Russian air carriers resume Turkey flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Russian air carriers resume Turkey flights 1

Russia restarts scheduled and charter passenger air service to Turkey.Russian airlines can fly to Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Dalaman, Bodrum.Russian flag carrier Aeroflot plans to increase the frequency of flights from twice a week to two flights a day.

Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency announced today that ten Russian air carriers have resumed scheduled and charter passenger flights to Turkey.
There were 78 flights, including 54 charter flights, planned for the first day of the full resumption of air traffic between Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey.

According to the Federal Air Transport Agency, currently,12 Russian airlines have permits to fly to Turkey. They can fly to five Turkish cities: Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Dalaman, Bodrum, federal regulator said. The airlines can operate flights to Turkey from 32 Russian cities.
“On June 22, 78 regular and charter flights will be operated, of which Russian airlines will operate 54 flights. Aeroflot, Royal Flight, Smartavia, Azur air, Ikar, Yamal, Nord Wind, Pobeda, Red Wings, S7, Rossiya are scheduled to fly today,” the Federal Air Transport Agency said.
12 Russian air carriers received “more than 160 permits for international passenger and/or cargo transportation to seven cities in Turkey”, following the decision of the Interdepartmental Commission on Airline Access to Air Transportation.

From Tuesday, June 22, Russia and Turkey have fully resumed air traffic, which was limited in mid-April due to a new wave of the pandemic in Turkey.
From June 25, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot plans to increase the frequency of flights from twice a week to two flights a day.
Also, from June 25, the national airline will launch flights from Moscow to Antalya, Dalaman and Bodrum. Moreover, Aeroflot did not rule out a further increase in the number of flights to Turkey, depending on demand and flight load.

More cost-conscious version of Emirates could emerge post-COVID-19 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

More cost-conscious version of Emirates could emerge post-COVID-19 2

Employee costs at the airline fell by 3.45% and 4.4% in 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively.Amid the grounding of flights and oil market fluctuations, jet fuel costs also shrank 75.6%, to reach AED6.4 billion in 2020-21.The AED11.3 billion ($3.1 billion) injection was unprecedented in the history of Emirates.

The deep impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aviation has been reiterated by Dubai flag carrier Emirates’ performance during the 2020-21 financial year, which included a net loss of AED20.3 billion ($5.5 billion) and a 66% revenue drop to AED30.1 billion ($8.4 billion). While the airline may still retain its market dominance given the scale of its legacy operations, the evolution of its financial position over the past decade – exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19 – suggests a more cost-conscious version of Emirates could emerge in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The first signs that Emirates – like all global airlines – was headed towards a financial downturn emerged in March 2020, when its ultimate owner, the Government of Dubai, pledged an equity injection for the carrier. The AED11.3 billion ($3.1 billion) injection was unprecedented in the history of Emirates and served as a reminder of how critical – both commercially and socially – the airline’s continuity is to Dubai’s economy. Its recovery will hinge on its ability to efficiently manage its operating costs, which dropped to AED46 billion last year, from AED85.5 billion in 2019-20.

After having largely weathered the global financial crisis of 2008-10 and the oil price crash of 2014-16, around 30,585 Emirates staff were laid off in 2020-21 for the first time in the airline’s history. The move consequently drove down employee costs by 35%, to AED7.8 billion, but this reduction is not a new trend.
Employee costs at the airline fell by 3.45% and 4.4% in 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively, and had been in somewhat steady decline since swelling to a ten-year growth peak of 20% in 2010-11.
Amid the grounding of flights and oil market fluctuations, jet fuel costs also shrank 75.6%, to reach AED6.4 billion in 2020-21 from AED26.2 billion in the previous year. Brent crude oil prices averaged $41 a barrel and largely stayed low last year, which benefited Emirates’ bottom line. However, prices are expected to average $63 a barrel this year and could raise jet fuel costs during Emirates’ 2021-22 financial year, especially if post-pandemic travel demand recovery estimates are realized.

Across the Emirates group, cost reduction measures resulted in savings of AED7.7 billion in 2020-21. It is possible that further such measures will be rolled out, given the sustained impact of COVID-19, including on Emirates’ travel corridors with India and the UK.

Guam’s Air V&V Program ready for takeoff Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Guam’s Air V&V Program ready for takeoff 3

Air V&V program has officially been approved by Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and the Department of Public Health and Social Services.The program captures a unique demographic of travelers around the world that are tired of waiting to get vaccinated in this pandemic.Prior to arrival in Guam, program participants must book their package with one of the participating hotels.

The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) announced that the Air V&V (vaccination and vacation) program has officially been approved by Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS).
“I want to thank Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio, DPHSS Director Art San Agustin, and Acting Chief Public Health Officer Chima Mbakwem for clearing the way for us to market Guam as the U.S. destination of choice when it comes to encouraging US expats and non-US citizens to travel to our island to get vaccinated and spend their vacation time with us,” said Carl T.C. Gutierrez, GVB President and CEO. “This program captures a unique demographic of travelers around the world that are tired of waiting to get vaccinated in this pandemic. This will give a shot in the arm to our tourism industry through this unique and valuable service, offering more opportunities to put our people back to work and get our economy roaring again.”

Non-US citizens welcomed
With the support of Chairman Milton Morinaga and the GVB Board of Directors, GVB worked with the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association, Physicians Advisory Group and its chairman Dr. Hoa Nguyen, Col. Mike Cruz and the Guam Surgeon Cell, and DPHSS to get the program ready for the island’s source markets, as well as other countries. Guam can now officially welcome US citizens living abroad, green card holders, and also non-U.S. citizens to avail of vaccination and vacation deals.
Protocols for Air V&V

Prior to arrival in Guam, program participants must book their package with one of the participating hotels. The hotel will assist in scheduling the vaccination and PCR appointments for Air V&V participants. All international travelers must provide a negative PCR test before boarding their flight to Guam. Upon arrival, participants of the Air V&V program will receive a COVID-19 test to ensure they are able to receive the vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) the following day from the comfort of their hotel room. If they choose Moderna or Pfizer, their second dose will be scheduled.
While in Guam, they must undergo a 7-day quarantine at a self-paid facility upon arrival to Guam. They would have the option to take a PRC test on Day 6 of quarantine and if they test negative for COVID-19, they will be released. It is also required they register with Sara Alert for monitoring up to 14 days, and download the Guam COVID Alert App.
As part of the program, they will also get a PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to departure. Participants will depart Guam with their vaccination record card and vaccination health authority record.

Packages offered for travel
In collaboration with Guam’s medical community, travel trade, and hotel partners, all-in-one packages have been developed to offer interested travelers. The travel packages include transportation to and from the airport, three COVID-19 tests, the administration of two doses of the vaccine, health monitoring, and digital vaccination records.
Air V&V packages can be booked directly with the following hotels: Dusit Thani Guam Resort, Grand Plaza Hotel, Guam Reef Hotel, Hotel Nikko Guam, Hyatt Regency Guam, LeoPalace Resort, Lotte Hotel, Pacific Islands Club, Royal Orchid Hotel, and the Tsubaki Tower.

American Airlines compared to Jet Blue: An Executive Platinum Member has a surprising response Aviation Feature, Aviation News

American Airlines compared to Jet Blue: An Executive Platinum Member has a surprising response 4

DOING THE RIGHT THING is very different from DOING WHAT IS RIGHT.American Airlines vs. JetBlueWhat an Executive Platinum Member of American Airlines for several years really means to the Airline?
This is a bit of a rant and a long post so continue reading at your own will. But reading and sharing this might help other pet owners/lovers who plan to fly their pets one day. I just don’t want my horrible experience with American Airlines happen with other people.
American Airlines turned my Frenchie, Roxie away from our flight from PBI – DFW – LAX because apparently, she is not able to stand up in the carrier while it’s closed and turn around.

She is able to turn around but she does go over the top of the carrier. As far as I know, only miniature dogs and really small puppies can do that given the size of the allowable size of the carriers.
I have flown Roxie with American Airlines several times and this has never been an issue. As a result I have had to cancel my flight and unable to take my flight to LA. This really put me and Roxie in a very uncertain situation at the airport. I really do not understand the rational for our rejection.
American Airlines have been canceling hundreds of flights on a daily basis because of their inability to manage the surge and constantly overbooking flights.

This does not seem to be happening with other airlines so it’s an indication of their incompetence. Prior to this incident, they were asking for volunteers to give up seats for money.
Then they canceled my original flight two hours before the flight. Then rebooked me on a flight that lands in Burbank instead of Orange Country which is close to the house. I believe this happened because they are finding any reason to free up seats so they could fill the up the overbookings and all the flight cancellations.

Chorus Aviation Inc. announces election of Directors Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Chorus Aviation Inc. announces election of Directors 5

Chorus’ proxy circular provided for 10 nominees to the Board of Directors.Total number of shares represented by shareholders present in person and by proxy at the meeting was 60,142,910 million.Holders of the requisite number of shares voted in favor of all items of business.

Chorus Aviation Inc. announces the results of the vote on the election of directors at its virtual annual meeting of shareholders held on June 21, 2021.
The total number of shares represented by shareholders present in person and by proxy at the meeting was 60,142,910 million and represented 33.85% of Chorus’ issued and outstanding shares with voting rights. Holders of the requisite number of shares voted in favor of all items of business. Chorus’ proxy circular provided for 10 nominees to the Board of Directors. Detailed results of the vote for election of directors are set out below.

NomineeVotes For% ForVotes Withheld% WithheldKaren Cramm59,072,20498.22%1,070,7061.78%Richard D. Falconer56,251,20093.53%3,891,7106.47%Gail Hamilton56,416,52193.80%3,726,3896.20%R Stephen Hannahs59,563,03999.04%579,8710.96%Sydney John Isaacs59,035,22398.16%1,107,6871.84%Alan Jenkins56,341,26093.68%3,801,6506.32%Amos Kazzaz56,232,12493.50%3,910,7866.50%Marie-Lucie Morin55,709,66592.63%4,430,2457.37%Joseph D. Randell56,224,88393.49%3,918,0276.51%Paul Rivett59,641,81099.17%501,1000.83%
Chorus is pleased to welcome Ms. Gail Hamilton, Mr. Alan Jenkins and Mr. Paul Rivett to its Board of Directors. Ms. Hamilton was a partner with both KPMG and Ernst & Young providing audit and business advisory services to a variety of organizations, including several within the aviation industry. Mr. Jenkins has over 20 years’ senior executive and board experience in the aircraft leasing, specialty finance, aviation, transportation, and financial services sectors. In addition to co-founding NordStar Capital (a recent investor in Chorus), Mr. Rivett previously served as the President of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited where in 2016, he was responsible for the firm’s $200 million investment in Chorus that served as the seed capital for our regional aircraft leasing business.
Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital a global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation. 

Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi: Life today is very complicated Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi: Life today is very complicated 6

When conditions are right, consumers will come back to the air, the conditions are really the sense of safety.Passengers who are vaccinated, will likely feel safe to fly again as long as there are no government-imposed restrictions on travel.While some countries are easing restrictions, some are actually hardening restrictions on travel, so it is still a very unpredictable and very volatile situation.

Peter Harbison began the interview by welcoming József Váradi, who’s the CEO of Wizz Air. Peter suggested they kick off their discussion with big picture stuff.
The interview started with Wizz CEO offering an overview of Europe and of the whole COVID-19 pandemic in general. He discussed the big issues with Peter of CAPA – Centre for Aviation as he sees it coming up in the next 3 months that Wizz Air will have to face.

Peter Harbison:
Very warm welcome. Haven’t spoken to you for quite a while, József, but a lot happened in the meantime. Let’s kick off with big picture stuff, and what are the big issues that you see coming up in the next three months?
József Váradi:

Thank you, Peter, for inviting me your show. Looking at life today, I think it’s very complicated. You certainly need to look at a consumer, whether the consumer wants to fly or not. Obviously, the consumer wants to fly, there is nothing wrong with the consumer. You can see some of the markets, [inaudible 00:00:56] is really catching up. I think at the moment it is performing around 80% of its 2019 capacity levels. It’s expected to exceed a big summer capacity relative to 2019. I think what it really tells you is that when the conditions are right, the consumers come back to the air, to the franchise of flying very, very quickly and the conditions are really, the sense of safety. If you are vaccinated, I think you feel safe to fly again and two, there are no government-imposed restrictions on travel, so you can easily go.
But that doesn’t really apply to Europe at this point in time. I think the consumer’s willingness to fly is totally there, it has remained intact. Actually, many of the people are just fed up with being locked down and they want to go, they want to breathe fresh air but at the same time, they are highly restricted by government-imposed restrictions.
And in certain cases it’s just almost impossible to travel. Now it is slowly changing, but it is not a straight line. It is more like a roller coaster. You see some countries easing restrictions, but still today you are seeing some countries actually hardening restrictions on travel, so I think it is still a very unpredictable, very volatile and we will see how that’s going to go. We definitely got, I don’t think Europe at the level of the US, certainly not from a domestic perspective. It is still complicated.

Peter:
Yeah. I think comparisons with the US are probably a bit difficult because it’s probably the only market that has got back to that level, China excepted. But one of the things, József, even in the US where they’re getting back to fairly full flights and obviously there’s a lot of demand there, getting back to close to 2019 levels, yields are still very well down. They’re still down 20, 30 percent average economy yields. What is driving that? Is it just too much capacity coming in too quickly or is it just uncertainty in terms of revenue management?
József:
Well, I think the history of the industry is that, especially when it comes to recovery from difficult situations that is over capacity and as I said it’s hard because of the imbalance between supply and demand, you’ve seen the yield environment dragging and I think this is what you should be expecting. Pretty much everybody in the world that in the recovery phase, that will be too much capacity coming out to the market, which is probably the right thing for stimulating traffic and encouraging the consumers to come back into flying. But at the same time, from a financial, former standpoint, obviously this is going to put pressure on the industry.

Travel restrictions to ease July 5 for fully vaccinated Canadians Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Travel restrictions to ease July 5 for fully vaccinated Canadians 7

Changes fall far short of Government’s own Expert Panel Report.Canada’s major airlines call for a comprehensive re-start plan to re-open borders and end to piecemeal announcements.Unlike many other countries, Canada has yet to provide a clear restart plan

Canada’s major airlines noted today’s announcement by the federal government that on July 5th at 11:59 pm EDT fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be exempt from hotel quarantine and mandatory 14-day quarantine.  But the industry repeated its plea that Canada desperately needs a clear and comprehensive re-start plan for international travel, and an end to one-off piecemeal announcements concerning quarantine and border policy changes. 
“Easing quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians and eligible travelers is a step in the right direction, but falls far short of the recommendations provided by Health Canada’s Expert Advisory Panel report released last month.  The government continues to refuse to provide Canadians with a clear and comprehensive restart plan outlining how measures from the report will be adopted.  While other countries like France have already changed their measures to welcome Canadian travellers, we still have no plan or clear timeframe in Canada,” said Mike McNaney, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents Canada’s largest airlines (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation, and WestJet).

The Health Canada Advisory Panel report, prepared by experts in epidemiology, virology as well as advanced data analytics, is a data and science-based review that calls for a variety of changes to travel and border measures including elimination of quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers, elimination of hotel quarantine for all travelers, reduction of quarantine for partially vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, and the use of rapid antigen testing.  While Canada has reached a vaccination target of 75% / 20%, today’s announcement did not substantively address these measures.
McNaney also noted that the government’s requirement that children under the age of 18 who are not fully vaccinated must adhere to a 14-day quarantine runs counter to the approach taken by other countries. “The government repeatedly states it is working with our international partners and following science, yet pursues initiatives such as mandatory quarantine for minors that is completely out of step with other jurisdictions. In fact, the policy directly contradicts the recommendations issued jointly on June 17 by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency” he said. 
“Unlike many other countries including our G7 partners, Canada has yet to provide a clear restart plan outlining when and how major travel and border restrictions will be removed, in particular for fully vaccinated travelers from foreign countries, and how the Panel’s recommendations will be adopted.  As vaccination programs increase rapidly and jurisdictions around the world provide consumers and industry with a clear path forward, we must do the same. Countries that successfully implement a science and data – based testing and quarantine policy will not only protect public health, they will also drive their overall domestic recovery and take jobs and investment from countries that do not.   We must get moving now”, concluded McNaney.  

Non-EU countries join EU decision to ban Belarusian airlines from their airspace Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Non-EU countries join EU decision to ban Belarusian airlines from their airspace 8

Seven non-EU states join EU in banning Belarusian air carriers.EU Council at the foreign ministers level approved the fourth package of individual sanctions against 86 Belarusian individuals and legal entities.The May 23 Ryanair plane hijacking by Belarus has sent ongoing shockwaves through the international air travel industry.

European Union Council’s press service issued a statement on Monday, announcing that seven non-EU countries sided with EU members’ decision to close their airspace for Belarusian air carriers.
“The Council Decision decided to strengthen the existing restrictive measures in view of the situation in Belarus by introducing a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Belarusian carriers of all kinds,” the statement says.

“The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this Council Decision,” the press service said.
“They will ensure that their national policies conform to this Council Decision,” the press service added. “The European Union takes note of this commitment and welcomes it,” it said.
Earlier on Monday, the EU Council at the foreign ministers level approved the fourth package of individual sanctions against 86 Belarusian individuals and legal entities and reached an agreement to impose economic sanctions on seven economic sectors of Belarus, including potash and petrochemicals export and the financial sector. Economic sanctions are subject to final approval at the EU Summit on June 24-25 and will become effective after that. 

The May 23 Ryanair plane hijacking by Belarus has sent ongoing shockwaves through the international air travel industry. The aircraft, en route from Greece to Lithuania, was hijacked and forced to land in Minsk over a bogus bomb threat.
Immediately upon forced landing at Minsk airport, Belarusian security agents boarded the plane and arrested opposition blogger Roman Protasevich wanted by Lukashenko’s regime and his girlfriend, Russian citizen Sofia Sapega.

Sabre and Virgin Australia renew global distribution agreement Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Sabre and Virgin Australia renew global distribution agreement 9

Sabre Corporation a software and technology provider and Virgin Australia have a renewal of their global distribution agreement.  Under the renewed agreement, Sabre will continue to distribute Virgin Australia flights and services through the Sabre GDS marketplace, I will ensure that hundreds of thousands of Sabre-connected agencies will continue to have access to Virgin Australia’s great value products and services.  
“Although international borders remain largely closed at the moment, there is a lot of pent-up demand and positivity in the domestic market,” said David Orszaczky, General Manager Digital, and Distribution, Virgin Australia. “We’re committed to creating an ecosystem that delivers great value for customers and ensuring our agency partners can help deliver the many travel experiences we offer in their preferred channel.”  
“We are thrilled to reaffirm our longstanding collaboration with Virgin Australia at this important time for the carrier and for the travel industry,” said Rakesh Narayanan, Regional General Manager, Asia Pacific, Travel Solutions, Airline Sales. “Our renewed agreement provides certainty to the travel industry that Virgin Australia’s travel agency content will continue to be available on the Sabre GDS as well as being testament to the commitment of both Virgin Australia and Sabre to providing rich content through our global distribution network.”  

American Airlines Flight Cancellation Outlook Aviation Feature, Aviation News

American Airlines Flight Cancellation Outlook 10

As of Sunday afternoon, 123 flights were canceled Saturday, 178 on Sunday, and 97 were canceled for MondayAmerican told ABC News that most of the cancelations are on A320 and 737 aircraft, but that it may continue to cancel at least 50 to 60 flights per day for the rest of June and 50 to 80 flights per day through July.We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation,” according to an American Airlines statement.
The US economy is switching from an emergency stage of less flights operating to a stage, where more flights than before COVID-19 are needed.
Major airlines, like American Airlines, are trying to make up for the year of downtown overextending possible options. It included jets more crowded, shorter turnaround time, but it also put an enormous burden on staffing and logistic issues.

This now is resulting in a high number of sick calls, combined with maintenance and other staffing issues.
A frustrated passenger tweeted:
@AmericanAir support has refused to answer any questions or offer any sort of solution to rectify the situation – so I’m still in Miami. still waiting to get to NYC. no idea when or if I’m gonna get there. this is by far the worst travel experience I’ve ever had.

A 1K member of United Airlines phrased it:
Now there were some amazing @americanair employees that did their best to compensate for the terrible ones. But all in all – this is my hollow promise that I’m never flying with AA. I status with @UnitedAirlines_ and this is what I get for cheating on them.

Nine people killed in Russia plane crash Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Nine people killed in Russia plane crash 11

The plane belonged to a local chapter of the DOSAAF paramilitary sport group.The aircraft hit the ground with its wing and overturned.Two crew members and seven parachutists were killed, nine people in total.

Nine people were killed and several were injured after a twin-engine Let L-410 aircraft crash-landed in Kemerovo Region in Russia’s southwestern Siberia. Nineteen people were on board the plane – 2 pilots and 17 skydivers.
The plane belonged to a local chapter of the DOSAAF paramilitary sport group and was making its fourth flight of the day when suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff.

The pilots attempted to land the plane, but the aircraft hit the ground with its wing and overturned, chief of Kemerovo DOSAAF said.
“According to my information, two crew members and seven parachutists were killed, nine people in total,” the official stated.
It remains unclear what caused the fatal engine failure as the plane was in good technical condition and had performed three flights that day.

Hawaiian Airlines brings back flights to Tahiti Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Hawaiian Airlines brings back flights to Tahiti 12

This resumption of service is following the launch of a pre-travel testing program between Hawaiʻi and French Polynesia that allows for quarantine-free travel within the two archipelagos.Hawaiian will reinstate once-weekly nonstop flying between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Tahiti’s Fa’a’ā International Airport (PPT).Flights will be conducted on the airlines’ 278-seat Airbus A330 aircraft.

Hawaiian began its inaugural Hawaiʻi – Tahiti air travel in June 1987. Flights were then suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier’s resumption of flights is made possible by the new pre-travel testing program established by Hawaiʻi Gov. David Ige and French Polynesia President Édouard Fritch — a result of low COVID-19 cases within the 2 destinations. “We look forward to reconnecting our islands, but most importantly, reconnecting family members who have not seen each other for over a year,” said Peter Ingram, President and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines. “We appreciate the tremendous work by the governments of French Polynesia and Hawaiʻi to open up travel between our regions.” Both Hawaiʻi and French Polynesia will implement strict travel requirements for resident and visitor safety. Those traveling inbound from PPT to HNL must complete and upload a negative test result from the Institut Louis Malardé, a state-approved testing partner, to the state of Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travels program. Guests traveling outbound to PPT from HNL will need to provide proof of vaccination and have fulfilled the government of Tahiti’s COVID-19 entry requirements prior to travel. Those not compliant will be subject to a 10-day quarantine.“Many of Hawaiʻi’s residents have family in Tahiti, and welcoming our guests from French Polynesia to Hawaiʻi is an important step in maintaining the close relationship between our two regions,” said Hawaiʻi Gov. David Ige. Hawaiian Airlines flight HA481 will depart HNL at 3:35 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7 and arrive at PPT at 9:30 p.m. Flight HA482 will depart PPT at 11:30 p.m. the same evening and arrive into HNL at 5:15 a.m. the following day.  Hawaiian’s “Keeping you safe” enhanced cleaning includes frequent disinfecting of lobby areas, kiosks, and ticket counters, electrostatic aircraft cabin spraying, plexiglass barriers at staffed airport counters, and sanitizer wipe distribution to all guests. The carrier requires all guests to complete a health acknowledgement form during the check-in process indicating they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and will comply with the company’s updated mask policy for the entirety of their journey.
#rebuildingtravel

Largest jet in Boeing 737 MAX family completes successful first flight Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Largest jet in Boeing 737 MAX family completes successful first flight 13

Boeing’s 737-10 today completed a successful first flight.Today’s flight was the start of a comprehensive test program for the 737-10.Boeing will work closely with regulators to certify the airplane prior to its scheduled entry into service in 2023.

Boeing’s 737-10, the largest airplane in the 737 MAX family, today completed a successful first flight. The airplane took off from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, at 10:07 a.m. and landed at 12:38 p.m. at Boeing Field in Seattle.
“The airplane performed beautifully,” said 737 Chief Pilot Capt. Jennifer Henderson. “The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane’s systems, flight controls and handling qualities, all of which checked out exactly as we expected.”

Today’s flight was the start of a comprehensive test program for the 737-10. Boeing will work closely with regulators to certify the airplane prior to its scheduled entry into service in 2023.
“The 737-10 is an important part of our customers’ fleet plans, giving them more capacity, greater fuel efficiency and the best per-seat economics of any single-aisle airplane,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Our team is committed to delivering an airplane with the highest quality and reliability.”
The 737-10 can carry up to 230 passengers. It also incorporates environmental improvements, cutting carbon emissions by 14 percent and reducing noise by 50 percent compared to today’s Next-Generation 737s.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries.

African Tourism Ministers resolve to strengthen tourism on continent Aviation Feature, Aviation News

African Tourism Ministers resolve to strengthen tourism on continent 14

The UNWTO’s African member states unanimously endorsed the Windhoek Pledge on advocating Brand Africa.African ministers agree to work together to find a solution to revitalize Africa’s tourism.Under the terms of the Windhoek Pledge, members will engage both public and private sector stakeholders and local communities to build a new, inspiring narrative for tourism across the continent.

African ministers have agreed to work together to find a solution for revitalizing Africa’s tourism hardly hit by COVID-19 impacts.
The ministers made an announcement on Thursday in their joint communique at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Brand Africa Summit held in Windhoek, Namibia.

The African ministers through the UNWTO summit pledged that African member states would work together to establish a new narrative for tourism across the continent.
The pledge is meant to better realize tourism’s potential to drive recovery, they said through a joint communique.
“UNWTO and its members will also work with the African Union and the private sector to promote the continent to new global audiences globally positive, people-centered storytelling and effective branding,” the UNWTO said in the communique.

With tourism recognized as an essential pillar of sustainable and inclusive development for the Africa, UNWTO welcomed high-level delegates to the first Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa.
The conference featured participation of the political leadership of host country Namibia, alongside public and private sector leaders from across the continent.
The UNWTO’s African member states unanimously endorsed the Windhoek Pledge on advocating Brand Africa.

Under the terms of the Windhoek Pledge, members will engage both public and private sector stakeholders and local communities to build a new, inspiring narrative for tourism across the continent, Ministers said.
The program of activities of the African Tourism Minister’s conference had included presentations, interactive discussion sessions, as well as technical visits organized by Namibia Tourism Board that hosted the event.
The conference had covered five main objectives. The first objective was to leverage tourism as a cross-cutting sector with high impact on national and regional branding, to enhance the image of African destinations as the building blocks of the overall image of Africa.
Second objective was to engage the public and the private sectors as well as local communities and the diaspora in promoting positive stories and experiences about Africa, developing synergies between countries to further strengthen the positioning of the continent.
Third objective was to create and enhance destinations’ capacity and skills on brand development and management, marketing, including social media and storytelling, and effective communication.
Fourth objective was to create compelling stories, enhance Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) capacity and competitiveness.
The Fifth objective was to understand the policy framework in place for SMEs to secure loans and facilitate access to capital and leverage business performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Korea to become third largest outbound Asia-Pacific source market by 2025 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

South Korea to become third largest outbound Asia-Pacific source market by 2025 15

International departures from South Korea were growing steadily prior to COVID-19.The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 saw levels of both domestic and outbound travel decline significantly.Over 80% of outbound travel from South Korea is typically focused within the APAC region.

Outbound tourism from South Korea is not forecast to surpass pre-pandemic levels until 2024, when departures are projected to reach 29.6 million. However, South Korea is forecast one of the highest growth periods from 2020–2025 in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40% and 30.2 million traveling outbound by 2025. This would make South Korea the third largest source market out of the APAC region going forward.
Latest industry report, ‘Tourism Source Market Insight: South Korea (2021)’, found that international departures from South Korea were growing steadily prior to COVID-19 (CAGR 2016-19: 8.7%). Engaging with this source market through social media and technology integration could prove highly beneficial in a post-pandemic environment.

Heavy workloads and pressure from superiors have made South Koreans reluctant holiday makers in the past, inadvertently affecting both domestic and international travel. Government initiatives to urge more leisure time and decrease working hours in 2018, however, did have an impact and saw yearly increases in both domestic (YoY +44.7%) and international travel (YoY +8.3%).
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 naturally saw levels of both domestic (YoY -70.6%) and outbound (YoY -80.6%) travel decline significantly. However, high spenders when traveling and with a large desire for alternative travel experiences, mean South Korea could be a viable market opportunity for various destinations in a post-pandemic environment.
Over 80% of outbound travel from South Korea is typically focused within the APAC region, spurred by proximity and general ease of travel. The US is also a primary destination for this source market. This is likely spurred by factors such as the opportunity for sun and beach, city breaks and gastronomical experiences, which were identified as the top three most typically taken holidays in 2019, according to recent consumer survey.

Technology also plays a part in travel preferences as 71% of South Korean respondents identified as ‘always’, ‘often’ and ‘somewhat’ being influenced by ‘how digitally advanced/smart a product/service is’ in Q1 2021 consumer survey. The same survey also revealed that 51% are spending more time online in general; this was higher than any other country surveyed (total countries surveyed: 42), suggesting technological dependence has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Opportunities to attract South Korean tourists largely revolve around the integration of technology into the traveler experience. Social media, app engagement and translation services will only heighten the visitor experience.

Milan Bergamo Airport inaugurates new lounge and new routes Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Milan Bergamo Airport inaugurates new lounge and new routes 16

‘HelloSky’ lounge inaugurated at Milan Bergamo Airport.Milan Bergamo Airport persists in the regeneration of its route map.easyJet has recently joined Milan Bergamo’s airline rollcall.

Milan Bergamo Airport unveiled its brand-new ‘HelloSky’ lounge on 8 June, part of the Italian gateway’s development program to enhance the airport infrastructure and improve passenger experience. Incorporated as part of the new terminal expansion which opened last year, the new facility will be operated by GIS – the airport hospitality company specializing in managing lounges – a branch of the TAV Operation Services (OS).
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony earlier this month, Guclu Batkin, CEO, TAV Operation Services enthused: “We have built a strong relationship with SACBO during the last three years and this cooperation has been rewarded with the GIS contract to manage the airside lounge at the airport, as part of SACBO’s expansion plan of Milan Bergamo Airport.” Batkin continued: “Our ‘HelloSky’ lounge is the outcome of an amazing partnership and I thank SACBO’s management for the continued great support, trust, and positive spirit during this development process! We strongly believe that this relationship will keep evolving and more opportunities will rise from it.”

Located on the first floor, prior to passport control, the 600m² landside lounge is open to both domestic and international travelers wanting to benefit from the premium lounge. Inspired by the spirit of Bergamo, including exceptional Italian designed furniture using sustainable materials, ‘HelloSky’ includes spaces to work, relax, eat and drink as well as showering facilities and a smoking room.
Batkin concluded: “Post-pandemic we expect airport lounges to be seen as exclusive zones of the airport with utmost hygiene and health considerations taken into account, therefore, we have created a comfortable safe “oasis” for our guests at Milan Bergamo!”

US Travel: States reopening vital for return to pre-pandemic economy and livelihoods Aviation Feature, Aviation News

US Travel: States reopening vital for return to pre-pandemic economy and livelihoods 17

Lifting of COVID restrictions in several of the largest U.S. states removes critical barriers The ability to safely gather for business purposes has never been more important to economic rebuilding.Companies that continue to restrict business travel will delay their own economic recovery.

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement:
“The lifting of COVID restrictions in several of the largest U.S. states removes critical barriers to the return of our pre-pandemic economy and livelihoods.

“States with delayed reopenings must recognize they’re at a competitive disadvantage to those open for business, requiring focused efforts to encourage the safe return of both business and leisure travelers. Similarly, companies that continue to restrict business travel and attendance at in-person professional meetings and events will delay their own economic recovery and give their competitors an edge.
“In-person professional meetings and events, which support business growth and provide invaluable relationship-building opportunities, have been slow to return due to confusing and conflicting guidelines. But a new evidence-based analysis from public health scientists at The Ohio State University clears up any uncertainty and shows that these meetings can now be safely conducted.
“Emerging from the pandemic, the ability to safely gather for business purposes has never been more important to economic rebuilding. Employers and employees alike benefit from in-person meetings. I urge business leaders across the country to take cues from the experts and lead the way, with confidence, in ushering business back through business travel and participation in professionally managed events.”

European travel sentiment soars with vaccines and EU digital COVID ID rollout Aviation Feature, Aviation News

European travel sentiment soars with vaccines and EU digital COVID ID rollout 18

70% of respondents have travel plans in the next six months, with half wishing to visit another European country.The majority of Europeans surveyed (72%) intend to travel between June and September, while another 16% are eyeing autumn travel.Quarantine requirements and sudden changes of rules remain major concerns for Europeans.

As Europe opens up after months of lockdowns and restrictions, interest in travel has risen distinctly, with two-thirds of Europeans intending to take a trip by the end of November 2021. Only 15% remain uncertain, and 15% are not willing to travel.
This is according to the latest research on “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 7” by the European Travel Commission (ETC), which provides timely insights on the short-term travel intentions and preferences of Europeans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The speedy progression of COVID-19 vaccinations in Europe coupled with the recent introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate and the upcoming summer season are boosting Europeans’ travel spirit. 70% of respondents are already making travel plans for the next six months, up from 56% in February 2021 and also at the highest point since August 2020.
Over half (57%) of Europeans feel much more optimistic about planning trips in the coming months thanks to vaccination rollouts, while 25% are neutral and 18% remain unconvinced. Notably, in many cases, inoculation has a direct impact on travel arrangements, with 54% intending to book a trip once they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 
Similarly, the recent EU actions to coordinate rules and revitalize travel across the bloc are already showing positive results. The introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate has received a wide acceptance among Europeans: 57% of respondents feel that the certificate will facilitate the planning of their next trip, while only 18% express the opposite opinion.

Alaska Airlines launching new flights and adding more routes Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Alaska Airlines launching new flights and adding more routes 19

Alaska Airlines keeps growing in Boise where it’s long been the largest carrier.From Idaho’s capital, Alaska Airlines now flying to Chicago and Austin.Alaska Airlines starts new service to Pullman-Moscow and Phoenix.

Boise is booming! And Alaska Airlines keeps growing in the dynamic city where we’ve long been the largest carrier. We’re flying our guests in Idaho’s Treasure Valley to the places they’re eager to visit. Starting today, we’re launching daily nonstop service between Boise and Chicago O’Hare, and Boise and Austin. Also today, we’re announcing new nonstop flying between Boise and Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport in Washington, and Boise and Phoenix.
“Our guests are showing us how excited they are about our new service to Chicago and Austin from Boise with strong bookings throughout the summer months,” said Brett Catlin, vice president of network and alliances at Alaska Airlines. “Our new year-round route bridging Boise and Pullman-Moscow will offer a crucial link to that area’s two major universities, and the seasonal nonstop to Phoenix is another terrific way to quickly escape to sunshine and warmth in the desert this winter.”

As vaccination rates rise, so does the quest to travel again. Families and friends want to see each other face-to-face and share a hug – not another video call. We’re adding new routes and more flights to make those connections easier. This winter, we’ll have up to 30 daily nonstop departures from Boise to 14 destinations on Alaska and our sister carrier Horizon Air. We already have more nonstop destinations and more daily departures from Boise than any other airline. Our commitment to Boise Airport and our guests only becomes stronger.
Newly added flights
StartDateEndDateCity PairDepartsArrivesFrequencyAircraftAug. 17—Boise –Pullman-Moscow11:10 a.m.11:15 a.m.5x/WeeklyQ400Aug. 17—Pullman-Moscow –Boise11:55 a.m.1:34 p.m.5x/WeeklyQ400Nov. 19April 18Boise – Phoenix10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.DailyE175Nov. 19April 18Phoenix – Boise1:10 p.m.4:15 p.m.DailyE175
“The Boise Airport is grateful that Alaska Airlines continues to improve connectivity for residents of the Treasure Valley,” said Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp. “With Idaho’s vast rural geography, regional flights are an important link in our transportation system. I’m confident the nonstop service to Pullman-Moscow matches the needs of our community, and I’m thrilled Alaska is connecting two important regions of the state again.”

Almost half of Brits plan a holiday in Spain this summer Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Almost half of Brits plan a holiday in Spain this summer 20

48% of Brits would consider taking a holiday to Spain this summer.Similar numbers would consider travelling to other hot spot ‘amber’ destinations. Three quarters of Brits are prepared to be vaccinated in order to travel internationally.

New research has found that almost half (48%) of Brits would consider taking a holiday to Spain this summer, with almost two thirds – 64% – saying that they are considering it in the 18-34 age group and 52% of those aged 35-54.
Other top destinations being considered by Brits this summer are Italy and Portugal both at 46%; while 45% are considering Greece and 42% are thinking about a holiday in France. Outside of Europe, 37% of respondents said that they would contemplate a holiday to the USA this summer.

All these destinations are currently rated as amber by the British government. This means COVID-19 tests and self-isolation are required by travelers on return to the UK. With many destinations also requiring vaccination passports for entry, almost three quarters (74%) of Brits claimed they are prepared to complete a full vaccination program in order to travel internationally this summer.
Based on the current amber requirements for a ten-day home quarantine plus testing, 41% of Brits said that they would be willing to undertake this in order to travel internationally. Half of the respondents (50%) claimed that they would be willing to complete a quarantine for five days as well as the required COVID-19 tests, whilst just 19% are prepared to fulfil an enforced hotel quarantine for ten days at the cost of £1,750 (the current requirement for red list countries).
The great news is that as expected, there is still a huge appetite for international travel this summer. It’s clear from our research that the vast majority of Brits are willing to be fully vaccinated in order to travel internationally. It’s reassuring to hear today that the U.K. government is planning to make overseas summer holidays a reality for fully vaccinated Britons.

Lufthansa’s Eurowings Discover granted Air Operator Certificate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa’s Eurowings Discover granted Air Operator Certificate 21

Air Operator Certificate issued by the German Federal Aviation Authority on June 16, 2021.Inaugural flight on July 24 from Frankfurt to Mombasa with onward flight to Zanzibar.Additional destinations in the 2021 summer flight schedule: Punta Cana, Windhoek, Las Vegas and Mauritius.

Now it is official: Just in time for the current steep rise in demand for holiday bookings, the Lufthansa Group‘s new leisure airline is ready for take-off. With the issuance of its operating license and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by the German Federal Aviation Authority, the young start-up airline Eurowings Discover has successfully completed the final stage on its way to independent flight operations. The certificate was issued by the German Federal Aviation Authority on June 16. 
“The timing could not be better. People can finally travel again and we are all set to fly them to the world’s most beautiful destinations,” explains Wolfgang Raebiger, CEO of Eurowings Discover. “We have built an airline in just one year – an ambitious goal that we have achieved with the great support from the entire Lufthansa Group, a motivated team and in close cooperation with the German Federal Aviation Authority. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to everyone.”

Eurowings Discover is also the first airline ever in Germany to receive an unlimited permit under a new aviation law requirement known as partial CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization).
Inaugural flight to Mombasa with onward flight to Zanzibar
The Lufthansa Group’s newest airline takes off on July 24 from its home base in Frankfurt am Main for its inaugural flight to Mombasa with onward service to Zanzibar. In August, the flight schedule will be filled with further attractive long-haul destinations: Thus, in addition to two weekly frequencies to Mombasa/Zanzibar, starting in August there will also be three flights a week to Punta Cana and five flights a week to Windhoek. In October, Eurowings Discover will also be flying three times a week to Las Vegas and Mauritius.

In the 2021 winter flight schedule, Bridgetown, Montego Bay and Varadero will be added with three weekly frequencies each. In addition, the flight program will be expanded from November to include short- and medium-haul flights to the Canary Islands, Egypt and Morocco.
Before the start of long-haul operations at the end of July, Eurowings Discover plans to operate selected continental flights as wet lease for Lufthansa Group airline Air Dolomiti (EN) from mid-July in order to gradually ramp up operations and ensure a smooth start on long-haul routes.
Its fleet will consist of a maximum of eleven aircraft in total this year and will grow to 21 aircraft by the middle of next year (10x Airbus A320 and 11x Airbus A330). All aircraft are coming from to the Lufthansa Group fleet pool.

Thanks to full integration into the Lufthansa feeder network, travelers will benefit from end-to-end booking processes and seamless transfer traffic. All flights can already be booked on lufthansa.com – currently under Lufthansa flight number (LH). The shift to Eurowings Discover flight number “4Y” is scheduled for the week of the inaugural flight.

Flights from Budapest to Turin on Ryanair now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Budapest to Turin on Ryanair now 22

Irish ultra-low-cost carrier opens its 16th Italian base.Budapest Airport establishes a twice-weekly link to the business and cultural center of northern Italy.Ryanair’s latest link to Turin becomes Budapest’s 16th connection to Italy.

Securing another new route, Budapest Airport has confirmed it is among Ryanair’s first routes to be served from the ultra-low-cost airline’s new Turin base. As the Irish carrier opens its 16th Italian base, the Hungarian gateway has established a twice-weekly link to the business and cultural center of northern Italy, to launch on 2 November.
“Not only are we proud to announce another new route in today’s climate, but our new link to Turin is also among Ryanair’s – Europe’s largest airline – first routes from its new Italian base,” enthuses Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport. “Our priority continues to be able to offer our passengers an expanding selection of great places to visit. To announce a brand new destination shows we wish to continue to deliver a combination of attractive routes and good services,” adds Bogáts.

Ryanair’s latest link to Turin becomes Budapest’s 16th connection to Italy, the ULCC itself now serving 11 Italian destinations from Hungary’s capital city including Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Catania, Milan Bergamo, Naples, Palermo, Pisa, Rome, and Treviso.
Ryanair DAC is an Irish ultra low-cost airline founded in 1984. It is headquartered in Swords, Dublin, with its primary operational bases at Dublin and London Stansted airports. It forms the largest part of the Ryanair Holdings family of airlines, and has Ryanair UK, Buzz, and Malta Air as sister airlines.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, formerly known as Budapest Ferihegy International Airport and still commonly called just Ferihegy, is the international airport serving the Hungarian capital city of Budapest, and by far the largest of the country’s four commercial airports.

Lufthansa enables fast check-in with digital vaccination certificate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa enables fast check-in with digital vaccination certificate 23

Faster and easier check-in with vaccination certificates soon also via smartphone.Pre-check of certificates by a Lufthansa Service Center possible from 72 hours before departure.Just in time for the start of the summer school holidays in Hesse.

More than a quarter of the German population has now been vaccinated twice against COVID-19. For a few days now, pharmacies, doctors and vaccination centers have been issuing QR codes for vaccinated persons, the so-called digital vaccination certificates.
Just in time for the start of the Hessian school summer holidays, passengers with the digital vaccination certificate can once again check in faster with Lufthansa and receive their boarding pass. Here’s how it works: Travelers present the digital vaccination certificate, which proves full vaccination protection, either via app or on a printout at check-in at the airport. There, it is read and the boarding pass is issued directly and without complications. This eliminates the need to take various papers and proofs to the airport. It also makes it much more difficult to misuse forged vaccination certificates, as the system compares the data from the QR code with the booking and passenger data.

In the future, mobile check-in via smartphone will also be faster and easier: On selected routes, it will soon be possible to scan QR vaccination certificates with the Lufthansa app or to load them digitally into the app. The app recognizes the QR code and uses this information to create the boarding pass.
Anyone who is concerned that they do not have the right certificates for the trip can have them checked by a Lufthansa Service Center on selected flights up to 72 hours before departure. These can be proof of tests, survived COVID-19 disease and now vaccinations. Confirmations of digital entry applications can also be checked in this way. The airline recommends that its guests continue to carry the original printed certificates with them on the trip, in addition to the digital proof, until further notice.

Uzbekistan Airways flies from Tashkent to Moscow Domodedovo Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uzbekistan Airways flies from Tashkent to Moscow Domodedovo Airport 24

Uzbekistan Airways’ first flight arrives to its new air Moscow hub.Flight frequency on Tashkent-Moscow route has doubled compared to the level of 2018.Uzbekistan Airways plans to expand the geography of flights from the air hub to open new destinations to the cities of Uzbekistan.
Moscow Domodedovo Airport welcomed Uzbekistan Airways‘ first flight after the transfer of carrier’s flights to the new air hub.
There will be 28 regular flights per week (4 flights a day) from Tashkent, Uzbekistan to Moscow, Russia. Flight frequency on Tashkent-Moscow route has doubled compared to the level of 2018.

In honor of this significant event, a festive program was prepared for the guests of the terminal: national dances of the «Bahor» team and Uzbek songs performed by the musical group «Uch-Kuduk». Passengers were presented with the gifts of sweets.
Domodedovo Airport and Uzbekistan Airways served more than 7 million travelers from 2000 to 2018.
In the near future, the air carrier plans to expand the geography of flights from the air hub, to open new destinations to the cities of Uzbekistan. The developed route network, transport accessibility and favorable geographical location of the airport will provide a high level of direct and transfer passenger traffic of the airline.

Moscow Domodedovo Mikhail Lomonosov Airport is one of the largest air hubs in Russia. In 2020, the airport served 16.4 million passengers. Members of the world’s leading airline alliances including Star Alliance and oneworld have chosen Moscow Domodedovo Airport for their flights to Moscow.
JSC Uzbekistan Airways, operating as Uzbekistan Airways, is the flag carrier airline of Uzbekistan, headquartered in Tashkent.

Flight from Doha to Abidjan launched by Qatar Airways Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flight from Doha to Abidjan launched by Qatar Airways 25

Qatar Airways now operates three weekly flights to Côte d’Ivoire, via Accra.Abidjan is Qatar Airways’ eighth new destination since the start of the global pandemic.Qatar Airways travellers from Africa can enjoy baggage allowances ranging from 46 Kg and 64 Kg.

Qatar Airways welcomes Abidjan to its global network as its debut flight to the largest city in Côte d’Ivoire landed at Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport today. With three weekly flights, the service between Doha and Abidjan via Accra will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class, along with capacity of up to 15 tons of cargo.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said: “Launching flights to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – our fourth new destination in Africa since the start of the pandemic, after having recently launched Abuja in Nigeria; Accra in Ghana; and Luanda in Angola is a significant step in our African growth. This is testament to our commitment to the African continent where we now operate over 100 weekly flights to 25 destinations in 18 countries via our home and hub, Hamad International Airport.”

“At Qatar Airways, being there for our passengers, trade partners and corporate customers has been our major focus since the start of the pandemic. We thank the government of Côte d’Ivoire for their support to launch these flights, and we look forward to working closely with our partners here to grow this route and support the recovery of tourism and trade in this region. As global travel recovers in 2021, we look forward to further expanding our network and offering more connections to and from Africa.”
The launch of Abidjan also supports increased demand for trade between Côte d’Ivoire and destinations on the Qatar Airways network such as Paris, Beirut and many points in the Indian subcontinent. With up to 15 tons of cargo capacity on the aircraft per flight, Qatar Airways Cargo will play a key role in facilitating key exports from Côte d’Ivoire.
Qatar Airways travelers from Côte d’Ivoire can now enjoy new baggage allowances ranging from 46 Kg for Economy Class split over two pieces and 64 Kg split over two pieces in Business Class. This initiative is designed to offer passengers more flexibility and comfort when travelling on board Qatar Airways.

Flight Schedule Monday, Wednesday & Friday: (All times local)
Doha (DOH) to Abidjan (ABJ) QR1423 departs: 02:30 arrives: 09:10
Abidjan (ABJ) to Doha (DOH) QR1424 departs: 17:20 arrives: 06:10 +1

LATAM Airlines Group launches pilot health passport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

LATAM Airlines Group launches pilot health passport 26

IATA Travel Pass works based on the biometric information of the passenger’s passport.Having more automated and contactless processes is a new reality for everyone.Tools of this type are essential to restart the airline industry and reconnect the world.

The LATAM Group, through its subsidiaries in Chile and Peru, together with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have come together to carry out the pilot of the IATA Travel Pass digital application, allowing passengers to organize and manage travel requirements complying with what is required by the authorities on international flights more efficiently and expeditiously.
IATA Travel Pass works based on the biometric information of the passenger’s passport, the results of laboratories in agreement and the joint information of the governments.

“This is great news for our passengers who voluntarily want to join. Having more automated and contactless processes is a new reality for everyone, and this pilot with IATA Travel Pass supports this transformation for LATAM and for the entire industry,” declared the Vice President of Clients of LATAM Airlines Group, Paulo Miranda.
For his part, Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas, adds: “We are pleased that LATAM trusts the IATA Travel Pass. Tools of this type are essential to restart the airline industry and reconnect the world, which allows to reopen borders safely and smoothly, giving governments the guarantee that travelers have complied with health requirements, speeding up migration processes and simplifying the experience for passengers.”

Airline pilot hero Sully may become ICAO US ambassador Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Airline pilot hero Sully may become ICAO US ambassador 27

Sully is the US Airways pilot that conducted the safe landing of badly-damaged Airbus A320-214 on New York’s Hudson River.Just 2 minutes into the flight, the airplane flew into a flock of Canada geese, and both engines were so damaged that it caused an almost complete loss of thrust.With credentials and sound thinking like this, Sully should be a shoe-in to serve on the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Retired airline pilot C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger, most famous for negotiating this emergency landing with no fatalities, has been named to serve as U.S. representative on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
US Airways flight 1549, also called Miracle on the Hudson, was a flight of a passenger airliner that made an emergency landing in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Five people were seriously injured, but there were no fatalities.

The airplane, an Airbus A320 operated by US Airways, took off from LaGuardia at approximately 3:25 PM. It was destined for Charlotte, North Carolina. On board were 5 crew members, including Capt. Chesley (“Sully”) Sullenberger III, and 150 passengers. About 2 minutes into the flight, the airplane flew into a flock of Canada geese. Both engines were severely damaged, causing an almost complete loss of thrust. Repeated attempts to restart the engines were unsuccessful.

Star Alliance to expand touchless journeys across member airlines Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Star Alliance to expand touchless journeys across member airlines 28

Star Alliance, NEC Corporation and SITA sign teaming agreement.Star Alliance biometrics platform will be able to use SITA’s shared airport infrastructure already available in over 460 airports.Passengers using Star Alliance’s biometrics platform will enroll only once.

Frequent flyer program customers of Star Alliance member airlines will soon be able to use their biometric identity across any participating airline at any participating airport following a new agreement between the world’s largest airline alliance, NEC Corporation and SITA.
The agreement announced today is aimed at accelerating the availability of biometric self-service touchpoints across Star Alliance’s member airlines while delivering a faster, touchless airport experience. 

Connecting to SITA‘s Smart Path solution, the Star Alliance biometrics platform will be able to use SITA’s shared airport infrastructure already available in more than 460 airports. Together with SITA and NEC’s global presence, multiple biometric projects can be delivered in parallel, speeding up the availability of biometric passenger processing to Star Alliance’s member airlines globally. This will be vital in enabling Star Alliance to deploy biometrics faster.
A further advantage is the NEC I:Delight platform – which allows passengers who have opted to use the service to be identified quickly and with a high degree of accuracy, even on the move – can be easily integrated with SITA Smart Path. The I:Delight platform is also able to recognize passengers even when wearing a mask, an increasingly important feature for travel during the current pandemic. The platform is already in use by Star Alliance member airlines at several airports in Europe.
Uniquely, passengers using Star Alliance’s biometrics platform enroll only once. Passengers then can pass through biometrically enabled touchpoints across multiple member airlines and participating airports using just their face as their boarding pass. This speeds up the passage through the airport while making each step completely touchless, supporting important health and hygiene safety measures in times of COVID-19 and delivering on Star Alliance’s vision of a seamless customer experience.

Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance, said: “This agreement is instrumental in bringing further scale to our biometrics service, with the inherent benefits of speed and meeting customer expectations for a more touchless and hygienically safer experience across all of our member airlines. Biometrics is a key element of that experience and our strategy of leading the way in digitalizing the passenger journey.”
Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Together with NEC, SITA is pleased to be supporting Star Alliance in bringing the full benefits of biometric identity to their member airlines. Passengers have long welcomed the advantages of control and speed automation brings to the passenger journey; a trend that has been accelerated by COVID-19. With this agreement the benefits of biometric identity will be extended from a single airline or journey to a vast network of airlines. That is truly unique and demonstrates the benefits digital identity can bring to the passenger.” 
Masakazu Yamashina, Executive Vice President, NEC Corporation said: “NEC is honored to join this three party partnership with Star Alliance and SITA. While the impact of COVID-19 continues, we are pleased to lead the creation of seamless and touchless travel. NEC is committed to providing a safe and comfortable customer experience through our NEC I:Delight identity management solution.”

Business travel will be more important than ever to driving success Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Business travel will be more important than ever to driving success 29

During the pandemic, travel has been limited for 90% of companies surveyed.Over a third of companies said international business development and product launches took a hit due to a lack of in-person presence.The industry has seen a surge of 49% in corporate interest around the world since the start of the pandemic.

Only 24 months ago, business travel was synonymous with global corporations and senior executives’ roles. During the global lockdowns, companies have experienced the direct impact of no travel or in-person meetings on their business functions and operations. In new research that impact is quantified for the first time.
For The Future of Business Travel report over 200 high-level company executives in the U.S., EMEA and APAC were surveyed about the essential role and value of travel in their professional lives.

During the pandemic, travel has been limited for 90% of companies surveyed, and almost all (97%) said their businesses experienced negative impact directly related to those restrictions. Nearly one-quarter (24%) indicated massive or substantial disruptions across all eight areas measured, and 87% cited massive or substantial disruption in at least one area. More than a third (37%) said international business development and product launches took a hit due to a lack of in-person presence.
As restrictions ease, built-up anticipation for business travel is clear, with 81% saying business travel will be more important than ever to driving success. Among respondents who take eight or more private flights a year, 60% plan to significantly increase in-person meetings.
The industry has seen a surge of 49% in corporate interest around the world since the start of the pandemic, confirming that flying private continues to be a key support for business travel. The main benefits of taking private flights for business travel are reported by those surveyed, in order, as flexibility, efficiency, safety and privacy. The two top priorities for trips are visiting partners and vendors and going to industry events, each at 34%. Managing current relationships and building new ones are also key drivers.

The return to business travel largely hangs on regulations — 46% of respondents are waiting for destinations to reopen; 42% want updated COVID-19 data and rules for destinations; 36% seek support in case COVID-19 regulations change during a trip; and the same number await relaxation of their own company’s travel policies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world, including travel. It also showed that some business travel is truly essential and having to forgo in-person trips came at a real cost to companies. Additionally, it is hard to read a room when everyone is in individual windows on screen — misunderstandings can occur, especially across cultures, and these in turn can become costly mistakes.

Flights to Bourgas, Zakynthos, Brussels, Chania, Larnaca, Paris and Porto on Wizz Air relaunch from Budapest Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights to Bourgas, Zakynthos, Brussels, Chania, Larnaca, Paris and Porto on Wizz Air relaunch from Budapest 30

One notable relaunch was the Hungarian gateway’s first reconnection with Bulgaria.Wizz Air reopened twice-weekly links to Bourgas, Bulgaria’s second largest city on the Black Sea coast.Wizz Air able to boost flight numbers as restrictions on travel to and from Budapest are eased.

Wizz Air resumed another seven services from Budapest Airport last weekend, re-expanding the airport’s European network and offering customers more travel choices once again. One notable relaunch was the Hungarian gateway’s first reconnection with Bulgaria, as the ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) reopened twice-weekly links to Bourgas, the country’s second largest city on the Black Sea coast.
Facing no competition, Wizz Air relaunched Budapest’s link to Zakynthos on Sunday, joining the weekend’s other resumed services to Brussels Charleroi, Chania, Larnaca, Paris Orly, and Porto.

“It’s fantastic to see that week-after-week we are able to boost our flight numbers as restrictions on travel to and from Budapest are eased,” says Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport. “The number of destinations returning to our route map are increasing and all major cities in the EU will soon be on offer once again as we look forward to the introduction of the EU Green ID.”
Continuing its redevelopment at Budapest, and confirming many frequency increases across its route map, by end-July Wizz Air will fly to 50 destinations, operating 148 weekly services which will offer almost 31,000 weekly seats from Hungary’s capital city.
Wizz Air, legally incorporated as Wizz Air Hungary Ltd. and stylized as W!ZZ Air, is a Hungarian ultra low-cost airline with its head office in Budapest. The airline serves many cities across Europe, as well as some destinations in North Africa and the Middle East.

Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, formerly known as Budapest Ferihegy International Airport and still commonly called just Ferihegy, is the international airport serving the Hungarian capital city of Budapest, and by far the largest of the country’s four commercial airports.

Foreign Cyber Attack on Southwest Airlines? FAA grounded all WN flights in the United States Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Foreign Cyber Attack on Southwest Airlines? FAA grounded all WN flights in the United States 31

Has Southwest Airlines been attacked by a computer hacker, a foreign country, or a virus? There is speculation and a lot of suspense.Southwest Airlines flights within the U.S. have temporarily suspended today.The FAA issued a temporary nationwide ground stop at the request of Southwest Airlines while the company resolved a reservation computer issue. Please contact the airline for further details.
A passionate Southwest Airlines passenger said: “I’d like to remind everyone, as I sit in the St Louis airport waiting to board, that the outages today on @SouthwestAir are not the fault of the employees working at the desks and on the planes today. They are doing everything they can. Do not yell at them.”
The airline tweeted: “We are aware of system issues and are working quickly to resolve,” the airline tweeted. “We will share more info soon.”

A frustrated passenger said: Southwest staff told me at the gate, “Air traffic control is canceling flights, not Southwest, and because of that we can’t compensate you.” I was LIED to. I had to spend my own money on a hotel and a ride to it from the airport. Don’t defend them!
The airline also stated: We are in the process of resuming normal operations after a system issue this afternoon that created flight disruptions throughout our network. We know many Customers still require assistance and are working to address those concerns as quickly as possible.
So far 478 flights were canceled and 528 delayed at Southwest Airlines

The reason for the computers going down remains a mystery. No information was found on Southwest Airlines website.
On social media and by insiders the issue may be related to a cyber-attack or ransomware incident.
To keep everyone calm Southwest Airlines just issued this tweet:This week, we turn 50. That’s why we’re giving you 50% back on 50 days of travel in the fall. All you gotta do is book by Thursday, using promo code SAVE50. Yes, this is real. Yes, this is epic.

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 115 destinations in the United States and ten additional countries.

Portugal re-opens to US tourists with negative COVID-19 tests Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Portugal re-opens to US tourists with negative COVID-19 tests 32

Portugal is welcoming all vaccinated travelers from the United States today.American visitors must produce a negative results of a COVID-19Children two years old and younger are exempt from the regulation

As Europe continues to gradually reopen this summer, the Portuguese government has announced that Portugal is welcoming all vaccinated travelers from the United States starting on June 15.
Direct flights to Portugal will also resume on TAP Portugal, United Airlines, Azores Airlines and Delta Air Lines from major US gateway cities.

American visitors will just need to produce a negative results of a COVID-19 test performed at least 72 hours prior to their arrival to Portugal.
According to U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Portugal, “beginning June 15, non-essential (i.e. tourist travel) from the United States to mainland Portugal is permitted for travelers with proof of a negative COVID-19 test.” 
Children two years old and younger are exempt from the regulation, but all other US visitors “must submit a negative SARSCoV-2 lab result of a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), for example a PCR test, performed in the last 72 hours or a rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 24 hours of boarding.”

Clear COVID-19 restrictions are still in place around Portugal.

Long road to recovery awaits business travel Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Long road to recovery awaits business travel 33

Travel overall is by far the U.S. industry hardest hit by the ongoing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.Spending on travel for large, in-person professional meetings and events declined by 76% last year.Domestic leisure travel is projected to reach 99% of its pre-pandemic peak in 2022 and to grow steadily thereafter.

Lingering COVID restrictions and a patchwork approach to reopening across the country will prevent the economically crucial business travel segment from recovering until at least 2024, according to a Tourism Economics analysis released Tuesday by the U.S. Travel Association.
Travel overall is by far the U.S. industry hardest hit by the ongoing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spending on travel for large, in-person professional meetings and events (PMEs) declined by 76% last year—a $97 billion loss in spending.

With vaccinations and infection rates in the U.S. trending favorably, restrictions lowered, and traveler confidence rebounding, domestic leisure travel is projected to reach 99% of its pre-pandemic peak in 2022 and to grow steadily thereafter.
But in the absence of clear and consistent guidance from federal health authorities on PMEs, business-related travel is not expected to recover its pre-pandemic volume for an additional two years. Only about a third (35%) of U.S. businesses are currently engaging in any business-related travel.
A staggering 65% of all U.S. jobs lost in 2020 were supported by travel, and they cannot fully recover without a swift return of all segments of travel, particularly in-person PMEs, according to the analysis.

One of the major factors in the slow return of PMEs is the uneven patchwork of guidance that currently governs large gatherings from jurisdiction to jurisdiction nationwide. U.S. Travel is urging the adoption of federal guidance that is clear and consistent—and that recognizes that health and safety measures can be more readily implemented at PMEs than at other forms of large gatherings.
Leading health care scientists at The Ohio State University today also released a white paper that includes evidence-based analysis—focused on a scientific review of proven health and safety measures substantiated over the last year—showing that it is safe to return to conducting and attending PMEs.

The war is over: US and EU resolve dispute over Boeing and Airbus state subsidies Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The war is over: US and EU resolve dispute over Boeing and Airbus state subsidies 34

EU and US resolve 17-year-old issue of state subsidies for aircraft manufacturers.The US previous administration levied duties worth $7.5 billion on European products.The EU retaliated with tariffs worth $4 billion on US goods.

The United States and the European Union announced that they have managed to resolve the 17-year-old issue of state subsidies for aircraft manufacturers. Since 2004, the European Union has accused the US of providing illegal state subsidies to Boeing, while Washington claimed Brussels was illegally aiding Airbus SE.
EU and US have reached a settlement during the meeting between US President Joe Biden and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a US-EU summit in Brussels.

“This meeting has started with a breakthrough on aircraft; this really opens a new chapter in our relationship because we move from litigation to cooperation on aircraft – after 17 years of dispute,” von der Leyen said.
The United States and the European Union agreed to suspend tariffs imposed as part of the trade war for a period of five years.
The detailed information on “acceptable support” for the world’s two biggest aircraft manufacturers will reportedly be released later.

The agreement will end trade tariffs introduced during the Donald Trump presidency in relation to the Airbus and Boeing. The US previous administration levied duties worth $7.5 billion on European products after the World Trade Organization ruled that Brussels had given unfair subsidies to Airbus.
The EU retaliated with tariffs worth $4 billion on US goods based on another WTO ruling that said the US had provided illegal aid to Boeing.
The news of a compromise pushed Airbus stock up by nearly 1.5% in European trading, while shares in Boeing rose around 1% during pre-market trading in the US.

Budapest to Dubai flights launched by flydubai Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Budapest to Dubai flights launched by flydubai 35

flydubai will become the Hungarian gateway’s new connection to Dubai this autumn.Dubai-based carrier will operate a four-times weekly service to the metropolis of the Middle East.flydubai’s services, which will operate in codeshare with Emirates, will offer passengers even more choice to Dubai and beyond.

Budapest Airport has announced flydubai will become the Hungarian gateway’s new connection to Dubai this autumn. Confirming the Dubai-based carrier will operate a four-times weekly service to the metropolis of the Middle East, the year-round service will launch on 30 September. Utilizing its fleet of 737-800s, configured with both business class and economy, the airline will contribute an extra 35,000 seats to the Budapest market each year.
Commenting on the addition of its latest airline partner, Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport said: “We are overjoyed to be part of flydubai’s expanding European network and to welcome a new airline to Budapest’s list of carriers as operators rediscover the potential of our airport.” Bogáts added: “Connectivity to Dubai’s hub has been hugely important for our passengers so we’re thrilled that flydubai will be adding more capacity as well as making Budapest more accessible to travelers looking for new places to explore.”

flydubai’s services, which will operate in codeshare with Emirates, will offer passengers even more choice to Dubai and beyond. With 168 destinations between both airlines’ networks, travellers will have the opportunity to connect through the Dubai international hub to many countries including Asia, Africa, Australia, and the USA.
flydubai, legally Dubai Aviation Corporation, is a government-owned budget airline in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with its head office and flight operations in Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport. The airline operates a total of 95 destinations, serving the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe from Dubai.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, formerly known as Budapest Ferihegy International Airport and still commonly called just Ferihegy, is the international airport serving the Hungarian capital city of Budapest, and by far the largest of the country’s four commercial airports.

LAM Mozambique Airlines to sell its Embraer aircraft in a cost-cutting move Aviation Feature, Aviation News

LAM Mozambique Airlines to sell its Embraer aircraft in a cost-cutting move 36

Sale will enable the company to operate with two types of aircraft at most.LAM’s current fleet consists of six aircraft by three different manufacturers.IGEPE administrator did not give the exact number of aircraft that would be involved in the sale.

According to local news reports, LAM – a national flag carrier airline of Mozambique, is planning to sell its Embraer aircraft to minimize operation costs and standardize its fleet.
LAM’s current fleet consists of six aircraft by three different manufacturers, two of which are the Embraer-190 planes produced by Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer S.A.

“It doesn’t make sense that a small company like LAM is flying planes with three to four different brands,” Raimundo Matule, administrator of the Institute for the Management of State Holdings (IGEPE), said admitting that the airline is facing structural problems.
The IGEPE administrator did not give the exact number of aircraft that would be involved in the sale, but said the reduction brings great cost rationalization, and will enable the company to operate with two types of aircraft at most.
The IGEPE injected about 700 million meticais (over 11 million U.S. dollars) in 2020 into the national airline, whose revenues plummeted due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air Canada Cargo announces launch routes for its new freighter aircraft Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Air Canada Cargo announces launch routes for its new freighter aircraft 37

Air Canada is in the process of fully converting several of its Boeing 767 aircraft into dedicated freighters.The addition of dedicated freighter aircraft to Air Canada’s fleet will allow Air Canada Cargo to provide consistent capacity on key air cargo routes.Since March 2020, Air Canada has operated more than 9,000 all-cargo flights using its wide-body passenger aircraft as well as certain temporarily modified Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft.

Air Canada and Air Canada Cargo today announced the initial list of planned routes for the Boeing 767-300ER freighters scheduled to enter service this fall. Air Canada is in the process of fully converting several of its Boeing 767 aircraft into dedicated freighters in order to fully participate in global cargo commercial opportunities.
When the first converted 767 freighters enters service in October, they will fly primarily out of Toronto Pearson International Airport, and will operate on routes linking Toronto to Miami, Quito, Lima, Mexico City and Guadalajara, the first time Air Canada Cargo will serve this destination. Additional destinations to be served in early 2022, include Halifax, St. John’s, Madrid and Frankfurt as more freighters enter service.

“These freighters will provide long-term stability and growth for our cargo customers, in particular the freight forwarding community who require reliable air freight capacity year-round. They will allow us to continue building on the success of our cargo-only flights and are an important part of our future growth. I am excited to have these aircraft enter service, a milestone for Air Canada Cargo that also opens up a world of opportunities for us and our customers,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo at Air Canada.
Air Canada has begun the process of converting certain of its Boeing 767s that have been retired from its passenger fleet into fully dedicated freighters. As part of that process, all seats are removed from the aircraft, a large door is cut into the fuselage to allow for loading of palletized cargo, and the floor is reinforced to carry additional weight. Air Canada Cargo plans to have two freighters in service by the end of 2021, with more to join the fleet in 2022.
The addition of dedicated freighter aircraft to Air Canada’s fleet will allow Air Canada Cargo to provide consistent capacity on key air cargo routes, which will facilitate the movement of goods globally. With these freighters, Air Canada Cargo will enhance its capabilities to transport goods such as automotive and aerospace parts, oil and gas equipment, pharmaceuticals, perishables, as well as handling the growing demand for fast, reliable shipment of e-commerce goods.

In the fall of 2020, Air Canada successfully concluded a collective agreement amendment with its pilots represented by the Air Canada Pilots Association for contractual changes to enable Air Canada to competitively operate dedicated cargo aircraft in the cargo marketplace.
Since March 2020, Air Canada has operated more than 9,000 all-cargo flights using its wide-body passenger aircraft as well as certain temporarily modified Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft, which have additional available cargo space due to the removal of seats from the passenger cabin.

Lufthansa Group announces medium-term targets, makes preparations for capital increase Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa Group announces medium-term targets, makes preparations for capital increase 38

Bookings across the Group’s airlines have increased significantly.Demand is particularly strong for European leisure destinations around the Mediterranean Sea.Lufthansa Group expects operating cash flow to be positive in the second quarter of 2021.

As the roll-out of vaccination programs accelerates and with travel restrictions being progressively eased globally, bookings across the Group’s airlines have increased significantly. Compared to average weekly levels in March and April 2021, bookings more than doubled in May and early June. Demand is particularly strong for European leisure destinations around the Mediterranean Sea, as well as leisure long-haul markets where there are only limited or no travel restrictions. Supported by the acceleration of bookings, the Group expects operating cash flow to be positive in the second quarter of 2021. The number of passengers is projected to reach around 30% of pre-crisis levels in June, to reach approximately 45% in July and around 55% in August. This positive trend supports the Group’s forecast to operate approx. 40% of 2019 capacity levels in 2021.
Structural transformation across the Group to yield significant cost savings, supporting future profitability and cash generation

Since the beginning of the crisis, the Lufthansa Group has taken decisive action to strengthen liquidity and to accelerate the Group’s structural transformation. Key restructuring actions include adapting the Group’s cost base and operating model to ongoing changes in our market, thereby positioning the Group to capitalize on growth in the “New Normal”.
The Group’s restructuring program targets achieving gross savings of approx. EUR 3.5 billion by 2024 (compared to 2019), of which around half are expected to be implemented by the end of 2021. Costs are expected to decline across the Group’s airlines (notably low- to mid-single-digit reduction of CASK (excl. fuel) by 2024 compared to 2019 levels), the Aviation services and in Group overheads. The main drivers for these improvements are (i) reductions in personnel cost, (ii) operational simplification and overhead reduction and (iii) fleet modernization and standardization.
Personnel cost savings are expected to reach approx. EUR 1.8 billion from 2023 onwards, of which around half  has already been achieved through a reduction of almost 26,000 employees since the start of the crisis. In Germany, the Group plans to reduce personnel costs through a combination of collective agreements, voluntary departures and forced dismissals, equivalent in cost terms to a headcount reduction of up to 10,000 positions.

Operational simplification measures include the closure of SunExpress Deutschland, the discontinuation of passenger flight operations at Germanwings and the closure of multiple other bases and sites. Improvements in operational efficiency include generating additional synergies from the harmonization of aircraft maintenance and other operational processes, digitalization and cloud migration of steering and planning functions and an approx. 50% reduction in operated IT systems for flight and ground operations, resulting in a simplified and streamlined organisation. Reduction in overhead and other costs includes an approx. 30% reduction of office space, renegotiation of key supplier contracts and reductions in external consulting and marketing expenses. Ongoing fleet modernization and standardization will further contribute to the reduction of operating costs through improved fuel efficiency, as well as lower maintenance and training costs. In addition, this will contribute to the Group’s target of reducing its net carbon emissions by 50% over the next decade.
During the recovery phase, capital expenditure will be capped at D&A levels, with a projected EUR 2.5 billion in annual capex spending in 2023 and 2024. This is circa EUR 1.1 billion lower than in 2019 and will support the generation of strong free cash flow going forward.

Most travelers still have concerns about 2021 summer travel Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Most travelers still have concerns about 2021 summer travel 39

54% of survey participants still have concerns about traveling this summer.51.6% of people who have already booked have planned a domestic trip.Since July 2020, there has been a 66.4% increase in domestic trips being planned for summer 2021.

Perhaps one of the longest-awaited summers of all time, summer 2021 is for many people the time they will be able to enjoy a holiday for the first time in over a year! It is without a doubt something most of us have been looking forward to. However, as we discovered, many travelers still have concerns.
In a recent survey travelers were asked about their summer trips this year (2021) and how they feel about COVID-19. The survey results revealed many interesting insights.

Domestic travel takes the lead this summer
This year, for the vacation months of July, August, and September, 51.6% of people who travel have planned a domestic trip and intend to enjoy their country and discover places near them. It is likely that until the pandemic is really “over,” domestic travel will remain popular. These trips currently require less paperwork, no mandatory COVID tests and are likely to make travelers feel more relaxed. Additionally, domestic trips are less restrictive and are more environmentally friendly. We can expect that ecological awareness will be more present in travel in future years. In comparison with July 2020, there is a 66.4% increase in domestic trips being planned for summer 2021 by our participants.
How many are still afraid to travel due to COVID-19?

Although the situation is getting better and we are gradually regaining our freedom, there remain hesitations. In fact, 53.8% of respondents are still concerned about travel, as they know that COVID isn’t over yet. Just over 67% of the participants are afraid of getting sick during a trip and almost 26% are afraid to infect their surroundings, while 30.3% are concerned because they have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine. In time, that means that as our participants get vaccinated, they will begin to feel more comfortable about embarking on new adventures.
64% have already booked a trip this summer
For summer 2021, only 35.6% of respondents said they have not booked a vacation. The travel sector is gradually recovering since last July, when 50% of earlier survey respondents said they did not plan to go on holiday that summer. More and more borders in the world are opening up, and tourists are increasingly allowed to return to their beloved holiday destinations and enjoy their stay. Compared with our data from last July, there is a 28% increase in planned trips for summer 2021, compared to trips in summer 2020.

Leisure trips are back
This year, leisure trips will be very important, with more than 61% of respondents planning to make one. Compared to last summer, when most of us couldn’t even dream of taking a leisure trip, the results show that there is definitely some hope for summer 2021. Leisure trips are back and hopefully back for good.

Airbus establishes Zero-Emission Development Centers in Germany and France Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Airbus establishes Zero-Emission Development Centers in Germany and France 40

Airbus has decided to setup two Zero-Emission Development Centers (ZEDC) at its sites in Bremen and Nantes.The goal of the ZEDC is to achieve cost-competitive cryogenic tank manufacturing.Both ZEDCs will be fully operational by 2023 to build LH2 tanks with a first flight test scheduled for 2025.

Airbus has decided to concentrate its efforts for metallic hydrogen tanks in a complementary setup by creating Zero-Emission Development Centers (ZEDC) at its sites in Bremen (Germany) and in Nantes (France). The goal of the ZEDC is to achieve cost-competitive cryogenic tank manufacturing to support the successful future market launch of ZEROe and to accelerate the development of hydrogen-propulsion technologies. The design and integration of tank structures is crucial to the performance of a future hydrogen aircraft. 
The technology developments will cover the full product and industrial capabilities from elementary parts, assembly, systems integration and the cryogenic testing of the final liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank system. Both ZEDCs will be fully operational by 2023 to build LH2 tanks with a first flight test scheduled for 2025.

Airbus chose its site in Bremen because of its diverse setup and decades of LH2 experience within Defense and Space and ArianeGroup. The ZEDC in Bremen will initially focus on system installation as well as for the overall cryogenic testing of the tanks. Furthermore, this ZEDC will benefit from the wider hydrogen research ecosystem such as the Centre for Eco-Efficient Materials and Technologies (ECOMAT) and from further synergies from space and aerospace activities.
Airbus chose its site in Nantes because of its extensive knowledge in metallic structural technologies related to the center wing box, including the safety-critical center tank for commercial aircraft. The ZEDC in Nantes will bring its ability to manage equally a wide range of metallic, composite technologies and integration as well as its experience in codesign activities on nacelle inlets, radomes and center fuselage complex work packages. The ZEDC will benefit from the Nantes Technocentre skills and capabilities, supported by an innovative local ecosystem such as the IRT Jules Verne.
In line with Northern German regional and the Pays de Loire ambitions, Airbus will foster cross-industry collaboration to support the overall transition to hydrogen-propulsion technologies, as well as the associated ground-based infrastructure in the region.

The tank is a safety-critical component, for which specific systems engineering is needed. LH2 is more challenging than kerosene because it needs to be stored at -250 °C to liquefy. Liquidity is needed for increased density. For commercial aviation, the challenge is to develop a component which can withstand repeated thermal and pressure cycling which an aircraft application demands.
It is expected that near-term LH2 tank structures for commercial aircraft applications will be metallic, however the potential performance opportunities associated with carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer composites are high.

Fast lane to food: Fraport is testing Yoordi, a new food ordering service, at Frankfurt Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Fast lane to food: Fraport is testing Yoordi, a new food ordering service, at Frankfurt Airport 41

The Yoordi self-ordering solution is specifically designed to meet travelers’ needs.A passenger scans a QR code, studies the menu of a participating restaurant, orders, and then pays contactlessly.During the pilot phase, the application can be tweaked to better meet the needs and expectations of customers and restaurants.

Passengers and guests at Frankfurt Airport can now use their smartphones to conveniently order and pay for food and beverages from various restaurants – taking advantage of a new “fast lane to food”.
The Yoordi self-ordering solution is specifically designed to meet travelers’ needs. A passenger scans a QR code, studies the menu of a participating restaurant, orders, and then pays contactlessly. There’s no need to download an app or register. The order can then be picked up in the restaurant’s fast lane. The prerequisites for easy, unproblematic use are a stable Internet connection, ordering pages in multiple languages, and a variety of internationally popular payment modes.

It’s now also once again possible to eat while seated in a restaurant inside one of the terminals at Frankfurt Airport, with the difference that now the food can be contactlessly ordered. The servers bring the food to the table.
“This pilot project is letting us quickly and flexibly work with our restaurants to see how Yoordi can improve the guest experience,” said Daniel Gemander, Fraport AG’s key account manager for food & beverages. Various concessionaires are currently trying out the solution in Pier A of Terminal 1. During the pilot phase, the application can be tweaked to better meet the needs and expectations of customers and restaurants, with the possibility of adding more features.

Flights from Calgary to Amsterdam launched by WestJet Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Calgary to Amsterdam launched by WestJet 42

WestJet’s service between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Calgary International Airport will operate two-times weekly.The route will be operated on WestJet’s 787 Dreamliner.The new service is timed to ensure that transatlantic flights departing from Calgary to Amsterdam are scheduled to support late-day departures and daytime arrivals.

WestJet today announced that it is expanding its international network to include one of the world’s most connected cities, Amsterdam, Netherlands. As the airline with the most flights from Calgary, the new service from WestJet’s hub will operate on the 787 Dreamliner, starting August 5, 2021.
“We are committed to putting international investments in place, as leaders of the travel and tourism industry, to support a safe restart to international travel and further Canada’s economic recovery,” said John Weatherill, WestJet, Chief Commercial Officer. “With flights set to begin later this summer, we look forward to helping connect Canadians to their loved ones in Europe, while continuing to provide affordable options for those who want to visit or reconnect with friends and family across our great country.”

WestJet’s service between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) and Calgary International Airport (YYC) will operate two-times weekly beginning August 5, 2021 and will increase to three-times weekly as of September 9.
“Alberta is ready to be open for summer, and this announcement from WestJet shows how close we are to having international travelers come back to Alberta,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy, Innovation, Government of Alberta. “New routes will boost our tourism industry when it needs it most and once again showcase Alberta to the world with safe travel.”
“This year, our guests will have another direct option from Calgary to a bustling center of commerce and culture,” said Bob Sartor, President & CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority. “WestJet’s new route from their home and hub at YYC to Amsterdam, will connect Calgarians to Europe and Europeans to Alberta through one of the best connected airports in the world.”

The route will be operated on WestJet’s 787 Dreamliner, featuring the airline’s lie-flat seats available in the business cabin along with on-demand dining and entertainment. The new service is timed to ensure that transatlantic flights departing from Calgary to Amsterdam are scheduled to support late-day departures and daytime arrivals. Convenient connections are available via Amsterdam to dozens of world-class destinations, including Athens, Berlin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Vienna, Venice and more.
“We are excited by the return of important international air routes to Alberta,” said David Goldstein, CEO, Travel Alberta. “While we have had a long, warm relationship with Dutch travellers looking to explore our part of the world, Amsterdam is also a key feeder hub for travellers from all across Europe.  We look forward to working with WestJet as they broaden their global routes to Alberta.”
Details of WestJet’s service between Calgary and Amsterdam:

RouteFrequencyStart DateCalgary – Amsterdam2x weeklyAug. 5 – Sept. 5, 20213x weeklySept. 9 – October 31, 2021Amsterdam – Calgary2x weeklyAug. 6 – Sept. 6, 20213x weeklySept. 10 – November 1, 2021

Frankfurt Airport Passenger Volume Showing Signs of Recovery Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Frankfurt Airport Passenger Volume Showing Signs of Recovery 43

Fraport Traffic Figures May 2021 had been releasedin May 2021, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed 1.25 million passengers.Cargo volumes continued to grow despite the ongoing shortage of belly capacity normally provided by passenger aircraft
May’s numbers however, this is compared with a low base value for the previous year, when a surge in infections brought aviation to a virtual standstill. Now, as travel bans are being lifted and incidence rates fall, European vacation destinations in particular have seen demand climb compared to April 2021. More than 50,000 passengers traveled through Frankfurt Airport on four separate days in May 2021 – the highest figures since the first lockdown was eased in summer 2020. Nevertheless, passenger traffic was still 80.0 percent lower than in pre-pandemic May 2019.
In the first five months of 2021, FRA served a total of more than 4.7 million passengers. Compared to the same period in 2020 and 2019, this represents a decrease of 59.2 percent and 82.6 percent respectively.  

Cargo volumes continued to grow despite the ongoing shortage of belly capacity normally provided by passenger aircraft. May 2021 saw a 27.2 percent increase to 204,233 metric tons (up 10.0 percent over May 2019). With 16,977 takeoffs and landings, aircraft movements climbed 118.7 percent compared to May 2020. Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) rose by 66.2 percent year-on-year to 1.29 million metric tons. 
Fraport Group airports around the world saw passenger traffic develop positively. All recorded a significant increase, in some cases of several hundred percent – albeit compared with sharply reduced air traffic in May 2020. When contrasted with pre-pandemic figures for May 2019, Fraport Group airports witnessed a significant decline in passenger numbers. 
In May 2021, Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in Slovenia served 14,943 passengers. The Brazilian airports of Fortaleza (FOR) and Porto Alegre (POA), combined, registered 415,866 passengers, while Lima Airport (LIM) in Peru handled 738,398 passengers. 

Fraport’s 14 Greek regional airports welcomed 472,937 passengers in May 2021. On the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, traffic at the Twin Star airports of Burgas (BOJ) and Varna (VAR) rose to a total of 44,013 passengers. Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey recorded 719,254 passengers. Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St. Petersburg, Russia, saw traffic rise to over 1.5 million passengers, while traffic at Xi’an Airport (XIY) in China grew to over 3.9 million passengers.

Delta Airlines Flight Attendant determined to crash DL 1730 from LAX to ATL midair Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Delta Airlines Flight Attendant determined to crash DL 1730 from LAX to ATL midair 44

Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta was forced to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma City.The reported hijacking attempt happened on Friday night.The suspect, Delta Flight attendant Stephon Jamar Duncan, allegedly said he was going to take the plane down.
A desperate pilot flying a Delta Airlines flight DL 1730, an Airbus A321 from Los Angeles to Atlanta on Friday night made a desperate announcement asking for strong men to come forward for an emergency.The pilot needed urgent help from passengers to restrain an off-duty flight attendant to prevent an ongoing terror attack. An off-duty pilot and some passengers responded and helped to subdue the suspect after he allegedly assaulted two flight attendants and made terroristic threats.
The suspect was yelling he would bring the plane down.

It all started when the terrorist, an off-duty flight attendant traveling as a passenger on DL 1730 from LAX to ATL instructed passengers to take their seats and get ready to put on an oxygen mask on.
According to Oklahoma City police spokesman, the suspect, Stephon Jamar Duncan, allegedly said he was going to take the plane down.
The reported hijacking attempt happened on Friday night. The Delta Air Lines Airbus A321 with about 200 people on board was somewhere in the middle of its route when the suspect forced his way to the front.

The plane was diverted to the nearest airport in Oklahoma City, where “the man was handed over to law enforcement,” and “a sweep of the plane” with sniffer dogs was conducted. After that, it proceeded to Atlanta. 
Duncan was arrested and taken to a hospital after reporting chest pains and exhibiting signs of mental health issues, police said.
The incident comes just days after another Delta flight, also from Los Angeles, had to make an emergency landing after one of its passengers allegedly charged the front of the aircraft and attempted to breach the cockpit during the flight.

Delta Flight 386 to Nashville was diverted to Albuquerque, after the man reportedly pounding on the cockpit door and yelling:  “We need to land this plane”. He was restrained. and later charged with interference with flight crew members.

Delta flight makes emergency landing after unruly passenger makes terroristic threats, tries to open door midair Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Delta flight makes emergency landing after unruly passenger makes terroristic threats, tries to open door midair 45

Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta was forced to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma CityThe reported hijacking attempt happened on Friday nightThe suspect, Stephon Jamar Duncan, allegedly said he was going to take the plane down
A cross-country Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta was forced to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma City after an unruly passenger made terroristic threats, assaulted two flight attendants and tried to force open the aircraft’s door midair.
According to Oklahoma City police spokesman, the suspect, Stephon Jamar Duncan, allegedly said he was going to take the plane down.

The reported hijacking attempt happened on Friday night. Delta Air Lines Airbus A321 with about 200 people on board was somewhere in the middle of its route when one of the passengers made an announcement over the loudspeaker for everyone to “please take your seat and get ready to put on an oxygen mask.” 
The suspect then “attempted to open the door of the plane,” other passengers on the flight said online.
The plane’s pilot had made an announcement asking strong men to come forward for an emergency, passengers recalled.

An off-duty pilot and some passengers onboard flight 1730 helped to subdue the suspect after he allegedly assaulted two flight attendants.
The plane was diverted to the nearest airport in Oklahoma City, where “the man was handed over to law enforcement,” and “a sweep of the plane” with sniffer dogs was conducted. After that, it proceeded to Atlanta. 
Duncan was arrested and taken to a hospital after reporting chest pains and exhibiting signs of mental health issues, police said.

The incident comes just days after another Delta flight, also from Los Angeles, had to make an emergency landing after one of its passengers allegedly charged the front of the aircraft and attempted to breach the cockpit during the flight. Flight 386 to Nashville was diverted to Albuquerque, after the man reportedly pounding on the cockpit door and yelling “We need to land this plane” had been restrained. He was later charged with interference with flight crew members.

Heathrow presses world leaders to agree global sustainable fuels mandate at G7 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Heathrow presses world leaders to agree global sustainable fuels mandate at G7 46

SAF is a proven technology, used as far back as WWII to fly fighters when oil was scarce, and it works in existing aircraftSAF is a solution that can work across the world, but it needs to be massively scaled upThe G7 can take a global lead by collectively committing to a mandate for at least 10% SAF by 2030, growing to at least 50% by 2050

The leaders of the world’s largest economies have been urged to reduce aviation emissions by collectively committing to mandates for the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). In a G7 session hosted in Cornwall on Friday by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye pressed the leaders of the G7 to agree in its summit communique escalating mandates for 10% SAF by 2030, growing to at least 50% by 2050, as well as the kinds of price incentive mechanisms that have been used to support demand and kick start other low carbon sectors.
Aviation is a force for good. It benefits society by connecting people and cultures and enabling trade across countries. We have to take the carbon out of flying so we can protect those benefits in a net zero world. Major airlines in all G7 states and increasing numbers around the world have committed to net zero by 2050. We can only meet this goal by rapidly scaling up use of sustainable aviation fuels.

SAF is a proven technology, used as far back as WWII to fly fighters when oil was scarce, and it works in existing aircraft. It has already powered 250,000 flights around the world. SAF could be either advanced biofuels made from waste from agriculture, households forestry and industry or synthetic fuel made using carbon extracted from the air and clean energy, both deliver lifecycle carbon savings of 70% or more. Just this week, Heathrow received its first delivery of SAF and incorporated it into its main fuel supply system to demonstrate proof of concept at a major airport.
SAF is a solution that can work across the world, but it needs to be massively scaled up. The G7 can take a global lead by collectively committing to a mandate for at least 10% SAF by 2030, growing to at least 50% by 2050. Along with the right price incentives, stable over 5 – 10 years (such as Contracts for Difference that have been so effective in scaling up offshore wind energy in the UK), that will send the right market signal to unlock investment in SAF plants. This would create new jobs in a green industry in the G7 .
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“We all agree that stopping climate change is the biggest challenge facing our planet. The G7 has already shown leadership by agreeing a global minimum corporate tax, and if we can tap into that collective spirit to collectively commit to a mandate for at least 10% use of sustainable aviation fuel by 2030 and the right price incentives to use it, we will ensure our children can have the benefits of flying without the carbon cost. Aviation is a force for good and we cannot wait for someone else to solve this problem at some point in the future – we have the tools to do it today, the collective spirit is here now and I urge G7 leaders to take concrete action now.”
Heathrow has been at the forefront of advocacy and change on reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector. At the start of 2020, the UK aviation sector, became the the first national aviation sector in the world to commit to net zero by 2050, with Heathrow playing a key role. In addition to recently incorporating the first shipment of SAF into its fuel supply system, all of the airport’s infrastructure runs on 100% renewable electricity, with plans underway to switch away from gas heating at the airport by the mid-2030s, becoming fully zero carbon.
Heathrow has also restored 95 acres of UK peatlands which were emitting carbon and are now starting to act as a carbon sink. Heathrow’s Director of Carbon Strategy, Matthew Gorman, has led its award-winning carbon and sustainability team over the last decade and played a vital role in driving forward our targets and plans. He has been recognised for services to Decarbonisation of Aviation with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Heathrow is a better place because of his contributions. While this honour serves as an important marker of the progress the whole of Heathrow has achieved, the journey to ensuring the benefits of aviation are secured for the future without the carbon cost is a long one and our work and determination continue.

Greece extends permission for the non-quota arrival of Russian tourists Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Greece extends permission for the non-quota arrival of Russian tourists 47

Upon arrival in Greece, visitors from Russia may be randomly asked to take a coronavirus testThe mandatory seven-day quarantine requirement on arrival has also been lifted for new travelersFrom June 10, the number of flights on the Moscow – Athens route has been increased to eight per week

Government officials in Greece announced that by an inter-ministerial decision, the permit for the non-quota arrival of visitors from Russian Federation has been extended until June 21.
Visitors from Russia are now allowed to enter Greece if they have either a certificate of vaccination against coronavirus, or a negative PCR test result, or a certificate of COVID-19 antibodies.

New decision was made following earlier decisions when the entry quota of 4,000 Russians per week was canceled. The mandatory seven-day quarantine requirement on arrival has also been lifted for new travelers.
Russian tourists tourists to Greece must complete the electronic Passenger Locator Form (PLF) on the government website, providing their contact details in Greece, the day before arriving in the country. Transport companies must check its presence before boarding the passenger, in case of violation they will be obliged to return the passenger back home at their own expense.
Upon arrival in Greece, visitors from Russia may be randomly asked to take a coronavirus test. The result must be received at the place of entry into the country. In case of a positive test result, the passenger will have to quarantine for 10 days.

From June 10, the number of flights on the Moscow – Athens route has been increased to eight per week. Aeroflot and Aegean Airlines operate four flights each. 

Interview: Inside the mind of Finnair CEO Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Interview: Inside the mind of Finnair CEO 48

On the table was the current situation with regard to Finnair, with regard to its capacity and traffic for example.The airline CEO discusses the impact of COVID-19 and travel restrictions as well as possible ways forward.Currently, Finnair is at around 12 percent of 2019 seat levels, so the climb out and up is going to take a lot of hard work and finesse.

Read on for this in-depth interview with Finnair CEO Topi Manner, or just sit back and listen via the link.
We start with Jonathan Wober of CAPA – Centre for Aviation welcoming Topi Manner to the discussion.

Jonathan Wober:
Well, good morning and welcome to another edition of CAPA Live, and I’m delighted to welcome to discussion today Topi Manner, the Chief Executive of Finnair. Topi, welcome and thanks for joining us.
Topi Manner:

Thank you, Jonathan. Good to be here.
Jonathan:
I just want to start by asking about the current situation with regard to Finnair, capacity, traffic, etcetera. You’ve been operating at very low levels of capacity. The current week, according to data from OAG and CAPA suggests that you’re at around about 12% of 2019 seat levels in the first week of May, thereabouts. Europe overall is about 40%, so you’re considerably below the European average. Is it frustrating to you because Finland seems to be quite low on infection rates and quite high on vaccination rates, but why can’t your government get more connectivity negotiated, and why can’t you operate at higher levels?

Topi:
I mean, that’s right. It is a bit frustrating that the travel restrictions are so stringent in Finland, and that is certainly impacting our operations. As of now, we operate approximately 15% of our capacity and that includes the Asian long-haul flights that we started already last summer. I mean, currently we are flying to Tokyo, to Seoul, to Shanghai, and to Bangkok and Hong Kong. And that long haul traffic is greatly supported by our cargo demand. Now for the next summer, for this summer, we have been releasing what I would call to first release of our summer network, and that includes that we plan to fly to something like 60 destinations, and especially European short haul will be on the menu. And we also look forward to increasing flights to North America, so increasing frequencies to New York and also introducing Chicago and Los Angeles.

Travelers prefer booking holidays directly with providers amid uncertainty Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Travelers prefer booking holidays directly with providers amid uncertainty 49

Consumer preference is shifting towards booking holidays directly39% of survey respondents said they would typically book travel directly17% of survey respondents said they would opt for OTAs and price comparison sites

A recent travel industry poll has revealed a shift in consumer preference towards booking holidays directly, instead of going through an online travel agency (OTA).
A total 39% of respondents said they would typically book directly, followed by 17% that opted for OTAs and price comparison sites.

The analysts note that this shift is no surprise, given the flexible cancellation and straightforward refund policies offered by direct booking.
The pandemic has caused a significant shift in consumer booking habits. A previous survey in Q3 2019 showed that OTAs were the most popular booking option, followed by direct booking with a hotel or airline. However, some OTAs have been extremely slow to issue refunds and have received a raft of bad press as a result. This has knocked travelers’ confidence to book through intermediaries.
Direct booking channels are likely to have experienced an increase in popularity due to the fragility of booking a trip in the current situation. Travelers now desire the highest level of flexibility, and it is no wonder that direct booking channels’ flexible terms, easy changes and quick refunds are winning travelers over. 

Further, the ability to make changes online places the power back into the traveler’s hands and streamlines the whole process. By booking directly, the traveler cuts out the middleman, considerably speeds up the change/refund process, and increases their satisfaction.
Some OTAs have been slow to issue refunds, and the negative press received has not helped traveler confidence. In fact, in some cases, the UK Competition and Markets Authority threatened legal action unless online travel agencies met a 14-day refund timeline.
Confidence in OTAs’ ability to issue refunds has quickly dented confidence. The slow responses have been incredibly frustrating and have resulted in a slight shift away from this booking method.

London Heathrow CEO appeal to G7 Ministers: Open our Skies! Aviation Feature, Aviation News

London Heathrow CEO appeal to G7 Ministers: Open our Skies! 50

London Heathrow has faced 15 consecutive months of suppressed demand, with passenger numbers languishing at 90% below pre-pandemic 2019 levels – a loss of over 6 million passengers in the month.One month after the Government hailed the restart of international travel and assured the public that a risk-based traffic light system would unlock low-risk travel, the system has yet to achieve what it was designed to do. Ministers’ refusal to provide transparency on the data behind the decision-making and failure to introduce a green ‘watchlist’ has undermined consumer confidence.
At the next review for the UK Government to evaluate COVID-19 restrictions on June 28th, officials must rely on the science and restart travel to low-risk countries like the US, clear a pathway to restriction-free travel for vaccinated passengers, and replace expensive PCR tests with the lateral flow for low-risk arrivals.
With Ministers now promising to prioritize the domestic unlock and no clear end date to travel restrictions, a bespoke support plan for the beleaguered and neglected travel industry must be forthcoming. The sector employs tens of thousands of people across Britain who will be wondering what will happen to their jobs and livelihoods after another lost summer. The Government should provide targeted compensation to the sector, starting with business rates relief and an extension to the furlough scheme whilst Ministers continue to keep travel locked down.

Reopening transatlantic travel is critical to the UK and US and we welcome the establishment of the joint travel taskforce.
Earlier this week the CEOs of American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport joined forces to stress the need to safely reopen the transatlantic corridor. CEBR research shows that Heathrow’s US passengers accounted for over £3bn pounds of spend across the UK in 2019. Pre-pandemic Britain was the top destination for US tourists, but this leadership position is at risk of being snapped up and our Global Britain ambitions undermined by France and Italy, who are already set to open their doors to vaccinated American travellers in the coming weeks.
G7 leaders must seize the opportunity to join forces and tackle one of the biggest challenges facing our generation, climate change. Major carriers within G7 states have committed to net-zero flying by 2050, however, we can only achieve this goal by rapidly scaling up the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). The technology exists – Heathrow took its first delivery of SAF last week – but we need the right Government policies to build confidence in demand. We are calling on world leaders to collectively commit to escalating mandates of 10% SAF use by 2030, growing to at least 50% by 2050, and price incentive mechanisms that have kick-started other low carbon sectors. The G7 should take a global lead in committing to net-zero aviation, agree to at least 10% SAF in its communique, and build a global coalition for those who back that ambition.