Monthly Archives: November 2021

New flights from Bangkok to Phnom Penh on Bangkok Airways Aviation Feature, Aviation News

PG 931 flight was warmly welcomed by Cambodia’s distinguished guests which included H.E. Sao Wathana, Director of Phnom Penh International Airport (State Secretary) and Personal Advisor to H.E. Dr Minister (5th from right) and Mr. Mayoon Udom, Station Manager of Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited (4th from left). 
The resumed services between Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) are operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft, starting with four flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) and will be increased to a daily flight from 16 December 2021 – 26 March 2022. The outbound flight PG931 departs Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi International airport) at 08.50hrs. and arrives at Phnom Penh International Airport at 10.05hrs. The inbound flight PG932 leaves Phnom Penh International airport at 10.55hrs. and arrives in Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi International airport) at 12.10hrs. 
Bangkok Airways strictly follows precautionary measures against the COVID-19, including disinfecting and cleaning key areas such as check-in counters and passenger lounges. The airline’s precaution and prevention plans follow the standards and guidelines of the Department of Disease Control, the Ministry of Public Health, and The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).  

Russian tourists trapped in South Africa after new flight ban Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Russian government banned flights from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Swaziland, Tanzania and Hong Kong last week, in the wake of discovery of new COVID-19 Omicron variant.
By now, it is widely believed though, that Omicron strain of the coronavirus may have already been brought to Russia by tourists returning from Egypt, a claim that Russian health authorities deny.
In the meantime, hundreds of Russian holidaymakers have been trapped in South Africa, unable to return home due to an almost universal ban on flights out of the region.
According to Russian state-run news agency, up to 1,500 Russian citizens may still be in South Africa after Moscow abruptly halted all passenger flights to and from there over new COVID-19 strain fears.
Russia’s Consulate General in Cape Town said it was trying to work out some alternative options for the evacuation of the Russian citizens, possibly involving assistance from European and other foreign airlines. 
According to the consulate’s Telegram channel, up to 15 Russians will be able to fly home on a charter flight around December 1.
“According to early information, the repatriation flight with the support of Ethiopian Airlines will be carried out on December 3 on the Cape Town-Addis Ababa-Moscow route,” the consulate also advised. The airfare on this commercial flight will depend on the number of passengers booked.
According to some news sources, ‘several dozen’ Russian nationals have in recent days left South Africa for other countries on the continent, from where they can try to continue their journey back home.
Airlines that continue to fly from South Africa have increased their fares, due to surging demand, while European Union-based carriers deny boarding to non-EU citizens.

33 countries announce new travel bans and restrictions Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The newly discovered Omicron strain of the coronavirus has forced many states to urgently close their borders to some or all foreign arrivals.
In an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Omicron variant into their territories, 33 countries around the world have announced outright travel bans or enhanced travel restrictions of various degrees by now.
The degree of border control severity varies from country to country, with China, Israel, Morocco and Japan closing their borders entirely, while other states only tightening COVID-19 testing protocols at the border.
Complete Foreign Arrivals Bans
China – China already had stringent border controls in place, with only citizens and resident permit holders allowed into the country.
Israel – Israel banned foreigners from entering the country for 14 days. Israeli citizens will be able to come back to the country but will need to quarantine, even if fully vaccinated.
Japan – Japan closed its borders to non-citizens for one month, this includes foreign exchange students and those travelling for business.
Morocco – Morocco canceled all incoming flights for two weeks.

First new case of COVID-19 Omicron strain confirmed in Japan Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The government of Japan announced today that a man in his 30s, who tested positive for coronavirus at the Narita International Airport, upon his arrival from Namibia on Sunday, was indeed infected with the dreaded new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
This is the first officially confirmed case on the Omicron strain infection in the country.
According to the health ministry officials, the man had no symptoms when being at Narita International Airport but developed a fever on Monday, while two family members traveling with him have tested negative and are quarantined at a government-designated facility.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with cabinet members including Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto to discuss how the government will respond to the detection of the Omicron strain in Japan, which has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases.
Yesterday, Kishida announced that the government will in principle ban the entry of all foreign nationals. He pledged to act quickly on concerns over the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Ban on foreign arrivals started on Tuesday and will last for about one month, during which Japanese citizens and foreigners with resident status returning from high-risk areas are required to quarantine for up to 10 days in a government-designated facility.
Japan has already taken such stricter measures on people who have recently been to any of the nine African countries – Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Japan will also suspend the recent easing of entry restrictions beginning November 8, which has allowed vaccinated business travelers to have a shorter quarantine period and started to accept entry applications from students and technical interns on the condition that their host organization agrees to take the responsibility of monitoring their movement.
Starting on Wednesday, the country will also set its daily cap for arrivals at 3,500, down from 5,000. Returning Japanese citizens and foreign residents will be required to isolate for two weeks regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated.
Yesterday, 82 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded across Japan, a low figure being likely a result of a drop in testings over the weekend. The previous wave of infections caused by the Delta variant in summer saw a peak at more than 25,000 daily cases.

New flight from Doha to Tashkent on Qatar Airways Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Qatar Airways will add Tashkent, Uzbekistan to its global network with twice weekly flights. The first flight from Doha to Tashkent will take off on 17 January 2022, operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft, featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class.
The new service will enable passengers flying to and from Tashkent to enjoy seamless connectivity to over 140 destinations, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, India and the U.S., via Hamad International Airport in Doha.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We see tremendous growth potentials in Central Asia and this new service to Tashkent will serve to boost trade opportunities and attract tourists wanting to discover this beautiful destination. Passengers from Tashkent will now have access to more than 140 destinations when travelling with the World’s Best Airline via the World’s Best Airport, Hamad International Airport.”
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan lying at the core of the ancient Silk Road, will become Qatar Airways’ newest destination in 2022 and the latest addition to its network in Asia. It is the largest city in Central Asia, offering visitors panoramic views, varied cuisine and plenty of places to see and discover.
Flight Schedule
Doha – Tashkent (All times in local)
Monday and Friday
Doha (DOH) to Tashkent (TAS)         QR377            Departs: 18:55            Arrives: 00:30 +1
Tuesday and Saturday
Tashkent (TAS) to Doha (DOH)         QR378            Departs: 01:50            Arrives: 04:00

Airbus: New 100% sustainable-fuels emissions study shows early promise Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Initial findings from a world-first study of the impact of 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on both engines of a commercial jet have provided promising early results.
The ECLIF3 study, involving Airbus, Rolls-Royce, German research center DLR and SAF producer Neste, marks the first time 100% SAF has been measured simultaneously on both engines of a commercial passenger aircraft – an Airbus A350 aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
In-flight emissions tests and associated ground testing on the ECLIF3 program began earlier this year and have recently resumed. The interdisciplinary team, which also includes researchers from the National Research Council of Canada and The University of Manchester, plans to publish its results in academic journals towards the end of next year and 2023.
Findings from the study will support efforts currently underway at Airbus and Rolls-Royce to ensure the aviation sector is ready for the large-scale use of SAF as part of the wider initiative to decarbonize the industry. Aircraft are currently only allowed to operate on a 50% blend of SAF and conventional jet fuel, but both companies support the drive to certify 100% SAF use.
In April, the A350 flew three flights over the Mediterranean Sea pursued by a DLR Falcon chaser plane to compare in-flight emissions of both kerosene and Neste’s hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) sustainable fuel. The team also carried out compliance tests using 100% SAF and no operational issues were experienced.
In-flight emission tests using 100% SAF and a HEFA/Jet A-1 fuel blend resumed this month, while ground-based emissions testing to quantify the benefits of SAF on local air quality were also performed. The research team found SAF releases fewer particulates than conventional kerosene at all tested engine operating conditions, which points to the potential for reduced climate impact and improvement in air quality around airports.
In addition, SAF has lower density but higher energy content per kilogram of fuel compared to conventional kerosene, which brings some aircraft fuel-efficiency advantages due to lower fuel burn and less fuel mass to board to achieve the same mission. Detailed analysis by the team is on-going.
“Engines and fuel systems can be tested on the ground but the only way to gather the full set of emissions data necessary for this program to be successful is to fly an aircraft in real conditions,” said Steven Le Moing, New Energy Program Manager at Airbus. “In-flight testing of the A350 offers the advantage of characterizing direct and indirect engine emissions, including particulates from behind an aircraft at high altitude.”
Simon Burr, Rolls-Royce Director of Product Development and Technology, Civil Aerospace, said: “This research adds to tests we’ve already carried out on our engines, both on the ground and in the air, which have found no engineering obstacle to our engines running on 100% SAF. If we are to truly decarbonize long-haul air travel, then 100% SAF is a critical element and we are committed to supporting its certification for service.”
The DLR Falcon chaser aircraft is equipped with multiple probes to measure emissions at cruise level down to a distance of only 100 meters from the A350 and feed them into scientific instrumentation for analysis.
“SAF has been shown to have a significantly lower carbon footprint over its life cycle compared to conventional jet fuel and now we are seeing it is advantageous in reducing non-CO2 effects too,” said Markus Fischer, DLR’s Divisional Board Member for Aeronautics. “Tests such as these are continuing to develop our understanding of 100% SAF, its use in flight and we are seeing positive signs for its potential in climate mitigation. We look forward to studying the data from the second series of ECLIF3 flights, which restarted with a first chase flight above the Mediterranean earlier this month.”
In 2015, DLR performed the ECLIF1 campaign, investigating alternative fuels with its Falcon and A320 ATRA research aircraft. These investigations continued in 2018 with the ECLIF2 campaign which saw the A320 ATRA flying with a mixture of standard jet fuel and up to 50% HEFA. This research showed the advantageous emission performance of fuel mixtures up to 50% SAF and paved the way for the 100% SAF test flights for ECLIF3.

Airlines: The Best and The Worst Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Delta Airlines is named as the best US domestic airline, while Ana All Nippon is named the best international airline in the world, in new research.
The 5 best domestic airlines in the USA
RankAirlineArrivals on Time (July 2021)Complaints Jan-June 2021Staff Service (/5)Meals (/5)Seat Comfort (/5)Inflight Entertainment (/5)Maximum Baggage Allowance (kg)Airline Index Score /101Delta AirLines86.7%494333323.08.92Hawaiian Airlines87.7%115333222.58.53Horizon Airlines83.5%17433122.58.44Alaska Airlines77.5%211333223.08.15JetBlue65.1%665333322.57.7
Taking the top spot is Delta, scoring highly as it has the second-highest percentage of arrivals on time (86.7%) and a relatively low number of complaints, 494 from January to June of 2021.
Coming in second is Hawaiian Airlines. Based in Honolulu, it is the tenth-largest commercial airline in the US. Despite coming second overall, it is the most punctual airline with 87.7% of flights leaving on time. However, it is let down by the lack of inflight entertainment, only scoring two out of five.
The 5 best international airlines around the world
RankAirlineComplaints Jan-June 2021Staff Service (/5)Meals (/5)Seat Comfort (/5)Inflight Entertainment (/5)Maximum Baggage Allowance (kg)Airline Index Score /101Ana All Nippon Airways345444239.62Singapore Airlines234444309.53Korean Air Lines214444239.24Japan Air Lines Company454444239.25Qatar Airways2674444259.0
Based in Tokyo, Ana All Nippon Airways is the largest airline in Japan by both revenue and passenger numbers. It ranks the highest in customer-rated staff service, the only airline in our list to score full marks in our airline index for this factor. It also has a relatively low number of complaints at 34.
Singapore Airlines ranks number two due to its high baggage allowance of 30 kilos, a low number of complaints (23), and high seat comfort, having won awards for their aircraft seating. Singapore Airlines scores four out of five for every category in our index, so it’s no surprise this carrier comes second in our ranking as the best international carrier.
The 5 worst international airlines around the world
RankAirlineComplaints Jan-June 2021Staff Service (/5)Meals (/5)Seat Comfort (/5)Inflight Entertainment (/5)Maximum Baggage Allowance (kg)Airline Index Score /101Viva Air Colombia121111203.42VivaAerobusS272111153.63Volaris Airlines3792221104.04Ryanair33322104.25Interjet4902221254.6
The low-cost airline Viva Air Colombia is named the worst airline in the world. This carrier scores one out of five in our index for meals, seat comfort, and inflight entertainment due to the fact that few amenities are offered to customers free of charge. Although it did receive the lowest number of complaints overall.
Based at Monterrey International Airport in Mexico, VivaAerobus Airline carries passengers internally as well as operates international flights to cities in the US. It scores one out of five in our index for both inflight entertainment and meals and two out of five for staff service.  
The full report can be seen here.

Uganda Airlines New Inflight Menu: Grasshoppers? Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Embarrassed at the reactions that went viral on social media which took to poking fun at Ugandans came the veiled statement whereby, while rebuking the errant passenger, the airline also suggested adding the local delicacy Nsenene (long-horned grasshoppers) on their menu for regional and international flights.
“We have picked lessons from the incident. Some of our customers enjoy Nsenene,” an airline statement read. “We are considering adding Nsenene, a local Ugandan delicacy, on our menu for regional and international flights on request. This addition of Nsenene shall bring the Ugandan culture to the world. The move will boost tourism marketing and the livelihood of people in the grasshopper value chain going forward.”
Uganda Airlines, however, warned against reoccurrences of such conduct onboard, warning that exposing passengers to such unruly market experience onboard shall result in the passenger being offloaded without further consideration.
The Uganda Airlines Public Relations Manager, Shakira Rahim, said in a televised interview on NTV that the airline shall question the said passenger upon his return to send a signal to passengers who conduct themselves in a unpalatable manner onboard. She defended the crew whom she said had tried to refrain the gentleman to give room for embarking passengers. “You can never do that on an international flight, because there are passengers onboard who are going to continue their journey elsewhere. Food that has not gone through our standard and quality checks is not allowed onboard; that is the issue, and that is the standard,” Rahim said. 
Commenting on the same, Public Affairs Manager of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, Vianney Lugya, said: “Grasshoppers are not among the list of prohibited items. It is, therefore, not a security matter that grasshoppers ended up on an aircraft. The only issue to be looked into is how the passenger conducted themselves on an aircraft. The only circumstance that is looked into is if the country where the aircraft is proceeding to prohibits that item.”
A furious Minister of Works and Transport, General Katumba Wamala, under whose docket the airline falls, did not mince his words at cracking the whip by ordering disciplinary action on the staff who were on duty at the time of the incident. Wamala tweeted: “About the video making rounds on social media of someone vending Nsenene aboard @UG_Airlines, I have spoken to the leadership of the airline to take action against the staff who were in charge when this happened.” General Wamala has presided over the airline since his appointment in 2019, and the last thing he would tolerate is blemish on the airline.
eTN has since learned that Paul Mubiru, the trader in question, despite making a public apology, has  been arrested when immigration officers at the arrivals section at Entebbe International Airport swung into action upon his return from Dubai today, November 19,, 2021 at 11:49 am. He was detained at the airport police station and is awaiting charges. Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), to which he belongs, has also weighed in on the matter by vowing to punish Mubiru who is also a purchasing agent on behalf of several city traders.
For some, Mubiru may be seen as a hero judging by the passengers – mainly Ugandan traders that ply the Dubai route for trade – including a couple of Chinese passengers who partook in purchasing the delicacy. To others, he is a villain worthy of contempt for embarrassing the nation. To them, such manners are a preside of ground passengers on public buses where preaching and trading in items
from soft drinks, remedies for potency, hypertension, and diabetes all in one, are commonly dispensed by traditional or self-proclaimed doctors with no inhibitions whatsoever.
Mubiru may well be vindicated by history if the airline makes good on their promise to add those delicious critters to their inflight specials.

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New Guyana to Barbados flights on interCaribbean Aviation Feature, Aviation News

InterCaribbean Airways announced services from Georgetown (GEO), Guyana to Barbados (BGI), with connecting flights to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVD), Antigua (ANU), Grenada (GND), Dominica (DOM), and St Lucia (SLU). 
An onward flight via Barbados to Antigua, will continue to Providenciales and connect onwards to Havana, Cuba.
With these new routes and well-timed flights that connect to onward flights to the United Kingdom, the USA, and Canada, we look forward to welcoming customers from across the world.
interCaribbean expects to connect Georgetown to additional Caribbean points in the very near future to deliver on a truly connected Caribbean with interCaribbean Airways.
Flights are scheduled to begin operations on December 17, 2021 in time for the holiday season with 12 weekly flights planned to operate between Georgetown and Barbados.
Minister of Public Works, Juan A. Edghill welcomed the airline to the Guyana market at a ceremony hosted at Dukes Lodge in Georgetown on November 5, 2021. Minister Edghill said there is insufficient connectivity between Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean, and the Guyana government is therefore pleased with the additional airline joining its friendly skies.
In announcing the service at a launch event in Georgetown attended by Ministers, Diplomats based in Guyana, and members of the business community. According to Mr. Gardiner, “With the open-for-business efforts of this government, we were able to put everything in place, and we are here to make the announcement, and make the service a reality from December 17.”

Qatar Airways gears up for FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The first ever FIFA Arab Cup will take place in Qatar from 30 November to 18 December, with Qatar Airways as the Official Airline Partner of the tournament.
With 16 participating nations, fans can now look forward to the tournament. The qualifying countries have been drawn in four groups: Group A: Qatar, Iraq, Oman and Bahrain; Group B: Tunisia, UAE, Syri­­­­a and Mauritania; Group C: Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine and Group D: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Sudan.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “With less than a year to go until the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, this tournament will be the perfect test run for us as Official Airline and Official Partner of FIFA to prepare for the big stage. As this will be the first ever FIFA Arab Cup, Qatar will showcase the best of pan-Arab football. We want to provide a seamless primary touchpoint for fans, players, coaching staff and officials during their journey and stay here so that they can enjoy the best tournament possible.”
As FIFA’s Official Partner, Qatar Airways has sponsored mega events including the 2019 and 2020 editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, and will sponsor the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Qatar Airways also sponsors some of the world’s biggest football clubs including Al Sadd SC, Boca Juniors, FC Bayern München, K.A.S. Eupen, and Paris Saint-Germain.
The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 140 destinations. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to connect to a destination of their choice.

New flights from Antigua to Barbados and Providenciales on interCaribbean Airways now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

InterCaribbean Airways has been serving Antigua from Tortola since 2015 with up to double daily flights with AM and PM departures, connecting to Europe and USA/Canada bound flights as well as connection Antigua with onward flights to 8 other onward cities.
Now, interCaribbean Airways is pleased to announce new Antigua service with two new nonstop Jet service (ERJ145) destinations, connecting Antigua (ANU) with Barbados (BGI) with an initial two weekly flights, as well as nonstop service from Antigua (ANU) to Providenciales (PLS).
The Barbados flight continues immediately onwards to newly announced Georgetown (GEO), Guyana with 2 hours of flying and a short transit time. The same connection point in Barbados offers onward also to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVD), St Lucia (SLU) and Grenada (GND).
For the first time the Eastern Caribbean can now experience jet service between Antigua and Barbados, and onwards to Georgetown, making this the fast flight connection in the region.
New nonstop service to Providenciales (PLS), Turks and Caicos Islands, offers an immediate onward connection to Havana (HAV), Cuba as well as Nassau (NAS), Bahamas, and Kingston (KIN), Jamaica. Travelers can now jet between Antigua and Havana in less than 4 hours of flying time giving the fastest connection the market has seen.
Schedule Antigua- Barbados-Antigua
Flight JY 797 departs Antigua 2.30pm arrives Barbados 3.35pm (Wednesday and Saturday)
Flight JY 792 departs Barbados 12.10pm, arrives Antigua 1.15pm
Schedule Antigua-Providenciales-Antigua
Flight JY 794 departs Antigua 1.45pm arrives Providenciales 2.45pm* (Wednesday and Saturday)
Flight JY 795 departs Providenciales 10.30am, arrives Antigua 1.30*pm
* 1-hour time difference in winter between Antigua and Providenciales
Flights are scheduled to begin operations from the week of December 17, 2021 in time for the holiday season and making Antigua more connected with the region than ever before.

WestJet Group announces new interim President and CEO Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The WestJet Group today announced that Harry Taylor has officially assumed the role of interim President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The WestJet group announced Taylor as the interim President and CEO on September 15, 2021, following news of Ed Sims retirement announced on June 9, 2021.
“I am honored to take on the interim role of CEO at this pivotal time for the WestJet Group, and am focused on our relentless commitment to safety above all while ensuring continuity for our recovery, as we rebuild our airlines for our guests and our people,” said Harry Taylor, interim President and CEO.
“By the end of the year, we will return our entire fleet to service for the peak holiday travel season, connecting loved ones and fulfilling long awaited vacations plans. I look forward to leading our organization through this crucial phase of our recovery, while we continue our search for a permanent CEO.” 
“I am extremely pleased Harry has agreed to take on this interim role,” said the WestJet Group Board Chair Chris Burley. “Our global search for a permanent CEO continues, and on behalf of WestJet and the board, we are grateful Harry has stepped up to help us through this critical transition.”
Harry Taylor joined WestJet in 2015 as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). During this time, he led the airline’s inaugural U.S. bond issue, negotiated the purchase of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing MAX aircraft, and was instrumental in the sale of WestJet to Onex. Through the pandemic, Harry led the Finance team in managing WestJet’s liquidity to ensure sustainability with little to no revenue coming in.
“I want to thank Ed for his contributions to WestJet’s strategy and growth initiatives over the past four years,” said Chris Burley, Chairman of WestJet’s board of directors. “Ed has led WestJet through the worst crisis in aviation history and will see us through to the end of 2021. We owe our relative strength and stability in no small measure to Ed’s leadership and steady hand. On a personal note, we’re pleased that Ed will be able to rejoin his family in New Zealand at the end of the year.”