Cape Town - With the holiday season upon us, many travellers are taking to the skies to get to their destinations.
With these 'rush hours' in air travel over the festive season, comes the increase in air travel incidents, disappointments and surprises.
Looking back on the year, there have been some highlights and very low stages in aviation in 2015.
See The Worst of Aviation in 2015and The Best of Aviation in 2015 for a recap on all the remarkable things in aviation that happened over the past 12 months.
Here's what went down in the skies over the weekend that you need to know about:
- Epic fail Airbus falter -
The inaugural US flight of one of Airbus’s newest aircraft models - the Airbus A350 of Qatar Airways - was supposed to be a big deal, showcasing the impressive new jumbo jet on its very first trip from New York’s John F Kennedy Airport to Hamad International Airport in Doha.
Instead, it was spectacularly terrifying and embarrassing fail as the high tech jet’s computer system aborted it’s own take-off because it deemed the runway too short!
To make matter worse, the airplane even had screens on each seatback on which the passengers could watch the non-event as it happened. Rather than watching the plane soar to 30 000 feet, it taxed, picked up speed — and then came to a startling and screeching halt.
A video clip captured by aviation journalist Zach Honig, who was invited on the inaugural journey and was seated in one of 36 business class seats, shows the reactions of those on board when flight QR7452 came to a sudden halt on the runway.
- First chartered flight to Cuba takes to the skies -
The first charter flight took off to Havana, Cuba, from Los Angeles International Airport in California on Saturday, 12 December. This inaugural flight was the first since improved US-Cuban political relations, which eased travelling between to two countries.
The inaugural flight, operated by American Airlines, departed about 12:45 after a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city and airport officials, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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- Iberia to fly Joburg-Madrid again -
Iberia is set to resume Jo’burg-Madrid flights from 1 August 2016, the airline has announced.
Iberia will fly from Johannesburg to Madrid three times a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and return on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
READ MORE HERE: Iberia resumes Joburg to Madrid route
- Optimistic FlyAfrica continues to sell tickets -
Despite low-cost airline operator, FlyAfrica being grounded by the Namibian Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) in November, it seems the airline still hopes to continue operating in Namibia, as advance ticket sales for flights for next year can be booked via their website.
FlyAfrica Namibia say they are grounded because the company leased a Boeing 737 500 from FlyAfrica Zimbabwe to use on the Windhoek/Lanseria route. This aircraft was suspended from flying in Zimbabwe by the civil aviation authorities there.
The airine has been involved in a fiasco with its Zimbabwean partner and laid serious fraud and theft charges totaling in excess of R1.9 million ($140 000) against Chakanyuka Karase, a family member of their FlyAfrica Zimbabwe partner.
READ: FlyAfrica Namibia grounded for using unapproved planes for passenger services
Uncertainty surrounds the airline's flights in all southern African countries while the pending court case is resolved.
HAVE YOU SEEN: New Madiba tapestry unveiled at Cape Town International Airport
- Skywise saga -
Passengers continue to be disappointed by the Skywise saga, as they have not received refunds for cancelled flights from the airline.
The airline has been grounded for two weeks since 2 December, but it is yet to be announced what will happen to the company in the future.
External companies like Flight Centre, Travelstart and banks have made attempts to get passengers their refunds.
READ: Skywise: No clear date on when the airline will take off again
Skywise has made desperate attempts at saving the company, including inviting members of the public to invest in the airline, as well as using Nelson Mandela's grand-daughter, Ndileka Mandela, whose family has invested in the airline, to plead for the company to be saved.
ALSO SEE: Cancelled flights, cheeky staff and dirty toilets rate as top SA airline complaints
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