Author Archives: Harry Johnson

Russian air carriers resume Turkey flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Russian air carriers resume Turkey flights 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chorus Aviation Inc. announces election of Directors 4

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

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

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

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

Travel restrictions to ease July 5 for fully vaccinated Canadians 5

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

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

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

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

Non-EU countries join EU decision to ban Belarusian airlines from their airspace 6

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

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

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

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

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

Nine people killed in Russia plane crash 7

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

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

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

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

Largest jet in Boeing 737 MAX family completes successful first flight 8

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

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

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

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

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

South Korea to become third largest outbound Asia-Pacific source market by 2025 9

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

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

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

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

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

Milan Bergamo Airport inaugurates new lounge and new routes 10

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

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

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

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

US Travel: States reopening vital for return to pre-pandemic economy and livelihoods 11

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

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

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

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

European travel sentiment soars with vaccines and EU digital COVID ID rollout 12

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

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

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