Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>Insurance</span>

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Lion Air Compensation

Lion Air is compensating the passengers of the plane that crashed in Bali on April 13. The 101 passenger (we don’t know if the 7 crew are included) is handing out $5600 to each passenger.

Lion Air is working with Jasa Raharja, an Indonesian insurance company to cover the medical bills for five injured passengers. The insurance company is paying up to IDR 25 million ($2500) and the airline is covering anything in excess of that.

Unofficial reports state the plane was flying low.

Twenty-five people have yet to receive their compensation.

The alcohol and drug tests of the crew, cockpit voice recorder, and the flight data recorder are still in process. No conclusions have been public on the cause of the accident.

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Dana Air Interim Payments Offered

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Peter Tonna
What: Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83 en route from Abuja to Lagos, Nigeria
Where: Iju neighborhood, Lagos
When: June 3, 2012
Who: 153 passengers
Why: Dana air stated that it is fully aware of the mandatory requirement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), for interim benefits to be paid to the families of the victims within 30 days of the accident.

Although 68 families have completed their insurance compensation documentation, only nine families were given $30,000 each, having been the only ones to successfully run the legal gauntlet.

Beneficiaries said the interim payment fell short of their expectations.

Claim forms must be taken to Yomi Oshikoya & Co, for verification. Yomi Oshikoya & Co was appointed by the insurers in Lagos.

Dana Air attempted to distribute cheques as interim compensation to some individuals made homeless by the crash. Dana Air prepared N500, 000 for one of the victims, Mr. Daniel Omowunmi, N100, 000, each to two occupants of the boys’ quarters and N200, 000 each to six families in the block of flats. Full payment of the compensation by the insurance company is pending. The lawyer rejected the checks as inadequate and also not all of the victims were included.

In George’s Point of View

Interim payments, that is good.

It’s Lloyds of London.

Judge Interprets Widow as Unentitled. Canadian Charter is No Common Carrier

Mark McLean had a million dollar life insurance policy under Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company, through Sears Canada Inc. When he was killed in a Vancouver Island plane crash three years ago, it seemed an open and shut case that his widow would get an accidental death benefit of $1 million under the 2007 policy. McLean was one of four Seaspan employees on an amphibious Grumman Goose flight from Port Hardy to Chamiss Bay.

But the policy was only valid for the fare-paying passenger of common carrier. The charter restricted to employees or contractors of Seaspan does not qualify as a common carrier. The The Honourable Mr. Justice Bracken found that “In this case, the aircraft was not operating as a regularly scheduled airline and was instead under a charter restricted to employees or contractors of Seaspan. It was a flight where Seaspan determined who the passengers were, the time of the flight and its destination. Thus, it did not fit within the definition of “common carrier” under the accidental death benefit rider.”

The widow was denied the accidental death benefit of $1,000,000 under the policy.

In George’s Point of View

Unfortunately, a judge must base his opinion on the wording of the policy.

The Judge had no choice. The policy excluded a non fare paying trip. Everyone should take advice from Insurance 101 and get out the magnifying glass. Read the fine print. It is still valid advice.

Insurance Companies salivate when they win a case like this. The agents who sell these policies, even they don’t know what they are selling and if they do, fail to explain all the fine print that will be included in the policy if the proposed insured buys a policy, or fail to use a combination of Life Insurance and Accidental Death Insurance that combine to cover all eventualities.

No doubt when Mark McLean got on that plane, he was confident of his coverage. I believe that as Seaspan regularly chartered that flight exclusively for their employees, either they should have provided insurance coverage, or made certain that the employees are otherwise covered. Perhaps they too needed to take a magnifying glass to their policies as well.

Stupid, almost a scam, my opinion, misleading, overall.

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Air India Stalls Hurt Families already Suffering

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer WT

May 22 was the anniversary of Air India Express Flight 812 from Dubai, which overshot the runway and crashed at Mangalore, India. The crash victims’ support group spokesman said that “About 50 families have received compensation from the insurance companies, but many families have not even been contacted. ” According to the organizer, Rafik Eroth, “…insurance representatives are playing foul over the payouts…Many families have lost their breadwinners and face major financial difficulties. I believe [the insurance companies] are delaying the process to pass the two-year mark so that the families lose their claims.” Families of crash victims had a two-year period in which to apply for compensation

The Civil Aviation Ministry ordered the airline to provide up to $159,840 to families of the victims in accordance with the Indian Carriage by Air Act, (following the Montreal Convention.)

It has been a year, and still some of the families have not yet been contacted about compensation.

The Indian Court of Inquiry probe report was submitted to the civil aviation ministry yesterday. The report says that “Air India pilot Zlatko Glusica, from Serbia, was asleep for much of the three-hour flight and was “disoriented” when the plane started to descend.” The experienced First Officer had fewer hours but was soon due for command, and had landed frequently at that airport. He called for a go-around which the Captain ignored.

Captain Z Glusica had more than 10,200 hours of flying experience—but not landing at that airport. He was the pilot in command and reacted late, and was suffering from “sleep inertia”. His heavy nasal snoring and breathing was captured on the CVR. Many standard operating procedures were not followed during landing. Co-pilot H S Ahluwalia repeated “abort landing” saying they didn’t have enough runway left, three times asking for a “go around”.

With less than 3,000 feet of runway left, the pilots tried to take off again and crashed in the gorge at the runway’s end.

The plane’s takeoff gear was found activated. Experts concluded if the pilots had not attempted to take off again, the plane emergency brakes could have brought the plane to a halt.

This is not the first time Air India has had exhausted pilots. What had their schedule been that week?

June 2008: Mumbai air traffic controllers woke two sleeping pilots with an alarm when they were 200 miles past their destination.

What: Air India Express Boeing 737-800 en route from Dubai to Mangalore
Where: Mangalore airport
When: 6:00 a.m May 22 2010
Who: Passengers including 23 children, 6 crew= 158 fatalities and 8 survivors
Why: Air India Express flight 812 attempted touch down was around the middle marker. (Conflicting) reports are that it overshot the runway, and that the pilot intended a go round (tapes reveal the co pilot was urging a go-round) but the plane hit the localizer antenna at the runway’s end, plowed through the perimeter losing part of a wing, and went down 75 feet into a ravine, and broke into pieces and burst into flames. On touchdown, there was a reported “bang” which may have been a tire bursting. A drizzle started after the accident. From 5 to 10 people have been hospitalized, but according to reports there are possibly 3 survivors.

Survivor Abdul Puttur suffered burns. He was seated near the wing exit and said that the pilot had announced the landing, then there was a thud. He saw huge flames after the plane fell into the ravine and then he jumped out from the back entrance. Another passenger said the pilot made no announcement.

The Serbian pilot was Zlatko Glusica, first officer was S.S. Ahluwalia.

According to DGCA rules, Mangalore International Airport is deemed a “critical airfield” which means that “supervised take offs and landings” are prohibited. Only the captain (not the first officer) can pilot take-offs and landings. Mangalore International Airport has a controversial table top runway and which forces pilots to make a precision landing. The airport has no buffer zone, and pilots landing planes must fly precisely or risk hurtling off the edge.

Fred Flintstone Airlines? No, it’s Air Zimbabwe

Like the nineteen year old Yemenia Airlines* Airbus A310-324 that was written up as having passengers with standing room only, unattached seats and an assortment of safety problems that were so bad that the plane was disallowed from flying over European airspace, Air Zimbabwe’s fleet demonstrates how not to run an airline.

There are apparently 5 planes and 50 pilots; far too many engineers (300? For a fleet of 5?), and is an accounting nightmare, being $108 million in debt and accruing more as it is operating in the red, and it has reportedly fallen behind on quarterly insurance payments.

A B767 may be auctioned if Air Zimbabwe fails to pay a monthly installment of US$500 000 to Lufthansa Technics. Repair of the B767-200 engine which requires US$2,5 million for repairs, hinged on the condition of making US$500 000 monthly payments from May 2011 to redeem the debt.

Skytrax, which rates airlines on a scale of 5-1 (5 being good) rates Air Zimbabe as a 2. Passenger reviews include random cancellations, ancient planes, unexpected delays, missed connections, owed reimbursements, misdirected charter flights, and strange excuses from gate personnel.

Yemenia Airlines* is also a 2 star airline.

Aerosvit Airlines
Air Algerie
Air Malawi
Air Slovakia
Air Zimbabwe
Azerbaijan Airlines
Bellview Airlines
Biman Bangladesh
Bulgaria Air
Cubana Airlines
Donbassaero Airlines
Iceland Express
JetStar Pacific
Mahan Air
Macedonian Airlines
MIAT Mongolian Airlines
Nepal Airlines
Onur Air
Pegasus Airlines
Rossiya Airlines
Royal Air Maroc
Sky Express
Sudan Airways
TAAG Angola Airlines
Tajikistan Airlines
Transaero Airlines
Turkmenistan Airlines
Ukraine International
Uzbekistan Airways
Yemenia Yemen Airways

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Safekeeping of Passengers Flies or Dies on Banks Due Diligence of Ethiopia Airlines

While one should congratulate Ethiopian Airlines for securing a $765 million package deal to finance five 777s, I hope the banks checked more than just their credit history and their relationship with the banks.

In terms of technological adulthood, Africa is still in its infancy. The pressure put on even a fairly reputable airline company like this to keep up with maintenance and pilot training is immense. It is succeed, or else. Or else, they call the loan and repo the planes. Or else there is a catastrophe and people lose their lives.

If all is ok when plane is leased but two years later airline gets a rap for bad maintenance or pilot training or any of the hundreds of other things that could happen, then the lease co or bank needs to step in and use their clout to demand changes/corrections, or face the consequences. Their contract should have teeth, with consequences that matter enough to the lessee to compel them to action, such as the right to repo that plane for maintenance or neglect issues, or pilot training issues, just as if the lessee were not making their payments. Lenders are pretty good at covering their investment by including clauses like this. Such a provision may already exist. The clause is not window dressing. It can be acted upon. Not for money’s sake. For the sake of lives.

Yes, lives are at stake here. Banks have a duty to monitor the lessee or buyer they entrust, and a duty as well to supervise not only the money but keep up with what is being purchased with the money. Entrusting a less than capable entity in ownership and maintenance of a jet worth millions is certainly dangerous instrumentality. Sufficient time should be allocated to responsible due diligence, beyond the loan/lease, to monitor not only timely payments but also if the company is living up to aggressive guidelines of maintenance and training.

These planes bought with this money, like all other airplanes but especially jets, are weapons of mass destruction. Even if they are not used in a deliberately terrorist act, inexperienced pilots and shotty maintenance can cause that plane to crash and become a weapon for those on board and for those on the ground.

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QBE Forms U.S. General Aviation Underwriting Group

NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — QBE the Americas has announced the creation of a U.S.-based general aviation underwriting operation.

Headquartered in Atlanta, QBE the Americas’ Aviation Team is designed to expand the company’s global aviation activities. QBE is already a major aviation insurance writer in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific.

The new team of seasoned aviation insurance professionals with a proven track record consists of William P. McGloin, Roger M. Ridings, Michael Clark and Russell Walker.

“The U.S. is the largest market for general aviation in the world,” says QBE’s Chief Executive Officer for the Americas, John Rumpler. “We’re pleased to start this operation that will offer a broad range of coverage and bring our company full circle as a true worldwide provider for general aviation insurance services. The aviation team that has been created will work in collaboration with QBE Aviation European Operations.”

General aviation insurance includes all types of aircraft except for military and major airlines. QBE the Americas’ Aviation Team of seasoned aviation professionals will work with personal-use aircraft owners, as well as corporations and airports to provide physical damage, liability and workers’ compensation coverage.

QBE Insurance Group Limited is one of the top 25 insurers and reinsurers worldwide. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 49 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The Americas Division, headquartered in New York, conducts business through various property and casualty insurance subsidiaries in 10 countries. QBE’s Americas Division produced $4 billion in gross written premium in 2009 and an 89.7 percent combined operating ratio. QBE Insurance companies are rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best and “A+” by Standard and Poor’s. For more information, visit qbe.com.

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AerCap Opens Representative Office in Abu Dhabi

AMSTERDAM, Jan. 19, 2011 – AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE: AER) today announced the opening of a representative office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

AerCap’s new Abu Dhabi office will be managed by a team of highly skilled aviation industry professionals with extensive experience in the region and will be led by Simon McLean, previously Chief Operating Officer of Waha Leasing PJSC.

The Abu Dhabi team will help expand AerCap’s activities in the Middle East/North Africa region, which is one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets. AerCap has a total fleet of 350 aircraft including fourteen aircraft on lease to seven airlines in the Middle East/North Africa region.

About AerCap
AerCap is the world’s leading independent aircraft leasing company. AerCap also provides engine leasing, aircraft management services, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services and aircraft disassemblies. The company has over $10 billion of total assets including committed purchases and focuses on new, fuel-efficient narrowbody and small widebody aircraft. AerCap is headquartered in The Netherlands and has offices in Ireland, the United States, China, Singapore, the United Kingdom and in The United Arab Emirates.

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XL Insurance Continues Regional Build Up of US Aviation Team, Establishing Chicago Underwriting Operations

NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2010 XL Insurance, the global insurance operations of XL Group plc today announced the launch of a new regional aviation underwriting group in Chicago with the appointment of Brian J. Ackland to Class Underwriter.

Eric Donofrio, North American Regional Manager for XL Insurance’s Aviation unit, said: “We’re off to a good start in Chicago. Bringing both broker and underwriting experience, Brian is a strong addition to our underwriting team. Now with underwriters in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, our brokers have more direct access to experienced staff who understands aviation risks and the needs of our clients. We’re looking forward to expanding this team in the very near future to be even more responsive to needs of the aviation industry in the US Midwest.”

Mr. Ackland joins XL Insurance from Aviation Insurance Services (AIS) of Illinois, Inc. In addition to his experience as a broker with AIS, his professional experience includes various underwriting positions with AIG Aviation and United States Aircraft Insurance Group, both in Chicago. A graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Mr. Ackland holds a commercial pilot certificate with multi-engine, instrument and rotorcraft ratings.

XL Insurance’s global Aerospace operations provide a broad spectrum of coverage for US based and international airlines, products manufacturers, general aviation and space risks around the world.

XL Insurance is the global brand used by XL Group plc’s insurance companies and underwriting divisions offering property, casualty, professional and specialty insurance products throughout the world. More information about XL Insurance is available at www.xlinsurance.com. XL Group plc, through its subsidiaries, is a global insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty, and specialty products to industrial, commercial, and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises on a worldwide basis. More information about XL Group plc is available at www.xlgroup.com.

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