Aviation News Daily (23.03.2020)
Parked Delta Planes Shut Down Runway at Atlanta
Delta is taking some major steps when it comes to parking its grounded aircraft. It appears that Delta’s parked planes in Atlanta KATL have shut down an entire runway at the world’s busiest airport. Delta is searching for places to park 600 grounded aircraft and they have found some for at least part of these 600 – that’s the taxiway running between runway 10/28 and 09R/27L. In addition, there appear to be aircraft parked on runway 10/28 itself. Delta has confirmed to Simple Flying that it has aircraft parked on 3 of 5 runways at Atlanta, but only 10/28 is shut down.
Korean Air To Fly To Only 21 International Destinations
On March 20th, South Korean carrier Korean Air released its most recent changes in schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The list includes only 21 international destinations, most of which are in North America.
- San Francisco
- New York
- Los Angeles
- Clark/Angeles City
- Phnom Penh
Fiji Airways Suspends 95% Of International Flights
Fiji Airways is going to be suspending most of their international services, leaving just 5% operating. The Nadi-based airline states it is because of the lack of travel demand caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Suspensions are with immediate effect. However, Fiji Airways will be operating a skeleton service to Singapore and some rescue flights over the next week.
Airbus Uses the Rare A330-800neo to Move Medical Supplies
As part of its effort to assist the ongoing battle against Coronavirus pandemic, Airbus has used one of its test A330-800neos for special delivery purposes. The aircraft transported around two million masks from manufacturing facilities in China, ready for use by authorities and medical staff in Europe.
Richard Branson Pumps £215 Million Into Virgin Atlantic to Save Jobs
Virgin boss Richard Branson has said that he will invest £215 Million ($250 Million) into the Virgin Group. The investment is made with the purpose to “protect employees and save jobs”. The Virgin Group has taken a strong hit form the Coronavirus pandemic, as it’s not only aviation related.
American Airlines Now Allows Flight To Wear Face Masks
On Sunday, American Airlines relaxed its previous ban on face masks for cabin crew. However, the airline stated the world-wide shortage of masks as a reason why it wouldn’t be providing them for its staff. Flight attendants are asked to bring their own mask to work if it makes them feel safer.
British Airways Halts London City Operations
From today, 23rd March, British Airways has suspended its operations from London City Airport EGLC. The flights, operated by the subsidiary BA CityFlyer will not operate at London City until April 4th at the earliest. In the meantime, passengers will be rerouted via Heathrow EGLL or Gatwick EGKK.
Air India Asks Citizens to Act Respectfully Towards Crew
Air India has asked passengers and locals to act in a more dignified was towards crew during the ongoing aviation crisis currently. In a statement released by the airline earlier today (March 23rd), Air India has called out locals who have disrespected the crew, or in some cases, went as far as calling the police on them, claiming they carry the virus.
Turkish Airlines Will Now Fly to Just Four Countries
As the current Coronavirus pandemic makes times tough for airlines all around the world, Turkish Airlines has decided to leave most of its international destination without their services temporarily. They will be flying to only 4 countries, which is a shame, as Turkish Airlines was known for flying to the most destinations. The destinations that are still served are Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Moscow, Russia; Hong Kong, China; New York and Washington in the USA.
Vietjet to Pay Passengers up to $8500 In Case They Catch Coronavirus Onboard Their Flight
In a press release dated from March the 20th, the Vietnamese budget airlines Vietjet announced a new product for its passengers – one that reflects the strange times that we all find ourselves in as of now. The product goes by the name “SKY COVID CARE” and is an insurance-type product that provides coverage between 20 million ($850) and 200 million ($8500) Vietnamese Dong. The goal of that insurance program is to give passengers reassurance in flying.
Singapore Airlines Reduces Its Fleet to Just 9 Planes
Singapore Airlines is down to currently operating just nine aircraft. The announcement came today (23.03.2020) as the nation banned transit passengers. Very few people are allowed to enter Singapore, apart from citizens and key workers.
Indian Government Bans Domestic Passenger Flight
India has moved to ban all domestic passenger travel with effect from midnight on the 24th of March. The move comes after the government had already banned all international travel last week for a period of around a week. This doesn’t affect freight services within the country. Airlines like Air India and IndiGo with big short-to-medium haul fleets of over well over 100 aircraft will suffer the most from that decision.
Austrian Airlines Extends Flight Groundings Until Mid-April
Austrian has announced that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they’re with tied hands and have to temporarily extend its flight cancelations until the 19th of April. According to the airline, all of their scheduled flights have now been removed from the automated booking systems. Because of the worldwide travel bans, they will cease all operations until, at the earliest, 19th of April.
UAE Halts All Passenger Flights – Emirates And Etihad Are Affected
Adding to the chaos of conflicting information from yesterday (22.03.2020), we now have news from the United Arab Emirates that they intend to suspend all passenger flights in and out of the country in less than 48 hours. More importantly, it plans to suspend transfers of passengers through the airports. If carried through, airlines like Etihad and Emirates could be brought to a complete standstill. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Emirates has already planned full cease of operations for the time being. However, Etihad hasn’t had these plans yet.
Air Transat to Layoff Staff And Speed Up Airbus A310 Retirement
Canadian leisure airline Air Transat announced today that it would have to lay off 3600 employees as air travel demand rapidly dies. According to Global News, this figure is close to 70% of the Montreal-based airline’s total workforce. The sharp decrease in bookings is due to the current situation with the global economy, as we all know what is going on in the world currently.
Air Canada Joins Moroccan Repatriation Efforts
Air Canada has joined the repatriation of the Canadian government to get stranded Canadian citizens back from Northern Africa. The first rescue flight was realized in Sunday, bringing 444 stranded Canadians back home. The aircraft used was an Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER. Air Canada states they are working 24/7 to get Canadians back on firm Canadian ground.
Governments Ban Transit Passengers From Major Hubs
As governments around the world tighten the measures to stop the Coronavirus spread, the list of places you cannot enter is becoming longer with every day. However, there are some places you cannot even transit through. As I said in a news article above, UAE will likely ban transfers and India has already went through with it. But there are more countries to that list, too, such as Singapore, Taiwan, and the latest one to announce it, Hong Kong. What this means for airlines which have suspended a big chunk of their operations already might be forced to cease all operations altogether, leaving the world’s airspace with just a couple hundred planes flying.
Boeing Worker Dies From Coronavirus
A worker for the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing has died in the Everett plant. The cause of his death is his infection with COVID-19. His death was recorded by Boeing’s employees and comes as the first worker at their South Carolina plant test positive for COVID-19.
Due to that, Boeing has decided to suspend production in the Seattle-area facilities. Suspension is with a start date of 25.03.2020 and will last 14 days.
Rest In Peace, Dear Boeing Employee!
Airbus to Partially Resume Work In France And Spain
The international aircraft manufacturer based in Toulouse will start to resume work on their Spanish and French production lines after a four-day pause. The sites now have sufficient health and safety guards in place and now Airbus feel they can resume work. After all, they have a massive order backlog which they need to complete.
Air Traffic In China Begins To Recover In China Sparking Hope
Airlines around the world are continuing to cut their services, some of which for months to come. However, China’s airlines are now showing signs of recovery. Despite being the initial epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic, China is the first to show signs of recovery in the aviation industry.
Which Latin American Airlines Are Currently Affected By The Coronavirus?
Several airlines in Latin America and the Caribbean have cut over 90% of their capacity due to the pandemic over the Coronavirus. It is very likely that some more will follow their actions in the coming weeks. In only a single week, Latin America has seen a 42% drop in capacity.
Most Affected Latin American Airlines
- Avior Airlines
- Cayman Airways
- Copa Airlines
- TAME Ecuador
- Aerolineas Argentinas
Qantas To Operate First Ever Non-Stop Darwin-London Flight
Qantas is temporarily willing to operate its flagship A380 service from London to Sydney via Darwin from Tuesday. It will be a short-lived appearance for A380 in the skies of Darwin, with Qantas about to ground their entire international fleet. But, at least for a few days, the first ever non-stop flight from London to Darwin will score a footnote in aviation history.
Where is British Airways Storing Their Grounded Short Haul Fleet?
Airlines around the globe have been suspending flights and grounding aircraft, and British Airways is no different. According to Flightradar24, British Airways has a short-to-medium haul fleet of 146 aircraft, not including the E-jets by subsidiary CityFlyer. This consist of the following aircraft:
Short-to-medium haul fleet of British Airways
- 1x Airbus A318;
- 39x Airbus A319;
- 67x Airbus A320;
- 12x Airbus A320neo;
- 18x Airbus A321;
- 9x Airbus A321neo.
A bit over half of these aircraft have not been airborne in the last 2 days. Most of the grounded aircraft are parked in London Heathrow, followed by Glasgow and Gatwick
Air Greenland Suspends All Commercial Flights
Air Greenland is yet another airline to completely suspend all passenger operations until the 4th of April. This comes as countries are closing their borders, making it impossible for airlines to fly anywhere. The suspensions started 3 days ago, on the 20th of March and are a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus Has Knocked Out 35% Of Global Airline Capacity
The outbreak of Coronavirus has impacted just over a third of the world’s aviation capacity as of now. Since the start of the pandemic over 37 million seats have been cut as travel restrictions prevent airlines from operating at their full capacity. That is the general overview. However, some areas have been affected as much as 80%.
That’s all for today!
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