All flights canceled, ports closed as Shanghai braces for Typhoon Chanthu Aviation Feature, Aviation News

All flights canceled, ports closed as Shanghai braces for Typhoon Chanthu 1

Container operations suspended at Shanghai port.All flights canceled at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport.Typhoon Chanthu is expected to hit Shanghai on Monday night.

In a statement issued today, Shanghai International Port Group announced that Shanghai’s container port has suspended container-related operations, as Typhoon Chanthu is expected to make landfall in the southern part of the city Monday night.

Ningbo Meidong Container Terminal Co. in neighboring Zhejiang province suspended some container operations from Friday, the company said on its wechat account yesterday.
Operations at major wharfs at the province’s Zhoushan port — home to some of China’s largest oil storage tanks and refineries — have been halted since Saturday afternoon.
The port shutdowns are likely to further delay shipments and damage global supply chains, which are already struggling to deal with record exports from China and the effects of local COVID-19 outbreaks. 
Also, all flights will be canceled at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport after 11am Monday because of the weather, while all flights through the Hongqiao airport in the west of the city will also be scrapped after 3pm the same day, according to an announcement by the Shanghai Airport Authority Sunday night.
Shanghai government announced it will also shut all kindergartens and primary schools Monday afternoon and Tuesday, while some subway lines were suspended and parks and other outdoor tourist sites were shut Monday and Tuesday.
Zhejiang province upgraded its emergency response to Chanthu to the highest level on Sunday, closing schools as well as suspending air and rail services in several cities, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Authorities have also suspended some high-speed rail services in the Yangtze River Delta.

Russia and San Marino working on visa free travel Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Russia and San Marino working on visa free travel 2

Russia and San Marino working on visa-free travel deal.Russia-San Marino visa-free travel agreement to be signed soon.Tourism between San Marino and Russia is popular, according to Minister Lavrov.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced today after talks with visiting San Marino’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Luca Beccari, that an agreement on visa-free travel regime between the two countries is almost completed and will be officially ratified in the nearest future.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with visiting San Marino’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Luca Beccari
“We have an agreement in principle to speed up the work on an intergovernmental agreement on visa-free trips for the two countries’ citizens. The agreement is almost ready and I think we will organize its signing soon,” Russian Foreign Minister said.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Russia hopes that as soon as the sanitary and epidemiological situation normalizes, the sides will “enliven tourist exchanges, which are very popular.”
San Marino is a mountainous microstate surrounded by north-central Italy. Among the world’s oldest republics, it retains much of its historic architecture. On the slopes of Monte Titano sits the capital, also called San Marino, known for its medieval walled old town and narrow cobblestone streets. The Three Towers, castlelike citadels dating to the 11th century, sit atop Titano’s neighboring peaks. 
San Marino is not a member of the European Union or European Economic Area. However, it maintains an open border with Italy. Since San Marino is only accessible via Italy entrance is not possible without entering the Schengen Area first and therefore Schengen visa rules apply de facto. Foreign visitors staying more than 10 days in San Marino must have a permit from the government.
San Marino signs independent visa-free agreements which are of symbolic value for foreign citizens but do have effect on San Marino passport holders.[1] San Marino has signed such visa-free agreements with Argentina, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom for ordinary passport holders.
In addition, agreements were also signed with Azerbaijan, Gambia, Moldova, Eswatini, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uganda for diplomatic and service passport holders.

Russia resumes Iraq, Kenya, Slovakia and Spain flights, Afghanistan flights have to wait Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Russia resumes Iraq, Kenya, Slovakia and Spain flights, Afghanistan flights have to wait 3

Russia to resume air service with four more countries.Flights from Moscow to Kenya, Slovakia, Iraq and Spain restart.No flight from Russia to Afghanistan yet.

Citing the national anti-COVID crisis center, the government of Russia announced today that the Russian Federation will relaunch regular scheduled passenger air service with Iraq, Kenya, Slovakia and Spain starting on September 21, 2021.

“Russia resumes air service with Spain, Iraq, Kenya, and Slovakia from September 21,” the officials wrote on Russian Federation government’s Telegram channel.
The flights to Egypt and Turkey from four more Russian cities – Pskov, Magadan, Murmansk, and Chita, will also be resumed from September 21.
At the same time, the Russian authorities expressed their unwillingness to restore regular passenger air travel with Afghanistan.
According to some Russian government sources, the decision on the preparation of regular civilian flights with Kabul and the provision of slots for them in the schedule by the Russian air carrier has not yet been made. It is still premature to talk about the commencement of civil flights there on a regular basis.
In order to resume regular communication with Kabul, an appropriate decision of the operational headquarters will be required to prevent the import and spread of COVID-19 infection.
All necessary airport infrastructure must be created in Kabul first to ensure the work of air traffic controllers in accordance with international civil aviation safety standards.
It was reported earlier that Taliban authorities announced their desire to resume air traffic with Russia and Turkey.

Seriously Nice flights now on A220-300 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Seriously Nice flights now on A220-300 4

Breeze Airways has revealed its new A220-300 livery while confirming that it has reached a purchase agreement with Airbus for 20 more of the aircraft. This previously undisclosed order for 20 brings Breeze’s total order book to 80 A220-300s, the first of which will be delivered in Q4 2021.The aircraft’s fresh paint job was completed at Airbus’ facility in Mobile, Alabama, which will deliver approximately one A220 per month to Breeze over the next six-and-a-half years.
Breeze Airways, a US regional airline said about the company: “We are a team of aviation, hospitality, and technology enthusiasts who believe flying is the greatest privilege and opportunity in the world. And, we believe it should be an accessible and genuinely nice experience for everyone.”
“Together, we created Breeze Airways™ – a new airline merging technology with kindness. Breeze provides nonstop service between underserved routes across the U.S. at affordable fares.
“With seamless booking, no change or cancellation fees and customized flight features delivered via a sleek and simple app, Breeze makes it easy to buy and easy to fly. Welcome to Breeze, Seriously Nice™ flights and fares.”
The airline plans to begin flights with the Airbus fleet in the second quarter of 2022. 
Breeze Air cities
The A220 superior efficiency will support the new airline’s business objectives to offer a great travel experience, with low fares and high flexibility. Breeze is expected to provide nonstop service between underserved routes across the U.S. at affordable fares.
Breeze started airline operations in May 2021. This first A220 is the first new aircraft that will be operated by the airline.
The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market and brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines. Benefitting from the latest technologies, the A220 is the quietest, cleanest, and most eco-friendly aircraft in its category.
Featuring a 50% reduced noise footprint and up to 25% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft, as well as around 50% lower NOx emissions than industry standards, the A220 is a great aircraft for urban operations.
Over 170 A220s have been delivered to ten operators in Asia, North Americas, Europe, and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member.

After 20 Years of FBI Investigation it’s official: Saudi Arabia Not Guilty in September 11 Terror Support Aviation Feature, Aviation News

September 12, 2021 may be a good day for world tourism. Late Saturday, September 12, 2021, the FBI released newly classified documents in regards to the September 11, 2001 terror attack in the United States.The document describes contacts the hijackers had with Saudi associates in the US but offers no evidence the Saudi government was complicit in the plot.The FBI has released a newly declassified 16-page document related to logistical support provided to two of the Saudi hijackers in the run-up to the September 11, 2001, attacks.
The global travel and tourism industry had also been waiting for this FBI report to be released to shed light if Saudi Arabia’s Government supported the September 11, 2001 hijackers and terrorists.
The reason: Saudi Arabias recent support and provided leadership for global tourism.
A silent stopper in supporting and understanding Saudi Arabia’s intention for its much needed support for tourism in impossible times going through the COVID-19 pendemic included clouds of sucpision. The suscpicions went louder every day leading to the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terror attack.
On the very same when billions in the world remembered 20 years after September 11, US president Biden sealed a final chapter over this sucpicion in releasing classified documents of the FBI investigation on Saudi Arabia’s role – if any.
Setpember 12 after September 11, 2001 was a day of Day of Unity in the United States and the civilised world
The world changed for the United States on September 12,2001 in bringing the country and the World together on September 12, the day after September 11.
Today Americans were reminded that America must stand together again. The U.S. today got a taste on how much better the country would be if people find a way to unite again.
Releasing the FBI documents was not only a smart international step, but an important step in the healing process domestically.
It should be noted, 20 years ago the Taliban appealed to the United States not to attack Afghanistan. The lack of a diplomatic solution resulted in a 20 year war, and the fear of more terror today.
The FBI investigation document released late today, September 11,2021 describes contacts the hijackers had with Saudi associates in the United States but offers no evidence the Saudi government was complicit in the plot.
It is the first investigative record to be disclosed since US President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of materials that for years have remained out of public view.
The Saudi government has long denied any involvement. The Saudi Embassy in Washington said on Wednesday that it supported the full declassification of all records as a way to “end the baseless allegations against the Kingdom once and for all”.
The embassy said that any allegation that Saudi Arabia was complicit was “categorically false”.
The Saudi government denied sending money to two of the September 11 hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar, left, and Nawaf al-Hazmi
US President Biden last week ordered the Justice Department and other agencies to conduct a declassification review of investigative documents and release what they can over the next six months.
16 pages were released on Saturday night, hours after Biden attended September 11 memorial events in New York, Pennsylvania, and northern Virginia. Victims’ relatives had earlier objected to Biden’s presence at ceremonial events as long as the documents remained classified.
The heavily redacted record released on Saturday describes a 2015 interview with a person who was applying for US citizenship and years earlier had repeated contacts with Saudi nationals who investigators said provided “significant logistical support” to several of the hijackers.
The Biden administration in February released an intelligence assessment implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the 2018 killing of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi but drew criticism from Democrats for avoiding a direct punishment of the crown prince himself.
Regarding September 11, there has been speculation of official involvement since shortly after the attacks, when it was revealed that 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudis. Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida at the time, was from a prominent family in the kingdom.
The US investigated some Saudi diplomats and others with Saudi government ties who knew hijackers after they arrived in the US, according to documents that have already been declassified.
Still, the 9/11 Commission report found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” the attacks that al-Qaeda masterminded. But the commission also noted “the likelihood” that Saudi government-sponsored charities did.
Particular scrutiny has centered on the first two hijackers to arrive in the US, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. In February 2000, shortly after their arrival in southern California, they encountered at a halal restaurant a Saudi national named Omar al-Bayoumi who helped them find and lease an apartment in San Diego, had ties to the Saudi government and had earlier attracted FBI scrutiny.

America remembers 9/11 victims 20 years after the terror attacks Aviation Feature, Aviation News

America remembers 9/11 victims 20 years after the terror attacks 5

September 11 dead honored on 20th anniversary of attacks.President Biden calls for unity on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11.Memorials held in New York City and around the country.

On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Americans have come together to remember and honor nearly 2,977 victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

Today’s somber ceremony at the September 11 Memorial in New York City began with a moment of silence at 8:46am (12:46 GMT), the exact time first of two hijacked passenger jets crashed into New York City’s World Trade Center.
Relatives of the victims then began to read aloud the names of 2,977 people who perished in the attacks, an annual ritual that lasts four hours.
“We love you and we miss you,” many of them said as somber violin music played at the official ceremony, attended by dignitaries including President Joe Biden and former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
At Ground Zero in New York City, 2,753 people, from all over the world, were killed in the initial explosions, jumped to their deaths, or simply vanished in the inferno of the collapsing towers.
At the Pentagon, an airliner tore a fiery hole in the side of the superpower’s military nerve center, killing 184 people in the plane and on the ground.
And in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the third wave of hijackers crashed into a field after passengers fought back, sending United 93 down before reaching its intended target – likely the US Capitol building in Washington.
The remembrances have become an annual tradition, but Saturday takes on special significance, coming 20 years after the morning that many view as a turning point in US history.
In a painful reminder of those changes, only weeks ago US and allied forces completed a chaotic withdrawal from the war the US started in Afghanistan shortly after the attacks in retaliation – which became the longest war in US history.
Today’s memorials come as national discord is overshadowing any sense of closure amid anger about the messy Kabul evacuation, which included 13 US soldiers killed by a suicide bomber.

Austria scrambles Eurofighters to intercept nosediving Hungarian Plane Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Austria scrambles Eurofighters to intercept nosediving Hungarian Plane 6

Incident with NATO plane described as a massive threat to aviation security”.Two Austrian fighter jets scrambled to escort Hungarian aircraft.The incidents sparks sharp rebuke from Vienna.

In an incident that the Austria’s Federal Ministry of Defense described as a “massive threat to aviation security,” two Eurofighter jets had to be scrambled on Friday to intercept and escort a Hungarian NATO aircraft that took an unexpected nosedive during a scheduled flight over Austrian territory.

The incident has sparked a sharp rebuke from Vienna. Austrian Defense Ministry said that the nation’s airspace is violated between 30 and 50 times a year on average. Still, this incident apparently stands out in the Austrian military’s judgement since ministry’s spokesman warned vaguely that it would likely have “diplomatic consequences.”
According to the Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Colonel Michael Bauer, no such incident has happened over Austria “in the past 20 years,”  and the Hungarian aircraft captain “behaved like a wrong-way driver on a motorway.”
The unexpected descent happened during an approved routine flight over Austrian territory by a Hungarian four-engine C-17 military transport aircraft with NATO identification. 
While the aircraft had entered Austrian airspace on a valid overflight permit, it gradually drifted down from the prescribed altitude of between 10,000 and 11,000 meters and, by the time it was flying over the Attersee Lake east of the city of Salzburg, its altitude was just around 1,000 meters. 
The maneuver alarmed the Austrian military, which sent fighter jets to escort the wayward aircraft away.
The reasons for the sudden nosedive are still unclear. Neither NATO nor Hungary have commented on the incident as of yet.

Japan to ease entry restrictions for vaccinated travelers Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Japan to ease entry restrictions for vaccinated travelers 7

Japan to accept US, EU and Japanese vaccination certificates from visitors.Japanese government also considers easing domestic COVID-19 restrictions.Some medical experts warn about danger of lifting restrictions prematurely.

The Japanese government authorities announced that they intend to relax the COVID-19 quarantine requirements for those entering the country with a certificate confirming full vaccination against coronavirus as early as the end of September of this year.

According to initial reports, the quarantine period after crossing the Japanese border will be shortened from two weeks to 10 days.
Only certificates of vaccination with Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca will be accepted from foreign arrivals.
The vaccination certificates must also be issued in the USA, EU countries or Japan, to be accepted.
Earlier, the Japanese Ministry of Health suspended the use of about 1.63 million doses of Moderna vaccine from three batches produced in Spain. An unknown substance was found in the preparation.
The government is also expected to decide on extending the current COVID-19 state of emergency beyond the Sunday expiration date to Sept. 30 for Tokyo and 18 other prefectures, as hospitals remain under strain, ruling party sources said.
Currently, people have been asked to refrain from traveling across prefectural borders, but such trips are possible if people have completed their vaccine regimen or can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, the sources with knowledge of the plan said.
The government is also planning to ease the current 5,000-spectator limit on large events if the same conditions are met.
Dining establishments that adhere to proper anti-virus measures will be allowed to serve alcohol, while groups larger than four can dine together.
Some medical experts have voiced concerns that it is premature to allow people to return to their normal lives as Japan has yet to contain the spread of the virus.
“We look carefully at the current state of the medical system and make a decision” on the state of emergency, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.

Breeze Airways resumes New Orleans flights post-Hurricane Ida Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Breeze Airways resumes New Orleans flights post-Hurricane Ida 8

Breeze Airways restoring New Orleans services.Breeze Airways is donating travel worth up to $1 million to first responders.Breeze Airways is the most recent carrier to add New Orleans service , only starting in July 2021.

As Breeze Airways resumes flight operations in New Orleans today, restoring nonstop flights connecting the city to nine destinations across the South and Midwest, the airline announced it is donating travel worth up to one million dollars – or around 10,000 roundtrip tickets – to first responders, Louisiana residents, and others who can help the city rebuild.
David Neeleman, Breeze Airways’ Founder and CEO
Breeze Airways flies to New Orleans from Akron/Canton, OH; Bentonville/Fayetteville, AR; Charleston, SC; Columbus, OH; Louisville, KY; Norfolk, VA; Oklahoma City, OK; Richmond, VA; and Tulsa, OK.   Residents from these cities who are willing to travel to New Orleans to volunteer, help family and friends, or contribute in other ways to rebuild New Orleans may also apply.
“Breeze is the most recent carrier to add service New Orleans, only starting in July this year,” said David Neeleman, Breeze Airways’ Founder and CEO, “but our love runs deep for the Big Easy and we’re committed to helping anyway we can.”
Breeze Aviation Group, Inc., trading as Breeze Airways, is an American airline headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. 
Breeze currently operates flights in 16 cities across 13 states.  Founded by aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, Breeze Airways is a new low fare carrier offering nonstop flights between smaller secondary airports, bypassing hubs for shorter travel times. 

Flights from Toronto and Kingston, Jamaica on Swoop now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Toronto and Kingston, Jamaica on Swoop now 9

Swoop announces new nonstop Jamaica flights.New service will operate twice weekly.New service will be part of winter schedule and launches on December 8, 2021.

Swoop today announced new nonstop service between Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Kingston Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) in Jamaica. As part of the airline’s winter schedule, the new service will operate twice weekly, beginning December 8, 2021.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in Jamaica with the introduction of service to Kingston to connect friends and families this holiday season and year ahead,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial & Finance, Swoop. “Our travelers have embraced our always affordable flights to Jamaica and we look forward to building on our success in the region with our new non-stop service connecting Toronto and Kingston.”
The ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC) is also set to resume service between Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Montego Bay Sangster International Airport (MBJ) tomorrow at 7:00 am EST.  Swoop’s return to Montego Bay marks the beginning of the airline’s restoration of its international network, with flights to the U.S. and Mexico set to resume through the fall.
“The return of Swoop to MBJ is a welcome one and we are elated at Swoop’s commitment to ensure that passengers from our second largest market, Canada, and specifically the province of Ontario, have a low-cost option when visiting Jamaica to see family and friends or those who wish to vacation on our beautiful island,” said Shane Munroe, CEO of MBJ Airports Ltd. “We continue to prioritize the health and safety of our citizens and visitors in keeping with our mission of providing a “Safety-Assured” environment welcoming travelers safely to our island of Jamaica.”
Details of Swoop Service to Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica
RoutePlanned StartDatePeakWeeklyFrequencyTotal one-wayprice (CAD)Base fare(CAD)Taxes andfees(CAD)NEW Toronto (YYZ) – Kingston (KIN)December 8, 20212x weekly$129† CAD$13.44$115.56NEW Kingston (KIN) – Toronto (YYZ)December 8, 20212x weekly$129 † CAD$6.36$122.64Toronto (YYZ) – Montego Bay (MBJ)September 11, 20213x weekly$129† CAD$13.44$115.56Montego Bay (MBJ) – Toronto (YYZ)Septe

EU urged to stop breaches of Alitalia workers’ rights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

EU urged to stop breaches of Alitalia workers’ rights 10

ITA given a green light to take over part of Alitalia’s operations.The decision is a gross violation of existing collective bargaining arrangements, union says.Commission’s decision directly impacts lives of over 11,000 people.

The European Transport Workers’ Federation strongly condemns the conclusions announced today by the European Commission regarding the Alitalia/Italia Trasporto Aereo S.p.A. (ITA) case which gives the green light to the new company, ITA, to take over part of Alitalia’s operations.

We were shocked that the European Commission could have so easily and without any consideration for workers’ rights taken such a decision. In our opinion, this is a hard blow and a gross violation of the legal existing collective bargaining arrangements in Italy, blowing up the hard efforts of Italian unions and employers in negotiating new working contracts. Instead, the EC’s today position is promoting new and potentially precarious labor contracts. The Commission is clearly driven for cost-effectiveness and is doing so at the expense of sustainable aviation, particularly socially sustainable aviation.
Livia Spera, General Secretary of the ETF declares:
This is a slap in the face for Alitalia’s workers, their families and their unions. The Commission’s decision directly impacts the lives of over 11,000 people and their families and to use such rhetoric is both offensive and dismissive of their concerns. In solidarity with our colleagues who were today demonstrating against this unfair and unsustainable approach, I am calling on the European Commission to retract its statement and reconsider the aims of this state aid approval, which do not support a sustainable aviation industry, and do not support the citizens of Europe.
Additionally, the ETF strongly condemns the fact the European Commission has failed to give any consideration to the workers’ legal rights under the European Pillar of Social Rights, including but not limited to the principles of secure and adaptable employment and social dialogue. Moreover, ETF draws attention to the fact that the EC is consciously disregarding any attempts to protect the labor contracts of workers to be hired by the new carrier, ITA.
The ETF is fully supporting the Alitalia Italian workers striking today, in their efforts to reopen negotiations with the new employer, ITA. This must be done with full respect for Italian law, and recognizing the right of collective bargaining at national level.

United Airlines: Get a COVID-19 jab or get lost Aviation Feature, Aviation News

United Airlines: Get a COVID-19 jab or get lost 11

United Airlines announces COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees.United Airlines who refuse COVID-19 jab will be fired.Airline workers with vaccine exemptions will be placed in indefinite leave.

In a company memo sent out yesterday, United Airlines has announced that all airline staff who receive religious, medical or personal exemptions from the mandatory coronavirus vaccination will be sent on unpaid or medical leave indefinitely, regardless of their exemption reason or status.

“Once the pandemic meaningfully recedes, you will be welcomed back to the team on active status,” pilots, flight attendants and customer service agents – described as employees in “operational customer-facing roles” – were told in a memo.
United Airlines employees not directly interacting with passengers, such as dispatchers and mechanics, who have been approved for exemption will be required to get tested weekly and wear a mask at all times when at work, including when outdoors.
Anyone granted a medical exemption will be put on temporary medical leave. Those whose request for exemption is denied will have to take the first shot by September 27 and be fully vaccinated within five weeks or lose their job altogether, according to the memo sent out by VP of human resources Kirk Limacher.
United Airline employees who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine will not be allowed into the workplace after October 2.
United Airlines administration had not specified how willing the carrier would be to actually grant requests for exemption, and the airline hasn’t said how many it has received.
United was the first US airline to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on its 67,000-plus employees, in early August. Other airlines have moved to end pay protections for unvaccinated employees who test positive for the virus. Delta Air Lines has slapped a $200 surcharge on the healthcare premiums of employees who haven’t been vaccinated.
US companies and government agencies are legally required to offer exemptions on religious or medical grounds, though not to actually grant them. The Biden administration has pushed for public and private vaccination mandates as the number of COVID-19 cases in the US has risen over the summer. 
Airlines, and pilot and flight attendant unions have eagerly embraced the apparently indefinite extension of the government’s mask mandate, originally imposed in February and intended to last 100 days.
United is the fourth-largest US airline by the number of passengers carried, but has the second-largest fleet and serves the most destinations, according to pre-pandemic statistics.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Resumes Commercial Service Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport welcomes back commercial servicePorter Airlines and Air Canada return to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.Commercial restart takes place on the 82nd anniversary of the airport’s first commercial flight.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport celebrated a return to the skies yesterday with the restart of commercial airline service by Porter Airlines and Air Canada after temporarily suspending operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Celebrates Return to Commercial Service with Special Water Canon Salute to Honor Commemorative First Flight
To mark the occasion, a commemorative first flight to Ottawa attended by key stakeholders and partners was “readied for takeoff” with a special water canon salute performed by Billy Bishop Airport’s onsite Airport Rescue and Firefighting team.
Billy Bishop Airport’s staff, stakeholders and government partners marked the day and recognized the conclusion of a difficult period for the aviation industry by welcoming back passengers and getting back to the business of making connections and supporting Toronto’s economy. The commercial restart coincidentally takes place on the 82nd anniversary of the island airport’s very first commercial flight in 1939.
Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Airport, was joined by His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, and Michael Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines in offering remarks to celebrate the occasion. Passengers and staff were treated to giveaways and prizes, and a commemorative first flight to Ottawa attended by key stakeholders and partners was “readied for takeoff” with a special water canon salute performed by the airport’s onsite Airport Rescue and Firefighting team.

First international passenger flight flies out of Kabul airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Qatar Airways flies international passengers out of Kabul Airport.Qatari official deems Kabul Airport operational.Taliban allows foreigners leave Afghanistan on commercial flights.

With a top Qatari official announcing that Kabul airport is “fully up and running,” first international passenger flight has departed from Hamid Karzai International Airport today.

This was the first commercial flight to depart from HKIA since the Western countries ended their evacuation flights from Afghanistan a week and a half ago.
According to Mutlaq al-Qahtani, Qatar’s special envoy to Afghanistan, who was speaking from the tarmac today, the airport is “about 90% ready for operations,” but its reopening is planned gradually.
“This is a historic day in the history of Afghanistan as Kabul airport is fully operational. We have been faced by huge challenges … but we can now say that the airport is fit for navigation,” al-Qahtani said.
The Qatar Airways plane had arrived in Kabul Airport earlier on Thursday carrying aid. It departed for Doha, Qatar with passengers, including a large group of foreigners on board.
“Call it what you want, a charter or a commercial flight, everyone has a ticket and boarding passes,” al-Qahtani stated, implying that this was indeed a regular flight. He said another flight was due to leave on Friday. “Hopefully, life is becoming normal in Afghanistan,” he added.
Qatari officials earlier said that Afghanistan’s Taliban government would allow between 100 and 150 Westerners, including Americans, to fly out from Kabul in the coming hours.
Qatari and Turkish technical teams have helped restore operations at the airport, which was damaged during the chaotic evacuations of tens of thousands of people to meet the US troop withdrawal deadline of August 31.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid thanked Qatar for its assistance in making the airport operational and for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
“In the very near future, the airport will be ready for all sorts of flights including commercial flights,” he said, standing beside Qatari officials at the airport tarmac.

Why Jamaica? Response to the US “Do Not Travel” Advisory Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Why Jamaica? Response to the US “Do Not Travel” Advisory 12

The United States State Department in cooperation with CDC issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for Jamaica.A level 4 advisory is the highest advisory in the chain and means for Americans “Do not travel”Jamaica’s minister of tourism responds to this warning in a statement released to eTurboNews today.
The Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett statement in regards to the United States issuing a “Do not Travel” Advisory against Jamaica:
Jamaica recently welcomed its one-millionth visitor since reopening to travel in June 2020 and visitors can feel confident in knowing that Jamaica’s Resilient Corridors – which cover more than 85 percent of the island’s tourism product and include less than one percent of our population – have recorded a COVID-19 infection rate under one percent over the past year.
This was achieved through the robust protocols developed in conjunction with authorities across the health and tourism sectors. These protocols were among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition that allowed us to safely reopen in June of 2020.
The health and safety of every Jamaican and every visitor to the country remain our top priority and we expect the Level 4 designation by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be short in duration.
While Jamaica is one of 77 countries around the world, including many of our Caribbean brethren, to receive the Level 4 designation, we remain confident that our Resilient Corridors and protocols will continue to take us on the right path.
The United States had issued level 4 travel warnings to a number of tourism-dependent Caribbean countries.
When issuing the Do not Travel Advisory, the U.S. government today left out the part on how much safer it is to visit Jamaica compared to Florida or Hawaii – when it comes to the threat of COVID infections.
Jamaica’s tourism minister Edmund Bartlett has not only been a local leader for his country but with his creation of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Center Jamaica has been taking a global lead when it comes to safe tourism and crisis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Jamaica.
Do not travel to:
The below-listed areas of Kingston due to crime.The below-listed areas of Montego Bay due to crime.Spanish Town due to crime.
Country Summary: Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Emergency services vary throughout the island, and response times may vary from U.S. standards. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to areas listed below, from using public buses, and from driving outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night.
The U.S. issued similar warnings against other Caribbean neighbors, including the Bahamas.

Flights from Hawaii to American Samoa on Hawaiian Airlines now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Hawaii to American Samoa on Hawaiian Airlines now 13

Hawaiian Airlines resumes flights to American Samoa.Hawaiian Airlines will be offering two flights per month.Hawaii to American Samoa route will be served by Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 aircraft.

Hawaiian Airlines is reconnecting Honolulu (HNL) and American Samoa (PPG) by resuming nonstop flights between Hawai‘i and the U.S. Territory next week. Hawaiian, which suspended its twice-weekly HNL-PPG service at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, will be offering two flights per month starting on Monday through December 20.

“We are delighted to bring American Samoa back into our network and welcome guests who have been patiently waiting for our flights to restart,” said Brent Overbeek, senior vice president for network planning and revenue management at Hawaiian Airlines. “As Pacific island neighbors, we understand how much our guests rely on our service and we look forward to safely reconnecting family and friends.”
Hawaiian, which provides the only regularly scheduled air link between the two island chains, paused flights for 17 months at the request of the American Samoa government. On January 13, Hawaiian began operating a series of repatriation flights to bring to American Samoa thousands of residents who had been stranded away from home in Hawaii, the U.S. mainland and beyond.
Travelers to American Samoa must follow a series of government health and safety protocols, including proof of vaccination and negative pre-travel test results. More details are available at the TALOFApass website. Guests flying to Hawaii are required to create a state of Hawai‘i Safe Travels account and upload their vaccination card or negative pre-travel test to avoid quarantine upon arrival.
Hawaiian will continue to operate the route with its 278-seat, wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft.

WestJet now requires full COVID-19 vaccination for all employees Aviation Feature, Aviation News

WestJet now requires full COVID-19 vaccination for all employees 14

WestJet announces mandatory vaccination for all staff.Full vaccination status will also be required for all future employees.New vaccination policy will be in effect starting October 30, 2021.

The WestJet Group today announced that effective October 30, 2021, all WestJet Group employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, full vaccination status will be a requirement of employment for all future employees hired by the WestJet Group.

“Protecting the health and safety of our guests and employees remains our number one priority and vaccinations are our best line of defense,” said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President of People. “Aviation has been one of the hardest hit industries and we believe requiring all WestJet Group employees to be vaccinated is the right thing to do and ensures the safest travel and work environment for everyone in WestJet’s world.”
The WestJet Group will evaluate and accommodate those employees who are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 either through medical or other exemption. Employees who fail to attest their vaccination status by September 24 or achieve full vaccination status by October 30, 2021, will face unpaid leave or termination of employment. As part of its vaccine mandate, the airline will not provide testing as an alternative to vaccination.
Continued Porter, “The WestJet Group remains committed to building back even stronger to ensure a competitive aviation industry in Canada. Requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is essential to the safe restart of travel across Canada.”
Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All promise. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

More flights to London, Kyiv and Istanbul on Air Astana now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

More flights to London, Kyiv and Istanbul on Air Astana now 15

Air Astana increases Istanbul frequencies.Air Astana adds more Kyiv flights.Air Astana resumes direct London flights from Nur-Sultan.

Air Astana introduced an additional frequency between Kyiv and Nur-Sultan on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, with the capitals of Kazakhstan and Ukraine now connected three times a week on Mondays. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The airline also operates flights between Kyiv and Almaty on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Air Astana will additionally launch a third frequency between Istanbul and Almaty on 17, September 2021, with flights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, as well as a service between Istanbul and Nur-Sultan on Thursdays.
Air Astana also resumes direct flights from London to Nur-Sultan twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting on September 18, 2021.
Passengers are kindly requested to follow entry requirements before flight on Air Astana’s website.
Air Astana is the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, based in Almaty. It operates scheduled, domestic and international services on 64 routes from its main hub, Almaty International Airport, and from its secondary hub, Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport.

Dakar to New York City and Washington on Air Senegal now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Dakar to New York City and Washington on Air Senegal now 16

Air Senegal launches flights to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.Air Senegal announces Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport service.Both new US flights will be flown from Dakar, Senegal.

Air Senegal, the national flag carrier of Senegal, today launched its inaugural flight to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the first of a new twice-weekly service between Dakar and the two US cities.

Flight HC407 departed Dakar’s Blaise Diagne International Airport at 2:56am and landed at New York’s JFK Airport (Terminal 1) at 06:51 am today. Passengers bound for the Metropolitan Washington area continued with this flight after passing through Immigration and Customs in New York.
The flight arrived at Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) at 11:08am where the flight was welcomed by a traditional water cannon salute. The return flight will depart Baltimore at 08:25pm via New York JFK (Terminal 1) for Dakar where it is scheduled to land at 12:25pm the following day.
The new service will be operated on Thursdays and Sundays using a state-of-the-art Airbus A330-900neo aircraft, offering 32 flatbeds in Business, 21 seats in Premium Economy and 237 seats in Economy class, entertainment systems, in-seat power, and in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity. Air Senegal provides convenient connections for its USA passengers via Dakar in both directions to Abidjan, Conakry, Freetown, Banjul, Praia, Bamako, Nouakchott, Douala, Cotonou and Libreville.
In 2019, over a million passengers flew between USA and West Africa which is expected to grow further with the launch of this new route. Senegal is a major West African regional business and tourist hub along with being the headquarters of the United Nations in West Africa.
Ibrahima Kane, Chief Executive Officer at Air Senegal said: “Our aim is to provide a convenient and comfortable journey between USA, Senegal and West Africa. Dakar’s geographical location combined with Air Senegal’s multiple connections via its primary hub to all major West African cities will enable this new route to grow from strength to strength. In addition, we hope to stimulate American tourist demand to Senegal to explore its rich cultural history, world class beaches and exotic cuisine across the country”.
Air Senegal, is the flag carrier of the Republic of Senegal. Created in 2016, it is state owned through investment arm Caisse des Dépots et Consignation du Sénégal. It is based at Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar, Senegal.

FTA urges US transit agencies to increase vaccination rates Aviation Feature, Aviation News

FTA urges US transit agencies to increase vaccination rates 17

COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to increase across the USA.Hesitancy toward the vaccine has also plummeted in the country.US transit agencies urged to ensure vaccination of transit workers.

As COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to climb across the Unites States, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) urges transit agencies to ensure their transit workers and communities have every opportunity to get the vaccine.

According to the Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the past two months, more Americans have begun getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It was during that time that the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on August 23.
Hesitancy toward the vaccine has also plummeted, according to a recent Ipsos poll. Only 14 percent of Americans now say that they are absolutely not likely to get vaccinated.
Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is calling on transit leaders to share this information with employees, and to do all you can to encourage vaccination among your workforces. Some agencies have provided paid time off to receive the vaccine, cash awards, or gift cards to motivate employees to get vaccinated.
In addition, for those agencies who have worked hard to encourage vaccination in your community, we hope you will continue those efforts, and begin new ones. More Americans want the vaccine and transit can help them get to appointments or bring vaccination opportunities into their communities. To help share the vaccination message in your community, county-level CDC estimates of vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19 can identify areas within your transit system’s service area that may need extra help reaching the vaccine.
Vaccination is the most effective way to protect yourself and those around you from contracting COVID-19. To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, the CDC advises everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. FTA urges frontline transit workers – and the transit agencies they work for – to make plans to get themselves vaccinated and continue to facilitate access to vaccination sites for members of the community who have yet to get a shot.
FTA is supporting transit agency vaccination efforts by awarding grants under the American Rescue Plan to help cover these expenses and encouraging transit leaders to provide services that make it possible for their community, including their workforce, to get their shots. Transit agencies wishing to find more information on funding eligibility should visit FTA’s FAQs regarding COVID-19.
FTA also encourages transit agencies to use the CDC, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) toolkit to help increase confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among the transit workforce.

San José to Reno-Tahoe flights on Southwest Airlines restart Aviation Feature, Aviation News

San José to Reno-Tahoe flights on Southwest Airlines restart 18

Southwest Airlines resumes San Jose-Reno service.San Jose-Reno service to run daily.San Jose Airport requires face covering for all passengers on airport property and onboard aircraft.

Starting today, Southwest Airlines is relaunching its daily non-stop service between Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) and Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

The daily flight departs San José at various times throughout the week aboard a Boeing 737 aircraft, arriving in Reno, Nevada in the morning to early afternoon timeframe.
City Pair Day Departs Arrives Frequency San José to Reno Sunday 8:45 a.m. Approx. 9:45 a.m. Daily Monday/Thursday/Friday 8:00 a.m. Approx. 9:00 a.m. Daily Tuesday/Wednesday 7:30 a.m. Approx. 8:30 a.m. Daily Saturday 11:00 a.m. Approx. 12:00 p.m. Daily
Southwest Airlines temporarily suspended service between San José and Reno in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel declines.
SJC still requires a face covering for all passengers on airport property and onboard aircraft, which is mandated by the Transportation Security Administration until January 18, 2022. Passengers can continue to do their part by social distancing from others; washing and/or sanitizing hands frequently; and staying home if sick and avoiding travel.

Aeroflot requires Pilots to be vaccinated Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Aeroflot requires Pilots to be vaccinated 19

Aeroflot suspends pilots for refusing COVID-19 jabs.Suspended pilots refused to sign up for vaccine against coronavirus.Pilots’ union complained to Aeroflot CEO, calling suspension a discrimination.

Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot, which is majority-owned by the Russian state, sent least six unvaccinated pilots on unpaid leave or vacation without pay, the carrier’s spokesman said.

Six pilots working for Russia’s main international airline have been grounded and suspended from duty under rules allowing companies to effectively dismiss staff who refuse to sign up for a vaccine against COVID-19 virus.
A spokesman for Aeroflot said that six pilots had been put on sick leave, without pay, because they had chosen not to receive a jab. However, the number of suspended pilots was miniscule compared to the overall size of Aeroflot’s workforce, with 2,300 pilots in the company’s cockpits.
The pilots’ labor union complained to Aeroflot CEO Mikhail Poluboyarinov of discrimination, arguing that unvaccinated flight attendants and technical support staff do not face similar dismissals.
Igor Delduzhov, the President of the Sheremetyevo Trade Union of Flight Personnel, based at Aeroflot’s Moscow hub airport, has hit out at the decision to remove the flight staff. According to him, the harsh response to those choosing not to get vaccinated is unwarranted, given around 84% of staff have reportedly already been immunized.
“No other Russian airline has similar suspensions,” Deldyuzhov said in a letter on the union’s website.

Toronto to Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa and Cancun on Air Canada Rouge now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Toronto to Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa and Cancun on Air Canada Rouge now 20

Air Canada Rouge returns to the skies with more choice for leisure travelers.Resumed service features updated uniforms and enhanced streaming entertainment.Updated cabin interior to be available on select aircraft starting this fall.

Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada’s leisure airline, resumed service today with flights operating between Toronto and Las Vegas, Orlando, and Regina, with other destinations being introduced in September, including Cancun and Tampa.
Rouge flight attendants will be sporting a new uniform
“Air Canada Rouge remains integral to Air Canada’s overall strategy. As we emerge from the pandemic, we anticipate increased demand for vacation travel and from customers flying to enjoy overdue visits with family and friends. Air Canada’s leisure airline is ideally suited to serve this market with a compelling array of leisure destinations and an inviting travel experience so that the holidays begin as soon as customers board an Air Canada Rouge aircraft,” said Jon Turner, Vice President Inflight Services and President, Rouge Operations, at Air Canada.
Air Canada Rouge also provided a sneak peek of the cabin interior that will be available on nine Airbus A321 aircraft of the 39-aircraft Rouge Fleet, with the first entering service later this fall.
These nine aircraft feature a new contemporary interior design with playful Rouge brand accents and will be configured with leather seats, with 30-inch seat pitch in the Economy cabin. The A321 Rouge aircraft also offer upgraded personal power options, including USB-C ports, and a convenient personal electronic device holder integrated into the seatback.
With the resumption of Air Canada Rouge service, which had been suspended since spring 2021, customers can also enjoy recent product and design enhancements onboard all Rouge aircraft.

Six Aeroflot pilots refuse COVID-19 jabs, suspended without pay Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Six Aeroflot pilots refuse COVID-19 jabs, suspended without pay 21

Aeroflot suspends pilots for refusing COVID-19 jabs.Suspended pilots refused to sign up for vaccine against coronavirus.Pilots’ union complained to Aeroflot CEO, calling suspension a discrimination.

Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot, which is majority-owned by the Russian state, sent least six unvaccinated pilots on unpaid leave or vacation without pay, the carrier’s spokesman said.

Six pilots working for Russia’s main international airline have been grounded and suspended from duty under rules allowing companies to effectively dismiss staff who refuse to sign up for a vaccine against COVID-19 virus.
A spokesman for Aeroflot said that six pilots had been put on sick leave, without pay, because they had chosen not to receive a jab. However, the number of suspended pilots was miniscule compared to the overall size of Aeroflot’s workforce, with 2,300 pilots in the company’s cockpits.
The pilots’ labor union complained to Aeroflot CEO Mikhail Poluboyarinov of discrimination, arguing that unvaccinated flight attendants and technical support staff do not face similar dismissals.
Igor Delduzhov, the President of the Sheremetyevo Trade Union of Flight Personnel, based at Aeroflot’s Moscow hub airport, has hit out at the decision to remove the flight staff. According to him, the harsh response to those choosing not to get vaccinated is unwarranted, given around 84% of staff have reportedly already been immunized.
“No other Russian airline has similar suspensions,” Deldyuzhov said in a letter on the union’s website.

65% of US airline passengers support vaccine passports Aviation Feature, Aviation News

65% of US airline passengers support vaccine passports 22

44% of Republicans said they would support a government requirement to provide proof of vaccination in order to fly.48% of Republicans would also support a mandate directly from commercial airlines.95% of Democrats would support either a government or commercial airline vaccine passport requirement.

As the delta variant surges, nearly 65% of frequent flyers report that a vaccine passport would increase their confidence in the safety of air travel, according to a new report. While 90% of frequent flyers either fully or partially vaccinated against the virus, nearly one in 10 frequent flyers refuse to get vaccinated.  

These numbers are encouraging because frequent flyers have high levels of vaccinations. However, if the FAA decided to implement a vaccine passport program, nearly one in 10 travelers would be barred from boarding the plane.
The survey was conducted  using the Frequent Flyer Database, which includes more than 200,000 opt-in frequent flyers from across the United States. Nearly 65% of survey participants are more than 60-years-old, placing them in an at-risk category for severe illness from COVID-19.
The travel industry was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, with restrictions forcing travel and tourism to come to a screeching halt. Recovery has been slow. In the 2020 Frequent Flyer Survey, 60% of respondents said they had plans to travel in the next six months. Yet in this year’s report, 36% of respondents said they have not traveled since January 2020.
But the appetite for travel is increasing. Nearly 70% of respondents said they have plans to travel by plane in the next six months, with 72% of those travelers planning personal trips.

New Airbus Single-Aisle Airspace cabin adds comfort to Lufthansa flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New Airbus Single-Aisle Airspace cabin adds comfort to Lufthansa flights 23

Lufthansa starts operating its first aircraft with Single-Aisle Airspace cabin.More than 80 of Lufthansa’s A320 jets to be equipped with new cabin.Lufthansa continues to focus emphatically on premium product for its guests.

Lufthansa has started operations with its first A320 Family aircraft – an A321neo – featuring Airbus’ new Single-Aisle Airspace cabin. In doing so, the airline becomes the first operator in Europe to introduce the new Airspace cabin features for passengers on board A320 Family aircraft. In 2018 Lufthansa Group, a long-time A320 Family customer, chose to equip more than 80 of its new A320 Family aircraft on order from Airbus with Airspace cabins.

The new Airspace features include: slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the largest overhead bins for 60% more bags; the latest full LED lighting technologies; LED-lit ‘entrance area’; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surfaces.
“Lufthansa has once again made a choice of innovation and passenger appeal, raising the bar for the flying public at large to experience next-level, Airbus leading cabin innovations”, said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International. “I am delighted to welcome one of our long term partners, Lufthansa, to become the first European operator for the A320neo Family Airspace cabin. I can’t wait to fly on one of these aircraft.”
“Regardless of the crisis, we continue to focus emphatically on a premium product for our guests,” emphasizes Heike Birlenbach, Head of Customer Experience, Lufthansa Group. “For us, premium means providing high-quality, individualized and relevant offers for all our passengers at all times. With the new Airspace Cabin, we are significantly improving the travel experience on short-haul routes and setting a new industry benchmark.”
Lufthansa has been operating the A320-family since the 1980s and has been the very first operator of the A321 and the A320neo. The airline group is one of the biggest Airbus operators worldwide.
At the end of July 2021, the A320neo Family had received more than 7,400 orders from over 120 customers worldwide.

No radar? No problem! Kabul Airport reopens for domestic flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

No radar? No problem! Kabul Airport reopens for domestic flights 24

Taliban reopens Kabul Airport for domestic travel.Ariana Afghan Airlines relaunches three domestic routes from Kabul Airport.Technical team from Qatar repaired parts of Kabul Airport traffic control system.

Ariana Afghan Airlines announced in a statement on its Facebook page that it has resumed domestic flights between the capital city of Kabul and Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar.

Ariana Afghan Airlines flights between Kabul and three major provincial cities in the west, north and south of the capital restarted after a team of aviation engineers from Qatar repaired parts of the air traffic control system last week and reopened the capital’s airport for aid and domestic services.
Earlier, Qatar’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Saeed bin Mubarak al-Khayarin said a technical team had been able to reopen Kabul airport to receive aid.
Lauding this as a step taken to return the country to relative normality after a tumultuous period, the ambassador added that the airport runway has been repaired in cooperation with Afghan authorities.
But the Kabul airport is operating without radar or navigation systems, making it difficult to resume international civilian flights.
Reopening the airport, a vital lifeline to both the outside world and across Afghanistan’s mountainous territory, has been a high priority for the Taliban as it seeks to restore order after they completed their lightning seizure of the country by taking Kabul on August 15.

Europe’s summer air travel recovery fails Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Europe’s summer air travel recovery fails 25

European summer air travel reached 39.9% of pre-pandemic level.The picture was mixed, with some destinations doing better than others.Bookings slowed towards the end of summer period.

New research reveals that international flights to European destinations in July and August reached 39.9% of pre-pandemic levels. This is significantly better than last year (which was 26.6%), when the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread lockdowns; and vaccines were not yet approved.

However, the picture was very mixed, with some destinations doing considerably better than others. Also, the outlook is not improving, as bookings slowed towards the end of the summer period.
Looking at performance by country, Greece was the stand-out. It achieved 86% of July and August arrivals in 2019. It was followed by Cyprus, which achieved 64.5%, Turkey, 62.0% and Iceland, 61.8%. Greece and Iceland were amongst the first countries to make widely publicized claims that they would accept visitors who had been fully vaccinated and/or could show a negative PCR test and/or could show proof of recovering from COVID-19.
The countries which fared worst were those which rely more on long haul tourism, such as France and Italy and those which imposed the most onerous and volatile travel restrictions such as the UK, which languished at the bottom of the list, achieving just 14.3% of 2019 levels.
Excluding low-cost carriers, intra-European flights made up 71.4% of arrivals, compared with 57.1% in 2019. The relative disappearance of long-haul visitors, who typically stay longer, spend more and focus their attention on cities and sightseeing, was underlined in rankings of the best and worst performing local destinations.
Travel to London was particularly disappointing; it was at the bottom of the list of busiest European cities, achieving just 14.2% of 2019 arrivals. That list was headed by Palma Mallorca, also a major beach resort destination, reaching 71.5% of 2019 levels and by Athens, a gateway to numerous islands in the Adriatic, at 70.2%. The next best performing major cities were Istanbul, 56.5%, Lisbon, 43.5%, Madrid, 42.4%, Paris, 31.2%, Barcelona, 31.1%, Amsterdam, 30.7% and Rome, 24.2%.
By comparison, leisure destinations proved to be much more resilient. A ranking of all major local destinations (ie: those with a market share over 1%) was dominated by traditional seaside holiday hotspots or the gateway to them. The leaders were Heraklion and Antalya, which exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 5.8% and 0.5% respectively. They were followed by Thessaloniki, 98.3%; Ibiza, 91.8%; Larnaca, 73.7% and Palma Mallorca, 72.5%.
Aside from the macro trends, certain destinations fared relatively better or worse for more locally specific reasons. For example, Portugal, which is a favorite destination of UK holidaymakers, suffered when the UK changed its designation from green to amber in June; and Spain suffered at the end of July when Germany warned against all but essential travel.
When one considers how dreadful things were for tourism in Europe last year, this summer has been a very modest recovery story. Benchmarked against normal times, the continued low intensity of international air travel, less than 40% of normal, has been extremely damaging for the aviation industry. The continued absence of long-haul travelers, particularly from the Far East (it reached just 2.5% of pre-pandemic volumes this summer) will prove a severe blow to the visitor economy of several European countries.
If there is an element of consolation, it is people “staycationing”, ie: taking a holiday in their own country. While the domestic aviation has a minority share of the market in Europe in normal times, it has held up much better during the pandemic because it has not been subject to such challenging travel restrictions. For example, the Canaries and the Balearics welcomed more Spanish visitors than they do in a normal season.

Prepare for lines when you fly from London Heathrow Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Prepare for lines when you fly from London Heathrow 26

Staff shortage leads to huge lines at Heathrow.Travelers forced to wait in lines for five hours.Packed queues posed a COVID-19 risk to thousands of airline passengers.

Border Force staff shortage at London’s Heathrow Airport resulted to enormous lines and complete lack of any social distancing this week, as the limited number of personnel were unable to cope with those at the border.

Airline passengers at Heathrow Airport have repeatedly experienced such conditions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this Friday, some Brits were reporting absolutely absurd queue times due to a Border Force staff shortage which kept travelers waiting in lines for FIVE hours.
One passenger even reportedly fainted during the chaos.

Heathrow Airport responded to complaints by claiming that the delays were due to Border Force conducting “Health Measure Checks to ensure passenger compliance with the UK Government’s latest entry requirements.”
The airport did not address the lack of social distancing and lengthy, packed queues, however, which posed a coronavirus risk to thousands of airline passengers.
On Saturday morning, travelers at Terminal 5 reported on social media that the queues had died down.

According to local media, at least eight other incidents of long queues, crammed crowds, and a lack of access to water and bathroom facilities have been recorded between May and September.
In December 2020 – just days before Christmas – hundreds of passengers were left stranded at Heathrow Airport as flights became overbooked with Brits trying to escape recently-announced Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, which forced families to stay at home and away from loved ones over the holiday season.

American, Spirit, Southwest Airlines: What happened to the 79 Billion Bailout? Aviation Feature, Aviation News

FlyersRights, a consumer advocacy organization has called for an oversight hearings with airline CEOs plus labor and passenger representatives.Airlines were given massive federal subsidies to keep public air service strong and reduce COVID infection.Recent record high cancellations, flight delays, plus airline opposition to some important CDC guidelines call into question whether taxpayer money has been misused by airline management
“American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, completely failed the American people”FlyersRights.org president Paul Hudson 
Massive Airline Cancellations
Throughout the summer, airlines have canceled hundreds of flights per day because they did not have enough employees ready to go. On its worst day, Spirit Airlines canceled over half of its scheduled flights.
This is unacceptable, and Senator Maria Cantwell, the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, sent a letter on this subject to the airlines in July. FlyersRights.org met with her staff to discuss the issue on September 1st and to propose the solution to the latest of airline abuses.
House Oversight Committee Hearing requested
FlyersRights.org requested committee oversight hearings to force Doug Parker, Gary Kelly, Ted Christie, and other airline CEOs to explain what they did with the COVID relief money and why their airlines have failed to deliver what the law intended.
Oversight hearings should also include passenger representatives and labor representatives. FlyersRights.org proposed a stimulus and social distancing plan that would have kept the airlines profitable, running at a higher capacity during the pandemic, and would have ensured air travel was safer, all at a lower cost than the bailout packages.
FlyersRights.org is the largest airline passenger organization; it advocates for airline passengers before the FAA, DOT, TSA and other government agencies

Heathrow chaos: Huge crowds overwhelm understaffed airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Heathrow chaos: Huge crowds overwhelm understaffed airport 27

Staff shortage leads to huge lines at Heathrow.Travelers forced to wait in lines for five hours.Packed queues posed a COVID-19 risk to thousands of airline passengers.

Border Force staff shortage at London’s Heathrow Airport resulted to enormous lines and complete lack of any social distancing this week, as the limited number of personnel were unable to cope with those at the border.

Airline passengers at Heathrow Airport have repeatedly experienced such conditions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this Friday, some Brits were reporting absolutely absurd queue times due to a Border Force staff shortage which kept travelers waiting in lines for FIVE hours.
One passenger even reportedly fainted during the chaos.

Heathrow Airport responded to complaints by claiming that the delays were due to Border Force conducting “Health Measure Checks to ensure passenger compliance with the UK Government’s latest entry requirements.”
The airport did not address the lack of social distancing and lengthy, packed queues, however, which posed a coronavirus risk to thousands of airline passengers.
On Saturday morning, travelers at Terminal 5 reported on social media that the queues had died down.

According to local media, at least eight other incidents of long queues, crammed crowds, and a lack of access to water and bathroom facilities have been recorded between May and September.
In December 2020 – just days before Christmas – hundreds of passengers were left stranded at Heathrow Airport as flights became overbooked with Brits trying to escape recently-announced Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, which forced families to stay at home and away from loved ones over the holiday season.

4 people killed in Czech Republic and France plane crashes Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Light-engine plane crashed in Czech Republic today.Two people on board the plane died in crash.Two people were also killed in plane crash in France

Two people were killed in the crash of a light-engine sports plane near the town of Kladno near Prague in the Czech Republic.
The crash was reported on Saturday, September 4, by the representative of the Czech police Lucia Novotna.
“Two people died in a plane crash of a sports plane near the town of Kladno,” the police official said.
The crash happened just a little after 14:00 (2pm) Central European Time.
Czech police are currently investigating the causes of the incident.
Earlier on the same day, a light-engine plane crashed into the highway in northern France commune of Voignarou. Two people were also killed in that crash.

American Airlines unvaxxed staff who get COVID are on their own Aviation Feature, Aviation News

American Airlines unvaxxed staff who get COVID are on their own 28

When COVID-19 first made its appearance, many companies were moved to create pandemic leave for those who came down with the coronavirus.Now that the Food and Drug Administration has an authorized vaccine against COVID-19, this is changing the face of what companies are willing to do for its employees who choose not to get vaccinated.Many new hires these days are required to show proof of vaccination to complete the hiring process.

The new policy will take effect in early October for the non-vaxxers, however, American Airlines employees who have been vaccinated are still covered by the pandemic leave policy and do not have to use their own sick days to take time off from work to get well.

This appears to be a trend among airlines, as Alaska Airlines has also prevented unvaxxed employees from using a special COVID-19 pay for missing work due to the virus.
Not only that, Alaska Airlines is also rewarding its employees with a $200 bonus for getting vaccinated, and all new employees going forward must show proof of vaccination before officially being hired. The airline is also requiring all non-vaccinated employees to participate in a vaccine education program.
Las month, United Airlines was the first US carrier to require vaccinations for all its domestic employees. United has 67,000 employees in the US and all new hires have had to show proof of vaccination since June of 2021. In the United company offices, unvaxxed employees must wear face masks.
Frontier Airlines will also require employees to be fully vaccinated by October 1 of this year. Those workers who opt not to get vaccinated will be required to participate in regular COVID-19 testing.
Other airlines are trying to get their employees to get vaccinated like Alaska Airlines has done by offering incentives such as extra pay or paid time off.
What is sparking these changes?
When the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer as a vaccine, this opened the gates for companies to change their policies for COVID-19, as this was often the reason used by employees who do not want to get vaccinated – that no vaccine had officially been approved.
Airlines still do require all onboard to wear masks for the duration of the flight, except when eating or drinking, of course.
#rebuildingtravel

Turkey tightens COVID restrictions for foreign arrivals Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Turkey tightens COVID restrictions for foreign arrivals 29

Turkey updates anti-COVID restrictions for foreign arrivals.Regulations aim to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey.Updated rules set to go into effect tomorrow.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry issued a circular today, announcing new updates for requirements and restrictions for visitors arriving into the country from abroad.

The updates are implemented in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey, and are set to go into effect on Saturday, August 4.
Red list: Brazil, South Africa, Nepal, and Sri Lanka
Suspension of direct flights from Brazil, South Africa, Nepal, and Sri Lanka will continue until further notice.
Passengers who have been to these countries in the last 14 days will be asked to submit a negative PCR test result obtained a maximum of 72 hours before entering Turkey.
They will also be quarantined for 14 days in locations determined by the governorships, at the end of which a negative test will be required one more time. If there is a positive test result, the patient will be kept under isolation, which will end with a negative result in the following 14 days.
Bangladesh, India and Pakistan
Travel rules for Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan have been eased, and passengers from these countries, or those who have been to these countries in the last 14 days, will be requested to submit a negative PCR test result obtained up to 72 hours beforehand.
People who document receiving two doses of COVID-19 vaccines granted approval by the World Health Organization or Turkey or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days before entering Turkey will be exempted from quarantine.
UK, Iran, Egypt and Singapore
Passengers coming from the UK, Iran, Egypt, or Singapore will be required to submit a negative result from PCR tests done a maximum of 72 hours before entry.
For passengers traveling from Afghanistan, those who can provide a document showing they were administered a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 14 days or recovery from COVID-19 infection in the last six months will not require a test result or quarantine.

Lufthansa Group announces new Chief Strategy Officer Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa Group announces new Chief Strategy Officer 30

Lufthansa Group announces new executive appointment.New Head of Strategy & Organizational Development named.Jorg Eberhart will assume the position on November 1, 2021.

On October 1, 2021, Jörg Eberhart, currently CEO of Air Dolomiti, will assume the position of “Head of Strategy & Organizational Development” at Lufthansa Group. He will succeed William Wilms, who was appointed to the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik on 1 September 2021.

Jörg Eberhart has served as President and CEO of Air Dolomiti since 2014. During this time, he was also a member of the Executive Board of Lufthansa CityLine. Prior to this, he held a number of management positions at Lufthansa Group that  included being part of the establishment of Aerologic GmbH and the implementation of the SCORE project.
Jörg Eberhart studied business administration at the University of Tübingen and holds a pilot’s license for the Airbus A320.
The Lufthansa Group is an aviation group with operations worldwide. With 110,065 employees, the Lufthansa Group generated revenue of EUR 13,589m in the financial year 2020.
The Lufthansa Group is composed of the segments Network Airlines, Eurowings and Aviation Services.
Aviation Services comprises the segments Logistics, MRO, Catering and Additional Businesses and Group Functions.
The latter also include Lufthansa AirPlus, Lufthansa Aviation Training and the IT companies. All segments occupy a leading position in their respective markets.

Key European tourism challenges highlighted at Slovenian Forum Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Key European tourism challenges highlighted at Slovenian Forum 31

Bled Strategic Forum is an international conference in Centrals and South-Eastern Europe.COVID-19 pandemic has posed many questions for tourism.The role of tourism at the EU level needs to be rethought.

The Bled Strategic Forum has evolved into a leading international conference in Central and South-Eastern Europe. The 16th edition took place 31 August – 2 September in a hybrid form. The tourism panel held on 2 September brought together top experts from Slovenia and renowned institutions, including EC, UNWTO, WTTC, OECD, ETC, HOTREC, ECM, to discuss the future of (European) tourism.

Prominent international and Slovenian experts, guests, panelists and representatives of Slovenian tourism were addressed by Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, Director-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission Kerstin Jorna, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board MSc. Maja Pak, Director of Regional Department for Europe at UNWTO Prof. Alessandra Priante and Director of the Portugal National Tourist Board and President of the European Tourism Commission (ETC) Luis Araújo.
COVID-19 pandemic has posed many questions for tourism, among the most pressing ones are survival and recovery, along with the transformation of the tourism industry into more resilient and sustainable one. Despite the difficult situation, optimistic forecasts of key international tourism institutions are on the rise. This year’s Tourism Panel has discussed the question What will the future bring to European tourism.
Panelists agreed that the pandemic has had a major impact on tourism industry and posed many challenges, as well as opportunities. It is time to address the shortcomings of tourism industry that have resulted from the expansion in the last 50 years and transform tourism into a much greener, digital and inclusive industry. Key conclusions identified at the panel were:
Tourist’s confidence in travel needs to be rebuilt.Travel protocols and communication and coordination between the Member States concerning travel restrictions, COVID tests and quarantine rules need to be improved.Roadmap for sustainable transition is necessary.New performance indicators are needed.Digital transformation of the tourism industry needs to be supported and promoted.Investments and EU funding allocation towards sustainability and digitalization of the tourism industry is required.The role of tourism at the EU level needs to be rethought.DMO transition in their role to actively facilitate the industry transition process to green, inclusive and digital needs to be supported.

Tourism Seychelles and Emirates airline embark on marketing partnership Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Tourism Seychelles and Emirates airline embark on marketing partnership 32

Seychelles has welcomed over 15,000 tourists from the UAE so far this year.Safety measures and straightforward protocols have been conveniently designed to ease travel between the destinations.Emirates operates seven flights a week to the Seychelles from Dubai and is the second leading source market to the islands.

The partnership will include a series of campaigns aiming to bring the Seychelles Islands maximum visibility as the ultimate leisure destination throughout the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) market through integrated Seychelles-related content that will be visible on Emirates’ social media platforms as well as through email marketing and joint radio advertisements.

The collaboration will keep guests up to date with information on travel the archipelago, which has welcomed over 15,000 tourists from the UAE so far this year and which, as of Sunday, August 29, 2021, stands as the second leading source market to the destination.
Furthermore, the campaigns will strengthen travel trade relations and enhance product knowledge through online training and workshops as well as familiarization trips, focused on areas whose borders have now opened for travel.
Keeping safety at the heart of travel to Seychelles, the collaboration will also highlight the journey from Dubai to the island nation, including important details such as safety measures and straightforward protocols conveniently designed to ease travel. In addition, guests will be able to discover what the Seychelles Islands hold in store for them before they even land on its sandy shores.
Commenting on the collaboration, Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs. Sherin Francis, said, “The partnership with Emirates is one that has grown from strength to strength, and we are happy for the support they have extended to the destination and Tourism Seychelles over the year. This year’s partnership is no different. However, in a time when our industry is slowly recovering and where building travel confidence is very important, partnerships such as this one has new meaning and definition. Through this collaborative work, it will be a win for both airline and destination.”
With Emirates operating seven flights a week to the Seychelles from Dubai, UAE nationals and residents can now plan an exotic getaway to the land of turquoise waters, pearly shores and emerald mountains, choosing from one of the many luxurious resorts or charming guesthouses for their stay.
Entry to Seychelles requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test, conducted within 72 hours of the date of travel and approval from the Health Travel Authorization app. More information in regard to travel to the island paradise can be found at ‘seychelles.advisory.travel.’

No quarantine: Abu Dhabi opens to fully vaccinated travelers Aviation Feature, Aviation News

No quarantine: Abu Dhabi opens to fully vaccinated travelers 33

Abu Dhabi removes quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated visitors.Abu Dhabi expects huge surge in demand for travel to the emirate.Etihad Airways prepared for a boost in travel to Abu Dhabi.

The government of Abu Dhabi announced the removal of the quarantine requirement for all vaccinated travelers arriving to the emirate from abroad.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is prepared for a boost in travel to and from Abu Dhabi following the government’s announcement.
Fully vaccinated travelers (with vaccines approved by the World Health Organization) can arrive from all international destinations without the need to quarantine. All travelers will require a PCR test within 48 hours of departure, a test on arrival and retesting on select days depending on the country they have travelled from. Unvaccinated travelers, however, should follow the rules according to the destination they are arriving from.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad, commented: “The news is perfectly timed to begin welcoming the world back to Abu Dhabi. We expect a huge surge in demand from tourists and visiting friends and relatives from around the world. This will also give UAE residents greater flexibility and peace of mind when travelling globally.
“The emirate has delivered one of the world’s best public health programs to protect the population with an extremely high vaccination rate, and smart technologically-driven solutions such as the Al Hosn app to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.
“This is a huge step forward as the UAE prepares to host the EXPO 2020, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and many more global events over the coming months.
“Etihad is currently operating to 65 passenger destinations with one of the world’s youngest and most sustainable fleets. We look forward to welcoming our guests to Abu Dhabi with Etihad to enjoy this world-class destination – an emirate and capital city we’re so proud to call our home.”
Flying with Etihad is supported by the Etihad Wellness program which has been introduced to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Etihad was the first airline in the world to fully vaccinate its crew on board. Etihad also requires 100% of its passengers to show a negative PCR test before boarding to protect the inflight environment, which is now recognized to be one of the best in the world.
The airline has implemented an extensive sanitization and wellness program and is practicing the highest standards of hygiene at every part of the customer journey. This includes catering, aircraft and cabin deep-cleaning, check-in, health screening, boarding, inflight, crew interaction, meal service, disembarkation and ground transportation, among others.

US Senate urged to hold hearings on airlines’ use of COVID bailout funds Aviation Feature, Aviation News

US Senate urged to hold hearings on airlines’ use of COVID bailout funds 34

FlyersRights calls for oversight hearings with airline CEOs, labor and passenger representatives.Airlines were given massive federal subsidies since 2020.There are questions whether taxpayers money has been misused by airlines.

FlyersRights President Paul Hudson called for US Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearings with airline CEOs plus labor and passenger representatives. 
FlyersRights President Paul Hudson
Paul Hudson explained, “Airlines were given massive federal subsidies since 2020 to keep public air service strong and reduce COVID infections. But recent record-high cancellations, flight delays, plus airline opposition to some CDC guidelines call into question whether taxpayer money has been misused by airline management.”
US airlines received over $79 billion in bailout money across three COVID-related bills in 2020-2021 to help them, their employees, and the air travel industry survive the worst of the COVID pandemic. Congress intended this money to go to pilots, flight attendants, and other airline and airport employees to ensure they were paid during the severely depressed demand period and to ensure that the airlines would have the capacity to meet the increased travel demand as soon as the COVID-19 situation improved. 
The airlines, particularly American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, completely failed the American people. Throughout the summer, airlines have cancelled hundreds of flights per day because they did not have enough employees ready to go. On its worst day, Spirit Airlines cancelled over half of its scheduled flights.
This is unacceptable, and Senator Maria Cantwell, the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, sent a letter on this subject to the airlines in July. FlyersRights.org met with her staff to discuss the issue and to propose the solution to the latest of airline abuses. 
FlyersRights.org proposed committee oversight hearings to force Doug Parker, Gary Kelly, Ted Christie and other airline CEOs to explain what they did with the COVID relief money and why their airlines have failed to deliver what the law intended.
Oversight hearings should also include passenger representatives and labor representatives. FlyersRights.org proposed a stimulus and social distancing plan that would have kept the airlines profitable, running at a higher capacity during the pandemic, and would have ensured air travel was safer, all at a lower cost than the bailout packages. 

4 people killed in Connecticut plane crash Aviation Feature, Aviation News

4 people killed in Connecticut plane crash 35

Plane crashed into industrial building in Connecticut.All people onboard Cessna Citation business jet killed in crash.Local firefighters are tackling the fire started by the crash.

Rescue teams in Farmington, Connecticut are battling a fire at a local industrial complex that started after a Cessna Citation business jet crashed into the building on Thursday morning, apparently killing all four people onboard.

Farmington Police Department confirmed that a plane had crashed into a building on Hyde Road, and said in a tweet that emergency services were on the ground working to “evacuate the immediate area”. 
Four people were onboard the plane, reportedly a Cessna Citation business jet, according to information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). None of the four is thought to have survived.
Four people were onboard the plane, reportedly a Cessna Citation business jet, according to information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). None of the four is thought to have survived.
According to Farmington police, there were no injuries reported inside the building, which is owned by the German tool manufacturer Trumpf.
In imagery shared from the scene on social media, smoke could be seen billowing from the site of the crash, with firefighters tackling the sizable blaze that erupted from one section of the building.
Farmington is located in Connecticut’s Hartford County, roughly 10 miles (16km) from the state capital.

Mobile check-ins are coming back on Lufthansa flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Mobile check-ins are coming back on Lufthansa flights 36

Lufthansa returns mobile check-in to flights from non-risk areas.Travelers again can have their boarding passes issued directly on their smartphone.With digital boarding pass, no additional document is necessary at check-in counter.

Lufthansa is once again offering its passengers a more convenient check-in process. On all 2000 weekly flights from non-risk areas of the Schengen area (currently from Spain, Italy or Sweden, for example) to Germany, travelers can once again have their boarding pass issued directly on their smartphone when checking in.

This is made possible by the automatic and digital verification of EU vaccination certificates, which prove full vaccination protection, and COVID-19 test results from the Centogene laboratory.
During mobile check-in, the QR codes of the paper certificates can now be scanned and thus checked quickly and conveniently. This means that the digital boarding pass can be issued and an additional document check at the check-in counter at the airport is no longer necessary. 
But the same applies to many other Lufthansa flights: anyone who is concerned that they do not have the right certificates for the trip can have them checked by a Lufthansa Service Center up to 72 hours before departure. These can be proof of tests, a survived COVID-19 disease and vaccinations. Confirmations of digital entry applications can also be checked in this way. Thanks to new digital solutions, the check is now partly automatic and therefore much faster, also at the Service Center.
The airline advises its guests that in addition to the digital proof, the printed original certificates must still be carried on the trip until further notice.

Working like a Slave for 20 years? You are fired! Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Working like a Slave for 20 years? You are fired! 37

In a letter to Envoy Air management dated August 25, 2021, New York attorney Lee Seham takes Envoy Air, an Affiliate with American Airlines to task for terminating three employees for referring to themselves as “slaves” and quoting a line from the Jackie Chan movie Rush Hour as a means of explaining that the reference was not intended to offend others.  The three employees – Losaolima Fonokalafi, Faye Tuala, and Asefash Asfaha – each have over twenty (20) years of seniority.  They are, respectively, immigrants from Tonga, Samoa, and Eritrea (Africa) and were employed by Envoy as Inventory Control Specialists.Envoy found cause to terminate Ms. Fonokalafi because, in response to a comment by an aircraft mechanic that she was working too hard, she agreed that she and her co-worker’s worked like “slaves.”
The following week, a white co-worker confronted Ms. Fonokalafi about her comment and asserted that “Black lives matter.”  Ms. Asfaha – an African-American born in Eritrea – came to her colleague’s defense by explaining that Ms. Fonokalafi was from Tonga and had a different life experience from her white accuser. 
Ms. Asfaha compared to a colleague to the innocent Chinese police detective in a hit movie who inadvertently made an offensive remark in a bar patronized exclusively African-Americans, and appealed to Ms. Tuala for help in recalling the movie and the scene.  Ms. Tuala supplied the movie name and relevant quote to assist Ms. Asfaha in explaining Ms. Fonokalafi’s innocence.
Envoy terminated Ms. Fonokalafi and Ms. Tuala for allegedly making an improper “slave” reference and because they “quoted movie lines” that were offensive.  Envoy terminated Ms. Asfaha for allegedly quoting the same movie lines.
Mr. Seham’s August 25 letter provided Envoy with precedent from the National Labor Relations Board held that an employee has a right under federal labor law to articulate complaints concerning her working conditions using such language.  He also argued: 
Every race has been enslaved and has enslaved others.  Our republic’s first international conflict was in response to African pirates who had enslaved over a million European and white American sailors.  In the English language, the term “working like a slave” or “wage slave” is a common idiomatic expression meaning nothing more than the individual is working hard for paltry compensation. 
Seham further argued that terminating life-long employees for a reference to a popular movie that grossed over $245 million worldwide could not be justified, particularly when the purpose of the reference was not to offend but to promote understanding.  Moreover, the only African-American present at the time was Ms. Asfaha, whom Envoy terminated.
On August 30, Envoy responded to Mr. Seham that it was “working on collecting data for this case….”
Termination letters and August 25 letter

Travel demand is back but still far below pre-COVID levels Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Travel demand is back but still far below pre-COVID levels 38

International and domestic air travel demand showed significant momentum in July 2021.Government-imposed travel restrictions continue to delay recovery in international markets.Total domestic demand was down 15.6% versus pre-crisis levels.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that both international and domestic air travel demand showed significant momentum in July 2021 compared to June, but demand remained far below pre-COVID-19-pandemic levels. Extensive government-imposed travel restrictions continue to delay recovery in international markets. 
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General
Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to July 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.
Total demand for air travel in July 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 53.1% compared to July 2019. This is a significant improvement from June when demand was 60% below June 2019 levels.  
International passenger demand in July was 73.6% below July 2019, bettering the 80.9% decline recorded in June 2021 versus two years ago. All regions showed improvement and North American airlines posted the smallest decline in international RPKs (July traffic data from Africa was not available).  
Total domestic demand was down 15.6% versus pre-crisis levels (July 2019), compared to the 22.1% decline recorded in June over June 2019. Russia posted the best result for another month, with RPKs up 28.9% vs. July 2019. 
“July results reflect people’s eagerness to travel during the Northern Hemisphere summer. Domestic traffic was back to 85% of pre-crisis levels, but international demand has only recovered just over a quarter of 2019 volumes. The problem is border control measures. Government decisions are not being driven by data, particularly with respect to the efficacy of vaccines. People traveled where they could, and that was primarily in domestic markets. A recovery of international travel needs governments to restore the freedom to travel. At a minimum, vaccinated travelers should not face restrictions. That would go a long way to reconnecting the world and reviving the travel and tourism sectors,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

Portugal remains open to US travelers despite EU advisory Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Portugal remains open to US travelers despite EU advisory 39

EU removed the USA from the green list of countries.Portugal will still welcome US visitors, regardless of EU action.Travel requirements for mainland Portugal and the islands are different.

Portugal will remain open to travelers from the United States despite the announcement from the European Union this week that the USA will be removed from the green list rank of countries due to rising COVID-19 numbers with the Delta variant. 

Portugal has confirmed that discretionary, non-essential travel is still allowed, provided visitors present a negative COVID-19 test result at boarding and entry into the country.
Requirements for mainland Portugal and the islands are different however.  Arrival details for each are below:
Restrictions for MAINLAND PORTUGAL (Porto, Lisbon, Faro airports)
By the current restrictions, airlines and cruise lines should now allow passengers to board flights with destination or stopover in mainland Portugal after presenting at boarding:
NAAT – Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (RT-PCR, NEAR, TMA, LAMP, HDA, CRISPR, SDA, etc), performed 72hrs before boarding
OR an antigen test (TRAg) performed 48hrs before boarding and approved by the European Commission’s Directorate-General For Health And Food Safety
Exceptions: Children under 12 year old
Complete the Passenger Locator Card online for each passenger up to 48 hours before travelling
Travelers will also need to present the documentation above to the Borders Officers at arrival and no other test or quarantine will be required.
Restrictions for THE AZORES (Ponta Delgada and Terceira airports)
To travel to the Azores it Is mandatory to present:
RT-PCR Test – 72h before boarding
OR
Declaration of Immunity (for those who already had COVID-19, for example)Passengers may perform free test on arrival and await the result in prophylactic isolation (results are available between 12 to 24 hrs)
Exceptions: Children under 12yo
If the stay is longer than seven days, on the 6th day from the date the first CoVid 19 test was performed, the passenger must contact the Azores health services to schedule and perform a second testAll passengers must fill the questionnaire

European airlines are bracing for difficult winter season Aviation Feature, Aviation News

European airlines are bracing for difficult winter season 40

With revenue still suppressed, airlines have a tough winter ahead of them.New COVID-19 variants could potentially reduce travelers’ willingness to fly.Labor costs will rise and financially difficult decisions must be made.

European airlines are set to face a tough winter due to the ongoing pandemic and travel confidence likely remaining suppressed. Low fares will be key to stimulating demand as travel restrictions are likely to continue.

With revenue still suppressed, airlines will have a tough winter ahead. During what is traditionally the offseason in Europe, the pandemic is likely to make operating conditions difficult.
Although demand was beginning to return this summer, winter could be a different story. COVID-19 cases could potentially rise, and further variants may develop, reducing travelers’ willingness to fly. With numerous governments ending furlough support, including the UK, labor costs will inevitably rise, and financially difficult decisions must be made. A delicate balance must be struck between serving numerous destinations and keeping operating costs under control. Airlines must be nimble to ensure survival.
Passengers may continue to delay travel plans this winter due to high uncertainty. Even though Europe’s vaccine rollout is progressing well, the Delta variant is a concern. With some countries struggling to contain the virus, travel restrictions look set to remain. Planning trips will continue to be complicated further by ever-changing restrictions such as the requirement for negative COVID-19 tests for entry into many territories. Furthermore, travel restrictions are the second biggest deterrent to travel, with 55% of respondents in the latest industry poll stating this reason for avoiding traveling. Route networks must focus on destinations with limited restrictions and an agile/responsive approach must be taken.
Competition among airlines in Europe was fierce pre-COVID and often price was the determining factor for travelers when selecting an airline. With demand uncertainty likely this winter, encouraging booking will be a key goal.
Lowering fares to stimulate demand will be a tactic deployed this winter to fill seats. This could attract the 57% of European respondents who rated price as the most important factor when selecting an airline brand, according to a recent poll. Price will be critical to encouraging travel in the interim and low-cost airlines are likely to be the dominant airlines this winter. With travelers continuing to travel closer to home, the expansive European network of these carriers should work to their advantage.

Most and least expensive US vacation destinations Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Most and least expensive US vacation destinations 41

Study looked at the biggest US cities to discover most and least affordable travel destinations.Oklahoma City is the most affordable destination for US city breaks.New York City is the most expensive US vacation destination.

With travel restrictions meaning more Americans than ever are choosing to vacation close to home, travel experts have revealed the most affordable and most expensive US vacation destinations to inspire your next trip! 

The study looked at the biggest cities in the country to discover which were the most affordable, based on factors such as food and drink, the cost of a hotel and transportation. 
Top 10 most affordable destinations in the US 
RankCityBeerWineRestaurant mealTaxi (1km fare)One-way local transport ticketNightly hotel price (weekend)Vacation affordability score /101Oklahoma City, Oklahoma$3.00$12.00$11.50$1.65$2.00$1068.582Indianapolis, Indiana$3.50$10.97$15.00$1.24$1.75$1798.003Tucson, Arizona$4.00$12.00$14.00$1.37$1.75$1347.964Memphis, Tennessee$4.50$10.00$15.00$1.49$1.75$1727.875San Antonio, Texas$3.60$12.00$15.00$1.52$1.50$1617.776Houston, Texas$5.00$12.00$15.00$1.44$1.25$1367.737Fort Worth, Texas$3.00$12.00$15.00$1.12$2.50$1457.708Louisville, Kentucky$5.50$10.00$15.00$1.43$1.75$1627.679Orlando, Floria$4.00$11.00$15.00$1.49$2.00$1607.6510Raleigh, North Carolina$5.00$12.50$15.00$1.40$1.25$1347.62
The study found Oklahoma City to be the most affordable destination for US city breaks. The city was the cheapest for half of the factors analyzed, costing just $3 for a beer, $11.50 for a meal in a restaurant, and $106 for a night in a hotel! If you’re fascinated by the Old West, then Oklahoma City is a must-visit, where you can visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, try your hand at roping and herding cattle and riding horses at a ranch, or take in a rodeo!
Indianapolis is another extremely affordable city to visit,  ranking second place. Transportation is particularly cheap, with a one-way ticket on local transport costing just $1.75, and a 1km taxi fare averaging at $1.24. Followed by Tuscon, a popular choice for those wishing to visit the Saguaro National Park and one of the cheapest cities to visit! 
Top 5 most expensive destinations in the US 

RankCityBeerWineRestaurant mealTaxi (1km fare)One-way local transport ticketNightly hotel price (weekend)Vacation affordability score /101New York City, New York$7.81$15.00$20.00$1.86$2.75$3092.562San Francisco, California$7.50$15.00$20.00$1.86$3.00$2313.073Boston, Massachussetts$7.00$15.00$20.00$1.86$2.63$2733.164Brooklyn, New York$7.00$15.00$17.00$1.55$2.75$2803.765Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$5.00$15.00$15.00$3.42$2.50$2443.94
As one of the most popular tourist destinations, not just in the US but in the world, it’s little surprise to see that New York City is also the most expensive US vacation destination, whilst neighboring Brooklyn ranks 4th place. NYC was the most expensive city for four of the six metrics looked at: a beer ($7.81), bottle of wine ($15), restaurant meal ($20), and hotel stay ($309 per night).
Another hugely popular city takes second place, with San Francisco matching New York when it comes to some prices and not far behind on most others. As well as being a very popular destination due to its landmarks and architecture, the city is also one of the highest-earning in the US, which also drives prices up for visitors.

New tough checks for Prague Airport international arrivals Aviation Feature, Aviation News

New tough checks for Prague Airport international arrivals 42

Prague Airport to reinforce passenger checks on arrival.Prague Airport will strengthen the control of the currently valid conditions for entry into the country.From September 1, 2021, the arrival procedure for all passengers flying to Prague Airport will be adjusted.

As per the new protective measure implemented by the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic, Prague Airport, the Foreign Police of the Czech Republic and the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic will strengthen the control of the currently valid conditions for entry into the country.

Together, the parties thus respond to the gradually increasing traffic at Prague Airport and the possibility to visit the country for tourist activities by foreigners.
From 1 September 2021, the arrival procedure for all passengers flying to Václav Havel Airport Prague will be adjusted. Until further notice, the changes implemented at both Prague Airport terminals will affect tourists as well as citizens of the Czech Republic and the EU+ countries returning to the Czech Republic.
The airport continues to encourage passengers to thoroughly review the implemented rules in advance. Before their departure to Prague, they should have prepared, and ideally printed out, all documents, arrival forms and confirmations of non-infectivity, if required.
“We are coordinating the new model with representatives of the Ministry of Health and other security forces present at the airport. We are also increasing our personnel capacity and reinforcing the technical equipment to speed up the entire check-in process on arrivals. Passengers can help accelerated the Czech arrival checks, too, by having reviewed the current conditions and prepared all documents in advance,” Jiří Kraus, Vice-Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said.

Boeing announces changes to its Board of Directors Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Boeing announces changes to its Board of Directors 43

David L. Joyce elected to Boeing’s Board of Directors.Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. retires from Boeing’s Board of Directors.Changes to Boeing’s Board of Directors are effective immediately.

The Boeing Company board of directors today announced that David L. Joyce has been elected to the board, effective immediately. He will serve on the Aerospace Safety and Compensation committees. The Boeing board today also announced that Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. has informed the company that he will retire from the board at the end of 2021.
David L. Joyce elected to Boeing’s Board of Directors
An accomplished aerospace executive, Joyce, 64, retired from General Electric (GE) as vice chair in 2020, where he also served as president and CEO of GE Aviation from 2008 to 2020.  During his 12-year leadership of GE’s largest division, Joyce also led customer and product support for more than 19,000 global engines and 500 airlines customers and oversaw the implementation of an industry-leading safety management system across GE Aviation.
A 40-year GE veteran, Joyce joined GE Aviation in 1980 as a product engineer and spent 15 years designing and developing GE’s commercial and military engines, before serving in a variety of leadership positions in GE Aviation, including vice president and general manager of Commercial Engines. Joyce earned both a Bachelor of Science and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University and holds a master’s in business finance from Xavier University. 
“David Joyce is a recognized aerospace industry leader who brings a demonstrated track record of safety leadership, engineering expertise and operational excellence to our board,” said Boeing Chairman Larry Kellner. “He will provide valuable counsel and guidance based on his significant experience.”
Joyce is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and is the recipient of the National Defense Industrial Association’s James Forrestal Industry Leadership Award and the American Society of Materials’ Medal for the Advancement of Research. Since 2010, he has served on the Board of Trustees of Xavier University.
“Boeing will benefit from David Joyce’s deep aviation experience and broad industry relationships,” said David Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO, and member of the board of directors. “David’s experience transforming businesses and focus on quality and safety in the aerospace industry will further strengthen our board.”

Taliban ready to restart Kabul airport operations ‘in few days’ Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Taliban ready to restart Kabul airport operations ‘in few days’ 44

Taliban to restart operations at Khamid Karzai International Airport.Kabul’s airport will be operational within days.Taliban took over Kabul and entire Afghanistan on August 15.

Taliban representative announced today that Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport will resume normal operation in just a few days.

“We are ready to resume the airport’s operation. We will do it within days,” Anas Haqqani, a ranking member of the Taliban said in an interview.
Haqqani described the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan as a “great” event and called the day when evacuation ended a “historical” day.
The United States finished the evacuation of civilians from Kabul and their entire mission in Afghanistan on August 30. The decision to end the US operation in Afghanistan that began in October 2001 and became the longest US overseas campaign in history was announced by President Joe Biden on April 14, 2021.
After this decision was announced, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours.
Hamid Karzai International Airport, also known as HKIA, is located 3.1 miles (5 km) from the city center of Kabul in Afghanistan. It serves as one of the nation’s main international airports and as one of the largest military bases, capable of housing over one hundred aircraft.
Hamid Karzai International Airport was previously named Kabul International Airport and locally as Khwaja Rawash Airport, though it continues to be officially known by some airlines by the latter name. The airport was given its current name in 2014 in honor of former President Hamid Karzai.