Week in travel: Turkish Airlines prepares for relocation to new Istanbul Airport

Ryanair renames its Polish operation to Buzz, while Universal Orlando unveils new Harry Potter ride details, and pilot orders 70 hamburgers for passengers on a delayed flight

Turkey’s flag carrier is about to undergo the “biggest move of aviation history”.

The new Istanbul Airport is supposed to become the world’s biggest — Shutterstock Turkish Airlines prepares for relocation to new Istanbul Airport
The new Istanbul Airport is supposed to become the world’s biggest — Shutterstock

On 6 April, Turkish Airlines will completely abandon its current base at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport and move to the new Istanbul Airport.

The final stage of the relocation to the soon-to-be-the-biggest airport in the world will take 45 hours. Both the outgoing Atatürk Airport and incoming Istanbul Airport will be closed to all passenger flights between 2 am and 2 pm that day.

“The combined size of the equipment we are going to transfer would cover 33 football pitches,” said Turkish Airlines chairman, M. İlker Aycı.

“After this great move, which will be watched by the entire world, we will wake up to a new morning.

“It will be a morning in which the sun shines on Turkish aviation with the flights operated at Istanbul Airport.”

Around 1,800 personnel will transfer approximately 47,300 tonnes of equipment from Atatürk Airport during the move. It will include everything from aircraft-towing apparatus, weighing 44 tonnes, to extremely sensitive materials.

Ryanair rebrands its Polish operation to Buzz

Starting from Autumn 2019, Ryanair Sun will operate under the name Buzz — Ryanair Turkish Airlines prepares for relocation to new Istanbul Airport
Starting this Autumn 2019, Ryanair Sun will operate under the name Buzz — Ryanair

A stand-alone business unit of the Ryanair Group operating in Poland  — Ryanair Sun — will soon undergo major rebranding. Starting this autumn, the carrier will operate under the name Buzz.

Juliusz Komorek, the chairman of Buzz supervisory board, said: “We are excited to launch Buzz today, and to see our newly branded aircraft appear in Poland this autumn.

“Over the last 15 years, Ryanair has grown to become Poland’s biggest airline, thanks to the unbeatable combination of the lowest fares, best customer service and largest route network and we now expect that Buzz will be Poland’s number one airline.”

Michał Kaczmarzyk, Ryanair Sun’s chief executive, added: “Following a successful year of growth for Ryanair Sun, we are delighted that our planes will have a new and unique branding as we launch Buzz.”

The fleet of the Polish operation currently includes 17 aircraft growing to 25 aircraft in summer 2019.

Pilot of delayed flight orders 70 burgers for passengers

Not all heroes wear capes. Some of them simply know who to call and what to do in case of an unpleasant disruption.

When passengers got stuck on a Mesa Airlines flight departing from Tulsa International Airport for two and a half hours on Tuesday, Matthew Hoshor, the plane’s captain, decided to make a unique gesture. He bought a burger for every single passenger on the plane.

Sam Walker, a passenger on the Houston-bound aircraft, captured the thoughtful act in a tweet.

“Good people and customer service do still exist!” he tweeted.

Mesa Airlines’ CEO Jonathan Ornstein said the action “will definitely not go unnoticed.”

“He’s a really good guy. We’re very proud of him,” Ornstein told the Houston Chronicle.

“It really was outstanding customer service, way above and beyond.”

Boeing grounds all 737 MAX aircraft

The major American aircraft manufacturer has decided to ground its entire fleet of 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft amid recent fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash. All of the 371 planes in operation will be suspended at least until May, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The regulator added that the aircraft will not fly until a software update can be tested and installed.

US Representative Rick Larsen said the security software upgrade would take a few weeks to complete, and installing it on all the aircraft would take “at least through April”.

The measures follow the Sunday crash that occurred shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing took off from Addis Ababa. It was the second accident of the model in six months.

Some people have pointed out that the two incidents share similarities. Experts have analysed satellite data and evidence from the crash scene and found links between Sunday’s disaster and October’s crash of the Lion Air jet in Indonesia.

Before the manufacturer decided to ground the aircraft, the operation of Boeing 737 MAX was banned from the airspace of a number of countries, including Russia, Japan, Canada, and the European Union.

New Harry Potter-themed ride to be launched at Universal Orlando this summer

Universal Orlando has finally unveiled more details about its highly anticipated Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride coming to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this summer.

On 13 June, the attraction will soar into Universal Orlando Resort and become “the most highly themed, immersive coaster experience yet”, Universal Orlando says.

The new ride will combine a new level of storytelling and innovative roller coaster technology with rich environments and sets including an actual forest with more than 1,200 live trees.

It will also give guests the unique opportunity to join Hagrid one of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter films on a journey to one of the most mysterious places in the wizarding world the Forbidden Forest.

During the adventure, guests will experience a freewheeling coaster flight where they’ll twist, turn and rush forward and backwards at speeds of up to 80 kph into the dark forest.

Visitors will also encounter some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures, such as a majestic Centaur, a swarm of mischievous Cornish Pixies, Fluffy the three-headed dog and even a creature that’s never been seen in the films.