Author Archives: Juergen T Steinmetz

Vaccinated? Visit Germany without test and quarantine, but not Americans and many others Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Vaccinated? Visit Germany without test and quarantine, but not Americans and many others 1

Germany is reopening the country for vaccinated or COVID-19 recovered visitorsQuarantine requirements or COVID-19 tests will no longer be necessary for this group of visitors to Germany.This regulation applies to many, but not all countries such as the United States for example.
The European Union is the first major block of countries to establish a uniformed system to respond to travel regulations during the COVID-19 pendemic.
A new EU digital vaccination pass may very well become a global standard.

Vaccinated? Visit Germany again as of tomorrow, but not for everyone Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Vaccinated? Visit Germany again as of tomorrow, but not for everyone 2

Germany is reopening the country for vaccinated or COVID-19 recovered visitorsQuarantine requirements or COVID-19 tests will no longer be necessary for this group of visitors to GermanyThis regulation applies to many, but not all countries
The European Union is the first major block of countries to establish a uniformed system to respond to travel regulations during the COVID-19 pendemic.
A new EU digital vaccination pass may very well become a global standard.

Countdown to reopen Saudi Arabia for Tourism with conditions Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Countdown to reopen Saudi Arabia for Tourism with conditions 3

Travel Operators in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), are gearing up for Saudi’s Arabia resumption of international flights.According to the Saudi Ministry of Interior, the travel ban will be lifted on 17 May for specific groups and tourists.A major booking platform, saw a 52% increase in international flight searches and a 59% increase in international hotel searches, following the announcement.
Around 25% of travelers are looking to travel within the 15 days of Saudi resuming flights where the search demand for this period has increased by 80% since the date of the announcement.
Egypt topped the list for the flight search destinations, followed by Philippines, Morocco, Jordan and Turkey. We also saw new vacation destinations emerge for flight searches such as Maldives, Tunisia, Ukraine, Greece, and Sri Lanka.

Saudi Arabia constitutes a significant percentage of the tourism sector in the Middle East. The country has been handling the pandemic very well, reinstating confidence for travelers.
Those who are allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia include citizens who received two doses of coronavirus vaccine or who passed 14 days after taking the first dose of the vaccine as well as people who have recovered from coronavirus, given they have spent less than six months since their infection as confirmed by the data displayed on Tawakkalna App. In addition to the citizens who are under the age of 18 years, provided that they show an insurance policy before traveling approved by the Saudi Central Bank.
Departing travelers out of Saudi Arabia need to show a PCR test certificate from an accredited screening center in the Kingdom. Upon return to the country, travelers will have to quarantine for seven days and take a PCR test at the end of the week.

Resorts are leading the searches for travelers with 58% growth, followed by the apartments and hotels.
Around 68% of travelers searching for flights are solos, 20% families, and 12% are couples.
Saudi Arabia is has been rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination to its residents. It has one of the lowest new cases per capita in the MENA region.

Travelers are feeling more reassured where airports and hotels are reinstating the confidence in travel. With stringent precautionary measures followed and safety measures that meet the high standards, we expect a steady recovery for the tourism sector.
Source: Wego

The British are traveling, but not on Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad, or Emirates Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The British are traveling, but not on Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad, or Emirates 4

Just 12 countries and territories made the so-called “green list” in the UKAfter May 17, UK citizens will be allowed to book a holiday to Portugal, Israel, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, South Georgia, and the Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, Tristan de Cunha, and Ascension Islands.Not only the United States but tourism leaders in Spain, Italy, Bahamas, Jamaica, Ireland, and many more countries are disappointed, upset and alarmed.
The Green list issued by the UK Foreign office will be renewed every three weeks, but countries could be added or removed anytime.
The UK made it illegal for its citizens and residents to travel on holiday, and May 17 is the magic day to reverse this.

Demand for travel to Portugal, Israel, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, South Georgia, and the Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, Tristan de Cunha, and Ascension Islands will be enormous, and the travel and tourism industry in these countries feel rewarded, some also worried.

No Emergency Plans: ATCEUC releases a Snapshot on Air Traffic Management in Europe Aviation Feature, Aviation News

No Emergency Plans: ATCEUC releases a Snapshot on Air Traffic Management in Europe 5

On 23 March 2021 EUROCONTROL issued a Data Snapshot with an analysis of the evolution of the ATM costs in Europe since 1998. Using those data ATCEUC offers its considered opinion on the EUROCONTROL analysis. Since spring 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous effect on the whole aviation sector showing that none of the stakeholders had foreseen these events nor had an emergency plan to handle a systemic crisis like this. Therefore, in a late and unilateral response, in November (eight months after the breakout of the pandemic and the drop in air traffic) the European Commission issued Regulation IR 2020/1627 which aims to alleviate the impact of the pandemic, but on airspace users only. 
 Currently the EC is trying to force the States to enforce the ad-hoc recommendations issued by the PRB, but the figures they suggest, especially those on cost-efficiency, were not agreed by the Member States and the revised Union-wide performance targets for the ATM network for the third reference period (2020-2024) are now under appeal. 
 While the traffic drop was drastic and ATCEUC agrees with the principle that airspace users shouldn’t be left to bear the consequences alone (and they haven’t…), this crisis must not be used as a pretext to impose unjustifiable financial measures on ANSPs right at a crucial moment when they most need to invest on newer technologies in order to be ready for the recovery. 

Fraport to Assume Responsibility for Management and Performance of Security Checks at Frankfurt Airport from 2023 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Fraport to Assume Responsibility for Management and Performance of Security Checks at Frankfurt Airport from 2023 6

Fraport AG and the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) sign contract for the transfer of security management tasks Fraport to be responsible for the organization, management and performance of airport security checks Federal Police will continue to supervise screening – Security remains an overriding priority – BMI and Fraport to commence a new chapter in their partnership
The handover is governed by a contract between Fraport AG and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) signed recently by both parties.
Fraport AG’s executive board chairman, Dr. Stefan Schulte, said: “We will assume management of aviation security at Frankfurt Airport from 2023. While this entails great responsibility, it will allow us to apply our experience and expertise to the operational management of the screening process – leading to reduced waiting times, to the benefit of all passengers.”

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, waiting times at Frankfurt Airport checkpoints were one of the main causes of complaints among passengers and airlines. By assuming responsibility for screening tasks, Fraport hopes to implement integrated management of the majority of passenger-facing processes to achieve greater efficiency and potentially reduce waiting times. 
Schulte added: “Negotiations with the Ministry and the Federal Police were very constructive. We wish to offer our express thanks for the positive working relationship and spirit of trust enjoyed in recent years. Together, we will continue to ensure that passenger safety and security remain the top priority.”
In addition to the organization, management and performance of the security checks, Fraport will be assuming responsibility for procurement of security equipment from January 1, 2023, as well as for calculating the corresponding fees and invoicing airlines. 

Specifically, in compliance with the requirements defined by the Federal Police, Fraport will decide 
When security lines are opened and closed.How many staff will be deployed on each line.Which BMI-certified devices will be procured.Which BMI-certified devices will be deployed at which checkpoints.How the security check process will be organized in concrete terms. Which service providers will be contracted to perform the checks.
Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, Fraport board member and Executive Director Aviation and Infrastructure, explained: “The Federal Police remain responsible for all security-related issues and define the requirements we must fulfill. This ensures that security remains the overriding principle.” 
In other words, even when management tasks are transferred to Fraport, the BMI remains the most senior aviation security authority in Germany. The Ministry defines the type of security checks to be made, and specifies the devices to be used. Consequently, the staff of the contracted security company will perform the checks on behalf of Fraport AG, but in accordance with the Ministry’s specifications, and under the supervision of the Federal Police. The staff who perform screening must meet the requirements and possess the qualifications defined by the government authorities. 

Prümm added: “In close cooperation with the federal authorities, we will now move quickly to draw up an infrastructure plan and to establish the parameters for future collaboration with service providers for security screenings. Our strategic and operational plans for the organization and performance of security checks will also be closely coordinated with the corresponding government agencies and the airlines.” 

Health Without Borders launched by World Tourism Network Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Health Without Borders launched by World Tourism Network 7

The World Tourism Network (WTN) started its initiative Health Without Borders | Santé sans FrontiersNo one is safe until everyone is safe. Tourism, business travel, and the MICE industry will not be back until everyone is safe.The key to re-launch tourism is a vaccination opportunity for everyone in our interconnected world.
Some may say the COVID-19 issue is exclusively an issue for Health Authorities, or Domestic and Foreign ministries. eTurboNews earlier reported about the unequal distribution of the vaccine.
World Tourism Network believes the global travel and tourism industry should be very much part of the discussion. COVID-19 is affecting the travel industry like no other sector.

Because there is no way to separate travel from the world’s current, or future pandemics, and tourism is about bringing people together, the WTN recognizes the need for the global travel and tourism industry to become an integrated part of the decision making and policy process in a response to the current COVID-19 and should there be future pandemics.
The world’s Statemen and Nobel laureates recognize that in an interconnected world No one is safe until everyone is safe.
In the modern world, the travel and tourism industry plays an essential role in this vision. It is for this reason that the WTN’s international project “Health without Borders/ Santé sans Frontiers” seeks universal vaccine coverage for all people around the world.

The WTN aligns with the idea the “travel and tourism” industry supports an international focus on countries and regions unable to get full access to the vaccine.The WTN, representing international small and medium-sized businesses around the world recognizes that these are the first businesses to suffer during a pandemic and travel closure.The WTN pledges its efforts not only to increase cooperation between countries by working closely with stakeholders, but it also seeks to facilitate the international movement of tourists by addressing restrictive travel barriers and fostering mutual understanding and collaboration.The WTN extends its hand not only to other organizations and initiatives in the travel and tourism industry but to NGO’s, health professionals, government leaders, and the pharmaceutical industry.
WTN’s “Health without Borders” initiative seeks a world with greater international cooperation, thus allowing people a safe and healthy world in which to exercise their human right to travel.
One step toward this goal is universal vaccination thus creating global herd immunity.
The WTN encourages all to join in as it seeks a more humane world and a world in which the global tourism industry can help the world to see the first blossoms of greater health and prosperity.

WTN will be inviting ministers of tourism and heads of tourism authorities later this month to meet virtually and take part in this important discussion. In the last 24 hours ministers from 10 countries already confirmed participation.

“Anyone interested in this subject has an opportunity to participate.
WTN is ready to listen and welcome experts and entrepreneurs. WTN is ready to shout if necessary. WTN is ready to cooperate with any government, organization, entity, or person that can assist and contribute. WTN is not a political organization.
“COVID-19 and tourism are connected and everyone’s business. It takes cooperation and communication to make this work,” says Juergen Steinmetz”, founder, and Chairman of WTN.
Click on the Health Without Border Interest Group for more information.Join the World Tourism Network so you can be part of this interest group from the very beginning.
Go to www.wtn.travel/register to become a member and check “Health Without Borders” as an interest group.
Visit www.wtn.travel and www.rebuilding.travel for more information.

The India COVID horror virus calls for adjustments by airlines worldwide Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The India COVID horror virus calls for adjustments by airlines worldwide 8

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.

Swoop now also means Destination Winnipeg again Aviation Feature, Aviation News

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

Singapore – Hong Kong Travel Bubble delayed again Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Singapore – Hong Kong Travel Bubble delayed again 9

Hong Kong and Singapore have delayed a planned Thursday announcement of the launch of a long-awaited travel bubble to next week, according to two Bloomberg NewsAn unidentified source said there was no reason given for the delay in the announcement, but it was initiated by the Singapore side.It is expected the start date of the quarantine-free travel arrangement would be moved to May 26, from May 19.
A spokesperson for Singapore’s Transport Ministry told local media both sides had not fixed a date to announce the resumption of the travel bubble “but will do so once we are ready, hopefully very soon”.
Singapore has been a vocal proponent of the arrangement in a bid to boost the aviation and tourism industries that have taken a big hit from the Covid-19 pandemic

Since November, Singapore has only had a few locally-transmitted infections each day, typically ranging from no cases to about five, but had on average seen 10 to 40 daily imported cases, as foreigners with work passes and student passes return to the country.
On Wednesday night, the manpower ministry announced 11 migrant workers at a dormitory tested positive. This came after a 35-year-old Bangladeshi worker, who lives in the same dormitory, tested positive on Monday during routine testing, despite being fully vaccinated.
The worker had completed his second vaccination dose on April 13. The 11 others who tested positive included his roommate, and they had positive serology test results – indicating past infection.

“These cases were immediately isolated and conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases to investigate for possible reinfection,” the manpower ministry said in a statement issued late on Wednesday.
The bulk of its more than 60,000 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic started occurred in the dormitories that house a mix of South Asian and mainland Chinese migrant workers who are on work permit or S-passes, and hold lower-paid jobs in construction, shipyards and processing.
Hong Kong had requested for these individuals to not be eligible for the travel bubble arrangement, ahead of the initial launch last November.

Singapore has one of the fastest vaccination rates in Asia-Pacific, having administered 2.2 million doses for its 5.7 million citizens. Domestic life has largely returned to normal, though concerns of reinfection are growing as new virus variants emerge and global cases tick up.
Hong Kong has seen between one and 30 new Covid-19 cases per day in the past week and is expected to record more than 20 new cases on Thursday according to a source, with the majority likely to be imported cases. Experts are also increasingly concerned about the spread of more infectious coronavirus variants.
To date, about 10 percent of the Territories 7.5 million population has received at least their first vaccine dose. 5.3 percent of the population, are fully vaccinated.

International Travel Reopening in the United States Senate Hearing Aviation Feature, Aviation News

International Travel Reopening in the United States Senate Hearing 10

The newly formed U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion, led by Chairwoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Ranking Member Rick Scott (R-FL), held its first-ever hearing today, entitled “The State of Travel and Tourism During COVID.”U.S. Travel Association’s Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy, joined three other expert witnesses representing the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, MGM Resorts International and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in sharing testimony relating to the impact of the global pandemic on the travel economy.Specific policies should be implemented to improve the industry’s long-term competitiveness and ensure we come back stronger and better than ever
U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Chair of the Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion, today convene a hearing titled, “The State of Travel and Tourism During COVID,”
This hearing examined the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and tourism industry, with a particular focus on the hotels, conventions, and the broader hospitality industry.

The overall message was to reopen borders and the international travel and tourism industry in the United States. Economic concerns clearly overshadowed health challenges, when the UK was categorized as a safe country and the meeting industry was pushing for conventions to relaunch.

Korean Airlines expects profit this quarter Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Korean Airlines expects profit this quarter 11

Korean Air Lines Co. is will be flying in the black in the first quarter of this year. This surprising, data was released Sunday, as the company expanded its logistics business after the new coronavirus pandemic virtually suspended passenger travel.This airline in South Korea is expected to post an operating profit of 76.6 billion won ($68.3 million) for the January-March period.
Sales, meanwhile, were estimated to have decreased 26 percent over the period to 1.7 trillion won.
Korean Airlines had a loss of 82.3 billion won posted a year earlier, according to a poll released by Yonhap Infomax, the financial arm of Yonhap News Agency.

The strong performance of Korean Air’s logistics business contributes to this success.
“The amount of cargo handled by Korean Air reached a record high amount last month,” NH Investment & Securities Co. said in its report. “The disturbed travel at the Suez Canal led to more demand for air shipping services.”
Star Alliance Member Asiana Airlines Inc., which awaits a merger with its bigger rival Korean Air, is expected to post a profit in the first quarter, compared with the previous year’s loss of 70.3 billion won.