COVID-19 is killing American business travel Aviation Feature, Aviation News

COVID-19 is killing American business travel 1

67% of US business travelers are planning to take fewer trips.52% of US business travelers are likely to cancel existing travel plans without rescheduling.60% of US business travelers are planning to postpone existing travel plans.

US business travelers are scaling back travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases, with 67% planning to take fewer trips, 52% likely to cancel existing travel plans without rescheduling, and 60% planning to postpone existing travel plans, according to a new national survey conducted on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

Despite an uptick in leisure travel over the summer, the new survey highlights the dim outlook for business travel and events, which account for more than half of hotel revenue and aren’t expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
The lack of business travel and events has major repercussions for employment both directly on hotel properties, and in the broader community. Hotels are expected to end 2021 down nearly 500,000 jobs compared to 2019. For every 10 people directly employed on a hotel property, hotels support an additional 26 jobs in the community, from restaurants and retail to hotel supply companies—meaning an additional nearly 1.3 million hotel-supported jobs are also at risk.
The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted August 11-12, 2021. Of these, 414 people, or 18% of respondents, are business travelers—that is, those who either work in a job that typically includes work-related travel or who expect to travel for business at least once between now and the end of the year. Key findings among business travelers include the following:
67% are likely to take fewer trips, while 68% are likely to take shorter trips52% say they are likely to cancel existing travel plans with no plans to reschedule60% are likely to postpone existing travel plans until a later date66% are likely to only travel to places they can drive to

Flights from Moscow to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh on Aeroflot now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Moscow to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh on Aeroflot now 2

Russian flag carrier announces scheduled flights to Egypt’s Red Sea resort cities.Aeroflot will operate Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh flights daily.Aeroflot’s Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh flights will operate from Moscow.

Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot issued announced today that has launched the sale of tickets for direct scheduled passenger flights from Moscow, Russia to the Egyptian Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.

According to announced schedule, Aeroflot will operate one flight from Moscow to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh daily, starting from October 1, 2021.
Since August 27, Russia has tripled the number of regular flights to Egypt on the Moscow-Hurghada and Moscow-Sharm el-Sheikh routes – from 5 to 15 flights per week on each route following the decision of the federal operational headquarters for the fight against COVID-19.
According to the Federal Air Transport Agency, nine airlines, including Aeroflot, have received the opportunity to operate flights on these routes, in addition to Rossiya. Previously, Aeroflot did not operate regular flights to these destinations.
PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines, commonly known as Aeroflot, is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation. The airline was founded in 1923, making Aeroflot one of the oldest active airlines in the world.
Aeroflot is headquartered in the Central Administrative Okrug (District), Moscow, with its hub being Sheremetyevo International Airport. The airline flies to 146 destinations in 52 countries, excluding codeshared services.

Europe lifts travel restrictions for some countries, blacklists others Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Europe lifts travel restrictions for some countries, blacklists others 3

EU is gradually lifting temporary non-essential travel restrictions.Five countries and one entity/territorial authority removed from the restrictions lifting list.Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia and USA removed from list.

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted.

In particular, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and the United States of America were removed from the list.
Non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed in Annex I is subject to temporary travel restriction. This is without prejudice to the possibility for member states to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers.
As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.
Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 30 August 2021, member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:
AlbaniaArmeniaAustraliaAzerbaijanBosnia and HercegovinaBrunei DarussalamCanada JapanJordanNew ZealandQatarRepublic of MoldovaSaudi ArabiaSerbiaSingaporeSouth KoreaUkraineChina (subject to confirmation of reciprocity)
Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao.

US State Department: Do not travel to Canada Aviation Feature, Aviation News

US State Department: Do not travel to Canada 4

US citizens warned not to travel to Canada.US State Department raises Canada travel advisory level to 3.Travel between US and Canada not recommended due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The United States Department of State has increased the travel alert level for Americans travelling to Canada, advising all US citizens to reconsider going to the country amid amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest travel advisory issued by the US State Department, upgraded Canada to Level 3, which says ‘Reconsider travel’.
The US State Department issued a statement saying that it had re-categorized travel advisories from Level 2 — “exercise increased caution” — to Level 3 — “reconsider travel” — on the advice of the CDC, due to “a high level of COVID-19 in Canada.”
The US State Department, along with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also warned against travel to Switzerland, among other countries because of rising number of new cases of COVID-19 infection.
In the past seven days, over 21,000 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Canada. At the same time, over 900,000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded last week in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

FAA bans all US airlines from flying over Afghanistan Aviation Feature, Aviation News

FAA bans all US airlines from flying over Afghanistan 5

FAA stated that the Kabul Airport is not controlled by anyone.The air traffic control is not being carried out in Afghanistan.Just one route along the eastern border remains open.

US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a statement today announcing that all US civilian airlines are banned from flying over the entire territory of Afghanistan with the exception of one route that remains open along the eastern border.

Civilian carriers “may continue to use one high-altitude jet route near the far eastern border for overflights. Any U.S. civil aircraft operator that wants to fly into/out of or over Afghanistan must receive prior authorization from the FAA,” the statement says.
Earlier, the FAA stated that the Kabul Airport is not controlled by anyone and the air traffic control is not being carried out in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, US servicemen completely withdrew from Afghanistan. The Taliban movement stated that Afghanistan has gained complete independence.

Prague Airport Board of Directors elects new Chairman Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Prague Airport Board of Directors elects new Chairman 6

Jiri Pos elected Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors.His appointment was approved by the Personnel Nomination Committee of the Czech Republic.His appointment was recommended by the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic.

Today, Jiří Pos was elected Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors by fellow Board members. He thus assumes the role of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the largest international airport operator in the Czech Republic, effective 30 August 2021.

His appointment into the company’s management was approved by the Personnel Nomination Committee of the Czech Republic Government in August 2021, following the recommendation of the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, the sole shareholder of the company. The Ministry’s commission selected Mr. Pos as the most suitable candidate in a tender called for the position.
Jiří Kraus continues to perform the role of Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The current four-member Prague Airport Board of Directors met today at an extraordinary meeting of the statutory body to vote its chairman. Jiří Pos was approved. “I do not promise the impossible within three days and miracles at once. However, I am convinced that we can use the potential of Prague Airport to facilitate its return to profit and enhance its further development to the satisfaction of passengers, our business partners, and the owner, while naturally, considering the impact on the environment of the surrounding municipalities and Prague city districts.”
Jiří Pos returns to Prague Airport after seven years. He originally joined the company in 2006. From 2011 to 2014, he was Prague Airport Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO. From 2014 to 2015, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Czech Aeroholding Group. After leaving the Group, he pursued his own business activities, predominantly in the field of civil aviation and tourism. From 2019 to 2021, he worked as a Secretary of Karlovy Vary Airport. He started his career in aviation at Czech Airlines, where he stayed for a total of twenty years. He started his career in aviation in 1986, working for Czech Airlines, where he stayed for twenty years. He first worked for the Czech national carrier foreign offices from 1994 to 2001. Then, he was the company Vice-president in charge of Ground Operations from 2003 to 2006. He graduated from the Czech Technical University in Prague, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, with a specialization in the field of aviation production economics.
Prague Airport Board of Directors as of 30 August 2021:
Jiří Pos – Chairman of the Board of DirectorsJiří Kraus – Vice Chairman of the Board of DirectorsJakub Puchalský – Member of the Board of DirectorsJiří Černík – Member of the Board of Directors

US Travel: EU travel restriction disappointing Aviation Feature, Aviation News

US Travel: EU travel restriction disappointing 7

European Commission recommends travel restrictions for US travelers to EU.Many EU countries experienced boost in inbound visitation this summer.US Travel encourages the EU to remain open to vaccinated Americans.

US Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on news that the European Union recommends removing the United States from its list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted:

“This is a disappointing development following the boost in inbound visitation by vaccinated travelers that many E.U. countries experienced this summer. It’s a setback despite the uptake in vaccinations—the tool that’s highly effective against the variants—which are on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Travel is a crucial component of the global economy and will be necessary for a full recovery from the economic devastation of the pandemic. US Travel encourages the E.U. to remain open to vaccinated Americans, and likewise urge the United States to take immediate steps to begin welcoming vaccinated individuals and restoring our travel economy.”
European Union officials today recommended to suspend all non-essential travel from the United States as US new COVID-19 case numbers spiked.
Today’s announcement by the European Council amounts to a recommendation to the bloc’s 27 member states, which technically retain sovereignty over their own borders.

With 80% of population fully immunized, Singapore is world’s most vaccinated country Aviation Feature, Aviation News

With 80% of population fully immunized, Singapore is world’s most vaccinated country 8

80% of Singapore’s population fully immunized.Singapore to ease COVI 19 pandemic-related restrictions.Singapore citizens and residents will be allowed to travel again.

Singapore has become the world’s most vaccinated country with 80% of its 5.7 million people fully inoculated against COVID-19, the island-state government officials said.
Singapore’s Health Minister Ong Ye Kung
“We have crossed another milestone, where 80% of our population has received their full regimen of two doses,” Singapore’s Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post yesterday.
“It means Singapore has taken another step forward in making ourselves more resilient to COVID-19.”
The development gives the tiny city-state the world’s highest rate of complete vaccinations.
Other countries that have high vaccination rates include the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Chile, which have fully inoculated more than 70 percent of their populations.
Reaching this milestone sets the stage for further easing of COVID-19 pandemic-related curbs in Singapore.
According the the officials, large gatherings such as the New Year Countdown will resume and “businesses will have certainty that their operations will not be disrupted”.
Singaporeans will also be allowed to travel again, at least to countries that have also controlled the virus.
Singapore, which began its vaccination campaign in January, relied mostly on the jabs developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Singapore has logged a total of 67,171 cases and 55 deaths since the pandemic began.

European Union bans Americans travelers Aviation Feature, Aviation News

European Union bans Americans travelers 9

EU to suspend all non-essential travel for US visitors.EU to reinstate travel restrictions due to US COVID-19 surge.EU tourists still remain banned from entering the US.

EU officials recommended to suspend all non-essential travel from the United States as US new COVID-19 case numbers spiked.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
The European Union has advised its member states to remove the United States, Israel, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia from the list of safe countries for non-essential travel, due the rising number of new coronavirus infections in those countries.
Today’s announcement by the European Council amounts to a recommendation to the bloc’s 27 member states, which technically retain sovereignty over their own borders. It reverses the June recommendation to ease restrictions on US travelers.
The recommendation is nonbinding, meaning individual countries will be allowed to decide if they still wish to allow US visitors with proof of vaccination, negative tests, or quarantine.
The EC updates its travel recommendations every two weeks, based on COVID-19 infection levels. To be considered “safe” a country needs to have no more than 75 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the 14-day period. 
According to the latest data, the US averaged 152,000 new COVID-19 cases per day last week, on par with numbers from late January.
The latest surge is straining hospitals and health care workers. Roughly one in five intensive care units have reached at least 95% capacity.
Death rates have risen too – reaching an average of more than 1,000 per day. Just over half of all Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Unvaccinated people are about 29 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, tourists from the EU – and much of the rest of the world – remain banned from entering the US under the restrictions imposed early in the pandemic.
In early August, the Biden administration was rumored to be considering a vaccination requirement to reopen the borders, but nothing has been heard about the proposal since.
Earlier this month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the lack of reciprocity would not be allowed to “drag on for weeks”.

Taliban takes full control of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport tomorrow Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Taliban takes full control of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport tomorrow 10

Taliban to assume control of Kabul airport after US withdrawal.Taliban wants Turkey and Qatar to assist in operating Kabul airport.US troops to withdraw from Afghanistan on August 31.

According to the latest reports, the Taliban will assume full control of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport tomorrow, following the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan on Tuesday, August 31.

As is had been reported earlier, the Taliban is conducting negotiations with Turkey and Qatar regarding the technical management of operations at the airport. The sides have not come to an agreement yet.
Earlier, the Spokesman for the Taliban Political Office in Qatar, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, said that the radical movement was optimistic about the upcoming complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. 
After the US announced the end of its 20-year-long operation in Afghanistan and the beginning of its troop withdrawal, the Taliban launched an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, establishing full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani left the country, while Vice President Amrullah Saleh declared himself acting head of state and called for armed resistance to the Taliban. Many countries have conducted emergency evacuation of their citizens and embassy staff from Afghanistan after Taliban takeover.

Late-stage global pandemic air travel is going to be brutal Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Regular fliers have all experienced the anger and frustration of being stuck on the tarmac. With people once again taking to the “friendly” skies in greater numbers, far more delays than usual are expected. The flight you expected to be 45 minutes turns into a fist-shaking multi-hour journey. As the mood on the plane goes from bad to worse, people often wonder “Is this actually legal?”The answer that you don’t want to hear is that your tarmac hold probably is legal and, for the foreseeable future, courts may be inclined to give more leeway to the airlines than they generally would under the law. 
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has new rules about how long a plane is allowed to stay on the tarmac and under what conditions. The modification of these tarmac rules  began back in 2016 and went into effect only this year. So none of the rule changes were motivated by the pandemic.
No matter what airline it is, no matter whether it’s the US- or foreign-owned carrier, a domestic flight can sit on the tarmac for no more than three hours. For international flights, the limit is four hours.
There needs to be one announcement of the tarmac hold at the 30-minute mark. Then, at two hours, the rules state that passengers must be provided with water, food, and medical care on the plane if it is needed. There is also a requirement that the bathrooms on the plane are fully functional. 
Finally, once the three/four-hour mark hits, passengers have the legal right to leave the plane. Often, when this happens, the flight is simply canceled because of added delays (such as the need to remove checked bags and also whatever crew working hour complications could arise).
Given that this is air travel, of course, there are exceptions. The most common is where a pilot decides that the plane needs to remain on the tarmac for safety reasons. It’s also important for passengers to understand that the tarmac delay clock only starts when you are unable to leave the plane. If you’re sitting at the gate, the door is open and passengers could get off the flight, the clock has yet to start.
Adriana Gonzalez, a Florida lawyer, reminds us that even where the airlines may feel they have valid reasons to extend tarmac delays, we should never lose sight of the most important issue here:
“The airlines may claim that meeting all of the legal requirements for a tarmac hold is going to become, in a practical sense, very complicated, as they are cutting back on in-flight service during the pandemic. Airlines are going to need to be more flexible in responding to passengers who are in distress and need to leave the plane before the time the normal tarmac rules would apply. The health and safety of passengers have to always come first.”
From the perspective of the airlines, it has become more complicated to run each flight. It’s not just the increased risk to in-flight personnel of circulating in the cabin and doing the regular service, it’s disruptions in the supply chain. Not everything that is served on flights in the quantities needed is as readily available today as it was in early 2020. While air travelers will need to be flexible where these supply issues impact only things that are nice to have (such as the usual selection of snacks or whether airlines provide alcohol in-flight), the one thing that can never be sacrificed is safety. 
Every tarmac delay in the best of times sees the onboard environment become more emotionally charged every hour the plane is on the ground. To go from passengers shaking with frustration to acting out and having a volatile situation onboard is something the airlines need to be very aware of and sensitive to over the next few months. As we all try to get used to air travel again, airlines should not only follow all rules designed for passenger safety but err on the side of exceeding them.  
by Aron Solomon 

Canada bans all direct passenger flights from Morocco Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Canada bans all direct passenger flights from Morocco 11

Transport Canada restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from Morocco.Morocco flight ban is in effect from August 29 until September 29.Canadians are advised to avoid any non-essential travel outside of Canada

Canada has some of the strictest travel and border measures in the world, and is prioritizing the health and safety of Canadians by continuing to take a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening its borders.

Like every other element of Canada’s COVID-19 response, border measures are based on available data, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally. An increase in COVID-19 positive test results has been observed in travelers arriving in Canada from Morocco over the past month.
Based on the latest public health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada is issuing a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from Morocco from August 29, 2021, at 00:01 EDT until September 29, 2021, at 00:00 EDT. All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from Morocco are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included.
To ensure aviation safety and to reduce operational interruptions, flights from Morocco that are already in transit at the time of the publication of the NOTAM will be allowed to proceed to Canada. As an interim measure, until the NOTAM comes into effect, all travelers arriving on those flights will be required to take a test on arrival to Canada.
Transport Canada is also amending the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 molecular tests to include travelers to Canada from Morocco via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart Morocco to Canada, via an indirect route, will be required to obtain a valid COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country – other than Morocco – before continuing their journey to Canada. The third-country testing requirement will also come into effect on August 29, 2021, at 00:01 EDT. 
Canada continues to closely monitor the situation, and will be working closely with the Government of Morocco and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to enable a safe resumption of direct flights as soon as conditions permit.  
Restricting flights from countries of concern is part of Canada’s general approach to the responsible and effective management of Canada’s border re-opening plan.
Canadians are advised to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases the risk of exposure to, and the spread of, COVID-19 and its variants. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves.

Flights from Bangkok to Samui, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Sukhothai and Lampang resume Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Bangkok to Samui, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Sukhothai and Lampang resume 12

Bangkok Airways restarts BKK-USM, BKK-CNX, BKK-HKT, BKK-THS and BKK-LPT flights.Bangkok Airways continues to support Thailand’s re-opening projects.All passengers are required to strictly follow guidelines issued by each provincial office and/or destination.

Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited announces the resumption of its five routes which are Bangkok – Samui, Bangkok – Chiang Mai, Bangkok – Phuket, Bangkok – Sukhothai and Bangkok – Lampang, starting from 1 September 2021 onwards. 

Flight schedules for the resumed routes will be as follows: 
Bangkok – Samui (v.v.) 3 flights daily Bangkok – Chiang Mai (v.v.) 5 flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) Bangkok – Phuket (v.v.) 5 flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) Bangkok – Lampang (v.v.) 4 flights per week (Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday), *starting from 9 September 2021 onwardsBangkok – Sukhothai (v.v.) 3 flights per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), *starting from 16 September 2021 onwards 
In addition to that, the airline continues to support Thailand’s re-opening projects which are Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus by offering the following services:
Bangkok – Samui (v.v.) (sealed-route flights) which accommodate transit/transfer international passengers, connecting from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) to Koh Samui (2 flights per day)  Samui – Singapore (v.v.), available 3 flights per week (Monday, Thursday and Sunday) Samui – Phuket (v.v.) available 5 flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) 
All Bangkok Airways passengers are required to strictly follow guidelines issued by each provincial office and/or destination. Passengers can check announcements, orders, and travel procedures, for each destination prior to travel from the related authorities such as:
The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)  Airports of ThailandDepartment of Airports

Taliban wants Turkey to run Kabul Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Taliban wants Turkey to run Kabul Airport 13

Turkey decides on a Taliban request to help run Kabul’s airport.Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says discussions with Taliban under way.The talks were held at military facility at Kabul airport where Turkey’s embassy is stationed.

Turkey held its first talks with the Taliban regarding assistance in running the capital city airport today at a military facility at the Kabul’s airport where Turkey’s embassy is temporarily stationed.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
According to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara was still assessing Taliban’s offer to assist in operating Hamid Karzai International Airport (KBL) in Kabul and more talks would perhaps be needed before the decision is made.
“We have held our first talks with the Taliban, which lasted three and a half hours,” Erdogan said. “If necessary, we will have the opportunity to hold such talks again.”
Turkey had hundreds of troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission, and had been responsible for the security of the airport for the past six years.
Responding to domestic criticism over Turkey’s engagement with the terrorist group, Erdogan said Ankara had “no luxury” to stand idly by in the volatile region.
“You cannot know what their expectations are or what our expectations are without talking. What’s diplomacy, my friend? This is diplomacy,” Erdogan said.
Turkey had been planning to help secure and run Kabul’s strategic airport, but on Wednesday it started pulling troops out of Afghanistan – an apparent sign of Ankara abandoning this goal.
Erdogan said the Taliban now wanted to oversee security at the airport, while offering Ankara the option of running its logistics.
He said the twin suicide bombs that killed at least 110 people, including 13 US troops, outside the airport during the last days of an urgent evacuation effort on Thursday showed the importance of knowing the details of how the air hub will be secured.
Erdogan said calm should be restored in Kabul before making a decision on the airport, adding there was a risk of getting “sucked in” to something that would be hard to explain given uncertainty around the possible mission.
“Taliban said: ‘We will ensure the security, you operate the airport’. We have not made any decision on this issue yet,” Erdogan said.
Ankara has so far evacuated at least 350 soldiers and more than 1,400 people from Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover this month.
Erdogan, who previously criticized the Taliban as it swept through the country en route to Kabul, said Turkey was aiming to complete evacuations and troop withdrawals as quickly as possible.

Russian airlines cleared to launch flights to Red Sea resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Russian airlines cleared to launch flights to Red Sea resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada 14

Russian civil aviation regulator authorizes 9 airline to launch Egypt resort flights.Scheduled flights to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheik to launch in a week or two.Airlines will need at least a week to launch sales and form a network of flights.

Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency announced today that 9 Russian air carriers will be authorized to start regular scheduled flights from Russia to Egyptian Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.

“Airlines will be given the right to operate one flight a week on each route to Hurghada and Sharm EL Sheikh. Also on the routes Moscow – Hurghada and Moscow – Sharm El Sheikh, the number of flights increases from 5 to 15 flights per week,” Russian civil aviation regulator said.
Aeroflot and S7 airlines will launch flights from Moscow, Rossiya, which is already flying to Egypt, will increase the frequency of flights. Ural Airlines, Azur air, Nordwind, Ikar, Red Wings, S7, and Yamal will launch flights from the regions.
However, Russian airlines will need at least a week to launch new flights to Egypt. Carriers will need time to launch sales and form a network of flights.
“Russian airlines will not open new flights to Egypt in the near future, quotas were distributed only yesterday – carriers will need at least a week to start sales and form a schedule,” the agency’s official said.
Along with proposing to increase the number of regular flights to Egypt, Russian Federal Air Transport Agency also advocates the start of charter flights to the country.
“The agency is working with interested federal executive authorities to submit proposals to the operational headquarters to increase the number of regular and start charter flights to the resort cities of Egypt, both from Moscow and from other regions of the country,” the agency’s statement said.

Quarantine-free flights to Singapore now with Lufthansa Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Quarantine-free flights to Singapore now with Lufthansa 15

Daily flights as of 16 September in cooperation with Singapore Airlines.Quarantine-free entry to Singapore only if travel begins in Germany.The quarantine exemption applies to specific flights, known as Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights.

Entry into Singapore from Germany for fully vaccinated travelers will be possible again as of 8 September. A previously imposed quarantine upon arrival in Singapore will no longer be required from this point on. Germany is the first country with which the mega city in Southeast Asia has signed an agreement to this effect.

The quarantine exemption applies to specific flights, known as Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights. Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines will jointly offer one of these VTL flights every day, either from Frankfurt or Munich, beginning on 16 September. Bookings are already possible. Customers will also be able to register for VTL flights on a Singapore government website beginning on 1 September.
“Singapore opening up not only enables people to visit friends and family or meet business partners again, but also sends an important signal to other countries in the region,” says Elise Becker, Head of Sales for Lufthansa in Asia-Pacific. “It is more important than ever that countries work together to find solutions to restore international air travel as well. Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines are making a significant contribution to this development.”
Since the announcement by the Singaporean government, demand for flights between Germany and Singapore has tripled.
The following criteria qualify travelers for a VTL flight to Singapore:
a full vaccination carried out in Germany or Singapore with Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna, or another WHO EUL vaccine.
stay in Germany and/or Singapore for at least 21 consecutive days prior to departure for Singapore. VTL travelers do not have to have German citizenship.
a Covid-19 PCR test with a negative result taken at most 48 hours before departure and a second PCR test upon arrival in Singapore. Until the negative result of this text is received, travelers must stay in their specified hotel or accommodation in Singapore. Depending on the duration of the trip, a maximum of two additional PCR tests may be required in Singapore.
flight booking on a designated VTL flight.

No restrictions: Russia resumes full flights with Dominican Republic, Czech Republic and South Korea Aviation Feature, Aviation News

No restrictions: Russia resumes full flights with Dominican Republic, Czech Republic and South Korea 16

Dominican Republic, Czech Republic and South Korea are the first three countries, to which Russia has fully resumed flights.Flights to Prague are performed by Rossiya from St. Petersburg, and Aeroflot and Czech Airlines from Moscow. Flights to the Dominican Republic were opened in August, with only Azur Air performing charter flights there.

Russian civil aviation authorities and anti-coronavirus crisis center announced that all existing restrictions on flights to the Dominican Republic, South Korea and the Czech Republic have been lifted starting Friday, August 27.

Dominican Republic, Czech Republic and South Korea are the first three countries, to which Russia has fully resumed flights since restrictions were started to be imposed amid the pandemic, with the remaining countries still covered by the mechanism of flight quota arrangement. Moreover, the center has decided to increase quotas for regular flights to Egypt starting Friday.
As of now no Russian or foreign air carrier has reported additional flights opened to those countries. Flights to Prague are performed by Rossiya from St. Petersburg, and Aeroflot and Czech Airlines from Moscow. The Czech Republic remains closed for tourists as only passengers with citizenship or residence permit, or those arriving for studies or medical treatment can enter the country.
South Korea is also fully closed for tourists. All those entering the country (only citizens or passengers holding residence permits) will be required to be quarantined for 14 days. Moreover, last April the country abandoned visa-free travel with Russia and suspended visas issuing. Only Aeroflot performs flights to the country.
Flights to the Dominican Republic were opened in August, with only Azur Air performing charter flights there. Aeroflot has also announced its interest in the destination, though the company has not yet announced the exact date of the beginning of flights.

Boeing 737 MAX cleared to fly in Indian airspace again Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Boeing 737 MAX cleared to fly in Indian airspace again 17

Indian civil aviation regulator ungrounds Boeing 737 MAX jets.SpiceJet expects to start Boeing 737 MAX operations next month.India grounded 737 MAX jets on March 13, 2019.

India’s civil aviation regulator announced today that Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were allowed to operate in Indian airspace again.

All Boeing 737 MAX jets were grounded globally in March 2019 after two crashes within 5 months.
India had banned all MAX aircraft from flying to, from, within and over Indian airspace on March 13, 2019.
Recently, these aircraft were allowed to fly again by civil aviation regulators in the US, EU, UAE and other countries – after carrying out the required safety modifications and undergoing required hardware and software updates for safety.
India’s SpiceJet Ltd said on Thursday it expects Boeing Co’s grounded 737 MAX jets in its fleet to return to service at the end of September following a settlement struck with lessor Avolon on leases of the aircraft.
SpiceJet — the only Indian carrier with B737 Max in India — entered into a settlement with Avolon, a major lessor of MAX aircraft, paving the way for the airline’s 737 MAX aircraft to start to return to service… around the end of September 2021, “subject to regulatory approvals.”
In all, there were eighteen Boeing 737 Max aircraft in India — five ex-Jet and 13 of SpiceJet — at the time of grounding.
Indian billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala also plans to launch a new low-cost airline by early next year with a B737 Max fleet. Ex-Jet Max have been flown out by lessors.
India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Arun Kumar issued an order rescinding the March 2019 grounding of B737-8/9 MAX today.
“This rescission enables operation of Boeing Company Model 737-8 and Boeing Company Model 737-9 (MAX) airplanes only upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service,” Kumar said.
Earlier in April, the DGCA had allowed foreign-registered Boeing 737 Max aircraft that was grounded in India to be flown out of the country. It had also allowed overflying of modified Max over Indian airspace.
Following this, some foreign registered aircraft grounded at various airports in India were able to undertake RTS.
So far, 175 out of 195 countries have lifted restrictions on Max, and over 30 operators have returned the plane to service.
In a statement, Boeing said: “The DGCA’s decision is an important milestone toward safely returning the 737 MAX to service in India. Boeing continues to work with regulators and our customers to return the airplane to service worldwide.”

Passenger personal data stolen in Bangkok Airways cybersecurity attack Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Passenger personal data stolen in Bangkok Airways cybersecurity attack 18

Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited had been a victim of cybersecurity attack.Attack resulted in unauthorized and unlawful access to airline’s information system.The incident has been reported to the Royal Thai police as well as providing notification to the relevant authorities.

On August 23, 2021, Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited discovered that the company had been a victim of cybersecurity attack which resulted in unauthorized and unlawful access to its information system.

Upon such discovery, Bangkok Airways immediately took action to investigate and contain the event, with the assistance of a cybersecurity team. Currently, the company is investigating, as a matter of urgency, to verify the compromised data and the affected passengers as well as taking relevant measures to strengthen its IT system. 
An initial investigation of the incident appeared to confirm that some of the personal data may have been accessed which are, passenger name, family name, nationality, gender, phone number, email, address, contact information, passport information, historical travel information, partial credit card information, and special meal information. The company however, confirms that the incident did not affect the company’s operational or aeronautical security systems.
This incident has been reported to the Royal Thai police as well as providing notification to the relevant authorities. For primary prevention measures, the company highly recommends passengers to contact their bank or credit card provider and follow their advice and change any compromised passwords as soon as possible.  
In addition to that, the company would like to caution passengers to be aware of any suspicious or unsolicited calls and/or emails, as the attacker may be claiming to be Bangkok Airways and attempt to gather personal data by deception (known as ‘phishing’). The company (Bangkok Airways) will not be contacting any customers asking for credit card details and any such requests. In case of such event occurs, passengers should take legal actions. 

Air Astana receives its sixth new Airbus A321LR jet Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Air Astana receives its sixth new Airbus A321LR jet 19

Air Astana’s entire Airbus A321LR fleet is leased from Air Lease Corporation.The Airbus A321LR is equipped with the latest generation Pratt & Whitney engines.The Airbus A321LR fleet operates across Air Astana’s international network.

Air Astana’s sixth new Airbus A321LR arrived at Nur- Sultan International Airport directly from the Airbus plant in Hamburg, Germany today. The entire Airbus A321LR fleet is leased from Air Lease Corporation, with the first aircraft arriving in September 2019 and one more of the type is due for delivery before the end of 2021.

The Airbus A321LR is equipped with the latest generation Pratt & Whitney engines, which reduce fuel consumption by 20%, maintenance costs by 5%, carbon emissions by 20% and noise levels by 50% compared with previous generation of aircraft. The cabin is configured with 16 lie-flat seats in Business class and 150 seats in Economy class, with all seats equipped with individual screens.
The Airbus A321LR fleet operates across the airline’s international network, with destinations including Dubai, Frankfurt, London (from September 2021), Istanbul, Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) and Podgorica (Montenegro).
The Air Astana group operates a fleet of 35 aircraft comprising 15 Airbus A320/A320neo, 12 Airbus A321/A321neo/A321LR, three Boeing 767 and five Embraer E190-E2, with the total including nine A320 and one A320 neo with LCC division, FlyArystan.  The average age of Air Astana’s fleet is only three years, making it one of the youngest in the world.

IATA backs European Digital COVID Certificate as global standard Aviation Feature, Aviation News

IATA backs European Digital COVID Certificate as global standard 20

EU Digital COVID Certificate has the flexibility to be used in both paper and digital format.EU Digital COVID Certificate QR code can be included in both digital and paper format.EU Digital COVID Certificate is implemented in the 27 EU Member states.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) commended the European Commission for its leadership and speed in delivering the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) and urged states to make it their global standard for digital vaccine certificates. 
Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Deputy Director General
“The DCC was delivered in record time to help facilitate the reopening of EU states to travel. In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccine certificates, it should serve as a blueprint for other nations looking to implement digital vaccination certificates to help facilitate travel and its associated economic benefits,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Deputy Director General.
The EU DCC meets several key criteria which have been identified as important if a digital vaccination certificate is to be effective: 
Format: the DCC has the flexibility to be used in both paper and digital format.
QR code: The DCC QR code can be included in both digital and paper format. It contains essential information as well as a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic. 
Verification and authentication:  The European Commission has built a gateway through which the encrypted data used to sign DCCs and required to authenticate certificate signatures can be distributed across the EU. The gateway can be also used to distribute encrypted data of non-EU certificate issuers other issuers. The EU has also developed a specification for machine readable Validation Rules for cross-country travel.
The EU DCC is implemented in the 27 EU Member states and a number of reciprocal agreements have been agreed with other states’ own vaccination certificates, including Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccination certificates, up to 60 other countries are looking to use the DCC specification for their own certification. The DCC is an excellent model as it is consistent with the latest World Health Organization Guidance and is fully supported by IATA Travel Pass. Another benefit of the DCC is that it enables holders to access non-aviation sites in Europe that require proof of vaccination, such as museums, sporting events and concerts.
IATA wishes to offer its collaboration to EU Commission and any other interested state to further integrate the DCC into airline processes for a secure and seamless passenger experience, such as support for selective disclosure of personal data.

Second explosion reported at Kabul airport after 13 people killed in first bombing Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Second explosion reported at Kabul airport after 13 people killed in first bombing 21

Explosions rock Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.The blasts appear to be suicide bombing attacks.According to Taliban, 13 people died in first explosion.

Two bombings near Kabul airport today resulted in “a number of US & civilian casualties”, the Pentagon said.

An explosion earlier today near the Abbey Gate of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, has been confirmed by the US Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby, who said that the blast resulted “in an unknown number of casualties.”
According to Taliban spokesperson, the apparent suicide bombing attack killed at least 13, including children and Taliban guards.
A second blast has been reported at the Baron Hotel area near Kabul airport following a major explosion as military evacuation continues.
Shortly before the second explosion, France’s Ambassador to Afghanistan warned civilians to “take cover” away from the gates to the Kabul airport, saying a second bombing may be imminent after confirmed reports of a major blast as military evacuation continues.
Ambassador David Martinon tweeted an “urgent” warning to “all our Afghan friends” on Thursday, warning that a “second explosion is possible.” US officials have said the first blast was likely the work of a suicide bomber outside the airport.
The scene at Hamid Karzai International Airport was already chaotic before the explosion, as thousands of Afghans, Americans and others seek safe passage out of the country before the August 31st deadline.
Intelligence reports had surfaced earlier this week warning of “imminent” terrorist attacks on the Kabul airport by ISIS-K – an Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan. 

Confusion over vaccine certificates hinders travel recovery Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Confusion over vaccine certificates hinders travel recovery 22

Vaccines were hailed as a travel enabler and a glimmer of hope for the industry.Fragmented rules and a lack of mutual agreements continue to restrict travel.Travelers have been left confused over how to provide their vaccination status.

The lack of an internationally recognized vaccine certification system could hamper travel recovery as many travelers are left confused about quarantine requirements and travel restrictions. With varying rules, some may opt for domestic trips, dealing a blow to destinations that are dependent on international visitation.
Confusion over vaccine certificates could hinder travel recovery
Vaccines were hailed as a travel enabler and a glimmer of hope for the industry. However, fragmented rules and a lack of mutual agreements continue to restrict travel, with travel restrictions being the second biggest deterrent to travel for 55% of respondents in a recent industry poll.
Travelers have been left confused over how to provide their vaccination status with varying rules across destinations. For some destinations, travelers need to jump through several hoops to prove their status, and if traveling to numerous countries, the process often differs. Even though it appears restrictions have eased, the complexity of proving vaccination will continue to be a barrier.
Different nations dictate varying rules to show proof of vaccination, from paper to digital records. Digital records are not easy to obtain in some nations, and will add a layer of complexity for travelers, which could cause them to rethink their plans.
Proof of vaccination seems to be an afterthought of the vaccine rollout. The lack of digitalized records in some countries, including the US, makes proving vaccinated status laborious. IATA’s travel pass was hailed as an industry solution but uptake has been poor, and there has been limited government integration. With other providers entering the space, it has created a fragmented system requiring travelers to upload proof themselves to generate a digital pass. Travelers could pivot to destinations with easier rules or opt for domestic trips as a result causing destinations to miss out on visitors.
Travelers want simple solutions that require little effort. The industry must work together to integrate a solution that works for all industry stakeholders. Until then, some will shy away from travel due to the complicated nature of proving vaccination status.
Unless steps are taken soon, it could potentially suppress international demand as rules could be too difficult to understand and destinations’ recovery may stall as a result.

Delta Air Lines: All unvaccinated staff will be charged extra $200 for health insurance monthly Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Delta Air Lines: All unvaccinated staff will be charged extra $200 for health insurance monthly 23

Delta to charge unvaccinated employees extra for health benefits.Delta’s new health insurance policy kicks in on November 1.Average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person.

Delta Air Lines announced today that all airline employees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will have to pay extra $200 per month for health insurance coverage.

Delta Air Lines CEO’s memo to staff said the “surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company.”
According to Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian , the “average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person” and “in recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated.”
Although 75% of Delta Air Lines employees are vaccinated against the virus, Bastian argued that the “aggressiveness” of COVID-19’s Delta variant “means we need to get many more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100 percent as possible.” 
The changes will come into effect from November 1, while, from September 12, unvaccinated employees will also have to take weekly COVID-19 tests. Unvaccinated employees must additionally wear face masks indoors.
Public and industry reaction to the airline’s decision was mixed. Some praised Delta’s decision, saying it was an “appropriate” way to encourage vaccination and could make “a real difference.”
Others, however, warned that it could set a bad precedent claiming that the decision was ultimately based on financial greed, not concern for the public.
Other airlines, including United Airlines, Air Canada and Australia’s Qantas, are making vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for employees.
Earlier this month, United CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart told staff that, while they know some employees would disagree with the decision, “everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated.” 

Booking travel to Hawaii is now a life and death decision Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Booking travel to Hawaii is now a life and death decision 24

What part of “Hawaii is not safe for visitors” do tourists not understand when they are crowding Hawaii’s beaches with towels next to towels, making social distancing impossible?What part of “Hawaii is not safe for visitors” don’t they get when hour-long lines to restaurants are the norm?What part of “Hawaii is not safe visitors” is not understand when tourists are no longer welcome, hospitals are running at 125% capacity, and the famous Aloha Spirit has disappeared?
Tourism remains booming on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, and the Big Island of Hawaii, even though Hawaii Governor Ige, Lt. Governor Green, the head of the CDC, and John De Fries, CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, are pleading with visitors not to travel to the Aloha State at this time.
The clear message to both locals and visitors is “Essential travel only!”
The death rate today is the highest ever recorded in Hawaii during the COVID-19 crisis.
Coranavirus Cases in Hawaii
On August 24, 2020, the State of Hawaii registered 169 new COVID-19 cases in one day, causing severe restrictions and lockdowns.On August 25, 2021, the State of Hawaii registered 625 new COVID-19 cases in one day. Only some minor restrictions and no lockdowns are in place.
COVID-19 Deaths in Hawaii
On August 24, 2020, no one died in Hawaii of COVID-19. This was during the peak of the pandemic. On August 25, 2021, 8 people died of COVID-19 in Hawaii, the highest number ever recorded in one day since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Air Traffic Arrivals
On August 23, 2019, 21,475 people arrived at Hawaii’s airports from US Domestic destinations. On August 23, 2020, the arrival number went down to 1,700. No one was vaccinated.On August 23, 2021, a record total of 23,548 travelers landed at Hawaii’s airports from the other 49 US states.
Counted are trans-Pacific domestic passengers from the rest of the United States arriving in Honolulu, Kahului, Lihue, Hilo, and Kona.

Vaccination
In August 2020 no one was vaccinated.In August 2021 more than 70% in Hawaii received at least one dose of the Vaccination.
According to Lt. Governor Green, the hospital occupancy rate in the State of Hawaii is now 125%. People with heart attacks and other serious illnesses no longer have access to ICUs due to the high number of Coronavirus patients.
Hawaii is sick. Hawaii is much sicker than countries like the Bahamas for example that are under a Tier 4 US travel warning saying:
DO NOT TRAVEL AT THIS TIME !
Visitors should show some ALOHA to the people of Hawaii and stay home.
Tourism Economy
Tourism is the largest single source of private capital for Hawai’i’s economy. In 2019, Hawai’i’s tourism economy has recorded:
➢ State Tax Revenue: $2.07 billion (+1.4%,+$28.5 million YOY versus 2018).
➢ Visitor Arrivals in 2019: 10,424,995.
Economy vs. Health
The clear winner seems to be the tourism economy in Hawaii. Maybe this is what anti-vaccination protesters have in mind when they demonstrate in front of Lt. Governor Green’s home.

South African Airways returns to the skies September 23 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

South African Airways returns to the skies September 23 25

South African Airways to resume operation in September 2021.SAA will continue to be a safe carrier and adhere to COVID-19 protocols.SAA is restarting with a formidable business case.

The wait is finally over. In just under a month, the striking and familiar livery of South African Airways (SAA) will once again be visible in the skies as the airline resumes operations. The carrier has confirmed the first flights will commence on Thursday, September 23, 2021. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, 26 August 2021. Voyager bookings and Travel Credit Voucher redemption will be available from Monday, 6 September 2021.
South African Airways Interim CEO Thomas Kgokol
Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo says, “After months of diligent work, we are delighted that SAA is resuming service and we look forward to welcoming on board our loyal passengers and flying the South African flag. We continue to be a safe carrier and adhering to COVID-19 protocols.”
South African Airways will as an initial phase operate flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Accra, Kinshasa, Harare, Lusaka and Maputo. More destinations will be added to the route network as it ramps up operations in response to market conditions.
Kgokolo added, “there is a profound feeling of enthusiasm within Team SAA as we prepare for takeoff, with one common purpose -to rebuild and sustain a profitable airline that once again takes a leadership role among local, continental, and international airlines.”
Notes Kgokolo, “The aviation sector is currently going through a testing period, and we are aware of the tough challenges that lie ahead in the coming weeks. We thank South Africa for the support we have received in getting us to where we are today. As we are now poised for takeoff, we see this as a major milestone for SAA and thecountry.”
According to the chairman of the SAA’s Board, John Lamola, since the national carrier came out of business rescue at the end of April 2021, the Department of Public Enterprises together with the Board and the Management team have been seized with planning for the relaunching of a restructured and fit for purposeairline that South Africans can again be proud of. “The airline is restarting with a formidable business case”, says Lamola.
Cuthbert Ncube, the chairman of the African Tourism Board (ATB), said upon receiving the news, that African Tourism Board is glad to see South African Airways restarting its operation and returning to the skies. The return of such a major regional and international player as South African Airways to business is essential for the tourism industry in the southern part of Africa to restart and begin its recovery from all the damage done by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 vaccination now mandatory for all Air Canada employees Aviation Feature, Aviation News

COVID-19 vaccination now mandatory for all Air Canada employees 26

Air Canada introduces new health and safety policy.All Air Canada employees and hew hires must be vaccinated against coronavirus.Under mandatory vaccination policy, testing will not be offered as an alternative.

Air Canada today said it has introduced a new health and safety policy to further protect employees and customers that makes it mandatory for all employees of the airline to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to report their vaccination status as of October 30, 2021. In addition, the airline is making full vaccination a condition of employment for any individual hired by the company.

Since the beginning of the pandemic Air Canada has been a leader in the adoption of science-based measures in response to COVID-19. This has included the airline being among the first to require pre-boarding temperature screening of customers, obligatory onboard mask-wearing policies and the use of testing. The decision to require all employees of Air Canada mainline, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Vacations to be fully vaccinated and report their vaccination status is another initiative to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees and customers.
Under the mandatory vaccination policy, testing will not be offered as an alternative. While Air Canada will fulfill its duties to accommodate employees who for valid reasons, such as medical conditions, cannot be vaccinated, failure to be fully vaccinated by October 30, 2021 will have consequences up to and including unpaid leave or termination, except for those who qualify for accommodation. Air Canada’s policy is also in accord with a recent announcement by the Government of Canada requiring employees in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to be vaccinated by the end of October 2021. 
Air Canada remains committed to the continued development and application of new safety measures and processes as they become available that are effective and convenient for customers. Such measures are vital to the safe restart of the air transport industry which, apart from enabling Canadians to travel freely, is also an essential driver of economic activity in Canada. 

Fiji pushes towards tourism reopening by December 2021 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Fiji pushes towards tourism reopening by December 2021 27

Over 92% of Fiji’s target population received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.Tourism Fiji launches new local initiative to encourage vaccination.Fijian tourism industry has widely adopted the Care Fiji Commitment.

With over 92% of the target population receiving their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination and over 41% now fully vaccinated, Fiji is making significant progress towards its goal of reopening by December 2021, as each vaccination brings Fiji one step closer to being able to welcome international guests to the islands once again.
Fiji pushes towards tourism reopening by December 2021
“We are at crossroads of a new age of travel and tourism where resumption of international travel is pinned on a silver bullet—COVID-19 vaccine,” said Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Hon. Faiyaz Koya. “Vaccinating our target population not only ensures we keep our communities safe, but also that we are ready to welcome the world back to our shores and get Fijians back to the jobs they love.”
As part of the preparations for re-opening Fiji, Tourism Fiji has launched a new local initiative to encourage all Fijians to get vaccinated and be ready for travel to resume when restrictions are lifted. It’s a simple message, but an important one: “It’s our best shot at travel: get vaccinated and get ready.”  The campaign joins in on Tourism Australia’s message to share the same support and encouragement for vaccination across Fiji.
To ensure the utmost health and safety of both travelers and locals upon borders reopening, the Fijian tourism industry has widely adopted the Care Fiji Commitment; a WHO-approved standard of best-practice health and safety measures designed to align the industry to safe travel norms in a post-COVID world. Tourism operators are working to achieve 100% vaccination of all eligible staff and will receive the CFC 100% Vaccination Stamp once completed. To-date, there are 46 Fiji resorts that have achieved 100% vaccination of their staff.
Additionally, Tourism Fiji North America has launched an interactive marketing campaign, called “Find Your Bula” to encourage consumers to start dreaming and planning their perfect trip to Fiji. The campaign is centered around a quiz to help travelers to find their ‘Bula’ and receive travel suggestions matching their preferences. The campaign plays off of the Fijian greeting “bula” – a term with many meanings including hello, happiness, good health, and the energy of life.

British Airways returns to Budapest with London Heathrow flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

British Airways returns to Budapest with London Heathrow flights 28

British Airways restarts London-Budapest flightsBA offers a three times weekly service between Budapest and London.British Airways to boost number of flights for upcoming winter season.

Budapest Airport has welcomed the restart of BA air services to London Heathrow. Relaunching links between the two capital cities, British Airways returns to Budapest’s UK market today.  

Initially offering a three times weekly service, the UK flag-carrier has already confirmed an increase to four times weekly by mid-September, a significant boost for the upcoming winter season. British Airways’ return also offers Budapest’s passengers connections to numerous long-haul flights via its hub as further markets re-open.   
Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport said: “The UK has been Budapest’s largest country market for many years. More notably, London has been our largest city pair by a significant volume, so it’s tremendous to welcome back British Airways to our airport and yet another indication of our recovery.” 
Serving more than half-a-million passengers last month – a robust growth of 77% compared to last July – Budapest is witnessing a positive trend with the revival of numerous long-established and successful routes. 
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in London, England, near its main hub at Heathrow Airport. The airline is the second largest UK based carrier, based on fleet size and passengers carried, behind easyJet.
London Heathrow is a major international airport in London, England. It is one of six international airports serving the London region. The airport facility is owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings.

Alitalia airline: Closed for business Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Alitalia airline: Closed for business 29

What are the options for these customers and what happens to their tickets that they already paid for?Customers will be given the option to replace their flight(s) with another equivalent managed by the Alitalia company by October 14, 2021.It will also be possible for customers to receive a full refund of their ticket(s).

After obtaining an operating license and an aircraft operator certificate from ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority on August 18, ITA airline (Italia Trasporto Aereo), formerly known as Alitalia, is prepared for official take-off. ITA will open ticket sales starting from August 26.

Binding offer okayed for Alitalia flight assets
The ITA Board, which met under the chairmanship of Alfredo Altavilla, resolved to transform the non-binding offer already sent on August 16 to the Extraordinary Administration of Alitalia into binding. This offering includes 52 aircraft, a related number of slots, as well as contracts and ancillary assets from the Aviation branch to commence operations on October 15.
Who will be manning customer service?
The operator of the new ITA customer center will be Covisian which uses cloud technologies in collaboration with partners such as Salesforce and Amazon Web.
In addition, from August 26, the site for the collection of applications from people interested in working with ITA will become operational. This will be followed by a meeting with the trade unions to start negotiations on the new employment contract.
ITA to evaluate current employees for jobs
ITA will start its operations with 2,800 employees. It can be read in the communication sent by the company to the trade unions in view of the start of the confrontation. The workforce “initially necessary for the start-up of the activities” is “equal, according to the Business Plan, to 2,800 employees” explained ITA, who says it is “available” to compose the workforce” also evaluating any candidates for employment presented by current Alitalia Sai employees.”
The Business Plan provides that the company can “subsequently increase the initial staff” until “reaching the total maximum number of approximately 5,750 employees by 2025. Meanwhile, ITA announced that all employees will be requested to obtain the anti-COVID Green Pass.
Identification of strategic aircraft supplier
ITA reiterated its decision to make its fleet homogeneous over the course of the industrial plan and, to this end, to start the process of renewing the starting fleet as soon as possible, replacing it with a new generation of more efficient and environmental-friendly aircraft.
The decision on the composition of the future fleet will be taken and communicated by September. ITA is also launching a new loyalty program “at the forefront in the quality of services offered to the customer, potentially integrable with those of other industrial partners” given that European regulations prevent the new company from being able to compete for the acquisition of the Alitalia MilleMiglia program.
#rebuildingtravel

Taliban: Only foreigners can leave Afghanistan from Kabul airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Taliban: Only foreigners can leave Afghanistan from Kabul airport 30

Taliban won’t let Afghans to leave via Kabul airport.Taliban discourages Afghans from fleeing the country.Taliban says all foreigners must leave Afghanistan by August 31.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid announced today that the Islamist militant group would no longer permit Afghans to enter Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in an attempt to leave Afghanistan.
Taliban: Only foreigners can leave Afghanistan from Kabul airport
Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Taliban spokesman said Taliban will no longer allow Afghans to leave the country via Kabul airport and called on the west not to encourage the educated elite to flee. The spokesman demanded that western powers refrain from evacuating Afghanistan’s educated elite, such as doctors and engineers.
Mujahid said that Taliban leaders were not in favor of allowing Afghans to leave, but reiterated that all foreigners must be evacuated from Afghanistan by August 31 and could continue to use Hamid Karzai International Airport until that deadline.
Mujahid also cited the chaotic situation at the airport as a reason for Afghans to avoid it. He said the crowds around the capital’s airport should return to their homes, claiming that their safety would be guaranteed. 
In the same press briefing, Mujahid claimed that people could remain in Afghanistan and promised that there would be no reprisals. He said the Taliban had forgotten conflict in the past and would let bygones be bygones.
He also confirmed that the Taliban had not agreed to extend the August 31 deadline set by the US to complete their evacuation of Afghanistan.

Masks, Lederhosen, and a beer ok on new Air Canada Toronto to Munich Flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Following the Government of Canada’s announcement to reopen international borders on September 7, Air Canada unveiled additional detailsof its planned Munich (MUC) – Toronto (YYZ) flight schedule.The loosening of restrictions enables foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated with the Government of Canada-accepted vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and J&J) at least 14 days prior and who meet specific entry requirements to enter Canada for non-essential travel.Germany also allows fully-vaccinated Canadians or those able to show a valid negtative COVID test to enter the Germany and the Schengen area .
Wearing Lederhosen for the gentlemen and a Dirndl for the ladies when flying non-stop from the Bavarian Capital City of Munich to Toronto will be possible without raising eyebrows by Germans in other cities outside Bavaria like Frankfurt.
Many people in Ontario, Canada, love the Octoberfest and picture Germans wearing dirndls, lederhosen, and german hats, seen as traditional German Bavarian Octoberfest clothing.
Lufthansa has been connecting Germany and Canada with non-stop flights already, and the addition of Star Alliance partner Air Canada to relaunch its route from Munich non-stop to Toronto will add to this important leisure and business market.
Munich, Frankfurt, and other European airports such as Vienna, Zurich, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris connect to Canada with direct and one-connect flights.
Airlines and airports and the various alliances compete in this market. In addition, low-cost and charter carriers like Condor serve the German Canadian market from various airports in Germany and neighboring countries.
The key airport in Germany remains to be FRAPORT (Frankfurt), but Munich in the Southern European State of Bavaria is the second most important hub to connect Germany with the world
Almost all major airports are interconnected with the ICE Train system, allowing to connect major German cities and airports within hours and a speed exceeding 200 km/h.
“As travel restrictions ease across the globe, we are committed to rebuild our international network and continue as a global carrier connecting the world to Canada. With Europeans eager to travel again to Canada, we are ready to reunite customers with their families and friends,” said Jen-Christophe Hérault, Regional Sales Manager Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Eastern Europe at Air Canada.
Like all airlines, these days the excitement of Air Canada and Munich Airport is based on today’s situation.
Therefore, Air Canada added to its press release: “Note that Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions. Passengers are responsible for ensuring they meet allgovernment entry requirements, including holding the correct travel documents, visas, any required health certificates, and all other eligibility requirements for any flights they purchase. For the most current information, please visit our Information Hub or IATA’s Timatic website. Travel Policy: Book with confidence.Government requirements may change with little notice

Uganda to Dubai: once they get off COVID red list Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uganda to Dubai: once they get off COVID red list 31

This development brings to an end the protracted 5-phased certification process that saw the carrier’s pair of A330s grounded in Entebbe.The airline now can switch between the CRJ-900 and the higher capacity A330 on services, depending on passenger and cargo demand.A330s will be used on services to London, Dubai, Mumbai, and Guangzhou once Uganda gets off the COVID-19 red list.

The Acting Director General of UCAA, Fred Bamwesigye, applauded the team upon the successful completion of the process of adding the Airbus to the Mitsubishi CRJ 900 on the AOC during the handover ceremony held in Entebbe.

The last phase of the 5-stage certification process followed a flight from Entebbe, Uganda, to Johannesburg, South Africa, when senior training captain Francis Barros and senior training captain Pete Thomase landed the Airbus #A330-800 series Neo on August 12, 2021, at OR Tambo International Airport.
The development brings to an end the protracted 5-phased certification process that saw the carrier’s pair of A330s grounded in Entebbe, pending the AOC since the airline completed the national carrier’s order of the second of 2 A330s in February from manufacturer Airbus pending the AOC.
It now gives the airline the flexibility to switch between the CRJ-900 and the higher capacity A330 on services, depending on passenger and cargo demand.
According to Uganda Airlines Acting CEO, Jennifer Bamuturaki, the A330s will be used on services to London, Dubai, Mumbai, and Guangzhou once Uganda gets off the COVID-19 red list in destination countries. The continuing restrictions on travel from Uganda have seen the planned service to Dubai slip by a month to October, while that to London has now been moved to early 2022.
London, Mumbai, and Guangzhou are among the top unserved point-to-point routes from Entebbe according to statistics from 2019. The Entebbe-London route had 84,000 round-trip passengers during the year, followed by Mumbai at 42,000 and Guangzhou at 29,000. That would represent a daily load of 230 passengers between Entebbe and London – 115 to Mumbai and 79 to Guangzhou.
In Uganda, from January 3, 2020, to today, August 24, 2021, there have been 118,673 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,960 deaths, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). As of August 23, 2021, a total of 1,163,451 vaccine doses have been administered.
#rebuildingtravel

Not true: Ukraine denies hijacking of its plane in Kabul Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Not true: Ukraine denies hijacking of its plane in Kabul 32

Ukraine says no Ukrainian planes have been hijacked in Kabul or any other place.All Ukrainian evacuation planes have safely returned to Kiev.256 people were evacuated on three flights.

According to the spokesman for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, earlier reports of a Ukrainian plane hijacked in the Afghan capital city of Kabul and subsequently flown to Iran were not true.
Ukraine denies hijacking of its plane in Kabul
“No Ukrainian planes have been hijacked in Kabul or in any other place. Reports of a hijacked aircraft that some media outlets are spreading are untrue,” Ukraine Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said in an interview with RBC Ukrainian news agency today.
According to the Foreign Ministry official, all planes that Kiev used to evacuate Ukrainian citizens from Afghanistan have safely returned to Ukraine. As of now, 256 people were evacuated on three flights.
Iranian Civil Aviation Organization Spokesman Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh, in turn, also denied reports of a hijacked aircraft. According to the Mehr news agency, he pointed out that the Ukrainian airliner made a stopover for refueling in the Iranian city of Mashhad on Monday and later headed to Kiev, where it landed at 10:50 pm local time.
Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin claimed earlier that unidentified individuals had seized a Ukrainian plane on Tuesday and flew it to Iran. According to the official, the plane was actually hijacked.

Delta Air Lines buys 30 more Airbus A321neo aircraft Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Delta Air Lines buys 30 more Airbus A321neo aircraft 33

Delta Air Lines orders 30 additional Airbus A321neo jets.New order brings Airbus outstanding orders from Delta to a total of 155 A321neos.Delta is showing responsible leadership and casting a strong vote of confidence now in the A321neo.

Delta Air Lines has ordered 30 additional Airbus A321neo aircraft to help meet the airline’s future fleet requirements. The newly-ordered aircraft are in addition to the airline’s existing orders for 125 of the type, bringing the outstanding orders from Delta to a total of 155 A321neos.
Delta Air Lines buys 30 more Airbus A321neo aircraft
“Adding these aircraft strengthens Delta’s commitment to replacing older fleets with more sustainable, efficient jets, and offering the best customer experience in the industry,” said Mahendra Nair, Delta Air Lines‘ Senior Vice President – Fleet and TechOps Supply Chain. “Delta appreciates the extensive partnership with the Airbus team in support of our strategic growth plans, and we look forward to continuing to work together throughout the recovery and beyond.”
“As the industry looks to emerge from the pandemic, Delta is showing responsible leadership and casting a strong vote of confidence now in the A321neo,” noted Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International. “With orders for 30 more of an aircraft that is in very high demand around the globe, our partners at Delta are underscoring the strategic role they see for the A321neo with its outstanding environmental performance for the airline’s renowned customer service and reliability for years into the future.”
Delta’s A321neos will be powered by next-generation Pratt & Whitney PW1100G turbofan engines that bring significant efficiency gains over Delta’s current, already-efficient A321 aircraft.  Equipped with total seating for 194 customers with 20 in First Class, 42 in Delta Comfort+ and 132 in the Main Cabin, Delta’s A321neos will be deployed primarily across the airline’s extensive domestic network, complementing Delta’s current A321 fleet of more than 120 aircraft. The airline is slated to receive the first of its 155 A321neo aircraft early next year.
Many of Delta’s A321neos will be delivered from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. The airline has taken delivery of 87 U.S.-manufactured Airbus aircraft since 2016.
As of the end of July, Delta’s fleet of Airbus aircraft numbered 358, including 50 A220 aircraft, 240 A320 Family members, 53 A330 widebodies, and 15 A350 XWB aircraft.

Munich to Toronto flights on Air Canada announced Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Munich to Toronto flights on Air Canada announced 34

Air Canada flies from Toronto to Munich.Toronto-Munich route will be serviced with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.Air Canada offers 3 Toronto-iunich flights per week.

Following the Government of Canada’s announcement to reopen international borders on September 7th, Air Canada is pleased today to unveil additional details of its planned Munich (MUC) – Toronto (YYZ) schedule.
Munich to Toronto flights on Air Canada announced
The loosening of restrictions enables foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated with the Government of Canada-accepted vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and J&J) at least 14 days prior and who meet specific entry requirements to enter Canada for non-essential travel.
“As travel restrictions ease across the globe, we are committed to rebuild our international network and continue as a global carrier connecting the world to Canada. With Europeans eager to travel again to Canada, we are ready to reunite customers with their families and friends,” said Jean-Christophe Hérault, Regional Sales Manager Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Eastern Europe at Air Canada. “Our flights from Munich to Toronto conveniently connect to our flights across Canada and the U.S. at our Toronto hub. With our industry-leading CleanCare+ bio-safetyprotocols, Air Canada has your health and safety as its top priority. We know people are excited to travel, and we look forward to welcoming our customers onboard,” concluded Mr. Hérault.
Air Canada is offering up to three flights per week on a 298-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner featuring a choice of three cabins of service: Air Canada Signature Class, Premium Economy and Economy class.
“We are very excited about the resumption of non-stop service from Munich to Toronto and see this as an important sign for a further recovery of the transatlantic traffic,” comments Jost Lammers, CEO Munich Airport.
Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions. Passengers are responsible for ensuring they meet all government entry requirements, including holding the correct travel documents, visas, any required health certificates, and all other eligibility requirements for any flights they purchase.

Evacuation Plane Hijacked in Kabul disappeared to Iran Aviation Feature, Aviation News

An Ukrainian plane that arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday to evacuate Ukrainians has been hijacked by an unidentified group of people who flew the Ukrainian aircraft into Iran, Ukrainian Foreign minister told Ukrainian media: “Last Sunday, our plane was hijacked by other people.The plane was stolen and instead of airlifting Ukrainians, our next three evacuation attempts were also not successful because Ukrainian people could not get into the airport.
According to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, the hijackers were armed. Other evacuation flights took off with no issue.
However, the deputy minister did not report anything about what happened to the plane or whether Ukraine would seek to get it back.
No information was released on how Ukrainian citizens can be evacuated from Kabul onboard this “practically stolen” plane or another aircraft Kyviv could send
The minister only underlined that the Ukrainian diplomatic services headed by Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba “had been working in the crash test mode” the whole week.
On Sunday, a military transport plane with 83 people on board, including 31 Ukrainians, arrived from Afghanistan in Kyiv.
The presidential office reported that 12 Ukrainian military personnel returned home, while foreign reporters and public figures who requested help were also evacuated.
The office also added that around 100 Ukrainians are still expecting evacuating in Afghanistan.

Lufthansa rescue mission for Afghanistan in full swing Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa rescue mission for Afghanistan in full swing 35

Since one week, more than 1,500 people have been flown to Germany from Tashkent on twelve flights.Lufthansa care team looks after the protection seekers after arrival.More flights planned in the coming days.

For the past week, Lufthansa has been setting up an airlift to fly refugees from the Central Asian state to Germany. An Airbus 340 long-haul aircraft is used in each case. So far, the daily flights have brought to Frankfurt a total of more than 1,500 people.
Lufthansa has flown over 1,500 Afghan refugees safely to Germany
Upon arrival in Frankfurt, a Lufthansa support team assists the new arrivals with food, drinks and clothing, and provides initial medical and psychological care. For the many children now landing in Frankfurt, a play and painting corner have been set up and toys donated.
Lufthansa will continue to operate additional flights from Tashkent in the coming days in coordination with the German Foreign Office.
Lufthansa had been contracted by the German government to assist with evacuation of Afghan refugees with its chartered Airbus A340 aircraft. The German flag carrier’s aircraft aren’t flying into Afghanistan but instead collecting people removed from the country by the Bundeswehr (German armed forces) to Doha, Qatar and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Big fine for Ryanair, Wizz Air, EasyJet, Volotea punishment of disabled Passengers and children Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Big fine for Ryanair, Wizz Air, EasyJet, Volotea punishment of disabled Passengers and children 36

According to ENAC, these low-cost airlines are continuing to charge extra to those traveling with children or the disabled.An emergency measure went into effect on August 15, 2021, preventing a supplemental charge for seats to be together.EasyJet has immediately responded stating that the accusation and fine is unfounded.

Low-cost airlines, according to ENAC, are guilty of “continuing to charge supplements for the allocation of seats close to carers of minors and the disabled.”

“From the first checks carried out,” ENAC noted, these companies “have defaulted: they have not yet, as prescribed and confirmed by the administrative judge, changed the IT and operating systems, and at the time of bookings, they continue to request a supplement to the cost of the air ticket for the assignment of seats close to the carers of minors and disabled people, except, if necessary, reimbursement.”
For this reason, the Authority “has started the procedure to impose sanctions” against the 3 carriers. The fines – as reported by Corriere della Sera – will be “commensurate with the non-fulfillment” and “can range from a minimum of 10,000 euros to a maximum of 50,000 for each single dispute.”
The free allocation of seats to minors and people with reduced mobility close to their parents and/or carers is guaranteed by an emergency measure issued by ENAC and has been in force since August 15, 2021.
EasyJet immediately replied with a statement, affirming “that it has acted in full compliance with the regulations in force and that the initiation of the procedure to impose the sanction is totally unfounded.”
The company, he recalls, “allocates seats for families jointly, which means that children under 12 and people with reduced mobility are seated next to an accompanying adult at no additional cost.”
The authorities imposed the elimination of the surcharge for these passengers on July 17, 2021. Then the TAR postponed the entry into force of the measure until after August 15. Now the deadline has passed, but those who ask to have a seat next to a minor or disabled person accompanying them are still being charged for the supplement.

Aviation Authority slaps 35,000 euro fine on Ryanair, Wizz Air, easyJet, Volotea Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Aviation Authority slaps 35,000 euro fine on Ryanair, Wizz Air, easyJet, Volotea 37

According to ENAC, these low-cost airlines are continuing to charge extra to those traveling with children or the disabled.An emergency measure went into effect on August 15, 2021, preventing a supplemental charge for seats to be together.EasyJet has immediately responded stating that the accusation and fine is unfounded.

Low-cost airlines, according to ENAC, are guilty of “continuing to charge supplements for the allocation of seats close to carers of minors and the disabled.”

“From the first checks carried out,” ENAC noted, these companies “have defaulted: they have not yet, as prescribed and confirmed by the administrative judge, changed the IT and operating systems, and at the time of bookings, they continue to request a supplement to the cost of the air ticket for the assignment of seats close to the carers of minors and disabled people, except, if necessary, reimbursement.”
For this reason, the Authority “has started the procedure to impose sanctions” against the 3 carriers. The fines – as reported by Corriere della Sera – will be “commensurate with the non-fulfillment” and “can range from a minimum of 10,000 euros to a maximum of 50,000 for each single dispute.”
The free allocation of seats to minors and people with reduced mobility close to their parents and/or carers is guaranteed by an emergency measure issued by ENAC and has been in force since August 15, 2021.
EasyJet immediately replied with a statement, affirming “that it has acted in full compliance with the regulations in force and that the initiation of the procedure to impose the sanction is totally unfounded.”
The company, he recalls, “allocates seats for families jointly, which means that children under 12 and people with reduced mobility are seated next to an accompanying adult at no additional cost.”
The authorities imposed the elimination of the surcharge for these passengers on July 17, 2021. Then the TAR postponed the entry into force of the measure until after August 15. Now the deadline has passed, but those who ask to have a seat next to a minor or disabled person accompanying them are still being charged for the supplement.

Lufthansa has flown over 1,500 Afghan refugees safely to Germany Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa has flown over 1,500 Afghan refugees safely to Germany 38

Since one week, more than 1,500 people have been flown to Germany from Tashkent on twelve flights.Lufthansa care team looks after the protection seekers after arrival.More flights planned in the coming days.

For the past week, Lufthansa has been setting up an airlift to fly refugees from the Central Asian state to Germany. An Airbus 340 long-haul aircraft is used in each case. So far, the daily flights have brought to Frankfurt a total of more than 1,500 people.
Lufthansa has flown over 1,500 Afghan refugees safely to Germany
Upon arrival in Frankfurt, a Lufthansa support team assists the new arrivals with food, drinks and clothing, and provides initial medical and psychological care. For the many children now landing in Frankfurt, a play and painting corner have been set up and toys donated.
Lufthansa will continue to operate additional flights from Tashkent in the coming days in coordination with the German Foreign Office.
Lufthansa had been contracted by the German government to assist with evacuation of Afghan refugees with its chartered Airbus A340 aircraft. The German flag carrier’s aircraft aren’t flying into Afghanistan but instead collecting people removed from the country by the Bundeswehr (German armed forces) to Doha, Qatar and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Barbados tourism rebounds with record July arrivals Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Barbados tourism rebounds with record July arrivals 39

10,000 airline passengers arrived to Barbados.Barbados tourism industry records a major tourism milestone in July.Barbados tourism sees a positive turn for the industry ahead of 2021/2022 winter season.

Barbados recorded over 10,000 air passenger arrivals after months of being hard-hit by a global pandemic.  For the first time since December 2020, the local tourism industry has recorded a major tourism milestone with the latest statistics from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) suggesting a positive turn for the industry ahead of the 2021/2022 winter season.

During the period July 2021, some 10,819 visitors traveled to Barbados. This total represented a significant increase of 6,745 visitors when compared to the corresponding period of July 2020.
The United States (US) came out on top as they copped a 43.3% market share, while the United Kingdom (UK)contributed 34.4% of business with 3,722 arrivals for the reporting period.  This occurred after Barbados was added to the UK COVID-19 Green watchlist. Barbados has been fortunate to be placed on this list for the second time since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic.
For the same period, Caribbean arrival figures stood at 1,391 and 390 arrivals from Canada.  This  represented an increase in arrivals from both markets year on year.
Interim CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) , Craig Hinds, described the achievement as a step in the right direction after the tireless efforts, on and off scene, to re-build the tourism product.
He stated that “Barbados has, and continues to weather this COVID-19 storm, but while this period has been difficult for the industry, the BTMI is so pleased to see the recent sprouts of positive growth. This growth is a direct result of the excellent sales and marketing efforts in our overseas markets through campaigns like our “Sweet Summer Savings” promotion, as well as maintaining strong partnerships with our airline, cruise and tourism partners.”
In July, BTMI teamed up with Sandals Resort as they brought fifteen United States radio stations from eleven cities to Barbados to give listeners a chance at winning a four-day/three-night vacation to Sandals Resort in Barbados. The radio stations broadcasted live from Sandals Royal Barbados and included tourism officials led by Sen. the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport. The promotion, which was also supported by American Airlines, reached over 4,000,000+ listeners. 

Direct flights from Nur-Sultan to London Heathrow resume on Air Astana Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Direct flights from Nur-Sultan to London Heathrow resume on Air Astana 40

Air Astana resumes flights from Kazakhstan to the UK.Air Astana operates Airbus A321LR on London route.London route will operate with on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Air Astana resumes direct flights from Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan to London Heathrow on 18th September 2021, initially with two frequencies per week on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Flights will be operated by the latest Airbus A321LR aircraft, with the flight time being 7 hours and 15 minutes outbound to London and 6 hours and 30 minutes on the return to Nur-Sultan.
Passengers travelling to Kazakhstan are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to entering the country. 
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.
Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport is an international airport in the Akmola Region, Kazakhstan. It is the primary international airport serving Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan.
Heathrow Airport, originally called London Airport until 1966 and now known as London Heathrow, is a major international airport in London, England. It is one of six international airports serving the London region. The airport facility is owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings.

In flames: Huge fire breaks out at Kabul Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

In flames: Huge fire breaks out at Kabul Airport 41

Fire reported at Hamid Karzai International Airport.Huge cloud of smoke rising over the airport.The security situation at the airport remains fragile.

Massive fire has apparently broken out at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan, amid ongoing chaotic evacuation with thousands of people desperate to get out of the country.
In flames: Huge fire breaks out at Kabul Airport
News of the blaze broke on Monday evening local time. Little is known about the fire’s severity or origin, but videos posted to social media show a hazy cloud of smoke rising from the airport, which has been the focal point of US and Western evacuation efforts for the past week.
The security situation at the airport remains fragile, with US and allied troops working to evacuate thousands of their own civilians and Afghan refugees from Kabul. Hours before the fire broke out, US and German troops got into a gun battle with unknown assailants, in an exchange of fire that left one Afghan soldier dead. At least 20 people have died at the airport over the past week, a NATO official said.
It is unclear at time of writing whether the fire is impacting flights to and from the airport. Flights were departing the airport non-stop over the weekend, with the Biden administration claiming to have evacuated around 11,000 people in 36 hours. However, thousands more remain in Kabul, and the likelihood of the US and its allies meeting their August 31 deadline for total withdrawal is now in question.
The Taliban, which seized power in Afghanistan just over a week ago, has warned of “consequences” if the deadline is not met.

SAS List of new domestic and international destination cities Aviation Feature, Aviation News

SAS increases the flights from its main Scandinavian cities Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Bergen to important destinations in its network to further improve connectivity for travelers. SAS will now be serving all its domestic destinations in Norway and Sweden when the Arlanda-Sundsvall route is reopened in September. The number of flights on SAS to important destinations for airline passengers in Europe will increase. 
A rising interest in weekend trips and city breaks to European cities makes SAS resume its routes to Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, Krakow, and Prague. There is also an increasing number of flights to warmer Mediterranean destinations in southern Europe and the Canary Islands to meet the growing demand from holidaymakers. 

SAS will be flying more direct routes from the Scandinavian capitals to several US destinations from September onwards and will also be present in Asia on routes from Copenhagen to Tokyo and Shanghai. 
SAS continues to bring in new and fuel-efficient aircraft and has one of Europe’s most modern fleets. The new aircraft has 15–30% lower fuel consumption, compared with the aircraft they replace. The new state-of-the-art aircraft will give SAS customers a more pleasant, comfortable, and sustainable way of traveling. 
SAS is connecting Scandinavia with the world serving the following destinations:
StockholmCopenhagenOsloBergenGothenburgAalborgAltaAlicanteKalmarAarhusAalborgCopenhagenKirunaFaroe IslandsAarhusOsloLuleåBergenBardufossStavangerMalmöGothenburgBergenStockholmRonnebyOsloBillundTrondheimSkellefteåStavangerBodøÅlesundSundsvallStockholmCopenhagenUmeåTrondheimHarstad/NarvikKristiansandVisbyAberdeenHaugesundAlicanteÄngelholmAlicanteKirkenesOsloÖstersundAmsterdamKristiansandAlicanteAthensLakselvStavangerAmsterdamBarcelonaLongyearbyenAberdeenAthensBerlinMoldeAlicanteBarcelonaBolognaStavangerBergenBergenBostonStockholmCopenhagenBerlinBrusselsTromsøOsloBillundChaniaTrondheimTrondheimBrusselsChicagoÅlesundÅlesundCopenhagenDublinAlicanteDublinDusseldorfAmsterdamTrondheimDusseldorfFaroAthensAlicanteEdinburghFlorenceBarcelonaBergenFaroFrankfurtBerlinBodøFrankfurtGazipasaBrusselsCopenhagenGazipasaGdanskChaniaOsloHelsinkiGenevaDublinStockholmKrakowHamburgDusseldorfTromsøLarnacaHelsinkiFaroÅlesundLas PalmasKrakowFrankfurtLisbonLarnacaGazipasaLondonLas PalmasGdanskMalagaLondonKyivMaltaLos AngelesLas PalmasManchesterMalagaLondonMiamiManchesterMalagaMilanMiamiManchesterNapelsMilanMiamiNew YorkMunichMilanNiceNapelsNew YorkOsloNew YorkNicePalma de MallorcaNicePalma de MallorcaParisPalma de MallorcaParisPragueParisReykjavikRomeReykjavikRomeSplitRomeSplitTallinnSan FranciscoTenerifeShanghaiThessalonikiSplitTrondheimTenerifeVilniusTokyoVeniceGothenburgVilniusAlicanteWarsawCopenhagenWashington DCFaroZurichLas PalmasMalaga

Emirates new healthy brother in South Africa is called Cemair Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Emirates Airlines calls it a move to support the ramp-up of operations after boosting its passenger services to South Africa. Emirates has signed an interline agreement with Cemair that opens up connections to six more destinations in South Africa through the airline’s gateways of Johannesburg and Cape Town. The partnership between Emirates and Cemair also includes a couple of leisure points exclusively served by Cemair.This marks the first partnership between both airlines and Emirates’ fourth airline partnership in South Africa.
Since Emirates resumed flights from Dubai to Johannesburg in September, the arrangement between Emirates and Cemair includes the convenience of single ticket itineraries with onwards booking and baggage transfers from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Margate, Durban, Hoedspruit, Plettenberg Bay, George, and Sishen.

Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline said: “We are proud to partner with Cemair and commence our interline agreement. The new Cemair links provide our customers with even more possibilities to travel smoothly across many of South Africa’s most popular leisure points, in addition to the added benefit of connectivity to Cemair’s exclusively served points Margate and Plettenberg Bay.
Connecting our networks solidifies our commitment to offering our customers even more travel opportunities, especially for those wanting to experience South Africa’s existing favorites, as well as travelers plotting new itineraries. We look forward to working together and strengthening our relationship.”
Miles van der Molen, Chief Executive Officer of CemAir said: “We are delighted to partner with Emirates Airline, a name synonymous with quality and elegance. Our interline agreement provides our customers with convenience and savings as they can now seamlessly connect from our flights to the vast global network of this iconic airline.”
As we continue our expansion during the post-Covid recovery period we realize that now more than ever partnerships are key to our success. Working with market leaders like Emirates Airline is a further demonstration of our commitment to our customers to provide the best service and value.”

Customers can book their travel on emirates.com, Emirates sales offices, and travel agencies.
Emirates boosted its operations to/from South Africa earlier this month and is presently operating 14 flights a week into South Africa via its gateways Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. The airline continues to safely rebuild its global network, connecting customers to and through Dubai to over 120 destinations.
The airline has been expanding its footprint across South and Southern Africa through enriching its interline and codeshare partnerships with South African Airways, Airlink, Cemair and Flysafair, driving more connectivity options that provide greater benefits for its customers, whilst supporting the recovery of the travel and tourism industry.
CemAir Ltd is a privately owned airline operating in South Africa which services popular tourist destinations and important business towns, as well as leasing aircraft to other airlines across Africa and the Middle East. The airline is based in Johannesburg

Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman of the African Tourism Board welcomes the new partnership between Dubai-based Emirates and South Africa based CemAir

Samui to Phuket now again on Bangkok Airways Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Bangkok Airways announces the resumption of Samui – Phuket (v.v.) Starting from 25 August 2021 onwards, Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited will resume its direct services between Samui and PhuketBangkok Airways is resuming this service in order to facilitate passengers as well as to support Thailand’s re-opening projects which are Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus Model. 
The resumed services between Samui and Phuket will be operated by an ATR72-600 aircraft, starting with three flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). The outbound flight PG253 departs Samui airport at 11.25hrs. and arrives at Phuket airport at 12.25hrs. The inbound flight PG254 departs Phuket airport at 13.00hrs. and arrives at Samui airport at 14.00hrs. 
Passengers traveling to and from the two cities are required to present a medical certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected (done by RT-PCR technique and issued no more than 72 hours before traveling) and proof of vaccination.

Additionally, passengers are also required to strictly follow guidelines issued by Phuket provincial office and Surat Thani provincial office, more information about requirements can be checked at https://www.gophuget.com and https://healthpass.smartsamui.com
Moreover, the airline needs to extend the temporary suspension of in-flight meal service and temporary closure of its passenger lounges until further notice. 

Allegiant announces new nonstop Key West flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Allegiant announces new nonstop Key West flights 42

Allegiant to launch flights from Asheville Regional Airport to Key West on November 18.Allegiant to start service from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Key West on November 19.Allegiant will use Airbus A319 aircraft on new Key West routes.

Allegiant will add nonstop service from North Carolina’s Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) to Key West International Airport (EYW) beginning November 18, and nonstop service from Florida’s St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport (PIE) to the island city beginning November 19.
Allegiant announces new nonstop Key West flights
Allegiant plans to serve Key West twice weekly and on varying days on each of the new routes, using Airbus A319 aircraft.

“Key West is one of the most sought-after destinations in the U.S. right now,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant’s senior vice president of revenue and network planning. “We expect it to be an even bigger draw for leisure travelers seeking an affordable, convenient vacation spot for warm winter getaways.”
In June, Allegiant added twice-weekly nonstop service to Key West on Airbus A319 aircraft from Nashville International Airport (BNA), Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
“We’re thrilled to welcome North Carolina visitors from the Asheville region and our Florida neighbors from Tampa–St. Pete as this new service will help to remove cars from traveling the Overseas Highway,” said Richard Strickland, director of airports for the Florida Keys’ Monroe County.

European transport union demands minimum working standards within Lufthansa Aviation Feature, Aviation News

European transport union demands minimum working standards within Lufthansa 43

Unions want decent working standards within Lufthansa Group.Lower standards of working conditions violate labor rights.Internal competition within Lufthansa could be solved by enforcement of collective agreements.

Defining the minimum standards of working conditions for the people working across all of the Lufthansa Group is the first step to stop the ongoing social dumping actions the German air company is shamefully, but consciously, tolerating outside its mainline carriers.
European transport union demands minimum working standards within Lufthansa Group
In a recent letter addressed to the Chairman of Deutsche Lufthansa, Mr. Carsten SPOHR, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) condemns ‘’the lower social and labor standards for workers’’ approach, which Lufthansa Group management continue to tacitly implement in its Eurowings Discover operation. The Group believes that such actions are the only immediate and possible solution to face the current economic pressures of the market, which the ETF rejects.

According to the ETF’ affiliates  – Kapers (Switzerland), Vida (Austria), Aircrew Alliance and ver.di (Germany) and B.United (the Czech Republic) – this solution is generating a so-called “internal group cannibalism”, and supports a race to the bottom approach.  Meanwhile the lower standards of the working conditions imposed so far by most of the low-cost airlines in Europe grossly violate the fundamental labor rights, and the group is racing to a similar faith. This is why the European Transport Workers Federation and its affiliates imperatively ask for this model not to be considered as a blueprint for the new entities, such as it is the case in Eurowings Discover, the newest airline company who started to operate within Lufthansa Group last month.
Instead, we consider the internal competition within Lutfhansa Group could be rather solved by the enforcement of collective agreements inclusively at Eurowings Discover, and this enforcement model should then further be implemented also across all its European operations. The unions representing the Lufthansa Group’ workers and the ETF – representing 5 million of transport workers within Europe and beyond – are of opinion that the very first step into this direction would be:
restarting the social dialogue in all carriers where this is not active, including Eurowings Discover andfinding the common ground for setting up minimum standards regarding the labor conditions for the thousands of workers of Lufthansa Group who currently do not have a collective agreement.
Eoin Coates, Head of Aviation at ETF declares:
’’Crucially, both workers and employers need to come out of this crisis together, and therefore we must engage in social dialogue early to ensure the smooth creation of any new entities and the transition through any necessary change processes with fairness and openness at the core of such discussions.’’

ETF and its affiliates within the Lufthansa Group imperatively ask the management teams of all airline companies operating within the Lufthansa Group to restart the social dialogue with the representative unions in a coherent, efficient and permanent way. This would be a clear signal that Lufthansa Group is actually taking concrete steps towards changing the completely wrong direction the group is taking by deciding to drive down social and labor standards for its workers in new companies.

EU: New Hong Kong entry rules threaten its international status Aviation Feature, Aviation News

EU: New Hong Kong entry rules threaten its international status 44

Hong Kong toughens entry requirements for foreign travelers.Reducing mandatory quarantine time is no longer possible.Hong Kong recognizes Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.

Frederic Gollob, President of the European Chamber of Commerce (ECC), said new tough rules for entering Hong Kong could undermine the city’s status as an international business and financial center.
EU: New Hong Kong entry rules threaten its international status
“We believe the city should open earlier, otherwise this new quarantine regime could make many in the international community question whether they want to remain locked down in Hong Kong at a time when the rest of the world is relaxing,” ECC head said.

This week, the Hong Kong authorities again tightened the rules for entering the country. In particular, the possibility of reducing the quarantine period in the presence of a serological test for antibodies was canceled.
When boarding a flight for Hong Kong, the travelers must present a vaccination certificate, a negative test result for COVID-19, submitted no earlier than 72 hours before departure, as well as a reservation at one of the government-recommended hotels where quarantine measures are allowed.
The Hong Kong government has also officially placed Russian-made Sputnik V on the list of coronavirus vaccines recognized in this Special Administrative Region of China.
Now, the mandatory quarantine for residents of the city jabbed with the Russian-made vaccine, will be reduced from 21 days to 14 days.