Johannesburg to Cape Town flight on South African Airways now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Johannesburg to Cape Town flight on South African Airways now 1

After months of preparations, South African Airways resumes both domestic and regional Africa service.South African Airways’ first scheduled flight takes off from Johannesburg to Cape Town on September 23.Flights are also set to start to five African capitals – Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo.

Following months of preparation after exiting business rescue, South African Airways (SAA) resumes both domestic and regional Africa service. The carrier’s firstscheduled flight is an early morning take-off from OR Tambo International in Johannesburg to Cape Town International on September 23 and is one of three return flights per day between the two cities. Flights are also set to start to five African capitals – Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka, and Maputo.

SAA’s Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo says, “This week is a proud and significant one for SAA and its staff as well as all South African citizens. Our journey back to the skies has not been easy and I pay tribute to our dedicated workforce in all areas of the business all of whom have and are putting in long hours ahead of this day. People in every facet of the business want nothing more than for SAA to succeed and for us to build a new airline based on safety and exemplary customer service.”
Kgokolo says while South African Airways has big ambitions it’s overriding ethos will be one of responsible and prudent fiscal management and a commitment to transparency. “We restart this business with a new vision of pride in the brand and one that has been inculcated into every staff member. Our first order of business is to service ourstart-up routes efficiently and profitably and then look to expanding the network and growing our fleet, all depending on demand and market conditions.”
SAA’s Board Chair John Lamola says, “SAA’s return will provide more market equilibrium in terms of ticket pricing. Since the carrier went into and then out of business rescue there has been less local capacity and that means tickets have become more expensive. Our return to the skies will mean more competitive pricing and will enable more South Africans to fly.”
Lamola says SAA’s return to the skies is also a major economic enabler, particularly with its strong focus on cargo flights. “Economics aside, there is also the pride factor. Seeing SAA’s tail colors on international tarmacs is not only positive for South Africa but the rest of the continent.”
SAA’s Interim Executive: Commercial Simon Newton Smith says, “We are in many ways, a metaphor for the country; it has not always had the easiest history, but it is resilient, its people are rightfully proud and it’s a country never to be underestimated. Our job is to show the world that South Africa is rebounding and starting the journey to a full and better recovery. We’re re-starting humbly but with big ambitions.”
SAA’s Chief Pilot Mpho Mamashela says “All of us who are going to be at the front of the plane in coming weeks and months fully understand the new vision of SAA and we are proud to be part of this new era. We are determined to be absolutely perfect and to make South Africans proud.”

Doha to Almaty flights on Qatar Airways now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Doha to Almaty flights on Qatar Airways now 2

New service reinforces the warm relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Kazakhstan.New service will enable passengers flying to and from Almaty to enjoy seamless connectivity to over 140 destinations.The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 140 destinations.

Qatar Airways is pleased to announce that it will launch scheduled passenger services to Almaty, Kazakhstan starting from 19 November 2021. The new service will be operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft, featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy Class.

This service will enable passengers flying to and from Almaty, Kazakhstan to enjoy seamless connectivity to over 140 destinations, via the World’s Best Airport, Hamad International Airport in Doha, the State of Qatar.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are proud to bring our award-winning services to Kazakhstan, adding this unique destination to our growing network. This new service reinforces the warm relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Kazakhstan, and reaffirms our commitment to further developing trade and tourism between our two great countries.”
Kazakhstan is the economic powerhouse of the Central Asia region. It is an adventurer’s paradise, with landscapes varying from snow-capped mountains to expansive deserts, rocky canyons, coniferous forests, and untouched river deltas. Visitors can also admire historical landmarks including the bright-yellow towers of the famous Zenkov Cathedral in Almaty.
Flight Schedule to Almaty from 19 November 2021:
Friday and Monday (all times local)
Doha (DOH) to Almaty (ALA) QR 391 departs: 01:15 arrives: 08:35
Almaty (ALA) to Doha (DOH) QR 392 departs: 21:40 arrives: 23:55
The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 140 destinations. Qatar Airways also features flexible booking policies that offer unlimited changes in travel dates and destinations, and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued for travel completed by 31 May 2022.

Northern Pacific Airways to fly new Boeing jets between the US and Asia Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Northern Pacific Airways to fly new Boeing jets between the US and Asia 3

Northern Pacific Airways agrees to purchase its first six Boeing 757-200 aircraft.Northern Pacific Airways completed the transaction to meet part of its initial fleet requirements.The first new Boeing 757-200 aircraft within this purchase will be delivered to Northern Pacific Airways immediately,

This week, Anchorage-based Northern Pacific Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of FLOAT Alaska LLC, agreed to the purchase of its first six aircraft—Boeing 757-200s. The airline completed the transaction to meet part of its initial fleet requirements. The first aircraft within this purchase will be delivered immediately.

The airline intends to offer service between points in the U.S. and Asia, via Anchorage, Alaska.
The acquisition of the Boeing 757-200s is the first step in Northern Pacific‘s business plan. Prior to entering service, the aircraft will undergo a full C-level maintenance check by Certified Aviation Services LLC (C.A.S.), a leading maintenance, repair and overhaul (M.R.O.) firm in San Bernardino, California. The Alaska-based carrier intends to continue enlarging its fleet as it prepares for passenger flights.
The best in class Boeing 757-200 is powered by twin 36-600 Rolls-Royce RB211 underwing turbo engines for a maximum takeoff weight of 255,000 lbs. The plane can transport over 200 passengers to their destination’s each flight, with a range of 3,915nm/-7,250km per fueling. The single-aisle plane is less costly to fly than its wide-bodied counterparts, yet has a range greater than other aircraft of similar size. Over the duration of their manufacturing program, more than 1,049 Boeing 757-200s were delivered. The aircraft is well suited for point-to-point, long-haul flights, and has enough space to accommodate each passenger’s carry-on.
“Northern Pacific is proud to introduce these powerful aircraft as the foundation of our fleet,” said Rob McKinney, Northern Pacific’s Chief Executive Officer. “The Boeing 757-200 will help us achieve operational savings and efficiencies while offering our customers a rewarding travel experience.”
Northern Pacific Airways (NP) plans to offer flights between points in the U.S. and points in East Asia by connecting through Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska.
FLOAT Alaska LLC, headed by Rob McKinney CEO, is the parent company of Ravn Alaska, Northern Pacific Airways, FlyCoin, and other Alaska-based ventures. 

Qatar Airways combats illegal wildlife trafficking Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Qatar Airways combats illegal wildlife trafficking 4

Qatar Airways, a founding member of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, signed the historic Buckingham Palace Declaration on 2016.Buckingham Palace Declaration aimed at taking real steps to shut down the routes exploited by traffickers of the illegal wildlife trade, to move their products.In May 2019, Qatar Airways became the world’s first airline to achieve certification to the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Assessment.

Qatar Airways has extended its participation in the USAID ROUTES (Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species) Partnership, reinforcing its commitment to combat illegal trafficking of wildlife and its products.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker
Qatar Airways, a founding member of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, signed the historic Buckingham Palace Declaration in 2016, aimed at taking real steps to shut down the routes exploited by traffickers of the illegal wildlife trade, to move their products. Subsequently in May 2017, the airline went on to sign the first Memorandum of Understanding with the ROUTES Partnership. In May 2019, Qatar Airways became the world’s first airline to achieve certification to the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Assessment. The IWT Assessment certification confirms that Qatar Airways has procedures, staff training and reporting protocols in place that make the smuggling of illegal wildlife products more challenging.
The Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Assessment was developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), with the support of ROUTES, as part of IEnvA – IATA’s environmental management and evaluation system for airlines. Compliance with the IWT IEnvA Standards and Recommended Practices (ESARPs) enables airline signatories to the United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration to demonstrate that they have implemented the relevant Commitments within the Declaration.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “The illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade threatens our global biodiversity, and poses a risk to health and safety, particularly in marginalized communities. We are taking measures to disrupt this illicit trade in order to conserve biodiversity and safeguard our delicate ecosystems. We remain committed with other aviation industry leaders to emphasize our zero-tolerance policy towards illegal trafficking of wildlife and its products, and we join the ROUTES Partnership in saying – ‘It Doesn’t Fly With Us’. We will continue to work with our stakeholders to raise awareness and improve detection of illegal wildlife activities to protect these creatures that we value.”
Mr. Crawford Allan, the ROUTES Partnership Lead, welcomed the leadership Qatar Airways has shown in efforts to prevent wildlife trafficking saying: “Through its actions on raising awareness, training and including wildlife trafficking within its policies, Qatar Airways has demonstrated its commitment to the Buckingham Palace Declaration and to the goal of the ROUTES Partnership. I am proud to see that Qatar Airways is continuing these efforts and being part of a growing number of companies to say It Doesn’t Fly With Us.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that wildlife crime is a threat not only to the environment and biodiversity, but also to human health. Despite restricted travel, reports of illegal wildlife seizures over the past year have revealed that traffickers are still taking their chances to smuggle contraband through the air transport system. Qatar Airways recognizes that with support from the USAID ROUTES partnership, the air transport industry can move towards a greener planet that includes ecosystems and wildlife conservation, essential parts of a thriving wildlife economy with and for local communities.
As an inaugural signatory to the Buckingham Palace Declaration in March 2016 and a founding member of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, Qatar Airways has a zero-tolerance policy towards the transportation of illegal wildlife and their products. Qatar Airways Cargo launched the second chapter of its sustainability program WeQare: Rewild the Planet earlier this year, focused on transporting wild animals back to their natural habitat, free of charge. The cargo carrier’s initiative to preserve wildlife and re-wild the planet is aligned with the airline’s commitment to fight wildlife trafficking and illegal trade of wild animals and thereby protect the environment and planet Earth.

Airbus announces its first eco-wing prototype Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Airbus announces its first eco-wing prototype 5

‘Wing of Tomorrow’ reaches a key milestone with the assembly of its first full-size wing prototype.Airbus’ new program will enhance understanding of wing manufacturing and industrialization.Three full-size prototype wings will be manufactured in total under the ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ program.

‘Wing of Tomorrow’, a major Airbus research and technology program, has reached a key milestone with the assembly of its first full-size wing prototype.

The Wing of Tomorrow program will not only test the latest composite materials and new technologies in aerodynamics and wing architecture but, importantly, explore how wing manufacturing and industrialization can be improved to meet future demand as the sector emerges from the pandemic.
Three full-size prototype wings will be manufactured in total:  one will be used to understand systems integration; a second will be structurally tested to compare against computer modelling, while a third will be assembled to test scaling-up production and compare against industrial modelling.
Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer, said: “Wing of Tomorrow, a crucial part of Airbus’ R&T portfolio, will help us assess the industrial feasibility of future wing production. High-performing wing technology is one of several solutions – alongside sustainable aviation fuels and hydrogen – we can implement to contribute to aviation’s decarbonization ambition.  Wing of Tomorrow is also an example of how large-scale industry collaboration will be critical to achieving our sector’s agenda for a more sustainable future.” 
Wing of Tomorrow, part-funded by the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute, is a fully transnational Airbus program involving global partners and teams across Airbus’ European sites, including Bremen in Germany, where the ‘Wing Moveables’ team is based. The three wing demonstrators will bring together more than 100 new technologies to explore new manufacturing and assembly techniques with the goal of making aviation more sustainable.
Sub-assembly of the complex wing cover took place at Airbus’ Filton site, England, having been manufactured at the National Composite Centre in Bristol. The wing cover and a major component from GKN Aerospace – the Fixed Trailing Edge – were delivered to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Wales, facility on Airbus’ wing-production plant in Broughton, Flintshire, for assembly to begin.

Flights from Kazakhstan resume to 16 more countries now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Kazakhstan resume to 16 more countries now 6

Kazakhstan’s government officials announce the resumption of air service with several more countries.Kazakh carriers will increase flight frequencies to Russia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Germany and United Arab Emirates.Flights from Kazakhstan to Czech Republic, China, Italy, Sri Lanka, Kuwait and Azerbaijan also resume.

Officials from the Kazakh Intergovernmental Commission for preventing coronavirus spread announced that Kazakhstan residents can now fly to 16 more countries, starting September 21, 2021.

The commission has made a decision to increase and resume regular international air service to 16 countries worldwide with a frequency of 114 flights a week.
Thus, Kazakhstan increased flights frequencies to Russia by 54, by 7 to Turkey, by 9 to the United Arab Emirates, by 5 to Uzbekistan and Germany, by 3 to the Maldives, Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee’s Telegram Channel announced.
Kazakhstan resumed flight to Czech Republic, China and Azerbaijan. Besides, there will be flights from Kazakhstan to Italy twice a week, and flights from Kazakhstan to Sri Lanka and Kuwait three times to a week.
Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, Air Astana, today announced the resumption of direct flights from Almaty to Male (Maldives) from 9 October 2021. Flights will be operated four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays on Airbus 321LR and Boeing 767.
Air Astana has launched flights to the Maldives on December 5, 2020, and operated until May 24, 2021 before suspension due to government restrictions. According to the Ministry of Tourism of the Maldives, Kazakhstan was ranked fifth by a number of arrived tourists to Male between January and May 2021 after Russia, India, Germany and Ukraine.

Plane with 6 people onboard disappears in Russia’s Far East Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Plane with 6 people onboard disappears in Russia’s Far East 7

Russian Emergency Ministry’s Antonov An-26 aircraft disappeared from flight radars near Khabarovsk.The aircraft had a flights crew of six people on board and was performing a technical flight.Searches are complicated by the darkness and unfavorable weather, according to the ministry press service.

Press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry confirmed that its An-26 plane disappeared from flight radars 38 kilometers (23.5 miles) from the Khabarovsk city airport, around the territory of Khekhtsir Nature Reserve in the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East.

The aircraft had a flight crew of six people on board and was performing a technical flight, according to the press service.
“At 11:45 Moscow time, the Crisis Management Center of Russia’s Emergency Ministry in the Khabarovsk region received a message that Antonov An-26 aircraft disappeared from flight radars 38 km from the Khabarovsk city airport, presumably in the area of Khekhtsir Nature Reserve. According to preliminary data, there was a flight crew of six people aboard,” the press service said, adding that the plane was performing a technical flight.
“Searches are complicated by the dark time of the day and unfavorable weather conditions,” the ministry added.
More than 70 rescuers and a reconnaissance helicopter had deployed to the suspected crash site.
Accidents involving dilapidated aircraft in Russia’s wild and remote Far East are still very common.
In August, eight people were killed when a Mi-8 helicopter, with 16 people on board, crashed into a lake on the volcanic Kamchatka peninsula due to poor visibility.
In July, an airliner with 22 passengers and six crew members on board crashed as it was about to land in Kamchatka, leaving no survivors.
The Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name: Curl) is a twin-engine turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, designed and produced in the Soviet Union from 1969 to 1986.
The An-26 is also manufactured without a license agreement in China by the Xian Aircraft factory as the Y-14, later changed to be included in the Xian Y7 series.

Volocopter Chengdu: New German-Chinese joint aircraft venture announced Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Volocopter Chengdu: New German-Chinese joint aircraft venture announced 8

Germany’s Volocopter teams up with Geely Holding Group to establish a joint venture in Chengdu, China.The joint venture will take charge of production and market operation of Volocopter products in the Chinese market.The joint venture plans to help promote urban air mobility in China in the coming three to five years.

A new joint aircraft company, named Volocopter (Chengdu) Technology Co., Ltd., or Volocopter Chengdu for short, has been announced by Germany’s Volocopter, a specialist in the manufacture of autonomous air vehicles, and a second-tier subsidiary of Geely Holding Group.

The joint venture will be located in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, and will take charge of production and market operation of Volocopter products in the Chinese market.
Volocopter Chengdu also signed orders with Volocopter for 150 aircraft, including logistics unmanned aerial vehicles and manned aircraft.
Air vehicles and their parts will be produced in Hubei Geely Terrafugia, a manufacturing base of Geely in China, according to the joint venture.
Volocopter Chengdu will also attend the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) on September 28.
“Today marks another important milestone on our journey to bring affordable electric air mobility to China, the biggest single market opportunity for the UAM industry,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.
UAM refers to a new mode of urban transportation that uses electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to move people or goods within lower urban and suburban airspaces. It helps relieve the strain on increasingly congested city roads and allows people and goods to reach their destinations faster and more safely.
Volocopter is currently the world’s first and only eVTOL aircraft manufacturer that has obtained design and production approval from European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

IATA announces speakers for World Air Transport Summit in Boston Aviation Feature, Aviation News

IATA announces speakers for World Air Transport Summit in Boston 9

The International Air Transport Association announced the program and speakers for the World Air Transport Summit (WATS).World Air Transport Summit (WATS) will be held in conjunction with the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Boston, USA, 3-5 October.Session topics include addressing the challenge of climate change, safely reconnecting the world during COVID-19, diversity and inclusion in aviation, collaborating with value chain partners, and air cargo.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the program and speakers for the World Air Transport Summit (WATS), which is being held in conjunction with the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Boston, USA, 3-5 October.

“I’m very excited that the World Air Transport Summit will again take place as a live event for the first time since June 2019. Virtual forums are no substitute to the value created when people meet face to face. As we plan for the industry recovery from COVID-19 and address critical climate change issues, the in-person discussions and debates among the industry’s top leaders and stakeholders will be particularly significant,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
Session topics include addressing the challenge of climate change, safely reconnecting the world during COVID-19, diversity and inclusion in aviation, collaborating with value chain partners, and air cargo. The always popular CEO Insight Debate will return, moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest, anchor of Quest Means Business.
Aviation’s response to climate change will top the agenda. The keynote address will be delivered by Rachel Kyte, Dean of the Fletcher School, Tufts University and former special representative of the UN Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All. Kyte previously was the World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, leading the run-up to the Paris Agreement.
This will be followed by a panel of key stakeholders focused on sustainability including:
Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus  Stanley Deal, Chief Executive Officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes  Annie Petsonk, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, US Dept. of Transportation Pieter Elbers, Chief Executive Officer, KLM Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech

Canada announces extension of the flight ban from India Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Canada announces extension of the flight ban from India 10

As Canada prepares for the return of direct flights from India to Canada, Transport Canada is announcing an extension of the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting flights to Canada from India.Everyone in Canada is advised to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada – international travel increases the risk of exposure to, and the spread of COVID-19, including infection caused by new variants.Border and public health measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves.

Canada continues to take a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening the border while prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada.
As Canada prepares for the return of direct flights from India to Canada, Transport Canada is announcing an extension of the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India until September 26, 2021, at 23:59 EDT.

Once the restriction on direct flights expires, travelers eligible to enter Canada will be able to board direct flights from India to Canada with the following additional measures:  
Travelers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test from the approved Genestrings Laboratory at the Delhi airport taken within 18 hours of the scheduled departure of their direct flight to Canada.
Prior to boarding, air operators will be checking the travelers’ test results ensuring they are eligible to come to Canada, and that fully vaccinated travellers have uploaded their information into the ArriveCAN mobile app or website. Travelers who are unable to meet these requirements will be denied boarding.
As a first step, on September 22, 2021, three direct flights from India will arrive in Canada and all passengers on these flights will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to ensure that the new measures are working.
After the resumption of direct flights, travelers who are eligible to enter Canada who depart India for Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain, within 72 hours of departure, a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test from a third country – other than India – before continuing their journey to Canada.  
Everyone in Canada is advised to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada – international travel increases the risk of exposure to, and the spread of COVID-19, including infection caused by new variants. Border and public health measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves.

Airbus and Air France target most energy efficient flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Airbus and Air France target most energy efficient flights 11

Launched in February 2021, ALBATROSS is a large-scale initiative of major European aviation stakeholder groups led by Airbus.ALBATROSS follows a holistic approach by covering all flight phases, directly involving all relevant stakeholder groups.Starting from September 2021, live trials will involve around 1,000 demonstration flights, showcasing mature operational solutions with potential fuel and CO2 emission savings.

Airbus, Air France and DSNA, the French Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), have begun working towards the development of “most energy efficient flights”, following their inaugural demonstration flight from Paris to Toulouse Blagnac on the day of the Airbus Summit event. The aircraft flew an optimized trajectory, marking the first of a series of trials planned during 2021 and 2022 within the framework of the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) “ALBATROSS” project.

Launched in February 2021, ALBATROSS is a large-scale initiative of major European aviation stakeholder groups led by Airbus. It aims to demonstrate, through a series of gate-to-gate live demonstration flights across Europe, the feasibility of implementing most energy efficient flights in the short term, by combining several R&D technical and operational innovations. 
“ALBATROSS” follows an holistic approach by covering all flight phases, directly involving all relevant stakeholder groups (such as airlines,  ANSPs,  network managers, airports and industry) and addressing both operational and technological aspects of aviation and Air Traffic Management (ATM). Many solutions will be put into practice during the flight demonstrations, from new precision approach procedures to continuous climb and descent, a more dynamic management of necessary airspace constraints, sustainable taxiing and  sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) usage. 
Thanks to the transmission of four-dimensional trajectory data, ATM will be able to optimize and better predict an aircraft’s trajectory, thereby enabling it to immediately and concretely reduce a flight’s environmental footprint.
Starting from September 2021, these live trials will involve around 1,000 demonstration flights, showcasing mature operational solutions with potential fuel and CO2 emission savings. First results are expected to be available in 2022.
The ALBATROSS partners are Airbus, Air France, Austro Control, DLR, DSNA, Eurocontrol, LFV, Lufthansa, Novair, Schiphol, Smart Airport Systems, SWEDAVIA, SWISS, Thales AVS France and WIZZ AIR UK.
The funding of the project is provided by the EU under the Grant Agreement No 101017678.

An “IATA Fraud Alert” email will compromise your computer Aviation Feature, Aviation News

An “IATA Fraud Alert” email will compromise your computer 12

A company with a return email [email protected] is sending virus emails with the purpose to destroy travel agents computer systems.The email is designed to mislead recipients to open a malicious attachment protected with a so called pass-code. IATA did not respond.
A phishing email was sent by a criminal enterprise to US travel agents affiliated with IATA,
It appears this email originates from IATA, the International Air Transport Association.
The email is asking receivers to open a malicious attachment and use a password provided to do so. Once a receiver includes this password, the attachment will pollute computers with a malicious script.
The malicious email from iato.org (not iata.org) reads:
Dear Agent,
It has come to IATA’s attention that there is an ongoing fraud of hackers accessing Agents booking systems and issuing air tickets. The attacks are highly sophisticated, leading not only to huge financial loss to Agents but also breaches to the Agent’s systems.
To protect yourself from these numerous attacks, we strongly recommend the attached security measures.
For security reasons, use this code to open the attachment: 123
Best Regards,
IATA Customer Service

Anyone receiving such an email should delete it and clean the trash.

India wants UK to scrap quarantine for vaccinated Indians Aviation Feature, Aviation News

India wants UK to scrap quarantine for vaccinated Indians 13

Fully vaccinated visitors from India still required to go to 10-day COVID-19 quarantine.The Covishield vaccine was developed jointly by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and is manufactured by Serum Institute of India.Britons vaccinated in the UK with the same Indian-made jabs are not required to quarantine.

The United Kingdom has announced that it will relax COVID-19 pandemic curbs for fully vaccinated foreign visitors starting early next month.
But the list of countries with approved vaccines does not include India, despite the country using a locally made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine developed in the UK, and it causes some political unease and threats of reciprocal retaliation from Indian officials.
The Covishield vaccine, developed jointly by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca and manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India, is not recognized by the United Kingdom under the new rule despite being technically identical to the doses given to millions of Britons.
The AstraZeneca vaccine makes up most of the doses given to Indians to date. A smaller number have taken an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, which is not in use in the UK.
India’s foreign minister has urged the British government authorities for an “early resolution of quarantine issue” with Indians visiting the United Kingdom still being required to quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated.
New entry rules, that come into effect in October, have angered many Indians, who branded the decision as discriminatory. Britons vaccinated in the UK with the same Indian-made jabs are not required to quarantine.

“Urged early resolution of quarantine issue in mutual interest,” Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said in a tweet today after a meeting with his British counterpart Liz Truss in New York, where both are attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Britain’s move could also lead to retaliation from New Delhi, with an Indian government official saying it was likely to take reciprocal steps if the issue is not quickly resolved.
“The basic issue is that, here’s a vaccine – Covishield – which is a licensed product of a UK company manufactured in India of which we have supplied five million doses to the UK at the request of the government,” India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters in New Delhi.
Calling the non-recognition of Covishield “a discriminatory policy”, he said negotiations were under way with the UK over the new requirements.
“But if we don’t get satisfaction we would be within our rights to impose reciprocal measures.”
The British High Commission in New Delhi said the UK was working with India to resolve the issue.
The rule, that mandates 10 days of self-isolation for travelers arriving from India, also apply to many other countries using Covishield, including most African ones.

10 gay-friendly travel destinations in US and around the world Aviation Feature, Aviation News

10 gay-friendly travel destinations in US and around the world 14

Orlando, Florida is the most gay-friendly city in the USA with a large LGBTQ+ population.Palm Springs ranks second place and has one of the highest concentrations of LGBTQ+ residents in the USA.Palm Springs scores particularly highly for its safety and abundance of accommodation.

As travel restrictions continue to lift, many hopeful travelers are booking trips overseas, including the LGBTQ+ community. 

Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ travelers still have to be mindful of safety and legislation concerns in some destinations around the world, with homosexuality still illegal in 69 countries.
To ensure the LGBTQ+ community feel safe and comfortable when traveling, industry experts have ranked destinations across the US and around the world based on factors covering their LGBTQ+ friendliness, as well as things like accommodation options and affordability, to reveal the most LGBTQ+ friendly vacation destinations. 
Top 10 LGBTQ+ friendly destinations in the USA 
RankCityAnti-discrimination scoreNumber of LGBT eventsSafety index scoreBars & clubs listed on Tripadvisor per 100,000 peopleNumber of hotels per 100,000 peopleAverage nightly hotel price (weekend) ($)LGBTQ+ score /101Orlando, Florida100648.07408,941$2717.102Palm Springs, California100564.14106,214$2246.293Fort Lauderdale, Florida100250.79312,473$1655.954New York City, New York1001652.737276$2135.945San Francisco, California1001042.6930213$2065.856Iowa City, Iowa100075.291581$995.837New Orleans, Louisiana100434.9250611$2095.778Tempe, Arizona100054.44103,434$1005.659Austin, Texas100463.3118345$2025.5310Missoula, Montana99066.7119269$1475.48
Orlando is the most gay-friendly city in the USA with a large LGBTQ+ population. As well as being a tolerant and accepting city (with Walt Disney World hosting annual “Gay Day” events”), Orlando has a high number of bars and clubs (40 per 100,000 people) and the proximity to Walt Disney World means there’s also a huge number of hotels in the area (8,941 per 100,000 people).

Rotterdam The Hague to Milan Bergamo flights on Transavia now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Rotterdam The Hague to Milan Bergamo flights on Transavia now 15

Transavia commences link to Rotterdam The Hague Airport from Milan Bergamo Airport.Rotterdam is a major logistic and economic center and an important addition to Milan Bergamo’s network.For a new airline partner to recognize the potential of the market is a noteworthy sign of Lombardy’s capacity and increasing demand.

Milan Bergamo Airport has announced the commencement of Transavia’s link to Rotterdam The Hague, marking the addition of the third new airline to the Lombardy gateway in recent months. Launching a three-to-four times weekly service to the second largest city in the Netherlands next summer, the Dutch low-cost carrier will significantly increase Milan Bergamo’s route map to north-west Europe.

Giacomo Cattaneo, Director of Commercial Aviation, SACBO says: “Home to the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam is a major logistic and economic center and an important addition to our network. For a new airline partner to recognize the potential of the market is a noteworthy sign of Lombardy’s capacity and increasing demand.”
Joining Milan Bergamo’s established service to Eindhoven, the launch of Transavia’s link to Rotterdam will give the Air France-KLM group carrier a 30% share of the airport’s Dutch network. Now offering close to 300 flights to the Netherlands next summer, the Lombardy region will have vital connections to Europe’s seventh largest economy by GDP.
Marcel de Nooijer, Transavia CEO, says: “We are confident looking forward to the summer of 2022 and are pleased with the addition of our new connection with Milan Bergamo. This enables us to continue to respond to the wishes of our passengers who want to discover new destinations. This summer we have seen that the Dutch are keen to travel again, for example on a holiday or to visit family. We see that the bookings for this autumn are picking up and we also have high expectations for winter. We hope to carry this momentum through to the summer of 2022.” 
Rotterdam The Hague Airport (formerly Rotterdam Airport, Vliegveld Zestienhoven in Dutch), is a minor international airport serving Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second largest city and The Hague, its administrative and royal capital. It is located 3 NM (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) north northwest of Rotterdam in South Holland and is the third busiest airport in the Netherlands.
Orio al Serio International Airport, branded as Milan Bergamo Airport, is the third busiest international airport in Italy. It is located in the municipal territory of Orio al Serio, 3.7 km southeast of Bergamo in Italy.

US Travel Agents: International travel rules changes long overdue Aviation Feature, Aviation News

US Travel Agents: International travel rules changes long overdue 16

Biden Administration enables vaccinated travelers to enter the US with a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel from early November.ASTA views these changes as a key milestone toward restarting the international travel system on which so many of its members depend.US administration’s announcement marks a key shift in managing the risks of COVID-19 from blanket considerations to assessment of individual risk.

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) issues the following statement in response to reports that the Biden administration will lift travel restrictions starting in November on inbound travelers who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus:

“We welcome the Biden Administration’s announcement of long overdue changes to the myriad inbound travel restrictions that have been in place since early 2020. We view this as a key milestone toward restarting the international travel system on which so many of our members depend.
“Based on news reports, the plan incorporates several of the common-sense measures we called for along with our travel industry colleagues recently, including expeditiously developing clear vaccination and testing standards, loosening entry restrictions for fully-vaccinated travelers, and aligning standards with the governments of our main outbound markets, including Canada, the EU, and the U.K.
“There are bound to be challenges in implementing this program between now and November, and we (ASTA) look forward to working with the Administration and our members to resolve them as expeditiously as possible.
“The travel industry as a whole will not recover from COVID until international travel restarts in earnest. Today marks a big step forward toward that goal.”

USA to end travel ban for vaccinated foreign visitors Aviation Feature, Aviation News

USA to end travel ban for vaccinated foreign visitors 17

United States will allow fully vaccinated foreign visitors to enter the country via air travel only.Travel policy changes announced today will not affect the restrictions along the land borders of the United States.Thousands of foreign travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to enter the US starting Novemner.

The White House pandemic coordinator, Jeff Zients, announced today that the United States will end travel restrictions on foreigners who are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, reopening the USA to thousands of international visitors starting in November of this year.

According to Zients, the changes in travel policy will only apply to air travel and will not affect restrictions along the land border.
US Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant issued the following statement today on the Biden Administration’s decision to ease foreign travel restrictions to the United States:
“The U.S. Chamber is pleased that the Biden Administration plans to lift the current COVID-related international travel restrictions in November. Allowing vaccinated foreign nationals to travel freely to the United States will help foster a robust and durable recovery for the American economy.”
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on today’s announcement that restrictions on international air travel will be lifted for vaccinated individuals:
“The U.S. Travel Association applauds the Biden administration’s announcement of a roadmap to reopen air travel to vaccinated individuals from around the world, which will help revive the American economy and protect public health.
“This is a major turning point in the management of the virus and will accelerate the recovery of the millions of travel-related jobs that have been lost due to international travel restrictions.
“The U.S. Travel Association expresses its deep appreciation to the President and his advisors – in particular Commerce Secretary Raimondo, who has been a tireless advocate – for working with the industry to develop a plan to restart international travel and safely reconnect America with the world.”

IATA: US reopening to vaccinated travelers is excellent news Aviation Feature, Aviation News

IATA: US reopening to vaccinated travelers is excellent news 18

Biden Administration enables vaccinated travelers to enter the US with a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel from early November.Allowing access to the US for those vaccinated will open travel to the US for many who have been locked out for the past 18 months. This announcement marks a key shift in managing the risks of COVID-19 from blanket considerations at the national level to assessment of individual risk.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the decision by the Biden Administration to enable vaccinated travelers to enter the US with a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel from early November.
Importantly, this supersedes the so-called 212f restrictions which prevented anyone from entering the US if they had been in 33 specific countries including the UK, Ireland, all Schengen countries, Brazil, South Africa, India, and China within the last 14 days.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General
“Today’s announcement is a major step forward. Allowing access to the US for those vaccinated will open travel to the US for many who have been locked out for the past 18 months. This is excellent news for families and loved ones who have suffered through the heartache and loneliness of separation. It’s good for the millions of livelihoods in the US that depend on global tourism. And it will boost the economic recovery by enabling some key business travel markets,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
“This announcement marks a key shift in managing the risks of COVID-19 from blanket considerations at the national level to assessment of individual risk. The next challenge is finding a system to manage the risks for travelers who do not have access to vaccinations. Data points to testing as a solution. But it is also critical that governments accelerate the global rollout of vaccines and agree a global framework for travel where testing resources are focused on unvaccinated travelers. We must get back to a situation where the freedom to travel is available to all,” said Walsh.

COVID-19 furlough ends at worst time for UK tourism Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The end of furlough couldn’t really have come at a worse time of year for the UK travel industry.Although UK domestic recovery is on track for a 2022 rebound, the industry must navigate the normally tough winter period first.Striking a balance will cause headaches for many travel firms – especially those heavily reliant on international travel.

With the UK’s furlough scheme set to end this month, the travel companies will be forced to cut costs in order to survive the winter. Travel and Tourism industry experts warn that such measures may well include redundancies.
The end of furlough couldn’t really have come at a worse time of year for the UK travel industry. The tough winter season is upon us, and cost-cutting measures will be essential for survival. Unfortunately, this means redundancies are likely, as this is one of the easiest ways to save money.
Industry analysts forecast UK domestic travel to rebound to 2019 levels during 2022, when it will reach 123.9 million trips. However, international outbound trips will take longer and will not return to pre-COVID levels until 2024, when they will hit 84.7 million trips.
Although domestic recovery is on track for a 2022 rebound, the industry must navigate the normally tough winter period first. Without sufficient demand, revenues will continue to be suppressed and companies will struggle. A fine balance must be struck between redundancies and future agility.
Industry experts also point out the dangers of dropping employee numbers to UK travel companies, If companies begin making employees redundant, they are less able to respond to sudden upticks in demand. Striking a balance will cause headaches for many travel firms – especially those heavily reliant on international travel. The quickly changing nature of travel restrictions may see a sudden spike in demand for certain destinations at short notice. If a firm is understaffed, it could miss out on much-needed revenue. Conversely, retaining too many staff could result in costs spiraling out of control.
Extending the furlough scheme for the travel industry could buy time for the sector until demand begins to strengthen. However, the prospect is slim.

Lufthansa Value is just about to increase by US$2.5 billion Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The gross proceeds are expected to amount to EUR 2,140 million. The subscription price of EUR 3.58 per New Share corresponds to a discount of 39.3% on the TERP (theoretical ex-rights price). The subscription ratio is 1:1. The new shares are to be offered to the Company’s shareholders during the subscription period, which is expected to commence on September 22, 2021 and end on October 5, 2021.

The rights trading is expected to commence on September 22, 2021 and end on September 30, 2021.
The transaction is fully underwritten by a syndicate of 14 banks. In addition, a number of funds and accounts under the management of BlackRock, Inc. have entered into a sub-underwriting agreement for a total of EUR 300 million and have committed to fully exercise their subscription rights.
All members of the Executive Board of the Company have also committed to participate in the capital increase and to exercise all subscription rights received in relation to their shares in full. 
The capital increase is meant to strengthen the Group’s equity position. The Company will use the net proceeds to repay the Silent Participation I of the Economic Stabilization Fund of the Federal Republic of Germany (ESF) in the amount of EUR 1.5 billion. 
Additionally, the Company intends to fully repay the Silent Participation II in the amount of EUR 1 billion by the end of 2021 and also intends to cancel the undrawn amounts of the Silent Participation I by the end of 2021. 
The ESF, which currently holds 15.94% of the Company’s share capital, has undertaken to start divesting its equity interest in the Company no earlier than six months after completion of the capital increase, if the ESF subscribes to the capital increase. In this event, the divestment shall be completed no later than 24 months after the closing of the capital increase, provided that the Company repays the Silent Participation I and the Silent Participation II as intended. 
The public offer of the New Shares in Germany is made exclusively through and on the basis of a securities prospectus approved by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), which will be made available, among other, on the website of the Lufthansa Group . The approval is expected to be granted on September 20, 2021. There will be no public offering outside Germany and the prospectus will not otherwise be approved by any other regulatory body. 

India ups its airlines’ capacity to 85% of pre-COVID levels Aviation Feature, Aviation News

India ups its airlines’ capacity to 85% of pre-COVID levels 19

Indian government relaxes COVID-period restrictions on the country’s domestic air carriers.Indian airlines will now be allowed to operate at 85 percent of their pre-pandemic capacity.Indian domestic airlines will also be allowed to set their own fares for tickets beyond 15 days of the booking date.

India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation raised the cap on domestic air carrier capacity today, enabling Indian airlines to operate at 85% of their pre-COVID-19 capacity instead of current 72.5%.

Indian civil aviation authority also changed the price cap formula, allowing domestic airlines set their own fares for tickets beyond fifteen days of the booking date.
Until today’s adjustments, the price caps were applicable on tickets up to 30 days from the booking date.
The changes announced by the Ministry of Civil Aviation will allow Indian air carriers to operate more flights and will push up passenger loads with the onset of the national festive season next month.
India’s domestic air traffic has increased 34% to 6.7 million in August on a sequential basis on the back of an increase in capacity to 72.5%.
Increased vaccination and relaxed COVID-19 testing requirements have helped too. Industry-wide seat occupancy too rose to over 70% last month.
The relaxation of flight capacity and easing of the pricing restrictions comes after several rounds of negotiations between India’s Civil Aviation Ministry and CEOs of Indian airlines.
The move to cap capacity and fares severely divided the industry with Ronojoy Dutta, CEO of India’s largest airline IndiGo, calling to remove government interference over price and capacity, saying this prevents airlines from making commerce-based decisions.
Operators of the country’s largest airports —Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore — have urged the government to end the caps on capacity and price as this is obstructing the return of passengers and badly hurting the revenues of India’s mostly privately owned airports.

With new COVID-19 cases down, Bali may reopen to foreign tourists in October Aviation Feature, Aviation News

With new COVID-19 cases down, Bali may reopen to foreign tourists in October 20

Indonesia is moving cautiously to reopen its borders to foreign visitors after a disastrous second COVID wave.Foreign visitors my be allowed to travel to popular resort island of Bali and other tourist destinations.Indonesia’s addition of confirmed COVID-19 cases has dropped by 94.5% since a peak in mid-July

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Pandjaitan, announced that the Southeast Asian nation may allow foreign visitors to return to the country in October.

Indonesia is moving cautiously to reopen its borders following a disastrous second COVID-19 wave, flared by the Delta variant of the virus.
But after a sharp slide in COVID-19 cases, foreign tourists may again be able to travel to the world-famous resort island of Bali and other parts of Indonesia popular with overseas visitors.
According to the minister, the addition of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had dropped by 94.5% since a peak in mid-July.
“We are happy today that the reproduction rate is below 1… It is the lowest during the pandemic and is indicating the pandemic is under control,” Luhut said.
Other positive signs included the national hospital bed occupancy rate dropping below 15%, while the positivity rate, or the proportion of people tested who are positive, was at less than 5%, the minister said.
Luhut said if the trend today continued “we are very confident” that Bali could be reopened by October.
Earlier this week, Indonesia’s health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that reopening to foreigners also hinged upon 70% of the target population receiving their first COVID-19 shot.

Business travel seen as a perk in post-COVID US Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Business travel seen as a perk in post-COVID US 21

Over a third of US workers say the best business ideas happen when they are traveling on business.Only 26% of US workers think that face-to-face meetings are dead.74% of US workers think business travel and in-person meetings are needed for the future of business.

Over half (53%) of US workers think their industry needs in-person meetings to survive, a new study has found.
The survey of 1,000 US workers investigated attitudes towards work meetings and business travel. It revealed that only 26% of workers think that face-to-face meetings are dead, with the remaining 74% believing in-person meetings are key for the future of business.

Over half (53%) say it’s easier to trust in-person sales over online, with a further 64% saying the key to trust is human contact. As well as increased trust when meeting in person, the survey highlighted how traveling to in-person meetings is more productive – 60% of US workers said they do more preparation for in-person meetings than they do for virtual meetings.
The survey looked at overall attitudes to business travel, finding that most workers are eager to return to traveling for work. 41% said they see business travel as more of a perk since the pandemic, with 40% saying business travel will be important to them when looking for a new job. It highlighted how younger generations are eager for business travel, with over half (54%) of 16-24-year-olds saying business travel is more of a perk since the pandemic, compared to just 13% of over 55s. As well as wanting more in-person experiences, the younger generations find travel more inspiring. Over half (53%) of Gen Z say the best business ideas happen while traveling, compared to less than a fifth (18%) of over 55s.
Workers are productive and less stressed when they travel for business. Only a quarter (25%) said they feel more stressed when working during a business trip, with 32% saying they feel no different and the remaining 43% feeling less stressed when they work while traveling.
The study also looked at expensing habits, highlighting what people feel comfortable expensing when they travel for work. It found people are most comfortable expensing food, with 83% saying they’d claim back for a meal in a restaurant. This drops when looking at room service, with only 57% feeling comfortable expensing something they’d ordered to their room. Just over a quarter of workers (26%) would feel comfortable expensing alcohol on its own, with men more comfortable than women (16% vs 8%) and Gen Z and millennials more comfortable than over 55s (36% vs 9%).
Food remains top of the list when looking at workers’ priorities when traveling. 72% want to go out for dinner during a business trip, with 69% wanting to stay in a nice hotel and over half (55%) wanting to visit local tourist attractions. Visiting a gym is less popular (24%), while over a third (39%) want to go on a night out when traveling for business. Analyzing industries, it was found HR are the biggest party animals, with 56% saying a night out is a priority when visiting somewhere new for business.
After over a year of remote and blended working, there has been much discussion around whether home or the office is the most beneficial to employees. Many US workers saying business travel is more of a perk now than ever. In fact, 34% said they have their best business ideas when traveling for work, showing just how inspiring getting out into the world and meeting work contacts in person can be.
While the convenience of being able to jump onto a Zoom call for less-essential meetings can and should be recognized, usually the best ideas, the best relationships – and the best results – happen when people travel and meet face-to-face.

UK relaxes entry rules for fully vaccinated foreigners Aviation Feature, Aviation News

UK relaxes entry rules for fully vaccinated foreigners 22

UK will reduce testing requirement for eligible vaccinated foreign travelers upon their arrival.Eligible fully vaccinated passengers will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test.Anyone testing positive will need to immediately isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today that starting on October 4, 2021, the UK government is considerably easing the entry regulations and requirements for the visitors from foreign countries.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps
New simplified system for international travel in light of the success of the UK’s domestic vaccine rollout, will provide greater stability for industry and passengers.
The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories which will continue to be crucial in order to protect public health, and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world from Monday 4 October at 4am.
Testing requirements will also be reduced for eligible fully vaccinated travelers, who will no longer need to take a PDT when travelling to England from Monday 4 October 4am.
From the end of October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. The government wants to introduce this by the end of October, aiming to have it in place for when people return from half-term breaks.
Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveler, which would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure tests, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. Test to release remains an option to reduce self-isolation period.
Passengers who aren’t recognized as being fully vaccinated with authorized vaccines and certificates under England’s international travel rules, will still have to take a pre-departure test, a day 2 and day 8 PCR test and self-isolate for 10 days upon their return from a non-red list country under the new two-tiered travel program. Test to Release will remain an option for unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period.
“We’re making testing easier for travel. From Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully vax [vaccinated] you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in Oct, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow,” Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted.
Sajid Javid, Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “Today we have simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad.
“As global vaccination efforts continue to accelerate and more people gain protection from this dreadful disease, it is right that our rules and regulations keep pace.”

Qatar Airways new member of ICAO Global Sustainable Aviation Coalition Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Qatar Airways new member of ICAO Global Sustainable Aviation Coalition 23

Qatar Airways announces its participation in the Global Coalition for Sustainable Aviation of the International Civil Aviation Organization.Qatar Airways reaffirms its commitment to aviation decarbonization and promoting sustainable air transport.The ICAO Global Coalition for Sustainable Aviation is a forum through which stakeholders can develop new ideas.

Qatar Airways is pleased to announce its participation on the Global Coalition for Sustainable Aviation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), becoming the first airline in the Middle East to join the global coalition, reaffirming its commitment to work together with the relevant industry stakeholders, such as manufacturers, academia, governments and non-government organizations towards aviation decarbonization and promoting sustainable air transport.
The ICAO Global Coalition promotes sustainable international aviation, acting as a forum through which stakeholders can develop new ideas and accelerate innovative solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the source. It also aims to provide input into the development and implementation of a basket of measures and the exploration of a long-term environmental objective related to international aviation.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “It is innovation that will drive the industry forward for a sustainable future. I strongly believe that the ICAO Global Coalition for Sustainable Aviation will allow industry-leading partners to pursue collaborative creation and drive innovation together. Qatar Airways is looking forward to being a strategic collaborator in the coalition. We expect to work together with other members in developing ideas and strategies to facilitate a further acceleration of innovative green technologies, taking us a step closer towards net zero emissions.”
The coalition includes stakeholders working on a broad array of topics related to sustainable aviation, including sustainable aviation fuels, infrastructure, operations, and technology, and it looks for trendsetters when identifying new potential members.
Its focus areas include, raising awareness of the continuing progress made towards in-sector CO2 emissions reduction from international aviation, building on existing leaderships and champions, as well as strengthening current partnerships and innovations.
Qatar Airways will to be able to share its past and ongoing measures and initiatives to tackle CO2 emissions, and provide valuable insights to all stakeholders, in order to contribute to the work led by ICAO. At the same time, we hope to inspire other industry partners to take a participative role towards our shared climate change goals.  

FAA sets a no fly zone over Texas bridge crammed with 10,500 illegal migrants Aviation Feature, Aviation News

FAA sets a no fly zone over Texas bridge crammed with 10,500 illegal migrants 24

FAA establishes a two-week no-fly zone for drones over the Del Rio Bridge in Southern Texas.More than 10,000 illegal migrants gathered underneath the Del Rio Bridge in Texas in recent days.FAA no-fly zone was imposed at the request of the US Border Patrol which claimed that drones were interfering with law enforcement flights.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a notice declaring a 14-day no-fly zone for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over the Del Rio Bridge on US-Mexico border, in southern Texas.

Citing “special security reasons” the FAA has banned drones from flying over Del Rio Bridge where more than 10,000 illegal migrants have gathered, preventing local media from capturing aerial footage of the site.
A huge crowd of illegal migrants has accumulated under the bridge in recent days, with Del Rio’s Mayor Bruno Lozano putting the figure at more than 10,500 as of Thursday night, also calling on President Joe Biden to address the “ongoing crisis” in the Texas border town.
The FAA drone ban was first reported by a local Fox News affiliate, which previously captured dramatic aerial footage showing the vast numbers of migrants packed under the bridge. At the time the footage circulated on Thursday morning, it was estimated some 8,200 people were at the scene, though the mayor suggested the crowd had grown by another 2,000 or so in the hours since. Many of the migrants are reportedly Haitians.
While the FAA’s initial notice cited only vague “security” concerns, a statement obtained by media said the no-fly zone was imposed at the request of the US Border Patrol, which claimed that drones were “interfering with law enforcement flights on the border.” The agency added, however, that media outlets may be able to request exemptions to continue operating drones over the area.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has also taken aim at Biden over the border issue, saying the administration’s response has been “appalling” and one of “sheer negligence.” Earlier on Thursday, the governor directed local authorities to shut down six points of entry along the southern border “to stop these [migrant] caravans from overrunning our state.” 
Del Rio is just one of three dozen such crossing points along the Texas-Mexico border. Migrants arriving at these crossings can either claim asylum or present themselves to Border Patrol to be arrested and then released into the US, with an Obama-era ‘catch and release’ policy reinstated by President Biden earlier this year. Biden has also attempted to scrap ex-president Donald Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, which forced certain asylum-seekers to await immigration proceedings outside the US, though the Supreme Court has overturned the move, arguing Biden did not follow the proper steps to end the practice.

New flight from Washington to Lagos, Nigeria on United Airlines now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New flight from Washington to Lagos, Nigeria on United Airlines now 25

United Airlines announces new air service from Washington, D.C. to Lagos, Nigeria.United Airlines will operate three weekly flights between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria staring on November 29, 2021.New flight will offer convenient one-stop connections to over 80 destinations throughout the Americas.

United Airlines announced today that new service between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria will begin November 29 (subject to government approval). The airline will operate three weekly flights connecting the U.S. capital to Nigeria’s largest city, which is also the top Western African destination for U.S-based travelers.

“This new flight to Lagos has been highly anticipated by our customers and offers the first ever nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and Nigeria, as well as convenient, one-stop connections to over 80 destinations throughout the Americas including Houston and Chicago,” said Patrick Quayle, United Airlines‘ vice president of international network and alliances. “On behalf of all of United we’d like to offer our sincere thanks to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and U.S. Department of Transportation for supporting our plans to provide this service.”
“We are honored to work with our partners at United Airlines to welcome their second nonstop connection from Dulles International to the African continent,” said Carl Schultz, acting vice president of airline business development at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “Lagos joins nearly 50 other nonstop international destinations currently served by the National Capital Region’s gateway to the world.”
United Airlines will operate this route with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 28 United Polaris business class lie-flat seats, 21 United Premium Plus premium economy seats, 36 Economy Plus seats and 158 standard economy seats. Flights will depart Washington, D.C. on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and return from Lagos on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
This new flight builds on United’s expansion into Africa and solidifies United’s leadership position to Africa from the D.C. metro area, with more flights to the continent than any other airline. Just this year, United launched new service between New York/Newark and Johannesburg, South Africa and between Washington, D.C. and Accra, Ghana. And this December and January, United will increase its service to Accra from three weekly flights to daily* as customers travel home for the winter holidays. United is also returning its popular service between New York/Newark and Cape Town, South Africa on December 1.
United’s new flights comply with each country’s COVID-19 protocols and customers should check destination requirements before traveling.

New Rolls-Royce All-Electric Aircraft Literally Takes Off Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New Rolls-Royce All-Electric Aircraft Literally Takes Off 26

Rolls-Royce made another attempt at the world record with its all-electric plane.This first flight is providing the company with the opportunity to collect valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system.In development is a complete electric propulsion system for its platform, whether that is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) or commuter aircraft.

Rolls-Royce announced today the completion of the first flight of its all-electric Spirit of Innovation aircraft. At 14:56 (BST) the plane took to the skies propelled by its 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain with the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft. This was another step towards the plane’s world-record attempt and another milestone on the aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonization.
Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, said: “The first flight of the Spirit of Innovation is a great achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonize transport across air, land, and sea and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net zero.

“This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this program has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.”
UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This achievement, and the records we hope will follow, shows the UK remains right at the forefront of aerospace innovation. By backing projects like this one, the government is helping to drive forward the boundary, pushing technologies that will leverage investment and unlock the cleaner greener aircraft required to end our contribution to climate change.”
During this first flight, Rolls-Royce will be collecting valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system. The ACCEL program, short for “Accelerating the Electrification of Flight,” includes key partners YASA, the electric motor and controller manufacturer, and aviation start-up Electroflight. The ACCEL team has continued to innovate while adhering to the UK Government’s social distancing and other health guidelines.
Half of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.
The CEO of Aerospace Technology Institute, Gary Elliott, said: “The ATI is funding projects like ACCEL to help UK develop new capabilities and secure a lead in the technologies that will decarbonize aviation. We congratulate everyone who has worked on the ACCEL project to make the first flight a reality and look forward to the world speed record attempt which will capture the imagination of the public in the year that the UK hosts COP26. The first flight of the Spirit of Innovation demonstrates how innovative technology can provide solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.”
The company is developing for its customers a complete electric propulsion system for its platform, whether that is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) or commuter aircraft. The company will be using the technology from the ACCEL project and applying it to products for these new markets. The characteristics that “air taxis” require from batteries are very similar to what is being developed for the Spirit of Innovation, so that it can reach speeds of 300+ MPH (480+ KMH) – which is target for the world record attempt. In addition, Rolls-Royce and airframer Tecnam are currently working with Widerøe, a regional airline in Scandinavia, to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market, which is planned to be ready for revenue service in 2026.
Rolls-Royce is committed to ensuring its new products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030 and all products will be compatible with net zero by 2050.

Air India: Finally on the Move? Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Air India: Finally on the Move? 27

Financial investment bidders are finally emerging for the beleaguered Air India airline.It has been several years of trying to sell the national carrier, with attempts being blocked for various and sundry reasons.Still on the docket is the airline’s huge losses – as in who will handle them – the new buyer or the government?

Tata Sons, which founded Air India airline in 1932 and then got out of it in 1953, is once again a bidder for the airline, and it has submitted financial bids along with some other key bidders.
SpiceJet Chairman, Ajay Singh, has also made an offer, and some investment funds have also joined Singh in the bidding process to secure the airline. Singh has been a major player in the aviation field for some years now, and his role now in Air India is being watched with great interest.
Ajay Singh
Security clearance and fixing of a reserve price for the sale are two vital aspects that the government has to resolve. Other factors which have been of concern are the question of how to deal with the massive losses that Air India has accumulated over the years, and how the other assets of the Maharaja line are to be treated, including its real estate and art collection. Ground handling and air catering have also been issues of concern ever since the talk of disinvestment came up.
Over the past few years, several attempts have been made to sell the national carrier, but those attempts were held back for various reasons. One of the major reasons was how to answer the question of who will handle the massive losses – the new buyer or the government?
Staff issues have also been another trouble spot, with questions like who will be retained by the new buyer, and who will be sacked? The unions and associations were at one stage keen to have a say and were even thinking of bidding.
The role, if any, of foreign buyers was also a discussion point, but now it seems the major bidders have come up with financial bids in the form of the participation of Tatas and Ajay Singh.
#rebuildingtravel

New WTTC report provides investment recommendations for post-COVID Travel & Tourism Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New WTTC report provides investment recommendations for post-COVID Travel & Tourism 28

Global Travel & Tourism sector suffered more than any other due to severe mobility restrictions.Travel & Tourism’s contribution to global GDP fell from nearly $9.2 trillion in 2019to just $4.7 trillion in 2020.Capital investment plummeted from $986 billion in 2019 to just $693 billion in 2020.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched today an important new report that provides investment recommendations for governments and destinations, as they aim to rebuild and grow their Travel & Tourism sector.

With the pandemic bringing international travel to an almost complete halt, the global Travel & Tourism sector suffered more than any other due to severe mobility restrictions.
The sector’s contribution to global GDP fell from nearly US$ 9.2 trillion in 2019, to just US$ 4.7 trillion in 2020, representing a loss of almost US$ 4.5 trillion. Furthermore, as the pandemic ripped through the heart of the sector, a shocking 62 million Travel & Tourism jobs were lost while many still remain at risk.
The report reveals that capital investment dropped by almost one third (29.7%) last year, plummeting from US$ 986 billion in 2019, to just US$ 693 billion in 2020 and now, as we head towards recovery, investment in Travel & Tourism has never been so critical.
This WTTC paper demonstrates how crucial it is for both destinations and governments to attract investment through an effective enabling environment, including incentives such as smart taxation, travel facilitation policies, diversification, integration of health and hygiene, effective communication, and a skilled and trained workforce.
The report also offers key recommendations for governments and destinations and highlights those segments which could be most attractive to investors.

Boeing names new Vice President of Government Operations Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Boeing names new Vice President of Government Operations 29

Ziad S. Ojakli named as Boeing’s new executive vice president of government operations effective October 1, 2021.Ojakli will lead Boeing’s public policy efforts, serve as chief lobbyist, and oversee Boeing Global Engagement.Ojakli will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun and will serve on Boeing’s Executive Council.

The Boeing Company today named Ziad S. Ojakli as the company’s executive vice president of government operations effective October 1, 2021.

In this role, Ojakli will lead Boeing’s public policy efforts, serve as chief lobbyist for the global enterprise, and oversee Boeing Global Engagement, the company’s global philanthropic organization. He will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun and will serve on the company’s Executive Council. In this role, Ojakli succeeds Marc Allen, Boeing‘s Chief Strategy Officer, who has served as interim executive vice president of Government Operations since this past June.
“Ziad is a proven executive with an impressive track record of leading public policy and government relations operations for global companies,” said Calhoun. “His broad experience serving in executive roles in government and the private sector will contribute to our engagement with our stakeholders as we continue our focus on safety, quality and transparency, and transforming our company for the future. I also want to thank Marc Allen for his impactful leadership of our Government Operations organization in recent months as it has continued to advance our company’s policy priorities.”
Ojakli joins Boeing following a successful and diverse career in senior global government relations roles in the automotive and finance industries in addition to serving within the White House administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush. 
Most recently, Ojakli served as the managing partner and senior vice president of Softbank from 2018-20, where he created and led the investment company’s first global government affairs operation in support of all legislative, regulatory and political matters for the company. Prior to joining Softbank, Ojakli spent 14 years at Ford Motor Company as group vice president, where he led a global team that amplified the company’s core business objectives and managed interactions with governments in 110 markets around the world. In that role, he also directed Ford’s philanthropic arm devoted to supporting global causes.
Previously, Ojakli served in the White House as Principal Deputy for Legislative Affairs for President George W. Bush from 2001-04. Earlier, Ojakli was Chief of Staff and Policy Director for U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell and he began his career in the office of U.S. Senator Dan Coats.
Ojakli currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. and he is a board member of The Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Ojakli holds a bachelor’s degree in American Government from Georgetown University.

The Presidents of Nauru and Palau signed ASA, a new tourism opportunity Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The Presidents of Nauru and Palau signed ASA, a new tourism opportunity 30

The Presidents of Nauru and Palau signed an air services agreement (ASA) that would see the start of traveling between the two Micronesian countries and beyond, 2 September.President Lionel Aingimea says the signing of the agreement symbolises the profound relationship and friendship between Nauru and Palau, “but also for the greater Micronesian sub-region.”“Not only will the air services agreement strengthen the connectivity between our two island nations but provides an opportunity to augment economic benefits for both the benefit of our mutual countries.
“Nauru is committed to enhancing its role in the transportation sector sub-regionally, regionally, and internationally,” President Aingimea said.
President of Palau, Surangel Whipps, Jr, says his country looks forward to the day when air services can be restored, recalling a medivac incident in 1987 when then, Air Nauru, answered the call to operate the flight from Palau to Manila.

“As small island states and large ocean states, one of the things… we understand is, without these connections to the outside world, we’re really isolated, and a lot of times we’re at the mercy of airlines and companies that maybe their interests may not be aligned with our interests,” President Whipps said.
He adds that establishing the ASA is an opportunity to “work together as Pacific brothers” and to see Nauru Airlines be a successful carrier and enhance services for the people.
The two leaders recognize the opportunities that each can offer in linking Asia, the west, and the south.
Meanwhile, Nauru is undertaking domestic measures to improve national aviation and maritime connectivity services.
Nauru port is being upgraded to meet international standards while Nauru Airlines’ recent purchase of a Boeing 737-700 aircraft will accommodate longer flight times, reaching further destinations.
Preparatory work is also underway to resurface the airport runway that would strengthen aviation safety and compliance and position Nauru for increased air transportation activity into the future.
The agreement states that Nauru and Palau are mindful of the close ties that bind the two countries, and their desire to provide a framework for the conduct of air services.
The two countries also recognize the strategic role of international air transportation in the sustainable development of island economies, and especially through the promotion of trade, commerce, and tourism.
The two countries are also conscious of the need to improve the level, quality, and efficiency of air transport services within and beyond their respective countries.
President Aingimea expressed heartfelt thanks to President Whipps on behalf of the government for the recent mercy flight carrying 34 Nauruan patients and escorts to Taiwan from Nauru with a planned technical stop in Yap State for refueling.
A problem with refueling meant the flight crew and passengers needed to overnight, and Palau, being better equipped with accommodation and aviation requirements, cleared the plane and its COVID-vaccinated passengers to land and spend the night, before their onward travel to Taiwan.

New flights from Ontario to Austin on Southwest Airlines Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New flights from Ontario to Austin on Southwest Airlines 31

Southwest Airlines announces new flights from Ontario International Airport to Austin, Texas.Southwest Airlines will offer daily Ontario, California to Austin, Texas flights starting March 10, 2022.Southwest announcement is a welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

The announcement from Southwest Airlines that the low-cost carrier will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

Southwest Airlines will offer flights between ONT and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport daily on the following schedule effective March 10, 2022.
Flt #OriginDestinationDepartureArrivalFrequencyAircraft1204ONTAUS10:55 a.m.3:35 p.m.Mon – Fri &Sun737-700474ONTAUS9:50 a.m.2:30 p.m.Sat737-7001739AUSONT4:35 p.m.5:55 p.m.Mon – Fri &Sun737-700257AUSONT2:55 p.m.4:10 p.m.Sat737-700The new flights are available for booking immediately
“The addition of the Texas state capital to our route map is welcomed news and further indication of confidence by ONT’s largest air carrier,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners. “It is also another sign that ONT’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is well underway and gaining momentum.”
Announcement of the new Southwest flights comes as ONT continues to experience an impressive pandemic recovery. In August, ONT reported passenger traffic was within 7% of pre-COVID levels.
Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a full-service airport which, before the coronavirus pandemic, offered nonstop commercial jet service to 26 major airports in the U.S., Mexico and Taiwan.
Southwest Airlines Co., typically referred to as Southwest, is one of the major airlines of the United States and the world’s largest low-cost carrier airline. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has scheduled service to 121 destinations in the United States and ten additional countries.

COVID-19 health pass is now mandatory in Italy Aviation Feature, Aviation News

COVID-19 health pass is now mandatory in Italy 32

Italy now requires a COVID-19 “Green Pass” vaccination certificate for all national workforce.Italian workers without health certificate would be suspended from their jobs without pay.Workers who show up for work without certificate will be subjected to major fines ranging from 600 to 1,500 Euros.

The COVID ‘Green Pass’ certificate will be mandatory for all Italian workers, according to new plan, approved by the government of Italy today.

The plan, approved by Italian government today, and overwhelmingly supported by the Italian Senate (with 189 voting for it, with only 32 against and two abstentions) is set to be put into motion on October 15.
New plan, which would see those without the pass put on leave without pay, will remain in force until at least the end of this year.
Starting from October 15, all public- and private-sector workers in Italy will have to obtain a COVID-19 ‘Green Pass’ certificate.
Those failing to produce the certificate when requested can be suspended from their jobs after a grace period of five days, though they cannot be fired.
“We are extending the obligation of the green pass to the entire world of work, public and private, and we are doing so for two essential reasons: to make these places safer and to make our vaccination campaign even stronger,” health minister Roberto Speranza said.
Workers without a valid COVID-19 certificate who still dare to show up for work can be subjected to major fines, ranging from €600 to €1,500 ($705 to $1,175). Further details of the plan are expected to be officially unveiled shortly.
Conceived as a tool to document a person’s COVID-19 status and vaccinations to facilitate travel, coronavirus health certificates have already been introduced in multiple EU countries.
In August, Italy made the pass a requirement to visit public venues, such as restaurants and bars, then making it mandatory for teachers and other public sector workers earlier this month. Now, it has become the first European country to make the certificate mandatory for all of its workforce.

Lufthansa Group announces new Air Dolomiti CEO Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa Group announces new Air Dolomiti CEO 33

One of Lufthansa CityLine’s two managing directors will become CEO of Air Dolomiti in January 2022.Steffen Harbarth will succeed Jorg Eberhart, who has been aoopinted “Head of Strategy & Organizational Development” at the Lufthansa Group.Steffen Harbarth has been a member of Lufthansa CityLine’s Executive Board since January 1, 2019.

Steffen Harbarth, one of Lufthansa CityLine’s two managing directors, will become CEO of Air Dolomiti on 1 January 2022.

He succeeds Jörg Eberhart, who has recently been appointed “Head of Strategy & Organizational Development” at the Lufthansa Group as of 1 October 2021. Captain Alberto Casamatti, Director General Operations & Accountable Manager, will be interim CEO at the Italian carrier Air Dolomiti until Steffen Harbarth starts his new role next year.
Ola Hansson, Lufthansa Chief Operating Officer and responsible for the airline’s investment in Air Dolomiti, says: “I am very pleased Steffen Harbarth will be our new Air Dolomiti CEO. As one of Lufthansa Group‘s strategically important markets, Italy and the further development of Air Dolomiti is of major importance. Steffen Harbarth is the perfect choice for this new challenge given his considerable experience in commercial airline management and as Managing Director responsible for operational processes and Accountable Manager at Lufthansa CityLine.”
Since 1 January 2019, Steffen Harbarth is a member of Lufthansa CityLine’s Executive Board. Prior to this, Steffen Harbarth held several management positions within the Lufthansa Group. For example, at Lufthansa’s Munich hub he was responsible for the commercial management and marketing processes of Lufthansa Hub Airlines, that followed his position as Vice President Sales of Lufthansa Group Airlines in Asia-Pacific.
Air Dolomiti S.p.A. is an Italian regional airline with its head office in Dossobuono, Villafranca di Verona, Italy, operating base at Verona Villafranca Airport and focus cities at Munich Airport and Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Air Dolomiti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa.
The Lufthansa Group (legally Deutsche Lufthansa AG, commonly shortened to Lufthansa) is the largest German airline which, when combined with its subsidiaries, is the second-largest airline in Europe in terms of passengers carried.
Lufthansa Group includes Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines. Eurowings and Lufthansa’s “regional partners” are also group members. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the company is partly state-owned as of July 2020.

New ‘state of the art’ COVID testing at Liverpool John Lennon Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New ‘state of the art’ COVID testing at Liverpool John Lennon Airport 34

New PCR test lab opens at Liverpool Airport.New lab can perform 500 tests per day.Liverpool Airport the first in UK to have such unique facility.

British healthcare and testing company Salutaris People – which operates the rapid PCR testing services for airline passengers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in partnership with Test Assurance Group Ltd (TAG(Official Covid-19 testing partner to Liverpool John Lennon Airport) – has today unveiled a brand new COVID testing laboratory at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The state-of-the-art facility is in partnership with Source BioScience – a leading international provider of laboratory services to clients in the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare, clinical, life science research and biopharma industries – and Salutaris People in partnership with Test Assurance Group Ltd (TAG) are providing COVID and PCR testing at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
The new laboratory has been designed to perform 500 tests per day but can easily be increased in scale to facilitate 1000 tests and beyond if required. Source BioScience are Accredited to ISO 15189: 2012  standards and is also  a DHSC listed provider of COVID-19 testing.  
The service provided by TAG, Salutaris People,and Source BioScience  enables airline passengers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and those flying from other UK airports with a Rapid Fit to Fly testing service with a turnaround time of 3 hours, alongside a Standard 24 hour Fit to Fly testing service.  Samples are also collected on site at Liverpool and processed at Source Bioscience’s main laboratory in Nottingham enabling Day 2, Day 8, Test to Release and a diagnostic PCR COVID testing service for customers.
Commenting on the new facilities at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Commercial Director Lucy O’Shaughnessy, said:
“We are delighted to be the first airport in the UK to have such a unique facility and service. Liverpool John Lennon Airport can now provide our valued airline passengers with a state-of-the-art COVID testing facility on site here at the airport as we start to resume our flight schedules and have more passengers flying again. The airport continually strives to offer the best possible service for our customers at all times. Working in partnership with Test Assurance Group (TAG) / Salutaris People and Source BioScience enables us to offer a convenient and efficient PCR testing service operated by trusted healthcare providers.”
The new facility – the only one of its kind at a UK airport – is operated by four laboratory tech staff including a shift supervisor and has 8 PCR analyzers on site, a Bio Molecular Systems liquid handler and a thermal cycler to offer a rapid real-time qualitative PCR method for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.  

Travel & Tourism deals declined by 17.4% in August 2021 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Travel & Tourism deals declined by 17.4% in August 2021 35

57 travel and tourism sector deals were announced in August 2021.Number of announced deals demonstrated a 17.4% decline from July 2021.August marked second consecutive month of decline in deal activity.

A total of 57 deals (comprising mergers & acquisitions [M&A], private equity, and venture financing) were announced in the global travel and tourism sector during August 2021, which is a decline of 17.4% over 69 deals announced in July, according to the industry data and analytics experts.

August marks the second consecutive month of decline in deal activity for the travel and tourism sector after rebounding in June. The subdued deal activity could be attributed to dampened deal-making sentiments as uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic still looms.
All the deal types (under coverage) also witnessed decline in deal activity in August compared to the previous month. The announcement of venture financing, private equity and mergers and acquisition deals decreased by 4.3%, 20% and 24.4% during August compared to the previous month, respectively.
Deal activity also decreased in key markets such as the USA, the UK, India and Australia during August compared to the previous month, while China witnessed improvement in deal activity.

UK to scrap mandatory PCR tests for vaccinated travelers Aviation Feature, Aviation News

UK to scrap mandatory PCR tests for vaccinated travelers 36

UK to end PCR tests for fully vaccinated travelers.ETOA praises UK officials’ move to end PCR test mandate,The removal of requirement for double vaccinated is “most welcome”.

As speculation circulates over the removal of mandatory PCR tests for double vaccinated arrivals in the UK Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA, has made the following comments:
“The PCR testing regime has proved impractical, expensive and a major contributing factor to huge delays at borders. It is also at times absurd. Anyone travelling out of the UK for less than 36 hours has to take their “pre arrival” test in the UK, in order to prove that they are safe to return to the UK. So its removal for those double vaccinated is most welcome.
Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA
“But it is vital that this relaxation is extended to all visitors who are double vaccinated, not just Brits. The UK has effectively isolated itself from incoming visitors and it has slipped behind all other destinations in Europe as a result. Whilst the £30 billion incoming tourism industry has suffered an almost total loss over the last two years, we urgently need to repair our image as a welcoming and straightforward destination to visit. The longer the delay, the more extensive the damage to UK economy.”
Currently, in order to enter the UK, traveler must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test at your departure airport, taken within 3 days of your flight to England. The test must meet the rules and standards outlined by the UK Government.
ETOA (European tourism association) is the trade association for tour operators and suppliers in European destinations, from global brands to local independent businesses. 

New low-cost train from London to Edinburgh Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New low-cost train from London to Edinburgh 37

Lumo’s low-cost rail launch meets budget and environmental concerns.Lumo’s low-cost rail service model could become very popular with commuters.Even though the service is low-cost, free Wi-Fi, and on-demand entertainment will be available to all.

Lumo’s launch of low-cost rail services could disrupt current rail and air services between London and Edinburgh. Its low-cost model alongside a focus on minimizing environmental impact will bode well for shifting traveler trends as the sector recovers from the pandemic.

Lumo’s low-cost rail service could become popular. British travelers have become accustomed to high fares and low-quality services that, pre-COVID, were often overcrowded. The launch of the new budget operator’s route between Edinburgh and London is set to be a disruptive force due to a lack of competition amongst rail operators in the UK. Even though it is low-cost, free Wi-Fi, and on-demand entertainment will be available to all. With journey times only 10 minutes longer than the existing incumbent LNER, Lumo is well-positioned to make gains in the competitive marketplace.
A recent poll has revealed that 11% of global respondents now have a holiday budget lower than pre-COVID, and 37% cannot afford to go on holiday in the near future so the new low-cost service will be welcomed.
With budgets stretched, the introduction of a low-cost rail service will play well with cash-strapped travelers while domestic demand soars in the UK. Low fares will be vital to respond to the increased price sensitivity of travelers. Many have felt the financial bite from the pandemic resulting in tightening household and travel budgets. Similarly, the findings of the 2021 Consumer Survey revealed that 62% of UK respondents were ‘extremely’, ‘slightly’, or ‘quite’ concerned about their personal financial situation, further reinforcing the need for lower cost rail services.
Lumo’s competitive £15 (US$20.78) one-way lowest fare option could stimulate travel demand between London and Edinburgh. The low fares are set to be cheaper than a low-cost flight and could place competitive pressure on easyJet and, to some extent, British Airways. Price is key to attracting custom during the COVID-19 recovery stage, and Lumo has the right business model for success.
Travelers are increasingly likely to be influenced by how environmentally friendly a product or service is. The Q1 2021 consumer survey revealed that 70% of UK respondents are ‘always’, ‘often’, or ‘sometimes’ influenced by this factor.
Lumo’s heavy focus on being an environmentally friendly operation, future proofs its business model. Travelers who would often fly between the two cities are likely to be swayed towards a more environmentally friendly and cheaper option. Opting to travel on Lumo’s fully electric trains over flying will reduce the carbon emissions of the trip to one-sixth of flying, according to the operator. Further reaffirming its environmental focus, the operator will offer 50% plant-based food onboard and is 100% digital to avoid paper waste. With environmental concerns set to grow, the move could see Lumo becoming a leading environmentally conscious rail operator.

Why flying Finnair via Helsinki to the world? Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Why flying Finnair via Helsinki to the world? 38

Finnair continues to serve its key Asian destinations, flying daily to Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok, and offers multiple weekly frequencies to Singapore and Hong Kong.Finnair will strengthen its North American services and will serve Chicago, previously a summer route, throughout the winter season.Finnair’s European network will rapidly increase in frequencies throughout the winter, with double daily services to key European cities such as Amsterdam, Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Frankfurt.

As the share of fully vaccinated people continues to increase and societies are opening, travel is picking up in several markets. Finnair is meeting the increased travel demand by adding frequencies and destinations in its network to Europe, Asia and North America for the upcoming winter season.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Finnair continues to serve its key Asian destinations, flying daily to Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok, and offers multiple weekly frequencies to Singapore and Hong Kong. Finnair’s Osaka service resumes in October, expanding Finnair’s presence back into the Japanese market, with Nagoya joining this route portfolio in February. Finnair will also start serving its Dubai connection with a wide-body aircraft.
Finnair will strengthen its North American services and will serve Chicago, previously a summer route, throughout the winter season. Finnair also serves New York daily from Helsinki and operates three weekly flights to Miami and Los Angeles respectively. In addition to serving North America from its Helsinki hub, Finnair will introduce direct routes to Los Angeles and New York from Stockholm, Sweden. Finnair will also introduce direct routes from Stockholm to Miami, Phuket and Bangkok, as previously announced. 
Finnair’s European network will rapidly increase in frequencies throughout the winter, with double daily services to key European cities such as Amsterdam, Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Frankfurt, and three daily frequencies to London and Paris. Finnair also increases frequencies to St. Petersburg to support the traffic flows to Finnair’s North American destinations. 
Finnair also offers multiple frequencies daily to Scandinavian capitals, and Finnair will introduce Krakow and Gdansk for the winter season. Finnair will increase frequencies to the popular holiday destinations in Spain, serving Malaga, the Canary Islands, Madrid and Barcelona with multiple weekly frequencies.  Also the Finnish Lapland continues to attract winter travelers and Finnair offers four daily connections to Rovaniemi, Ivalo and Kittilä, and two daily services to Kuusamo, with smooth connections from Helsinki. 
”We are excited to be able to expand the breadth and depth of our network, enabling better connections for customers as travel continues to pick up”, says Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair.

Jet Airways 2.0: The New Airline Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Jet Airways 2.0: The New Airline 39

The new shape of the airline is coming through a route of revival via bankruptcy.The original Jet Airways was based in Mumbai, and the rebirth will see it based in New Delhi.It is looking to commence short-haul international operations of the carrier in the second half of next year with the potential for international flights later on.

The new avatar – or the reincarnation – could materialize as soon as early next year, 2022, although on a modest scale.
The new shape of the airline is coming through on a different route not tried earlier. Jet Airways, once a strong and respected name, will take to the skies through the bankruptcy route of revival.
Initially it will be a domestic carrier only but by late next year, Jet Airways 2.0 may also fly abroad. The new management has not spelled out details of plans for international operations, however, industry sources indicated that the airline could be looking at the Gulf sector for its initial re-run.
While the original Jet Airways was based in Mumbai, the rebirth will see it based in New Delhi. It will continue to have a strong and significant presence in Mumbai as well, its earlier base.
Murari Lal Jalan
The ownership pattern will also be different. Naresh Goet used to be the one to call the shots, but now a consortium led by UAE-based Indian businessman, Murari Lal Jalan, will be in the cockpit seat. Jalan, who leads Jalan Kalrock Consortium (JKC) acquired the grounded Indian airline Jet Airways.
A top executive said the airline is looking to commence short-haul international operations of the carrier in the second half of next year.
Sources say that initially, the new entity will have 50 airplanes in 3 years, with the number anticipated to grow to 100 in 5 years.
Should this plan be implemented, both flyers and businessmen will be quite happy and will be watching the developments of the reborn airline keenly.
The expansion in the air capacity will be a great development, especially since the disinvestment of Air India is still taking more time.
The airline said it has already hired over 150 full-time staff and is looking to onboard another 1,000 employees in the current fiscal year. The hiring will be in a phased manner and will be across categories.
#rebuildingtravel

Finnair announces new Europe, Asia and North America flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Finnair announces new Europe, Asia and North America flights 40

Finnair continues to serve its key Asian destinations, flying daily to Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok, and offers multiple weekly frequencies to Singapore and Hong Kong.Finnair will strengthen its North American services and will serve Chicago, previously a summer route, throughout the winter season.Finnair’s European network will rapidly increase in frequencies throughout the winter, with double daily services to key European cities such as Amsterdam, Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Frankfurt.

As the share of fully vaccinated people continues to increase and societies are opening, travel is picking up in several markets. Finnair is meeting the increased travel demand by adding frequencies and destinations in its network to Europe, Asia and North America for the upcoming winter season.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Finnair continues to serve its key Asian destinations, flying daily to Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok, and offers multiple weekly frequencies to Singapore and Hong Kong. Finnair’s Osaka service resumes in October, expanding Finnair’s presence back into the Japanese market, with Nagoya joining this route portfolio in February. Finnair will also start serving its Dubai connection with a wide-body aircraft.
Finnair will strengthen its North American services and will serve Chicago, previously a summer route, throughout the winter season. Finnair also serves New York daily from Helsinki and operates three weekly flights to Miami and Los Angeles respectively. In addition to serving North America from its Helsinki hub, Finnair will introduce direct routes to Los Angeles and New York from Stockholm, Sweden. Finnair will also introduce direct routes from Stockholm to Miami, Phuket and Bangkok, as previously announced. 
Finnair’s European network will rapidly increase in frequencies throughout the winter, with double daily services to key European cities such as Amsterdam, Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Frankfurt, and three daily frequencies to London and Paris. Finnair also increases frequencies to St. Petersburg to support the traffic flows to Finnair’s North American destinations. 
Finnair also offers multiple frequencies daily to Scandinavian capitals, and Finnair will introduce Krakow and Gdansk for the winter season. Finnair will increase frequencies to the popular holiday destinations in Spain, serving Malaga, the Canary Islands, Madrid and Barcelona with multiple weekly frequencies.  Also the Finnish Lapland continues to attract winter travelers and Finnair offers four daily connections to Rovaniemi, Ivalo and Kittilä, and two daily services to Kuusamo, with smooth connections from Helsinki. 
”We are excited to be able to expand the breadth and depth of our network, enabling better connections for customers as travel continues to pick up”, says Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair.

New low-cost train from London to Edinburgh could disrupt current rail and air services Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New low-cost train from London to Edinburgh could disrupt current rail and air services 41

Lumo’s low-cost rail launch meets budget and environmental concerns.Lumo’s low-cost rail service model could become very popular with commuters.Even though the service is low-cost, free Wi-Fi, and on-demand entertainment will be available to all.

Lumo’s launch of low-cost rail services could disrupt current rail and air services between London and Edinburgh. Its low-cost model alongside a focus on minimizing environmental impact will bode well for shifting traveler trends as the sector recovers from the pandemic.

Lumo’s low-cost rail service could become popular. British travelers have become accustomed to high fares and low-quality services that, pre-COVID, were often overcrowded. The launch of the new budget operator’s route between Edinburgh and London is set to be a disruptive force due to a lack of competition amongst rail operators in the UK. Even though it is low-cost, free Wi-Fi, and on-demand entertainment will be available to all. With journey times only 10 minutes longer than the existing incumbent LNER, Lumo is well-positioned to make gains in the competitive marketplace.
A recent poll has revealed that 11% of global respondents now have a holiday budget lower than pre-COVID, and 37% cannot afford to go on holiday in the near future so the new low-cost service will be welcomed.
With budgets stretched, the introduction of a low-cost rail service will play well with cash-strapped travelers while domestic demand soars in the UK. Low fares will be vital to respond to the increased price sensitivity of travelers. Many have felt the financial bite from the pandemic resulting in tightening household and travel budgets. Similarly, the findings of the 2021 Consumer Survey revealed that 62% of UK respondents were ‘extremely’, ‘slightly’, or ‘quite’ concerned about their personal financial situation, further reinforcing the need for lower cost rail services.
Lumo’s competitive £15 (US$20.78) one-way lowest fare option could stimulate travel demand between London and Edinburgh. The low fares are set to be cheaper than a low-cost flight and could place competitive pressure on easyJet and, to some extent, British Airways. Price is key to attracting custom during the COVID-19 recovery stage, and Lumo has the right business model for success.
Travelers are increasingly likely to be influenced by how environmentally friendly a product or service is. The Q1 2021 consumer survey revealed that 70% of UK respondents are ‘always’, ‘often’, or ‘sometimes’ influenced by this factor.
Lumo’s heavy focus on being an environmentally friendly operation, future proofs its business model. Travelers who would often fly between the two cities are likely to be swayed towards a more environmentally friendly and cheaper option. Opting to travel on Lumo’s fully electric trains over flying will reduce the carbon emissions of the trip to one-sixth of flying, according to the operator. Further reaffirming its environmental focus, the operator will offer 50% plant-based food onboard and is 100% digital to avoid paper waste. With environmental concerns set to grow, the move could see Lumo becoming a leading environmentally conscious rail operator.

Delta Airlines influencer gab spikes over new COVID-19 vaccine mandate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Delta Airlines influencer gab spikes over new COVID-19 vaccine mandate 42

US companies are coming up with COVID-29 vaccine plans.Delta Air Lines will impose $200 monthly surcharge on unvaccinated employees.Delta Air Lines’ plan led to a 150% rise in influencer conversations.

Several companies came up with vaccine mandate plans after the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in August 2021. Delta Air Lines, Inc (Delta Air Lines) also took strict measures to motivate employees by increasing healthcare premium of unvaccinated employees on their healthcare plan and meet the expected rise in travel demand. This led to a staggering 150% rise in influencer conversations around ‘vaccines’ on Delta Air Lines company influencer dashboard during the last 90 days (June-August), over the previous three months.  

In August, a dramatic conversation spike among influencers around Delta Air Lines was noticed when the company announced to impose a US$200 monthly surcharge on employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Influencers saw this as the latest tactic to cajole workers into having a COVID-19 jab, as surging infection cases have clouded the outlook for airlines. Influencer sentiments were also positive on this measure as it is a necessary step to address the associated financial risks because the average hospital stay for the COVID-19 costs the airline US$50,000 per person.
In August, another rise in influencer conversation was noticed when the airlines company announced its partnership with French-Belgian high-speed train operator Thalys to provide rail connections between Amsterdam and the Belgian cities of Brussels and Antwerp.
Likewise, there was a sharp growth in influencer conversations in July, when the Atlanta-based airline reported its first quarterly profit since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, after breaking a five-quarter streak of losses. Rising domestic leisure travel and business travel demand along with federal government aid have supported Delta Air Lines to achieve a quarterly profit of US$652m in Q2 2021.
Delta Air Lines announced its remarkable plan in June to hire more than 1,000 pilots by summer of 2022, in anticipation of an increase in travel demand after recovery from the pandemic. This led to a surge in influencer conversations in June.

Job Analytics Database reveals that for most of the 2020, the company witnessed single-digit job postings. However, Delta Air Lines saw a surge in hiring activity in 2021. Listings increased from 101 jobs in January 2021 to 474 jobs in August 2021, with job postings seeing a 55% boost between Q2 2021 and Q3 2021.
Delta Air Lines is ramping up hires in 2021 to meet high demand for travel. Additionally, the company’s hiring includes a significant number of roles for seasonal ready reserves such as customer service agents, ticket/gate agents, cargo service agents indicated. Hiring for aircraft technicians and engineers have seen an uptick since June 2021. The company is also focusing to maximize cargo revenue and market share in Latin and EMEA region.

Flights from Kazakhstan to the Maldives on Air Astana now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Kazakhstan to the Maldives on Air Astana now 43

Air Astana announces direct flights from Almaty, Kazakhstan to Male in the Maldives.Kazakhstan to the Maldives flights will resume on October 9, 2021.Air Astana Maldives route will be serviced with Airbus A321LR and Boeing 767 aircraft.

Air Astana will resume direct flights from Almaty to Male in the Maldives on October 9, 2021.

Airbus A321LR and Boeing 767 aircraft will operate on the Almaty-Male route four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.  
Air Astana previously operated flights to the Maldives from December 5, 2020 until May 24, 2021, prior to suspension due to government restrictions.
All passengers, including those who have been fully vaccinated, require a negative PCR test certificate in English to enter the Republic of Maldives.
Additionally, passengers need to complete a Traveler Health Declaration 24 hours prior to departure.
Visas will be issued free of charge upon arrival at Male Airport.
Upon returning to Kazakhstan, all passengers must have a negative PCR certificate, except those who have been fully vaccinated.
Air Astana is the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, based in Almaty.
Air Astana operates scheduled, domestic and international services on 64 routes from its main hub, Almaty International Airport, and from its secondary hub, Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport.
Almaty International Airport, formerly Alma-Ata Airport, is a major international airport 15 km northeast of Almaty, the largest city and commercial capital of Kazakhstan.
Almaty International Airport the busiest airport in Kazakhstan, accounting for half of country’s passenger traffic and 68% of cargo traffic.

Austria: No Afghan refugees wanted! Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Austria: No Afghan refugees wanted! 44

Austria does not want any more Afghan refugees.Integrations of the Afghans into Western society is “very difficult”.Austria already hosts the fourth largest Afghan community in the world.

Over 123,000 civilians were flown out of Kabul by the US and western allies after Afghanistan’s capital city fell into the hands of Taliban terrorists in mid-August.
The majority of those Afghan refugees will be provided with asylum in the USA, but the European Union also agreed to take in 30,000 fleeing Afghans.

While Germany and France showed eagerness to accept the refugees, Austria was among the nations that blatantly rejected the idea of more Afghan arrivals.
Austria’s chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced that Austria already has enough migrants from Afghanistan, and the country will take no part in the resettlement of Afghan refugees evacuated from Kabul after the Taliban takeover.
“We won’t welcome any fleeing Afghans into our country as long as I’m in power,” Sebastian Kurz declared in today’s interview with Italian La Stampa newspaper.
Kurz insisted that Austrian government’s position on the issue was “realistic” and didn’t mean that there was a lack of solidarity with other EU capitals on the part of Vienna.
“After more than 44,000 Afghans arrived to our country in recent years, Austria already hosts the fourth largest Afghan community in the world” per capita, the chancellor reminded.
The problem is that “integration of Afghans is very difficult” and requires extensive efforts that Austria simply can’t afford at the moment, the 35-year-old conservative politician said. They mostly have a low level of education and completely different values compared to the rest of the country’s population, he pointed out, adding that more than half of young Afghans living in Austria supported religious violence.
Vienna was still eager to help the distressed Afghans, as it was allocating 20 million euros to assist Afghanistan’s neighboring countries in resettling the refugees, Kurz said.
But the European Union policies from the times of the 2015 migrant crisis – when hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict in North Africa and the Middle East were let into the bloc – “can’t be a solution for either Kabul or the European Union” anymore, Kurz said.
The Austrian leader insisted that it was “now clear to all European governments that illegal immigration should be tackled and that Europe’s external borders should be made secure” to solve this problem.
Sebastian Kurz believes that the European Union must work to break “the business model” of human traffickers who deliver people to Europe. As for the migrants, they should be turned around at the EU borders and sent back to their countries of origin or to safe third-party nations.

Flights from Doha, Qatar to Sofia, Bulgaria mark 10 successful years Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Doha, Qatar to Sofia, Bulgaria mark 10 successful years 45

Qatar Airways to resume Doha to Sofia flights.Qatar Airways will use Airbus A320 aircraft on Qatar to Bulgaria route.There is a “strong demand” for flights between Doha and Sofia.

Qatar Airways marked a milestone in its history with Bulgaria, celebrating 10 successful years since its first flight between Doha and Sofia Airport (SOF) on 14 September 2011.

The service is currently operated by Qatar Airways’ modern Airbus A320 featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class. All benefit from the famous Oryx One on-demand in-flight entertainment system.
Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We have long been proud to serve Bulgaria and connect this beautiful country with our global route network. I knew when we first began flying to Sofia that this was the start of a strong and enduring relationship. Over the years we have witnessed the benefits of our services to Bulgaria that extend well beyond our mission of bringing people together. Our flights have enabled travelers from around the world to experience Bulgaria’s hospitality and cultural history while supporting the export of Bulgarian products to overseas markets.
“It is a testament to both strong demand and our deep commitment to the country, that we are set to recommence direct flights between Doha and Sofia, from December this year.”
Sofia Airport’s Chief Executive Officer CEO Jesus Caballero said: “We are extremely happy that we are serving the Doha to Sofia route with our partner Qatar Airways. It allows business and leisure customers to explore our beautiful capital of Bulgaria or the seaside cities of Varna and Bourgas thanks to the codeshare between Qatar Airways and Bulgaria Air with flight connections from Sofia. Our long-term partnership with Qatar Airways means so much to us and we look forward to strengthening it especially in 2022 when the FIFA World Cup™ will take place in Qatar.”
The flights have also helped boost Bulgarian trade connections over the past decade and currently Qatar Airways Cargo offers more than 10 tons cargo capacity each week, each way on flights operating on the route.
Qatar Airways milestones in Bulgaria:
2011 – The airline began flying to Sofia four times a week via Bucharest, Romania using an A320.2012 – Increased flights to five times a week.2014 – Start of daily service between Sofia and Doha.2015 – The flights were tagged with a stop in Belgrade, Serbia.2016 – Direct flights began increasing to double daily before the start of the pandemic.2020 – March, Qatar Airways signs a codeshare agreement with Bulgaria Air.2020 – October, flights resume post-Covid 19, as a tag on service with Bucharest, Romania.2021 – From 16 December, flights are set to run non-stop again from Doha to Sofia, four times a week.
Bulgaria has placed a strong emphasis on an environmentally responsible recovery from the pandemic, and Qatar Airways equally recognizes the importance of environmental leadership to save our planet. The airline is constantly exploring sustainable approaches to aviation, and its investments in the most fuel-efficient aircraft – including the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 – underscore Qatar Airways’ commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Current Sofia Flight Schedule: 7x per week (local timings)
Doha (DOH) to Sofia (SOF) QR 395 departs: 08:30 arrives: 15:35 (one stop in Bucharest for one hour)
Sofia (SOF) to Doha (DOH) QR 396 departs: 16:35 arrives: 23:15 (one stop in Bucharest for one hour)
Sofia Flight Schedule From 16 December: 4x per week non-stop (subject to confirmation)
Doha (DOH) to Sofia (SOF) QR 227 departs: 07:30 arrives: 11:35 non-stop
Sofia (SOF) to Doha (DOH) QR 228 departs: 12:35 arrives: 18:15 non-stop

Southwest Airlines announces new President Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Southwest Airlines announces new President 46

Leadership changes announced at Southwest Airlines.Tom Nealon has decided to retire from his duties as President effective immediately.Mike Van de Ven has been named as the Company’s President, effective immediately.

Southwest Airlines Co. announced leadership changes today.
Tom Nealon, 60, has decided to retire from his duties as President effective immediately, but will continue to serve the Company as a strategic advisor, focusing primarily on the airline’s environmental sustainability and carbon emissions reduction plan. Nealon has held numerous leadership positions during his tenure with the airline, including Executive Vice President Strategy & Innovation from 2016 to 2017, Director on the Southwest Board from 2010 to 2015, and in a consultant capacity as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer from 2002 to 2006. 

“I’m honored to have served Southwest throughout the years in several different capacities, and especially to have been President of the best airline in the business,” Nealon said. “I look forward to continuing to serve and advise Southwest on strategic initiatives, and most importantly, on the airline’s long-term environmental sustainability plans.”
Gary Kelly, Southwest’s Chairman and CEO, announced on behalf of the Southwest Airlines Board of Directors that Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven, 59, has been named as the Company’s President, effective immediately. Van de Ven will take on the additional responsibilities of the Company’s Internal Audit, Business Continuity, Emergency Response, and Enterprise Risk Management functions.
“I want to thank Tom for his countless contributions to the cause that is Southwest Airlines over the years—they are many and immeasurable. I’m grateful Tom will continue serving as a strategic advisor. I’m thrilled for Mike as he assumes his new role as President, in addition to COO. Mike is as talented and dedicated a leader as one will find, and he has directly contributed to Southwest’s success during his 28 years serving the Company and our People.
“The transition efforts being led by Executive Vice President and incoming CEO Bob Jordan are going extremely well, and as that continues, we are taking steps to shift reporting roles in preparation for Bob to assume the CEO role on February 1, 2022,” said Kelly. 
As the transition progresses, the Finance, Commercial, Legal & Regulatory, Operations, and Technology teams that were reporting to Kelly or Nealon will now report to Jordan, also effective immediately.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to thank Tom for his nearly five-year tenure as President and more than 15 years of service to our Southwest Airlines Employees, Customers, Shareholders, and the Communities we serve,” said Southwest Airlines Lead Director William Cunningham. “We are extremely proud to have such a talented and robust leadership bench at Southwest Airlines, and are delighted with the announcement of Mike Van de Ven as Tom’s successor.”

US Travel vehemently opposes domestic air travel vaccine mandate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

US Travel vehemently opposes domestic air travel vaccine mandate 47

Vaccine mandate for US domestic travel criticized.Vaccination requirement proposed for air travel.US public support for air travel vaccine mandate is growing.

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on comments made by White House Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci in support of a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel:
“The science—including studies from the Harvard School of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Defense—overwhelmingly points to the safety of air travel as long as masks are worn. And with the federal mask mandate for all forms of public transportation and U.S. airports extended through January 2022, proper tools are already in place to enable safe air travel for Americans.

“U.S. Travel Association has long maintained that there should be no mandatory vaccination requirement for domestic travel. Such a policy would have an unfair, negative impact on families with young children who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine.”
“While U.S. Travel does not endorse a national vaccine mandate, we continue to believe that vaccines are the fastest path back to normalcy for all, and we strongly encourage all who are eligible to get a vaccine immediately to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, recently voiced his support for a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for US domestic air travel. “I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated,” he said.
In August, 2021, Canada issued a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all domestic plane, train and cruise ship travel.
In US public support for a vaccine mandate for air passengers also keeps growing, according to a recent Gallup poll. More than six in 10 Americans (61%) now support requiring proof of full vaccination before getting on a plane — up from 57% in April 2021.

First foreign passenger flight from Islamabad lands at Kabul airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

First foreign passenger flight from Islamabad lands at Kabul airport 48

Pakistan International Airlines flies to Kabul from Islamabad.It was not clear whether it was a scheduled or charter flight.Around 70 people left Kabul for Pakistani capital on board of PIA flight.

A Pakistan International Airlines flight from Islamabad has become the first foreign passenger flight to land at Kabul airport since the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

PIA passenger jet carrying just a handful of passengers has touched down at Kabul airport today, with “around 10 people … maybe more staff than passengers,” according to one of the people on board.
It was not immediately clear whether the Pakistan International Airlines flight was classified as a scheduled commercial flight or a special commercial charter.
A PIA spokesman said at the weekend the carrier was ready and willing to resume regular commercial services, but it was too soon to say how frequently flights between the Islamabad and Kabul would operate.
Kabul airport was severely damaged during a chaotic evacuation of more than 120,000 people that ended with the withdrawal of US forces on August 30.
Passenger terminals, air bridges and technical infrastructure were badly damaged in the days after the Taliban rolled into Kabul on August 15, when thousands of people stormed the airport in the hope of fleeing the city.
The Taliban has been racing to get the airport operating again with technical assistance from Qatar, Turkey and other nations.
The resumption of commercial flights will be a key test for the terrorist group, who have repeatedly promised to allow Afghans with the right documents to leave the country freely.
Qatar Airways operated several charter flights out of Kabul last week, carrying mostly foreigners and Afghans who missed out on the evacuation.
Ariana Afghan Airlines resumed domestic services on September 3.
The PIA jet made a return flight to Islamabad shortly after landing in Kabul on Monday.
Around 70 people were on the flight to the Pakistani capital, mostly Afghans who were relatives of staffers with international organizations, according to airport ground staff.