FedEx becomes Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, celebrates the 100th Boeing 767

"100th Boeing 767 FedEx" special logo

FedEx Corporation and UEFA have signed a three-year agreement in which FedEx will sponsor the UEFA Champions League commencing at the start of the 2021/22 tournament and extending for three editions through to 2023/24. The agreement also includes sponsorship rights for the UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Youth League finals, the UEFA Champions League Futsal finals and UEFA eChampions League.

The sponsorship builds on the existing relationship with UEFA. FedEx became a main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League in 2015 and a UEFA National Team Football sponsor in 2019.  FedEx is also the Official Logistics Partner of UEFA EURO 2020 taking place in the summer of 2021 across multiple European host cities.

This new sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League reaffirms FedEx as a long-standing sponsor of UEFA.

In 2016, FedEx became the first sponsor to begin collaborating with the UEFA Foundation for Children, using football as a tool to deliver positive and social impact in communities around the world. Alongside sponsorship of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA EURO 2020, FedEx and the UEFA Foundation have delivered safe community football fields in Spain, Poland, Brazil, and South Africa and have rolled out a co-funded “Football for Employability” program benefitting young adults in Romania, Hungary, England and Ireland. FedEx also invited local children to be player mascots at UEFA Europa League finals in collaboration with non-profit organizations in Stockholm (Sweden), Lyon (France) and Baku (Azerbaijan), where an all-girl player mascot line-up made footballing history.

“Our global sponsorship of UEFA Champions League will deliver unrivalled opportunities for our brand, team members, customers, and communities. Aligning our brand with world class sports performance allows us to connect our services to our audiences through the passion and emotions generated by sports and enables us to contribute positively to our local communities,” said Brie Carere, executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer, FedEx Corp.

“We’ll continue to explore powerful social responsibility collaborations with the UEFA Foundation for Children, as we have done throughout our UEFA Europa League sponsorship.”

“FedEx has proved to be an incredibly valued UEFA partner. We are delighted they are continuing their evolution with us, which started in 2015 and now sees them supporting our flagship club competition, the UEFA Champions League,” said UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein. “The UEFA Champions League is the world’s greatest club competition, and we are looking forward to working with FedEx closely over the next three years to help them activate their numerous projects. They will benefit not just the footballing community, but also look to have a positive impact on the environment”.

In other news, the company is preparing to take delivery of the 100th Boeing 767. N277FE carries this special logo on the rear fuselage.

Top and Above Copyright Photo: FedEx Express Boeing 767-300F ER N277FE (msn 66246) (100th Boeing 767 FedEx) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 953640.

FedEx aircraft slide show:

British Airways launches a new ad campaign

British Airways has made this announcement:

After one of the worst years in aviation history, British Airways has launched a new advertising campaign, putting its people and customers at the centre of the story about its return to the skies.

“You make us fly”, which is the first TV advert since “A love letter to Britain” to mark airline’s centenary in 2019, was shared first with its colleagues and then on the airline’s social media channels. The 60 second ad will air for the first time on TV on Friday May 7 around Gogglebox, followed by Premier League football matches and F1 being shown live on Sky Sports over the weekend.

The campaign features the airline’s own people, all of whom volunteered to feature in the advert that has been designed to have an uplifting feeling and remind customers that they are at the heart of British Airways. The ad showcases the airline’s staff proudly making their way back to work with a very British sense of urgency, to do what they love most, caring for customers.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “There is a sense of huge anticipation from colleagues across the airline who are preparing to return to work after a very difficult year. The story illustrates the pride that our people tell me they’re feeling at the thought of seeing our planes in the sky once again and having the opportunity to welcome and serve our customers, to reunite them with their friends and relatives. The excitement is palpable.”

Helen Wetton, British Airways’ 777 Captain and the first colleague to feature in the advert, said: “I am tremendously proud to have been involved in creating this advert with British Airways. I played my own role as a female Captain who springs out of bed and races to get to work. I am so excited to get back to doing what I love and flying our customers around the world again, when the time is right.”

Jules Chalkley, Ogilvy UK’s Chief Executive Creative Director said: “The creative platform was inspired by the very people who make British Airways a world class brand; the pilots, the cabin crew, the engineers, the ground team – everyone.

Our creative tells the world: ‘You Make Us Fly’. When you talk to the British Airways team, this love for their passengers is their first thought, the reason they get out of bed in the morning. The whole platform is a celebration of that passion as we see British Airways colleagues getting back to doing what they do best and the thing they love so much; looking after people. It also brings a surge of excitement and sense of possibility on the cusp of a hugely important time for us all.”

The music that plays throughout the advert is Flower Duet from Delibes’ opera Lakme, which first featured in British Airways’ advertising over 40 years ago and is still proudly used as the airline’s boarding music.

A behind the scenes video of the advert being filmed featuring interviews with the airline’s staff can also be viewed here:

British Airways has introduced a number of measures at the airport and on board to look after the safety and wellbeing of its customers and crew. These include social distancing measures, the wearing of face masks and hand sanitizer stations. Prior to travel customers will also receive details of how they can prepare for their next flight.

The airline is cleaning all key surfaces including seats, screens, seat buckles and tray tables after every flight and each aircraft is completely cleaned from nose to tail every day. The air on all British Airways flights is fully recycled once every two to three minutes through HEPA filters, which remove microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with over 99.9% efficiency, equivalent to hospital operating theatre standards.

Customers booking with British Airways can do so with absolute confidence, thanks to the airline’s flexible booking policy. Customers are able to exchange their booking for a voucher or move their dates without incurring a change fee if their plans change. British Airways Holidays’ customers also have access to a range of additional flexible booking options, as part of the company’s Customer Promise, including securing a holiday with a deposit from just £60pp.

Taos Air returns with nonstop flights from Texas and California

Taos Air (Ultimate JetCharters) Fairchild Dornier 328-300 (328JET) N419FJ (N192T) (msn 3173) HHR (Michael B. Ing). Image: 948971.

Taos Air will restart its jet service offering nonstop flights to and from Austin–Bergstrom International, Dallas Love Field, Hawthorne Municipal Airport in Los Angeles, and McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

Service resumes July 1, 2021.

In addition to complimentary shuttle ground shuttle service between the airport and Taos Ski Valley’s award-winning hotel, The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, Taos Air travelers will have abundant activities once they arrive in the ski valley, including:

  • The new Via Ferrata, situated at 11,500 feet in the sub-alpine ecosystem of Kachina Peak, features beginner through advanced climbing route challenges, a 100-foot skybridge, and a double-cable catwalk. Novice climbers can experience the thrill of cabled mountain travel under the supervision of a guide, and progress to vertical terrain with spectacular views of the Rio Hondo and Wheeler Peak Wilderness.
  • The Green Chile Flow Trail is a lift-service mountain bike trail. From the top of Lift 4 all the way to the bottom of the Kachina Basin, the Green Chile flow track is 3.5 miles of buttery banked turns, amazing scenery, and fun for the whole family.
  • The new Blue Corn Trail will further expand the resort’s intermediate mountain bike experience and will gradually expand throughout the summer and fall as the build-out is completed.
  • The newly renovated Williams Lake Trail is a wooded 3.7-mile intermediate trail culminating at a picturesque lake bordered by stunning mountain vistas or at the summit of Wheeler Peak, the highest mountain in New Mexico.
  • Scenic chair-lift rides allow riders to breathe in the cool, clear mountain air while enjoying spectacular alpine scenery of the Kachina Basin.

Summer service will consist of twice weekly service from each city to Taos between July 1 through September 27. Taos Air will also offer service for the winter 2021-22 ski season; the booking window will open up later this summer.

Top Copyright Photo: Taos Air (Ultimate JetCharters) Fairchild Dornier 328-300 (328JET) N419FJ (N192T) (msn 3173) HHR (Michael B. Ing). Image: 948971.

Avelo Airlines expands to the East Coast with a second base at New Haven, CT

Commenced operations on April 28, 2021

Avelo Airlines today announced its first East Coast base at Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN).

Avelo will start operations at HVN in the third quarter of 2021, bringing choice, low fares, and convenience to Southern Connecticut with a mix of popular to-be-announced nonstop flights to popular destinations.

Avelo Airlines Logo (PRNewsfoto/Avelo Airlines)

HVN will be Avelo’s second base, following its launch of service at Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) last month. Avelo will operate single-class, fuel-efficient Boeing 737-700 Next Gen aircraft at HVN to provide a more comfortable, mainline jet experience versus the smaller regional jets that currently service the airport.

“We are very excited to partner with HVN as we begin to build our East Coast operations. Our surprisingly low fares and refreshingly smooth travel experience are sure to be embraced by residents of Southern Connecticut,” said Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy. “Tweed New Haven has enormous potential, and our first East Coast base is great news for Avelo, New HavenEast Haven and other local communities.”

Avelo is investing $1.2 million into HVN to help upgrade and modernize facilities and operations. The airline will employ more than 100 Crewmembers at HVN by the end of the year, including pilots, flight attendants, customer support personnel, and technicians, most locally hired. Avelo’s investment is part of a $100 million project for a new terminal and extended runway at HVN spearheaded by airport operator Avports that will result in the overall creation of up to 11,000 jobs in the area.

More details about the Avelo base operations, and destinations served by Avelo and HVN, will be available in the coming months.

Top Copyright Photo: Avelo Airlines Boeing 737-86N SSWL N801XT (msn 35220) STS (Mark Durbin). Image: 953614.

Stobart Air to add two new routes from Exeter to Dublin and Newquay Cornwall to Belfast

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 1996 (Aer Lingus)

  • Newquay Cornwall to Belfast route to commence on June 28 and initially operate three times weekly, with fares starting from £34.99;
  • Exeter to Dublin route to commence on August 30 and initially operate four times weekly, with fares starting from £39.99;
  • Flights will operate in line with Covid-19 protocols, including Stobart Air’s enhanced health and safety measures;
  • Stobart Air calls on UK & Irish Governments to develop vaccine passport system to allow vaccinated people resume travel;

Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional routes, has today (Tuesday, 20 April) added two new routes to its network, connecting England’s southwestern coast with the island of Ireland.

The new Exeter Airport (EXT) to Dublin Airport (DUB) route will initially operate four times weekly, on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, commencing on August 30, 2021.

The new Cornwall Airport Newquay (NQY) to Belfast City Airport (BHD) will initially operate three times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, commencing on June 28, 2021.

All Stobart Air flights will operate in line with Covid protocols put in place by the UK and Irish governments and health authorities. Stobart Air has implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers, including enhanced aircraft cleaning, mandatory face coverings (with the exception of small children and those who are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons), and boarding, disembarkation and in-flight procedures to reduce crew and passenger interaction.

Top Copyright Photo: Aer Lingus Regional-Stobart Air ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-600) EI-FAX (msn 1129) GLA (Robbie Shaw). Image: 934301.

Aer Lingus-Stobart Air aircraft slide show:

Air France-KLM: Travel restrictions still impacting the Group’s activity

Larger 2021 titles

Air France-KLM issued this financial report for the first quarter:

 

Over the first three months of the year, the Group continued to be negatively impacted by travel restrictions as the whole industry:

 Revenue at 2.2 billion euros, down 57% compared to last year

 EBITDA loss at -0.6 billion euros, mitigated due to strict cost control and national partial activity schemes

 Operating result at -1.2 billion euros, down 0.4 billion euros compared to last year

Net income at -1.5 billion euros, after taking interest charges into account

 Net debt at 12.5 billion euros, up 1.5 billion compared to end of 2020

 At 31 March 2021, the Group has 8.5 billion euros of liquidity and credit lines at disposal

 Early April 2021, first set of balance sheet strengthening measures successfully executed resulting in an increase of €4bn equity and improved cash position by €1bn

OUTLOOK

Due to the stricter lockdown in France until, at least beginning of May, continuation of the lockdown in the Netherlands and travel restrictions worldwide still in place, the Group anticipates the beginning of the second quarter to be similar to the first quarter whereby the customer booking behavior is still short-term oriented.

The key to reduce travel restrictions and reopen borders is a rapid roll-out of wide-scale vaccination. In the US, domestic demand is recovering rapidly due to the speed of the vaccination process.

In this context, the Group expects capacity in Available Seat kilometers circa index 50% for Air France-KLM in the Second quarter 2021 compared to 2019 for the Network passenger activity. During the second half of the second quarter the Group will progressively ramp up capacity given the vaccination deployment in Europe.

For the Third quarter the Group foresees a capacity in Available Seat kilometers index in the range of 55% to 65% compared to 2019 for the Network passenger activity thanks to estimated higher demand.

The Air France-KLM Group continues to work to strengthen its balance sheet. Additional measures of equity and quasi-equity instruments are currently under consideration. Extraordinary resolutions will be presented at the next Annual General Meeting, aiming to give the Board of Directors great flexibility to restore equity.

Transavia: Operating result –120 million euros as impacted by Covid-19 crisis

The First quarter operating result ended -38 million euros lower compared to last year at an operational loss of -120 million euros, as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis with strict border restrictions in Europe and North Africa.

First quarter activity level was only around 20% of last year’s production, with a unit revenue down – 21.6% compared to 2020. Load factor at 57.6% was impacted by travel restrictions imposed. The production level of Transavia France was slightly higher at and index of 26 compared to 2020, thanks to the start of domestic routes.

Transavia plan to grow is still valid, well positioned to capture the leisure traffic recovery foreseen in the coming months towards the end of the summer, being a major opportunity for the Group’s competitiveness gain. The adding of eight Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Transavia France fleet in the first quarter is part of this plan.

OUTLOOK

Due to the stricter lockdown in France until, at least beginning of May, continuation of the lockdown in the Netherlands and travel restrictions worldwide still in place, the Group anticipates a difficult start of the Second quarter whereby the customer booking behavior is still short-term oriented.

The key to reduce travel restrictions and reopen borders is a rapid roll-out of wide-scale vaccination. The vaccination pace in Europe is slower than in the US where the domestic demand recovers quickly thanks to the high speed vaccination process.

In this context the Group expects capacity in Available Seat kilometers circa index 50% for Air France-KLM in the Second quarter 2021 compared to 2019 for the Network passenger activity. During the second half of the second quarter the Group will progressively ramp up capacity given the vaccination deployment in Europe.

For the Third quarter the Group foresees a capacity in Available Seat kilometers between index 55% and 65% compared to 2019 for the Network passenger activity thanks to estimated higher demand.

At 31 March 2021, the Group has a 8.5 billion euros of liquidity and credit lines at disposal. This level can be considered comfortable, given the expected recovery in the summer, despite the cash requirements for 2021 which include:

 Q2 2021 EBITDA expected to be in the same range as EBITDA Q1 2021

 Capex spending inferior at 2.0 billion euros in 2021, but largely funded for fleet investments

 Restructuring cash out at 0.5 billion euros in 2021, part of which is financed by the associated reduction in the wage bill

A first set of capital strengthening measures was successfully executed in April and resulted in an increase in equity of 4 billion euros and cash of 1 billion euros.

The Air France-KLM group continues to work on strengthening its balance sheet. Additional equity and quasi-equity measures are currently under consideration. Extraordinary resolutions will be presented at the next Annual General Meeting, aiming to give the Board of Directors great flexibility to restore equity and initiate the gradual refinancing of state aid and restore leverage ratio.

Top Copyright Photo: Revised AF livery: Air France Boeing 777-328 ER F-GZND (msn 35543) CDG (Manuel Negrerie). Image: 953530.

Air France aircraft slide show:

Copa Holdings loses $110.7 million in the first quarter

Copa Airlines' ConnectMiles loyalty program

Copa Holdings, S.A. has announced financial results for the first quarter of 2021 (1Q21).

Photo: Orlando International Airport.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Copa Holdings reported a net loss of US$110.7 million for the quarter, or US$2.60 per share.  Excluding special items, the Company would have reported a net loss of US$95.1 million, or US$2.23 per share.  Special items for the quarter include a US$15.7 million unrealized mark-to-market loss related to the Company’s convertible notes.
  • Copa Holdings reported an operating loss of US$77.1 million for the quarter.
  • Cash consumption, defined as cash disbursements less proceeds, excluding extraordinary financing activities and asset sales but including capital expenditures and payment of financial obligations, averaged approximately US$23 million per month during the quarter.
  • The Company ended the quarter with US$1.5 billion of available liquidity, consisting of approximately US$1.2 billion in cash, short-term and long-term investments, and committed and undrawn credit facilities of US$345 million.
  • The Company closed the quarter with total debt, including lease liabilities, of US$1.7 billion.
  • The Company’s flight operations, measured in terms of available seat miles (ASMs), represented approximately 39% of those in the same period in 2019.
  • During the quarter, 4 Embraer 190 aircraft exited the fleet as part of a previously agreed sale to a third party.  As of March 31, 2021, there were 4 remaining Embraer 190 aircraft sold that are expected to leave during the second quarter. 
  • During the quarter, the Company took delivery of 6 Boeing 737 MAX 9.  Excluding the aircraft classified as assets held for sale, and including aircraft in temporary storage, Copa Holdings ended the quarter with a consolidated fleet of 81 aircraft – 68 Boeing 737-800s and 13 Boeing 737 MAX 9s, compared to a total fleet of 102 aircraft at the end of the first quarter of 2020.
  • During the quarter, Copa Airlines had an on-time performance of 95.0% and a flight-completion factor of 99.3%, once again positioning itself among the best in the industry.

Subsequent Events

  • In April, the Company delivered 1 Embraer 190 aircraft, out of 14 that were sold to a third party.

Top Copyright photo: The Embraer 190s are being phase out this year. Copa Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW HP-1564CMP (msn 19000100) (ConnectMiles.com) PTY (Andres Meneses). Image: 929692.

Copa Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

Norwegian: Travel restrictions continue to impact operations in April

"Jean Sibelius. Finnish composer"

Norwegian Air Shuttle issued this report:

Norwegian’s traffic figures for April are impacted by government travel restrictions and therefore low demand.

In April 59431 customers flew with Norwegian, an increase of approximately 18000 compared to the same period last year. The capacity (ASK) was down 7 percent, and the total passenger traffic (RPK) was up by 115 percent.

The load factor was 42.2 percent, up 24 percentage points, compared to April last year.

“The pandemic and international travel restrictions continue to impact our traffic results when compared to the same period last year despite the percentage increases. However, as the reopening of borders in Norway and across Europe progresses, we are confident that we will continue to see a gradual increase in year on year traffic. We continuously adjust our operations to changes in demand.” Said Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian.

Norwegian operated ten aircraft in April, mainly on domestic routes in Norway. The company operated 97.7 percent of its scheduled flights in April, whereof 97.8 percent departed on time.

Top Copyright Photo: Norwegian.com (Norwegian Air Sweden) Boeing 737-8JP WL SE-RRZ (msn 42083) (Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 953561.

Norwegian (Sweden) aircraft slide show:

LATAM Group announces that it will be zero waste to landfill by 2027 and carbon neutral by 2050

LATAM Airlines (Chile) Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner CC-BGD (msn 35322) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 939889.

LATAM Group made this announcement today:

Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, zero waste to landfill by 2027 and protecting iconic ecosystems in South America, are some of the commitments that are part of the LATAM Group Sustainability Strategy, launched today.

“We are facing a critical moment in the history of humanity, with a serious climate crisis and a pandemic that has changed our society. Today, it is not enough to do the usual. As a group we have the responsibility to go further in the search for collective solutions. We want to be an actor that promotes the social, environmental and economic development of the region; therefore, we are assuming a commitment that seeks to contribute to the conservation of ecosystems and the well-being of the people of South America, making it a better place for all of them,” said Roberto Alvo, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.

One of the most important announcements was the first stage of a collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), to plan conservation and reforestation actions in iconic ecosystems in the region. TNC is a global environmental organization that works based on science, creating solutions for the most urgent challenges of our planet, so that nature and people may prosper together.

“With more than 35 years of experience in Latin America, our scientific studies have shown that forest restoration and regeneration can efficiently contribute to the Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs) goals. TNC believes that multisectorial collaboration accelerates the implementation of nature-based solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, protect biodiversity, and develop a more prosperous future for people in the region,” said Ian Thompson, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Brazil.

A strategy for the next 30 years

The sustainability strategy for the next 30 years includes four pillars of work: environmental management, climate change, circular economy and shared value. The lines of action were designed collaboratively with experts and environmental organizations from across the region.

Regarding the climate change pillar, the group announced that it will work to reduce its emissions through the incorporation of sustainable fuels and new aviation technologies that are expected to be available beginning 2035. “The environment cannot wait 15 years to have the necessary technologies to reduce emissions. This is why we will work in parallel to promote these transformations and offset our emissions through nature-based solutions,” said Roberto Alvo, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.

Through the development of a portfolio of conservation projects and other initiatives, LATAM Group will contribute to offset 50% of its domestic emissions by 2030, establishing a path to be carbon neutral by 2050. It will intervene in iconic ecosystems of South America, such as the Amazon, the Chaco, the Llanos of Orinoco, the Atlantic forest and El Cerrado, among others.

Additionally, LATAM Group will promote a program that will allow passengers, corporate and cargo customers the option of offsetting the CO2 emissions associated with their trips. In parallel, the group will offset the same amount of CO2 emissions as customers under the 1+1 program.

In circular economy, LATAM Group is committed to promoting a culture of elimination, reduction, reuse and recycling throughout the operation, in order to reach 2027 as a group that generates zero waste to landfill. To do this, single-use plastics will be eliminated before 2023 and the on-board recycling program will be expanded on all domestic routes of the LATAM Group, and all LATAM lounges will be made 100% sustainable. Similarly, the group will implement a uniform recycling program in all countries and a plan to replace materials on board with compostable, recyclable or certified items.

As part of the shared value pillar, the group will expand its capacity to transport cargo and people for health programs, natural disasters and environmental care. It should be remembered that since the beginning of the pandemic, thanks to the Solidarity Plane program, there has been the transportation of more than 29.4 million vaccines free of charge in its subsidiaries, more than 1,400 health professionals, over 490 tons of medical supplies and more than 1,500 organs and tissues in South America. At the same time, the program has confirmed 10 transports of stem cells for patients with blood cancer.

Lastly, in the case of environmental management, LATAM Group will implement a transparent and auditable system that will allow it to take into account environmental variables in all the group’s processes, which will have environmental certification (IEnvA) throughout its operation, a reference in the industry, and that is granted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Top Copyright Photo: LATAM Airlines (Chile) Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner CC-BGD (msn 35322) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 939889.

LATAM aircraft slide show (Chile):

Air Canada highlights its pandemic health and safety initiatives for employees

Air Canada is marking North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH) by highlighting the range of health and safety initiatives it has implemented to protect employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline’s leadership position in using technology has enabled it to share its experience and knowledge to mentor other Canadian companies in scaling up similar initiatives.  This includes the use of rapid antigen testing in the workplace, developed via Canada’s Creative Destructive Lab (CDL), as an important tool in applying a layered approach to employee health and safety.

“The safety of our employees is paramount at Air Canada, and working with our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Chung, Air Canada has been able to pull together workplace screening initiatives with our partner Creative Destruction Lab which has enabled Air Canada to be in a leadership position. With the unpredictable trajectory of COVID-19, it was critical over the past year to develop and use science-based tools as part of a multi-layered approach to keeping our people safe at work. Employees told us they found the voluntary rapid antigen employee screening we developed through CDL gave them additional confidence knowing there was another protective layer in the workplace. What we learned in the process has been shared with other organizations looking to adopt similar approaches for their own workplaces,” said Samuel Elfassy, Vice President, Safety at Air Canada.

Janice Stein, a professor at the University of Toronto and a Member of the CDL Steering Committee, stated, “Air Canada has played a leading role in the CDL Rapid Screening Consortium in Canada. It was among the first to join. It led critical work teams, it pioneered one advance after another in the application of rapid screening.”

Canadian Blood Services is one of the companies that Air Canada helped in scaling its workplace rapid screening for employees across the country. Laura Todd, Manager, Strategic Planning and Business Integration said, “The team at Air Canada shared technology that made it easier for us to implement in our environment. The program provides an extra layer of safety that will help ensure we can continue to provide life-saving products and services to Canadian patients.”

Air Canada has implemented workplace COVID-19 safety protocols during the pandemic using a phased approach that begins prior to employees leaving home for work. These initiatives include:

Prior to going to the workplace. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Air Canada has required all employees to conduct a self-wellness assessment from home prior to leaving for the workplace. An online-tool has been developed for the self-wellness assessment which has now been deployed to various work teams, with further roll-out planned.

Upon entering the workplace. As a member of the CDL’s Rapid Screening Consortium, Air Canada has implemented voluntary rapid antigen screening in 12 locations across 16 work groups and is scaling this testing across other locations as provincial health authorities approve their use.

In the workplace. Air Canada has piloted Tracescan Wearables at its 24-hour system operations control centre, which vibrate when employees are less than six feet apart for more than ten minutes and utilize Bluetooth technology to facilitate objective contact tracing if required. Tracescan Wearables are planned to be further deployed to other work locations.

Vaccination clinics in Montreal for employees.  Air Canada is working with partners Bombardier, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) and Biron Groupe Santé to host upcoming Montreal vaccination clinics for eligible employees and their immediate family members. Clinics opening on May 6 and May 13.

Vaccination clinics in Toronto for employees to open soon.  Air Canada is partnering with the Ontario government and Region of Peel to open a clinic facilitating vaccinations later this month for eligible employees and Peel Region residents including immediate family members.

The airline is recalling some furloughed employees for non-medical employment opportunities at the Montreal and Toronto vaccination clinics. Air Canada continues to approach other provincial governments for similar opportunities.

Air Canada has been at the forefront of the airline industry in responding to COVID-19, including being among the first carriers globally to require customer face coverings onboard, proactively provision its crew with PPE, and the first airline in the Americas to check passengers’ temperatures prior to boarding.  The airline has provisions for sick leave.

The airline partnered with McMaster HealthLabs (MHL), the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the Government of Canada for a study which has demonstrated the feasibility of airport-based testing to help reduce the length of the required quarantine period.

Air Canada also undertook several medical collaborations to further advance biosafety across its business, including with Cleveland Clinic Canada for medical advisory services and, since 2019, with Toronto-based BlueDot for real-time infectious disease global monitoring. It continues to explore other potential partnerships with technology and medical companies to further strengthen its biosafety protocols.

Video:


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/543778735″>Employee COVID Screening: Air Canada Leading The Way</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/aircanadamedia”>Air Canada</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>