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Virgin Atlantic fined by the FAA for overflying Iraq

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Virgin Atlantic fined by the FAA for overflying Iraq

Old 22nd Jan 2023, 12:58
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Virgin Atlantic fined by the FAA for overflying Iraq

Virgin Atlantic Fined for Operating Flights in Prohibited Airspace | US Department of Transportation

I find this extraordinary on many counts. Virgin Atlantic fined by the FAA for overflying Iraq on London to India flights, just because they carried a DL codeshare. It's a UK-registered aircraft, not operating anywhere near the USA. The crew have UK and not FAA licences. As I understand it all major European and worldwide carriers, also serving the USA, fly the same route.

It's not even as if Delta, the US partner, has been fined; just picked on the overseas carrier.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 13:16
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Originally Posted by WHBM
Virgin Atlantic Fined for Operating Flights in Prohibited Airspace | US Department of Transportation

I find this extraordinary on many counts. Virgin Atlantic fined by the FAA for overflying Iraq on London to India flights, just because they carried a DL codeshare. It's a UK-registered aircraft, not operating anywhere near the USA. The crew have UK and not FAA licences. As I understand it all major European and worldwide carriers, also serving the USA, fly the same route.

It's not even as if Delta, the US partner, has been fined; just picked on the overseas carrier.
Another way to look at this is that passengers bought a DL ticket, so they should expect their seat to be operated like a DL flight.

IMO, which I realize does not matter, code sharing is open to abuse. With Interlining it is clear to the passenger what the arrangement is. Code sharing is opaque and can be a way to circumvent inconvenient regulations.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 13:20
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Originally Posted by 742
Another way to look at this is that passengers bought a DL ticket, so they should expect their seat to be operated like a DL flight.
.
But then DL should be the one to be fined ... surely ? And anyway, it's operated on a UK AOC. There's no US input or regulation of operation.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 16:50
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Originally Posted by WHBM
But then DL should be the one to be fined ... surely ? And anyway, it's operated on a UK AOC. There's no US input or regulation of operation.
My take on reading the news release is that Virgin used the DL code share on a flight that Delta would not or could not operate. My understanding of the code share program is that the codes are used to reduce the number of half empty planes flying from A to B but still allowing SLF to collect points on the frequent flyer programs. To use the code share it would have to be a route that Delta and Virgin shared which wasn't the case here.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 19:13
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Codeshares are not limited to common routes. Lots of my flights carry four or five ghost flight numbers for airlines that do not operate here, but do have connections to my flights.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 20:11
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I never really fully understood the legality of things behind code sharing ., but if a pax buys a ticket with airline A, with a A flight number on it but the flight is operated by airline B in reality this is normally adverised when you buy the ticket. . If somethig goes wrong , it is airline B which is responsible as I understand it . So in this case Delta is not responsible if Virgin got a problem over Iraq, or did I miss something?
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 21:07
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I would imagine that it all depends on what is written in the code share agreement between Delta and Virgin. We are not party to that.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 21:13
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I think the contract is between the passenger and the ticket issuer. Which is not to say that any party will escape liability if the damages are high enough.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 21:18
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Originally Posted by Bksmithca
My take on reading the news release is that Virgin used the DL code share on a flight that Delta would not or could not operate. My understanding of the code share program is that the codes are used to reduce the number of half empty planes flying from A to B but still allowing SLF to collect points on the frequent flyer programs. To use the code share it would have to be a route that Delta and Virgin shared which wasn't the case here.
Codesharing has been around for decades. There isn't really any mystery about how it operates.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 21:31
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Codesharing has been around for decades. There isn't really any mystery about how it operates.
Dave, i understand that code sharing has been around for decades. But can an Airline use codesharing on a route that they can't legally fly?
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 22:08
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Codesharing was invented for that very purpose. It allows an airline to sell, among other things, a domestic network in a foreign country that it cannot fly for obvious reasons. Codeshares greatly simplify the ticketing process for customers and at least imply that the ticket issuer has confidence in the operating carrier.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 23:37
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I've never seen an explanation of what codesharing offers that traditional IATA interlining tickets could not.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 01:10
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Originally Posted by WHBM
Virgin Atlantic Fined for Operating Flights in Prohibited Airspace | US Department of Transportation

I find this extraordinary on many counts. Virgin Atlantic fined by the FAA for overflying Iraq on London to India flights, just because they carried a DL codeshare. It's a UK-registered aircraft, not operating anywhere near the USA. The crew have UK and not FAA licences. As I understand it all major European and worldwide carriers, also serving the USA, fly the same route.

It's not even as if Delta, the US partner, has been fined; just picked on the overseas carrier.
This is why I heavily dislike the FAA. They act all tough, and yet they fail to have basic thinking skills, such as letting manufacturers self-certify their own aircraft.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 06:26
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Originally Posted by Bksmithca
But can an Airline use codesharing on a route that they can't legally fly?
Well it now appears not.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 14:12
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Did the flight(s) concerned overfly Iraq because of sanctions preventing then using Russian airspace?
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 15:56
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Originally Posted by Airbanda
Did the flight(s) concerned overfly Iraq because of sanctions preventing then using Russian airspace?
Yes but the problem here is the choice of the route, overflying Iraq . which is against the recommendations of both EASA and FAA.. Many prefer to go further South to avoid, but it is longer.l. Some do some don't,. Same discussion as with Ukraine / MH17 at the time . there too, some did avoid , some did not.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 17:56
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While the USDoT consent order contains plenty of legalese, the bottom line appears to be that VA applied for and received from the USDoT a “statement of authorization” that obligates VA to comply with certain FAA requirements. I suspect that SoA also specifies consequences for FAA violations that VA agreed to. Thus, the authority for USDoT to fine VA, a foreign carrier.

VA is not contesting either the fine or the authority of USDoT to impose the fine.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 18:58
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I wonder if the US DOT will be issuing speeding fines on the Autobahn as well?
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 19:30
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BA35 currently overhead Iraq on London to Chennai, which carries the American Airlines codeshare AA6669 and shows on the AA ticketing site as JFK-LHR-Chennai, with the second leg on the BA flight.

So what's different, to have cost Virgin a million dollars ?









Last edited by WHBM; 23rd Jan 2023 at 19:46.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 21:15
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So based on the news article, Virgin was fined for flights from Sept 2020 to Sept 2021. The article was released in Jan 2023 roughly 18 months after the last offending flight. So BA35 was flying today, so comeback in 18 month and we can discuss why or why not.
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