airBaltic carries face masks and respirators to Latvia

airBaltic made this announcement:

After a request from National Health Service of the Republic of Latvia this weekend airBaltic performed a special cargo flight to and from Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport in China, bringing 900,000 face masks and 80,000 respirators made in Zhengzhou and Yiwu regions to Latvia.

The special flight with airBaltic Airbus A220-300, registered as YL-CSI, departed from Riga on March 28, 2020 at 08:11, local time and landed in Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport at 19:57, local time. The special flight landed back in Riga on March 29 at 00:10 local time.

The total flight time to the Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport was 5 hours and 46 minutes, but the flight back on March 29 took 6 hours and 35 minutes. airBaltic with Airbus A220-300 aircraft covered 4 815 km nonstop distance one way between Riga International Airport and the Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport.

This task was executed in close cooperation with the National Health Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, AirLink Aviation Services and Wish Global.

Overall, 619 boxes, 5.1 tons or 47 cubic meters of approximately 900 000 face masks and 80 000 respirators were carried. Three pilots and two technicians were on board the aircraft to perform the flight.

In order to meet increasing demand for delivery of cargo from China to Europe during COIVD-19 crisis, airBaltic in cooperation with its cargo representative – logistic company Wish Global and technical support of Airlink Aviation Services, has developed supply chain solution for cargo shipments from practically any big city in China to Baltics and beyond using our passenger aircraft, as cargo charters.

All photos by the airline.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

Canadians continue to fly back home with Air Canada

Air Canada has made this announcement:

Air Canada announced today that, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, it will operate its first special flight from Algiers on Tuesday. Additional flights from Peru and Ecuador are also scheduled to depart in the coming days.

Algiers

The flight from Algiers to Montreal is currently scheduled to operate on March 31 on an Airbus A330 with 292 seats.

Quito

Air Canada Rouge will operate two additional flights on March 29 and March 31, on 282-seat wide body Boeing 767 aircraft.

Lima

Air Canada will operate one extra flight on April 1 on a 400-seat wide-body aircraft.

Canadians abroad must register with Global Affairs Canada to book their seat. For any emergency help, travelers can also contact sos@international.gc.ca.

Since March 21, Air Canada has operated nine special flights in collaboration with the Government of Canada to bring back Canadians home.

  • MoroccoMarch 21, 23, 25
  • PeruMarch 24, 26, 27
  • EcuadorMarch 25, 27
  • SpainMarch 25

Nearly 8,500 passengers in one day

Air Canada continues to operate on a reduced network following restrictions imposed by governments around the world. Its operations remain focused on bringing Canadians back home.

On March 28 alone, Air Canada is operating 59 flights back to Canada carrying approximately 8,500 passengers. Over the period between March 27 to 29, Air Canada will carry approximately 22,500 passengers back to Canada on 175 flights from Asia, Europe, Caribbean/South America and the United States.

Note: Air Canada later updated this announcement with this statement:

Updated text: The April 1st flight to Peru is still being planned and not yet currently scheduled.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery:

Mitsubishi Aircraft completes the first flight of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet Flight Test Vehicle 10 (FTV10)

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation SpaceJet M90 JA26MJ (msn 10010) NKM (Akira Uekawa). Image: 949493.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, a MHI Group company, announced on March 18 that it has completed the maiden flight of Flight Test Vehicle 10 (FTV10), the first Mitsubishi SpaceJet M90 in final, certifiable baseline configuration.

FTV10 took off at 14:53 (JST) from the Prefectural Nagoya Airport and conducted basic aircraft performance tests in normal operating conditions over the Pacific Ocean. After approximately two hours of flight, the aircraft returned to Nagoya at 16:40 (JST). With the completion of FTV10’s first flight, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is prepared to enter the final phase of certification flight testing for the SpaceJet M90, the first commercial jet manufactured in Japan.

In coming weeks Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to continue flight tests on FTV10 in Nagoya, as well as prepare for the ferry flight to Moses Lake Flight Test Center (MFC) to join the remainder of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet M90 test fleet for the final phase of type certification flight test.

Flight information

・Aircraft: JA26MJ (FTV10)

・Takeoff time: 14:53 JST

・Landing Time: 16:40 JST

・Pilot Name: Hiroyoshi Takase (total flight time: approx. 7,700h) and Akira Udagawa (total flight time: approx. 11,600h)

Note: SpaceJet was formerly called the Mitsubishi MRJ and rebranded after some heavy changes of the internal design was applied.

Top Copyright Photo: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation SpaceJet M90 JA26MJ (msn 10010) NKM (Akira Uekawa). Image: 949493. Seen on its first taxi test. The aircraft would make the successful first flight three days later on March 18. While the short term after the first flight and until the second flight on March 21, the gold stripe on the fuselage and gold tail design on the portside has been removed. SpaceJet was formally called the Mitsubishi MRJ and has been rebranded after some heavy change of the internal design.

Empty planes and airport pictures

From the New York Times:

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The new travel document: Photograph of an empty plane

Do you have recent pictures showing the dramatic drop in flying demand? Share them with us.

Another arcticle worth reading:

Inside American Airlines’ scramble as virus grounds jets by hundreds

American parks aircraft at Pittsburgh International Airport

American Airlines is parking a lot of its fleet at various locations. One is Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT).

PIT issued this statement and photos on social media:

With flight schedules dramatically reduced, the planes have to go somewhere. Luckily, we have lots of space on the airfield. So we’re hosting these beauties for American Airlines until they’re needed again, hopefully very soon.

Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine forces Hawaiian Airlines to park aircraft

Hawaiian Airlines issued this update:

Hawaiian Airlines is reducing its April flight schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a commitment to continue offering its guests and cargo customers essential service within the Hawaiian Islands and between Hawai‘i and California and the U.S. territory of American Samoa.

The airline will maintain a reduced but still robust schedule of Neighbor Island flights, while bolstering all-cargo service to ensure goods continue to reach communities statewide.

“As Hawai‘i’s airline, we understand that our operation is essential to the state. We serve both guests who rely on us for important travel and the transportation of critical cargo,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram. “This has been the hallmark of our mission for 90 years and our dedication to our guests remains unchanged as we look to overcome this global crisis together.”

Starting Sunday, Hawaiian’s long-haul transpacific network will consist of one daily nonstop flight between Honolulu (HNL) and Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), and one weekly flight connecting Hawai‘i to its Pacific island neighbor of Pago Pago, American Samoa (PPG). All routes will be operated with wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft.

The California routes present cargo opportunities to help maintain service for shippers affected by the reduction in passenger flights due to the state of Hawai‘i’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for overseas arrivals in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The HNL-PPG route maintains vital service for the territory of American Samoa.

Guests traveling on Hawaiian’s Neighbor Island network will continue to enjoy convenient options throughout the day with 41 daily roundtrip flights scheduled for April. From Honolulu there will be 38 daily flights, including 13 to Maui, eight to Kona, seven to Kaua‘i, six to Hilo, and two each to Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i. From Maui there will be one roundtrip each to Hilo, Kaua‘i and Kona in addition to Honolulu service.

Hawaiian’s schedule reductions for April resulted from the state of Hawai‘i’s quarantine entry restriction and the ensuing drop off of travel to and from the islands. Hawaiian is operating its regularly scheduled long-haul flights through today before it begins suspending routes tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian has expanded interisland cargo service to facilitate the movement of essential goods ranging from food to medical equipment and machinery.

On March 3, a fleet of all-cargo ATR 72 aircraft operated by ‘Ohana by Hawaiian began offering flights five days a week between Honolulu and Kahului (OGG) on Maui and Kona (KOA) on the western coast of the Island of Hawai‘i. The new routes add to all-cargo service launched in summer of 2018 between HNL and Līhu‘e (LIH) on Kaua‘i and Hilo (ITO) on the eastern coast of the Island of Hawai‘i.

Hawaiian also utilizes its Boeing 717 passenger fleet to carry critical, time-sensitive cargo like pharmaceuticals and Blood Bank of Hawai‘i shipments.

Hawaiian is still experiencing an unprecedented volume of calls from guests and respectfully asks that only those with immediate travel needs contact the airline for assistance. Options to reach Hawaiian’s reservations team, to make online changes to tickets, and to see a list of travel waivers are available at  Hawaiian’s COVID-19 hub.

The airline also explains how it is keeping employees and guests safe by disinfecting aircraft and airport spaces, modifying boarding processes to prevent congestion at the gate, and adjusting in-flight services such as by distributing disposable sanitizing wipes.

Copyright Photos: Elway Kibota. Hawaiian began to park planes around Honolulu International Airport (HNL). The Airbus A330s are currently occupying runway 8L (top) and the Airbus A321neos on taxiway Foxtrot (below).

Singapore Airlines secures funding to survive the coronavirus crisis

Singapore Airlines has announced it has secured up to S$19 billion ($13 billion) of funding to help see it through the coronavirus crisis and expand after the crisis.

Read more from Reuters.

Singapore Airlines aircraft photo gallery: