Hello, guys! This is a daily feed I’ve been trying out in our Balkan Community and one of the members recommended to post it on here.
What it is in a nutshell is a short summary of the latest aviation news summarized from SimpleFlying’s website (NOT A PROMOTION).
I am gonna try posting it on here too. Let me know what you think about it, of you’re interested or not, and whether I should continue posting the news.
Aviation News Daily (22.03.2020)
This is gonna be a long one, boys and girls!
De Havilland Temporarily Suspends Dash 8 Production
De Havilland Canada has announced on the 20th of March that the production of their Dash-8 Q400 and other aircraft they manufacture with immediate effect. They added that this is due to the activity of airlines around the world. However, they will continue to support their existing customers.
Air Seychelles Takes Delivery Of Their New Airbus A320neo
Despite the rough situation with airlines and aircraft manufacturers, Air Seychelles has taken delivery of another Airbus A320neo aircraft on the 19th or March. The aircraft, with tail number S7-PTI, is a part of the airline’s fleet renewal program. The plane has flown from Hamburg to the Seychelles with a stop for refueling in Abu Dhabi OMAA. The aircraft is named Pti Merl Dezil. It has 168 seats, compared to the predecessor, the A320ceo, which has only 136 seats. However, it is very likely that this aircraft will not be taking any passengers any time soon, given the current situation in the aviation industry.
Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 Landing Gear Fails To Retract
On the 14th of March, a Virgin Atlantic was taking off from London Heathrow, but the landing gear failed to completely retract. This led to the aircraft having to burn fuel and return back to Heathrow for a thorough inspection. The aircraft was performing flight VS 117 from London EGLL to Miami KMIA. As the aircraft climbed to FL070, the left main landing gear indicated it didn’t retract and get locked into position.
The aircraft was sent west of London to then maintain a holding pattern to burn fuel to keep the aircraft’s weight below the Maximum Landing Weight. It then returned to Heathrow for a safe landing. Emergency services were on standby, but luckily, were not needed.
Virgin Atlantic arranged a 787-9 Dreamliner to take the passengers to Miami with the flight number VS 5. The replacement plane arrived 3 hours later than VS 117’s scheduled arrival in Miami.
Air Malta Suspends All Commercial Flights
The national flag carrier of Malta has decided to suspend all flights following the Maltese government’s decision to ban all commercial air traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision came in effect the 20th a minute before midnight. The airline has cancelled all flights departing and arriving in Malta International Airport LMML.
Copa Airlines Announced Temporary Suspension Of All Operations
Panama’s airline, Copa Airlines, has announced a temporary suspension of all flights effective 11:59 PM local time, today, 22nd March. The decision has come after the Panaminan government announced a ban on all international flights entering the country on Tuesday. In addition, Copa Airlines state that operations will not be resumed until the 22nd of April, exactly a month from now.
Wizzair Temporarily Suspends Flights to Georgia and Albania
Wizzair has announced that they’ll suspend flights to Georgia and Albania due to the new travel restrictions. The airline has been forced to react as these countries tighten rules in order to limit the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. The suspensions should come into effect at the latest from the 23rd of March (Tomorrow, Monday). The airline has been forced to suspend flights to Tirana LATI and Tbilisi UGTB, as the countries enforce anyone arriving in the countries to self-isolate, better known as staying in home quarantine for 14 days, or risk a fine of 5000 Euros. So, @NeperQiell, I hope you’re doing fine, mate!
Alitalia Adds Airbus A330 Service to London in order to Rescue Stranded Passengers
While Alitalia has had to decrease their overall capacity due to COVID-19 in recent weeks, the airline is adding new rescue flights to pick up stranded travelers. According to Alitalia press release issued yesterday, this is done in collaboration with the Crisis Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding more scheduled services to repatriate thousands of Italian citizens stranded abroad. In this case, Alitalia is changing the aircraft used on this route from an A320 to a bigger A330 to pick up more passengers at once.
United Airlines Cuts All Long-Haul International Flights
United Airlines has issued another response to the latest wave of government crackdowns by suspending all its long-haul operations. The airline will complete the majority of its final transatlantic and transpacific flights by the end of the month. These changes show that United wants to help America in the times the Coronavirus pandemic drags on. The last long-haul flight of the airline will be on March 25th. Only one service will continue to operate, but not for much longer: that’s the Newark to Cape Town route. It will continue to operate until the 28th of March (Saturday).
Update: United has announced that they will reinstate the following flights:
- Frankfurt to Newark (UA960/961)
- London to Newark (UA16/17)
- Tel Aviv to Newark (UA90/91)
- Sao Paulo to Houston (UA62/63)
- Narita to San Francisco (UA837/838)
- Sydney to San Francisco (UA863/870)
American Airlines Shuts Down Flagship First Dining
American Airlines’ premier Flagship First Dining services and Flagship Lounges have been shut down all across the US. This is a measure in order to keep Coronavirus spread as low as possible. Starting from the 20th of March, American shuts down is Flagship First Dining and closes the Flagship Lounges. These can be found in airports like Chicago O’Hare KORD, Dallas-Fort Worth KDFW, Los Angeles KLAX and Miami KMIA where American has a sizeable footprint.
Vietnam Halts International Flight Arrivals
The Vietnamese government has taken the decision to suspend all inbound international flights in order to contain the spread of Coronavirus within its borders. Vietnam has recorded 94 cases and no deaths. The move is in line with other countries closing down their borders to non-citizens.
Delhi-bound KLM Boeing 787-10 Makes U-Turn Over Russia
A journey home returned over 100 Indian citizens back to Amsterdam. On March 20th, a Boeing 787-10 bound for Delhi VIDP took off from Amsterdam. After a few hours into the flight, the plane was forced to return back to its origin. The reason was miscommunication and incomplete information. The plane made the U-Turn close to Volgograd, Russia just over 4 hours into the flight. This turned into a nightmare not only for the well-over 100 passengers aboard, but for the passengers left in Delhi. KL871 is the only flight connecting Amsterdam to Delhi. The reason for the return was conflicting information about whether the plane had permission to land in Delhi, as the Indian government has issued a ban on all international flights. However, it appears that all passengers onboard were Indian citizens transiting in Amsterdam Schiphol EHAM. To make up for the situation, KLM will be taking a 787-10 to Delhi on a non-regularly scheduled flight KL869.
Emirates Slashes International Flights, Possibly Completely Grounding the A380
As more and more countries issue travel bans and restrict non-citizens to enter the country, the demand for international travel plummets just like the plane on the Casual Server that stalled on final :D. And while other airlines had already announced massive changes in schedules, Emirates has kept quiet until now. They released their lengthy list of cancelled flights last night. The magnitude of the schedule changes could completely ground the A380 for a really long period of time.
The extensive list
- Abidjan (via Accra): From 21 March – 20 May
- Abuja: From 23 March – until further notice
- Accra: From 21 March – 20 May
- Adelaide: From 23 March – 20 May
- Ahmedabad: From 23 March – 28 March
- Algiers: From 18 March – 20 May
- Amman: From 17 March – 30 April
- Athens: From 23 March- 30 June
- Auckland (via Bali): From 29 March – 30 June
- Auckland: From 29 March – 30 June
- Baghdad: From 17 March – 30 April
- Bali: From 29 March – 30 June
- Bangkok–Hong Kong: From 9 March – 20 May
- Barcelona: From 20 March – 20 May
- Basra: From 17 March – 30 April
- Beirut: From 17 March – 30 April
- Bengaluru: From 23 March – 28 March
- Bologna: From 13 March – 20 May
- Brisbane: From 29 March – 30 June
- Brussels: From 26 March – 30 June
- Budapest: From 13 March – 20 May
- Buenos Aires (via Rio de Janeiro): From 25 March – 20 May
- Cairo: From 19 March – 30 June
- Casablanca: From 16 March – 30 June
- Cebu/Clark: From 29 March- 30 June
- Chennai: From 22 March – 28 March
- Chicago: From 27 March – 30 June
- Christchurch (via Sydney): From 29 March – 30 June
- Cochin: From 23 March – 28 March
- Colombo (via Male): From 23 March – 30 June
- Conakry: From 22 March – 19 May
- Dakar (via Conakry): From 22 March – 19 May
- Dammam: From 09 March – 30 April
- Delhi: From 22 March – 28 March
- Dhaka: From 22 March – 31 March
- Dubai–Colombo: From 19 March – 25 March. During this time, passengers can only travel from Colombo to Dubai as directed by Sri Lankan authorities.
- Dubai–Hanoi: From 18 March – 22 March. During this time, passengers can only travel from Hanoi to Dubai as directed by Vietnamese authorities.
- Dubai–Ho Chi Minh: From 18 March – 24 March. During this time, passengers can only travel from Ho Chi Minh to Dubai as directed by Vietnamese authorities.
- Dubai–Mauritius: From 20 March – 2 April. During this time, passengers can only travel from Mauritius to Dubai as directed by Mauritian authorities.
- Durban: From 24 March – 20 May
- Dusseldorf: From 23 March – until further notice
- Edinburgh: From 25 March – 30 June
- Fort Lauderdale: From 13 March – 30 June
- Frankfurt: From 23 March – until further notice
- Geneva: From 23 March – 30 June
- Guangzhou: From 05 February – 30 April
- Hamburg: From 23 March – until further notice
- Hanoi: From 23 March – 30 June
- Harare (via Lusaka): From 20 March – 20 May
- Ho Chi Minh: From 25 March – 30 June
- Houston: From 27 March – 30 June
- Hyderabad: From 22 March – 28 March
- Islamabad: From 22 March – until further notice
- Istanbul (IST): From 17 March – 20 May
- Istanbul (SAW): From 17 March – 20 May
- Jeddah: From 16 March – 30 April
- Kabul: From 26 March – 30 June
- Karachi: From 22 March – until further notice
- Khartoum: From 18 March – 20 May
- Kolkata: From 23 March – 28 March
- Kuwait City: From 14 March – 30 April
- Lagos: From 23 March – until further notice
- Larnaca: From 17 March – 20 May
- Lahore: From 22 March – until further notice
- Lisbon: From 19 March – 30 April
- London Stansted: From 25 March – 30 June
- Luanda: From 22 March – 20 May
- Lusaka: From 20 March – 20 May
- Lyon: From 23 March – until further notice
- Madrid: From 18 March – 20 May
- Malta (via Larnaca): From 17 March – 20 May
- Medina: From 05 March – 30 April
- Melbourne (via Singapore): From 23 March – 20 May
- Melbourne: From 29 March – 30 June
- Mexico City (via Barcelona): From 20 March – 20 May
- Milan: From 15 March – 20 May
- Moscow: From 30 March – 30 June
- Mumbai: From 22 March – 28 March
- Munich: From 23 March – until further notice
- Muscat: From 22 March – 05 April
- New York EWR (via Athens): From 13 March – 20 May
- New York EWR: From 24 March – until further notice
- New York JFK (via Milan): From 11 March – 20 May
- New York JFK: From 24 March – until further notice
- Newcastle: From 25 March – 30 June
- Nice: From 23 March – until further notice
- Orlando: From 24 March – 30 June
- Osaka: From 26 March – 30 June
- Oslo: From 28 March – 30 June
- Paris: From 23 March – until further notice
- Peshawar: From 22 March – until further notice
- Phnom Penh (via Bangkok): From 29 March – 30 June
- Phuket: From 29 March – 30 June
- Porto: From 17 March – 20 May
- Prague: From 25 March – 30 June
- Rio de Janeiro: From 25 March – 20 May
- Riyadh: From 16 March – 30 April
- Rome: From 15 March – 20 May
- Saint Petersburg: From 30 March – 30 June
- San Francisco: From 29 March – 30 June
- Santiago (via Rio de Janeiro): From 25 March – 20 May
- Shanghai: From 05 February – 30 April
- Sialkot: From 22 March – until further notice
- Stockholm: From 26 March – 30 June
- Taipei: From 16 March – 20 May
- Tehran: From 26 February – 30 April
- Trivandrum: From 22 March – 28 March
- Tunis: From 18 March – 20 May
- Venice: From 12 March – 20 May
- Vienna: From 23 March – 30 June
- Warsaw : From 15 March – 20 May
Update: Emirates announced that all passenger operations effective 25th March.
Etihad Is Next To Ground The Airbus A380
Following the massive drop in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Etihad is yet another airline to ground the Airbus A380 through to June 30th, that means it will be grounded for over 3 months. The routes flown with A380s will be flown with smaller and more efficient aircraft. Here’s a list of the changes:
- On the London route, the jet is being replaced by a combination of Boeing 787-9 and 787-10 aircraft.
- The New York flights will now be flown by a 777-300ER.
- Those flying to Paris will be on a mix of 787-10s and 777-300ERs.
- Seoul will be solely operated by a 787-10.
- The Sydney trips will only be flown by a 777-300ER.
Qatar Airways Has Completely Grounded Their A380 Fleet.
Qatar Airways has grounded their A380s in favour for smaller and more efficient jets, similar to what other airlines are doing. This is due to massive crisis in the global economy caused by the Coronavirus. All of Qatar’s A380s will be grounded until the 31st of May in hopes that the jets will fly again after the pandemic has gone away.
WestJet Schedules Extra Flights in order to Save Stranded Canadians
Canada’s WestJet is providing extra flights for getting Canadian citizens back to Canada from abroad. It has been stated by the airline that 34 flights will operate with this sole purpose, while travel restrictions get tighter and tighter and international flights are being cancelled.
A320 Operators Ordered To Perform Urgent Maintenance On Engines
The United States Federal Aviation Administration ordered all A320-family operators to perform maintenance on the aircraft’s engines. The order has come through after an aborted takeoff of Vietnam Airlines’ A321 took place on the 18th of March in Ho Chi Minh City. A report by FlightGlobal stated that one of the plane’s engines had suffered a high-pressure turbine first-stage disk failure. No one has been injured during the incident.
KLM Cityhopper E175 Returns To Amsterdam Because of Engine Vibrations
A KLM Cityhopper Embraer E175 on route from Amsterdam to Hull had to return to the capital after reporting excessive vibrations on one of the aircraft’s engines. The flight took place on March 18th. Just before the plane reached the British coast, it issued a return to Amsterdam. The plane landed safely on Runway 22 at Amsterdam and returned to service some 5 hours later after maintenance.
Royal Air Jordanian Suspends Passenger Operations
Following the Kingdom of Jordan’s decision to suspend passenger flights last week, Royal Air Jordanian is forced to comply and limits their operations to cargo only. The order came effective on the 17th of March as neighbouring countries also issue similar travel restrictions. The aircraft used for cargo purposes will be 787 passenger aircraft. They will be used exclusively for commercial freight.
Air Canada Flies Boeing 777 Rescue Flights From Casablanca
Yesterday Air Canada operated a special rescue flight from Casablanca Morocco to Montreal, Canada. Flight AC2003, operated by one of Air Canada’s Boeing 777-300ERs, flew 444 stranded Canadians back across the Atlantic to bring Canadians back on their native soil.
LOT To Operate Polish Rescue Flights Including Services From Sydney and Cancun
LOT Polish Airlines will be launching additional rescue flights across the world as part of their operation called “#LOTdoDomu”, which may of you might have guessed means “LOTtoHome”. The flights will be including destinations like Sydney, Manila, Rio de Janeiro and Cancun, with the aim to bring currently stranded Polish citizens back home, hence the name of the operation.
Chinese Airlines Are Flying Aid-Filled Planes to Europe
As many countries in Europe continue closing their borders, aid-filled aircraft are arriving from China. Chinese airlines are sending essentials to various countries in Europe as the pandemic worsens conditions in the region. Among the vital supplies being dropped off are face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves, all of which are non-existent in Bulgaria. Probably for good.
UK Government Plans to Buy Stakes in Airlines
Due to the worldwide pandemic caused by the Coronavirus, the demand in air travel drops with unbelievable speeds. The government of the United Kingdom is considering to buy stakes in British Airways and other UK based airlines in order to ensure their survival by giving loans, a topic I covered yesterday.
US Airlines to Delay Furloughs and Layoffs If Bailout Comes Through
Airlines across the US are sounding the alarm of poor financial performances amid a steep drop in demand. The lobbying group for major airlines in the USA, Airlines for America, sent a letter signed by airline heads to Congress indicating that if the federal government provides aid to airlines, then US carriers will delay furloughs and layoffs until later in the year.
Could COVID-19 Delay Berlin Brandenburg’s Opening Even Further?
After years of planning, Berlin-based airport operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg is on course to open the new Brandenburg hub on October 31st. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic absolutely rocking the aviation industry, the group doesn’t want to move the deadline any further than it has been moved already. However, with the current lack of demand for air travel, they might be forced to in order to not go bankrupt.