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Bees Delay US Airways Flight & 6 Other Stories You May Have Missed


Though FlyerTalk attempts to cover a full range of stories, every week a few fall through the cracks. Here are 7 stories we didn’t get around to writing, but are still worth knowing.

Swarm of Bees Delay US Airways Flight in Texas

A Charlotte-bound US Airways flight was delayed for nearly two hours on Monday after a swarm of bees swarmed a connecting jetway at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). The swarm was contained inside the enclosed jetway and a beekeeper was called in to remove them. Passengers waiting to board tweeted pictures of the unidentified beekeeper, praising him for “saving the day.” Bees were also responsible for delaying a US Airways flight in July 2013, when bees attacked the plane and trapped passengers onboard for three hours.

Next Phase of Search for MH370 Underway

The search vessel GO Phoenix arrived in the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday evening to begin a search operation for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The vessel will use sonar to sweep the “seventh arc,” an area 1,242 miles off the west coast of Australia where the wreckage of MH370 is believed to be. Officials from the Australian Transport Safety Board say this phase of the investigation could take up to a year. Two other vessels will arrive in the area to assist with the sonar sweeps within the month.

Pilots’ Strike Will Cost Air France $613M

The French flag carrier estimated on Wednesday that the record-long pilots’ strike that plagued it for 14 days in September will cost around $613 million in lost revenue. According to Air France’s finance director, the carrier has cut its profit forecast for 2014 accordingly. During the strike, Air France was able to operate only around half of its flights, passenger numbers fell by 16 percent, and company value fell by nearly 50 percent as the carrier’s reputation suffered. By Wednesday afternoon, mere hours after the profit forecast, Air France shares dropped an additional 3.2 percent.


WestJet Announces Code-Share with China Airlines

In a statement issued on Tuesday, WestJet Airlines announced a new code-share agreement with China Airlines. China Airlines is now able to market and sell WestJet-operated flights on select routes from Vancouver and Los Angeles. Bookings for the select routes can be made through travel agencies and China Airlines. The agreement marks the 38th partnership WestJet currently has in place and the 12th code-share.

Flight Attendants Call for Increased Passenger Screening

On Tuesday, the largest flight attendants union in the U.S. called on officials to increase passenger screenings amidst the Ebola outbreak. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), which represents 60,000 flight attendants across 19 airlines, says its members are “most likely to be exposed” to Ebola if a virus carrier flies commercially. AFA President Sara Nelson said flight attendants are being asked to do too much and stressed that they are not trained health officials, nor are they properly equipped to deal with a case in-flight. The statement came one day after comments the AFA made on Monday, when a spokeswoman said they were “prepared to handle” the situation.

Southwest’s CEO Needs Help with Halloween Costume

Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ President and CEO, is relying on travelers for his 2014 Halloween costume. In a blog post published Monday, Southwest flyers were reminded of Kelly’s past costumes, which included Phil from Duck Dynasty, Frankenstein, Woody from Toy Story and the Mad Hatter. Readers were then encouraged to pitch their costume suggestions for Kelly in the post’s comments section. Among the current suggestions are Olaf, the snowman from Frozen, and musician Bob Marley.  A picture of Kelly in the winning costume will be posted to the blog on October 31.


Air India Rejects Aviation Regulator’s Order to Build Toilets

Last month, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) instructed Air India and several other Indian airlines to donate funds and adopt villages across the country as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sanitation campaign. Air India has refused to do either and, according to a source aware of the situation, told the DGCA it has no business giving such directives. Jitender Bhargava, former executive director of Air India, said it was “heartening” to see the carrier stand up to the DGCA, which he said “lacks rationale.”

[Photos: Bo Hussey, Twitter; BBC; Nuts About Southwest]

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