The Condor Airlines Director of Sales for the Americas describes the airline’s plans for the North American market and explains what an airline sales director does. In the news, we look at what happened at the recent FAA Aviation Safety Summit sessions, the Russian fighter and the MQ-9 Reaper drone, longer recording time for CVRs, and a push to ban lap infants on commercial flights.
Mikko Turtiainen is the Director of Sales, The Americas for Condor Airlines. He’s responsible for leading sales, strategy, and growth in North America. Mikko is also in charge of continuing to build Condor’s brand awareness and sales from consumer and B2B channels in the U.S. and Canada. Previously, Mikko had a long career at Finnair, most recently as vice president of global sales, and he also served on Finnair’s commercial leadership team. He spent four years based in New York, heading Finnair, North America.
Condor Airlines is a well-known German leisure airline that operates a fleet of around fifty Boeing and Airbus aircraft. A number of new Airbus neo aircraft are coming to the fleet, including Condor’s brand-new, long-haul A330neo. The company is introducing its exclusive Prime Seat in Condor’s new business class.
Mikko tells us about Condor’s plans for the North American market and explains what an airline director of sales does. The airline is renewing its long-haul fleet and maintaining its identity as a top-tier leisure and charter operator for the German consumer. But Condor Airlines is repositioning its brand identity for the North Atlantic market with premium seats on the Airbus A330-900neo. Business class is a 1-2-1 configuration with lie-flat seats and 17-24 inch screens. Premium economy and economy seats are also available.
Mikko works closely with tour operators and other travel partners to create packages for leisure destinations. He’s building awareness with travel agencies, different associations, corporate clients, and others.
Video: A330neo – Prime Seat
At the FAA’s Aviation Safety Summit in McLean, Virginia, more than 200 aviation industry safety leaders met to discuss ways to enhance flight safety. Four sessions were facilitated by a member of the industry and an FAA subject matter expert:
- Pursue more efficient methods of sharing safety information in near real-time at all levels of the aviation industry, including frontline workers.
- The FAA will urge the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) team to set a new goal of eliminating serious incidents such as runway incursions and close calls.
- Continue to refine the data being collected by the Aviation Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) system to include a broader range of factors that will help identify precursors to incidents.
- Pilots and flight attendants expressed concerns that they continue to feel stress in the workplace, including long work hours under adverse conditions. The group acknowledged that risk models should also incorporate human factors.
Air Traffic System
- Re-examine runway incursion data to identify underlying factors that led to these incidents and identify remedies.
- The FAA issued a call to the industry to help identify technologies that could augment the existing capabilities of surface surveillance equipment and deploy this technology to all airports with air traffic control services.
Airport and Ground Operations
- A primary concern was workforce experience and attrition. Airport operators, airlines, workers, and the FAA discussed sharing the best practices of training programs among airport tenants and other stakeholders operating at airports. Airlines that operate regularly at specific airports said the industry could explore airfield familiarization training for employees.
- The attendees discussed how to effectively implement Safety Management Systems (SMS) at more than 200 of America’s busiest commercial airports. The FAA recently published a final rule that requires those airports to develop and adopt SMS programs within five years. The FAA will host a collaborative workshop on March 30.
General Aviation Operations
- Attendees discussed preliminary data from recent fatal accidents as part of their ongoing efforts to reduce the fatal accident rate in this sector. The group discussed ways to promote the sharing of General Aviation flight data in the ASIAS database to improve safety decision-making.
- On March 22, the FAA will broadcast its annual From the Flight Deck Live virtual event for pilots. Topics will include preflight planning, wrong surface risk and human factors (runway safety), and airport signs, markings and lighting (airports). GA pilots who attend will earn WINGS continuing education credits.
Two Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jets intercepted a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper, dumped fuel on the drone, and struck and damaged the MQ-9s propeller. (From past guest Ward Carroll.)
The FAA told AIN “We are initiating rulemaking that will require cockpit voice recorders to capture 25 hours of information. We will also establish an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to explore how to make greater use of data gathered by the airplane and its systems, including expanded flight data monitoring. We welcome any tools or resources Congress wants to provide to help us do this expeditiously.”
NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy asked the FAA to accept seven recommendations from the Safety Board, including increasing the duration of CVR recordings from two to 25 hours: “The fact is Europe has mandated 25-hour CVRs on new aircraft for over a year. We should do the same. We’ve also recommended that we retrofit certain in-service aircraft with 25-hour CVRs. I don’t understand why it’s so controversial.”
See: Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR) and Flight Data Recorders (FDR) from the NTSB, and L3Harris cockpit and voice data recorders.
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) has repeated its call to ban lap infants. They hope this is included in the latest FAA Reauthorization Act. It failed to make the 2018 Reauthorization. The AFA-CWA represents the crew members at around 20 U.S. carriers, including United, Alaska, and Spirit. The FAA currently recommends that infants and children occupy their own seats, but there is no mandate.
Garmin says starting in 2024, repairs on early devices won’t be possible due to “multiple component availability limitations.” This applies to “WAAS and Non-WAAS GNC® 420, GNS 430, GNS 530, GPS 400, and GPS 500.” Garmin “encourage[s] GNS 430(W)/530(W) series owners to begin considering their transition strategy to newer generation products.” Database updates and technical support will remain available.
Two Indian Pilots Suspended After Photo of a Full Coffee Cup Balanced On Cockpit Controls Goes Viral
Two Spicejet pilots placed the cup on the controls. The pair have been taken off flight duty while the airline investigates. India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation also says it is investigating the incident.
Danger Close w/Amber Smith – Registration for Mar 23, 2023, Zoom meeting.
Hosts this Episode
Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, and our Main(e) Man Micah.