Wednesday, 27 January 2021

The Mexican state of Guanajuato ro offer Coronavirus COVID-19 tests at the airport.

The Mexican state of Guanajuato is strengthening sanitary and preventive measures in light of the new U. S. executive order to increase sanitary safety, due to COVID-19, in domestic and international travel signed on January 21st by the new incoming U.S. President, Joseph Biden.

As of Tuesday, January. 26, international travelers “are required to present a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry into the U.S.” Guanajuato addresses current U.S. government requirements. On Monday, Jan. 25, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP) set up temporary COVID-19 test modules. SECTUR Guanajuato seeks to increase hotel services by having them offer COVID-19

Considering that the U.S. is the main source market for international tourists in Mexico, the Government of Guanajuato, through the Ministry of Tourism, carries out joint actions with the tourism sector, municipal governments and Guanajuato International Airport in order to provide travellers with a safe, efficient and high-quality service.

New presentation for creditors of the budget airline Norwegian.

Budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle has released a new presentation to creditors in its fresh battle to survive by drastically slimming down the airline, focusing on just short-haul European flights and Domestic operations in Norway.  

The presentation shows that the airline plans to have as many as 68 aircraft operating during 2022, bearing in mind they couldn't even keep nine in the air and running on time over this winter period, is a rather ambitious aspiration. It hopes to slowly ramp up flights as demand increases and will continue to look to the future of 737 MAX operations. 

Viking Cruises.......captivating a captive audience

This is something you don't see every day as we don't usually cover cruise holidays or cruise companies on this site -  well,  you wouldn't really expect us to, seeing as we're called Air101 after all.  However,  I'm making an exception to that rule right now, for the case for Viking Cruises, a destination-focused operator that was founded in 1997 specialising in journeys on rivers, oceans and lakes around the world.  

Whilst much of Europe and indeed the world has been in lockdown because of the continuing pandemic, with few people travelling and few cruises operating, Viking has stepped up to the mark in entertaining a captive audience.

Viking TV has kept both spirits up and the wanderlust alive with presenting an amazing array of programmes, videos and livestreams that have been both entertaining and informative - a really wonderful collection on an amazing array of subjects.  Viking.TV went live in mid-March 2020, right at the early stages of the pandemic and was conceived as a way to build community, stay connected and share positive experiences while people are staying home, rather than travelling, captivating the captive if you will. 

The livestreams are at a set time each day and cover different topics, interviews, experiences and destinations.  One of my favourites has been the series of mainly half-hour programmes from the real 'Downton Abby'  Highclere Castle with the marvellous Countess of Carnarvon. A rather enchanting journey behind the scenes at a house that dates back to 749AD that featured so heavily in the TV series and film. 

Digitalisation of COVID-19 test results for Etihad Airways

MedAire & ICC AOKpass Launch Live Pilot for Digitalisation of COVID-19 Test Results for Etihad Airways

-In collaboration with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, MedAire, an International SOS company, has launched an advanced operational pilot for the digitalisation of pre-departure COVID-19 testing using the ICC AOKpass mobile app. Following the success of an initial pilot for Etihad launched in September 2020 as a world’s first for the air travel industry, use of ICC AOKpass is now offered to Etihad passengers flying from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Abu Dhabi.

Aeroflot Group releases its latest results for December and the full year 2020

The leading Russian airline group, Aeroflot PJSC has released details of its performance during the last month of last year and the year as a whole this week. The group carried 30.2 million passengers, 50.3% down year-on-year,  24.2 million passengers carried in domestic segment, 28.1% down year-on-year.

Pobeda Airlines carried 9.1 million passengers, a year-on-year decrease of 11.7%.

In December 2020, Aeroflot Group added seven SSJ100 aircraft. In the same period Aeroflot Airlines phased out three SSJ100 aircraft. As of 31 December 2020, Group’s fleet amounted to 364 aircraft.


Net changes in the fleet

Number of aircraft


December 2020

12M 2020

as of 31.12.2020

Aeroflot Group




Aeroflot Airlines




Q4 2020 Key highlights:

Aeroflot Group carried 7.1 million passengers, 49.2% down year-on-year;
6.3 million passengers carried in domestic segment, 19.5% lower year-on-year;
Pobeda Airlines carried 2.8 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 2.5%.

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific releases traffic figures for December 2020

Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific has released its traffic figures for December 2020 that continued to reflect the airline’s substantial capacity reductions in response to significantly reduced demand as well as travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in place in Hong Kong and other markets amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Cathay Pacific carried a total of 39,989 passengers last month, a decrease of 98.7% compared to December 2019. The month’s revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) fell 98.1% year-on-year. Passenger load factor dropped by 66.6 percentage points to 18.4%, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), decreased by 91.2%. For 2020 as a whole, the number of passengers carried by Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon dropped by 86.9% against a 78.8% decrease in capacity and an 85.1% decrease in RPKs, as compared to 2019.

Cathay Pacific carried 120,218 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, a decrease of 32.3% compared to December 2019. The month’s revenue freight tonne-kilometres (RFTKs) fell 23.7% year-on-year. The cargo and mail load factor increased by 13.9 percentage points to 80.3%, while capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), was down by 36.9%. For 2020 as a whole, the tonnage carried by Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fell by 34.1% against a 35.5% drop in capacity and a 26.5% decrease in RFTKs, as compared to 2019.

Saudi Arabian Airlines - Saudia receives diamond status

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia has been awarded the Diamond status by APEX Health Safety powered by Simpliflying for the airline's efforts in ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitization across its operations. 

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) is the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it was established in 1945 and has grown to one of the Middle East's largest airlines.

The APEX Diamond Status from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is an accolade which recognizes industry leadership and stewardship in ensuring that the airline is deploying stringent measures in safety and protection from COVID-19. 

Speaking about the latest award presented to SAUDIA, Chief Executive Officer Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy said: "SAUDIA places the safety of its guests and team members with highest importance and is committed to exemplary, rigorous sanitization protocols for every step of the journey.

Alaska Air Group reports net loss of $1.3 billion for during 2020

The U.S. air carrier Alaska Air Group has released its last quarter and full-year 2020 results showing a GAAP net loss of $430 million and $1.3 billion accordingly this week. 

Excluding the impact of payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported a fourth-quarter adjusted net loss of $316 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The company reported a full-year 2020 GAAP net loss of $1.3 billion, compared to net income of $769 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported an adjusted net loss of $1.3 billion, or $10.17 per diluted share for 2020, compared to adjusted net income of $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share in 2019.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

State of Yucatán to Offer Rapid Covid-19 Testing at Airport

In accordance with measures recently imposed by the U.S. government in its strategic plan to combat Covid-19, the government of the state of Yucatán, led by Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal, has prepared to facilitate the transit of passengers bound for the U.S. with the installation in Mérida International Airport of a module for rapid antigen tests that meet requirements set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Airbus Helicopters resilient in 2020.......

Photo  Jerome Deulin
In 2020, Airbus Helicopters logged 289 gross orders (net: 268) in a challenging market heavily impacted by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, reinforcing the company’s position on the civil and parapublic market. Additionally, the company delivered 300 rotorcraft worldwide despite the pandemic travel restrictions, resulting in a stable 48% share of the civil and parapublic market and thus allowing Airbus Helicopters to maintain its market-leading position thanks to its wide range of competitive products designed to enable customers to perform a multitude of missions.

Lucrative share deal for 70 of Finnair's management team

The Board of Directors of Finnair has, as part of the existing long-term incentive scheme structure, approved a new individual performance share plan period covering the years 2021–2023. 

Within the plan, the participants have the opportunity to earn Finnair shares as a long-term incentive reward, if the performance targets set by the Board of Directors for the plan are achieved. The purpose of the arrangement is to motivate the management to work for increasing the shareholder value in the long-term and to commit the management to the company.

Now you can convert Nectar points to British Airways Avios points

 Nectar and British Airways have formed a new partnership giving customers the opportunity to convert Nectar points into Avios and plan for some truly incredible travel memories.

It means that for the first time ever, customers who collect Nectar points will be able to convert their points balance to Avios through the British Airways Executive Club, which can be put towards flights with British Airways, as well as upgrades, hotel stays, car hire and more. The partnership will turn everyday spending into special travel experiences and help travellers as they think ahead for future trips.  

From 25 January, existing balances and future points collected with Nectar can be converted into Avios, which can be redeemed through the British Airways Executive Club on flights, upgrades, hotel stays and more
400 Nectar points collected can be converted into 250 Avios and if customers wish to receive more Nectar points, then they can convert 250 Avios into 400 Nectar points
Just 4,000 Avios are needed to get members a flight to Amsterdam, meaning Nectar customers can turn everyday spending into some special travel experiences
To celebrate, customers will receive a one-off bonus 500 Avios when they convert 1,600 Nectar points, lending a helping hand as travellers begin to think ahead for future trips. Customers will also be rewarded with 2x Nectar points at Sainsbury’s until 19 April 2021
Avios joins more than 300 existing Nectar partners including Sainsbury’s, Argos, eBay, Café Nero, Vue and more, while Nectar adds to British Airways’ extensive partner list


Luxury food and drink offering for purchase on Lufthansa's economy cabins..........

In autumn 2020, Lufthansa announced that it would soon be offering Economy Class passengers a range of high-quality food and beverages for purchase on board short- and medium-haul flights.

The airline has now decided on its catering partners: With dean&david, Lufthansa was able to win over a young gastronomy company from Munich that represents freshness, quality and a sense of responsibility – for healthy food, high-quality ingredients and sustainable nutrition as well as environmentally friendly packaging. The culinary offer, which will be available on flights with a duration of at least 60 minutes, will be high quality and full of variety. Gate Gourmet, Lufthansa's new main caterer for Europe, prepares essential components of the assortment, such as salads, bowls, wraps and sandwiches, fresh daily according to dean&david recipes. The menu includes a salmon avocado bowl, falafel tahini salad, crunchy chicken bowl or sweet chilli chicken sandwich as well as freshly made Birchermuesli. There will also be "Best of dean&david Boxes" with a fine selection from the dean&david assortment.

Lufthansa getting ready for mega-long flight from Hamburg to the Falkland Islands

Lufthansa will soon depart on its longest passenger flight with polar explorers on board.

On behalf of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute, the flight will operate with an Airbus A350-900 from Hamburg to the Falkland Islands.

On February 1, 2021, Lufthansa will be departing on the longest passenger flight in the history of its company, marking one of the most unique flights the airline has ever carried out. On behalf of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, the Lufthansa Group's most sustainable aircraft, an Airbus A350-900, will be flying 13,700 kilometres nonstop from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands. The flight time is calculated at around 15:00 hours. There are 92 passengers booked for this charter flight LH2574, half of which are scientists and the other half, being the ship crew for the upcoming expedition with the Polarstern research vessel. 

"We are pleased to be able to support a polar research expedition during these difficult times. Commitment to climate research is very important to us. We have been active in this field for more than 25 years and have equipped selected aircraft with measuring instruments. Since then, scientists all around the world have been using the data collected during the voyage to make climate models more precise and improve weather forecasts," says Thomas Jahn, fleet captain and project manager Falkland.  

Since the hygiene requirements for this flight are extremely high, Captain Rolf Uzat and his 17-member crew entered a 14-day quarantine last Saturday, the same time that the passengers did. "Despite the crew restrictions for this particular flight, 600 flight attendants applied for this trip," says Rolf Uzat.

Marriott International to bring the Ritz-Carlton brand to the Swiss Alps

The Ritz-Carlton, Zermatt will mark a new era of unrivalled elegance in one of Europe’s highest mountain ranges.

Marriott International has confirmed that along with Mario Julen they will bring The Ritz-Carlton brand to Zermatt, debuting the first Ritz-Carlton ski resort in Europe. 

The hotel is expected to open in 2026 and will feature 69-guest room and will echo the style and ethos of other Ritz Carlton hotels.  This will be the second Ritz-Carlton hotel in Switzerland, joining The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva.

“We are thrilled to announce this milestone signing with Mario Julen who has a fantastic vision for the project,” said Satya Anand, President, Marriott International Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Zermatt is synonymous with outstanding skiing, mountaineering and jaw-dropping scenery. As the epitome of modern luxury, this landmark development and stunning destination will enhance our portfolio of iconic Ritz-Carlton properties across the globe, offering guests an exciting opportunity to experience Zermatt’s year-round snowy peaks, world-class ski slopes, and the iconic Matterhorn mountain". 

Lufthansa Group adjusts its mask requirement for more stringent rules

From February 1, all passengers and crew members must wear a medical mask
New regulation applies to all Lufthansa Group airlines on flights to and from Germany

Lufthansa Group airlines are introducing a requirement to wear a medical protective mask on their flights to and from Germany. The regulation comes into force on February 1. From that date, passengers will be required to wear either a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask or mask with the KN95/N95 standard during boarding, the flight and when leaving the aircraft. Everyday masks are then no longer permitted.

The airlines of the Lufthansa Group had already introduced a requirement to wear a mouth-nose mask on board their flights in May of last year, making them one of the pioneers worldwide. By adapting the regulation, the Lufthansa Group is now taking up the resolution passed by the federal and state governments in Germany on January 19. This means that uniform rules apply along the entire travel chain.

Condor extends mandatory use of masks on board as of February 1, 2021 - no more home-made fabric masks allowed

Condor extends mandatory use of masks on board 
as of February 1, 2021

German airports and airlines are adapting the rules on mandatory masks in February: On board all Condor flights, the wearing of a medical mask such as surgical mask or also masks of the standards FFP2 or KN95/N95 without exhalation valve is mandatory from February 1, 2021.
Guests will then no longer use so-called community masks made of fabric during the flight. They are requested to carry sufficient medical masks for their flight. Condor will inform its guests about the extended protective measures via all available communication channels.

With the uniform rule, Condor, together with the German aviation industry, is reacting to the extension of the mask obligation decided by the German government and thus supports a uniform regulation for travellers along the entire travel chain.

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Jetstar starting direct flights from March 2021 between Melbourne and Hamilton Island

The low-cost Australian airline Jetstar has confirmed it will be starting direct flights between Melbourne and Hamilton Island on 29th March.  The Qantas Group airline will be linking Melbournians with the most popular Whitsundays island and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

Operated by an A320 aircraft, the four-weekly direct flights will add around 1500 weekly seats between the two destinations.

The airline expects strong demand from Melbournians wanting to explore a leisure destination renowned for its natural beauty, proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and some of the most stunning beaches in Queensland.

£30m injection for UK's first uncrewed fighter aircraft

The UK’s first fleet of uncrewed fighter aircraft is one step closer to reality following a £30 million contract to design and manufacture a prototype in a three-year deal supporting more than 100 jobs in Belfast.

The uncrewed combat aircraft will be designed to fly at high-speed alongside fighter jets, armed with missiles, surveillance and electronic warfare technology to provide a battle-winning advantage over hostile forces. Known as a ‘loyal wingman’, these aircraft will be the UK’s first uncrewed platforms able to target and shoot down enemy aircraft and survive against surface to air missiles.

In a boost for Northern Ireland’s defence industry, Spirit AeroSystems, Belfast, have been selected to lead Team MOSQUITO in the next phase of the Project. Utilising ground-breaking engineering techniques, the team will further develop the RAF’s Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) concept, with a full-scale vehicle flight-test programme expected by the end of 2023.

Air New Zealand is teaming up with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) to look at the effectiveness of saliva testing in detecting COVID-19.

Air New Zealand employees who are currently undertaking regular surveillance testing under the Ministry of Health testing order will be invited to participate in the study.

The purpose of this study is to see if a saliva sample is an accurate, easy and acceptable method of detecting COVID-19 compared to the current nasopharyngeal swab test. The study has recently been given the go ahead by the Ministry of Health National Health and Disability Ethics Committee.

Air New Zealand Chief Medical Officer Dr Ben Johnston says the airline is keen to investigate how to make the testing process as simple, easy and comfortable as possible for its crew, pilots and airport staff who are tested on a regular basis.

Spirit Airlines and Mastercard present Brett Young’s ‘Live from the Runway’ virtual concert celebrating the airlines new loyalty program

Multi-platinum performer Brett Young will “Catch” an unforgettable flight to Florida as Spirit Airlines and Mastercard announced plans to celebrate the launch of the all-new Free Spirit® loyalty program and Free Spirit Mastercard with Brett Young: Live from the Runway. Young’s performance will be the first-ever concert streamed worldwide from the runway of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport—with planes speeding past as fast as the new Free Spirit, which is the fastest way to earn rewards and status.*

What: Brett Young: Live from the Runway
Date: Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021
Time: 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST
Price: Free!
Get the Details:

Delta Air Lines appoints its first Chief Health Officer

Dr. Henry Ting virtually joins Delta CEO Ed Bastian
and Bill Lentsch, Delta's CCEO.
U.S.mega-carrier Delta announced the appointment of the airline's first Chief Health Officer. Dr Henry Ting, a medical leader with deep and broad experience in patient care, medical research, education and management, will be taking on that role from the middle of next month. 

Ting joins Delta from Mayo Clinic, the global leader in serious and complex medical care, where he currently serves as the enterprise Chief Value Officer. Delta and Mayo Clinic have partnered since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the clinic’s experts advising the airline on employee testing, strategies for cleanliness and operational tactics to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Alaska Cargo and Cold Storage sign deal for massive cold storage depot at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Alaska Cargo and Cold Storage, and the State of Alaska executed a 55-year lease agreement at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), marking a major milestone in the development of a more than 700,000-square-foot, climate-controlled warehouse facility. 

With 32.5 million cubic feet of capacity, the facility will provide ANC with a critical piece of infrastructure at the world’s sixth-busiest cargo airport.

This project will improve shipping to and through Anchorage, create jobs, and show the world that Alaska is open for business,” said Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “We’re excited about the potential this integral piece of the global cold chain has to make Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Alaska a more attractive place for global companies to do business.”

ACCS is a joint venture of industrialist Chad Brownstein and McKinley Capital Management, LLC (McKinley Capital), which is led by Rob Gillam. Brownstein is the founder of Rocky Mountain Resources which has aggregated an industrial complex throughout the Mountain West. Gillam is the chief executive officer and chief investment officer at McKinley Capital.

Spaceflight deploys 16 payloads on SpaceX Transporter-1 mission

Spaceflight Inc., a global launch services provider, successfully launched and deployed 16 payloads, including 15 from its next-generation orbital transfer vehicle (OTV), Sherpa-FX1, aboard the SpaceX Transporter-1 mission. Dubbed SXRS-3 by Spaceflight, the mission launched January 24 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. It delivered Spaceflight’s Sherpa-FX1 to Sun-Synchronous Low Earth Orbit (525 km alt), where it deployed payloads for more than 10 organizations.

Oman Air adds MySpace - get more space in economy from £19

Oman Air is introducing MySpace, in its economy cabin, for anyone who wants to guarantee a bit of extra space.
This new benefit allows passengers the opportunity to purchase one or more empty seats beside you, to make the flight a more pleasurable experience. 

Benefits of MySpace:

 A neighbour free seat
 Extra personal space
 Social distance

MySpace can be purchased only during the Online Check-in process, starting 48 hours and up to 3 hours before departure.

To purchase MySpace, Oman Air customers just need to follow the steps below:

Step 1: Check-in Online
If you are travelling within 48 Hours, enter your PNR and last name as written in the itinerary you have, and fill the panel below and Submit.

Step 2: Select your seat
Eligible passengers (Economy Class travellers) will be redirected to the aircraft seat map. If your seat has already been selected, proceed to block the available seat(s) beside you. If none are available to block, you may move your seat to another zone.

Step 3: Proceed to Online Check-in
Once your seats are confirmed, click on “Continue to check-in” to generate your e-boarding pass and hassle-free airport experience.

Prices start from just OMR 10, that's around £19 or $26.

Terms and conditions apply

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