Indiana airport works to add international flights

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — An Indiana airport is continuing to work toward adding a direct international flight and international air freight shipping after recently announcing that it's adding two new domestic routes. South Bend International Airport Executive Director Mike Daigle said there isn't a set timetable for when the goals could be reached. The airport announced the new twice-daily American Airlines routes to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dallas on Jan. 18, the South Bend Tribune reported. The addition brings the airport's number of nonstop domestic flights to 12. The airport's commercial offerings are expected to expand in June. The airport announced plans for international service in 2014, and began construction of a new customs facility by 2015. Most of the $7.9 million funding for the facility came from grant money provided by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Indiana Department of Transportation also contributed $436,580. Construction on the facility was completed last year. Daigle said the facility has handled 47 international arrivals. "We've had flights from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France, to name a few," Daigle said. He said attracting an international commercial flight has been a complex process and is still a few steps away from the negotiating table with airlines or travel agencies. "It's something we work on almost every single day," Daigle said. "I don't have a timeline for you at this point there are many moving parts to this and many partners." Continue Reading

Southwest Florida International flights being affected by power outage in Atlanta

The power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is affecting flights departing and arriving in Fort Myers.Delta cancelled flights that were supposed to arrive at Southwest Florida International Airport at 4:23 p.m. and 5:50, according to the airport's website. A Southwest Airlines flight scheduled to land at 9:30 p.m. has been cancelled. A Delta flight is still scheduled to land at 11:05 p.m.A Delta flight that was scheduled for 3:15 is delayed, according to the website. A 5:18 Delta flight is showing cancelled while another one at 6:30 is showing delayed.A flight by Southwest Airlines for 7:25 was cancelled. More: Power outage suspends flights at Atlanta airport The FAA said in a statement that it ordered a ground stop for flights into the airport due to the impact of the outage on airport terminals. A ground stop means flights to the airport are held at departure airports across the nation. The FAA said departures also were delayed."The FAA tower can operate normally, however, departures are delayed because airport equipment in the terminals is not working," the statement said.The flight-tracking website FlightAware said inbound flights were being held at thier departure airports until 4 pm. Flight delays out of the airport averaged 1 hour and 40 minutes, the website said.Airport officials said the outage began just before 1 p.m. Georgia Power said it was aware of the outage and was investigating. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that international flights were being diverted to other airports.In 2016, the airport handled 104,171,935 passengers, the most of any airport in the world. Contributing:  USA TODAY, Michael King, Continue Reading

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly considering expanded laptop ban for international flights

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he's considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The current ban was put in place because of concerns about terrorist attacks. The ban prevents travelers from bringing laptops, tablets and certain other devices on board with them in their carry-on bags. All electronics bigger than a smartphone must be checked in. Kelly was asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether he would expand the ban to cover laptops on all international flights into and out of the U.S. His answer: "I might." The current U.S. ban applies to nonstop U.S.-bound flights from 10 international airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. About 50 flights a day, all on foreign airlines, are affected. Earlier this month, there were reports that the Trump administration would broaden the ban to include planes from the European Union, affecting trans-Atlantic routes that carry as many as 65 million people a year. U.S. officials have said that initial ban was not based on any specific threat but on longstanding concerns about extremists targeting jetliners. "There's a real threat," Kelly said, adding that terrorists are "obsessed" with the idea of downing a plane in flight, "particularly if it's a U.S. carrier, particularly if it's full of mostly U.S. folks. It's real." Kelly said that the U.S. is going "to raise the bar for, generally speaking, aviation security much higher than it is now, and there's new technologies down the road, not too far down the road, that we'll rely on. But it is a real sophisticated threat, and I'll reserve making that decision until we see Continue Reading

International flight bound for JFK Airport forced to make emergency landing in London due to cracked windshield

An international flight bound for Kennedy Airport had to make an emergency landing Saturday after the plane’s windshield cracked, an airline spokeswoman said. Pilots on American Airlines Flight 199, which took off in Milan at 10 a.m. local time, were forced to land the Boeing 767-300 an hour later in London due to the damage, the spokeswoman said. A man who said he was a crew member on the flight posted a photo on Twitter of the cracked windshield. “I was on the flight. Textbook emergency landing,” posted user @jackhudock alongside a picture of the windshield. The 183 passengers on board were placed on other flights to New York City, officials said. The plane is being held at London Heathrow Airport while a maintenance team investigates why the windshield cracked. Continue Reading

JFK allowed passengers arriving on international flight to exit without going through Customs

Passengers arriving at Kennedy Airport on an international flight were allowed to exit the busy hub without going through Customs — for at least the second time in recent months, the Daily News has learned. Bumbling airline and security officials let travelers on American Airlines Flight 1223 from Cancun, Mexico, out of the airport on Monday morning without having their passports or bags checked, sources told The News. The security lapse mirrored a similar incident involving another American Airlines flight in November. A 34-year-old man who had been in Cancun to attend three Phish concerts told The News he was able to glide from the plane to the baggage claim area without having to endure the usual maze of Customs and Border Protection security checks. EXCLUSIVE: 150 ON FLIGHT FROM MEXICO ALLOWED TO SKIP CUSTOMS, LEAVE JFK “It’s absolutely absurd,” the business adviser said. “To think that anyone could be walking off of that plane and just get right into the city. It could be terrorists, El Chapo’s henchmen, anyone.” The jam band fan said he even approached a Transportation Security Administration agent near the exit, but was told he was free to go. “I told them what happened and asked them what should I do,” the passenger said. “They said to me ‘That’s fine, you’re OK. Go ahead.’ ” Several other concertgoers who were on the flight were already outside at the curbside cab line when he exited the airport. Neither the TSA, which screens passengers before they fly, nor the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, responded to a request for comment. It was unclear how many of the passengers from the flight were able to skip the security checkpoints WOMAN ACCUSED OF TRYING TO BRIBE TSA CUSTOM AGENT WITH SEX Hours after the plane Continue Reading

Woman with multiple sclerosis sues United over spilled coffee on international flight

United Airlines is in hot water over an alleged coffee spill. A woman from suburban Houston, Texas, is suing United Continental Holdings, Inc., claiming she was badly burned on a 2011 international flight from Madrid to Newark. According to the complaint, Lourdes Cervantes is seeking $170,000 in damages, claiming that the coffee spill gave her painful second-degree burns on her inner thighs. The suit says that as the flight attendant was putting the coffee on Cervantes' tray, the person in front of her reclined, causing her to be badly burned. Her attorney, Shaw Clifford, told KTRH News that his client also suffers from multiple sclerosis. "When the coffee spilled on her, she couldn't get up," he said, adding: "She just had to sit there and take it." Clifford told the radio station that his client's case is different from the now-notorious McDonald's spilled coffee suit, saying that Cervantes' case falls under the Montreal Convention. The 1999 statute states that the airline is liable for its passengers' injuries on international flights, and demands that the airline compensate its clients for any such injuries. The $170,000 sought is the highest available under the Convention, according to the Houston Chronicle. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Southwest announces first international flights

Southwest, which grew to carry more domestic passengers than any U.S. airline, began selling tickets Monday for international flights, the start of a significant shift for the low-cost domestic carrier.Starting July 1, travelers will for the first time be able to fly Southwest to Aruba, Jamaica and the Bahamas, setting up stiff competition with larger carriers that serve those areas now, analysts say.The announcement, complete with steel drums playing at a news conference at Southwest's Dallas headquarters, was hailed as historic by Southwest officials who noted that the 43-year-old carrier was created to focus on domestic service."To make that shift in strategy has taken a huge effort,'' said Gary Kelly, Southwest's president and CEO. But, he added, as a leading domestic carrier, it was time "that we think about stepping out.''Southwest will have daily, non-stop flights between Atlanta and Aruba and Montego Bay in Jamaica, as well as between Baltimore and Aruba, and Nassau in the Bahamas. There will be twice a day flights between Baltimore and Montego Bay, and on Saturdays only between Orlando and Aruba and Montego Bay.A key reason Southwest bought its one-time rival, AirTran, in 2011 was to help it push into international markets. The three Caribbean destinations announced Monday mark the beginning of Southwest integrating AirTran's overseas routes."It's tangible proof of the progress of the merger,'' said Henry Harteveldt, aviation expert at Hudson Crossing. Come July, AirTran will continue to fly internationally, operating flights between Chicago's Midway Airport and Montego Bay, Jamaica, for instance. But by the end of the year all international service by AirTran will shift over to Southwest. International travel is outpacing domestic when it comes to growth, spurring U.S. carriers to increasingly focus overseas to boost profits. And Southwest sees the low fares that have helped make it successful in the U.S. having similar appeal for travelers flying Continue Reading

Baby discarded after birth on international flight; citizenship up in the air

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A woman who gave birth aboard an international flight without anyone noticing was charged by New Zealand police Wednesday with abandoning her daughter after the newborn was found in a toilet garbage bin.The unnamed 29-year-old Samoan mother walked off a Pacific Blue flight from Samoa to Auckland last Thursday after apparently giving birth during the flight. Soon afterward, cleaners found the newborn child lying amid bloodied paper towels in a toilet bin.The case made headlines in New Zealand and Samoa and prompted officials to defend check-in procedures and public health warnings that heavily pregnant women should not fly.Police Detective Inspector Mark Gutry said the woman was charged with child abandonment - which carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment - and child assault.The mother could also face a fine of up to 100,000 New Zealand dollars ($57,000) and another seven years in prison for allegedly failing to reveal information about her pregnancy, a violation of the country's Immigration Act.The mother was reported to be returning to New Zealand to work as a kiwi fruit picker when her daughter was born.She underwent surgery at an Auckland hospital last Thursday after the unaided birth and was later reunited with her baby. State welfare authorities and other agencies were working to determine what long-term arrangements would be best for the baby, said state welfare official Marion Heeney.Gutry said police now believed they knew exactly where the birth took place, but declined to elaborate because the case was now before the court. Whether the child would be classified as a New Zealand or Samoan citizen had still to be finally determined. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Indianapolis airport, eyeing London, expands incentives for international flights

 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis International Airport has expanded its incentives package with the aim of attracting new international air service.The airport has increased the amount of marketing support available for new international flights, The Indianapolis Business Journal reported. The incentives include banners, digital advertising and vinyl floor decals at the airport. Other incentives include fee waivers and rent reductions during the first two years.The airport currently only has direct international flights to Cancun, Mexico, and Toronto, Canada. The airport is trying to attract its first tran-Atlantic flight, with London as a top priority.The airline had previously offered up to $50,000 in marketing support for the first year of a new international service. Under the expanded program, airlines can receive up to $400,000 in marketing support during the first two years of service, depending on the frequency of flights.TODAY IN THE SKY: These are the 20 longest flights flown by U.S. airlines (story continues below)Strengthening these incentives will bring the airport in line with industry standards, Senior Director of Commercial Enterprise Marsha Stone wrote in a memo to airport authority board members."As staff continues to aggressively pursue international service, this incentive will be critical to competitively position Indianapolis amongst peers also pursuing similar service opportunities," she said.The airport authority board hired the Indy Chamber in May to help it with both air service development and land development.   Continue Reading

CVG ‘can’t give up’ on more international flights

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport officials are giving new looks to flights to London, Frankfurt and Tokyo – places business leaders are hungry to get to but still considered long shots."It is critical to our economic development efforts to maintain and grow our direct international flights," said Johnna Reeder, president and chief executive of REDI Cincinnati, the 15-county jobs-creation agency. "We can't give up on this issue. ... There is no quick solution that has long-term sustainability, and every midsize city is facing this same dilemma on air service."CVG has spent the past year adding new low-cost flights in the U.S. Its international passenger focus mostly has been on convincing Delta Air Lines not to cut its one nonstop flight to Paris – the only daily direct overseas flight from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and several cities similar in size to Cincinnati across the U.S.Business and economic development leaders want more international flights as the region refocuses its jobs-creating efforts with the newly formed REDI Cincinnati partnership."While we are certainly fortunate to have the Paris flight – which keeps us international – we need total resolve and focus on recruiting another international flight," said Jim McGraw, CEO of Downtown-based KMK Consulting. "Any of those three destinations would be a huge boost, and, once we get that, keep working on the next. We can never afford to give up on this pursuit."Nonstop service to Europe from CVG is down to the one daily destination from four in 2005, a result of Delta's massive cuts at its once-thriving hub. Flights to Frankfurt and London were among those cut.The airport has asked airlines to consider new international flights as officials position CVG for the transition from a Delta hub to a multicarrier airport. CVG will have a new contract with the airlines beginning in 2016.CVG Vice President Bobby Spann recently told the Kenton County Airport Board's Continue Reading