Singapore Airlines Cancels the World’s Longest Commercial Flights

Singapore Airlines Airbus A340-500; 9V-SGE@LAX;08.10.2011/620dq
Flickr/Aero Icarus

The longest commercial flights in the world — Singapore Airlines’ flights 21 and 22, running between Singapore and Newark, New Jersey — are slated for cancellation The Economist’s Gulliver blog reports. The flights traverse 9,525 miles in about 19 hours.

Qantas’s 8,576-mile route between Sydney and Dallas now has the top honor, according to USA Today, with Delta’s Atlanta to Johannesburg flight (8,434 miles) a close third.
Singapore Airlines cancelled the flights as part of a deal with AirBus, the Economist writes, in which “Singapore will get five new A380s and 20 new A350s, and the manufacturer will buy back the A340-500s that the airline uses on its super-long-haul routes.”

Singapore Airlines Makeover Signals Future of Air Travel

Did A Worker Really Take Airport Stairs On Pizza Joint Joyride?

Paul Lowry, Flickr

A La Guardia Airport worker was spotted cruising in a Southwest Airlines terminal stair car down a busy street in Queens around lunchtime on Saturday, and the New York Post reports he made a stop at a pizza joint along the way.

The Post quotes a DMV spokeswoman who says the stair car isn’t legal to drive on a public street. The story was a hot topic in the news this morning, including on NBC’s Today Show. However, a later report put out by USA Today says the Post’s story has spun a picture way out of proportion (and in the picture, there’s no evidence of pizza). Southwest tells the news outlet the Post’s report is “completely” untrue, and that the worker was just driving the stair car to a maintenance office close to the airport.

“He was simply taking the equipment to their office for their standard upkeep and standard maintenance,” Mainz tells USA Today. “So nothing out of the ordinary. It (the stair car) had all the proper plates and tags they need to do so. He certainly was not going to get pizza.”

Tourist Killed In Flightseeing Accident In Alaska

CambridgeBayWeather, Wikimedia Commons

One tourist is dead and two others seriously injured after a plane operated by flightseeing company Pacific Wings crashed into a mountain lake in southeast Alaska on Tuesday, USA Today reports.

According to the news outlet, six cruisers visiting Alaska on Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Sea Bird were off on a shore excursion when the tiny, single-engine floatplane similar to the one pictured above went down in a remote area near the town of Petersburg. Alaska state troopers identified the dead passenger as 66-year-old Thomas Rising, whose wife had remained on board the ship while he took the flight alone. The other five tourists, all of whom survived along with the pilot, were members of the same family. One passenger suffered a broken back and another a broken leg, with the others reporting minor injuries.

Alaska Daily News writes there are no early indications as to what caused the crash, but a spokesperson from Lindblad tells the news outlet the company “clearly [has] concerns after an accident like this.” Currently, Pacific Wings is the only airline offering this type of service for Lindblad out of Petersburg.

National Park Service Adds Fish Tacos, Lentil Soup And More To Menus This Summer

Libby Zay, Gadling

Starting this summer, the National Park Service (NPS) won’t just serve up greasy cheeseburgers with a side of fries. A new initiative is bringing healthy, sustainable options to snack bars and restaurants inside parks across the country.

Camp staples like hot dogs and summer favorites like ice cream will remain on many menus, but additions like fish tacos, lentil soup, black bean sliders, yogurt parfaits and organic bakery items will give visitors healthier choices. In addition to offering a wider range of options, the NPS is also encouraging concessioners to work with local farms whenever possible.

“There is no reason that you should have to take a vacation from eating well when you visit a national park,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, who spearheaded the move to raise the bar on food standards and sustainable food guidelines, in a press release.

It makes sense that the NPS is responding to growing consumer demand for healthy food, especially in parks where people are hiking, biking and otherwise being active. Kids might not be happy about substituting their french fries for vegetables and fruit (which according to USA Today they can do at the Grand Canyon South Rim), but the new menus will make trips to parks a healthier, happier experience for everyone.

[via USA Today]

Celebrity Ship Loses Galapagos Permit Over Frozen Lobster

Galapagos Fishing Boat by Libby Zay, Gadling

The strict environmental regulations of the Galapagos Islands make it one of the most protected places in the world. The islands are so sacred that when you fly in, flight attendants spray the overhead bins in planes to make sure passengers aren’t transporting any non-native insects. So when park authorities discovered Celebrity Cruises was transporting frozen lobster out of season, what they consider to be a violation, they temporarily revoked the company’s permit to cruise through the islands.

In a statement, the cruise line says they were cited “for transportation and storage of 12 kilograms of frozen lobster tails in the Galapagos.” A spokesperson tells USA Today, the cruise line has paperwork to prove the lobster was purchased in the Galapagos from authorized sellers during the lobster season, but the problem is they were in possession of the lobster tail out of season. The Celebrity Xpedition’s June 2 sailing was canceled, and additional sailings could be impacted.

Celebrity is providing full refunds, including airfare, to affected passengers, plus a cruise credit offering 50 percent off a future cruise. The company anticipates their license will be restored shortly, and said they are committed to complying with the rules and regulations of the Galapagos.

[via USA Today]