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Lufthansa Welcomes Falcons Onboard & 6 Other Stories You May Have Missed This Week


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.

Lufthansa Will Let Enthusiasts to Bring Their Falcons Onboard

Lufthansa passengers may soon be sharing the cabin with birds of prey. The German flag carrier announced it would allow falconers to keep their avian companions with them on select flights. The move is an effort to reach out to customers in Middle Eastern markets, where falconry enjoys a surging popularity. Falconers will be required to use a special “Falcon Master” tray while onboard. According to a statement from the airline, “The Falcon Master ensures maximum hygienic protection of the cabin walls, seats and carpets from soiling by the birds.”

Malaysia Airlines to Suspend Trading of Shares

In the face of an increasingly dire financial situation, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the majority owner of Malaysia Airlines, says it will suspend trading of the besieged airline’s shares on December 15. The government-owned investment fund will cease trading the stock while it works to enact a reorganization plan for the airline, which is still reeling from the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine and the disappearance of MH370. The back-to-back tragedies were compounded by a series of public relations missteps by Malaysia Airlines management. The restructuring plan calls for buying out minority stakeholders, killing the Malaysia Airline System (MAS) parent company, and forming a new entity known as Malaysia Airline Berhad.

Delta Taps Microbrews for New Beer List

Delta Air Lines is helping passengers explore the local craft beer scenes before they reach their destination. The airline is focusing on regional brews for the expanded beer offerings on flights within the U.S. The new craft beer lineup has a geographically diverse list of breweries, including SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta, Newburyport Brewing Company in Massachusetts, Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, and Brooklyn Brewery in New York. Delta will reserve the local favorites for flights serving the regions where the beers are created, but the airline will offer Sam Adams on all other domestic flights.


Airline 2014 Profits Projected to Near $20 Billion

Lower oil prices and a healthier economy are credited with driving global airline profits which are expected to near $20 billion this year and $25 billion in 2015, based on the annual Economic Performance of the Air Transport Industry report IATA released on Wednesday. The report predicts total worldwide airline profits will reach $19.9 billion this year. That estimate is up from the $18 billion forecast IATA made in June. Although the world’s largest airline trade organization is predicting even larger profits for 2015, IATA also cites political unrest, conflicts, and some weak regional economies as potential threats to profit growth in the industry.

Noxious Odor on US Airways Flight Leads to Mass Vomiting, Emergency Landing

A strange smell onboard a US Airways flight en route from Tel Aviv (TLV) to Philadelphia (PHL) forced the plane to divert to Rome (FCO) after several passengers and crew members became ill and started a chain reaction of vomiting. The nightmare scenario began after the flight departed TLV, when an unidentified odor began wafting through the plane. After flight attendants and passengers began retching, the flight diverted to FCO, where at least three people onboard were taken away in an ambulance. The source of the mysterious stench is under investigation.

Bored on a Flight, Aziz Ansari Creates #GhotsPlane via Twitter

Comedian Aziz Ansari used his downtime in the air productively. The star of NBC’s Parks and Recreation explained to his Twitter followers that he was bored on a flight Sunday evening before proceeding to outline an impromptu concept for a film about a haunted plane alongside #GhostPlane. The live-tweeted daydream caught fire on social media and sparked calls to launch a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund the project. By Friday morning, Ansari’s #GhostPlane was trending. Highlights of the imagined project include the captain (played by Tom Hanks) making the in-flight announcement: “Ladies and gentleman. There is a ghost on board. Please stay calm,” and the hero (Liam Neeson, played by Liam Neeson) shooting hundreds of possessed dolls to save the day.


Spending Bill Addresses Norwegian Air Entry into U.S. Market

The U.S. House of Representatives addressed the controversy surrounding Norwegian Air International’s request for regulatory approval to schedule regular flights to and from the U.S. The fine print of the last-minute omnibus spending bill approved by the House on Thursday includes a directive to the Department of Transportation regarding Norwegian Air’s bid to fly to the U.S. The language in the bill has both sides of the issue declaring victory, with U.S. carriers and labor unions — who want the ultra-low-cost airline banned from operating in the U.S. — characterizing the bill as an obstacle to regulatory approval and Norwegian Air saying, “Norwegian welcomes this language and urges the department to promptly approve its application.”

[Photos: Lufthansa Technik; Delta Air Lines; David Clayman via Twitter]

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weero December 14, 2014

It's great to see that at least one Western airline includes birds to the pet services and does not solely obsess about cats & dogs.