Air Transat donates more than 44,000 masks and 301,000 gloves to the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services

Air Transat is proud to donate more than 44,000 masks and 301,000 gloves to the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the temporary suspension of its flights on April 1 , Air Transat today handed over all of the medical equipment at its disposal, which had, up until now, been dedicated to protecting its crews. This included:

  • 7,260 N95 masks
  • 36,800 surgical masks
  • 301,000 gloves

“Now that our repatriation operations are over, it seemed only natural to donate our unused protective equipment to those who need it most, namely those in the health services,” says Jean-François Lemay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Transat. “It’s thanks to everyone’s contributions that we will overcome this terrible crisis.”

Air Transat aircraft photo gallery:

Canadians continue to fly back home with Air Canada

Air Canada announced today that, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, it will operate its first special flights from Bogota and Buenos Aires. All flights are operated in compliance with Government of Canada health and safety requirements for air passengers entering the country. Additional flights from Algiers and Lima are also planned to depart in the coming days:

Algiers

Air Canada is scheduled to operate an additional special flight on April 4, 2020.

Bogota

Air Canada is scheduled to operate a special flight on April 3, 2020.

Buenos Aires

Air Canada is scheduled to operate a special flight on April 5, 2020.

Lima

Air Canada is scheduled to operate additional special flights on April 2, 2020 and April 4, 2020.

Since March 21, Air Canada has operated 13 special flights in collaboration with the Government of Canada to bring back Canadians home.

  • MoroccoMarch 21, 23, 25
  • PeruMarch 24, 26, 27, April 1
  • EcuadorMarch 25, 27, 29, 31
  • SpainMarch 25
  • AlgeriaMarch 31

Air Canada brings home about 8,000 passengers between April 1, 2020 and April 3, 2020

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.

Photos: Air Canada. Our first special flight from Algeria has landed safely in Montreal, connecting Canadians with their family and friends.

Over the period between April 1, 2020 and April 3, 2020, Air Canada is carrying approximately 8,000 passengers back to Canada on 113 flights from Asia, Europe, Caribbean/South America and the United States. On April 2, 2020, Air Canada is carrying home 2,500 passengers.

Air Canada aircraft photo gallery:

Delta Flight Products to manufacture personal protective equipment to help healthcare workers

Delta Flight Products, the airline’s wholly owned subsidiary, is collaborating with Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI), a non-profit affiliate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, to manufacture face shields to protect hospital workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using materials and designs provided by GCMI, Delta Flight Products is leveraging its best-in-class manufacturing facilities to quickly deliver an initial order of 2,000 shields to aid workers in New York by Friday, and an additional 4,000 for Atlanta-area hospitals in the following days.

“Our entire team is rallying around this effort – it’s a meaningful way we can show our support for the health care workers working around the clock to protect us,” said Rick Salanitri, President of Delta Flight Products. “Georgia Tech and GCMI have been an incredible partner and we are proud to help carry out the vision of so many leading medical innovators to supply desperately needed personal protective equipment.”

Face shields are essential in extending the use life of the dwindling N95 mask inventory, while protecting healthcare professionals from contamination. Each consists of a clear barrier meant to cover the user’s face, reducing the potential for any virus contacting the user’s eyes and respiratory mask.

THE COLLABORATION

Delta Flight Products is serving as an initial manufacturing site to test GCMI’s design and prescribed fabrication process, and is exploring expanding its face shield production beyond the initial order in the coming weeks.

The collaboration builds on the recently announced initiative between GCMI; Dr. Joanna Newton, Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist, Aflac Center and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Technology Center; and a team of scientists and researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and its Invention Studio, aimed at addressing the severe shortage of personal protective equipment available to health workers during the pandemic.

Created to innovate on the most complex aspects of Delta’s aircraft interiors, specialty shops housed within Delta Flight Products are at the heart of customer experience. The team has developed bin lift assistance on the modified Delta 777 and Delta 764, and reduced more than 1,330 metric tons of emissions annually by developing the world’s first wireless in-flight entertainment system, putting Delta Flight Products on the leading edge of airline innovation.

American Airlines announces summer schedule changes to match reduced customer demand related to COVID-19

American Airlines Group Inc. will make further capacity cuts this summer to address record low customer demand. The airline will:

  • Suspend more than 60% of international capacity for the peak summer travel season versus the same period last year.
  • Delay the launch of new routes, including service from Philadelphia (PHL) to Casablanca (CMN), Chicago (ORD) to Krakow (KRK) and Seattle (SEA) to Bangalore (BLR) to 2021.
  • Delay the launch of new winter seasonal service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Christchurch (CHC) and from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Auckland (AKL) to winter 2021.
  • Suspend 25 total summer seasonal flights until summer 2021.

Summer and winter capacity will be reduced

American will suspend more than 60% of its total international capacity this summer compared to the same peak period in 2019, which includes an 80% reduction in Pacific capacity, 65% reduction in Atlantic capacity and 48% reduction in Latin America capacity. These changes are due to significantly decreased customer demand as well as government travel restrictions — both related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The reduced summer schedule, as well as the previously announced domestic schedule reductions for May, will be reflected on aa.com starting Sunday, April 5.

The airline previously announced that new service to AKL from DFW, CHC from LAX and BLR from SEA would all begin in October 2020, but American will now begin operating those routes in winter 2021. The resumption of existing service to AKL from LAX — which was originally slated to resume in early October 2020 — will now resume at the end of October 2020.

American will further extend the start date of new routes. Service to London (LHR) from Boston (BOS) will now launch in October 2020 and service to Tel Aviv (TLV) from DFW will begin in September 2021. Service to CMN from PHL and KRK from ORD will not launch this year, as well as 23 existing summer seasonal routes.

A full list of changes to the international summer schedule is below. There are no further changes at this time.

Updated Asia Pacific schedules:

Origin Destination Schedule change
DFW Auckland (AKL) Inaugural flight moves to winter 2021
DFW Hong Kong (HKG) Service resumes July 7
DFW Tokyo-Haneda (HND) Inaugural flight moves to July 7
DFW Seoul (ICN) Service resumes July 7
DFW Beijing (PEK) Service resumes Oct. 25
DFW Shanghai (PVG) Service resumes Oct. 25
LAX AKL Seasonal service resumes Oct. 25
LAX Christchurch (CHC) Inaugural flight moves to winter 2021
LAX HKG Service resumes Oct. 25
LAX HND Service resumes July 7; twice-daily service resumes October 25
LAX PEK Service resumes Oct. 25
LAX PVG Service resumes Oct. 25
LAX Sydney (SYD) Service resumes Oct. 23

Updated Europe and Africa schedules

The following routes will begin operating later this year

Origin Destination Schedule change
BOS London (LHR) Inaugural flight moves to October 25
CLT LHR Service resumes July 7; twice-daily service resumes October 2020
CLT Frankfurt (FRA) Service resumes Oct. 25
CLT Munich (MUC) Service resumes July 7
DFW Amsterdam (AMS) Service resumes June 4
DFW Munich (MUC) Service resumes July 7
DFW Dublin (DUB) Service resumes July 7
DFW Frankfurt (FRA) Service resumes June 4
JFK Barcelona (BCN) Service resumes Oct. 25
JFK Paris (CDG) Service resumes July 7
JFK LHR Service resumes June 4
JFK Madrid (MAD) Service resumes July 7
JFK Milan (MXP) Service resumes Oct. 25
LAX LHR Service resumes June 4
MIA BCN Service resumes Oct. 25
MIA CDG Service resumes Oct. 25
MIA MAD Service resumes July 7
MIA Milan (MXP) Service resumes Oct. 25
ORD Athens (ATH) Service resumes June 4
ORD BCN Service resumes July 7
ORD DUB Service resumes June 4
ORD LHR Service resumes June 4
PHL AMS Service resumes Oct. 7
PHL BCN Service resumes Oct. 25
PHL CDG Service resumes Oct. 25
PHL DUB Service resumes Oct. 7
PHL Rome (FCO) Service resumes Oct. 25
PHL LHR Service resumes June 4
PHL MAD Service resumes July 7
PHL Manchester (MAN) Service resumes Oct. 25
PHL Zurich (ZRH) Service resumes July 7
PHX LHR Service resumes Oct. 7
RDU LHR Service resumes June 4

The following routes will not operate this summer season

Origin Destination
CLT BCN
CLT CDG
CLT DUB
CLT FCO
CLT MAD
DFW FCO
DFW MUC
JFK FCO
ORD Budapest (BUD)
ORD CDG
ORD FCO
ORD Krakow (KRK)
ORD Prague (PRG)
ORD Venice (VCE)
PHL ATH
PHL BUD
PHL Casablanca (CMN)
PHL Dubrovnik (DBV)
PHL Edinburgh (EDI)
PHL Reykjavík (KEF)
PHL Lisbon (LIS)
PHL PRG
PHL Shannon (SNN)
PHL Berlin (TXL)
PHL VCE

Updated Latin America schedules:

Origin Destination Schedule change
DFW Buenos Aires (EZE) Service resumes Oct. 25
DFW São Paulo (GRU) Service resumes July 7
DFW Lima (LIM) Service resumes July 7
DFW Santiago (SCL) Service resumes Oct. 25
JFK EZE Service resumes June 4
JFK Rio de Janeiro (GIG) Service resumes Dec. 17
JFK GRU Service resumes June 4
LAX EZE Service resumes Oct. 25
LAX GRU Service resumes Oct. 25
MIA Brasilia (BSB) Service resumes Oct. 25
MIA EZE Service resumes May 7; twice-daily service resumes Oct. 25
MIA GIG Service resumes June 4
MIA GRU Service resumes May 7; twice-daily service resumes Oct. 25
MIA SCL Service resumes May 7

American Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):

El Al suspends all flights until at least May 2

El Al Israel Airlines has made this announcement:

Following a further assessment, EL AL has decided to extend the suspension of its flights until 2 May 2020.
From 3 May 2020 until 30 May 2020, EL AL is planning to operate flights to/from New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Johannesburg, London, and Paris. The schedule will be updated on the systems and are subject to change. During this period flights to additional destinations may be added as required.
The Company will continue to operate rescue flights and will continue to operate cargo flights. In addition, EL AL will operate essential flights as required.
Suspension of Flights:

Destination ​Last flight
​​Paris, London and New York ​​Until 4.4.2020
​Other ELAL destinations Until 2.5.2020
Sun d’Or – Until 31.5.2020

In light of the situation, the Internet service on aircraft is not available as of March 24, 2020.
Sorry for the inconvenience.

Flexibility in changes for purchased flight ticket:

​Origin/Destination ​Departures ​Validity Change terms & conditions
All EL AL destinations ​Until 30.6.2021 (inclusive) For departures from 1.7.2020 until 30.4.21
• No change fees
• No handling fees
• Ticket price differences to be paid  
• Cancellation – subject to flight ticket terms and conditions

El Al aircraft photo gallery:

ACI: Economic analysis shows COVID-19 is an existential threat to airport business

Economic analysis by Airports Council International (ACI) World has found that, at a global level, the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to wipe out two-fifths of passenger traffic and almost half of revenues for airports in 2020.

In an economic bulletin published, ACI World predicts that global passenger traffic close to two-fifths (38.1%) will be lost as compared to the forecasted pre-COVID-19 figure. This is equivalent to 3.6 billion passengers in absolute terms.

This shortfall in the number of passengers and the cancellation of flights will continue to result in reduced revenues. While the industry was expected to generate about $172 billion (figures in US Dollars), it is now predicted it could lose about 45% or more than $76 billion by the end of this year.

“A drastic decline of such magnitude for the global airport industry represents an existential threat,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said.

“A swift, effective and equitable economic policy response from governments is needed to protect millions of jobs, protect essential operations, and give the industry the greatest chance to weather the storm and recover quickly.

“The global airport industry has faced multi-billion-dollar losses already in the first quarter of 2020, but it is now predicted that the impact of COVID-19 will extend not only to the second quarter of 2020 but also the second half of the year.

“Most experts in the air transport industry agree that recovery may take a year to 18 months to reach pre-crisis traffic levels and the industry may not record pre-COVID-19 traffic volumes again before the end of 2021

“A fair and equitable global economic policy response is required to safeguard essential airport operations, to protect millions of jobs worldwide, and to ensure the survival of the industry and lay the foundation for a fair recovery.”

As revenues continue to contract rapidly, airports are taking all possible measures to preserve financial stability. While airports have high fixed and unavoidable costs, they are reducing, to a minimum, variable costs by closing portions of infrastructure, postponing capital expenditure, and addressing staffing costs. These difficult decisions are not taken lightly but are necessary in response to the crisis facing the industry.

As regards prospects for recovery, ACI believes it is reasonable to foresee faster recovery in domestic passenger traffic. In the case of international passenger traffic, however, the recovery will take longer, as any international flight implies reciprocal permissions, while various States will emerge from the current crisis at different times with varying pace of relaxation of the recently imposed restrictions.

Qatar Airways suspends operations to New York (JFK), Madrid and Barcelona

Qatar Airways made this announcement:

Qatar Airways continues to take firm steps in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The airline’s robust measures include amending its flight schedule, working with governments to take people home, and introducing new policies to ensure the health and safety of staff, and maintaining its vital cargo operations.

In addition, the airline continues to support the State of Qatar’s efforts to manage the coronavirus outbreak, and has acquired and transported 500,000 test kits, which arrived in Doha, and will donate these to local health services.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “At Qatar Airways we continue to work hard to take people home to their families, while also ensuring robust health and safety practices to limit the spread of coronavirus.

“We are adjusting our flight schedules on a daily basis, and since the outbreak of the virus we have stepped up our already robust hygiene practices. In these efforts, we do not work alone – I am grateful for the support we have received from local and national governments and entities, whom we are working in close partnership to overcome this pandemic.”

Flight schedules and bookings

Qatar Airways continues to temporarily hold flights to severely affected countries due to entry restrictions implemented by many governments to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The airline will place a temporary hold on flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) from April 1, 2020, Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) from April 4, and Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) from April 5, with the intention to reinstate flights in line with a return to regular conditions.

At the same time, Qatar Airways is working tirelessly to ensure that those stranded abroad can fly home to their loved ones. The airline is working with governments around the world to maintain a strong schedule of flights, and organising charter flights where needed. The airline has received words of thanks from many countries, including the governments of Germany, the UK, France, Pakistan, and Oman for its efforts to return their citizens.

The airline is also offering maximum flexibility to passengers in terms of managing their travel plans. Passengers that have booked are planning to book tickets for travel up to 30 September 2020 can alter their travel date free of charge, exchange their ticket for a future travel voucher valid for one year or get a refund. For more details, visit qatarairways.com/en/travel-with-confidence.html.

Health and safety measures

Qatar Airways has implemented robust policies to ensure the health and safety of its passengers and employees. Cabin crew have received training on how to minimise their chances of contracting or spreading the infection, are thermally screened before the departure of flights and after their arrival, and are quarantined and tested if any colleagues or passengers on a flight shows any symptoms of infection or test positive for the virus. As the current pandemic has escalated, cabin crew have been authorised to wear surgical masks and disposable gloves.

In addition, Qatar Airways has revised its distribution of cabin crew on flights, sending two groups on short-haul and medium-haul flights – the first to manage the outbound trip, the second to manage the inbound trip. For long-haul flights, crew members who have to stay overnight in a foreign city can only travel in Qatar Airways-approved transport and must remain in their rooms, limiting human interactions.

In terms of passengers, Qatar Airways is encouraging social distancing where possible, especially on flights with lighter loads. Distancing is also implemented during the boarding process, ensuring passengers are allocated seats far apart from each other. The airline is also encouraging passengers to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), such as regular hand washing and refraining from touching the face.

As an airline, Qatar Airways maintains the highest possible hygiene standards, which include the regular disinfection of aircraft, the use of cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and WHO.

Qatar Airways’ aircraft feature the most advanced air filtration systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants from re-circulated air, providing the most effective protection against infection. All the airline’s onboard linen and blankets are washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, and then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing disposable gloves.

Qatar Airways Cargo

As one of the world’s largest airlines and cargo operators, Qatar Airways is in a unique position to offer humanitarian assistance to affected countries all over the world.

In February the airline supported China supported by donating and flying 300 tonnes of medical supplies to in five cargo aircraft to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It also flew six tonnes of medical supplies free of charge to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which were donated by the State of Qatar, in March. Qatar Airways Cargo has offered to fly any medical supplies to China and Iran free of charge, to continue to support the coronavirus relief efforts of these countries

In terms of its day-to-day operations, Qatar Airways Cargo is working hard to ensure that importers can maintain supplies of fresh produce and pharmaceuticals to countries around the world through our cargo operations – at significantly discounted rates.

Measures at Hamad International Airport

Hamad International Airport (HIA) is also robustly minimising any risks to the health and safety of passengers and staff. As a vital pillar to Qatar’s national economy, HIA’s doors remain open as it continues its operations to take people home to their family through Doha, and to ensure food security of Qatar through cargo.

To limit the number of people at HIA as passenger numbers are below average, there has been a temporary reduction of 40 per cent of staff working onsite at the airport across various areas including food and beverage, retail, and ground services. These staff are either working from home, or taking paid or unpaid leave.

In terms of hygiene measures, HIA has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and closed most of the non-essential passenger facilities. All passenger touchpoints are sanitized every 10-15 minutes. All boarding gates and bus gate counters are cleaned after each flight. Staff working at the airport have been provided additional training in terms of protecting themselves and others in light of the current situation and implementing the highest health and safety measurements. In addition, hand sanitizers are provided at immigration and security screening points. A social distancing policy has been implemented at the airport, and staff are allowed to wear masks and disposable gloves to protect them from any infection. All staff are briefed to change their masks in line with WHO recommendations.

Transfer passengers are being processed in a strategic way that minimises contact with staff and each other, to ensure social distancing. Most food courts and food outlets have been temporarily closed following Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) guidelines. Some food and beverage outlets remain operational with passengers following social distancing measures. HIA has also suspended retail and service outlets except for some essential stores like the pharmacy. HIA also stopped the use of passenger trains, escalators, moving walkalators and elevators, and have stopped the use of baby strollers and prayer rooms.

In line with WHO guidance, the airport has also developed a hygiene advisory that guides passengers and staff on how to wash hands, when to seek medical advice, whom to inform if they are feeling unwell, what to use if they don’t have access to soap and water, and what to avoid. This content is available at all passenger touchpoints and screens across the terminal.

Transfer passengers undergo thermal screening, especially those coming from countries with a severe coronavirus outbreak. Advanced thermal cameras have been installed that can remotely record the body temperature of each passenger. If a passenger is detected to have a fever, they are transferred to the specialised clinic at the airport arrivals side. HIA, in cooperation with MoPH,  the Qatari Company for Airports Operation and Management (MATAR), and Qatar Airways, has set up this clinic to conduct medical examinations and handle all COVID-19 related cases on a 24/7 basis. The airport has worked hard to minimise transit hours between flights and assign aircraft as near to the gate as possible.

Qatar Airways aircraft photo gallery:

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