The India COVID-19 variant carries two mutations including the L452R and E484Q which have been seen separately before in other variants but never together in one variant. In light of the spread of the B1.617 COVID variant, FlyersRights renewed its call for social distancing on planes and at airports in the United States, temperature checks, rapid testing, and waiver of change fees. The World Tourism Network wants IATA and ICAO to take this initiative on a global platform. In a letter to the US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, FlyersRights.org highlighted how studies show that blocking middle seats significantly reduces the spread of COVID-19. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that the state has confirmed the first case of the India variant of COVID-19 B1.617, which has been dubbed a “double-mutant” variant. Working against it is a new double mutation version of the deadly COVID-19 virus making it spread faster and deadlier. In India, this version killed more than 200,000 people as of Wednesday and counted for a never-before-seen record of 362,757 new infections in just one day. US-based Flyers Rights organization under the leadership of attorney Paul Hudson rang the alarm bells appealing to airlines to add safety features. For US airlines, Hudson wants the middle seat open again and additional measures to assure social distancing in airlines and airports. Currently, many airlines fly at capacity on passenger flights in the United States. Leisure travel has been picking up tremendously. Even though Flyers Rights specifically deals with US airlines only, World Tourism Network echoed the request to be implemented worldwide and in global cooperation. World Tourism Network is asking IATA and ICAO to support Flyers Rights. Flyers Rights sent this urgent letter to US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg: Read the full letter on the NEXT page.
The ban brought travel between Jamaica and the UK to a haSeveral countries around the globe have also been forced to institute similar travel bansSince reopening its borders last June, Jamaica has welcomed approximately 1.5million visitors Jamaica’s travel ban on the United Kingdom (UK) that is slated to come to an end tomorrow, April 30, will not be extended. This means that the ban, which was instituted as part of the measures under Jamaica’s Disaster Risk Management Act, will be lifted as of May 1, 2021. Speaking on the significance of the lifting of the ban, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett said, “On Saturday May 1, Jamaica will reopen its borders to international visitors from the United Kingdom. This will enable the critical gateways of Heathrow and Gatwick airports, to have transit for passengers coming through and who are fully compliant with health and safety protocols required for international travel.” The ban brought travel between Jamaica and the UK to a halt and was done as part of the island’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Several countries around the globe have also been forced to institute similar travel bans as apart of their COVID-19 management measures. However, with the global deployment of COVID-19 vaccines there has been an increase in confidence as it relates to travel and tourism. “Jamaica’s position at this time is critical in relation to the opening up of the summer tourist season and in fact, the importance of enabling the diaspora, particularly the strong British clientele that have always come to the island. The lifting of the ban is also against the background of the improved vaccination program in the UK and the fact that pretty close to 50% of UK residents have received their second dose of vaccinations.” Since reopening its borders last June, Jamaica has welcomed approximately 1.5million visitors under the island’s robust health and safety protocols. “The opening of the borders is important in the context of not just Jamaica’s tourism but Caribbean tourism, as so many of these countries benefit from transiting through Jamaica for British and European nationals. It is important also against the background of the recent call by the Caribbean Tourism Organization urging a review of the categorization of Caribbean countries by the UK; given the fact that we have the lowest death rates and highest recovery rates and exemplary COVID-19 management,” added Minister Bartlett.
All incoming travelers must be fully vaccinateVisitors who are not fully vaccinated must go into quarantine for 10 daysThe third phase of the road map will start when 50% of the population of St. Eustatius is vaccinated The Public Entity St. Eustatius will further open up its borders on Sunday, May 9th, 2021 by introducing the second phase of the road map. As of this date family members of residents and Statians that want to return home can enter the island. Also, visitors from Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten, Bonaire and Saba are welcomed to Statia. The only condition is that all incoming travelers must be fully vaccinated. Everyone else can also visit Statia but must go into quarantine for 10 days if they are not fully vaccinated. Third phase The third phase of the road map does not have a starting date but will start when 50% of the population of St. Eustatius is vaccinated. When this is reached, fully vaccinated visitors can come to Statia without the mandatory quarantine of 10 days. Up till now in total 879 persons (which is 37%) received both doses of the Moderna vaccine. Fourth phase In the fourth phase everyone can enter the island, also not vaccinated visitors, without the need to go into quarantine. The condition is that the majority of the Statian residents must be vaccinated, which is 80%. The easing of measures started on April 11, 2021 which was the first phase of the road map of the opening of the island. As of that day, Statian residents that are fully vaccinated do not need to go into quarantine anymore when entering Statia after traveling abroad. Careful deliberation The decision to further easy the measures was taken after careful deliberation and only after consulting the key partners involved. These are the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports in the Netherlands (VWS), the National Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM), the Public Health Department and the Crisis Management team in Statia.
A traveler is considered fully vaccinated when two weeks have passed since receiving their second dosFully vaccinated air travelers will be asked to “Vacation in Place” at a Travel Approved hotel for only nine daysTraveler must complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honorable Timothy Harris announced a change to the travel requirements for those International Travelers, arriving by air, who have been fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 effective May 1, 2021. International travelers who are fully vaccinated are required to submit their official Vaccination Record Card when completing their travel authorization process at national website, in addition to their 72-hour RT-PCR test and other required arriving passenger documentation. Please see below the travel requirements for international air travelers effective May 1, 2021: 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 or AstraZeneca/Oxford) or two weeks after they have received a single dose vaccine (Johnson + Johnson). The traveler’s official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card will be accepted as proof.Fully vaccinated air travelers will be asked to “Vacation in Place” at a Travel Approved hotel for only nine (9) days vs. the current 14 days.Effective May 20, 2021 fully vaccinated air travelers will be allowed to enter the destination’s sporting venues.Traveler must complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website and upload an official COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test result from a CLIA/CDC/UKAS approved lab accredited with ISO/IEC 17025 standard taken 72 hours prior to travel. For their trip, they should bring a copy of the negative COVID- 19 RT-PCR test and their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card as proof of completion of their vaccination. Please note, acceptable COVID-19 PCR tests must be taken by nasopharyngeal sample. Self-samples, rapid tests, or home tests will be considered invalid.Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire. Upon arrival, if a fully vaccinated traveler is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during the health screening, they can be required to undergo a RT- PCR test at the airport at their own cost (150 USD).All fully vaccinated air travelers are free to move throughout the Travel Approved hotel, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities only.Fully vaccinated air travelers staying beyond 9 days are required to be tested on day 9 (USD 150 visitors’ cost) of their stay and once their test is negative, they may integrate into the Federation participating in tours, attractions, restaurants, beach bars, retail shopping, etc.Effective May 1, 2021 fully vaccinated air travelers are not required to submit an exit RT-PCR test. If a pre-departure test is still required for the country of destination, the RT-PCR test will be taken 72 hours prior to departure. Example: If a person is staying 7 days, their pre-departure test will be on day 4; if a person is staying 14 days, their pre-departure test will be taken on day 11.
Seychelles CEO welcomes first charter in a series connecting passengers to the island nation.Approximately 500 passengers will arrive within the next 4 weeks as the islands reopen tourism.Between March 15 and April 15, 2021, Seychelles has recorded 15,465 visitors disembarking on its shores. The charter, first of a series, is expected for the next 4 weeks and will connect some 500 passengers to the small island destination, which has reopened its doors for tourism since March 2021. The passengers disembarked from the A320Neo aircraft, Pti Merl Dezil into sunny Seychelles and were entertained by a group of local dancers dressed in traditional attires performing cultural dances and songs. Making their arrival in paradise memorable, visitors received a small token from the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) while waiting for their documents to be processed by the health and immigration officers.
The initial TSA face mask requirement went into effect on February 1 with an expiration date of May 11.The face mask extension requires face masks at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems through September 13, 2021.CDC guidelines still require individuals to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. “The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation,” said Darby LaJoye, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator. “Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic. We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance thus far.” The CDC recently announced that fully vaccinated travelers with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the U.S., but the CDC guidelines still require individuals to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. The extension of the face mask requirement is consistent with this most recent CDC guidance. TSA encourages all commuters, and airline and bus travelers, including people considering international travel, to stay up to date with any changes to these requirements by checking the TSA and CDC websites prior to taking their trip.
Transportation Security Administration has extended travel mask mandate until September 13Masks to be worn on airplanes, in airports and on public transportationUniversal wearing of masks in an effective safeguard against spreading the virus and boosts public confidence in traveling U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the announcement that the Transportation Security Administration has extended until September 13 the federal requirement that masks be worn on airplanes, in airports and on public transportation: “Extending the federal mask mandate for travel is the right move and has the travel industry’s full support. “The universal wearing of masks in the travel environment is both an effective safeguard against spreading the virus and boosts public confidence in traveling—both of which are paramount for generating a sustained reopening of the travel economy.”
Qatar Airways intends to transport 300 tons of aid to IndiaCargo shipment will include PPE equipment, oxygen canisters, other essential medical itemsQatar Airways Cargo has already transported well over 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for UNICEF Qatar Airways is supporting international efforts to tackle the second COVID-19 surge in India by shipping medical aid and equipment to the country free of charge from global suppliers. The airline intends to transport 300 tons of aid from across its global network to Doha where it will be flown in a three-flight cargo aircraft convoy directly to destinations in India where it is most desperately needed. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “The State of Qatar has a long and special relationship with India, and we have watched with great sorrow as COVID-19 has once again caused a significant challenge to the country. “As one of the world air cargo leaders, with an extensive international network, we stand ready to provide humanitarian support by transporting these much-needed supplies, and help the country fight back against this appalling virus. Qatar Airways Cargo has already transported well over 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for UNICEF as part of the five-year MoU to support UNICEF’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative.” The cargo shipment will include PPE equipment, oxygen canisters and other essential medical items, and consists of donations by individuals and companies around the world in addition to existing cargo orders.
Most travel from India to US banned due to pandemicThe policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4US citizens told to get out of India as soon as possible US administration announced that most travel from India will be banned starting Tuesday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. “On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Friday. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the India,” she said. “The policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4.” The move comes on top of international travel restrictions already in place requiring people to have a negative test result before coming to the United States. The move is not expected to apply to U.S. citizens. Earlier, US citizens were told to get out of India as soon as possible as the country’s COVID-19 crisis worsens at an astonishing pace. The US Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory – the highest of its kind, telling US citizens “not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.” According to the department, there are 14 direct daily flights between India and the US and other services that connect through Europe. The COVID-19 spike in India has worsened tremendously over the past weeks. New coronavirus cases in the country have skyrocketed to more than 380,000 in a single day.
Some destinations are entirely new routes and some are pandemic-related service restorationsThe announcement comes as passenger numbers are on the increaseFully vaccinated people do not need to get COVID tests before or after domestic travel Southwest Airlines announced that the carrier will add or resume service to nine U.S. cities from Kansas City International Airport (MCI) as part of a major system-wide expansion. Some cities are entirely new routes and some are pandemic-related service restorations. Southwest Airlines‘ announcement comes as passenger numbers are on the increase as more and more Americans become vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just announced new guidelines for vaccinated people, stating that fully vaccinated people do not need to get COVID tests before or after domestic travel, and fully vaccinated people do not need self-quarantine after domestic travel. “We are happy about Southwest’s decision to make significant increases here for Kansas City travelers just in time for summer,” said Pat Klein, director of Kansas City’s Aviation Department. “We are especially excited that our travelers will have the opportunity to enjoy new nonstop destinations.” Routes to begin during summer 2021 are as follows: Austin (AUS) 1 flight per day – Service restoration Panama City (ECP) 5 flights per week – Service restoration. Was weekend only Miami (MIA) 1 flight per week, Saturdays only – New nonstop destination from MCI for Southwest Portland (PDX) 1 flight per week, Saturdays only – Service restoration Pensacola (PNS) 1 flight per day – Service restoration. Was weekend only San Diego (SAN) 6 flights per week – Service restoration Orange County (SNA) 1 flight per day – New nonstop destination Sarasota (SRQ) 1 flight per week, Saturdays only – New nonstop destination Destin-Ft. Walton Beach (VPS) 1 flight per week, Saturdays only – New nonstop destination from MCI for Southwest
Daily service from Houston, TX begins on June 6, 2021Seasonal service from Baltimore/Washington begins on June 21, 2021Southwest Airlines is closely monitoring ongoing government restrictions for travel Southwest Airlines Co. announced a return of daily service to both international airports in Costa Rica: Liberia, Guanacaste (LIR), and the capital region, San Jose (SJO), beginning in June 2021. “We’re excited to continue reestablishing previously served international service by reuniting the warm Hospitality of Costa Rica with the Heart and value of Southwest,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer. “We’re seeing more demand for our international routes that already take our Customers to Aruba, Cancun, Cozumel, Havana, Los Cabos, Montego Bay, Puerto Vallarta, and Punta Cana.” DAILY SERVICE FROM HOUSTON (HOBBY) BEGINS JUNE 6, 2021 Southwest will resume daily nonstop service to Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (LIR), and San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO), on June 6, 2021, with additional connecting service to cities in the U.S. SEASONAL SERVICE FROM BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON (BWI) BEGINS JUNE 12, 2021 The carrier will operate additional nonstop service for the summer season on Saturdays between Baltimore/Washington (BWI), and Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (LIR), beginning June 12, 2021. Southwest Airlines is closely monitoring ongoing government restrictions for travel. Each state or country may require varying levels of documentation, testing, and potential verification of test results. ADDITIONAL SERVICE IN DENVER, CHICAGO, ST. LOUIS, KANSAS CITY, AND ORANGE COUNTY/SANTA ANA “New flights in our summer flight schedule also bring more Mile High Heart with additional nonstop service between Denver and the coasts—with new or returning links to Savannah/Hilton Head, Sarasota/Bradenton, Norfolk/Virginia Beach, and additional flights to Long Beach, Calif., and Seattle,” Watterson added. “We’re bringing more flights in both Chicago airports, and we continue to spread our love across the Midwest with new flights in St. Louis and Kansas City, both of which are now linked nonstop to Orange County/Santa Ana.”
Spirit Airlines adds four sunny spots in Florida from Kansas CitySpirit will start flying from Kansas City International Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Pensacola and TampaSpirit is growing their presence at Kansas City International Airport through new routes and additional frequencies Summer travel is about to be as smooth as the best Kansas City jazz, thanks to new nonstop options from Spirit Airlines. The carrier is adding flights to cities stretching from South Florida to the state’s panhandle. Spirit Airlines’ bright yellow planes will start flying from Kansas City International Airport (MCI) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Pensacola (PNS) and Tampa (TPA) between now and early June. The new destinations nearly double the airline’s list of cities served from MCI, complimenting expanded service with more flights to Orlando (MCO), Las Vegas (LAS) and Myrtle Beach (MYR) each week. “Our Kansas City Guests told us they’re ready to get out and travel as vaccination efforts continue, and we’re responding with an unbeatable list of options stretching from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale,” said John Kirby, Spirit Airlines Vice President of Network Planning. “Kansas City knows Spirit treats its Guests like family, gets them there on time and leaves them with more money to spend on all the fun stuff once they arrive.” Flights from Kansas City (MCI)DestinationFlights AvailableLaunch DateFort Lauderdale (FLL) NEWDailyJune 10Fort Myers (RSW) NEWTue./Thur./Sun.June 10Pensacola (PNS) NEWMon./Wed./Fri./Sat.June 10Tampa (TPA) NEWMon./Wed./Fri./Sat.June 9Detroit (DTW)Mon./Wed./Fri./Sat.Existing ServiceLas Vegas (LAS)2x DailyIncreased ServiceLos Angeles (LAX)DailyExisting ServiceMyrtle Beach (MYR)Tue./Thur./Sun.Increased ServiceOrlando (MCO)2x DailyIncreased Service
Heathrow recorded a further £329 million loss in Q1 2021Restarting travel to markets like the US will be critical to the UK’s economic recoveryHeathrow reduced its passenger forecast for the year to a range between 13 and 36 million Heathrow released results for the three months ended 31st March 2021 today. Closure of national borders increases COVID losses to nearly £2.4 billion – Heathrow recorded a further £329 million loss in Q1 as only 1.7 million passengers travelled through the airport, down 91% compared to Q1 2019. This brings total losses since the start of the pandemic to nearly £2.4 billion. Cargo volumes are also down 23% on 2019, underlining how a lack of flights impacts UK trade with the rest of the world. UK’s summer economic recovery depends on travel restarting from May 17th – While underlying demand for travel remains strong, continuing uncertainty over Government policy means we have reduced our passenger forecast for the year to a range between 13 and 36 million, compared to 81 million in 2019. As vaccinations are rolled-out and COVID levels fall, restarting travel to markets like the US will be critical to the UK’s economic recovery and we will be prepared to scale-up our operations as demand returns. Border Force’s ability to provide an acceptable service for arriving passengers remains primary concern surrounding the restart and Ministers will need to ensure every desk is staffed to avoid unacceptable queues. Safety remains our top priority – Heathrow is ready to welcome passengers and has invested to maintain strong COVID-secure standards, becoming one of the first UK airports to pass the CAA’s COVID Security Assurance Scheme as well as securing the Airport Health Accreditation from Airports Council International. Resilient financial position despite challenges – Decisive management action has protected jobs and the health of the business in the face of unprecedented uncertainty. We have reduced cash burn by 50% versus Q1 2020, with a 33% reduction in opex and a 77% cut in capex. Prudent financing action has increased liquidity by 41% to £4.5bn since the start of the pandemic, providing sufficient cover to meet all commitments for at least 15 months even with low passenger volumes. UK Government’s plan to include international aviation emissions in targets is welcome – Climate change remains aviation’s biggest long-term challenge and the focus on emissions targets is welcome. UK policymakers should now focus on scaling up Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production in the UK by implementing a SAF mandate of 10% by 2030 and at least 50% by 2050. They should also use their leadership of the G7 and COP26 to agree a consistent international SAF mandate. Heathrow’ largest airlines have already committed to using a higher level of SAF by 2030 than the Committee on Climate Change’s most optimistic case.
Memorandum supports long-term joint approach to resumption and expansion of inbound tourism to Prague and the Czech RepublicCo-operation also seeks to promote the development and support of sustainable tourismParties involved see tourism as one of the preconditions for post-COVID economic recovery and subsequent economic growth Representatives of Prague Airport, CzechTourism and Prague City Tourism have signed a Memorandum on a long-term joint approach to the resumption and expansion of inbound tourism to Prague and the Czech Republic. It is tourism that the parties involved see as one of the preconditions for both economic recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic growth. The co-operation also seeks to promote the development and support of sustainable tourism, which will contribute to the positive development of Prague and other regions of the Czech Republic without negatively interfering with everyday life in tourist-exposed places, such as the capital city center. The Memorandum on joint support of inbound tourism was signed by Hana Třeštíková, Councilor for Culture and Tourism, representing the Capital City of Prague, Vaclav Rehor, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, Jan Herget, Director of the CzechTourism Agency, and František Cipro, Chairman of the Prague City Tourism Board of Directors. The key precondition for the implementation of the agreed co-operation and joint activities is a good epidemiological situation and a gradual return to normal social life. “Tourism and related industries are by far the most affected by the long-lasting COVID-19 crisis. I believe that, thanks to the co-operation with CzechTourism and Prague Airport, we will be able to reverse this unfavourable trend once the situation allows. We want to revive tourism as quickly as possible and attract a cultured and more solvent clientele to Prague and other cities in the Czech Republic to ensure the resumed tourism is sustainable,” Hana Třeštíková, Councillor of the Capital City of Prague for Culture and Tourism, said. According to Vaclav Rehor, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, the resumption and development of air connections with Prague depend primarily on inbound tourism, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of Prague Airport’s operations. “It is, therefore, important for us to support, among other things, the demand for trips to Prague, which is the biggest attraction for foreign tourists. Only on the basis of strong demand, airlines will launch new flights, from which the Czechs will benefit, too. In this perspective, the co-operation with CzechTourism, Prague City Tourism and the capital city of Prague is immensely important for us,” Vaclav Rehor noted.
JetBlue launching direct flights to London later this yearJetBlue also has another 57 Airbus aircraft comprising other A321neo variants on orderA321LR delivers 30 percent fuel savings and nearly 50 percent reduction in noise footprint JetBlue Airways has taken delivery of its first of 13 A321LR aircraft featuring Airbus’ new Airspace interior. These new A321LRs support JetBlue’s plan to open its highly anticipated transatlantic services, starting with direct flights to London later this year. In addition to these 13 new A321LRs, the airline also has on order another 57 Airbus aircraft comprising other A321neo variants – which will also feature Airspace cabins. By bringing Airspace to the Single-Aisle Family, JetBlue’s A321 cabins will be the very first to feature Airbus’ new award-winning cabin design-language and passenger-pleasing cabin features — which are consistent with Airbus’ A330neo and A350 Widebody aircraft. Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue Airways Corp. said: “At JetBlue we are eagerly looking forward to introducing the Airbus A321 Long Range single-aisle aircraft with Airbus’ Airspace interior for our new transatlantic services. These aircraft will allow us to offer our customers attentive, boutique-style service, while also ensuring ample personal space, larger overhead bins, customized lighting and a design that gives the cabin a wide-body feel.” “We are thrilled to have JetBlue set yet another trend and introduce Airbus’ new Airspace cabin on its long range service,“ said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “For sure the outstanding comfort and in-flight transatlantic experience on board these aircraft will be a winner – for JetBlue, its valued passengers and crew alike!” Airspace brings to the A320 Family the following passenger-pleasing cabin enhancements: unique welcome and customisable hero lighting (which helps reduce jet lag); new slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the latest full LED lighting technologies; the largest overhead bin in class; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surfaces. In addition to these Airspace elements, the A320 Family’s wide cabin cross-section also enables JetBlue to offer its passengers true long-haul comfort in all classes, with 24 full-flat adaptive-mattress seats in the airline’s Mint premium-class private suites, while 114 economy passengers will appreciate the widest 18.4inch seats with a contoured seat-back for extra knee space. Most of these economy seats will offer a full 32inch pitch, while four rows will be optimized for “Even More Space” seating — offering around an additional five inches for the most legroom in any transatlantic economy class seat.
The first-ever direct flight will begin operations between Seychelles and Romania.These weekly charters will continue until Monday, May 17, coming back for the summer season in August and subsequently for winter in December.This augurs very well with Seychelles’ tourism recovery efforts as more and more markets see the islands as being a safe destination. The Indian Ocean archipelago’s national airline will be operating charter flights between Romania’s capital city, Bucharest, and Mahé island, becoming the first-ever direct flight linking the two countries. For its first voyage, the 9-hour flight, operated by the Air Seychelles 168-seat capacity A320Neo aircraft has been sold out and expected to land at the Seychelles International Airport at 0930 hours. Leaving Bucharest at 2300 hours on Thursday, the flight will make an in-between technical stop in Cairo, Egypt for refueling before resuming its path to Seychelles. These weekly charters will continue until Monday, May 17, coming back for the summer season in August and subsequently for winter in December.
Pegasus launches new routes to Batumi in Georgia, Odesa in UkrainePegasus launches new domestic flights between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and IğdırPegasus is offering full flexibility for flights booked by 31 July 2021 Turkish low cost airline, Pegasus, is launching a new international route from London to Batumi in Georgia via Istanbul. Twice a week flights between London Stansted and Batumi International Airport via Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen will commence on 7 May 2021. Pegasus also recently launched a new route from London Stansted to Odesa, via Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen on 28 March 2021. The airline will also be launching a new domestic route, with three times a week flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to Iğdır commencing on 7 May 2021, with connections available from London Stansted. Batumi, Georgia Pegasus’ scheduled flights to Batumi will depart from London Stansted Airport to Batumi International Airport via Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen on Fridays and Mondays at 00:05; whilst flights from Batumi International Airport to London Stansted via Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen will depart on Fridays at 19:40 and Mondays at 14:05. Odesa, Ukraine Odesa is Pegasus’ fifth destination in Ukraine, adding to its existing flights to Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lviv and Zaporizhzhia. Scheduled flights from London Stansted to Odesa International Airport via Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen will depart on Thursdays and Sundays at 00:00, whilst flights from Odesa International Airport will depart on the same days at 18:45 (local times apply). Iğdır, Turkey Pegasus’ scheduled flights to Iğdır will depart from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Iğdır Şehit Bülent Aydın Airport on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 14:40, whilst flights from Iğdır Şehit Bülent Aydın Airport to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport will operate on the same days at 17:20 (local times apply).
Adjusted EBIT in the first quarter (Q1) is minus EUR 1.1 billion, monthly operating cash drain is limited to EUR 235 millionOperating expenses reduced by 51 percentCargo business with a record profit in Q1 continues on track for success The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continued to weigh heavily on the Lufthansa Group’s business performance in the first quarter of 2021. Global travel restrictions continued to have a negative impact on demand for air travel and booking behavior. Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: “The longer the crisis lasts, the greater people’s desire to travel again becomes. We know that bookings shoot up wherever restrictions are loosened and travel becomes possible again. Given the foreseeable major advances in vaccination rates, we expect demand to rise sharply from the summer onwards. Encouraging signals, such as the announcement by the EU Commission that it will once again allow vaccinated passengers from the USA to travel to Europe, confirm our confidence. By contrast, the first quarter was still completely dominated by the pandemic. Thanks to consistent cost savings, we were nevertheless able to achieve better results than in the previous year. The changes already implemented in the Group are showing effect. We will not ease in our efforts to further modernize the Lufthansa Group, to make it leaner, more efficient, and to maintain our position among the world’s leading airlines.” First quarter of 2021 Group sales fell by 60 percent to EUR 2.6 billion in the first quarter of the financial year (previous year: EUR 6.4 billion). The previous year’s comparable quarter was only partially affected by the effects of the pandemic. Despite this, operating loss based on Adjusted EBIT was EUR 1.1 billion, lower than in the previous year (previous year: minus EUR 1.2 billion). Consolidated net income wasminus EUR 1.0 billion (previous year: minus EUR 2.1 billion). Operating expenses decreased by 51 percent to EUR 4.0 billion (previous year: EUR 8.2 billion). The number of employees fell by 19 percent compared to the previous year to a total of 111,262. A recently initiated attractive voluntary leave program for the ground employees of Deutsche Lufthansa AG is intended to help reduce the number of employees further in a socially acceptable way.
Reboot of loyalty programs across the tourism sector may help to lure customers back32% of customers ‘extremely’ concerned about their personal financial situationThis year will likely see more partnerships form across the sector in loyalty programs Price-conscious travelers may be lured by the reboot of loyalty programs across the tourism sector. Various travel companies are now repositioning loyalty programs as value-orientated, rather than solely price focused in post-pandemic travel as they seek to tap into individuals’ desires for budget experiences. Latest industry survey found that the main obstacles facing travel’s recovery are quarantine requirements (57%), travel restrictions (55%) and fear of contracting COVID-19 (51%). The fourth barrier was financial concerns (29%) and Q1 2021 consumer survey found that 32% of global respondents were ‘extremely’ concerned about their personal financial situation. This suggests that economic constraints are going to be a key consideration for many when planning future travel. This year will likely see more partnerships form across the sector in loyalty programs, not only displaying increased collaboration in travel’s recovery, but offering a wider range of services to customers. This will help to drive revenue and recovery, while increasing value for end users. An effective loyalty program adds value for the end-user, drives return on investment (ROI) and increases revenues for the respective company. Cash conservation is one of the primary objectives of travel and tourism companies in their attempts to survive the pandemic, but it is also part of travelers’ plans going forward. This is where an effective loyalty program, making customers feel valued, may pay dividends in restoring customer confidence in travel’s recovery. Loyalty programs are not new, but it is clear companies across the travel and tourism supply chain now see them as key to keeping customers engaged throughout the pandemic. The more value the offering can provide, the higher incentive to book or stay with a particular brand. Travel intermediaries such as TripAdvisor and Expedia Group have recently relaunched loyalty programs to encourage more bookings on both stays and experiences. The lodging industry has also seen leading companies such as Marriott, under its Marriott Bonvoy program, partner with Uber giving more opportunity for free through points to be collected. The success of these loyalty programs is yet to be seen, but each strategy has the potential to provide extra value for the end user when using these companies. With leading companies across the travel sector now investing in loyalty programs, it suggests that there is a heightened focus on ROI and value for money experiences in post-pandemic travel.
Due to the worsening COVID situation in India, travelers arriving at Fuimicino Airport in Rome were subjected to new health measures.In addition to temperature and swab tests, passengers were sent straight to quarantine centers.Before being released from the centers, passengers must pass another COVID test with a negative reading. The health and help system at Fiumicino airport were meticulous as the 214 passengers from India who arrived at 9:30 pm on Air India’s Boeing 787 disembarked. The health personnel measured the temperature of each of the travelers and directed them to a dedicated room at Terminal 5. The airport personnel then carried out the first antigenic swabs at the health stations that were set up immediately upon the plane’s arrival. All 350 passengers’ bags were sanitized, and there were 9 Red Cross vehicles waiting, including 3 coaches and 6 ambulances, as well as 3 coaches and 3 other smaller army vehicles. The vehicles will take the passengers to 2 facilities in the capital for swab tests and further checks on the possible presence of cases of the India variant of the coronavirus, according to National Civil Protection sources. In particular, 50 will go to the military citadel of Cecchignola, while the others will go to a COVID-designated hotel. The personnel handling the India passengers held a coordination meeting on the subject with the Lazio Regional Civil Protection.
As of March 31, Embraer’s firm order backlog totaled $14.2 billionKLM Cityhopper, the regional subsidiary of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, received its first E195-E2 jetEmbraer delivered first conversion of a Legacy 450 to a Praetor 500 jet for AirSprint Private Aviation Embraer delivered a total of 22 jets in the first quarter of 2021, of which nine were commercial aircraft and 13 were executive jets (10 light and three large). As of March 31, the firm order backlog totaled $14.2 billion. Deliveries by Segment1Q21Commercial Aviation9EMBRAER 175 (E175)2EMBRAER 190-E2 (E190-E2)2EMBRAER 195-E2 (E195-E2)5Executive Aviation13Phenom 1001Phenom 3009Light Jets10Praetor 5001Praetor 6002Large Jets3TOTAL22 During 1Q21, KLM Cityhopper, the regional subsidiary of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, received its first E195-E2 jet. This first E2 delivery to KLM, and lessor ICBC Aviation Leasing, elevated the total number of Embraer jets in the KLM Cityhopper fleet to 50 aircraft. In the same period, Air Peace, Nigeria and West Africa’s largest airline, took delivery of its first E195-E2 aircraft. Air Peace is the launch customer in Africa for the E2. The airline is also the global launch customer for Embraer’s innovative premium staggered seating design. Also, during the first quarter, Embraer delivered the first conversion of a Legacy 450 to a Praetor 500 jet for AirSprint Private Aviation. The Canadian fractional ownership company has another Legacy 450 scheduled to convert to a Praetor 500 this year, in addition to the delivery of a brand-new Praetor 500, also expected in 2021. With these additions, AirSprint will have three Praetor 500s in its fleet, and a total of nine Embraer aircraft. Backlog – Commercial Aviation (March 31, 2021)Aircraft TypeFirm OrdersOptionsDeliveriesFirm Order BacklogE170191–191–E175798274668130E190568–5653E195172–172–190-E22261175195-E21534719134Total1,9043821,632272Note: Deliveries and firm order backlog include orders for the Defense segment placed by State-run
FAA orders new fixes on Boeing 737 MAX jetsThe problem prompted Boeing to halt flights earlier this monthFederal aviation regulator issued a new airworthiness directive to Boeing today US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that Boeing will have to fix electrical bonding issues on dozens of grounded 737 MAX aircraft, before they are allowed to return to service. Federal aviation regulator issued a new airworthiness directive to Boeing today, after the US aerospace giant earlier said it had paused deliveries of the 737 MAX model to allow time for the electrical issues to be fixed. The problem, which affects 106 Boeing planes globally, including 71 in the US, prompted the company to halt flights earlier this month. The setback is the latest to hit Boeing after the company was slapped with a grounding order for the 737 MAX in March 2019. The FAA cleared the planes for flight in November of 2020, as the regulator said they could return to service once certain software and wiring modifications had been made. According to Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, the latest round of electrical repairs ordered by the FAA should only take a couple of days for each aircraft. He did not give an exact date by which the fixes would be made.
97% of survey’s respondents are worried about COVID-19 when it comes to travelDuring a year of lockdowns and social isolation, families needed to find coping mechanismsTwo thirds of survey respondents took a trip during the COVID-19 pandemic “While we are concerned about COVID, we also know we only have one life to live. We are deciding to still travel while trying to take as many precautions as possible. Wipe things down, wear our masks, wash our hands, change our clothes immediately after getting to a destination so that we don’t infect locals, etc.,” says Bébé Voyage member Christine Burnham. Until recently, stating this penchant for travel may have been taboo. However, a March 2021 survey conducted by Bébé Voyage confirms that this is a wider trend. 97% of the survey’s respondents are very worried or somewhat worried about COVID-19 when it comes to travel, yet two thirds of them took a trip during the pandemic. More than half spent at least one week away from home, with the longest trip being 45 days away! When asked what was the primary motivation for this pandemic trip, 52% said taking a break, 31% responded to visiting family and friends, and 14% stated discovering a new destination. So what does all this tell us? During a year of lockdowns and social isolation, families needed to find coping mechanisms. And getting a change of scenery seems to be key. This means that family travel has the potential to be a serious player in the travel and tourism recovery, as corroborated by McKinsey and Accenture industry reports. Considering that 79% do NOT need to save up money for travel and 70% want to go on a bigger trip because they already have the money to do so, this segment is not to be overlooked. Since a third of families are planning their next trip for May 2021 and half for June to September 2021, destinations that can address families’ needs are likely to win out. Overwhelmingly, families are looking for more nature and outdoor destinations. However, 70% are also looking for destinations with good healthcare infrastructure and are prioritizing destinations with high COVID vaccination rates. If tourism boards make this information easily accessible, they are likely to win some visitors. Especially since 81% want to go to a destination they’ve never been to before.
Airbus and Lufthansa Technik sign cooperation agreementNew solution combines Airbus’ experience as an aircraft OEM with Lufthansa Technik’s expertise in managing STCs and aircraft upgradesAirbus demonstrates its constant focus on supporting customers by bringing new solutions to the market Airbus and Lufthansa Technik (LHT) have signed a cooperation agreement to co-develop temporary “Cargo in the Cabin” solutions for A330s. This new Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) solution will enable operators to load cargo into the cabins of their A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft. Under the agreement LHT owns the STC and will provide the modification kits for customers, while Airbus’ role as the OEM includes providing technical data, engineering validations and operational calculations. The procedure consists of first removing the seats and then installing industry standard “PKC” pallets and nets on the main deck. This configuration takes advantage of the A330’s good operational economics and versatile cabin. “This new solution combines Airbus’ experience as an aircraft OEM with Lufthansa Technik’s expertise in managing STCs and aircraft upgrades,” says Daniel Wenninger, Head of Airframe Services at Airbus. “In these times of reduced passenger traffic, our customers are looking for quick solutions to temporarily increase cargo transportation capacity in the cabin.” “We join forces with Airbus in times of crisis to deliver the best solution for aircraft operators. We mutually benefit from each other’s expertise in many respects and thus create a blueprint for possible future co-operations,” says Soeren Stark, Chief Operations Officer & Accountable Manager at Lufthansa Technik. This new solution offers a volumetric cargo capacity of around 78m3 on the main deck of an A330-200 with 12 PKC pallet positions and 18 nets. Meanwhile, the A330-300’s main deck cargo capacity will be around 86m3 with 15 PKC pallet positions and 19 nets. Through this partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Airbus demonstrates its constant focus on supporting customers by bringing new solutions to the market.
Due to COVID-19, there has been frequent adjustments made to travel restrictionsGeneral fatigue created by the pandemic has left travelers adamant that they need a radical change of sceneryBetting on long-haul travel from a traveler and business point of view still carries risk Despite travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, it appears that consumer confidence has not been deterred too drastically, as a recent survey industry revealed that 36% of respondents stated that they would consider an international trip to a different continent in the next 12 months, which is eight percent more than the percentage of respondents that stated they would consider an international trip to a country within the continent in which they live. Due to COVID-19, there has been frequent adjustments made to travel restrictions, and each country has different regulations in place, which means that traveling to a different continent in the short-term will still be risky. These implications can lead to sudden cancelations, and the likelihood of contracting the virus is at the forefront of travelers’ minds. However, it appears that these factors may not deter consumers from traveling as long-haul routes looks set to reopen to the masses this year. Concern around the factors above would suggest that demand for long-haul travel should be lower than the demand for short-haul travel, however, this appears to not be the case. This shows how general fatigue created by the pandemic has left travelers adamant that they need a radical change of scenery and may be willing to put considerable concerns aside to achieve this. This month, United Airlines announced further long-haul international expansion to Europe and Air France declared further expansion to the US, with new flights commencing this summer. United Airlines stated it will add new flights to Croatia, Iceland, and Greece. Additionally, Air France publicized that it had added Denver to its network. This increase in long-haul flights to popular destinations shows that airlines have also predicted pent-up demand for long-haul travel this year. Betting on long-haul travel from a traveler and business point of view still carries risk as the pandemic is not over and the situation can still quickly change. However, global demand for long-haul travel is evidently growing, which shows signs that meaningful recovery could start this year.
The carrier is barred from taking off or landing at any Airports Company South Africa’s siteMango Airlines operates mainly in domestic marketThe grounding is an indication of the deteriorating financial position at Mango Airlines Mango Airlines, the low cost arm of state-owned South African Airways, was forced to suspend all flights after missing payments to the country’s airports regulator, according to a person familiar with the matter. The carrier is barred from taking off or landing at any Airports Company South Africa’s site, which includes the main hubs in Johannesburg and Cape Town, said the person, who asked not to be named as the move hasn’t been made public yet. Mango Airlines, which operates mainly in domestic market, couldn’t be reached for comment by phone or email. The company tweeted an apology to customers for “flight interruptions and delays,” saying it is “working on a solution.” The grounding is an indication of the deteriorating financial position at Mango Airlines. The company has been hit by the coronavirus crisis that’s hammered the airline industry, forcing bailouts and pushing some carriers into insolvency. South Africa’s government temporarily suspended air travel last year to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, starving Mango of revenue.
Neos airline connects New York with MilanTwice-weekly “COVID-Tested” flights will begin in the second half of June 202Neos boasts the youngest airline fleet in Europe Neos, Italy’s second largest airline, has received official approval from the US Department of Transportation to operate scheduled passenger flights to and from the United States. Twice-weekly “COVID-Tested” flights will begin in the second half of June 2021, connecting New York with Milan, Italy’s center for business, fashion, shopping, design and architecture, and also an ideal starting point for exploring the rest of Italy and much of the European community. Founded in 2002, Neos boasts the youngest airline fleet in Europe, including six latest-generation Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The approval of the US Department of Transportation will allow Neos to expand its portfolio of routes, continuing the growth path that in 2019 led it to carry two million passengers with a turnover of $563 million. Neos operates scheduled service with more than 50 routes throughout Italy, as well as to Africa, the Caribbean, China, Egypt, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, the Maldives, Mexico, Oman, Spain and Thailand. At the heart of the Neos philosophy are innovation, quality, and creating strong passenger loyalty. Neos underscores chic “Italian style” from the minute passengers board. Flights will depart JFK at 5:50pm and arrive at Milan-Malpensa at 7:20am the next day. Departures from Milan are set for 12:20pm, arriving in New York at 2:50pm the same day. Neos has joined the IATA Travel Pass program, a digital passport to facilitate and speed up all boarding and disembarkation procedures. Before they fly, passengers can upload Covid test results and vaccination certificates, accessed by a simple QR code on their smartphones. “The launch of Milan-New York service is a milestone for us,” says Carlo Stradiotti, CEO of Neos, “an opportunity for business growth and to expand connections between Italy and the US. With this first American route, we will offer a new travel experience to the U.S. traveler, based on Italian style, wellness and the most advanced aircraft. In 2022, we plan to increase New York flights, and to add additional US gateways.” During the worst moments of the coronavirus pandemic, Neos flew hundreds of rescue and humanitarian flights, repatriating more than 40,000 travelers to 68 countries, including the US. Neos’ cargo flights have transported over 4,000 tons of masks, lung ventilators, respirators, gloves, diagnostic kits, personal protective equipment and vaccines.
Moscow-Varadero flights are slated to commence in JuneScheduled commercial flights on Moscow-Varadero-Moscow route will be flown on Wednesdays, Saturdays and SundaysAeroflot will use Boeing-777-300ER long-haul aircraft on Varadero route Russia’s national flag carrier, Aeroflot, announced on its official website that it will launch scheduled air service to the coastal resort of Varadero in Cuba. The flights are slated to commence in June and apparently reservations are already being accepted on the airline’s website. Scheduled commercial flights on Moscow-Varadero-Moscow route will be flown on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays using a Boeing-777-300ER long-haul aircraft. According to Russian tour operators, Aeroflot flights to this major Cuban tourist destination, just 82 miles east of Havana, will be in high demand among organized and independent Russian travelers. Three Russian airlines have already launched charter flights to Varadero, following the approval of seven weekly flights to that destination by Russian civil aviation regulator Rosaviatsia and Russian travel agents expect high occupancy rates on flights to Varadero in the coming months.
Former senior official for Air India passes due to COVID-19.S. P. Dutt was instrumental in organizing “Know India” seminars in many parts of the world to promote tourism along with the Department of Tourism and other tourism and travel stakeholders.He will be remembered most for was his wit, humor, and simplicity. As an Air India senior official, Satya Prakash Dutt knew everything about aviation and also about technology and science, which were his other interests. S.P. Dutt had completed his MS from New York University in Applied Science and was also a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). His passion for tourism and his pride in Air India was well-known. But perhaps beyond Air India, what he will be remembered most for was his wit, humor, and simplicity. Always ready with an infectious smile, he had something good to say about everyone, and he was very proud of his two daughters, Barkha and Bahar, who have carved a place for themselves in the media and environmental and ecology sectors.
The deadline for Americans to obtain a REAL ID card has been pushed back once again due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday. The new enforcement date is now May 3, 2023. U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement: “Extending the REAL ID deadline is the right move, and we’re grateful to DHS for heeding the evidence and the calls from our industry. Getting to REAL ID compliance on time was already going to be a challenge before COVID shut down DMVs for extended periods. Significant travel disruption was likely if the deadline were allowed to hit, which the U.S. economy can’t afford after a $500 billion decline in travel spending last year and millions of travel jobs lost to the pandemic.” The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. The regulation was put in place in 2005 to ensure that travelers’ identity in light of the 9/11 attacks, according to the DHS, but only recently did all 50 states come into compliance. Last year, the deadline was pushed back to October 1, 2021, after the coronavirus outbreak. State governors had been pushing for the enforcement date to be delayed again as the country continues to recover from the pandemic.
Baiyun International Airport moved up from the 11th place in 2019Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has slipped to the second placeSix other Chinese airports were also listed in the world’s top 10 busiest hubs The Airports Council International (ACI) announced that Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has overtaken US Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as 2020 world’s busiest air hub. With nearly 43.77 million passengers through 2020, Baiyun Airport, located in Guangzhou, south China, came to top the list of world’s busiest hubs, moving up from the 11th place in 2019, ACI said in a statement. Hartsfield-Jackson, the U.S. airport that had been at the top of the list for more than two decades, has slipped to the second place, with about 42.92 million passengers through the year. Besides Baiyun in Guangzhou, the home base to China’s biggest carrier Southern Airlines Co., six other Chinese airports were also listed in the top 10 busiest based on passenger traffic, ACI data showed. The Chinese team consisted of Beijing Capital International, Shanghai’s Hongqiao International and airports in Chengdu in southwest China, Shenzhen, which is close to Hong Kong, Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in southwest China, and Xi’an, a city in northwest China. “The impact of the COVID-19 on global passenger traffic pandemic brought aviation to a virtual standstill in 2020 and we continue to face an existential threat,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said in the statement. The change in the ranking is mainly brought by slashed air travel by airlines in Europe and the United States, as severe pandemic situation and lockdowns have chopped off a large amount of travel demand and hence flights.
$31,750 fine proposed against a passenger on a January 4, 2021 jetBlue Airlines flight from Haiti to Boston, MA$16,750 fine proposed against another passenger on the same January 4, 2021 jetBlue Airlines flight from Haiti to Boston, MA$14,500 fine proposed against a passenger on a January 14, 2021, SkyWest Airlines flight from Yuma, AZ., to Dallas-Fort Worth, TX The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes civil penalties of $31,750, $16,750 and $14,500 against three passengers for allegedly interfering with and, in two cases, assaulting flight attendants who instructed them to obey cabin crew instruction and various federal regulations. The cases are as follows: $31,750 against a passenger on a Jan. 4, 2021 jetBlue Airlines flight from Haiti to Boston, Mass. The FAA alleges the passenger drank his personal alcohol, which jetBlue did not provide, and acted in a disruptive manner. The passenger yelled and waved his hands in an angry manner after flight attendants responded to a report from another passenger who complained about his behavior. The FAA further alleges this passenger grabbed the arms of two separate flight attendants during the flight, and the cabin crew needed to reseat surrounding passengers. The flight crew asked law enforcement to meet the aircraft at the arrival gate, and police escorted the passenger off the plane. $16,750 against another passenger on the same Jan. 4, 2021 jetBlue Airlines flight from Haiti to Boston, Mass. The FAA alleges the passenger was drinking his personal alcohol, which jetBlue did not provide, and acted in a disruptive manner. The passenger yelled, shouted obscenities, and made motions to strike a flight attendant when they arrived at his seat in response to a complaint from another passenger. The flight crew asked law enforcement to meet the aircraft at the arrival gate, and police escorted the passenger off the plane. $14,500 against a passenger on a Jan. 14, 2021, SkyWest Airlines flight from Yuma, Ariz., to Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. The FAA alleges the passenger during the flight drank multiple 50 ml bottles of his own alcohol, which the airline did not provide. The passenger repeatedly turned around and tried to touch a passenger behind him; as a result, flight attendants moved him to another seat. After he was moved, he continued to bother passengers around him and to leave his seat. At one point, two off-duty law enforcement officers had to physically wrestle him back into his seat, but the passenger again got up and started to walk to the front of the aircraft. A flight attendant yelled at him to sit back down, and the law enforcement officers sat in the row behind him. As a result of the passenger’s behavior, the captain requested priority handling from air traffic control and asked that law enforcement meet the aircraft at the arrival gate. Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft. Passengers are subject to civil penalties for such misconduct, which can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties. Additionally, federal law provides for criminal fines and imprisonment of passengers who interfere with the performance of a crewmember’s duties by assaulting or intimidating that crewmember. The FAA is strictly enforcing a zero-tolerance policy toward passengers who cause disturbances on flights, fail to obey flight crew instructions in violation of the FAA’s regulations, or engage in conduct proscribed by federal law. The passengers have 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency. The FAA does not identify individuals against whom it proposes civil penalties.
Consumer confidence is more important than ever since the pandemicCommunication between the UK travel industry and consumers is not strong enoughTravel industry bodies need to take a more proactive approach and opt to take a more public stance Industry bodies are not doing enough to ensure tour operators and travel agencies notify customers of their rights before booking. Equally, agencies who have underperformed in this regard have not been made accountable. As a result, the travel industry being called into question by BBC Watchdog will do little to reassure UK consumers’ confidence to travel in the near future. Watchdog’s ‘Package Holiday Pledge’ commitments allude to free amendments and cancelations to flights or holidays affected by COVID-19, in addition to the processing of refunds within 14-days. However, the initiative developed by Watchdog gives the impression that there is an industry-wide problem, which is not the case, with some agencies handling customer refunds, changes and cancelations well during the pandemic. Consumer confidence is more important than ever since the pandemic. According to UK COVID-19 Recovery survey, 46% of respondents were either ‘extremely’ or ‘quite’ concerned at the prospect of international travel, reflecting the public’s skepticism. The involvement of a third party like Watchdog is likely to cast the industry in a negative light during a pivotal time. The communication between the UK travel industry and consumers is not strong enough, with customers seeking other alternatives for assurances of where to book. Had industry bodies been more proactive in ensuring customers’ rights were communicated and dealt with effectively, it may not have come to this. Travel industry bodies need to take a more proactive approach and opt to take a more public stance on the matter, whether through television interviews or advertising. This type of promotion will alleviate some of the anxiety regarding package holiday booking. Tour operators and travel agencies can further support this sentiment via their advisory service and advertising, creating a consistent message.
TAP Air Portugal signs agreement with a provider of air-rail intermodal solutionsNew agreement expands airline’s network in Germany, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, and BelgiumTAP customers can book train tickets on high-speed trains, with rail companies included in partnership TAP Air Portugal and AccesRail, a provider of air-rail intermodal solutions, have signed an agreement that offers more destinations and flexibility for each. The partnership allows TAP’s customers to book high-speed train tickets in conjunction with their airfares in Europe. The new agreement with AccesRail allows TAP Air Portugal to expand and complement its network, bringing more benefits to its passengers, expanding the airline’s route network in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, and Belgium. It allows customers to book train tickets, on high-speed trains, with rail companies included in the partnership, when purchasing their air travel on TAP’s website, or through GDS distribution systems at travel agencies around the world. The rail connections make it faster to travel to the center of several European cities, as they are operated to and from central train stations, by major local rail transport operators, such as Deutsche Bahn, in Germany; Trenitalia, in Italy; Transpennine/GWR in the United Kingdom; SBB, Switzerland; OBB in Austria; and SNBC in the Netherlands and Belgium. Thus, the Portuguese airline now offers coverage to more cities, including cities not served by airports, giving passengers greater flexibility, convenience, and simplicity in choosing their travels. This new partnership also reinforces the potential of TAP’s hub in Lisbon, increasing its connectivity and profitability. According to the current context of the tourism sector, companies must reinvent themselves and look for new opportunities and new synergies, investing in their growth and ensuring their long-term sustainability. “We are very excited to be able to have the TAP Air Portugal brand be available to more people in Europe. With this landmark inter-modal partnership, a significant amount of Europeans can now buy an integrated and more sustainable product to come visit Portugal. Linking rail and air is fundamental to a sustainable future, and our partnership with Access Rail allows us to build the platform towards achieving that goal”, says Arik De, Chief Revenue & Network Officer at TAP. AccesRail, which has been operating in the market for more than 20 years, is the largest company in the intermodal travel sector, having as partners several airlines and companies operating high-speed trains in different countries.
It is imperative that the EC works with the airline industryIATA Travel Pass can help industry and governments manage and verify vaccination statusThe freedom to travel should not exclude those who are unable to be vaccinated The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is encouraged by the comments of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (EC), that the EU will grant unrestricted access to vaccinated travelers from the US. “This is a step in the right direction. It gives hope to people for so many reasons—to travel, to reunite with loved ones, to develop business opportunities or to get back to work. To fulfil that hope, details of the EC’s intentions are essential. To be fully prepared, it is imperative that the EC works with the industry so that airlines can plan within the public health benchmarks and timelines that will enable unconditional travel for those vaccinated, not just from the US but from all countries using vaccines that are approved by the European Medicines Association. Equally critical will be clear, simple and secure digital processes for vaccination certificates. The IATA Travel Pass can help industry and governments manage and verify vaccination status, as it does with testing certificates. But we are still awaiting the development of globally recognized standards for digital vaccine certificates. As a first step, it is vital that the EU accelerates adoption of the European Green Certificate. President von der Leyen’s comments should add urgency to this work,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. While IATA welcomes President von der Leyen’s comments, the freedom to travel should not exclude those who are unable to be vaccinated. The presentation of negative COVID-19 test results should also facilitate travel. Central to this is acceptance by EU governments of rapid antigen tests that the Commission has approved for use and which fulfil the critical criteria of effective, convenient and affordable. “The freedom to travel must not be restricted to only those who have access to vaccinations. Vaccines are not the only way to safely re-open borders. Government risk-models should also include COVID-19 testing,” said Walsh.
Kenya Airways and Congo Airways to share African air routesThe agreement was signed late last weekKenya Airways customers now can access Congolese capital of Kinshasa directly from Nairobi Aiming to expand its flights to more African cities, Kenya Airways had partnered with Congo Airways to cover more routes and destinations in Africa through codesharing agreement. The deal to share African air routes was made at the time that the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) then held bilateral talks with President Félix Tshisekedi last week. The agreement, which was signed late last week will make it easier for the Kenya Airways customers to access the Congolese capital of Kinshasa directly from Nairobi then fly to other African and international routes jointly. Under such arrangement, Kenya Airways will be able to sell more seats sharing with Congo Airways, then expand its wings to cover more flight networks in Africa and outside the African continent, while offering their network coverage and markets in countries they operate. The partnership agreement was signed by Kenya Airways Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Allan Kilavuka and the Congo Airways CEO Mr. Desire Balazire Bantu, the statement from Nairobi said. The agreement was signed in Kinshasa on the last day of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s three-day state visit of Congo and which observed the two African airlines partner in aircraft maintenance other than codesharing. The two airlines had agreed to cooperate on training and sharing of excess passengers and cargo. After resuming international fights last year after six months of COVID-19 travel restrictions, Kenya Airways cancelled its flights covering several cities in Africa. Kenya Airways mostly fly tourists booked to visit the East African Community (EAC) member states of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo. The airline flies international flights connecting Nairobi to key African cities while providing on transit connections to Europe, Middle East and South East Asia.
Another milestone for Swoop as the airline continues its recovery effortsSwoop reintroduction of its ultra-low fare to WinnipegSwoop connects Winnipeg with Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport, Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) and Kelowna International Airport Today, Swoop marked its return to Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG). The airline’s reintroduction of its ultra-low fares now connects Winnipeg with Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport (YHM) and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), with operations to Kelowna International Airport (YLW) set to begin in June. “We are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to Manitoba through our return to Winnipeg,” said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. “Our affordable fares are now available to those travelling for essential reasons and Swoop will be here to support the economic recovery of the region and connect Manitobans to their family and friends when the time comes.” Today’s announcement marks another milestone for Swoop as the airline continues its recovery efforts in conjunction with partners like Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to bring affordable and accessible air travel to all Canadians. The airline remains optimistic that as Canada continues its vaccine rollout, a safe restart of domestic air travel is on the horizon. “We are pleased to welcome Swoop back to Winnipeg as we continue to plan for the safe return of domestic travel as vaccination levels increase across the country,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Swoop’s return is an important milestone in our plan to rebuild the region’s connectivity and provides a low-cost option for essential travel today while helping to drive Manitoba’s economic and social recovery when the time is right for further travel.”
Alaska Airlines notified Senator Lora Reinbold that she is not permitted to fly with the carrierReinbod refused to wear a mask on boardReinbold had been forced to take a ferry and car trip to Juneau instead Alaska Airlines announced that it had banned Alaska State Senator Lora Reinbold from boarding its aircraft for refusing to comply with its COVID-19 mask policy. “We have notified Senator Lora Reinbold that she is not permitted to fly with us for her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy,” said a spokesman for Alaska Airlines, noting that United States law “requires all guests to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times during travel, including throughout the flight, during boarding and deplaning.” Reinbold was forced to make a ferry and road journey to the state’s capital city, Juneau, after Alaska Airlines would not let her fly for refusing to wear a mask. Following the ban, Reinbold, who has been an anti-mask crusader for the past year, complained that she had been forced to take a “sizeable” ferry and car trip to Juneau instead, where state senators are required to vote in person on the Senate floor. Claiming to have “a new appreciation for the marine ferry system,” Reinbold wrote in her Facebook post that the “monopoly in air transport to Juneau” needs to be “reviewed.” Many social media users mocked Reinbold and thanked the airline for banning her. “Thank You for protecting us. You can also read that as U.S., if you prefer.” “Great Job & Thank you @AlaskaAir you’re simply the best!” “Thank you @AlaskaAir for putting your passengers and employees first. Also, could you please make the ban permanent?” “Given how Alaska works, this is a bit like being banned from cars,” observed one user, while others suggested Reinbold take a husky sled to Juneau. It is currently unknown, how long Reinbold’s Alaska Airlines ban will last.
IATA Travel Pass allows guests to digitally store and manage their health-related certifications required for international travelThe IATA Travel pass combines the verification of health information in a single digital appPegasus aims to help guests to have a faster and secure travel experience Turkish low-cost carrier, Pegasus Airlines, has signed an agreement for the IATA Travel Pass, a mobile application developed by The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and which allows guests to digitally store and manage their health-related certifications required for international travel, such as their COVID-19 test results. Pegasus Airlines is one of the first airlines in the world, and the first carrier in Turkey, to pilot the IATA Travel Pass. Pegasus aims to help guests to have a faster and secure travel experience in terms of the country entry requirements for international travel that have been frequently changing during the pandemic. Information on test centers, test results and flight information can be managed digitally through the app. The IATA Travel pass combines the verification of health information in a single digital app, whilst allowing guests to securely and easily verify that they meet the COVID-19 related country entry requirements that have been changing throughout the pandemic. Within the scope of the application, that has been designed to protect the privacy of its users due to the sensitive nature of health-related data, the data is stored on the mobile phones of the guests instead of any central database. Thus, guests have full control over the sharing of their personal information. The IATA Travel Pass app enables guests to create a secure digital version of their passport on their mobile phones and then enter their flight information to find the health requirements of the country they are travelling to. Guests who are required to take a test before they travel can access information on authorized test centers, and securely receive their results via the app. When guests upload their COVID-19 test results to the app and match this information with the digital passport they have created, the app verifies that the result meets the regulations of the destination country. If the necessary criteria are met, a digital verification certificate is sent to the guest’s phone. Thus, guests can securely continue their travels by presenting this verification certificate at the airport or by sharing it with the airline digitally prior to travelling. As the first implementer of the IATA Travel Pass in Turkey, Pegasus Airlines is working with Hitit, one of the world’s leading global providers of airline applications, to realize the integration. Pegasus Airlines is aiming to enable guests to travel in the most safe and healthy way possible by simplifying the health-related barriers for international flights with new implementations that are being planned for the upcoming period.
Service to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire via Accra will commence on 16 June 2021Abidjan is fourth new destination in Africa announced by Qatar Airways since the start of the pandemicThe Abidjan service will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner Qatar Airways is pleased to announce it will operate three weekly flights to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire via Accra from 16 June 2021 becoming the fourth new destination in Africa announced by the national carrier of the State of Qatar since the start of the pandemic. The Abidjan service will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to be launching flights to Abidjan, our fourth new destination in Africa since the start of the pandemic. At Qatar Airways, we remain committed to the African market, expanding our network across the continent and offering seamless connectivity to the largest network of destinations across Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North America. We are thankful to the Côte d’Ivoire Government for their support to launch these flights, providing an opportunity to reunite family and friends with their loved ones across the globe. We look forward to working closely with our partners in Côte d’Ivoire to steadily grow this route and support the recovery of tourism and trade in the region.” The global COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry and, despite this, Qatar Airways never ceased operations and worked diligently to take people home safely and reliably throughout the crisis. The airline has also added seven new destinations in the past 12 months including San Francisco and Seattle in the US, Abuja, Accra and Luanda in Africa, and Brisbane and Cebu in Asia Pacific. The airline also recently announced that it will resume services to Khartoum, Sudan, with four weekly flights starting 11 May 2021. The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 130 destinations with plans to increase to more than 1,200 weekly flight to over 140 destinations by end of July 2021. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to travel when they want to. Qatar Airways also offers strong connectivity to Asia-Pacific with destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Manila among many others. Flight Schedule Monday, Wednesday & Friday: Doha (DOH) to Abidjan (ABJ) QR1423 departs: 02:20 arrives: 09:10 Abidjan (ABJ) to Doha (DOH) QR1424 departs: 17:20 arrives: 06:10 +1
Airbus Canada teams up with YMX Aérocité internationale de MirabelThis will allow Airbus Canada to contribute to meeting the Government’s goal of vaccinating QuebecersVaccination center will be ready to welcome workers, their families and the local population from the end of May Airbus Canada teamed up with several companies in the Mirabel region and YMX Aérocité internationale de Mirabel over the past few weeks to propose a vaccination hub for their workers, their families and the local population. Today, the government of Quebec announced that Airbus Canada, with the support of its partners and the Agency for Health and Social Services Laurentides, will proceed to set up a vaccination hub on its premises in Mirabel. This will allow Airbus Canada and its partners to contribute to meeting the Government’s goal of vaccinating Quebecers. More than ten companies, in addition to Airbus Canada, have joined this collective initiative, representing a potential of over 20,000 people. “We have heard the clear message from the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, and the Health Minister, Christian Dubé. We wanted to offer a site that can bring several local companies together to support the vaccination effort in the province,” said CEO of Airbus Canada, Philippe Balducchi. “It is by joining forces that we will together win the fight against COVID-19”. The Airbus & [email protected] vaccination hub will be ready to welcome its workers, their families and the local population from the end of May for a period of around 90 days. Here are the companies that have announced their participation: CargojetNolinor AviationDRAKKAR Aerospace & GroundTransportationPratt & Whitney CanadaGroup RobertL3HarrisSTELIA Aéronautique Canada Inc.Mecachrome CanadaSTELIA Aéronautique St-Laurent Inc.Mirabel Chamber of Commerce andIndustry (including several member companies)YMX Aérocité de Mirabel
Today, Swoop marked its return to Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG). The airline’s reintroduction of its ultra-low fares now connects Winnipeg with Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport (YHM) and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), with operations to Kelowna International Airport (YLW) set to begin in June.Today’s announcement marks another milestone for Swoop as the airline continues its recovery efforts in conjunction with partners like Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to bring affordable and accessible air travel to all Canadians. The airline remains optimistic that as Canada continues its vaccine rollout, a safe restart of domestic air travel is on the horizon. “We are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to Manitoba through our return to Winnipeg,” said Shane Workman, Head of Flight Operations, Swoop. “Our affordable fares are now available to those travelling for essential reasons and Swoop will be here to support the economic recovery of the region and connect Manitobans to their family and friends when the time comes.” “We are pleased to welcome Swoop back to Winnipeg as we continue to plan for the safe return of domestic travel as vaccination levels increase across the country,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Swoop’s return is an important milestone in our plan to rebuild the region’s connectivity and provides a low-cost option for essential travel today while helping to drive Manitoba’s economic and social recovery when the time is right for further travel.” For flights from Winnipeg and to learn more about Swoop visit FlySwoop.com or connect with Swoop on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. About Swoop: Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire. Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Flyswoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight. SOURCE Swoop
Aeromexico to acquire twenty-four new Boeing 737 aircraft, including B737-8 and B737-9 MAXAeromexico adds four 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to fleetThese transactions represent a milestone in Aeromexico’s transformation for the upcoming years Aeromexico has reached agreement to increase its fleet with twenty-four (24) new Boeing 737 aircraft, including B737-8 and B737-9 MAX, and four (4) 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft as part of the airline’s restructured agreements with the manufacturer and certain lessors to incorporate new aircraft. Other suppliers and financial entities also participated in these transactions, resulting in a comprehensive deal that offers multiple benefits to the carrier. The addition of the first aircraft is scheduled for this year, with nine (9) offering service beginning this summer season, and the rest arriving in the second half of 2021 and during 2022. These transactions represent a milestone in Aeromexico‘s transformation for the upcoming years, and their economic terms are highly competitive compared to current market levels. These transactions make it possible for Aeromexico to modify long-term maintenance contracts and reduce leasing costs of eighteen (18) other aircraft that are part of the current fleet. Aeromexico estimates that reaching this comprehensive agreement will lead to total savings of approximately 2 billion dollars. Thanks to the savings, the Company can offer even more competitive fares, guaranteeing the best travel experience for customers in state-of-the-art aircraft with on-ground and in-flight services that only Aeromexico offers. The comprehensive agreements are subject to the approval of the United States Court for the Southern District of New York, in charge of Aeromexico’s Chapter 11 voluntary financial restructuring process.
As travel restarts, travelers need accurate COVID-19-related informationIATA Travel Pass initiative helps verify the authenticity of test information presented by travelersThe trial will be conducted on flights out of Addis Ababa to Washington DC and Toronto and on flights out of London and Toronto to Addis Ababa Ethiopian Airlines Group has become the first African airline to conduct trial of IATA Travel Pass, a digital travel mobile app to enhance efficiency in testing or vaccine verifications. As travel restarts, travelers need accurate COVID-19-related information like testing and vaccine requirements which vary among countries. The IATA Travel Pass initiative helps verify the authenticity of test information presented by travelers which is essential for ensuring the safety of passengers while complying with entry requirements of countries. The trial will be conducted on flights out of Addis Ababa to Washington DC and Toronto as well as on flights out of London and Toronto to Addis Ababa, effective 25 April 2021. Ethiopian has gone digital in all of its operations to avoid physical contact and combat the spread of the pandemic and now, embarks on this initiative which will allow passengers to relish unparalleled flight experience. Regarding the trial of the IATA travel pass, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO ofEthiopian Airlines said “Digital technology is vital to solve many of the problems that arise from the pandemic. We are glad that we are offering new digital opportunities to our passengers so as to fully and safely restart air travel. Our customers will enjoy efficient, contactless and safer travel experience with their travel pass digital passport. As a safety first airline, we have become the first African airline to trailIATA’s travel pass initiative to facilitate travel. The new initiative will increase travelers’ confidence in travel, encourages governments to reopen their borders and expedites industry restart.’’ Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security said, “Ethiopian Airlines is once again showing its leadership position in Africa becoming the first carrier to implement a live trial of IATA Travel Pass. The trial will help build confidence among governments and travelers that digital health apps can safely, securely and conveniently help restart aviation. The app gives travelers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel. And for governments complete assurance in the identity of the passenger and the authenticity of the travel credentials being presented. We urge Governments in Africa to accelerate the acceptance of digital health credentials for travel across the continent.” The Travel Pass will help create a digital passport, receive test and vaccination certificates and verify that they are sufficient for their route, and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel. The digital travel app will also avoid fraudulent documentation and make air travel more convenient.
Canada halts direct passenger air traffic from India and PakistanThe ban is implemented as more passengers arrive in Canada with positive COVID-19 test results from two South Asian countriesCanada to suspend non-essential passenger flights from countries with high rates of COVID-19 variants infections Canadian government officials announced a complete 30-day ban on all passenger flights from India and Pakistan as COVID-19 cases continue surging in the two countries. “Given the higher number of cases of COVID-19 detected in air passengers arriving in Canada from India and Pakistan, Transport Canada is issuing a notice to airmen, or NOTAM, to halt direct passenger air traffic from those countries,” said Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra at a joint press conference with other Canadian ministers. The minister said the ban is implemented as more passengers arrive in Canada with positive test results from those two South Asian countries. If travelers departing from those two countries take an indirect route home, they’ll be required to show a negative PCR test at their last point of departure. Once they arrive in Canada, they’ll follow the standard protocols, unless exempt, including taking another test and booking a stay at a designated government hotel while they await their results. Also, the House of Commons passed a motion to have Canada’s government immediately suspend non-essential passenger flights from countries with high rates of COVID-19 variants infections. Earlier, in a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, both Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Quebec Premier Francois Legault called on the Trudeau government to cut the number of international flights arriving in Canada and impose greater restrictions at the Canada-U.S. land border.
Many EU regional airports have found themselves in serious economic difficultiesIntra-European air traffic is down by 54% in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemicEuropean citizens rely on regional airports for a plethora of reasons The European Committee of the Region’s (CoR) commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) adopted two draft opinions during its meeting on 23 April. The opinions cover the opportunities and challenges faced by regional airports and the smart mobility strategy of the EU. COTER members also appointed rapporteurs for three own-initiative opinions and the meeting concluded with the presentation of a study on the application of the partnership principle in cohesion policy programming. With Intra-European air traffic down by 54% in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the pandemic, many regional airports have found themselves in serious economic difficulties. The importance of regional airports cannot be overstated, as European citizens rely on regional airports for a plethora of reasons, ranging from employment and their livelihood to connectivity to other regions. Connectivity also plays a major role in the opinion focusing on the smart mobility strategy of the EU which seeks to lay the foundations for achieving the EU’s green and digital transformation objectives within the European transport sector. The first draft opinion adopted by the commission is titled The future of regional airports – opportunities and challenges. The rapporteur, Wladyslaw Ortyl (PL/ECR), president of the Podkarpackie region, said: “Regional airports play a crucial role for the territorial and economic cohesion of the EU – they provide connectivity for the regions they serve and are vital for economic growth. Without their presence, many companies would not invest in non-capital regions. The tourism sector also depends heavily on them. We need a more flexible state aid system to support the recovery of regional airports during and after the pandemic. In the opinion I prepared I also underline that the majority of European regional airports require assistance to be able to survive in the light of the current crisis.” The second adopted draft opinion is on the sustainable and smart mobility strategy of the EU. Robert van Asten (NL/Renew Europe), Alderman of the municipality of The Hague and rapporteur of the draft opinion, said: “Local and regional authorities play a crucial role in the mobility transition linking the EU Green Deal and digital transition for a more sustainable and smarter mobility. The social and inclusive aspects are key components in my report, as the mobility transition also requires a behavioural change in which the user is central. The EU can help us better link connectivity, accessibility, and health, not just by financing, but also by ensuring standardization and harmonization of EU rules. We also need to take the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans of the European Commission into account which can be an effective instrument for cooperation between different layers of government, but only if they are sufficiently flexible and match the challenges faced by cities and regions.” The two draft opinions will be up for final discussion and adoption during the CoR’s Plenary session from 30 June to 2 July of this year.
SkyWest received half of the $250 million on April 23, 202SkyWest expects to receive the remaining funding during the second quarter of 2021Funds received under Payroll Support Program will be used to pay for wages, salaries and benefits of SkyWest Airlines employees SkyWest, Inc. today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary SkyWest Airlines has entered into a Payroll Support Program 3 Agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department to receive a total of approximately $250 million under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. SkyWest received half of the $250 million on April 23, 2021 and expects to receive the remaining funding during the second quarter of 2021. In consideration for the funding, approximately $45 million will be in the form of a ten-year, low interest unsecured term loan, and SkyWest will issue to the U.S. Treasury Department warrants to purchase approximately 78,317 shares of SkyWest common stock at a strike price of $57.47. The funds received under this Payroll Support Program will be used to pay for the wages, salaries and benefits of thousands of SkyWest Airlines employees. This Program includes certain restrictions similar to the first two Payroll Support Programs, including limitations on involuntary terminations and furloughs through September 30, 2021, restrictions on the payment of dividends and the repurchase of shares through September 30, 2022, and certain limitations on executive compensation through April 1, 2023. Additionally, SkyWest also announced it received an additional $35 million payroll support funding on April 23, 2021 from Treasury under the Payroll Support Program Extension agreement (“PSP 2”). In consideration for the additional funding under PSP 2, approximately $10 million will be in the form of a ten-year low interest unsecured term loan, and SkyWest will issue to Treasury warrants to purchase approximately 25,958 shares of SkyWest common stock at a strike price of $40.41.
It has been agreed on in principle to restore full-fledged air services between the Russian Federation and the Arab Republic of EgyptScheduled air service between Moscow and Cairo was suspended again in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemicConversation between the two presidents concerned all issues of bilateral relations, primarily related to cooperation in the area of tourism The official representative of the office of the head of the Egyptian state announced today that the presidents of Egypt and Russia agreed on the full resumption of flights between the two countries, including Egypt’s resorts areas. According to Egyptian official, “the conversation between the two leaders concerned all issues of bilateral relations, primarily related to cooperation in the area of tourism.” “An agreement was reached on the resumption of flights in full between the airports of the two countries, including Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh,” the official said. “It was agreed on that the appropriate services will hammer out the practical parameters for the resumption of flights from Russia to the towns of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh,” the Kremlin’s press service stated after the phone conversation between the two presidents. “In view of the conclusion of the joint work to ensure high aviation safety standards at Egyptian airports, it has been agreed on in principle to restore full-fledged air services between the Russian Federation and the Arab Republic of Egypt, which is in line with the friendly nature of the relations between the two countries and peoples,” the Kremlin added. Scheduled air service between Moscow and Cairo had resumed in January 2018 following a shutdown due to a Russian plane disaster in November 2015. However, it was suspended again in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Turkish Airlines A330-300 aircraft from Istanbul carrying 171 passengers was greeted by a traditional water salute in Seychelles.Seychelles Tourism is focusing on the eastern and central Europe block.The airline will bring travelers to the islands twice weekly, Tuesdays and Fridays. Restarting its COVID-safe international passenger services, Turkish Airlines A330-300 aircraft from Istanbul carrying 171 passengers was greeted by a traditional water salute upon arrival at the Indian Ocean destination. Contributing to the revival of the local tourism industry, the airline connects Seychelles with the Central and Eastern Europe regions, which has become paramount to the destination as many of its traditional markets remain under lockdown. Present at the airport for the arrival of the Turkish Airlines flight, the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mrs. Sherin Francis, expressed her excitement to see the carrier’s colors back in Seychelles.
Skytrax audit evaluates airlines’ safety protocolsSkytrax conducts world’s only assessment and certification of COVID-19 airline health and safety measuresTAP has adjusted its routines and implemented new procedures to ensure healthy and safe environment for all customers TAP Air Portugal has received a four-star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, in recognition of its Clean&Safe program, ensuring the safest travel environment for its customers, following a global audit conducted by Skytrax, the international air transport rating agency. This audit evaluates airlines’ safety protocols, primarily the effectiveness and consistency of safety and hygiene measures implemented to protect costumers and staff from COVID-19. These measures include the cleaning and disinfection procedures at the airport and on-board aircraft, special signage, physical distancing recommendations, wearing of masks, and provision of hand sanitizer. Skytrax currently conducts the world’s only assessment and certification of COVID-19-related airline health and safety measures that are based on both professional and scientific investigations on standards being provided by airlines. The inspection and analysis of TAP COVID-19 hygiene and safety protocols include references to ICAO, EASA, IATA, and ECDC COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety guidelines, with ATP testing to verify cleanliness. Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, TAP has adjusted its routines and implemented new procedures to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all customers during their travels. Measures including deeper cleaning and disinfection, simplified onboard service and new measures at the airport combined with an already sterile and safe onboard environment given the existing air quality and cabin configuration.