Schweiz die Mängel zu beheben.

Entgegen einer Stellungnahme des ägyptischen Privatunternehmens, dass ein Flugzeug ihrer Gesellschaft bereits im Januar 2003 bereits wieder regulär in Genf gelandet sei, machte das BAZL geltend, dass es sich dabei um eine Ausweichlandung wegen schlechten Wetterbedingung gehandelt habe.

 
airways
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:27 am

The FOCA (BAZL) has just released a press release about the whole story. There aare some interesting details about the test details and the distribution of the results. It's available in German and French:

DE: http://www.bazl.admin.ch/aktuell/medienmitteilungen/00645/index.html?lang=de
FR: http://www.bazl.admin.ch/aktuell/medienmitteilungen/00645/index.html?lang=fr

Michael
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clipperno1
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:13 am

I don't get why this checks are not made public right made. Okay, they will most likely destroy the airline, but hey if they can't keep their sh*t together, does really make sense to keep them flying?! Maybe no first report should be made public, but if after a given time for approvements, the airline still fails to show up with safety planes, it should be made public.

It's a sad fact, that the current price war on the european leisure market, force the airlines to lower the fares to absolute minimum, barely covering costs! While well established continental carriers struggle/fail to survive this (i.e. Aero Lloyd) due to increasing safety costs they have to pay to operate a above-standards fleet when it comes to safety, airlines like Flash (it safe to say they will be gone...or at least change their name) safety and qualified crews are just some other expense they can cut/reduce if needed. This crash has Birgenair all over it.
After the Birgenair crash in the dominicans back in 96, german travellers grew a very high consciousness towards foreign charter-airlines...this sometimes ended in very ridicoulis reports on some airlines and the implementation of a more than useless federal aviation task force, but also helped to force operators to use known-to-be-safe airlines (which of course is not a 100% prevention of acidents).
By now, much of this consciousness has gone, I discover many of my friends bragging about what kind of good deal they cut for their holiday, not knowing/caring what airline they were to fly. that's how airlines like flash and others make they money at least for two seasons and with the recent surplus of used a/c on the market, there will be no end in sight for these mini-airlines.

[Edited 2004-01-05 22:14:28]
"I really don't know one plane from the other. To me they are just marginal costs with wings."� Alfred Kahn, 1977
 
jmc757
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:46 am

Clipper.... maybe you have a point. It would kill the airlines, but like you say, should they be flying. Perhaps this sort of information should be made public?? Or at least the respective authorities should be more pro-active when finding such information as the Swiss found. One thing is certain, this whole case has short-comings from start to finish...

Perhaps the tour operators should be more involved?? Most brochures (here in the UK) do now show airline codes next to the flight timings, but there are still brochures that dont. Then again there are arguments against this case. You could create paranoia about foreign airlines. Islandsflug had a base at BHX this year and from what I have heard it was very succesful, they seem a great outfit. My parents flew BHX-MAH-BHX with Spanair and could only give praise to them! it is certainly a bit of a grey areas that needs to be handled sensitively...
 
varig md-11
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:31 am

the "we told you so" behavior coming from ZRH is a bit peculiar:FSH flights were not only flying to CDG but also to Spain, Italy, Poland....and nobody in these 4 countries noticed anything to ground the planes?

also maintenance is said (french TF1 tv channel) to be done by Braathens in Stavanger: isn't this subcontractor reliable?

maybe we should wait and see the 1st result before we made some conclusions
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clipperno1
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RE: Flash Airlines: Banned By Swiss!

Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:45 am

JMC757...Putting foreign charter-airlines in a bad light in general is the last thing I want to do, because that is IMO an act of narrow-minding. There are great and safe foreign holiday airlines like Lotus Air (EGP), Pegasus (TRK), Onur (TRK), Sun Express (TRK), former Alfa (TRK) etc. which have years of knowledge and run their airline like professionals. Sadly, the reputation of airlines from these countries is an a bad light, because of 'pop-up' airlines like Flash,Air Rose, Gti, Green Air, birgenair, Bosporus, Princess, Pharao and what not. Those countries have to get harder restrictions to obtain an AOC. Too often airlines come up for a season or two, with a fleet of 2 or 3 planes, very little professional knowledge and pure greed. You can not judge an airline by their home country, but sadly that is happening and will increase in light of the recent crash. Maybe issuing authority safety reports (positive and negative) and stricter rules in those countries, would help shifting the negative attention to those un-stable airline, rather than condemning a whole countries' airline industry.
"I really don't know one plane from the other. To me they are just marginal costs with wings."� Alfred Kahn, 1977

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