HomeUncategorizedAirline backs down on cello hold debate

Airline backs down on cello hold debate

The second-largest airline in Scandinavia, Norwegian Air Shuttle, has backed down on its controversial rule to ban cellos being stored in aircraft cabins.
After imposing the rule, a flood of complaints were made by Norwegian cellists and the media.
Norwegian claimed, however, that the decision was initially taken for health and safety reasons. But Trondheim Soloists, one of the groups campaigning against the ruling, said storing cellos in aircraft holds can damage the expensive instruments.
Previously, as with many other airlines, cellists store their instruments in seats as though they were passengers.
One cellist, Truls Mork, even threatened to stop using the airline and said he was considering moving away from Norway.
Commenting on the reversal to the decision, a statement by the airline, said: “This is the first time someone has threatened to move from Norway if they cannot fly Norwegian, and that makes an impression.
“For now, we will allow [cellos in cabins] under the old rules, though we may adjust these when the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has given us feedback.”
Indeed, the airline stressed that its backtrack on the decision is only temporary and it will await a risk assessment review by the aviation safety authority on the matter.
The issue has angered the music industry across the globe and Kathryn Hjelsvold, international sales manager for the Trondheim Soloists, told Gramophone magazine, that a possible ban could lead other airlines to follow suit.
“Touring orchestras like ours are really going to be in trouble if rules like this come into force,” she said, adding that getting the CAA involved “leaves the door open for them to change the rules again”.
Last month, Irish fiddler Paddy Glackin was told by Ryanair to pay for a separate seat for his instrument because it was too large for cabin baggage, despite usually being allowed to store it in an overhead locker for a surcharge. He was given the option to put it in the aircraft hold, but refused for risk of damage.

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