HiSky delays its start-up to late May

HiSky (Chisinau), the new Moldavian airline, has delayed its launch from April 10 to May 28, 2020.

The new carrier is planning to launch scheduled passenger flights with two Airbus A320s from Chisinau to Beauvais (near Paris), Bologna, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Lisbon and London (Stansted).

Planned schedule:

Reuters: Qatar Airways CEO says will keep flying but warns cash is running out

Even Qatar Airways will need state aid to survive.

From Reuters:

“Qatar Airways will continue to operate flights as long as necessary to get stranded travelers home, Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker (below) told Reuters on Sunday, but warned that the carrier could soon run out of cash.

(PRNewsFoto/Qatar Airways)

“We have enough cash to take us through a very short period of time,” he said in a phone interview.

He said the airline would eventually have to seek support from its owner, the Qatar government.

The Middle East carrier is one of few global airlines to continue operate after the coronavirus decimated travel demand almost overnight.”

The airline also made this short statement:

We know this is an anxious time for many stranded travellers around the world. New travel restrictions are imposed every day limiting the places we can fly. We are working closely with governments around the world and where possible we will operate charter flights to help get their citizens home.

In the destinations where we are still able to operate, in collaboration with local embassies we will be upgrading flights to larger aircraft or adding new flights to help get people home.

Operational routes

We are still operating flights to many cities around the world including London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Sydney, helping thousands of passengers get home safely.

Please be advised that, due to the current operating context of entry restrictions imposed by governments to limit the spread of coronavirus, our schedules may change at short notice.

Passengers are advised to check our real-time Flight Status page for the latest information.

Please also note that a number of countries have issued restrictions on entry for overseas travellers. We strongly recommend all passengers check the information published by the Government of their destination country before travelling and visit: International Air Transport Association (IATA)

The airports we are currently serving are:

Africa

  • Seychelles International Airport (SEZ)
  • Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ)

Americas

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Los Angeles International (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Asia and Pacific

  • Angeles City Clark International Airport (CRK)
  • Auckland  International Airport (AKL)
  • Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
  • Brisbane Airport (BNE)
  • Denpasar International Airport (DPS)
  • Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport (HAN)
  • Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
  • Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK)
  • Krabi International Airport (KBV)
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
  • Male International Airport (MLE)
  • Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)
  • Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL)
  • Perth Airport (PER)
  • Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH)
  • Phuket International Airport (HKT)
  • Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)
  • Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
  • Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD)
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)
  • Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)
  • Yangon International Airport (RGN)

Europe

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
  • Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH)
  • Barcelona El Prat Airport  (BCN)
  • Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL)
  • Birmingham International Airport (BHX)
  • Brussels Airport (BRU)
  • Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP)
  • Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD)
  • Copenhagen Airport (CPH)
  • Dublin Airport (DUB)
  • Edinburgh Airport (EDI)
  • Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
  • Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (HEL)
  • Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)
  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
  • Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD)
  • Manchester International Airport (MAN)
  • Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME)
  • Munich Airport (MUC)
  • Nice Côte D’Azur Airport (NCE)
  • Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL)
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Pulkovo Airport, St Petersburg (LED)
  • Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO)
  • Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)
  • Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG)
  • Vienna International Airport (VIE)
  • Zagreb Airport (ZAG)
  • Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Middle East

  • Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)

Qatar Airways aircraft photo gallery:

Lionair Philippines Westwind crashes on take off at Manila, 8 dead

On March 29, 2020, a Lionair Philippines Israel Aircraft Industries IAI-1124A Westwind, registered as RP-C5880, exploded while taking off from Ninoy Aquino International Airport killing all eight people on board. The aircraft was on a medevac mission to Tokyo, Japan.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) grounded the entire fleet of aircraft charter company Lionair Inc. after the crash.

Read the full story from The Star.

Social media:

easyJet grounds its entire fleet

easyJet today grounded its entire fleet.

The airline issued this short statement:

“As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, easyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft.

Over recent days easyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, returning home more than 45,000 customers. The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday March 29.”

easyJet (UK) aircraft photo gallery:

Pobeda to suspend all flights from April 1 to May 31

Pobeda will suspend all flights from April 1 until May 3, 2020 due to the coronavirus.

The airline issued this statement:

On March 26 the Government of the Russian Federation decided to suspend all flights until June 1, 2020 and recommended citizens to limit their travel.

We are in solidarity with this decision: your health and the health of your loved ones are most important. We are suspending flights from April 1 to May 31, 2020.

Pobeda Airlines is a low-cost carrier of the Aeroflot Group. Pobeda Airlines has 30 Boeing 737-800s.

Pobeda aircraft photo gallery:

Pobeda domestic route map (In Russian):

Robeda European route map (in Russian):

Competition Bureau issues report outlining competition concerns with Air Canada’s proposed acquisition of Transat

The Competition Bureau has issued this report:

The Competition Bureau announced on March 27 it has concluded that Air Canada’s proposed acquisition of Transat (Air Transat) is likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the sale of air travel or vacation packages to Canadians.

The Bureau’s concerns are outlined in a report delivered to the Minister of Transport by the Commissioner of Competition. The report will inform Transport Canada’s public interest review of the proposed transaction as it relates to national transportation.

Eliminating the rivalry between these airlines would result in increased prices, less choice, decreases in service and a significant reduction in travel by Canadians on a variety of routes where their existing networks overlap.

The Bureau’s analysis determined that the effects of the transaction would apply to 83 routes, including:

  • 49 overlapping routes between Canada and Europe; and
  • 34 overlapping routes between Canada and sun destinations in Florida, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

The transaction also represents a merger of the only two carriers offering nonstop service on 22 of these routes.

Our assessment is based upon a forward-looking analysis using data and information collected prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau recognizes that the impact of these events on the Canadian airline industry appear to be significant in the near term. The ultimate impact of these events may be relevant to the Bureau’s views on the proposed transaction but it is impossible to know the full extent and duration of any impact at this time.

Transport Canada has until May 2, 2020 to complete its public interest assessment and provide it to the Minister. The final decision regarding the proposed transaction will be made by the Governor in Council (Cabinet) based on a recommendation from the Minister.

Quick facts

  • Air Canada and Transat operate two of Canada’s four largest airlines and primary integrated tour operators providing vacation offerings to Canadians.
  • On August 26, 2019, the Minister of Transport started a public interest review of the proposed merger under subsection 53.1(5) of the Canada Transportation Act (CTA). As part of any such public interest review, the Commissioner of Competition is required to provide a report to the Minister on any concerns regarding potential prevention or lessening of competition that may occur as a result of the transaction.
  • Under the CTA, the Commissioner is also to provide an assessment to the Minister of the adequacy of any undertakings that may be proposed by the merging parties to address competition concerns raised in his report.
  • This is the second time the Commissioner provided a report to the Minister as part of a public interest review as it relates to national transportation.

Austrian Airlines repatriates more than 3,500 people

Austrian Airlines has made this announcement on March 27:

During the last two weeks, we flew home more than 3,500 people from all over the world.

Additional repatriation flights will follow this week from Lima, Denpasar and Kuala Lumpur on behalf of Österreichisches Außenministerium.

Next week there will be more. Huge thanks to our great employees who made this possible!

All photos by the airline.