Author Archives: Bruce Drum

About Bruce Drum

I have started the ultimate digital photo library of the fascinating world of airliners and airlines. The goal is to have the complete history of all airlines and the various aircraft operated. I have been photographing airplanes since 1965. Join us in this adventure.

Swiss to keep Switzerland connected with the world in Winter 2020/21 despite strict quarantine provisions

Swiss International Air Lines made this announcement:

Swiss will be restoring several more destinations to its flight schedules from Zurich and Geneva in the coming 2020/21 winter timetable period. As a result, some 85 percent of the airline’s previous route network will now receive Swiss service. In view of the numerous current travel restrictions and quarantine provisions, however, the new schedules will offer only 30 to (at the most) 40 percent of the capacities provided for the same period last year. Swiss’s initially planned 2020/21 winter schedules have had to be substantially downwardly revised, and the capacity levels originally envisaged for October will now only be achieved towards the end of the coming winter period. Further adjustments may also be required, depending primarily on future global developments on the quarantine front. Swiss continues to advocate the adoption of rapid-result COVID-19 testing capabilities, to make travel a viable option again and ensure international mobility.

In these still highly challenging times, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) remains resolved to keep Switzerland optimally connected with the world and to continue to offer a range of air services that are as robust and extensive as possible in the coming 2020/21 winter timetable period. Such scheduling is proving increasingly challenging, however, in view of the various and ever-changing restrictions on international mobility. “As a result of the current pandemic’s global development and the associated travel restrictions and quarantine provisions instead of effective corona test procedures, the schedules we have devised for the coming winter timetable period are well below our original expectations,” concedes SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour.

While production for the period had been planned to be as high as 50 percent of its prior-year level until just a few weeks ago, the latest developments have prompted a reduction in capacity to only 30 to (at the most) 40 percent of that of last year. Swiss aims to serve some 85 percent of its established destinations in the coming winter timetable period, with 67 served from Zurich and 21 from Geneva.

A sizeable long-haul network thanks to still-strong cargo demand

On the long-haul front, SWISS will resume scheduled service to Boston (USA) from October onwards. The route will initially receive twice-weekly service, rising to thrice-weekly from March 2021. Johannesburg (South Africa) will also see SWISS services restored with three weekly frequencies. SWISS will further provide three weekly flights on the Zurich-Dubai (UAE) route from the end of October, which should rise to at least five weekly services in the medium term. Muscat will in future be served non-stop from Zurich with an Edelweiss flight. SWISS also plans to perform three weekly flights each to Los Angeles and Miami in the USA and to Delhi in India from March 2021.

Service will be continued on the existing long-haul routes between Zurich and Newark, New York JFK, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. SWISS is primarily able to offer such a range of long-haul services thanks to the continuing strong demand for cargo transportation on the routes concerned.

The African destinations of Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) will not be served in Winter 2020/21.

Additional European destinations for the Christmas period

Despite all the present uncertainties, SWISS expects to add the following short-haul destinations to its Zurich-based network in its coming winter schedules: Munich and Wroclaw (Poland) from the end of October; Luxembourg, Birmingham, London City and Nuremberg from February 2021; and Graz from March 2021. In the Christmas period, which traditionally sees high leisure travel volumes, services will also be added to Palma de Mallorca, Bilbao, Sylt, Naples and Thessaloniki.

From Geneva SWISS will offer nonstop services to Priština from the beginning of October and to Marrakech from mid-October. Prague will be added at the end of October and Moscow at the beginning of November. Mid-December will see services from Geneva resumed to Malaga, Valencia, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Dublin, Hurghada, Kittilä (Finland), St. Petersburg and London Gatwick. And non-stop SWISS services between Geneva and London City will be restored from February 2021. London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Moscow are among the destinations with the most frequencies from Geneva in the coming winter timetable period.

Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

American Airlines takes first steps to open international markets to travel with preflight COVID-19 testing

American Airlines has made this announcement:

Testing can further aid customer health and safety while helping to reopen markets to tourism

  • Initial testing program for Jamaica to begin at Miami (MIA) next month.
  • American is engaged with the Bahamas and CARICOM (The Caribbean Community) to expand program across the Caribbean.
  • Preflight testing will also soon be available for travel from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Hawaii.

As part of an ongoing effort to help protect customer health and safety, inspire confidence in air travel and advance the industry’s recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, American Airlines is collaborating with several foreign governments to begin offering preflight COVID-19 testing for customers traveling to international destinations, starting with Jamaica and the Bahamas. The carrier plans to expand the program to additional markets in the weeks and months ahead.

“The pandemic has changed our business in ways we never could have expected, but all the while, the entire American Airlines team has eagerly tackled the challenge of reimagining the way we deliver a safe, healthy and enjoyable travel experience for our customers,” said Robert Isom, President of American Airlines. “Our plan for this initial phase of preflight testing reflects the ingenuity and care our team is putting into rebuilding confidence in air travel, and we view this as an important step in our work to accelerate an eventual recovery of demand.”

Jamaica

American has reached agreement with Jamaica to launch an initial testing program at its Miami International Airport (MIA) hub next month. The initial phase of testing will be for Jamaican residents traveling to their home country. If a passenger tests negative for COVID-19 ahead of flying with American, the 14-day quarantine currently in place for returning Jamaican residents would be waived. Following a successful pilot program, the objective is to open this testing protocol for all passengers traveling to Jamaica, including U.S. citizens. The timing of such a potential announcement is to be determined.

“I thank American Airlines for initiating these efforts to ensure safety and confidence for travelers from the United States, and for leading with Jamaica as a pilot for its COVID-19 testing program,” said Audrey Marks, Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States. “This is timely, given the government’s ongoing review in cooperation with the Global Initiative for Health and Safety group of the current protocols governing travel to the island, and it could be a game-changer, not just for tourism, but also for other key sectors of the economy that have been negatively impacted by the ongoing pandemic.”

The Bahamas and CARICOM

American also has started working with the Bahamas and CARICOM to launch similar testing programs that would allow travel to the region. American’s next international program will be with the Bahamas and is expected to launch next month. Details on the protocols for that country will follow.

“We are so pleased that American Airlines has included The Bahamas in their preflight testing program and for their continued commitment to mitigating the spread of coronavirus,” said Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation for the Bahamas. “Miami is a major gateway to our islands, and we believe predeparture testing will create important efficiencies, while ensuring the health and safety of both our visitors and residents.”

As its initial preflight testing programs begin to launch, American is also actively engaged with CARICOM, an integrated grouping of 20 Caribbean countries, about expanding the program to additional Caribbean markets.

“We are pleased that American Airlines has taken the lead to initiate this exciting COVID-19 predeparture testing program,” said Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Chairman of CARICOM. “The Caribbean Community welcomes this important progress to re-open markets with the health and safety of our citizens being of paramount importance, and we’ll be monitoring this program very closely as it ramps up in our region.”

Preflight testing for travel to Hawaii

In addition to its efforts in opening international markets to travel, American has been working with the government of Hawaii to develop a series of options that fit the Hawaiian requirements for travel to the state. Starting Oct. 15, the airline will begin a preflight COVID-19 testing program at its Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) hub for customers traveling to Hawaii, in partnership with LetsGetChecked, CareNow and the DFW Airport.

Beginning next month, American will offer three options for preflight testing to customers with flights from DFW to Honolulu (HNL) and Maui (OGG):

  • At-home test from LetsGetChecked, observed by a medical professional via virtual visit, with results expected in 48 hours on average.
  • In-person testing at a CareNow urgent care location.
  • Onsite rapid testing, administered by CareNow, at DFW.

Testing must be completed within 72 hours of the final leg of departure. Travelers who test negative will be exempt from the state’s 14-day quarantine.

American’s Clean Commitment
American’s preflight testing program will serve as a key element of the airline’s Clean Commitment, a multifaceted approach to giving customers peace of mind when they travel. American has also launched a travel tool, powered by Sherpa, to make travel planning easier for customers who are eager to reconnect with the people and places that matter most.

About LetsGetChecked
LetsGetChecked is a direct-to-consumer at-home health testing and insights company. Offering an end-to-end model, LetsGetChecked’s Sure-track Test offers consumers an FDA EUA-authorized Coronavirus at-home testing solution. The at-home Coronavirus (COVID-19) test incorporates a nasal swab and PCR lab analysis, offering convenient and secure results on average 48 hours upon receipt in the lab.

About CareNow®
Since 1993, CareNow has been committed to providing high-quality family care, urgent care and occupational medicine services in the North Texas area. Open seven days a week and weeknights until 9 p.m., CareNow has over 40 North Texas locations providing convenient, quality and cost-effective urgent care and is accredited by AAAHC and UCA. CareNow is affiliated with Medical City Healthcare. Medical City Healthcare has 46 urgent care centers in North Texas: CareNow (42) and Medical City Children’s Urgent Care (4).

Bermuda’s British Airways service from London switches to Heathrow Terminal 5 starting March 2021

Bermuda Tourism Authority has issued this statement:

Direct air service to Bermuda will originate from London Heathrow beginning March 28, 2021 announced jointly today by the Bermuda Ministry of Transport and British Airways (BA).  Tickets are now on sale, with return fares from as low as $876 USD.

This new service, operating a minimum of four times weekly and much as daily, will open a wide and diverse range of flight connections for those travelling to and from Bermuda. While current demand for flights to Bermuda emanates mainly from the UK, Heathrow flights have the potential to stimulate significantly greater demand from the rest of the world, particularly European cities.

The flights will depart from Bermuda from the new airport terminal scheduled to open in December 2020 at 20:10, landing at London Heathrow at 06:55 the next day. The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-200, which will soon feature the airline’s new Club Suite offering direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

British Airways aircraft photo gallery:

Allegiant teams up with National Breast Cancer Foundation

Allegiant Air has announced that, through October, it will donate a portion of proceeds from the sale of pink in-flight refreshments to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.® (NBCF).

This is the seventh year that the Las Vegas-based airline will hold its annual in-flight fundraiser in support of the foundation. In that time, Allegiant has donated more than $100,000 to support NBCF’s mission, which is to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services.

Pink refreshments – pink lemonade and rosé wine – will be available for passengers to purchase on all Allegiant flights during October. Crew members will also don special pink attire to demonstrate their support for the cause.

“October is a special time for our flight crew members,” said Tracy Tulle, Allegiant’s senior vice president of flight crew operations. “Many of them have either battled breast cancer themselves or had a loved one who was affected. They’re excited to help raise money for a cause that is so personally important to them. And our customers appreciate the chance to support the cause simply by buying a pink drink or making a donation onboard. We’re proud to have the chance to help fight this disease along with our partners at the National Breast Cancer Foundation.”

Breast cancer is among the leading health issues women face in the United States. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. There is currently no known cure for it. Early diagnosis and timely treatment is critical to survival.

NBCF supports the communities where Allegiant operates by funding outreach and treatment programs at local hospitals in cities such as Las Vegas, Tampa, and Los Angeles. Among the programs their grants fund are screenings and treatment for uninsured and underinsured women.

“We are humbled by the generosity and unwavering commitment of Allegiant, even in the midst of an unprecedented year of challenge,” said Ken Rameriz, NBCF’s senior vice president of strategic partnerships and charitable giving. “Breast cancer does not pause for pandemics, and neither does National Breast Cancer Foundation. Together with partners like Allegiant, we are more committed than ever to providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer.”

The pink refreshments that will be available for passengers to purchase on Allegiant flights include Minute Maid Pink Lemonade for $5 and Yes Way Rosé for $10.

In-flight crews have the option of wearing pink scarves, ties, belts, lanyards and other pink-themed apparel during October flights.

Singapore Airlines launches “Discover Your Singapore Airlines suite of experiences”

Singapore Airlines (SIA) today launched the Discover Your Singapore Airlines suite of experiences, which comprises three exciting and all-new initiatives that have been specially curated for our customers and fans in Singapore over the next few weeks.

Restaurant A380 @Changi offers an exclusive dining experience with SIA’s award-winning service inside the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Diners can choose from special menus for each cabin class. Options include our signature international cuisine, as well as the best dishes from our special Peranakan menu that has been designed by acclaimed Singaporean chef Shermay Lee. Limited slots for an exclusive pre-lunch tour of the A380 will also be available. All diners will receive KrisShop discounts, a limited edition goodie bag and additional gifts if they turn up in traditional heritage wear. Reservations start on 12 October 2020, and Restaurant A380 @Changi will operate on 24 and 25 October 2020.

Over two weekends in November during the school holidays, Inside Singapore Airlines will provide an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of our training facilities with a wide range of activities for the entire family. Visitors will be brought on a tour of more than 70 years of SIA’s history, get an opportunity to interact with our pilots and cabin crew, and find out more about the intensive training that they undergo.

Children can enjoy craft activities such as balloon sculpting and making their own batik roses. They will also have the option to dress up and role play as cabin crew, and take home their very own SIA sarong kebaya uniform. Adults can choose to operate a full flight simulator, taste some of our premium in-flight wine labels, and attend a grooming workshop. A selection of the most popular meals that are served on board SIA flights will also be on sale. Bookings open on 1 November 2020, and the tours will be held on 21, 22, 28 and 29 November 2020.

SIA@Home is for customers who are keen to enjoy the world-renowned SIA in-flight dining experience in the comfort of their own home. They can choose from 10 menus featuring our exclusive First Class and Business Class meals, which will come complete with wine or champagne. Limited edition dining ware and amenities are also available depending on the package chosen. The special cabin crew concierge service for SIA@Home bookings opens on 5 October 2020.

SIA will implement enhanced cleaning procedures at all premises, as well as precautionary measures such as temperature screening, safe distancing and the SafeEntry digital check-in system, to ensure the health and safety of all customers.

The Discover Your Singapore Airlines experiences are the result of a market study and a comprehensive review, which also considered factors such as the attractiveness of the initiatives to SIA’s customers and members of the public, the environmental implications, and their financial viability. An idea for a one-off short tour flight, or a “flight to nowhere”, was also initially considered but not pursued after the review.

 

“With Covid-19 drastically reducing the number of flights operated by the SIA Group, we have created unique activities that would allow us to engage with our fans and customers during this time. These experiences offer something for everyone – from frequent flyers who miss our world-class in-cabin products and service, to couples and families who want an exclusive dining experience, and parents who are after an enjoyable activity-filled day with their children during the school holidays,” said SIA Chief Executive Officer Mr Goh Choon Phong.

 

“There has been a lot of interest in our customer engagement initiatives over the last few weeks, and I would like to thank everyone for their great ideas and suggestions. We are very encouraged by and grateful for the enthusiasm and passion that we have seen. All of us are eagerly looking forward to welcoming you to discover your Singapore Airlines.”

Qatar Airways becomes the first global carrier to operate Honeywell’s ultraviolet cabin cleaning technology

Qatar Airways becomes the first global carrier to operate Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System, further advancing its hygiene measures onboard. In clinical tests, UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied.

Approximately the size of a beverage cart, the Honeywell UV Cabin System, which is operated by Qatar Aviation Services (QAS), has extendable UV arms that treat aircraft seats, surfaces and cabins without using cleaning chemicals.

Having already received six of the Honeywell UV Cabin System, the devices have undergone comprehensive testing onboard Qatar Airways aircraft, before entering service. The airline aims to acquire additional units in the near future, in order to operate them onboard all aircraft turnarounds at Hamad International Airport (HIA).

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are pleased to be the first global airline to operate the Honeywell UV Cabin System onboard our aircraft. In clinical tests, UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied at specified doses.

“During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our crew and passengers continues to be of the utmost importance. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been regularly introducing new and effective safety and hygiene measures onboard our aircraft, based on our unparalleled expertise of flying consistently throughout.”

Honeywell Aerospace President EMEAI, Mr. James Currier, said: “Honeywell has technology today that can make air travel safer – from the traveller to the airport worker, throughout the airport and onboard the aircraft. We’re working across business lines to develop new products such as Honeywell ThermoRebellion, a new temperature-monitoring solution – Environmental Control System Check, which allows airlines to monitor air flow in the cabin, and an array of Personal Protective Equipment. All this allows for cleaner and safer airports.”

Qatar Airways’ aircraft will continue to be regularly disinfected using cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Honeywell UV Cabin System will be utilised as an additional step after manual disinfection, to ensure the very highest standards of cleanliness. The airline’s onboard linen and blankets will continue to be washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are rigorously sanitised after each flight. These items are then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing hygienic disposable gloves.

Qatar Airways’ aircraft also 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.

In July, Qatar Airways further increased its health and safety measures onboard by introducing new personal protective equipment (PPE) for customers and cabin crew. The airline’s robust measures included offering face shields to all passengers, in addition to a disposable protective gown for cabin crew, which is fitted over their uniforms, in addition to safety glasses, gloves and a mask.

Onboard, all Qatar Airways passengers are provided with a complimentary protective kit. Inside a ziplock pouch, a single-use face mask, large disposable powder-free gloves and an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel are offered. Business Class customers also receive an additional 75ml sanitiser gel tube. In addition, for aircraft equipped with Qsuite, Qatar Airways’ award-winning business seat, Business Class customers are offered even greater privacy with sliding partitions and fully closing doors, and an option to display a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator if they wish to limit their interactions with cabin crew.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the airline has also applied other additional health and safety measures on-board its flights. Business Class meals are served covered on a tray instead of a table set up, and a cutlery wrap is offered to passengers as an alternative to individual cutlery service, in an effort to minimise contact between crew and passengers. Qatar Airways has also introduced single-use menu cards and sealed refreshing wipes. Economy Class meals and cutlery are served sealed as usual, and menu cards have been temporarily discontinued. All social areas onboard the aircraft have been closed adhering to social distancing measures.

HIA, the airline’s hub in Doha, has also introduced UV-C disinfectant robots which are fully autonomous mobile devices emitting concentrated UV-C light, and are deployed in high passenger flow areas to reduce the spread of pathogens. The Oryx Airport Hotel at HIA has also implemented UV-C light to monitor and ensure a thorough cleaning process across all rooms, using a pen only visible under UV light to mark frequent touchpoints. The marked areas undergo the highest levels of sanitisation before being checked and analysed, allowing the hotel management to further enhance its cleaning techniques and standards.

In addition, HIA has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and applied social distancing measures throughout its terminals. All passenger touchpoints are sanitized every 10-15 minutes and every boarding gate and bus gate counter is cleaned after each flight. Hand sanitizers are provided at immigration and security screening points.

Qatar Airways reports a net loss of QAR 7 billion (EUR 1.65 billion, USD $1.9 billion) for the year 2019-20

 

Qatar Airways has published its Annual Report for 2019-20, highlighting the airline group’s resilience in the face of the continued illegal airspace blockade against the State of Qatar and the most challenging period in global aviation’s history.

Qatar Airways is familiar with facing exceptional challenges; however, 2019-20 has been one of the most difficult years in the airline’s history. The combination of the ongoing illegal air space blockade against the State of Qatar, the liquidation of Air Italy by the majority shareholder, changes to accounting policy and reporting standards and the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has resulted in the Qatar Airways Group reporting a net loss of QAR 7 billion for the year 2019-20. Excluding these exceptional items, the Group’s results at both operating and net levels would have been better than that reported in the year before clearly demonstrating the Group’s improving performance.

Such improvement is evidenced from the increasing in the Group’s overall revenue and other operating income to QAR 51.1 billion, up 6.4 per cent compared to last year. Passenger revenue grew by 8.9 per cent with capacity (Available Seat Kilometers) growth of 3.2 per cent. Qatar Airways carried 32.4 million passengers, an increase of 9.8 per cent over last financial year.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Despite the momentous challenges our Group has faced in 2019-20, Qatar Airways Group continues to remain resilient, reporting strong underlying fundamentals. If not for the exceptional circumstances of fiscal year 2020, our results would have been better than the year before.

“During the fiscal year 2020, the Group’s revenue increased to QAR 51.1 billion, seat capacity increased by 3.2 per cent, freight tonnes handled increased by 2.8 per cent and passenger traffic at Hamad International Airport increased by 8.6 per cent. Qatar Airways invested QAR 16.8 billion in fleet and other assets during the year and had a cash balance of QAR 7.3 billion at year end. Significant progress has been achieved in the three-year transformation plan, which began pre-COVID-19 and will position the Group’s operations and practices to meet the current challenges.

“I am extremely proud of the teams, departments and subsidiaries across the Qatar Airways Group that have remained agile throughout this tumultuous period and adapted quickly to this new reality, displaying the tenacity, versatility and commitment to excellence so often associated with everything we do. These efforts are why we have become the largest international airline and air freight carrier since the onset of the pandemic, taking over two million people home safely and reliably and carrying over 250,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions.

“I have every confidence that the Qatar Airways Group will emerge stronger from this difficult period and continue to innovate and set the standards that our competitors can only hope to emulate. We will continue to be the airline millions of passengers can trust and rely on in good times and bad, and proudly fly the flag of the State of Qatar across the globe.”

Throughout the pandemic Qatar Airways’ network has never fallen below 30 destinations with continuous services to five continents. Since then the airline has rebuilt its network to more than 650 weekly flights to over 90 destinations across six continents offering passengers more flexible travel options via the Best Airport in the Middle East to more destinations than any other airline.

According to the latest IATA data, Qatar Airways has become the largest international carrier between April to July 2020 by fulfilling its mission of taking people home. This enabled the airline to accumulate unmatched experience in carrying passengers safely and reliably and uniquely positioned the airline to effectively rebuild its network. The carrier has stringently implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures on board its aircraft and in Hamad International Airport.

Qatar Airways operations are not dependent on any specific aircraft type. The airline’s variety of modern fuel-efficient aircraft has meant it can continue flying by offering the right capacity in each market. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has taken the decision to ground its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market. The airline’s fleet of 49 Airbus A350 and 30 Boeing 787 are the ideal choice for the most strategically important long-haul routes to Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.

Qatar Airways’ onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers. Business Class passengers on aircraft equipped with Qsuite can enjoy the enhanced privacy this award-winning business seat provides, including sliding privacy partitions and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 30 destinations including London, Paris, and Frankfurt. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.

Qatar Airways’ home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and applied social distancing measures throughout its terminals. Passenger touchpoints are sanitized every 10-15 minutes and boarding gates and bus gate counters are cleaned after each flight. In addition, hand sanitizers are provided at immigration and security screening points. HIA was recently ranked “Third Best Airport in the World”, among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. HIA was also voted the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row.

Please find below the Qatar Airways Group Consolidated Financial Statement:

Qatar Airways Group Consolidated Financial Statement 2020

Please find below the Qatar Airways Group Annual Report:

Qatar Airways Group Annual Report Fiscal 2020

Oman Air to resume international services

Oman Air is resuming international services on key routes on October 1:

Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, will return to scheduled service on October 1, 2020 with service to 18 cities in 12 countries including 2 flights per week connecting Muscat and Zanzibar, which will depart from Oman on Thursdays and Saturdays, and return on Thursdays and Sundays.

Flights to Dar es Salaam will also depart on Thursdays and Saturdays with return flights on Thursdays and Sundays.

The carrier will also operate 2 flights per week connecting Muscat and Dubai, along with 2 flights per week connecting Muscat and Doha. All flights will depart and arrive on Sundays and Thursdays.

The airline will also operate 2 flights per week connecting Muscat and Cairo, which will depart from Oman on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and return on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Oman Air aircraft photo gallery:

Air France to operate 50% of its schedule in November and December

Air France has made this announcement:

Air France is continuing to adapt its flight schedule for the period up to 3 January 2021. In the context of currently applicable travel restrictions, Air France will operate 50% of its flight schedule planned for November and December 2020.

By the end of the year, Air France will serve 170 destinations, i.e. almost all of its regular winter network, with frequencies adapted to the level of demand.

On the domestic network, 43 routes will be operated on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Lyon Saint-Exupéry, most of which will offer day return flights.

In Europe, Air France will serve 67 destinations, i.e. its entire regular network for this time of year.

Capacity deployed on the long-haul network – mainly for essential travel and cargo – will continue to increase, particularly to destinations in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, with additional frequencies being introduced to Fort-de-France and Pointe-à-Pitre on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, and to Saint-Denis de La Réunion, on departure from Paris-Orly.

International borders are opening up slowly. This flight schedule is likely to change and remains subject to obtaining the required government authorization.

Flight schedule for the months of November and December 2020 to and from Paris-Charles de Gaulle (valid until January 3, 2021)

 Metropolitan France Biarritz, Bordeaux, Brest, Clermont Ferrand, Lorient, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Pau, Rennes, Toulouse
 French overseas departments & territories, Caribbean & Indian Ocean Antananarivo, Fort-de-France, Havana, Mahe, Mauritius, Papeete, Point-a- Pitre, Punta Cana, Santo Domingo
 Europe Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Bilbao, Billund, Birmingham, Bologna, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Erevan, Faro, Florence, Frankfurt, Geneva, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Hanover, Istanbul, Kiev, Krakow, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Naples, Newcastle, Nuremberg, Oslo, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Prague, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Seville, Sofia,  Stockholm, Stuttgart, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Turin, Valencia, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw, Zagreb, Zurich
 Middle East Beirut, Dubai, Cairo
 Africa Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Algiers, Bamako, Bangui, Brazzaville, Casablanca, Capetown, Conakry, Cotonou, Dakar, Djibouti, Douala, Freetown, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lomé, Luanda, Malabo, Marrakech, Monrovia, Nairobi, Niamey, N’Djamena, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Oran, Pointe-Noire, Rabat, Tunis, Yaoundé
 North America Atlanta, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Mexico, Miami, Montreal, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington
 South America Bogota, Buenos Aires, Fortaleza, Lima, Panama City, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, San Jose, Sao Paulo
 Asia Bangalore, Bombay (Mumbai), Chennai, Delhi, Ho Chi Min City, Male, Osaka, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tianjin, Tokyo

 

Flight schedule for the months of November and December 2020 to and from Paris-Orly (valid until January 3, 2021)

 Metropolitan France
and Corsica
Ajaccio, Aurillac, Bastia, Brest, Brive, Calvi, Castres, Figari, Tarbes-Lourdes, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice, Pau, Perpignan, Toulon, Toulouse
 French overseas   departments & territories Caribbean & Indian Ocean Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Pointe-a-Pitre, Saint Denis de la Reunion

Flight schedule for the months of November and December 2020 to and from Lyon-Saint-Exupéry (valid until January 3, 2021)

 Metropolitan France
and Europe
Biarritz, Bordeaux, Brest, Caen, Lille, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Pau, Prague, Rennes, Rome, Strasbourg, Toulouse

The flight schedule operated under a Public Service Delegation contract between Paris and Aurillac, Brive, Castres and Lourdes and between Strasbourg and Amsterdam will be updated at a later date.

A fully flexible sales policy

Air France is adapting its commercial measures to enable travelers to book their next trip in complete confidence.  If customers wish to cancel their trip, their ticket can now be changed at no extra cost and without proof, on the date and to the destination of their choice*. If they prefer, they can request a refundable credit voucher. These measures, which provide optimal flexibility, apply to all trips until 31 March 2021.

If their flight is cancelled by the airline, customers can choose to postpone their trip at no extra cost, change their destination*, request a full ticket refund or receive a credit voucher, which is also refundable if not used.

Before travelling, Air France recommends its customers to check the entry and travel requirements for their destination and transit countries with the relevant authorities or on airfrance.traveldoc.aero, as these may have been modified following the COVID-19 epidemic.

*if the change of date or destination results in a change in price, only the fare difference will be applied.

Air France Protect, Air France’s health commitment

Air France reminds customers that surgical masks must be worn on all its flights. Body temperature checks are carried out on departure of certain Air France flights to international destinations. Daily aircraft cleaning operations have been stepped up and a specific procedure for the disinfection of cabins with an approved virucidal product has been introduced.

Air France aircraft photo gallery:

x

BEA Report: Accident to the Airbus A380-861 registered F-HPJE and operated by Air France on September 30, 2017 en route over Greenland

BEA has issued this incident report:

On Saturday, September 30, 2017, the Airbus A380-861 operated by Air France, was carrying out scheduled flight AF066 from Paris (France) to Los Angeles (USA). It took off at 09:50. At 13:49, while the crew were changing en-route flight level, they heard an explosion and observed asymmetric thrust from the right side of the aeroplane, immediately followed by severe vibrations. The “ENG 4 STALL” and then the “ENG 4 FAIL” messages nearly simultaneously appeared on the ECAM. The crew diverted to Goose Bay airport (Canada) where they landed at 15:42 without any further incident.

A visual examination of the engine found that the fan, first rotating assembly at the front of the engine, along with the air inlet and fan case had separated in flight leading to slight damage to the surrounding structure of the aircraft.

The factors likely to have contributed to the accident include:

  • engine designer’s/manufacturer’s lack of knowledge of the cold dwell fatigue phenomenon in the titanium alloy, Ti-6-4;
  • absence of instructions from the certification bodies about taking into account macro-zones (i.e. colony of similarly oriented alpha grains) and the cold dwell fatigue phenomenon in the critical parts of an engine, when demonstrating conformity;
  • absence of non-destructive means to detect the presence of unusual macro?zones in titanium alloy parts;
  • an increase in the risk of having large macro-zones with increased intensity in large Ti-6-4 forgings due to bigger engines, and in particular, bigger fans.

After the accident, regular inspections of the fleet in service found that there were no cracks detected in the areas considered at risk on the fan hubs of the Engine Alliance engines equipping the A380. The certification bodies and engine manufacturers are currently considering how to better understand the cold dwell fatigue phenomenon and take it into account in the design of future engines.

Air France Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 105408.

Copyright Photo: Air France Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 105408.