A long-time mechanic for American Airlines, Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani faces federal charges after being accused of sabotaging a plane before a flight that was scheduled in July.
Flight 2834 was set to depart from Miami, FL on July 17 to Nassau, Bahamas with 150 passengers on board the airplane, but the flight was cancelled after an error message alerted pilots that something was wrong with the engine.
Alani told law enforcement officials that he placed foam into an inlet within the air data module of the plane in order to commit his act of sabotage, according to court documents. The air data module measures crucial information about the plane including its speed and its pitch.
“At American we have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members and we are taking this matter very seriously,” American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott said.
After American became aware of the malfunction, they cancelled the plane’s take-off before having it inspected shortly afterward. Another mechanic found out that the problem was a loose pitot tube during the inspection. The tube was blocked by the foam, causing a malfunction of the aircraft data module.
Scott says they “immediately notified federal law enforcement who took over the investigation with our full cooperation” once they realized that it was a case of sabotage.
According to the affidavit, Alani contends that his act of sabotage was not an act of terrorism. He claims that he was disgruntled after a contract “dispute had affected him financially.” Alani added that “his intention was not to cause harm to the aircraft or its passengers” but rather to “cause a delay or have the flight cancelled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work.”
American has been in an intense labor dispute with their mechanics, and the company has accused the union representing the mechanics of coordinating a campaign of industrial sabotage to delay planes as a ploy to gain additional leverage in negotiations. The union strongly disputes this allegation.
“From a union standpoint we wouldn’t condone even the thought of doing this,” said Gary Peterson, who works as a vice president for the Transport Workers Union.
Nevertheless, American claims that the Union’s behavior has caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled and many more to be delayed. It is unclear if Alani was caught contributing to this phenomenon or if more sinister motivations were at hand in his alleged sabotage of the plane.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, Alani is charged with “willfully damaging, destroying or disabling an aircraft,” and his first appearance in federal court is scheduled for today. His photograph and information about his country of origin have not been released to the public yet.
Airbnb CEO Says Wuhan Virus Will Fundamentally Transform Domestic Travel
Post-pandemic America will not look the same.
Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, said to Reuters on January 14, 2021 that domestic travel patterns will not revert to pre-Wuhan virus pandemic standards.
In a Zoom call with Jonathan Weber, the global technology editor for Reuters, Chesky said that business travel will move towards leisure travel due to the fact that software like Zoom facilitates teleconferencing at unprecedented rates.
Furthermore, Chesky speculates that people won’t be visiting America’s largest cities as much as before, nor will they stay at crowded hotels. Instead, he believes that “many people will travel by car – some will travel by plane – and they’re going to travel to thousands of smaller communities. And many of these communities are going to be smaller cities and or even rural areas.”
Additionally, the Airbnb CEO notes that “farm stays are huge right now” and that national parks travel will become a major trend among travelers in the upcoming months. The latter will grow, in Chesky’s view, because most Americans have not visited such parks.
According to an Airbnb survey, 54% of Americans have plans of traveling in 2021 or they’re in the process of planning out their trips for the summer. Chesky asserted that travelers are “yearning for what was taken away from them.” He added, “they’re not yearning to see Times Square. What they are yearning to do is to see their friends and their families they have not seen in a long time.”
Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge raised an interesting point about this change in Americans’ travel patterns:
If Chesky is right about the significant travel shift, the hotel industry could be slated for a massive wave of bankruptcies and or consolidation to a degree never before seen.
Regardless, Americans are getting tired of the Wuhan virus lockdowns. Millions of Americans have had their freedoms infringed upon thanks to politicians who want to exploit a generalized crisis for their own gain.
If Republicans were smart, they would be unapologetically campaigning for their states to be reopened. Americans want to go back to their normal lives and engage in activities such as travel, which the political class has deprived them of.
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