New WTTC report to drive recovery and enhance resilience of Travel & Tourism sector Aviation Feature, Aviation News

High testing costs and continued travel restrictions hinder accessibility of travel and create elitist system.With only 34% of world population fully vaccinated, immunization inequality threatens economic recovery.The sector’s contribution to global GDP fell from nearly US$ 9.2 trillion in 2019, to just US$ 4.7 trillion in 2020, representing a loss of almost US$ 4.5 trillion.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia launched today an important new report that highlights the main points to restore international mobility, and recommendations to drive the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector, while enhancing its resilience.
With the pandemic bringing international travel to an almost complete standstill, due to border closures and severe travel restrictions, Travel & Tourism suffered more than any other sector over the past 18 months.
The sector’s contribution to global GDP fell from nearly US$ 9.2 trillion in 2019, to just US$ 4.7 trillion in 2020, representing a loss of almost US$ 4.5 trillion. Furthermore, as the pandemic ripped through the heart of the sector, a shocking 62 million Travel & Tourism jobs were lost.
This new report highlights WTTC’s latest economic projections which reveal the sector’s recovery is set to be slower than expected this year, largely linked to continued border closures and challenges linked to international mobility.
The sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to rise by a modest 30.7% year-on-year in 2021, representing only US$ 1.4 trillion increase, and at the current rate of recovery, Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP could see a similar year-on-year rise of 31.7% in 2022.
Meanwhile, the sector’s jobs are set to rise by a mere 0.7% this year, representing only two million jobs, followed by 18% increase next year.
Representing the worst crisis for the Travel & Tourism sector, COVID-19 not only impacted the global economy, but also the wellbeing and livelihoods of people all over the world.
Before the pandemic began to severely impact the sector, Travel & Tourism was one of the largest sectors globally, responsible for one in four new jobs created worldwide between 2015-2019 and was a key enabler for socio-economic development and poverty reduction, offering unique opportunities to women, minorities, rural communities, and youth.
This new report from WTTC, in partnership with Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia reveals pain points that focus on the urgent challenge to restore international mobility, framed by the need to address the weaknesses of the sector shown during the pandemic by redesigning a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future.
This important new report demonstrates how international border closures, uncertainty due to changing rules, the prohibitive cost of testing, and the lack of reciprocity and uneven vaccination rollout have hindered the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector during the past 18 months.
By June 2020, all countries still had some form of travel restrictions, playing an important role in the drop in international spending by 69.4% that year. These restrictions, ever-changing and confusing, continued to significantly affect traveler’s confidence to book, as there was no clear pathway, nor global consensus, in terms of testing requirements, quarantine, and vaccination standards.
According to the report, the latest global traveler sentiment survey published by Oliver Wyman shows only 66% plan to travel abroad in the next six months, and less than one in 10 (9%) have booked a future trip, showing the continued uncertainty of traveler’s decision-making. Costly PCR tests continue to have a detrimental impact on travelers, reversing any progress of making travel accessible and creating further inequalities.
Julia Simpson, President & CEO WTTC, said: “The Travel & Tourism sector is key for many livelihoods which continue to be affected by the failure to harmonize and standardize COVID-19 regulations worldwide. There is no excuse for a patchwork of regulations, countries need to join forces and harmonize the rules. Many developing countries rely on international travel for their economy and have been left devastated.
“As is stands, only 34% of the global population have been fully vaccinated, showing that there are still large vaccine rollout inequalities globally. A swift and equitable immunization plan, alongside worldwide reciprocal recognition of all WHO approved vaccines, is needed to safely reopen international travel and promptly resume the economic activity.
“WTTC recognizes the importance of restoring consumer confidence, and we have developed, with the public and private sector working together, a set of harmonized Safe Travel protocols for 11 industries across the Travel & Tourism sector. Our globally recognized Safe Travels stamp has been adopted by more than 400 destinations worldwide.”
His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia said: “This report shows the impact COVID-19 has had on the global travel and tourism industry – and the unevenness of the recovery now underway. We need to be clear: unless tourism recovers economies will not recover. 
“We must come together to support this critical industry, which before the pandemic was responsible for 10% of GDP globally. With this report, Saudi Arabia is calling for the sector to come together to Redesign Tourism for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient future.”
The report outlines recommendations to achieve a swift recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector, as COVID becomes an endemic.
A focus based on international coordination to reopen borders, fair testing conditions, and digitalisation for travel facilitation, together with sustainability and social impact at the core of the sector, will restore international mobility and the Travel & Tourism sector. These measures will save millions of jobs, and enable communities, businesses, and destinations which rely on the Travel & Tourism sector, to fully recover and prosper again.

Canada launches new standard COVID-19 vaccine travel certificate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The proof-of-vaccination certificate will have a Canadian identifying mark and meets major international smart health card standards.The document will include a person’s name, date of birth and COVID-19 vaccine history — including which doses a person received and when they were inoculated.Canadians will not be able to board a plane for foreign or domestic travel without a proof-of-vaccination certificate beginning November 30.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that a new standardized COVID-19 vaccination travel certificate is being launched by the country’s government.
“As Canadians look to start travelling again, there will be a standardized proof-of-vaccination certificate,” Trudeau said, urging Canadians who have not done so to get vaccinated as soon as possible. “We can end this pandemic and get back to the things we love.”
The national government will pay for rolling out the standardized vaccination passport, Trudeau said. “We will picking up the tab.”
In Canada, healthcare is largely delivered by provincial governments and mostly financed by the national government, sometimes leading to political squabbles about jurisdiction and who pays for what.
Some provinces, including Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and all three northern territories, have already started using the national standard for a proof-of-vaccination certificate, Trudeau said.
New digital travel document, dubbed Vaccine Passport, will have a QR code for scanning at airports, train stations and other points of entry.

St. Kitts & Nevis approves Antigen test for departing travelers Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Antigen test would be offered to outgoing air travelers whose countries accept approved rapid testing upon return from international destinations.The Federation has removed the exit testing requirement for travelers whose countries of origin do not require return testing. The exit tests will be taken at the visitors “Travel Approved” hotel or accommodation solely by a Ministry of Health approved health professional.

St. Kitts & Nevis announced yesterday, October 20, 2021, that the Antigen test would be offered to outgoing air travelers whose countries accept approved rapid testing upon return from international destinations. The Federation has removed the exit testing requirement for travelers whose countries of origin do not require return testing. 
The exit tests will be taken at the visitors “Travel Approved” hotel or accommodation solely by a Ministry of Health approved health professional 48 – 72 hours prior to departure, with samples tested in a certified local lab. Scheduling of the test must be through the hotel concierge at the respective “Travel Approved” hotels; travelers staying in villas, condos and/or private homes are advised to contact the COVID-19 taskforce hotline 311 or [email protected] to schedule their test. Please note the tests are at the traveler’s cost with cost ranging between USD 50.00 and USD 55.00.
Approved labs at this time are: The Joseph N. France Laboratory; Next Gen Laboratory; Avalon Laboratory and Quality Diagnostics. 
For entry into entry into the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, all Travel Protocols and Requirements remain in place, including the submission of negative test results from an RT PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival.
Visitors are reminded to regularly check the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and Nevis Tourism Authority websites for updates and information. 

Chinese travelers are ready and anxious to fly again Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Two thirds of Chinese travelers have taken a domestic flight since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.81 percent of survey respondents say they plan to fly t least once within next 12 months.Of those planning to travel, 73% will travel for leisure, with only 24% planning business trips.

According to the latest travel industry survey, 96% of travelers in China are ready and are planning on traveling by air in the near future.
81% of the survey respondents say they plan to fly at least once within the next 12 months and 50% plan to fly by this autumn.
Of those planning to travel, 73% stated it was for leisure with only 24% planning business travel.
The pent-up demand is also reflected in China’s passenger traffic, which is showing signs of a strong recovery. As of September 2021, China traffic was at 87% of 2019 levels — way ahead the rest of Asia (42%).
The survey revealed that two thirds (66%) of Chinese travelers have taken a domestic flight since the start of the pandemic. The schedules data reveal domestic travel in Q4 is primed to outpace pre-pandemic levels, growing by some 15% compared to Q4 2019.
Following months of restrictions triggered by China’s Zero-COVID policy, increased demand for a major return to international and regional travel is obvious.
More than half (61%) of survey respondents said that they are ready to travel out of mainland China once borders are open, with Southeast Asia being the top region of choice, followed by Europe, Australia/New Zealand and East Asia.

Fraport AG successfully places promissory note Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Offered for terms of five and seven-and-a-half years, the note was issued in four tranches. Due to strong demand, the total issue volume was raised markedly from the initially envisaged volume of €200 million.Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen and UniCredit Bank AG acted as the joint lead arranger for Fraport’s note loan issue.

Fraport AG successfully placed a promissory note totaling €500 million today (October 21). Offered for terms of five and seven-and-a-half years, the note was issued in four tranches. Due to strong demand from German and international investors, the total issue volume was raised markedly from the initially envisaged volume of €200 million. The issue was made at the lower end of the price spread.
Fraport AG’s executive board member for finance and controlling (CFO), Prof. Dr. Matthias Zieschang, said: “We are very pleased with the extremely high demand from investors for our promissory note. This is another clear vote of confidence in the Fraport Group. Moreover, it confirms that we are on the right track. Thanks to our consistent liquidity management, we have surmounted the peak of the coronavirus pandemic – and we will also be able to make the necessary investments for the future.”
Today’s promissory note issue increases the amount of new financing raised by Fraport AG during 2021 to nearly €2.9 billion. Thus, the Group now has a total of about €4.5 billion in liquidity funds as well as secured and unused credit lines. 
Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen and UniCredit Bank AG acted as the joint lead arranger for Fraport’s note loan issue.

Morocco bans all UK, Germany, and Netherlands flights due to new COVID-19 spike Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Morocco bans flights to and from the UK over deteriorating COVID-19 situation in Great BritainBritish carrier EasyJet has cancelled outbound travel from UK to Morocco until November 30.Major British holiday operator TUI is working with customers to organize their departure from Morocco.

Moroccan government announced that all flights to and from the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany have been suspended effective midnight on Wednesday.
Government officials in Rabat said that the UK flights ban has been enacted due to the sharply rising number of new COVID-19 infection cases in Great Britain.
The move, which will take effect from 23:59GMT on Wednesday, has been confirmed by the Moroccan National Office of Airports, which warned that it will remain in place ‘until further notice.
The government’s decision to ban travel could impact families in England and Wales planning to travel to the popular tourist location for Britons during the half-term holidays, which begin next week. 
British carrier EasyJet, which runs flights between Europe and Morocco, has cancelled outbound travel from the UK to Morocco until November 30.
EasyJet is in talks with the Moroccan government about offering repatriation flights for UK citizens who find themselves stuck abroad due to the restrictions.
Major holiday operator TUI has confirmed it has spoken with the Moroccan government about the move, and said the company is working with customers to organize their departure from the North African nation.
The decision to restrict travel between the UK and Morocco comes as British officials record over 40,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, and the country reported its highest single-day deaths from coronavirus since March.
In the past two weeks, the UK has reported more new COVID-19 cases than France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined. 
The head of the British umbrella group NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, has warned that the UK is “stumbling into a winter crisis,” leaving the health service “on the edge.” 
However, the UK government has rejected calls to implement COVID-19 restrictions under its COVID ‘Plan B,’ ruling out any suggestion of a lockdown over the winter.

The New Spirit of Africa Has a New Friend: The African Tourism Board Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The Chairman of the African Tourism Board, Cuthbert Ncube, is currently in Addis Ababa on a working visit and met with Mrs. Mahlet Kebede, Head of Ethiopian Airlines ET Holidays.When visiting the Ethiopian Airlines headquarters, Ncube was accommodated by ATB Ambassadors Hiwotie Anberbir and Kazeem Balogun. The two leaders agreed on the importance for Ethiopian Airlines and the African Tourism Board to work together.

Cuthbert Ncube said: “The African Tourism Board supports the repositioning and rebranding of Africa within a coordinated approach. It means that we must achieve this with our strategic partners like Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopian Airlines is known as the airline with the title ‘Pride of Africa.’ Together we can achieve the dream of our founding fathers of unifying Africa using tourism as a driving tool.”
Having played a critical role in the recently held East African Regional Tourism Expo 2021 in Arusha Tanzania, ATB is poised to ensure tourism recovers soon.
Kebede said, “By 2022, we hope to incorporate your organization in our events calendar in the areas of various tourism activations within the continent.”
“With this partnership, the African Tourism Board and Ethiopian Airlines will be strategically positioned to deliver a robust travel and tourism sector in the post-COVID-19 era. COVID has afforded us to go back to the drawing board on how to incorporate best practices into the scheme of things,” Ncube added.
There are many areas of mutual interest. A Memorandum of Understanding should be signed between the two organizations in order to officially launch this partnership between this Star Alliance airline and ATB.
Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethiopian Airlines has been working hard to promote regional tourism within Africa more prominently.
The state-owned airline has been a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) since 1959 and of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) since 1968.
Ethiopian is a Star Alliance member, having joined in December 2011. The company slogan is The New Spirit of Africa. Ethiopian’s hub and headquarters are at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, from where it serves a network of 125 passenger destinations—20 of them domestic and 44 freighter destinations.
The African Tourism Board was first established in 2018 by the African Tourism Marketing Group in the United States. ATB is based in the Kingdom of Eswatini. ATB’s goal is to promote Africa as a single prime tourism destination.
The African Tourism Board is a strategic partner of the World Tourism Network.

Jamaica Sees Strong Demand From US Travelers Aviation Feature, Aviation News

An uptick has been noted by both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines along with Expedia.As of November, American Airlines will be utilizing their new wide-bodied Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for these operations.Southwest Airlines informed that their flight operations into Montego Bay (MBJ) near-term are very close to pre-pandemic record year levels.

“American, Southwest and Expedia are all critical partners for Jamaica’s tourism sector, and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors in the near future,” said Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett. “Confidence in growth for Jamaica’s tourism remains strong and we will maintain our world-class Jamaica CARES health and safety protocols, including our Resilient Corridors, to ensure a robust winter.”
To meet the higher demand for Jamaica, American Airlines will be up gauging the aircraft utilized on flights to Montego Bay (MBJ) from their major city hubs of Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA), and Philadelphia (PHL). As of November, they will be utilizing their new wide-bodied Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for these operations. The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is one of the carrier’s newest planes, offering a more comfortable flight experience with additional conveniences for both business and economy class passengers.
American Airlines is the largest air passenger carrier serving Jamaica. It operates multiple daily non-stop flights to the destination from several U.S. cities including Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), Chicago (ORD), Boston (BOS), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW, and Charlotte (CLT). The airline also recently announced that they will be operating non-stop flights 3 times weekly Sun/Mon/Thu from Philadelphia (PHL) to Kingston (KIN) starting November 4.
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines has informed Minister Bartlett that their flight operations into Montego Bay (MBJ) near-term are very close to pre-pandemic record year levels. This demand growth indicated by American and Southwest is further supported by Expedia, which has data showing room night and passenger growth metrics surpassing a comparable period in 2019.
These updates were provided during meetings with the airlines and Expedia that were among a series of meetings held with travel industry leaders across Jamaica’s largest source markets of the United States and Canada. The meetings aimed to drive increased tourist arrivals in the near term and to cement further investment in the island’s tourism sector. Joining Minister Bartlett at these meetings was the Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, John Lynch; Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Senior Strategist in the Tourism Ministry, Delano Seiveright and Deputy Director of Tourism for the Americas, Donnie Dawson.
Jamaica remains open for travel and continues to welcome visitors safely. Its health and safety protocols were among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels recognition that allowed the destination to safely reopen to travel in June 2020. The island has also recently announced new cruise developments and ninety percent of planned tourist investments remaining on track.

Morocco bans all UK flights due to new COVID-19 spike in Britain Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Morocco bans flights to and from the UK over deteriorating COVID-19 situation in Great BritainBritish carrier EasyJet has cancelled outbound travel from UK to Morocco until November 30.Major British holiday operator TUI is working with customers to organize their departure from Morocco.

Moroccan government announced that all flights to and from the UK have been suspended effective midnight on Wednesday.
Government officials in Rabat said that UK flights ban has been enacted due to sharply rising number of new COVID-19 infection cases in Great Britain.
The move, which will take effect from 23:59GMT on Wednesday, has been confirmed by the Moroccan National Office of Airports, which warned that it will remain in place ‘until further notice’.
Government’s decision to ban travel could impact families in England and Wales planning to travel to the popular tourist location for Britons during the half-term holidays, which begin next week. 
British carrier EasyJet, which runs flights between Europe and Morocco, has cancelled outbound travel from the UK to Morocco until November 30.
EasyJet is in talks with the Moroccan government about offering repatriation flights for UK citizens who find themselves stuck abroad due to the restrictions.
Major holiday operator TUI has confirmed it has spoken with the Moroccan government about the move, and said the company is working with customers to organize their departure from the North African nation.
The decision to restrict travel between the UK and Morocco comes as British officials record over 40,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, and the country reported its highest single-day deaths from coronavirus since March.
In the past two weeks, the UK has reported more new COVID-19 cases than France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined. 
The head of the British umbrella group NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, has warned that the UK is “stumbling into a winter crisis,” leaving the health service “on the edge.” 
However, the UK government has rejected calls to implement COVID-19 restrictions under its COVID ‘Plan B,’ ruling out any suggestion of a lockdown over the winter.

St. Kitts & Nevis ends restrictions on air travel from India and South Africa Aviation Feature, Aviation News

St. Kitts & Nevis welcomes fully vaccinated international air travelers from India and South Africa.The removal of the travel restrictions at this time for India and South Africa is consistent with the lifting of the restrictions on travelers from the UK on September 1, 2021.St. Kitts & Nevis travel restriction remains in place for international travelers from Brazil. 

St. Kitts & Nevis welcomes fully vaccinated international air travelers from India and South Africa with the October 18, 2021, removal of the restriction on travelers from these two destinations.  The removal of the travel restrictions at this time for India and South Africa is consistent with the lifting of the restrictions on travelers from the UK on September 1, 2021, and aligns with the continued upward momentum of the vaccination rate in the Federation. The travel restriction remains in place for international travelers from Brazil.  
Among the adult population of St. Kitts & Nevis, 77.4% have received one dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, with 70.3% of the adult population fully vaccinated; among children and teenagers between the ages of 12 – 17, 10.9% of have received their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with 6.8% having received two doses. (Statistics as of October 19, 2021).
Effective October 7, 2021, “Vacation in Place” was reduced to 24 hours, with the required RT PCR arrivals test taken onsite at “Travel Approved” hotels and accommodations. Test results will be made available during the 24-hour “Vacation in Place.” Those travelers with a negative test result may fully integrate into the Federation after the 24-hour period has elapsed and enjoy the myriad experiences St. Kitts & Nevis offers including, dining in restaurants, experiencing the vibe at one of the local beach bars on “The Strip,” visiting our unique and one-of-kind attractions, sailing the clear waters, hiking the volcano, shopping our local craft markets or just chilling at one of our beaches.
As announced on May 29, 2021 only fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry to the Federation.
Exemptions are in place for Citizens and Residents of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and children under the age of 18 accompanying their fully vaccinated parents or guardians.All Travel Protocols and Requirements remaining in place for the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, including the submission of negative test results from an RT PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival.
A traveler is considered fully vaccinated when two weeks have passed since receiving their second dose of a two dose vaccine series (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm or Sinovac), or two weeks after they have received a single dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). Mixing of approved vaccines for St. Kitts and Nevis is accepted.

First Lufthansa Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to be named Berlin Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Official naming ceremony and first flight of Lufthansa’s first Boeing 787-9 next year scheduled for next year.Lufthansa announced that it will receive a total of five Boeing 787 Dreamliners aircraft in 2022.Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of the long-haul aircraft are around 30 percent lower than predecessors.

The German capital will receive a new “flying” ambassador: Lufthansa is naming its first Boeing 787-9 “Berlin.” The naming ceremony is set to take place following delivery of the aircraft next year.
“Berlin” is the first of five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners that Lufthansa will add to its fleet in 2022. The ultra-modern long-haul aircraft consume on average only 2.5 liters of kerosene per passenger and 100 kilometers flown. That is around 30 percent less than predecessor aircraft. The CO2 emissions are also greatly improved.
Since 1960, Lufthansa has had a tradition of naming its aircraft after German cities. Willy Brandt, West Germany’s Chancellor in the late 1960s and 70s, honored Lufthansa during his tenure as Mayor of West Berlin (1957–1966) by naming the airline’s first Boeing 707 “Berlin”.
More recently, an Airbus A380 with the registration identifier D-AIMI bore the prestigious name of Germany’s capital. The first Lufthansa Boeing 787-9 – “Berlin” – will be registered D-ABPA. The first scheduled intercontinental destination for Lufthansa’s 787-9 will be Toronto, Canada’s financial center and hub.
Lufthansa and the German capital have a long and special relationship. The prewar company was founded in Berlin in 1926 and rose again to become one of the world’s leading airlines. Following the culmination of World War II and for 45 years, only the civilian aircraft of the ‘allies’ were allowed to land in the divided city.
Since reunification, Lufthansa has been flying to Berlin for more than 30 years, with no other airline group flying so many Berliners all over the world in the past decades as Lufthansa and its sister carriers. Currently, the Lufthansa Group airlines connect the German capital to some 260 destinations worldwide, either with direct flight or through connections in one of the many group hubs.

United Airlines Announces New Non-Stop Flight from the U.S. to Jordan Aviation Feature, Aviation News

A recent survey the Jordan Tourism Board completed indicated that 2022 is poised to break travel records to DC.65 percent of trade operators in the United States have travel bookings in the fall of 2021 to Jordan, compared to only 15 percent the season prior. With clear COVID protocols in place throughout the country, travelers should feel at ease visiting Jordan.

“We are excited to launch the new capital to capital, Washington DC to Amman, service, making it easier to connect more people to Jordan and the rich heritage and culture that the country has to offer,” shared Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President International Network and Alliances.
The announcement from United shows the airline’s confidence in the destination as international travel starts to pick up after the devastation of the pandemic. The move also supports a recent survey the Jordan Tourism Board completed that indicated that 2022 is poised to break travel records to the destination. The survey also showed that 65 percent of trade operators in the United States had travel bookings in the fall of 2021, compared to only 15 percent the season prior. 
“We are excited to welcome the legacy carrier to Jordan to help open up business between the two capitals Washington DC and Amman. We always welcome American travelers to the Kingdom to experience the incredible culture and the diversity Jordan has to offer.” Shared Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board.
“We are looking forward to welcoming United Airlines to Amman, and working together to bring even more travelers to experience our incredible country,” said Malia Asfour, Director of the Jordan Tourism Board North America. “With clear COVID protocols in place throughout the country, travelers should feel at ease visiting Jordan. This is a big step in linking Jordan’s capital with Washington DC, and encouraging American travelers to book a meaningful travel experience at world-renowned attractions like Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea.”
To learn more about the new route, visit united.com/en-us/new-routes.  
To learn more about meaningful travel to Jordan visit the website visitjordan.com.

United Airlines: On track to meet 2022 targets Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Approximately $2.2 billion in structural cost reductions and returning aircraft to service will fuel strong CASM-ex performance in 2022 and beyond.Returning business travelers and re-opening European borders are opportunities United is well positioned to capitalize on.Continuing improvements and reliability leads to all-time record Net Promoter Score year-to-date; a nearly 12% increase.

United Airlines (UAL) today announced third-quarter 2021 financial results. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the third quarter, the company remains confidently on track to achieve the range of longer term financial targets laid out as part of its United Next plan earlier this summer, and to reduce CASM-ex below 2019 levels next year.
Citing the rebound in premium leisure travel, re-opening of European borders next month, continued recovery of business travel and early indications of loosening travel restrictions in key Pacific markets, United also announced plans to increase international capacity by 10% in 2022 – while keeping domestic capacity flat to 2019. The plan will capitalize on already improving international margins and United’s ideally situated coastal hubs that have powered the airline’s recent success in launching new routes to Africa and India. Expected flying at record levels to Europe, Latin America, India, Africa and the Middle East in summer 2022, will be enabled by the anticipated return of United’s Pratt & Whitney-powered Boeing 777s to the fleet in 2022, which – when combined with already announced approximately $2.2 billion in structural cost reduction and planned gauge growth – will allow United to keep CASM-ex in check as it continues on the path to recovery.
“The recovery was delayed by the Delta variant, but the United Airlines team remains focused on our long-term vision – and not getting sidetracked by near-term volatility – meaning we’re solidly on track to achieve the targets we set for 2022,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. “From the return of business travel and the planned re-opening of Europe and early indications for opening in the Pacific, the headwinds we’ve faced are turning to tailwinds, and we believe that United is better positioned to lead the recovery than any airline in the world. Our recovery will be supported by investments in technology and other efficiencies that will give our employees the tools they need to take great care of our customers – and keep costs under control. I am grateful to our United team members for their continued commitment to our customers, because it has been essential to our ability to weather the pandemic, and it will fuel our success in the years ahead.”

Southwest Airlines will not fire its employees awaiting vaccine exemptions Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The memo reassures workers that they may continue working if their exemptions aren’t yet approved.Instead of unpaid leave, Southwest employees awaiting judgement will continue to receive a paycheck.If their exemption is denied, the staff can reapply if they have new information or circumstances.

Southwest Airlines employees are no longer forced to take unpaid leave while applying for exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
Following a week of protests, denials and canceled flights, the airline has reversed course on its worker vaccine mandate.
Southwest Airlines will no longer force employees awaiting decision on a religious or medical exemption to the mandatory vaccine order to take unpaid leave until their cases are decided, according to a memo obtained by news services today.
Southwest has confirmed the authenticity of the memo, which gives employees until November 24 to either get vaccinated or apply for an exemption.
Instead of unpaid leave, employees awaiting judgment on their exemptions will continue to receive a paycheck and may even continue working “as [Southwest] coordinate[s] with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” the note explains.
Written by senior vice president of operations and hospitality Steve Goldberg and vice president and chief people officer Julie Weber, it reassures workers that they may continue working if their exemptions aren’t yet approved so long as they follow masking and social-distancing rules, and promises that staff can reapply if their exemption is denied if they have “new information or circumstances [they] would like the Company to consider.”
The memo’s release comes after days of protesting outside Southwest’s Dallas headquarters and rumors of sick-outs among air traffic controllers and other employees. Southwest was forced to cancel thousands of flights last week – over 1,000 on Sunday alone – though it refused to acknowledge what was behind the cancellations, in many cases blaming the weather despite clear and sunny skies. Airports were snarled with angry passengers as would-be travelers arrived to find their flights mysteriously cancelled.
As a federal contractor, Southwest Airlines had previously planned to put all unvaccinated employees who had not yet received a medical or religious exemption by December 8 on unpaid leave.
Unlike smaller carriers, under the president’s mandate it lacks the option of allowing employees to submit to weekly testing. As of last week, 56,000 Southwest employees had yet to take the shot.
Southwest’s competitor United Airlines adopted its own vaccine mandate in August, before Biden had even announced the federal rule, and has similarly threatened the noncompliant with unpaid leave. However, a federal judge in Fort Worth has temporarily barred the airline from moving forward with the penalty. Some 90% of the company’s staff are reportedly vaccinated.
Earlier this month, fellow US carriers American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue also adopted a federal vaccination mandate, since they are considered to be federal contractors and thus ineligible to opt out of the jab.

Passenger plane crashes and burns in Texas, 21 people survive Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The crash occurred in Waller County, near the town of Katy, and close to the Houston Executive Airport.Despite the extensive fire damage to the aircraft, no casualties were reported, either on the ground or among the passengers.The commuter plane, an MD-80, was taking off around 10am local time, bound for Boston, Massachusetts.

A passenger plane crashed and burned in Waller County, near the town of Katy, Texas and close to the Houston Executive Airport today, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
A commuter plane, and MD-80, came down and burst into flames, according to dramatic footage from the scene.
Incredibly, all of the 21 people on board were able to escape from the aircraft, local officials said.
According to the local sheriff Troy Guidry, all 21 passengers and crew had made it out safely, though one person had been hospitalized with back injuries.
Footage from the scene shows huge clouds of billowing black smoke as firefighters attempted to douse the burning wreckage.
The crash site was near the corner of Morton and Cardiff Roads. Despite the extensive fire damage to the aircraft, no casualties were reported, either on the ground or among the passengers.
The accident reportedly occurred as the plane, an MD-80, was was taking off around 10am local time, bound for Boston. Headed north, it apparently failed to attain altitude at the end of the runway and crossed the road instead, eventually stopping and catching fire.

EasyJet flies out of Gatwick Airport on Sustainable Aviation Fuel Aviation Feature, Aviation News

For the first time a departing flight at Gatwick has used sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).Q8Aviation has delivered the first supply of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel to the fuel supply at Gatwick Airport.It confirms the strong commitment of all parties involved to achieve a net carbon emission reduction in the fuel used in aviation and work towards an ultimate goal for aviation to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

With the first one departing today, a total of 42 easyJet flights operating from Gatwick Airport are to be powered by a 30 percent Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ blend. This important milestone marks the first time a departing flight at Gatwick has used sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and is also the first usage by any easyJet service. It confirms the strong commitment of all parties involved – international aviation fuel supplier Q8Aviation, easyJet, Gatwick Airport Ltd and Neste – to achieve a net carbon emission reduction in the fuel used in aviation and work towards an ultimate goal for aviation to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Of the 42 flights running on Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel blend, 39 of these will be the easyJet flights operating from Gatwick to Glasgow throughout the COP26 Climate Change Conference, which runs from 31st October to 12th November. Across all 42 flights, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by up to 70 tons which further signals the industry’s intentions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a course to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
Q8Aviation has delivered the first supply of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel to the fuel supply at Gatwick Airport. Neste’s market-leading sustainable aviation fuel, which is fully certified, is produced from 100% renewable and sustainable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste. In its neat form and over its life cycle, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel can achieve a reduction of up to 80%* of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil jet fuel use.
Neste-produced SAF is blended with Jet A-1 fuel at a depot upstream of Gatwick Airport to create a drop-in fuel that is compatible with existing aircraft engines and the airport infrastructure, without requiring extra investment. Q8Aviation delivered the fuel to the main storage tanks at Gatwick Airport for supply to easyJet aircraft via the airport’s hydrant system.
The incorporation of SAF into Gatwick’s operations for today’s flight is an important proof of concept for the airport in demonstrating its continued commitment to work with its aviation partners on decarbonization. Gatwick’s own 2019 carbon footprint showed that the airport is already half-way to net zero for its own operations and is committed to achieving Net Zero direct emissions by 2040.
Jonathan Wood, Vice President Europe, Renewable Aviation at Neste said: “The aviation industry has already taken important steps to reduce its environmental impact. A key element in achieving this is the wider introduction of sustainable aviation fuel. Neste is investing as we speak to increase SAF production capacity from 100,000 metric tons to 1.5 million metric tons annually in 2023. Neste welcomes government proposals to encourage the use of SAF to reduce aviation greenhouse gas emissions. It is important that more and more airlines, airports and fuel suppliers lead the way to a more sustainable future for aviation. We are happy to welcome easyJet, Q8Aviation and Gatwick Airport among these frontrunners.”
Naser Ben Butain, General Manager Q8Aviation said: “We are delighted to play our part in supplying the first sustainable aviation fuel to easyJet at Gatwick. We have forged a strong partnership with easyJet over many years, and benefit from excellent support from Gatwick Airport Ltd and Neste, and look forward to working closely with all the partners to further our sustainability objectives.”
Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability at easyJet said: “At easyJet, we want to play our part to lead the decarbonization of aviation. We’re pleased to announce that today we’re operating using SAF in a proof of concept flight from Gatwick having also committed to using a SAF blend on all flights operating from Gatwick to Glasgow throughout COP26, thanks to a collaborative effort with our partners involved in this project. The availability of SAF still needs to grow but they will be an important interim solution in our decarbonization pathway, while we are supporting the development of zero-emission aircraft, which will be the most sustainable solution for short-haul networks such as our own in the long term. In the meantime, we are operating our flights as efficiently as possible and are currently the only major European airline to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all our flights, which has an impact right now.”
Tim Norwood, Director of Corporate Affairs, Planning and Sustainability of Gatwick Airport said: “We are very pleased to work with easyJet, Q8Aviation and Neste to demonstrate SAF use at Gatwick Airport. SAF is one of several ways that UK aviation and Gatwick will reach net zero carbon by 2050, alongside carbon offsets, airspace modernization and continued innovation in aerospace technology, including electric, hydrogen and hybrid aircraft systems.  With smart Government policy to underpin investment in cost competitive UK SAF production, many more flights could be using UK produced SAF by the mid-2020s. Achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050 is both a great challenge and an opportunity for our industry.  Sustainable Aviation’s decarbonization roadmap and interim goals set out clear milestones and we’re ready to play our part at Gatwick, through implementing the roadmap’s first decade milestones and by keeping the roadmap updated to incorporate additional technology solutions for the 2030s.”

Flights from USA to Martinique on American Airlines now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

With over 35 destinations to the islands, American is your airline to the French Caribbean Island of Martinique.American Airlines, the largest US airline company, is a crucial long-time partner of the Island of Flowers. Beginning November 6, American Airlines will start its nonstop service between Miami International Airport and Fort-de-France’s Aimé Césaire International Airport.

Flights to Martinique from the United States will resume thanks to American Airlines.  Beginning November 6, the carrier will start its nonstop service between Miami International Airport and Fort-de-France’s Aimé Césaire International Airport.  The flights will operate once a week on Saturdays before increasing to three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for Christmas and the second half of February through March.
“American Airlines, the largest U.S. airline company is a crucial long-time partner of the Island of Flowers”,” states Martinique Tourism Commissioner Bénédicte di Geronimo. “That is why we’re thrilled to welcome back our main U.S. carrier and all its passengers with open arms. Experiencing Martinique will for sure convince our US visitors of the reason why Martinique has received very recently Gold honors in Travel Weekly’s 2021 Magellan Awards as an Eco-Friendly “Green” Destination, has been named #1 Emerging Destination in the world in 2021 by Tripadvisor, not counting the two distinctions granted recently by UNESCO for our unique traditional Yole Boat as well as for the richness of our biodiversity”.
“With over 35 destinations to the islands, American is your airline to the French Caribbean Island of Martinique, said Evette Negron, Channel Sales Manager at American Airlines. “It is a real pleasure to offer to American travelers the opportunity to discover the beauty and rich history of Martinique in all safety, from the very moment of fastening their seatbelt.”
The Embraer 175 aircraft with 76 seats will be used for the three-and-a-half-hour flights. 

Families of foreigners living in Russia can enter country now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The anti-COVID-19 ban on entering Russian territory no longer applies to family members of foreign citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in Russia.Before now, only family members of Russian citizens had an opportunity to enter Russia.The change was initiated by the Russian Foreign Ministry following the results of numerous appeals.

The Consular Department of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on its Telegram channel today, that a COVID-19-related ban previously imposed on entering Russia has been lifted for family members of foreign citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in the country.
“The anti-COVID-19 ban on entering Russian territory no longer applies to family members of foreign citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in Russia (that is, having a residence permit in Russia). Family members consist of spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, adoptive parents, adopted children, guardians and trustees,” the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ message reads.
The Foreign Ministry specified that the entry of the said persons into Russia is possible upon presenting a copy of a document confirming kinship status, such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate and other documents or the establishment of guardianship or trusteeship.
“In the event of the absence of an agreement on visa-free travel between the state of citizenship of a relative and the Russian Federation, the person who is doing the inviting, who in this case is a foreigner permanently residing in Russia, should apply to Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs to issue an invitation, which will be the basis for obtaining a private visa for his relative by the Russian Consular office,” the Foreign Ministry said.
According to the Consular Department, the work on making appropriate amendments to the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated March 16, 2020 was initiated by the Russian Foreign Ministry following the results of numerous appeals, including via social networks of foreigners permanently residing in Russia, as well as their close relatives.
The Ministry added that before that only family members of Russian citizens had an opportunity to enter Russia as part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic .

United States tops new world’s passport ranking Aviation Feature, Aviation News

United States tops new world’s passport ranking 1

The United States of America ranked 10th in the Mobility Index, 4th in the Investment Index, and 23rd in the Quality of Life Index. If you choose the Enhanced Mobility and the Investment Indexes, both will be topped by Singapore.The top country in the Quality of Life Index is Sweden.

The passport rankings of old are broken. Having access to a country, visa-free, is of course important, but should the quality of life, employment, human rights and many other elements not play something of a role when we list the world’s best passports?
Foreign Minister Riad Maliki of the State of Palestine and Foreign Affairs Mark Brantley of St Kitts and Nevis signed a visa-free waiver agreement at the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement in Serbia this week.
Travel experts re-evaluated thousands of data sources, pulling together the data that matters, including visa free access, but adding in mobility,  investment opportunity and quality of life offered by each destination into a new, life-centric index that adds to the outdated rankings of old. The right of visa-free passage is but a part of the value of any given destination, this Passport Index harmonizes the data and ranks countries in a more holistic manner.
Enlisting quantitative analysts with extensive experience in international organizations, analyzing big data projects for the likes of UNESCO, OECD, and Inter-American Development Bank, the Global Passport Index presents a new methodology to measure the overall attractiveness of each country for relocation, investment, or dual citizenship purposes through three standalone indexes: Enhanced Mobility Index, Investment Index, and Quality of Life Index. 
Each index enables users to filter results for individual country rankings, using 11 different indicators originated by reputable sources such as the World Economic Forum, Gallup, and the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. 
The top 10 passports ranked in the Global Passport Index are respectively:
United States of AmericaGermanyCanadaThe NetherlandsDenmarkSwedenUnited KingdomFinlandNorwayNew Zealand
The United States of America ranked 10th in the Mobility Index, 4th in the Investment Index, and 23rd in the Quality of Life Index. Each index weighs 50% (Mobility) 25% (Investment) 25% (Quality of Life) and with a total score of 96,4, the Global Passport ranked the USA in the pole position. 

Visa-free travel from Palestine to St Kitts and Nevis now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Visa-free travel from Palestine to St Kitts and Nevis now 2

St Kitts and Nevis Tourism recording fourth diplomatic agreement in less than four weeks.Visa-free waivers allow restriction-free travel to citizens of the nations that sign the agreement.This privilege also extends to individuals who have received citizenship through economic means.

The Premier of Nevis and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of St Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley has been actively building international relations over the last month.

During the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement in Serbia this week, Minister Brantley signed a visa-free waiver agreement with Palestine.
Palestine is the fourth nation to formalize diplomatic relations with St Kitts and Nevis after Burkina Faso, Gabon, and Egypt in the last four weeks.
“A historic day for St Kitts and Nevis as we sign [a] reciprocal visa waiver agreement with HE Riad Maliki Foreign Minister [of] the State of Palestine allowing visa-free travel between our two peoples. St Kitts and Nevis continues to expand its diplomatic footprint globally,” wrote Minister Brantley on Instagram.
Visa-free waivers allow restriction-free travel to citizens of the nations that sign the agreement. This means that an entry visa is not needed for nationals of either country before entering the country the deal is signed. This privilege also extends to individuals who have received citizenship through economic means, like St Kitts and Nevis‘ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program.
The State of Palestine, the newest addition to St Kitts and Nevis’ growing list of visa-free travel offerings, allows its citizens to enter close to 35 destinations. However, with millions of Palestinians living aboard due to political instability, many face difficulty travelling internationally or even back to their homeland.
Through this “historic” agreement, Palestinian diaspora and entrepreneurs who chose to partake in St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Program can generally travel visa-free not only to Palestine but to nearly 160 countries and territories, including central education and business hubs.

Top five types of tourism discussed in 2021 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

‘Virtual Tourism’ tops as the most discussed tourism type among Twitter influencers and Redditors in 2021.‘Space Tourism’ emerged as the next most discussed tourism type according to Social Media Analytics Platform.Discussions around ‘Adventure Tourism’ were mostly driven by epic ideas shared by Twitter influencers for various adventure travels in different countries.

Tourism being a major contributor to the GDP of several countries, the governments are taking various measures to revive the industry’s business from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An analysis of the Social Media Analytics (SMA) Platform, which identifies and tracks the emerging trends, pain areas, new fields of innovation among discussions of Twitter influencers and Redditors, has revealed ‘Virtual Tourism’ as the most popular type of tourism, followed by ‘Space Tourism’ in 2021.
1. Virtual Tourism | 4,400 + discussions
‘Virtual Tourism’ tops as the most discussed tourism type among Twitter influencers and Redditors in 2021. Discussions around ‘Virtual Tourism’ were related to how virtual tour has provided a new experience to the visitors through different technologies-enabled methods such as 360-degree photo, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), a video tour, Google Arts.
Influencers’ sentiment was largely positive about ‘Virtual Tourism’ as it became an alternative solution for tourism business to rebuild interest among travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic where social distancing became a new norm.
2.Space Tourism | 4,100 + discussions
‘Space Tourism’ emerged as the next most discussed tourism type according to the Social Media Analytics Platform. Majority of the discussions on this topic were based on the launch of two successful space flights – ‘Virgin Galactic’ by Richard Branson and ‘Blue Origin’ by Jeff Bezos in July and August, respectively.

Twitter influencers were seen more active in discussions related to ‘Space Tourism’, as compared to Redditors in 2021. Among them, the technology experts have opined that though the era of space tourism has heralded with the successful launch of both space flights, but it could be a giant leap for air pollution.
3. Adventure Tourism | 3,100 + discussions
Discussions around ‘Adventure Tourism’ were mostly driven by epic ideas shared by Twitter influencers for various adventure travels in different countries like mountain climbing in Tuscany’s Rolling Hills and Dolomite Mountains in Italy, Sperrin Mountain in Northern Ireland, Choquequirao trek in Peru.
They also shared tips and the essential items to be packed while going for any adventure travel, including waterproof socks, flashlights, tow rope and ice scraper. Influencers opine that ‘Adventure Travel’ can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement.
4. Food Tourism | 1,510 + discussions
The conversations on ‘Food Tourism’ were largely about attractive food tourism destinations with reasonable prices, such as Vancouver and Nova Scotia in Canada and Bern in Switzerland. The contributors also discussed their foodie experiences, delicacies, and the culinary heritage of different destinations globally. Mole Poblano Sauce of Mexico was one of the top discussed food items among influencers.
5. Wine Tourism | 900+ discussions
Discussions around ‘Wine Tourism’ were surged the most during the first week of September 2021, led by the fifth UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in Portugal, which was focused on the potential to generate development opportunities in rural destinations. Influencers also discussed various initiatives taken by different countries to promote ‘Wine Tourism’, such as the Santorini event by Greek and the implementation of the ‘Iter Vitis Caucasus route’ by Azerbaijan.

New Boeing 737 MAX Corporate Whitewash: Boeing Executives Hiding Behind One Fall Guy? Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Families who lost loved ones in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX jet in 201,9 killing all 157 onboard had harsh words for Boeing.The attorney said the U.S. government didn’t go far enough in the indictment of Mark Forkner Thursday (Oct. 14, 2021). The former chief pilot of the new aircraft was indicted yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice on six counts for his actions, including lying during the certification process of the new aircraft. 

eTurboNews invited Kevin P. Durkin of Clifford Law Firm in Chicago, IL, USA, to speak during a podcast today. He is representing more than 70 victims that died on Ethiopian Airlines in the Boeing 737 MAX crash.
“Forkner is just a fall guy. He and Boeing are responsible for the deaths of everyone who died in the MAX crashes,” said Nadia Milleron, mother of Samya Rose Stumo, who was killed in the second fatal crash in March of 2019. “The system within Boeing rewarded short-term financial gain over safety, and Mark Forkner was operating within that system. Prosecutors can and should find quite a few other people who were also responsible for causing the crashes. Every single family who lost someone in the MAX crash feels the same way: the executives and board of directors of Boeing need to go to jail.”

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The crash of Ethiopian Flight 302 occurred after takeoff in March 2019, killing all 157 onboard. Five months earlier, in October 2018, the first Boeing 727 MAX jet crashed in the Java Sea after takeoff from Indonesia, killing all 189 aboard.  
“The Deferred Prosecution Agreement was really a DOJ Boeing ‘Don’t Prosecute Agreement.’ Nobody really believes that Forkner was the only bad actor in this complex pressure for profits and the scheme to defraud the FAA,” said Michael Stumo, father of Samya Rose Stumo. “It shows that Boeing CEO David Calhoun and the former board members will throw anyone under the bus to protect the C-Suite.”
The DOJ brought a criminal case against Boeing for killing 346 people in the two crashes but settled the matter earlier this year in what is referred to as a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. Columbia Law Professor John Coffee at the time called it “one of the worst deferred prosecution agreements I have seen.” Boeing did not have to plead guilty to any of the allegations, and no Boeing executive was charged.  Boeing’s lead corporate criminal defense law firm is Kirkland & Ellis. Erin Nealy Cox, the lead prosecutor in the Boeing case, left the Justice Department earlier this year and soon thereafter joined Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in its Dallas office.
Paul Njoroge of Toronto, Canada, who lost his entire family in the ET302 crash, said: “The actions of Mark Forkner and Boeing with respect to the 737 MAX certification, production and release to the market, resulted in the death of 346 people: among them my wife, her mum, and our three children. By corporates’ customs and practices, Mark Forkner did not act alone. Boeing principals must have been behind the rush to produce the 737 MAX, push it into the market, project higher revenues and earnings, excite Wall Street, and in so doing, pump up the Boeing stock. When Lion Air Flight JT610 crashed on October 29, 2018, Mark Forkner and Boeing’s principals committed 189 murders in the third degree. But after failing to ground the 737 MAX after that crash, knowingly shifting the public focus from the company by blaming the so-called ‘foreign’ pilots for that crash, they certainly committed 157 murders in the second degree, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on March 10, 2019. 
“The federal grand jury should follow a thorough fact-finding process, indict others, especially the top-level management at Boeing, and then find them criminally liable over the death of my wife, our three children, my mum-in-law, and 341 others. We have had congressional and senatorial hearings, where Boeing’s ex-CEO, Dennis Muilenberg and the Chief Engineer John Hamilton refused to answer basic questions. I hope that the indictment of Mark Forkner will bring to light the extent of negligence, concealment of information, and hubris within Boeing that led to the two crashes. The public deserves to know. There will never be justice for me for the death of my family, but there will be justice for the public if Mark Forkner and others at Boeing faced maximum prison terms,” Njoroge said.
“The indictment yesterday of Boeing’s former chief pilot for deceiving federal authorities about the 737 MAX is a corporate whitewash,” said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of Clifford Law Offices in Chicago and Lead Counsel in the consolidated litigation against Boeing in the crash of a 737 MAX in Ethiopia in 2019. “The tragic loss of 157 lives could have been prevented had Mark Forkner spoken up but he certainly didn’t act alone.”
Forkner, who led the 737 MAX Flight Technical Team during its rushed development into service, reportedly was charged with two counts of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and four counts of wire fraud. He is due to appear Friday in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas. The most serious charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
“This inexcusable type of corporate greed goes far beyond the chief pilot at the company that haphazardly made these aircraft in an effort to increase profits,” Clifford said. “As Lead Counsel in the litigation against Boeing and speaking on behalf of so many families who will never be the same, I implore the DOJ to go further in its criminal investigation and indictments to determine just how far the deception went and who was at the bottom of it all. I think they will find many corporate officials took part in withholding critical information from the certifying agency. A deep-dive criminal investigation is owed to these families who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to the flying public that continues to buy tickets on the MAX aircraft.”
“Even if given the maximum prison sentence, that is nothing compared to those families who will never see their loved ones again. They are gone; gone because Forkner was part of a scheme to hide the truth from those who had the ability to make these planes safe,” Clifford said. “And what was Boeing’s initial reaction to these crashes despite knowing they had cut corners? Boeing executives chose to blame the innocent pilots who were told nothing about the new software system that completely changed the way the aircraft behaved, nor did the pilot training manuals even mention the new software system.”
Clifford refers to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that Forkner allegedly did not share with FAA officials before they approved the aircraft as safe to fly.  
“The flying public still isn’t certain whether Boeing has changed its ways and is operating with full transparency in allowing this plane and future aircraft to fly,” Clifford said.

Fully vaccinated foreigners can enter the US starting November 8 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Fully vaccinated foreigners can enter the US starting November 8 3

US is lifting travel restrictions for international visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.Foreign travelers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to enter the US starting on November 8New US policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent, says the White House.

The White House announced today the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions, and said that all foreign travelers who are fully inoculated against coronavirus will be allowed to enter the United States from November 8.

White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz confirmed today that “the US’ new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travelers to the United States will begin on November 8.”
Mr. Munoz also posted on Twitter that the policy “is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent.”
Strict US travel restrictions kept millions of visitors from China, Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil, much of Europe out of the United States , crippled US tourism, and hurt border community economies.
Last month, the White House said that it would lift restrictions on air travelers from over 30 countries, including China, India, Iran, and most of Europe from early November, but it stopped short of providing a precise date.
On Tuesday, US officials said the country would lift movement restrictions at its land borders and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico for those fully-vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) which are not used or authorized in the US will be recognized as a valid form of inoculation, giving the greenlight for the UK-developed AstraZeneca, as well as China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Canada reopened its land border with the US in early August to fully-vaccinated Americans with a negative COVID-19 test for non-essential travel. The lack of reciprocity from its neighbor, however, drew complaints from Canadian officials.
The ban on a large number of non-US citizens entering America has been enforced for over 18 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Former President Donald Trump first imposed bans on air travelers from China in early 2020, and then extended this restriction to much of Europe.

India is now open for fully vaccinated foreign tourists Aviation Feature, Aviation News

India is now open for fully vaccinated foreign tourists 4

Fully vaccinated foreign visitors travelling on chartered flights allowed entry to India starting today.International travelers on regular flights will be able to enter India starting from November 15.It is unclear whether arriving tourists will have to quarantine but they must be fully vaccinated and test negative for the virus within 72 hours of their flight.

Foreign visitors are finally allowed to enter India again, for the first time since March 2020, when the country imposed its first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

In the latest relaxation of its COVID-19 curbs, Indian government officials announced on Friday that the country has reopened to fully vaccinated international visitors traveling on chartered flights.
Foreign travelers on regular flights will be able to enter India starting from November 15, officials added.
It is not yet clear whether arriving tourists will have to quarantine in India, but they must be fully vaccinated and test negative for the COVID-19 virus within 72 hours of their flight.
The decision to reopen the country, announced earlier this month by India’s home ministry, comes as India’s daily infections have dropped below 20,000 from a peak of 400,000 in May and more people have been vaccinated.
India has administered more than 970 million vaccine doses. Nearly 70 percent of the eligible adult population has had at least one dose.
The easing of restrictions on foreign tourists visiting the country, however, coincides with India’s domestic tourist and festive season. Already, it has prompted concerns by health officials who have warned against complacency.
Earlier this month, the Indian Council of Medical Research, India’s premier medical body, cautioned that “revenge tourism” could lead to a surge in COVID-19 infections if tourists don’t strictly adhere to safety protocols.
According to official data, fewer than three million foreign tourists visited India in 2020, which was a dip of more than 75 percent as compared with 2019.

FAA Was Tricked To Certify Boeing 737 MAX: New Federal Grand Jury Criminal Indictment Aviation Feature, Aviation News

FAA Was Tricked To Certify Boeing 737 MAX: New Federal Grand Jury Criminal Indictment 5

The Etihiopian Airlines and Lion Air Murder has a name: Accused is Boeing Chief Technical Pilot Mark A. Forkner?
On October 28, 2018, a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX crashed and killed 189.On March 10, 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crashed and killed 157.On October 14, 2021, Boeing Chief Technical Pilot Mark A. Forkner was indicted in the United States for deceiving the FAA in authorizing the certification of the Boeing MAX 737. Boeing saved tens of millions of dollars in this certification shortcut.

According to court documents filed in the Northern District of Texas Federal Court, Mark A. Forkner, 49, formerly of Washington State and currently of Keller, Texas, allegedly deceived the FAA AEG during the agency’s evaluation and certification of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane.
As alleged in the indictment, Forkner provided the agency with materially false, inaccurate, and incomplete information about a new part of the flight controls for the Boeing 737 MAX called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Because of his alleged deception, a key document published by the FAA AEG lacked any reference to MCAS. In turn, airplane manuals and pilot-training materials for U.S.-based airlines lacked any reference to MCAS — and Boeing’s U.S.-based airline customers were deprived of important information when making and finalizing their decisions to pay Boeing tens of millions of dollars for 737 MAX airplanes. 
“Forkner allegedly abused his position of trust by intentionally withholding critical information about MCAS during the FAA evaluation and certification of the 737 MAX and from Boeing’s U.S.‑based airline customers,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “In doing so, he deprived airlines and pilots from knowing crucial information about an important part of the airplane’s flight controls. Regulators like the FAA serve a vital function to ensure the safety of the flying public. To anyone contemplating criminally impeding a regulator’s function, this indictment makes clear that the Justice Department will pursue the facts and hold you accountable.”     
“In an attempt to save Boeing money, Forkner allegedly withheld critical information from regulators,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham for the Northern District of Texas. “His callous choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect the flying public and left pilots in the lurch, lacking information about certain 737 MAX flight controls. The Department of Justice will not tolerate fraud – especially in industries where the stakes are so high.”
“Forkner allegedly withheld crucial information about the Boeing 737 MAX and deceived the FAA, showing blatant disregard for his responsibilities and the safety of airline customers and crews,” said Assistant Director Calvin Shivers of the FBI. “The FBI will continue to hold individuals like Forker accountable for their fraudulent acts which undermine public safety.”
“There is no excusing those who deceive safety regulators for the sake of personal gain or commercial expediency,” said Inspector General Eric J. Soskin of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Our office works continuously to help keep the skies safe for flying and protect the traveling public from needless danger. Today’s charges demonstrate our unwavering commitment to working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to hold responsible those who put lives at risk.”
According to court documents, Boeing began developing and marketing the 737 MAX in and around June 2011. The FAA AEG was responsible for determining the minimum level of pilot training required for a pilot to fly the 737 MAX for a U.S.-based airline, based on the nature and extent of the differences between the 737 MAX and the prior version of Boeing’s 737 airplane, the 737 Next Generation (NG). At the conclusion of this evaluation, the FAA AEG published the 737 MAX Flight Standardization Board Report (FSB Report), which included, among other things, the FAA AEG’s differences-training determination for the 737 MAX, as well as information about differences between the 737 MAX and the 737 NG. All U.S.-based airlines were required to use the information in the 737 MAX FSB Report as the basis for training their pilots to fly the airplane.
As Boeing’s 737 MAX Chief Technical Pilot, Forkner led the 737 MAX Flight Technical Team and was responsible for providing the FAA AEG with true, accurate, and complete information about differences between the 737 MAX and the 737 NG for the FAA AEG’s evaluation, preparation, and publication of the 737 MAX FSB Report.
In and around November 2016, Forkner discovered information about an important change to MCAS. Rather than sharing information about this change with the FAA AEG, Forkner allegedly intentionally withheld this information and deceived the FAA AEG about MCAS. Because of his alleged deceit, the FAA AEG deleted all reference to MCAS from the final version of the 737 MAX FSB Report published in July 2017. As a result, pilots flying the 737 MAX for Boeing’s U.S.‑based airline customers were not provided any information about MCAS in their manuals and training materials. Forkner sent copies of the 737 MAX FSB Report to Boeing’s U.S.-based 737 MAX airline customers, but withheld from these customers important information about MCAS and the 737 MAX FSB Report evaluation process.
On or about Oct. 29, 2018, after the FAA AEG learned that Lion Air Flight 610 — a 737 MAX — had crashed near Jakarta, Indonesia, shortly after takeoff and that MCAS was operating in the moments before the crash, the FAA AEG discovered the information about the important change to MCAS that Forkner had withheld. Having discovered this information, the FAA AEG began reviewing and evaluating MCAS. 
On or about March 10, 2019, while the FAA AEG was still reviewing MCAS, the FAA AEG learned that Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 — a 737 MAX — had crashed near Ejere, Ethiopia, shortly after takeoff and that MCAS was operating in the moments before the crash. Shortly after that crash, all 737 MAX airplanes were grounded in the United States.
Forkner is charged with two counts of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and four counts of wire fraud. He is expected to make his initial court appearance on Friday in Fort Worth, Texas, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud and 10 years in prison on each count of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Chicago field offices of the FBI and DOT-OIG are investigating the case, with the assistance of other FBI and DOT-OIG field offices.
Trial Attorney Cory E. Jacobs, Assistant Chief Michael T. O’Neill, and Trial Attorney Scott Armstrong of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Lewis of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Copy of the true indictment:

FAA was tricked to certify Boeing 737 Max: US Federal Jury returned a new indictment Aviation Feature, Aviation News

FAA was tricked to certify Boeing 737 Max: US Federal Jury returned a new indictment 6

The Etihiopian Airlines and Lion Air Murder has a name: Accused is Boeing Chief Technical Pilot Mark A Forkner?
On 29 October 2018 Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX crashed and killed 189.On 10 March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines Boenig 737 MAX crashed and killed 157.On 14 October 2021 Boeing Chief Technical Pilot Mark A. Forkner was indicted in the United States for deceiving the FAA in authorizing the certification of the Boeing MAX 737. Boening saved tens of millions of Dollars in this certification shortcut.

According to court documents filed in the Northern District of Texas Federal Court, Mark A. Forkner, 49, formerly of Washington State and currently of Keller, Texas, allegedly deceived the FAA AEG during the agency’s evaluation and certification of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane.
As alleged in the indictment, Forkner provided the agency with materially false, inaccurate, and incomplete information about a new part of the flight controls for the Boeing 737 MAX called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Because of his alleged deception, a key document published by the FAA AEG lacked any reference to MCAS. In turn, airplane manuals and pilot-training materials for U.S.-based airlines lacked any reference to MCAS — and Boeing’s U.S.-based airline customers were deprived of important information when making and finalizing their decisions to pay Boeing tens of millions of dollars for 737 MAX airplanes. 
“Forkner allegedly abused his position of trust by intentionally withholding critical information about MCAS during the FAA evaluation and certification of the 737 MAX and from Boeing’s U.S.‑based airline customers,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “In doing so, he deprived airlines and pilots from knowing crucial information about an important part of the airplane’s flight controls. Regulators like the FAA serve a vital function to ensure the safety of the flying public. To anyone contemplating criminally impeding a regulator’s function, this indictment makes clear that the Justice Department will pursue the facts and hold you accountable.”     
“In an attempt to save Boeing money, Forkner allegedly withheld critical information from regulators,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham for the Northern District of Texas. “His callous choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect the flying public and left pilots in the lurch, lacking information about certain 737 MAX flight controls. The Department of Justice will not tolerate fraud – especially in industries where the stakes are so high.”
“Forkner allegedly withheld crucial information about the Boeing 737 MAX and deceived the FAA, showing blatant disregard for his responsibilities and the safety of airline customers and crews,” said Assistant Director Calvin Shivers of the FBI. “The FBI will continue to hold individuals like Forker accountable for their fraudulent acts which undermine public safety.”
“There is no excusing those who deceive safety regulators for the sake of personal gain or commercial expediency,” said Inspector General Eric J. Soskin of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Our office works continuously to help keep the skies safe for flying and protect the traveling public from needless danger. Today’s charges demonstrate our unwavering commitment to working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to hold responsible those who put lives at risk.”
According to court documents, Boeing began developing and marketing the 737 MAX in and around June 2011. The FAA AEG was responsible for determining the minimum level of pilot training required for a pilot to fly the 737 MAX for a U.S.-based airline, based on the nature and extent of the differences between the 737 MAX and the prior version of Boeing’s 737 airplane, the 737 Next Generation (NG). At the conclusion of this evaluation, the FAA AEG published the 737 MAX Flight Standardization Board Report (FSB Report), which included, among other things, the FAA AEG’s differences-training determination for the 737 MAX, as well as information about differences between the 737 MAX and the 737 NG. All U.S.-based airlines were required to use the information in the 737 MAX FSB Report as the basis for training their pilots to fly the airplane.
As Boeing’s 737 MAX Chief Technical Pilot, Forkner led the 737 MAX Flight Technical Team and was responsible for providing the FAA AEG with true, accurate, and complete information about differences between the 737 MAX and the 737 NG for the FAA AEG’s evaluation, preparation, and publication of the 737 MAX FSB Report.
In and around November 2016, Forkner discovered information about an important change to MCAS. Rather than sharing information about this change with the FAA AEG, Forkner allegedly intentionally withheld this information and deceived the FAA AEG about MCAS. Because of his alleged deceit, the FAA AEG deleted all reference to MCAS from the final version of the 737 MAX FSB Report published in July 2017. As a result, pilots flying the 737 MAX for Boeing’s U.S.‑based airline customers were not provided any information about MCAS in their manuals and training materials. Forkner sent copies of the 737 MAX FSB Report to Boeing’s U.S.-based 737 MAX airline customers, but withheld from these customers important information about MCAS and the 737 MAX FSB Report evaluation process.
On or about Oct. 29, 2018, after the FAA AEG learned that Lion Air Flight 610 — a 737 MAX — had crashed near Jakarta, Indonesia, shortly after takeoff and that MCAS was operating in the moments before the crash, the FAA AEG discovered the information about the important change to MCAS that Forkner had withheld. Having discovered this information, the FAA AEG began reviewing and evaluating MCAS. 
On or about March 10, 2019, while the FAA AEG was still reviewing MCAS, the FAA AEG learned that Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 — a 737 MAX — had crashed near Ejere, Ethiopia, shortly after takeoff and that MCAS was operating in the moments before the crash. Shortly after that crash, all 737 MAX airplanes were grounded in the United States.
Forkner is charged with two counts of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and four counts of wire fraud. He is expected to make his initial court appearance on Friday in Fort Worth, Texas, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud and 10 years in prison on each count of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Chicago field offices of the FBI and DOT-OIG are investigating the case, with the assistance of other FBI and DOT-OIG field offices.
Trial Attorney Cory E. Jacobs, Assistant Chief Michael T. O’Neill, and Trial Attorney Scott Armstrong of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Lewis of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Copy of the true indictment:

Vaccinated only flight KLM: Amsterdam-Singapore Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Vaccinated only flight KLM: Amsterdam-Singapore 7

As of 21 October 2021, Air France operates two weekly designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights from Paris to Singapore.As of 1 November 2021, KLM operates two weekly designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights from Amsterdam to Singapore.Travelers must meet all Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) requirements.

As of November 1, 2021 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will offer quarantine-free travel with designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights to Singapore from Amsterdam every Monday and Saturday.

Through its hub in Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport, KLM will tap into their complementary network and offer four weekly designated VTL flights and six weekly non-designated VTL flights to Singapore.
Roland Coppens, General Manager Air France KLM South East Asia and Oceania commented: “”We fully understand that people want to travel and reconnect with family and friends, and we are excited to resume leisure and business travel to Singapore. Air France and KLM have created a complementary network with four weekly designated VTL flights to Singapore, as well as six non-designated VTL flights from Paris and Amsterdam. With our extensive Air France KLM network, we are able to connect many VTL countries via our dual hubs in Paris and Amsterdam, with flexible ticket conditions.”
KLM flight schedule from Amsterdam to Singapore
ScheduleFlight NumberDayDepartureArrivalAircraft21 October 2021to 31 October 2021KL835/KL837/KL839Daily21:1515:45+1B787/B77W01 November 2021 to 26 March 2022KL835/KL837/KL839TuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday21:0516:20+1KL833 (VTL)MondaySaturday

Paris – Singapore: Air France flight for vaccinated passengers only Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Paris – Singapore: Air France flight for vaccinated passengers only 8

KLM/Air France operates designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights from Paris and Amsterdam to Singapore.As of 21 October 2021, Air France operates two weekly designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights from Paris to Singapore.Travelers must meet all Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) requirements.

As of 21 October 2021, Air France will offer two weekly designated VTL flights from Paris-CDG every Thursday and Saturday until 31 October 2021, and as of 1 November 2021, every Friday and Sunday.

Through its hub, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, Air France will tap into their complementary network and offer four weekly designated VTL flights and six weekly non-designated VTL flights to Singapore.
Roland Coppens, General Manager Air France KLM South East Asia and Oceania commented: “”We fully understand that people want to travel and reconnect with family and friends, and we are excited to resume leisure and business travel to Singapore. Air France and KLM have created a complementary network with four weekly designated VTL flights to Singapore, as well as six non-designated VTL flights from Paris and Amsterdam. With our extensive Air France KLM network, we are able to connect many VTL countries via our dual hubs in Paris and Amsterdam, with flexible ticket conditions.”
Air France flight schedule from Paris to Singapore
ScheduleFlight NumberDayDepartureArrivalAircraft21 October 2021to 31 October 2021AF208Tuesday21:0515:55+1B787AF256 (VTL)Thursday Saturday01 November 2021 to 26 March 2022AF208Tuesday21:0016:35+1AF256 (VTL)FridaySunday

New KLM flights from Amsterdam to Barbados Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New KLM flights from Amsterdam to Barbados 9

First KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight, scheduled for October 16, 2021 is already sold out.Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins described new KLM service as a major boost for Barbados’ tourism.New KLM service will provide greater access and seamless connectivity to and from major European countries and regions such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Scandinavia, via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in The Netherlands.

A new European gateway is already showing promise for Barbados as the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) prepares to receive a new direct service from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Months after the new service was announced, the first flight, scheduled for October 16, 2021 is already sold out. In addition to the exceptional response, it will be a historic moment for the country as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was the first commercial airline to arrive at Seawell Airport in Barbados on October 19, 1938. Now, 83 years later, it is making history again with a sold-out flight from Amsterdam to Barbados.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins described it as a major boost for the country’s tourism. “We look forward to welcoming KLM once more, two decades later, to our shores. As we look at the state of the global tourism industry, the fact that in the midst of this pandemic, our partners continue to demonstrate such confidence in the Barbados brand, with KLM adding approximately 20,000 seats from Europe to Barbados over five months, is heartwarming. More importantly, it is a reflection of the work that the tourism team serving Barbados has been doing as we signal the closure of more deals for new and expanded airlift and continue to bring our sector back to life in these extraordinary circumstances.”
“So I want to commend the efforts of the entire team, in particular our teams at home here in the Ministry, GAIA, and our overseas markets in this case, specifically the  Europe team, who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality,” she said.
As one of the longest running airlines in the world, operating under its original name for 100 years, KLM is the largest long-haul carrier from Europe, serving 318 destinations in 118 countries with 80 code share partners. The new KLM service will provide greater access and seamless connectivity to and from major European countries and regions such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Scandinavia, via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in The Netherlands.
Cummins added “This development will positively enhance Barbados’ efforts to re-establish its footprint in Europe and I am very proud that Barbados can boast strong partnerships with both KLM and Lufthansa, two established European carriers, as we approach winter 2021/2022. We are committed to keeping this thrust going through the rest of the season.
“Of course, we also expect that many Barbadians and Caribbean nationals will wish to take advantage of these efficient connections to Europe from Barbados and we hope that with strong demand, the airlines will consider extending the season,” she said. What we are also working on with our partners is balancing our tourism push for passengers with our trade agenda to provide for cargo shipments for goods in particular perishable goods. This is critical as part of our international transport portfolio and key to our economic expansion into new markets using airlift relationships.
Flights will operate non-stop from Amsterdam to Barbados, three days a week Monday, Thursday and Saturday on KLM’s modern, efficient fleet of Airbus A330-200 with 264 seats in three classes including business. Departing Amsterdam at 12:25 p.m. CET and arriving at BGI 4:45 p.m. AST, the service will run until March 31st, 2022.

Russia ends restrictions on Austria, Switzerland, Finland and UAE flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Russia ends restrictions on Austria, Switzerland, Finland and UAE flights 10

Russian authorities decided to remove restrictions on air traffic with Austria, Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates from November 9, 2021.Up to date Russia has resumed air service with 62 countries. Air service with Tanzania has been suspended until November 1 due to the epidemiological situation in the country.

A representative of Russia’s federal coronavirus prevention headquarters announced today that Russian Federation will end restrictions on flights with Austria, Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates starting from November 9, 2021.
Sheremetyevo International Airport’s Alexander Ponomarenko Discusses Master Development Plan with Board
“Following the results of the discussion and taking into account the epidemiological situation in specific countries, it was decided to remove restrictions on air traffic with Austria, Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates from November 9, 2021,” the official said.
Russia will also resume air service with another nine countries, including the Bahamas, Iran, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Slovenia, Tunisia, Thailand and Sweden, starting November 9.
Russia resumed air traffic with Finland in late January, 2021, with Switzerland – in late August of 2020, with the UAE – in early September 2021, with Austria – in mid-June of 2021.
In particular, flights will be performed to the Bahamas between Moscow and Nassau (twice per week), to Iran between Moscow and Tehran (three flights per week), and between Sochi and Tehran (once a week). Moreover, flights to the Netherlands between Moscow and Amsterdam (seven times per week), between Moscow and Eindhoven (twice per week), between St. Petersburg and Amsterdam, Zhukovsky and Amsterdam, Yekaterinburg and Amsterdam, Kaliningrad and Amsterdam, Sochi and Amsterdam (two flights a week on each route), will be resumed.
To Norway and Sweden flights will be performed twice per week from St. Petersburg to Bergen and Oslo, as well as to Stockholm and Goteborg. Flights will also be resumed to Oman between Moscow and Masqat (twice a week), to Slovenia between Moscow and Ljubljana (three times per week), to Tunisia’s Monastir flights will be performed from Moscow (seven flights per week) and from St. Petersburg (two flights a week), with flights also possible from other Russian airports, from which international flights have been resumed (two flights per week on each route).
Air service with Thailand will be resumed considering the country’s requirements, meaning only for Russian citizens vaccinated against the novel coronavirus infection. Flights will be performed from Moscow to Bangkok and Phuket (twice per week), as well as from Russian airports, from which international flights have been resumed (one flights per week on each route).
Up to date Russia has resumed air service with 62 countries. Air service with Tanzania has been suspended until November 1 due to the epidemiological situation in the country.

Pakistan Airlines halts Kabul flights after Taliban orders price cuts Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Pakistan Airlines halts Kabul flights after Taliban orders price cuts 11

Taliban government ordered Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to cut its air ticket prices.Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the only international carrier flying regularly out of the Afghanistan’s capital city.The route will remain suspended until “the situation becomes conducive,” according to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

According to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Afghanistan’s Taliban government ordered the airline, the only international carrier flying regularly in and out of Kabul International Airport, to cut airfare prices to the levels of before the fall of the Western-backed Afghan government in August.

In response, Pakistan International Airlines has suspended all its flights to Afghanistan’s capital city, calling interference by the Taliban authorities “heavy-handed”.
“Our flights frequently faced undue delays because of the unprofessional attitude of the Kabul aviation authorities,” Abdullah Hafeez Khan, the PIA spokesman said.
According to PIA, Taliban officials were often “derogatory” and on one occasion “physically manhandled” a staff member.
Kabul route will remain suspended until “the situation becomes conducive,” airline official added.
Earlier, the Taliban informed the Pakistan International Airlines and Afghani carrier Kam Air that their Afghanistan operations will be suspended unless they agreed to cut prices that have spiraled out of the reach of most Afghans since the Taliban takeover.
With most of world’s airlines no longer flying to Afghanistan, tickets for flights to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, have been selling for as much as $2,500 on PIA, according to travel agents in Kabul, compared with $120-$150 before.
The Afghan transport ministry said in a statement that prices on the route should “be adjusted to correspond with the conditions of a ticket before the victory of the Islamic Emirate” or the flights would be stopped.
Flights between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been severely limited since Kabul airport was reopened last month in the wake of the chaotic evacuation of more than 100,000 Westerners and vulnerable Afghans after the Taliban took over Afghanistan.
With a mounting economic crisis adding to worries about Afghanistan’s future under the Taliban, there has been heavy demand for flights out, made worse by repeated problems at land border crossings into Pakistan.

United Airlines: More Jordan, Portugal, Norway and Spain flights now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

United Airlines: More Jordan, Portugal, Norway and Spain flights now 12

United Airlines plans largest transatlantic expansion in its history with 10 new flights and 5 new destinations. United Airlines set to add additional flights to Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Munich and Rome.United will restart seven routes interrupted by COVID-19 pandemic to Bangalore, Frankfurt, Tokyo Haneda, Nice and Zurich.

United Airlines today announced the largest transatlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new, vogue destinations – Amman, Jordan; Bergen, Norway; Azores, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands.

All of the new routes – which are set to begin in Spring 2022 – are not served by any other North American carrier. Additionally, next year, United will add new flights to five popular European destinations: Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Munich and Rome. Lastly, United will launch seven routes that were interrupted due to the pandemic to Bangalore, Frankfurt, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, Nice and Zurich. Flights are subject to government approval.
“Given our big expectations for a rebound in travel to Europe for summer, this is the right time to leverage our leading global network in new, exciting ways,” said Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of international network and alliances at United Airlines. “Our expansion offers the widest range of destinations to discover – introducing new, trendy locales that our customers will love, as well as adding more flights to iconic, popular cities.”
Amman, Jordan
United will begin new capital to capital service between Washington, D.C. and Amman, Jordan starting May 5. Customers will be able to explore the numerous historical sites in and around Amman, as well as visit Jordan’s other top destinations including Petra, the Dead Sea and the Wadi Rum desert. United will be the only North American carrier flying direct to Amman with service three times weekly with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
United will add a third Portuguese destination to its global network with brand new flights between New York/Newark and Ponta Delgada in the Azores beginning May 13. The carrier will offer the most flights between the U.S. and Portugal of any North American airline and will be the only airline to fly to the Azores from the New York metro area. This daily service joins United’s existing flights to Porto, which will return in March, and Lisbon, which the airline is currently operating from New York/Newark and will resume from Washington, D.C. next summer. United will fly a brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft featuring United’s new signature interior with enhanced seat back entertainment with Bluetooth connectivity and overhead bin space for every customer.

This is it: Alitalia takes off for its last flight Aviation Feature, Aviation News

This is it: Alitalia takes off for its last flight 13

Italy’s 75-year-old national flag carrier, Alitalia, was Europe’s third largest airline in the late 1960s, behind British Airways and Air France.The airline, which for decades was associated with Italy’s postwar economic boom, has been losing money since 2008.Alitalia will be replaced with a new state airline, ITA, which begins operations on Friday.

Italy’s national flag carrier, Alitalia – Europe’s third largest airline in the late 1960s, behind British Airways and Air France, which for decades was associated with Italy’s postwar economic boom, is finally ending it’s 75-year-long journey.

Alitalia, is scheduled to perform its last flight today, October 14, with a service from Cagliari to Rome.
After today, Alitalia will be replaced with a new state airline, ITA, which begins operations on Friday.
Alitalia’s final flight from Sardinia is expected to touch down at the Rome-Fiumicino airport at 11:10pm (21:10 GMT), an airline spokesperson said.
Once a powerful global air carrier, that was carrying 25 million passengers annually by the 1990s from rom its initial 10,000 in 1947, Alitalia was the first airline in the world to carry a pope, with a papal aircraft known as Shepherd One. Alitalia has taken four popes to 171 countries on all continents.
But by early 2000s things have changed.
Alitalia has been losing money since 2008. In 2017 it went bankrupt and was put in the hands of special administrators. The COVID-19-related air travel restrictions added to Alitalia’s troubles.
The airline stopped selling tickets on August 25, 2021.
In September, the European Commission gave approval to ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo) and ruled that the new company would not be held liable for €900 million ($1 billion) in illegal state aid received by its predecessor in 2017.
While there were some reports that the Alitalia name may not be dead yet and an agreement may be on the horizon, the initial auction to sell off the brand attracted no bids and ITA said the starting price was too high.

13.3 million European arrivals to drive Gulf tourism recovery Aviation Feature, Aviation News

13.3 million European arrivals to drive Gulf tourism recovery 14

European travelers will be a key driver of the GCC regions tourism recovery from COVID-19.In 2019 pre-pandemic arrivals from Europe to GCC countries reached 11.8 million tourists.Post-pandemic arrivals are forecasted to recover to 13.3 million tourists by 2024, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5%.

European travelers are set to become a key source market for the Gulf region, especially Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which will help their post pandemic tourist industry recovery. Countries in the GCC include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain and they all offer a good range of flight options and a varied tourism product, which appeals to European travelers.

The latest industry data reveals that in 2019 pre-pandemic arrivals from Europe to GCC countries reached 11.8 million tourists. In 2020, arrivals collapsed to 3.9 million due to the pandemic, a 67% year-over-year (Y-O-Y) decrease, however, post-pandemic arrivals are forecasted to recover to 13.3 million tourists by 2024, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5%.
Given the high levels of growth expected from European travelers arriving in GCC countries over the next three years, they will be a key driver of the regions tourism recovery from COVID-19. One country of particular importance to the region is the UK as the industry’s latest forecasts show that UK arrivals to GCC countries will reach 3 million by 2024 a CAGR of 21.7%.
UK travelers have always been attracted to GCC countries as they offer a diverse tourism proposition for summer and winter sun, with stunning beaches, sprawling cities and adventure activities. The opulence and status of Dubai with luxury hotels and the lavish experience it has to offer is also popular with UK travelers.
Countries across the GCC have plenty to entice Europeans, with a mix of activities from the traditional beach holiday to the cultural experience provided by the regions traditions and history. This will help it to regain its popularity quicker than those destinations that only offer a city break experience.

Airbus Passenger Plane conversion to Freighters: The Ascent Aviation Service model Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Airbus Passenger Plane conversion to Freighters: The Ascent Aviation Service model 15

Sine Draco Aviation Development Ltd. (“Sine Draco”) today announced the induction of the prototype A321-200 airplane at Ascent Aviation Services in Tucson, Arizona, for conversion from passenger to cargo configuration. The airplane will be designated the A321-200 SDF with FAA Supplemental Type Certificate approval anticipated in the 3rd quarter 2022. 

The Sine Draco A321-200 SDF passenger to freighter conversion offers the optimal economic solution for the next generation narrowbody freighter.  The conversion includes the installation of a 142-inch-wide by 86-inch-high main deck cargo door, Class E main deck cargo compartment with fourteen container positions and Ancra International cargo handling system.  The lower cargo compartments can also accommodate ten containers, with the A321 being the first airplane type in the narrow body freighter class with this capability.“Induction of the Sine Draco prototype A321-200 SDF for conversion is a significant milestone for our program,” says Sine Draco’s Chief Executive Officer, Alex Deriugin. “All major components are in production and scheduled, engineering drawings and technical documentation are in the last stages of completion, and parts and tooling are arriving at the Ascent facility daily.  The prototype airplane induction is the culmination of Sine Draco Engineering, Operations and Supply Chain teams hard work in close cooperation with our industry partners.”Ascent Aviation Services will be performing the conversion of the airplane by completing the touch labor, modification planning and inspection requirements. A partial heavy maintenance check was recently completed on the prototype airplane and will be completed during the modification.  Ascent will also provide maintenance and flight line support during the ground and flight test program following conversion.Dave Querio, President and CEO of Ascent Aviation Services says, “the induction of the prototype Sine Draco A321-200 SDF aircraft into its modification phase is a clear reflection of all the hard work expended on a daily basis by the professionals at both Sine Draco and Ascent.  I congratulate the entire Sine Draco team for meeting this milestone. All of us here at Ascent are honored to be a part of your success and excited to advance to the next phase of the modification program.”

Ukraine and the European Union sign Open Skies treaty Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Ukraine and the European Union sign Open Skies treaty 16

The Common Civil Area Agreement is expected to open Ukraine up to more low-cost routs and boost tourism.Currently, Ukraine has bilateral air service agreement with each European Union country.New agreement with EU stipulates that restrictions on the number of flights will be lifted.

The European Union (EU) and Ukraine have signed a Common Aviation Area Agreement that will establish a joint aviation space, the Ukrainian presidential press service said.

The Common Civil Aviation Area Agreement, widely known as the Open Skies Treaty, is expected to open Ukraine up to more low-cost air routes and boost tourism, thanks to the mandatory implementation of European standards and rules in the field of air transportation. 
Currently, Ukraine has bilateral air services agreements with each EU country. They set restrictions on the number of carriers and weekly flights. This made it difficult for new carriers to enter popular flights.
The new agreement with the EU stipulates that restrictions on the number of carriers and flights will be lifted. Any air carrier will be able to fly along popular routes, not only monopolists. This means that low-cost airlines will get the opportunity to enter the market.
Ryanair, for one, has already announced an “aggressive expansion” in Ukraine once the country joins the Open Skies deregulated aviation market, with plans to open flights from 12 Ukrainian airports instead of the current 5, as well as opening domestic services.
Along with the new flights, passengers can expect more good news — ticket prices are expected to drop as a result of increased competition and an end to monopolies along popular destinations. As well, prices will be slashed due to the agreement granting the right to any aviation company to handle passengers in airports. 
Apart from passengers, Ukrainian regional airports are expected to reap benefits from the changes. They will receive more airplanes and have a larger passenger flow. This means that regional airports will have more chances for investments and development.
Another plus of the agreement for Ukrainian passengers is the introduction of European Union norms and standards in Ukrainian civil aviation. 
The signing ceremony was attended by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
The agreement, inked at the 23rd Ukraine-EU Summit in Kiev, will open up the air markets of Ukraine and the EU and bolster air safety, air traffic, and environmental protection, the presidential press service said in a statement.
The EU-Ukraine Open Skies Agreement must be ratified by Ukraine and each European Union member state in order to take effect.

Lithuania and Kazakhstan to launch direct passenger air service Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lithuania and Kazakhstan to launch direct passenger air service 17

Nur-Sultan to Vilnius and Almaty to Vilnius passenger flights will be launched in early 2022.Hungary’s Wizz Air will operate direct scheduled flights between Kazakhstan and Lithuania.Kazakhstan’s and Lithuanian aviation officials signed the Protocol of Intention to perform regular flights.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, direct passenger flights will be launched between Kazakhstan and Lithuania in a few months.

Nur-Sultan-Vilnius and Almaty-Vilnius scheduled commercial flights are expected to be commence in early 2022.
Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Committee and the representatives of the Lithuanian Civil Aviation held talks in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, today to discuss the launch of two regular flights.
It was agreed that Hungary’s Wizz Air will operate those flights.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development press service, the flights will tentatively launch in the first quarter of 2022.
As part of the talks, Lithuanian and Kazakh aviation officials discussed the issues of cooperation in the sphere of air transportation and exchanged the signed Protocol of Intention to perform the regular flights.
The final decision on the regular flights will be made after both authorities are given flight clearance notice by the special commissions monitoring the COVID-19 situation in both countries.

Federal judge halts United Airlines COVID-19 vaccine mandate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Federal judge halts United Airlines COVID-19 vaccine mandate 18

US District Judge Mark Pittman responded to a class action brought by plaintiff and United Airlines captain David Sambrano, a North Texas resident.Pittman ordered a temporary restraining order on United Airlines, preventing the company from enforcing its vaccine mandate on employees.Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning any entity in Texas from mandating Covid-19 vaccinations for employees or customers.

US District Judge Mark Pittman responded to a federal lawsuit against United Airlines filed by six airline employees by ordering the carrier to temporarily halt its COVID-19 vaccine mandate that would put unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave.

Pittman issued his order in response to a class action brought by plaintiff and United Airlines captain David Sambrano, a North Texas resident.
Sambrano was one of six employees who filed a federal lawsuit arguing that there was a pattern of discrimination at the Chicago based airline; they had “requested religious or medical accommodations from United’s mandate that its employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine.” 
The judge ordered a temporary restraining order on United Airlines, preventing the company from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate on employees and placing workers who requested an exemption on unpaid leave. The restraining order expires on October 26. It gives the judge time to hear the relevant arguments of the employees and airline.
The employees, who filed their complaint on September 21, have argued that putting staff on unpaid leave is not reasonable accommodation, but rather an “adverse employment action” and therefore constitutes discrimination. 
Sambrano himself applied for medical exemption, having recovered from COVID-19. He says his request was rejected by United’s online accommodation system.
United Airlines announced on August 6 that it would be requiring all 67,000 of its US-based employees to get the jab. At the time of its announcement, the airline suggested around 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants were already inoculated. It said that the small number of employees who refused the vaccine would be placed on unpaid leave.
The airline says that it “is making a good faith effort to manage workplace safety and provide reasonable accommodations in the face of unprecedented and rapidly evolving circumstances” and had filed a motion to dismiss the case.
Meanwhile, Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning any entity in Texas, including private businesses, from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for employees or customers.

Latest Fraport Airport Traffic Figures for September 2021: Positive! Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Passenger growth continued to be largely driven by holiday traffic. In the reporting month, FRA’s passenger numbers – while still posting a 54.0 percent decline compared to September 2019 – again reached nearly half the pre-pandemic level, thus continuing the positive trend set in August 2021.During the first nine months of 2021, FRA served a total of some 15.8 million passengers. This resulted in a 2.2 percent decline compared to the same period last year, versus a 70.8 percent slide compared with the first nine months of 2019.Cargo throughput (airfreight + airmail) continued its robust growth in September 2021, rising noticeably by 13.4 percent year-on-year to 188,177 metric tons.
Passenger growth continued to be largely driven by holiday traffic. In the reporting month, FRA’s passenger numbers – while still posting a 54.0 percent decline compared to September 2019 – again reached nearly half the pre-pandemic level, thus continuing the positive trend set in August 2021.During the first nine months of 2021, FRA served a total of some 15.8 million passengers. This resulted in a 2.2 percent decline compared to the same period last year, versus a 70.8 percent slide compared with the first nine months of 2019.Cargo throughput (airfreight + airmail) continued its robust growth in September 2021, rising noticeably by 13.4 percent year-on-year to 188,177 metric tons.

Compared to September 2019, cargo tonnage gained 7.7 percent in the reporting month. Aircraft movements climbed by 66.1 percent year-on-year to 28,135 takeoffs and landings. Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOW) increased by 61.5 percent to nearly 1.8 million metric tons. 
In September 2021, the airports in Fraport’s international portfolio largely continued to report positive traffic performance. With the exception of Xi’an Airport (XIY) in China, Fraport’s Group airports worldwide achieved significant growth. At some Group airports, passenger traffic rose by over 100 percent year-on-year – albeit compared to strongly reduced traffic levels in September 2020. In comparison to pre-pandemic September 2019, most of Fraport’s Group airports worldwide still registered lower passenger figures. However, some Group airports serving high-demand tourist destinations – such as the Greek airports or Antalya Airport on the Turkish Riviera – saw traffic rebound to approximately 80 percent of pre-crisis levels in the reporting month (compared to September 2019).
Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in Slovenia’s capital city welcomed 65,133 passengers in September 2021. At the Brazilian airports of Fortaleza (FOR) and Porto Alegre (POA), combined traffic increased to 820,169 passengers. Peru’s Lima Airport (LIM) received nearly 1.1 million passengers in the reporting month.
Total traffic for the 14 Greek regional airports rose to about 3.4 million passengers in September 2021. On the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, the Twin Star airports of Burgas (BOJ) and Varna (VAR) also reported higher traffic with a total of 328,990 passengers served. Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey welcomed some 3.8 million passengers. St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport (LED) in Russia had approximately 1.9 million passengers. Xi’an Airport (XIY) in China recorded just under 2.3 million passengers in the reporting month.

Edelweiss Now Offers 2 Weekly Connections From Zurich to Tanzania Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Edelweiss Now Offers 2 Weekly Connections From Zurich to Tanzania 19

Edelweiss landed an Airbus A340 at KIA on October 9, 2021, reigniting the aviation tourism sector in Tanzania.The aircraft was greeted with a water cannon salute and several Tanzanian officials.The inauguration of Edelweiss is seen as a vote of confidence in Tanzania as a safe destination for business, particularly leisure tourism, thanks to health and safety protocols in place.

Edelweiss, a sister company of Swiss International Air Lines and a member of the Lufthansa Group, has a nearly 20 million customer base across the world.
On October 9, 2021, a maiden Edelweiss Airbus A340 landed at KIA, a major gateway to Tanzania’s northern tourism circuit, with 270 tourists from across Europe on board, essentially gracing the tourism high season.

The airplane was greeted with a water cannon salute after having successfully touched the JRO’s runway at 8:04 a.m. East African Time, as Cabinet Ministers responsible for Works and Transport as well as from Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof. Makame Mbarawa and Dr. Damas Ndumbaro, respectively, along with Tanzania UNDP Country Resident Representative, Ms. Christine Musisi; Switzerland Ambassador, Dr. Didier Chassot; and Lufthansa Group General Manager Southern and Eastern Africa, Dr. Andrea Shulz led the crowd to cheer on the historic landing of the aircraft.
“The inauguration of Edelweiss is a vote of confidence in Tanzania as a safe destination for business, particularly leisure tourism, thanks to health and safety protocols in place to ensure that air travel remains safe and doesn’t spread the Coronaviruses globally,” Prof. Mbarawa said amid the cheers from the floor.
He added: “The Edelweiss offers a critical link to the key Tanzania northern tourism circuit with the fastest growing hub in Europe in today’s aviation industry and other metropolitan cities across the world, breathing a new life to our tourism, a key economic industry.”
Natural Resources and Tourism Minister, Dr. Damas Ndumbaro, said the Edelweiss offering 2 weekly connections from Zurich, Switzerland, to Tanzania was not only a shot in the arm for ailing tourism but also a clear sign of growing confidence for the travel industry in the country’s COVID-19 measures.
Edelweiss will be flying from Zurich to Kilimanjaro and on to Zanzibar every Tuesday and Friday from now until the end of March. The route will be operated with an Airbus A340. The aircraft offers a total of 314 seats – 27 in Business Class, 76 in Economy Max, and 211 in Economy.
Bernd Bauer, CEO of Edelweiss, said: “As Switzerland’s leading leisure airline, Edelweiss flies to the most beautiful destinations worldwide. With Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, we now have 2 new holiday destinations on offer, which perfectly complement our range on the African continent and enable our guests from Switzerland and Europe to enjoy unforgettable travel experiences.”
Didier Chassot, Switzerland’s ambassador to Tanzania, was delighted when the first flight landed: “We are very happy that a Swiss airline is again connecting Switzerland and Tanzania directly. This decision by Edelweiss shows how highly attractive Tanzania – mainland and Zanzibar – remains for Swiss people. It also shows growing confidence in the efforts by Tanzania to address the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic with the necessary resolve and transparency, which we very much welcome.”
The Edelweiss direct flight to KIA has, among other factors, been possible thanks to a trinity partnership from the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP), Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), and the government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
“I’m very grateful to witness some of the fruits of our partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and TATO in boosting tourism recovery in Tanzania. Congratulations to the Government of Tanzania, to TATO, and to the Swissair management team for all the hard work that has led us to this day,” UNDP Country Representative, Ms. Christine Musisi, told the audience at the flight reception function.
Ms. Musisi said that she recalled at the height of global lockdowns in April 2020 when UNDP led the UN rapid social-economic impact assessment of COVID-19 to Tanzania, it was clear from this study that tourism was the hardest hit economic industry in the country.
With an 81 percent drop in tourism, many businesses collapsed resulting in significant revenue loss, a loss of three-quarters of jobs in the industry, be they tour operators, hotels, tour guides, transporters, food suppliers, and traders.
This severely affected the livelihoods of many, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises, unprotected workers, and informal businesses that comprise mostly youth and women.
“We thank the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism for trusting UNDP as a collaborative partner in preparing the comprehensive COVID-19 recovery and sustainability plan for the tourism industry,” she explained.
Ms. Musisi quickly added: “We also thank TATO for their leadership in the multi-stakeholder engagement that led to the joint tourism recovery project we are implementing and which has contributed to opening this route and through various measures, working towards re-opening markets in Europe, [the] Americas, and the Middle East.”
“I believe that this is just the beginning of our journey in building back better a tourism industry that is inclusive, resilient, and prosperous,” Ms. Musisi concluded.
With the introduction of twice-weekly flights by Edelweiss, the UNDP boss said she was buoyant that Tanzania would not only reclaim but also increase, the share of the tourism market in Europe and Northern America.
TATO CEO, Mr. Sirili Akko, expressed his profound gratitude to Edelweiss and UNDP, saying their support came at the darkest moment in the tourism industry’s recent history caused by the COVID-19 pandemic impacts.
A tourist, Mr. Amer Vohora, said: “Edelweiss finally flying back to Tanzania is a long time coming, a fabulous direct flight that’s super convenient and very comfortable with perfect service, as I will need to fly back often to visit the Edelweiss Coffee Estates. I’ll be booking my return flight as soon as I get back.”
#rebuildingtravel

IATA launches new lithium battery certification Aviation Feature, Aviation News

IATA launches new lithium battery certification 20

Lithium batteries are critical power sources for many consumer goods on which we all rely.It is vital that lithium batteries can be shipped safely by air either with finished products or as components for global supply chains.CEVA Logistics is the first CEIV Lithium Battery certification for its operations at Hong Kong International Airport and at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a new industry certification— Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Lithium Battery – to improve the safe handling and transport of lithium batteries across the supply chain. 

“Lithium batteries are critical power sources for many consumer goods on which we all rely. And it is vital that we can ship them safely by air either with finished products or as components in global supply chains. That’s why we developed the CEIV Lithium Battery certification. It gives shippers and airlines assurance that certified logistic companies operate to the highest safety and security standards when shipping lithium batteries,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Shipments of lithium batteries (alone or with finished products) must comply with well-established global safety standards for how they are manufactured, tested, packed, marked, labelled, and documented. These requirements are a key element of the IATA Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations (LBSR) and of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) which combine regulatory and operational input from industry and government experts. 
CEVA Logistics is the first CEIV Lithium Battery certification for its operations at Hong Kong International Airport and at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, following an extensive period of piloting. 
“We congratulate CEVA in becoming the first logistics company to achieve CEIV Lithium Battery certification. From cargo handlers, ground handling companies, freight forwarders and shipping companies, the more stakeholders along the value chain which participate in CEIV Lithium Battery, the stronger and more effective it will be for the industry. Ultimately, we all want to see a network of CEIV Lithium Battery trade lanes with participants certified at origin, destination and in transit points,” said Walsh. 
“Our automotive, healthcare and technology customers appreciate our ability to seamlessly deliver responsive logistics solutions no matter the destination or cargo type, like lithium-ion batteries. Our experience in transporting a wide range of batteries made us an ideal partner with IATA in piloting their new CEIV certification. IATA continues to lead the way in providing standards, regulations and guidelines to improve overall quality and safety in the air transport industry. This new certification gives customers even more confidence in our ability to safely and reliably transport their lithium-ion batteries,” Peter Penseel, COO of air freight for CEVA Logistics.

More Grenada flights from USA and Canada now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

More Grenada flights from USA and Canada now 21

Air Canada Mainline will resume direct service, twice a week, (Wednesday and Sunday) from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) starting October 31.JetBlue offers daily service from John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND). The carrier’s premium Mint aircraft operates on Saturday.American Airlines offers service, twice a week, from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) on Wednesday and Saturday.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) announced today the destination will become even more accessible with increased airlift from the United States and the resumption of service from Canada. The timing comes just ahead of winter, officially the time of SAD and when the Caribbean is especially appealing for North Americans who are already dreading early darkness and frigid temperatures.

“As people re-engage their passion for travel, our airline partners recognize the value of providing connectivity to our special island. We are truly a slice of paradise with a low-key vibe, warm and welcoming people, and offerings that connect visitors not only with nature and amazing water adventures, but also with a fascinating culinary journey” said Petra Roach, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority. “New and expanded air service helps Grenada regain its position as a highly attractive destination for visitors seeking a distinctive Caribbean experience.” 
A roundup of airlift updates include: 
From the U.S.
JetBlue offers daily service from John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND). The carrier’s premium Mint aircraft operates on Saturday.
American Airlines offers service, twice a week, from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) on Wednesday and Saturday.
Starting November 2, service operates three times a week (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday). Daily service begins December 1.Starting November 27, service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), operates once a week on Saturday.
From Canada
Air Canada Mainline will resume direct service, twice a week, (Wednesday and Sunday) from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) starting October 31.
Sunwing is expected to offer service once a week from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) starting November 7.

Ethiopian Airlines: Fly to Enugu, Nigeria now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Ethiopian Airlines: Fly to Enugu, Nigeria now 22

Ethiopian Airlines resumes weekly scheduled passenger services to Enugu, Nigeria from October 9, 2021.Passengers from Enugu will have direct flight connections to many destinations around the world.Nigeria has always been and continues to be one of Ethiopian’s important destinations in West Africa.

Ethiopian Airlines Group, the largest pan-African airline, has resumed weekly passenger services to Enugu, Nigeria from 09 October 2021. The flights are operated on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Ethiopian is one of the oldest carriers flying to Nigeria and has been serving the country since 1960, strengthening trade, cultural and tourism ties between Nigeria and the rest of the world.

Passengers from Enugu will have direct flight connections to many destinations in Africa, Middle East, Asia, South America and Europe with the vast Ethiopian Airlines network and modern fleet.
Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said “Nigeria has alwaysbeen and continues to be one of our important destinations in West Africa. We are continually improving our products and services to meet our customers’ expectations and the resumption of services to Enugu is key to reach our customers in different parts of Nigeria. We thank the people and the government of Nigeria for their continued support in restarting our service to Enugu.”
Passengers from our four gateways in Nigeria – Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Enugu – now have the opportunity to fly to more than 130 Ethiopian global destinations in five continents. Ethiopian became the first international carrier to fly to Enugu when it commenced flight in 2013. The service to Enugu was suspended for two years as the airport was undergoing renovation.

Southwest Airlines: We’ll defy Texas ban on the vaccine mandate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Southwest Airlines: We’ll defy Texas ban on the vaccine mandate 23

Southwest Airlines COVID-19 vaccination mandate had “zero” connection to weekend flight cancellations.The objective of the Southwest Airlines vaccine mandate is to improve health and safety, not for people to lose their jobs.Southwest Airlines is based in Dallas, Texas and could face a tough response for defying a state executive order.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, today, vowed to defy Texas ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s new executive order prohibits private companies from requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees.
During Tuesday interview, Kelly insisted that that Southwest Airlines COVID-19 vaccination mandate had “zero” connection to thousands of flight cancellations over the weekend and a union lawsuit against the company, and that the airline has “no issue” with its employees.
“We’re urging all of our employees to get vaccinated. If they can’t, we’re urging them to seek an accommodation, either for medical or religious reasons, but my goal obviously is that no one loses their job,” Kelly said, explaining that the objective of the Southwest Airlines vaccine mandate is “to improve health and safety, not for people to lose their jobs.”
“Yes, we have some very strong views on that topic, but that’s not what was at issue with Southwest Airlines over the weekend,” he continued, in reference to the flight cancellations and delays. Instead, the CEO seemingly doubled down on blaming air-traffic-control staff and weather in Florida, and vaguely referred to “absenteeism” as one of the issues they monitor.
Kelly also said on Tuesday that he had “never been in favor of corporations imposing” vaccine mandates, but claimed “the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees” and “all federal contractors” – which, in his opinion, “covers all the major airlines” – have to implement mandatory vaccination by December 8.
By vowing to continue with its vaccine mandate, however, Southwest Airlines appears to be defying an executive order issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday which prohibits private companies from requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees.
Southwest Airlines is based in Dallas, Texas, so it could face a tough response for defying a state executive order.

Delta Air Lines flights from Prague to New York resume Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Delta Air Lines flights from Prague to New York resume 24

The resumption of a direct air connection with the USA is absolutely crucial from the inbound tourism point of view.Creditworthy tourists from the United States of America are a welcome clientele of tourism entrepreneurs in Prague and other regions alike.Further renewal of long-haul flights remains among Prague Airport top priorities.

Delta Air Lines, an American air carrier, is going to resume its direct flights from Prague to New York, JFK Airport, effective 26 May 2022.

Throughout the summer flight schedule, the airline plans to operate the route up to seven times a week using Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
“The resumption of direct flights to New York, which was one of the most attractive long-haul routes operated from Prague Airport in 2019, is excellent news primarily for Czech passengers. They will be able to enjoy a convenient and fast connection to the east coast of the United States after a two-year pause. Before the current crisis, more than 70,000 passengers flew between Prague and New York every year, which represents a strong potential, able to support up to a year-round direct connection with Prague,” Jiří Pos, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said, adding:  “The re-launch of the route is, among other things, the result of negotiations carried out by Prague Airport representatives at the World Routes Development Forum, currently underway in Milan, Italy.”
“We are pleased to return to the Czech market with direct flights, able to offer passengers a comfortable and fast connection from Prague to New York and to further-away destinations on the American continent,” Guido Hackel, Air France, KLM and Delta Air Lines Country Manager for Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, noted.
“The resumption of a direct air connection with the USA is absolutely crucial from the inbound tourism point of view. This will allow us to build on the steady increase in the number of tourists from the US, which we, as the destination, enjoyed before the COVID-19 crisis. Creditworthy tourists from the United States of America are a welcome clientele of tourism entrepreneurs in Prague and other regions alike. Longer stays and visits to places outside the capital are typical for American tourists,” Jan Herget, CzechTourism Managing Director, commented.
The resumption of direct long-haul flights at Prague Airport is govern by both the relaxation of anti-epidemic measures in the world and the rules for entry of foreign visitors to the Czech Republic. Of the 15 long-haul flights offered by Prague Airport in 2019, just the routes to Dubai and Doha are currently in operation. During the winter, new charter flights to more distant exotic destinations will be added. Further renewal of long-haul flights remains among Prague Airport top priorities.
Representatives of Prague Airport and CzechTourism are currently attending the 2021 World Routes Development Forum, which is the world’s largest event in the field of air traffic development scheduling held annually. This year, the main focus is the resumption of air traffic after the crisis caused by the spread of a new type of coronavirus with the goal to achieve the fastest possible return to the 2019 number of flights offered.

South African Airways: Flights from Johannesburg to Mauritius now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

South African Airways: Flights from Johannesburg to Mauritius now 25

Mauritius has strong ties with South Africa and is both a popular tourism and business destination.SAA route strategy is constantly being monitored and evaluated in line with the carrier’s post-business rescue strategy of sustainability and profitability.SAA is delighted to be resuming services to Mauritius, which in the past has been both popular and profitable.

South African Airways (SAA) continues to rebuild its network with the resumption of service to Mauritius from November 21st, 2021. Flights will initially operate twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays, departing Johannesburg OR Tambo International (ORTIA) at 09:45am with return flights departing Mauritius at 04:35pm.

South African Airways Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo says, “Part of our growth strategy is to identify routes where there is demand and which can be profitable to the carrier. The resumption of services to Mauritius meets both those criteria. Furthermore, the country has strong ties with South Africa and is both a popular tourism and business destination. We are confident that the ticket up-take will be strong, particularly as the summer season approaches.”
SAA is now approaching its first full month of operations with local flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town and regionally to Accra, Kinshasa, Harare and Lusaka. Daily Maputo service begins in December 2021.
Kgokolo says the route strategy is constantly being monitored and evaluated in line with the carrier’s post-business rescue strategy of sustainability and profitability.
“This is a sensible practice that is adopted by airlines the world over given the tough operating climate the industry finds itself in. Depending on the take up to current destinations and where there is future demand, we will add and subtract routes.”
Kgokolo says SAA is delighted to be resuming services to Mauritius, which in the past has been both popular and profitable.
The flying time to and from the country is around four hours.

2022 travel hacks: Best time to book flights and hotels Aviation Feature, Aviation News

2022 travel hacks: Best time to book flights and hotels 26

The ideal day of the week to book a flight is Sunday, not Friday.While domestic accommodation rates dropped in 2020, prices gradually increased over the past year.As travelers continue to plan road trips, industry indicates the best day to book a car rental is on Thursday for domestic trips.

New report revealing this year’s travel hacks, including the best time to book airfare, when to travel and other tips to help travelers navigate booking a vacation in 2022, was released today.

After 18 months international travelers are beginning to re-emerge, ready to explore the world and the life-changing experiences travel can bring once again. According to the report, one in four travelers seeking savings tips and 45 percent indicating they are willing to be flexible with their travel plans to save money.
Airfare booking hacks for 2022
Based on data from ARC, average ticket prices (ATPs) in early 2021 were still higher than previous years; however, come April there was a decrease. ATPs for both international and domestic flights have since steadily increased but are still on average around 25 per cent lower compared to 2019.
Optimal Booking Window
Domestic flight prices usually start to increase 35 days before departure, while prices for international flights start to increase 28 days before. The sweet spot to book a domestic flight is between 28 – 49 days in advance, while international flights should be booked three to four months in advance for the lowest prices.
Ideal day of the week to book
The ideal day to book a flight is Sunday, not Friday. For domestic flights this can save travelers around 15 percent and for international flights the savings are almost 10 percent.
Ideal day of the week to travel
The ideal day to start a domestic trip is Friday not Monday, where travelers can save around 25 percent.For international flights, start the trip on a Saturday, not on a Tuesday to save almost 10 percent.
Best month to travel
Travelers planning their 2022 trips can also unlock huge savings by being flexible and choosing the right month to travel:
The ideal month to depart is January versus December. For domestic flights this can save travelers around 15 percent and almost 30 percent for international departures.

British Airways: No more ladies and gentlemen Aviation Feature, Aviation News

British Airways: No more ladies and gentlemen 27

British Airways instructs its pilots to no longer address airline passengers as ‘ladies and gentlemen’.The change in British Airways policy has been touted as a nod to ‘inclusion and diversity’.It is not yet clear how will the British Airways passengers be greeted instead of traditional ‘ladies and gentlemen’.

British Airways has become the latest airline to fall victim to woke political correctness and replaced its traditional century-old greeting with a ‘gender-neutral’ gibberish alternative.

The UK flag carrier has instructed its pilots to no longer address passengers as “ladies and gentlemen”, keeping the greetings gender-neutral instead.
The policy change has been touted as a nod to “inclusion and diversity.”
The change in policy has been made to avoid discriminating against the passengers who do not fall under either of the two categories, such as children, as well as “to respect new social norms.”
The British Airways spokesperson has appeared to confirm the move towards “woke speak,” noting the company’s commitment to “inclusion and diversity.” 
“We’re committed to ensuring that all our customers feel welcome when traveling with us,” the airline spokesperson said.
The announcement did not go down well with UK conservative-leaning commentators. Some went as far as to declare the carrier’s decision to dump the phrase, long seen as a standard and polite form of address, an “attack” on the British national character.
While passengers boarding a British Airways flight will no longer hear “ladies and gentlemen,” it’s unclear how the air travelers will be addressed going forward, but the airline has traditionally “encouraged its pilots to bring their own personalities into onboard announcements.” 

Tourism Seychelles and Emirates Airlines Host GCC Media Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Tourism Seychelles and Emirates Airlines Host GCC Media 28

Seychelles has launched a wider campaign to rebuild confidence in travel to the country.The tourism arm conducted a media familiarization trip with several GCC media houses.Demonstrated was the nation’s focus on ensuring the health and safety of visitors as well as that of tourism operators, staff, and the local population.

The correspondents from the Khaleej Times, Gulf News, Emarat Al Youm, and Kul Al Usra, all were hosted at LXR Mango House Seychelles, Mahé’s new luxury boutique hotel at Anse aux Poules Bleues on the wild southwestern coast of the main island.
Part of a wider campaign to help rebuild confidence in travel to the pristine Indian Ocean paradise islands and demonstrate airline’s commitment to offering access to high-quality destinations, this latest media familiarization trip showcased some of the islands’ best products and experiences while highlighting the nation’s focus on ensuring the health and safety of visitors as well as that of tourism operators, staff, and the local population.

Commenting on the collaboration, the Tourism Seychelles representative in Dubai, Ahmed Fathallah, said: “Our relationship with Emirates airlines has only grown stronger and more committed over time. We are privileged to see firsthand the amazing sightseeing spots of the islands, as well as experiencing the cultural complexities and immersive beauty of the Seychelles; it was truly unforgettable, and I hope others will be able to experience them too. With the latest partnership underway, we will continue to provide the same personalized and memorable experience to all of those seeking to travel safely.”
The strategic partnership between Tourism Seychelles and Emirates comprises a series of media campaigns predominately directed towards the GCC region, currently standing as one of the island destination’s top source markets.
#ebuildingtravel

Lufthansa successfully completes finalization of the capital increase Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa successfully completes finalization of the capital increase 29

Lufthansa’s capital increase successfully completed – new shares are being traded as of today.Proceeds from capital increase flow directly into repayment of stabilization funds of the German Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF).Full repayment and cancellation of ESF Silent Participations I and II planned before the end of the year.

With today’s finalization of the capital increase Deutsche Lufthansa AG has completely repaid the amount of 1.5 billion euros drawn from the Silent Participation I of the Economic Stabilization Fund of the Federal Republic of Germany (ESF). With this, Deutsche Lufthansa AG has settled a major part of the currently outstanding stabilization measures of the ESF. The repayment was made significantly earlier than originally planned.
Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG
The gross proceeds of the capital increase amounted to 2.162 billion euros. The new shares are being traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since today. The capital increase is therefore completed.
Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG says:
“We are very grateful that Deutsche Lufthansa AG was stabilized with tax money in the most challenging of times. This has made it possible to preserve more than 100,000 jobs and secure them for the future. Today, we are keeping our promise and paying back a large part of the stabilization funds earlier than expected. We are increasingly confident about the future. More and more countries are opening their borders, and demand for air travel, especially from business travelers, is growing daily. Nevertheless, the environment for airlines remains challenging. That is why we are consistent in continuing our transformation. Our goal remains unchanged: the Lufthansa Group will continue to defend its position among the world’s top 5 airline groups.”
Following today’s repayment of the Silent Participation I, the Company also intends to fully repay the Silent Participation II of 1 billion euros before the end of 2021 and to terminate the unused portion of Silent Participation I also before the end of 2021. A KfW loan of 1 billion euros was already paid back earlier than planned (February 2021). The ESF, which now holds 14.09% of the share capital, has committed not to sell any shares in the company in the six months following the completion of the capital increase. However, the sale of the stake is to be completed no later than 24 months after completion of the capital increase, provided that the Company has repaid the Silent Participations I and II as planned and that the contractual requirements are met.