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Hijack Alert Accidentally Trigger by Plane at JFK Airport

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Travelers coming through a busy New York City airport had a security scare Tuesday night after a pilot accidentally entered a hijack alert.

According to FoxNews.com, JetBlue Flight 1623 was scheduled to take off for a journey to Los Angeles from John F. Kennedy International Airport at 7:30 p.m. ET when the plane stopped responding to air traffic control communications.

The loss of response to the tower was caused by the pilot entering a hijack alert by mistake, which caused the Port Authority Police Emergency Services to send heavily armed officers to board the plane and investigate the terror notice.

Several of the passengers on the JetBlue flight believed they were experiencing a terrorist attack.

“I hate guns. They were pointing them, like, at us. It was traumatizing,” passenger Alexa Curtis told CBS Los Angeles. “People were, like, crying. Everyone’s texting their family, and we were on ground, so usually this would happen in the air if it was going to happen. People were ready to die.”

The Federal Aviation Administration also released a statement about the accidental hijack alert:

“JetBlue 1623, an Airbus A320, experienced a radio equipment problem while taxing for departure at John F. Kennedy International Airport tonight at 8 p.m. The crew requested to return to the ramp. The FAA will investigate.”

Port Authority spokeswoman Lenis Rodrigues said the JetBlue aircraft was inspected and authorities cleared it before deeming there was no security threat.

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United Puts Financial Losses Into Shocking Perspective

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With the demand for travel at an all-time low thanks to stay-at-home directives and severe travel restrictions, United Airlines on Thursday put the industry’s financial losses into a stark perspective.

According to the aviation blog The Points Guy, which had privy to view a virtual town hall held by the carrier, United is losing “over $100 million a day” due to the impact of the coronavirus global pandemic, United president Scott Kirby said.

Kirby conducted the town hall along with current CEO Oscar Munoz, who is stepping down in favor of Kirby later this year.

As The Points Guy pointed out, United cut almost 70 percent of its schedule in April with further cuts likely for May—as all airlines have. In fact, predictions going forward are dire. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said they expect airlines to lose a collective $61 billion in the second quarter of this year (April, May and June).

United said it will pursue some of the $25 billion in grants available for employee compensation from the U.S. government stimulus package, as well as consider whether to apply for some of the $25 billion in loans. But this is all uncharted territory for the industry, even after the financial devastation from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“One of the lessons from this is, our stress test from 9/11 wasn’t stressful enough,” Kirby said in reference to United’s preparations and need for cash to keep operating.

United has not decided whether to permanently retire any jets as a result of the coronavirus, according to The Points Guy.

“If we want to emerge stronger, if we want to emerge the world’s leading airline on the other side of this, we have to have flexibility,” he said.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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