Aviation

EBACE 2010 – an opportunity to be excited

Once again, we’re approaching EBACE, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, in Geneva (4-6 May 2010). EBACE is the largest educational event in the aviation industry in Europe. Now in its tenth year, EBACE brings together business leaders, government officials, manufacturers, corporate aviation department personnel and all manner of people involved in nearly all aspects of business aviation.

As usual, Blink will be participating with our Geneva office and aircraft hub on the door step to the show.  We are also flying several clients directly to the show.

Conference agenda

This year’s conference themes are somewhat disappointing: EASA requirements, safety forums, aircraft leasing workshops, and a lot of hand-wringing over how and when the economy will turn. While these are important issues, they are hardly exciting or upbeat. Instead, the industry seems passive and pessimistic.

Blink’s agenda

Blink has a different message that we will be conveying. The industry can help itself out of its crisis by re-orientating to meet customers’ current needs for transparent, value for money travel solutions.  Blink’s message has been resonating with our customers over the past few months and has given us reason to be excited.

Icelandic Volcanic Ash Disruption (Update 7)

Updated: 21st April 2010, 09:45 BST

In this post we will keep you updated on the latest information from the National Air Traffic Contol Service (NATS) and the Met Office regarding the Volcanic Ash situation currently affecting UK airspace.

Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Wednesday April 21, 09:45

Overnight most of the UK’s airspace has been available with the exception of an area over the north west of Scotland which has continued to be affected by a dense concentration of volcanic ash. We continue to work with the latest information and guidance from our safety regulator, the CAA, the Met Office and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre on the predicted movements of the area of dense volcanic ash. Based on the latest information, we anticipate that this area will continue to centre on the north west of Scotland and may extend further south into Scottish airspace during today.

Between the period of 0100 – 0700 on 21 April NATS handled 130 flights in airspace over England and Wales and 35 flights in Scottish airspace (including Northern Ireland). We are in regular contact with the UK airports and airline operators to understand the latest information on flights entering UK airspace and our operation is ready to respond to an increase in demand.

Passengers should contact their airlines to find out how the current situation will affect their travel plans. We anticipate being able to provide a further update late this afternoon.

Where is the ash cloud?

Please see below the latest forecast map showing the area of the ash cloud. The red area indicates the ash cloud is below 20,000 ft. Blue and green areas indicate the ash cloud is above 20,000 ft.  European ATC authorities have now permitted operators to fly through the ash cloud, though restrictions and special procedures must be observed.

Icelandic Volcanic Ash Disruption (Update 6)

Updated: 20th April 2010, 23:00 BST

In this post we will keep you updated on the latest information from the National Air Traffic Contol Service (NATS) and the Met Office regarding the Volcanic Ash situation currently affecting UK airspace.

Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Tuesday April 20, 23:00

NATS welcomes new CAA guidance and reopens airspace

We are delighted to report that most restrictions on UK airspace began to be lifted at 2134 (local time) this evening, following new guidance from the UK’s safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority on restrictions to UK airspace as a result of the volcanic eruption.

Air traffic control services have resumed in the UK with the exception of an area over the north west of Scotland which continues to be affected by a dense concentration of volcanic ash. Based on current information this situation is not expected to change overnight. The situation continues to be dynamic as a result of changing weather conditions and the prediction of dense areas of volcanic ash. NATS will continue to monitor the latest Met Office and VAAC information and the CAA’s updates on the availability of UK airspace.

This brings to an end a period of disruption and uncertainty for air passengers. Our operation is fully staffed and already responding to the backlog of flights entering UK airspace. We will be working with the airlines and airports to resume normal operations as soon as possible.

Due to the scale of the disruption, it will take some time for flights to resume normal operations and passengers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest information about flights.

There are no further operational changes expected overnight and on this basis our next update will be at 0900 (local time) on 21 April.

Icelandic Volcanic Ash Disruption (Update 5)

Updated: 20th April 2010, 15:00 BST

In this post we will keep you updated on the latest information from the National Air Traffic Contol Service (NATS) and the Met Office regarding the Volcanic Ash situation currently affecting UK airspace.

Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Tuesday April 20, 15:00

The situation regarding the volcanic eruption in Iceland remains dynamic and the latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation will continue to be variable.
Based on the latest Met Office information, part of Scottish and Northern Irish airspace including Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh airports will continue to be available from 1900 today to 0100 tomorrow, Wednesday 21 April, and also south to Newcastle Airport. Glasgow and Teesside airports will additionally become available in this time period. Restrictions will remain in place over the rest of UK airspace below 20,000ft.
Flights above the ash cloud are now permitted in the UK; between 1900 today and 0100 tomorrow, this will enable aircraft movements above 20,000ft in UK airspace.
We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change during the course of the day. We will make a further statement at approximately 2100 today.
NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK’s safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.
We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

Where is the ash cloud?

Please see below the latest forecast map showing the area of the ash cloud. The red area indicates no take off or landing, as the ash cloud is below 20,000 ft. However, it may be possible to overfly these areas at an altitude greater than 20,000 ft. Blue and green areas indicate the ash cloud is above 20,000 ft, and so no overflights are possible.

Icelandic Volcanic Ash Disruption (Update 4)

Updated: 20th April 2010, 10:00 BST

In this post we will keep you updated on the latest information from the National Air Traffic Contol Service (NATS) and the Met Office regarding the Volcanic Ash situation currently affecting UK airspace.

Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Tuesday April 20, 09:00

The situation regarding the volcanic eruption in Iceland remains dynamic and the latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation today will continue to be variable.

Based on the latest Met Office information, part of Scottish airspace including Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh airports will continue to be available from 1300-1900 today, and also south to Newcastle Airport. Restrictions will remain in place over the rest of UK airspace below 20,000ft.

Overnight the CAA, in line with new guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) decided flights above the ash cloud will be permitted in the UK; between 1300-1900 this will enable aircraft movements above 20,000ft in UK airspace.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change during the course of the day. We will make a further statement at approximately 1500.

NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK’s safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.


Where is the ash cloud?

Please see below the latest forecast map showing the area of the ash cloud. The red area indicates no take off or landing, as the ash cloud is below 20,000 ft. However, it may be possible to overfly these areas at an altitude greater than 20,000 ft. Blue and green areas indicate the ash cloud is above 20,000 ft, and so no overflights are possible.

Icelandic Volcanic Ash Disruption (Update 3)

Updated: 20th April 2010, 07:30 BST

In this post we will keep you updated on the latest information from the National Air Traffic Contol Service (NATS) and the Met Office regarding the Volcanic Ash situation currently affecting UK airspace.

Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Tuesday April 20, 02:45

Since our last statement at 2100 (local time) yesterday, the volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK. This demonstrates the dynamic and rapidly changing conditions in which we are working.

Latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation is variable. The information shows that Scottish airsports should be available from 0700 (local time) and more airspace over England may become available from 1300 (local time) although not as far south as the main London airports.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change during the course of the day. We will make a further statement at approximately 0900 (local time), today, Tuesday 20 April.

NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK’s safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.


Where is the ash cloud?

Please see below the latest forecast map showing the area of the ash cloud. The red area indicates no take off or landing, as the ash cloud is below 20,000 ft. However, it may be possible to overfly these areas at an altitude greater than 20,000 ft. Blue and green areas indicate the ash cloud is above 20,000 ft, and so no overflights are possible.

Icelandic Volcanic Ash Disruption (Update 2)

Updated: 19th April 2010, 22:00 BST

In this post we will keep you updated on the latest information from the National Air Traffic Contol Service (NATS) and the Met Office regarding the Volcanic Ash situation currently affecting UK airspace.

Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Monday April 19, 22:00

Since our last statement at 1530 today, the volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK.  This demonstrates the dynamic and rapidly changing conditions in which we are working.

Latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation is worsening in some areas.  Based on this information, the situation for Northern Irish airports for the morning is uncertain, due to the new ash cloud.  The latest information shows that Scottish airports should be available from 0700 and more airspace over England may become available from 1300 although not as far south as the main London airports.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change overnight.   We will make a further statement at approximately 0300 (local time), tomorrow, Tuesday 20 April and again at 0900 (local time).

NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK’s safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.


Where is the ash cloud?

Please see below the latest forecast map showing the area of the ash cloud.  The red area indicates no take off or landing, as the ash cloud is below 20,000 ft.  However, it may be possible to overfly these areas at an altitude greater than 20,000 ft.  Blue and green areas indicate the ash cloud is above 20,000 ft, and so no overflights are possible.

When the ash cloud lifts, Blink

With the ash-cloud forecasts improving and pressure from European airlines increasing, the restrictions across UK and European airspace are starting to be lifted.

Once flights recommence, there will be severe delays and many days of backlog in the commercial airline schedule, meaning you may not find a seat on a flight for several more days.  Rather than face further delays and more missed meetings, consider Blink your cost-effective alternative.  Without any fixed schedule, and from small airports that require no large scale security and embarkation processes, we’ll simply bypass the traffic to get you home safely and quickly.

Ready for take-off

As of today – 20 April 2010 – our fleet of 7 Cessna Mustang aircraft is crewed and ready to leave from our bases in London, Geneva and the Channel Islands, as well as from Bournemouth, just as soon as the ATC restrcitions are lifted.  Our price per seat is often competitive with commercial business class, and during this period we will also consider requests to match different customers with the same trip.

Transatlantic opportunity

Several of our US clients are currently stranded in the UK.  As a result, we are organizing a special charter flight to take customers from London to New York.  As soon as the UK airspace opens, the aircraft will depart nonstop from Luton to New York (Teterboro).  Contact us to purchase a seat or take the entire aircraft.

Other long-haul flights

We are also arranging other long-haul flights from Asia to Europe and Europe to other parts of the world.  We have already repatriated Blink clients from Asia and the Middle East back to Europe.

Call +44 207 199 1400 and our Flight Services Team will be delighted to help. You’ll find more information about Blink at www.flyblink.com, including the Blink Airport Locator database, a quick and easy tool that might come in very handy right now if you’re looking for small nearby airports.

We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you onboard during this exceptional period.

CURRENT ASH CLOUD UPDATE: Please visit our current ash cloud update at www.flyblink.com/ash to learn about the latest airspace closures which we update regularly throughout the day.

Icelandic Volcanic Ash Disruption (Update 1)

Updated: 19th April 2010, 15:30 BST

In this post we will keep you updated on the latest information from the National Air Traffic Contol Service (NATS) and the Met Office regarding the Volcanic Ash situation currently affecting UK airspace.

Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Monday April 19, 15:30

The volcanic eruption has reduced and the volcano is not currently emitting ash to altitudes that will affect the UK. Assuming there are no further significant ash emissions we are now looking at a continuously improving situation.

Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until 0700 (local time) tomorrow, Tuesday.

From 0700 (local time) tomorrow, Tuesday, Scottish airspace will be open, and south to a line between Teesside and Blackpool. Mainland Scottish airports will be open.

This is a dynamic and changing situation and is therefore difficult to forecast beyond 0700 local; however, the latest Met Office advice is that the contaminated area will continue to move south with the possibility that restrictions to airspace above England and Wales, including the London area, may be lifted later tomorrow (Tuesday).

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that. We will advise further arrangements at approximately 2100 (local time), today.

It is now for airports and airlines to decide how best to utilise this opportunity. Passengers should contact their airlines to find out how this will affect their travel plans.


Where is the ash cloud?

Please see below the latest forecast map showing the area of the ash cloud. The red area indicates no take off or landing, as the ash cloud is below 20,000 ft. However, it may be possible to overfly these areas at an altitude greater than 20,000 ft. Blue and green areas indicate the ash cloud is above 20,000 ft, and so no overflights are possible.

Blink, and your children are there

Flying is fun

For kids, plane rides are a grand adventure, a fascinating and fun experience. For parents, flying with children can be an adventure of a different type: dealing with crying children, baggage restrictions, long queues, and unpredictable delays can be quite an ordeal.

There is, however, an alternative where both parents and children of all ages can enjoy the journey, making the process of getting from A to B an enjoyable experience for all.

Blink’s air taxi service is ideally suited to families, with children of all ages, travelling together. We’re here to bypass all the hassle involved in flying commercially – the busy road to the major airport, the queues at the departure gate, the intrusive security controls, the frequent delays, lost bags, and the occasional but ruinous cancellations.

Children of all ages

With Blink, you just need to get to a small local airport and we’ll have you and your family and belongings up and away in 15 minutes. And that includes the kids – whatever the age. Babies under 24 months can sit on parents’ laps, and for those older, a car seat does the job. Strollers, prams and small cots all fit in the back. Just sit back and enjoy the ride – and let the kids get to work on their latest masterpiece…

Blink’s Captains are ready to show youngsters around the Mustang’s super-sophisticated dashboard, and to point out wonderful sites from the window as we swoop up into the sky. We’ve got snacks and drinks too, and we’ll make sure we pack crayons and paper.

Important child related facts

  • Babies under 2 years old may sit on an adult’s lap; each adult flying may carry a baby, up to a maximum of 5 passengers (adults + children)
  • Car seats are required for children over 2 who do not yet fit into a real seat with a seat belt; you can bring your own or Blink can provide a car seat
  • Strollers, prams, and buggies fit easily in the luggage hold, while baby care bags, toys and other items required in-flight are welcome inside the cabin
  • Blink is committed to your safety at all times, and ensures that necessary child-sized safety equipment is onboard when children are flying

The Blink Flight Services team is available to answer any questions you may have about travelling with children.  Simply contact us via phone, email or online form.