A Big Oops
Oasis Hong Kong Airlines was founded in 2005 by Rev. Dr. Raymond C. Lee and his wife, Priscilla Hwang Lee. The business model was to create a carrier offering low-cost fares a la JetBlue and RyanAir, but over long distance routes. The initial foray was to be round-trip flights between Hong Kong and London for as little as $209 one way.
At the Hong Kong International Airport on Oct. 25, more than 300 passengers, including top executives from the company, boarded one of the two refurbished Boeing 747s—purchased from Singapore Airlines for $100 million—for the inaugural flight to Gatwick.
After sitting on the tarmac for over five hours, Oasis CEO Stephen Miller got on the horn to announce to his fellow passengers that the flight had been cancelled. Russia had refused permission to overfly its territory.
“We are in talks with the Russia authorities,” whined Ken Chad, commercial director for Oasis. “We paid for the overfly rights and we got the approval code, and yet at the last minute, they held us up. We have not had any explanation.”
Welcome to the Amateur Hour.
Lessons From a Fuss-Budget
What triggered this story was a Takeaway Point in last week’s column, “Good Pilots and Dead Pilots”:
* If you have a checklist, do not fail to consult it.
Also listed in last week’s column, were three pilots of small planes who crashed as a result of ignoring checklists.
I don’t fly in small planes often, but last summer we visited our friends Pete and Olga on Cape Cod. When you drive up to their home, it appears to be quite typical for the area, not huge but comfortable. It turns out the attached garage is really an airplane hangar that houses Olga’s four-passenger Cessna 177B.
The house is on the premises of a fly-in community of aircraft owners. All the homes, surrounded by woods have 50’ hangars that back up to a series of grass taxiways leading to a small private airport.