Monthly Archives: May 2021

Flights from Turkestan to Bishkek, a Kazakhstan – Kyrgyzstan connection Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Turkestan to Bishkek, a Kazakhstan – Kyrgyzstan connection 1

FlyArystan launches new international route to KyrgyzstanFlyArystan to fly from Kazakhstan to Bishkek twice a weekFlyArystan to use Airbus A-320 aircraft on new route

The the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan announced that Kazakhstan’s low-cost carrier FlyArystan has inaugurated a new international route with launch of Turkestan to Bishkek flights.
FlyArystan will fly Turkestan, Kazakhstan-Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan flight twice a week using the Airbus A-320 aircraft.

The first flight’s average seat occupancy has been estimated at over 60% on May 31.
The objective of the new route is to link the cultural capital of the Turkic world – the city of Turkestan as a tourism development center on the Great Silk Road with foreign countries, Kazakh aviation officials said.
The flights will be performed in strict accordance with sanitary epidemiological rules and according to the schedule on the airline’s website.

FlyArystan is a low-cost airline based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is the wholly owned low cost subsidiary of Air Astana, the country’s leading airline. FlyArystan’s foundation was approved by Air Astana’s joint shareholders, Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and BAE Systems PLC, and was endorsed by Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, on 2 November 2018. The company slogan is Eurasia’s Low Fares Airline.

Slovakia updates its post-entry quarantine requirements for travelers Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Slovakia updates its post-entry quarantine requirements for travelers 2

Green color assigned to EU countries and countries with high vaccination rate and favorable epidemiological situationsRed color assigned to the countries with unfavorable epidemiological situationsBlack color assigned to the countries to which the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry doesn’t recommend that people should travel

Slovakian officials announced that as of 6am today, quarantine requirements for travelers entering Slovakia have changed in line with a ‘travel traffic lights’ scheme, as stipulated in a Public Health Authority (UVZ) regulation.
Countries have been assigned colors based on their levels of infection risk – green, including European Union countries and countries with high vaccination rate and favorable epidemiological situations; red – i.e. countries with unfavorable epidemiological situations; and black – countries to which the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry doesn’t recommend that people should travel.

Upon arriving from a green country, travelers must undergo 14 days of quarantine, which can be eliminated by a negative PCR test taken on arrival. Travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, who have overcome the disease within the past 180 days and children up to 18 years are exempted from mandatory self-isolation.
Travelers coming from a red country will have to undergo 14 days of quarantine that can be ended by a negative PCR test, but not earlier than on the eighth day.
Travelers entering from a black country will have to stay in quarantine for 14 days regardless of the result of the test.

In addition to EU countries, the list of green countries includes Australia, China, Greenland, Iceland, Israel, Macao, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
Red countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mongolia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, the USA and Uzbekistan.
All other countries found neither on the green, nor the red list, have been defined as black. These countries have been affected by dangerous coronavirus variants or are linked with unavailable, non-credible or poor-quality data.

Russia resumes Moscow to London flights on June 2 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Russia resumes Moscow to London flights on June 2 3

Russian Federation relaunches UK air connectionRegular flights between Moscow and London will resumed from June 2Russia suspended regular air service with the United Kingdom in December 2020

Russia’s national anti-coronavirus crisis center announced today that the Russian Federation will resume regular scheduled air service with the United Kingdom starting on June 2, 2021.
“In view of the improved epidemiological situation in the United Kingdom, the crisis center has taken a decision not to extend the suspension of air service. Regular flights between Moscow and London will resumed from June 2. Three flights a week will be made on a reciprocal basis,” Russian regulators said.

Russia suspended regular air service with the United Kingdom in December 2020 due to a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases in that country.
Russia also has decided to resume a limited number of regular flights to other countries, including Austria, Hungary, Lebanon and Croatia.
Russian officials also announced that Turkey and Tanzania flight bans will be kept in place until June 21.

KATA to promote outbound tourism to EAC countries Aviation Feature, Aviation News

KATA to promote outbound tourism to EAC countries 4

This KATA led initiative is part of the association’s strategic role within the African Continental Free Trade AreaKenya and Tanzania are some of the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan AfricaIn the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, there have been calls for African countries to focus on intra-African travel

On Thursday 27th May 2021, the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) CEO, Agnes Mucuha led a delegation of Kenya’s travel and tourism industry representatives to a meeting with High Commissioner of Tanzania to Kenya Dr. John Simbachawene at the Tanzania High Commission in Nairobi to discuss strategies for mutual collaboration and partnership with Tanzania in promoting outbound tourism to Tanzania.
This strategic meeting comes at a time when KATA has shifted its focus to promotion of outbound tourism to EAC countries in bid to help its members expand their horizon of business as well as well as improving bilateral ties with the countries to get more tourists to Kenya and simultaneously send tourists from Kenya to those destinations.

This KATA led initiative is part of the association’s strategic role within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to promote outbound travel and tourism operations within the East African Community (EAC) member states with an intent to develop a model or cross-border tourism.
In March 2018, African leaders signed three separate agreements: the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; the Kigali Declaration; and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons. The three agreements work with the aim of reducing bureaucracy, harmonising regulations and avoiding protectionism in several sectors including aviation, travel, tourism and hospitality.
The association invited stakeholders from Kenya Association of Tour Operators, East African Tourism Platform, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre – East Africa and other stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism sector to discuss how to strengthen the trade-in travel and tourism services between the two countries.

The meeting brought to the fore issues that need to be tackled such as the current trade barriers between Kenya and Tanzania that affects travel and tourism industry, handover of tourists at boarder points, increased costs of safaris, work permit challenges for tour drivers, extra fees for vehicle crossing to Tanzania, and limitations of access points into Tanzania. The trade barriers in travel and tourism are predicated upon the 1985 agreement that was signed by both states with a view of creating a platform for the flow of tourists between the two states. The agreement was driven by a market protectionism mind-set that is no longer viable today, and there was failure to adopt the EAC common market protocol that promotes mutual collaboration and cooperation.

Cabo Verde Airlines resumes flights on June 18 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Cabo Verde Airlines resumes flights on June 18 5

The resumption will be gradual with two aircraftsNew reservation system is available since May 31New passenger service system will make the company more agile

Cabo Verde Airlines will officially restart its operations on June 18 with a weekly flight on Fridays between Sal Island and Lisbon. The resumption will be gradual, connecting the archipelago through the hub in Sal.
From June 28 2021 until March 28 2022, Cabo Verde Airlines will make four weekly flights between Praia/Sal and Lisbon on Fridays and Mondays; a weekly flight to and from Sal/Praia/Boston on Tuesdays with return on Wednesdays and a weekly flight to and from Sal/São Vicente/Paris on Saturdays with return on Sundays.

Cabo Verde Airlines also informs that, depending on the rate of vaccination and the unblocking of international borders, it expects to launch new frequencies and additional destinations, if pandemic conditions will permit it.
The airline informs that it has a new passenger service system, named HITIT, a modern platform with an integrated sales, operations and accounting solution, a new technology that will increase the efficiency and reliability of customer service.
Erlendur Svavarsson, CEO of Cabo Verde Airlines says, “We are excited that we can finally resuscitate the airline from the ashes of the pandemic. The beaches of Sal, the unique restaurants and the warm and hospitable cape verdean people will welcome guests back to a destination truly different from all others. This is just the beginning, and we are looking forward to creating a better future”, he adds.

Note that Cabo Verde Airlines has been stopped since March 2020, took advantage of this forced stop of the pandemic to reorganize itself, train its teams and implement a new sales system that allows it to automatically notify passengers of all flights in progress, a huge investment in customer experience that is expected to be fruitful to make the company more agile and reliable.
The company will also have a rebate program for unpaid flights vouchers, which allows travel to be scheduled up to three years after the issue, a program that aims to compensate all passengers for canceled flights, as a result of the sudden pandemic that has plagued all airlines.

Lufthansa reopens its First Class Lounge at Frankfurt Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa reopens its First Class Lounge at Frankfurt Airport 6

Lufthansa’s First Class Lounge in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport reopens on June 1At present, food and beverage consumption is only permitted outside of the loungePopular “á la carte” service will also be resumed as soon as official regulations allow

As summer approaches, the desire to travel continues to grow: Declining infection rates and the easing of travel restrictions are making more people want to fly again. In response to the rising booking figures, Lufthansa is using this as an opportunity to reopen the Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport starting on 1 June.
Relaxing while waiting for departure

The lounge offers an exclusive and comfortable place to relax, while travelers are waiting for their departure. The range of products offered in the lounges have been adjusted to meet current regulations. At present, food and beverage consumption is only permitted outside of the lounge. A take-away offer is available in the First Class Lounge, with a good selection of food and beverages. The popular “á la carte” service will also be resumed as soon as official regulations allow us to do so.
First Class guests can now also enjoy the usual personal service. The First Class Lounge is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Lufthansa lounges open their doors to guests

Lufthansa guests can already access some of the lounges in Germany as well as abroad, such as New York. In the upcoming weeks, additional Lufthansa lounges will gradually be re-opening for customers. Soon, the First Class Terminal and the associated limousine service will also be made available again. A variety of measures, such as maintaining distance and wearing a mouth and nose covering, ensure that the lounge stay meets high safety and hygiene standards.  

EU states told to ease travel restrictions for vaccinated Europeans Aviation Feature, Aviation News

EU states told to ease travel restrictions for vaccinated Europeans 7

European Commission is proposing that Member States gradually ease travel measuresThe Commission also proposed an “emergency brake” system to border travelMember states would work together using the vaccine certificate system to make freedom of movement possible again

It is time for EU member countries to start relaxing their border restrictions for the citizens and residents of the block who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the European Commission said on Monday.
“As the epidemiological situation is improving and vaccination campaigns are speeding up all over the EU, the Commission is proposing that Member States gradually ease travel measures, including most importantly for the holders of the EU Digital COVID Certificate,” the European Commission announced today.

The Commission also proposed an “emergency brake” system to border travel should new variants of COVID-19 start to rise, which would quickly reintroduce restrictions “if the epidemiological situation deteriorates rapidly.”
The commission advised that those with a “vaccination certificate” – more commonly known as a “vaccine passport” – should be exempt from “travel-related testing or quarantine 14 days after having received the last dose.”
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders noted that the past several weeks “have brought a continuous downward trend in infection numbers, showing the success of the vaccination campaigns across the EU,” and expressed his hope that the member states would work together using the vaccine certificate system to make freedom of movement possible again.

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides also praised freedom of movement between states as one of the EU’s “most cherished rights,” adding, “We need coordinated and predictable approaches for our citizens that would offer clarity and avoid inconsistent requirements across Member States.”
Freedom of movement in the European Union allows residents in one member state to easily travel, work, and live in another state.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, over 234,000,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the European Union and European Economic Area, with Germany, France, Italy, and Spain receiving the most doses from manufacturers.

32,364,274 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the European Union and Economic Area since the start of the pandemic, with 720,358 deaths.

Flights from Almaty to Samarkand, A Kazakhstan – Uzbekistan connection Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Almaty to Samarkand, A Kazakhstan – Uzbekistan connection 8

Air Astana will launch a direct service from Almaty to the ancient city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan on 9th June 2021, with flights operated using Airbus A321 aircraft on Wednesdays and Sundays.On Wednesdays, the flight will depart from Almaty at 15.40 and arrive in Samarkand at 16.15, with the return flight departing at 17.45 and arriving in Almaty at 20.20. On Sundays, the flight will depart from Almaty at 11.20 and arrive in Samarkand at 11.55, with the return flight departing at 13.25 and arriving in Almaty at 16.00. All times local.Samarkand will become Air Astana’s second destination in Uzbekistan, with direct flights to Tashkent, the country’s capital, having been operated since 2010.
Samarkand is a city in Uzbekistan known for its mosques and mausoleums. It’s on the Silk Road, the ancient trade route linking China to the Mediterranean. Prominent landmarks include the Registan, a plaza bordered by 3 ornate, majolica-covered madrassas dating to the 15th and 17th centuries, and Gur-e-Amir, the towering tomb of Timur (Tamerlane), founder of the Timurid Empire.
Return airfares including fees, start from US$163 in economy class and from US$518 in business class. Tickets are available on the Air Astana website and at sales offices, as well as accredited travel agencies. Passengers are advised to familiarize themselves in advance with entry and transit requirements for travel between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan at www.airastana.com

Emirates Airline banks on Venice and Milan after India flights suspension puts EK in crisis Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Emirates Airline banks on Venice and Milan after India flights suspension puts EK in crisis 9

Emirates in rough waters over suspended flights to India flights, the main feeder and transit market for the Dubai based carrier. The airline may have contemplated government bailouts is the rumor.Emirates will resume flights between Dubai and Venice from 1 July According to HRH Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO of Emirates, these flights will Increase trade and tourism connectivity between the UAE and Italy.
The airline will also increase services to Milan from 8 to 10 weekly flights in July. This will comprise of a daily service on the Dubai-Milan-New York JFK route, and a 3-weekly return flights between Dubai and Milan. Together with Emirates’ 5 weekly flights to Rome and 3 weekly flights to Bologna, this will take the airline’s total services to Italy to 21 weekly flights to 4 cities in July. Emirates will serve Venice, Milan, Rome and Bologna with its modern and comfortable widebody Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Emirates’ expansion of flight services in Italy follows the start of “Covid-Tested flight”arrangements, which allow its passengers to travel to Italy without quarantine on arrival.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive said: “We welcome the Covid-Tested flight arrangements and would like to thank the Italian and UAE authorities for their ongoing efforts to ease and facilitate international travel. The UAE has a strong and longstanding relationship with Italy and the safe return of air connectivity will help boost mutual trade and tourism. As a global commercial hub, and home to people from more than 200 nations, Dubai and the UAE have spared no effort to keep communities safe from the pandemic – from our world-leading vaccination programme to our bio-safety protocols across all sectors including recreation and entertainment facilities, to schools, businesses and airports. We hope that more countries will consider similar arrangements to facilitate quarantine-free travel.”
Effective 2 June, Emirates customers travelling to Italy aged 2 years and above, are required to hold a negative COVID-19 PCR-RT or Rapid Antigen test result valid for 48 hours prior to departure. Travellers must also take a Rapid Antigen swab test on arrival in Italy, at their own cost. For more details on entry requirements to Italy, customers can check the travel requirements page on emirates.com.
With missing connectivity between Dubai and many Indian cities, Emirates is in a difficult position with such missing transit travel. India has been hit by a strain of COVID-19 infections, promoting Emirates to suspend operation to this country of more than 1 billion people until June 30.

Emirates remains focused on taking various steps to ease travel and has been a leader in introducing initiatives in cooperation with health authorities and organisations to protect the health of customers and to ensure their safety. Emirates introduced measures on the ground throughout all touchpoints and onboard to provide its passengers with the highest safety and hygiene standards at every step of the journey. The airline has also recently introduced contactless technologyto ease the customer journey through Dubai airport.
Knowing their safety and wellbeing is looked after, customers across all classes can enjoy more than 4,500 channels of entertainment on ice, the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment system, along with regionally inspired gourmet meals.
Emirates continues to lead the industry with innovative products and services that address traveller needs during a dynamic time. Recently the airline took its customer care initiatives further with even more generous and flexible booking policies, an extension of its multi-risk insurance cover, and helping loyal customers retain their miles and tier status.

US suspends air service agreement with Belarus following Ryanair plane hijacking Aviation Feature, Aviation News

US suspends air service agreement with Belarus following Ryanair plane hijacking 10

2019 U.S-Belarus Air Services Agreement suspendedFAA recommended US air carriers to “exercise extreme caution” when flying in Belarusian airspaceThe actions of the Belarusian government were condemned worldwide as state-sponsored terrorism and air piracy.

The White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement announcing that the United States of America will suspend an air service agreement with Belarus following the state-sponsored hijacking of Ryanair plane.
“The United States will suspend its discretionary application of the 2019 U.S-Belarus Air Services Agreement,” the statement said.

Yesterday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommended the US air carriers to “exercise extreme caution” when flying in the Belarusian airspace.
The agency, however, stopped short of banning air carriers from entering the airspace of Belarus.
On May 23, a Vilnius-bound Ryanair plane that took off from Athens was forced to land at Minsk International Airport after Belarusian authorities “reported” a fake bomb threat and scrambled A MiG-29 fighter jet to make sure the plane lands in Belarus.

Immediately upon forced landing, Belarusian security agents arrested opposition journalist Roman Protasevich, one of the co-founders of the Nexta Telegram channel, and his companion, Russian national Sofia Sapega, who were among the passengers of Ryanair flight.
Needless to say, no bomb was found inside the plane.
The actions of the Belarusian government were condemned worldwide as state-sponsored terrorism and air piracy.

India international travel ban continues Aviation Feature, Aviation News

India international travel ban continues 11

The India international travel ban has been extended for over another month until June 30, 2021.
Since the international travel ban, limited flights have been allowed into India under various schemes.The Vande Bharat Mission brought home stranded Indians from foreign destinations after the coronavirus struck shutting off borders.Air travel bubble agreements have been signed with 27 countries around the globe.

Initially, the international travel ban was implemented in India on March 23, 2020, when COVID-19 emerged around the globe.

Since then, limited flights have been allowed into the country under various schemes including Vande Bharat Mission flights and air travel bubble agreements. The Vande Bharat Mission was started to bring back stranded Indians from foreign destinations after suspension of regular international flights. The Indian Government launched the Mission, considered to be the world’s largest expatriation exercise.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulatory body of civil aviation in the country, issued a statement today, Friday, May 28, 2021, that cargo flights and those with special permission will be allowed to operate but regular scheduled commercial services will continue to be suspended through the end of next month in June.

Belavia cancels Belgrade, Budapest, Chisinau and Tallinn flights due to EU and Ukraine flight ban Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Belavia cancels Belgrade, Budapest, Chisinau and Tallinn flights due to EU and Ukraine flight ban 12

Belavia cancels its regular flights to Belgrade, SerbiaBelavia cancels its regular flights to Budapest, HungaryBelavia cancels its regular flights to Chisinau, Moldova

Troubled Belarusian national flag carrier Belavia announced on its website today that it has canceled its regular flights to Belgrade, Serbia, Budapest, Hungary and Chisinau, Moldova from May 29 through June 30 (for the time being) because it had been banned by the European Union and Ukraine from using their airspace.
“Due to the ban by EU and Ukrainian aviation authorities to use the airspace and the impossibility to perform flights, regular service to Belgrade, Budapest, Chisinau is suspended for the period from May 29, 2021, to June 30, 2021,” Belavia’s statement said.

Belavia also said that it is “calculating possible route variants for regular and charter flights affected by the introduced restrictions in order to determine their viability.”
The airline announced that in order to detour the airspace of several countries, regular flights to Istanbul and Larnaca would follow an altered schedule.
Belavia also canceled all flights to Tallinn, Estonia from May 28 through August 28.

On Monday, following Belarus state-sponsored hijacking of a Ryanair flight, EU leaders decided to block Belarusian airlines from landing at EU airports and flying over the EU, also advising European carriers to suspend flights in the country’s airspace.
A number of countries have already closed their airspace to the Belarusian air carrier, including the UK, France, Latvia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia.