Author Topic: covidair  (Read 2875 times)

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Re: covidair - Thailand to Lift Ban on International Flights
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2020, 12:34:49 PM »
Thailand to Lift Ban on International Flights

The ban on international flights will be lifted (July 1) but some travel restrictions will be maintained for disease control and prevention, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced. 

Chula Sukmanop, director-general of the CAAT, the aviation regulator issued the announcement to lift the ban on international flights under some conditions.

Despite the lifting of the ban, travel restrictions remain put in place as the Covid-19 situations are still severe in other countries.   

The announcement came after the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration yesterday approved some foreign travels to the country including business travellers and foreigners with spouses, work permits or residency in the country.

Foreign travellers, who are allowed to enter the kingdom also include those who need medical treatment in Thailand, students of Thai educational institutions as well as their parents.

Other groups are individuals in diplomatic missions, international organizations and foreign government agencies working in Thailand as well as their spouses or children, who are approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or permitted under a special arrangement with a foreign country.

Incoming travellers are required to comply with disease control rules in accordance with the capacity of Thai authorities in conducting screening processes and providing them quarantine facilities. (TNA)  mcot.net
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Suvarnabhumi, armed with Covid-19 lab, is ready for foreign arrivals
Suvarnabhumi is ready to receive foreign travellers and has put in place facilities under the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s guidelines and the government’s regulations to contain the spread of Covid-19.



Wing Commander Suthirawat Suwanawat, Suvarnabhumi’s general manager, said the airport has set up checkpoints where passengers will be screened as well as a laboratory to conduct Covid-19 tests.

“The lab is equipped to conduct polymerase chain reaction [PCR] tests, which provides up to 95 per cent accurate result within 90 minutes,” he said.

“We have also turned the area near gates D3 and D4 into waiting rooms with restrooms and facilities for passengers waiting for test results. Seats have been kept socially distant, while the room will be regularly cleaned.”

Thai passengers will also have to undergo measures to contain spread of the disease.

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Re: covidair - Local flights pick up steam in North
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2020, 12:13:07 AM »
Local flights pick up steam in North


People arrive on scheduled domestic flights at Chiang Mai airport on Thursday. More flights and passengers are expected at the airport this month with the Covid-19 lockdown easing. (Photo by Phanumet Tanraksa)

Air traffic at the Chiang Mai international airport is picking up with more flights and passengers expected this month, said Amornrat Chumsai Na Ayutthaya, the airport director.

The North's main gateway airport is recovering some of its flight and passenger traffic. On average, the airport received 40 flights carrying about 4,000-5,000 passengers a day last month. The number of flights is expected to rise to 68 a day on average while passenger figures are predicted to jump 50% this month, according to Mr Amornrak.

However, scheduled flights operate only on domestic routes including those connecting Chiang Mai to other hub airports at U-Tapao, Hat Yai, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani. International flights are likely to return slowly after the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the lifting of the ban on international flights under some conditions with immediate effect on Monday.

Analysts agreed inbound flights will not quickly return to the pre-Covid 19 level as air travel to and from the main markets still battered by the pandemic will remain suspended, and people are delaying their overseas travel plans.

The CAAT announcement coincided with the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) release of figures for passenger demand in May (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) which dropped 91.3% compared to May 2019. This was a mild uptick from the 94% annual decline recorded in April 2020. The improvement was driven by a recovery in some domestic markets, most notably China.

"May was not quite as terrible as April. That's about the best thing that can be said," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director-general and CEO, adding there is tremendous uncertainty about what impact a resurgence of new Covid-19 cases in key markets could have.

International passenger demand fell 98.3% in May compared to May 2019, virtually unchanged from the 98.4% decline recorded in April. Capacity plummeted 95.3%, and load factor sank 51.9 percentage points to 28.6%, meaning just over a quarter of seats were filled, on average.

Asia-Pacific airlines' May traffic plunged 98% compared to the year-ago period, also in line with a 98.2% recorded in April. Capacity fell 95.1% and load factor shrank 46.6 percentage points to 32.1%.

On Thursday, the financially ailing Thai Airways International (THAI) said its passenger number fell by 4.5 million to 3.5 million in the first five months of the year. The airline's cabin factor, which requires the percentage of available seating capacity to be regularly filled by passengers, tumbled to 69%, down from 78% in the same period last year.

The figures presented as a basis for calculation were taken before THAI suspended all its international and domestic flights in early May due to the Covid-19 pandemic although the airline had been in the red long before that. Under a heavy debt burden of 244.9 billion baht, THAI is waiting for the Central Bankruptcy Court's decision on whether to admit its petition for debt rehabilitation on Aug 18. If the court accepts the case for a hearing, a rehab plan will be drawn up, subject to approval from creditors.

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Re: covidair - Cathay Pacific CEO blames coronavirus for historic loss
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2020, 11:26:30 PM »
Cathay Pacific CEO blames coronavirus for historic HK$9.9 billion loss, and calls third wave a ‘cause for concern’

Cathay Pacific Airways has said it expects to make a loss of HK$9.9 billion (US$1.28 billion) in the first six months of 2020, the largest in its history.

Augustus Tang Kin-wing, the airline’s CEO, blamed the profit warning on the coronavirus pandemic,
and staff were told in a memo that its restructuring review, which could impact jobs, would “balance stakeholder interests”, giving an extra clue to the factors likely to determine the company’s future size and shape.

The Hong Kong government appointed two observers to the Cathay Pacific board this week to oversee its HK$27.3 billion rescue package of the city’s flag carrier, which won shareholder approval on Monday.

“The result underlines the extent of the damage being inflicted on our operations since Covid-19 started spreading across our markets, decimating the demand for air travel as customers were unable or unwilling to fly,” Tang said, adding the third wave of cases in the city was a “cause for concern”.                   
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British Airways retires entire fleet of Boeing 747 jumbo jets due to impact of coronavirus pandemic

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Big jump in Suvarnabhumi traffic after fifth phase of lockdown easing



Suvarnabhumi Airport is seeing an increase in passengers after the government eased lockdown measures in the fifth phase that allowed domestic travel.

Wing Commander Suthirawat Suwanawat, general manager of Suvarnabhumi Airport, said that from July 1-15, the airport had seen operation of 3,205 flights (1,604 incoming and 1,601 outgoing) or 214 flights per day on average.

“The total number of passengers using the airport was 174,912 (85,758 incoming and 89,154 outgoing), or 11,661 passengers per day on average, which is a big jump from the previous months when the fifth phase of the easing of lockdown had not started yet, he said.

“To ensure the safety of passengers and staff during the Covid-19 situation, Airports of Thailand has employed measures as suggested by the Ministry of Public Health, such as setting up screening checkpoints at all terminals, maintaining social distancing in operation and passenger areas, performing deep-cleaning in public areas and facilities every day, and enforcing the wearing of face masks by staff and passengers,” he added.

Suthirawat also suggested that passengers should download the AOT Airports Application and fill in the information in advance before entering the airport to avoid creating bottlenecks at terminals.

“For inquiry about the airport’s services and flight details, contact AOT Contact Centre 1722, which is available 24 hours a day,” he added.

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Re: covidair - B5.5m Compensation for COVID-infected Air Passengers
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2020, 10:31:46 AM »
B5.5m Compensation for COVID-infected Air Passengers
(TNA) – Emirates has announced to pay up to 150,000 euros or about 5.5 million baht for treatment and 100 euros or 3,687 baht per day of quarantine for any of its passengers who are infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 on its flights.

Emirates Group chief executive officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said after many countries had opened their borders, people wanted to travel and needed confidence for their trips. 

Emirates was the first airline to subsidize the costs of treatment and quarantine for worldwide passengers. Despite additional investment, the airline prioritized its passengers and believed customers would welcome the measure, he said.

The measure will be valid for passengers who travel from now until Oct 31. On the last day of the promotion, flights must either start before Oct 31 or reach destinations within that day. Customers will be so insured on 31 following days after their flights with Emirates.

Passengers do not have to file any document to obtain the privilege and can also reject it. Those who contract COVID-19 can file their claims at www.emirates.com/COVID19assistance.

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2nd wave of virus could stall travel recovery, Ryanair warns
Ryanair Holdings issued a stark assessment of the threat to airlines as they seek to rebound from the coronavirus crisis, saying it's concerned that a series of local lockdowns followed by a second wave of infection will hold back the recovery from the pandemic.

Ryanair kicked off earnings season for European carriers Monday by posting a loss for the June quarter and saying it will lose money through the rest of the summer. While the restart of flights presents opportunities, the discount giant said it's worried the virus could continue to roil demand for months to come.

"A second wave of Covid-19 cases across Europe in late autumn, when the annual flu season commences, is our biggest fear right now," the Irish company said.

Britain's surprise reintroduction of a quarantine for people arriving from Spain threatens to quell resurgent demand at carriers like Ryanair that are heavily reliant on holiday traffic, and shows how the industry is treading a tightrope as it resumes flying with the virus still raging. The company said the situation could be further compounded by "adverse trading consequences" if the U.K. completes its exit the European Union without a trade deal in January.

Ryanair, which predicted air travel will remain depressed for two or three years at least, had a loss of $217 million (185 million euros) in the fiscal first quarter, when its jets were largely idled and the customer count fell 99%.

While that's better than the 200 million euro-loss that the company forecast in May, the International Air Transport Association, among other trade groups, sees the crisis persisting for longer than first forecast, with bigger overall losses.

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska said in a note that Ryanair's numbers offer some comfort to investors and that the carrier is "better-positioned than most to withstand negative shocks, but not immune."

Ryanair, Europe's biggest low-cost airline, restarted timetabled flights on July 1 and said in the statement it will operate about 40% of the normal schedule this month, rising to 60% in August and -- "hopefully" -- 70% in September.

Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan said the company's aircraft are currently flying 70% full, compared with 97% in July last year. Bookings are also coming very late amid the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of borders and lingering restrictions on travel, though that should be positive for fares.

"There is a lot of pent-up demand," Sorahan said in an interview. "We're seeing people, particularly those visiting friends and relations, very very keen to travel." Setbacks such as the U.K. quarantine on Spanish arrivals will however "dent confidence for a period of time."

Ryanair had 3.9 billion euros in cash at the end of June, up from 3.8 billion euros at the end of March, after locking down operations and tapping a U.K. government-backed loan. While there are no immediate plans to raise further funds, it will consider some refinancing to repay the British facility in March, as well as a bond maturing next summer, Sorahan said.

The company, which has 135 Boeing Co. 737 Max jets on order, reiterated that it still wants to take them even after the model was grounded in the wake of two fatal crashes. Discussions on compensation are continuing, and the CFO said the airline is open to a follow-on order if "priced appropriately."

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Re: covidair - Korean Air and Asiana Airlines post Q2 earnings surprise
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2020, 01:48:38 PM »
How major South Korean airlines made profits during pandemic
 South Korea’s flag carriers Korean Air and Asian Airlines surprised the market last week by posting an operating profit in the second quarter, while major airlines across the world suffered heavy losses due to the pandemic.

Korean Air reported an operating profit of 148.5 billion won ($125.2 million) while Asiana saw its figure top 100 billion won, both owing to their robust cargo businesses.

In normal times these figures would’ve fallen short of grabbing headlines, but not in a year marred by an ongoing pandemic that has brought the aviation industry to its knees.

America’s Delta Airlines suffered a net loss of $5.7 billion in the second quarter, its biggest since 2008. International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia, reported a loss of 2.2 billion euros ($2.6 billion). Japan Airline suffered a loss of 93.71 billion yen ($882.2 million) while Germany’s Lufthansa lost 1.5 billion euros in the same period.

“The performance of both airlines is commendable as they responded quickly. I was skeptical when I first heard Korean Air’s decision to deploy passenger jets for their cargo service. It looks like it’s worked while other airlines didn’t consider the option,” said Hurr Hee-young, a professor at Korea Aerospace University.

On top of its existing capacities, Korean Air, with a cargo fleet of 23 aircrafts as of July, has been using overhead bins and installed cargo seat bags on its planes to raise utilization rates, with plans to remove seats from long-haul aircrafts to carry even more cargo later this year.

While demand remained at the pre-pandemic level, supply fell, offering a window of opportunity for the two national carriers that acted quickly, Hurr noted.

“Freight rates are extremely flexible. They change rapidly depending on market demand and supply. Passenger traffic fell rapidly during the COVID-19 crisis while air cargo demand stayed steady, mainly due to medical supplies. The airlines grabbed the opportunity as rates went up by four to five times. It was temporary but a fruitful decision,” he said.

Korean Air has touted its surprise earnings as a result of CEO Cho Won-tae’s idea to pivot to its cargo business and its “One Team” strategy to see through the pandemic.

He came up with the idea to “utilize the cargo compartment of passenger jets and respond to the fluctuating demand” in order to cut down costs and diversify the supply line, according to the airline.

As a result, the airline’s freight ton kilometer, which measures freight traffic, rose by over 10 percent in the first half of the year, and 17 percent in the second quarter alone. It led to a 95 percent on-year increase in cargo revenue worth 1.225 trillion won in the second quarter.

Cargo volume fell during the first half of this year for other airlines, however, including Cathay Pacific, which saw its cargo capacity drop by 24.6 percent though revenue rose by 8.8 percent and Lufthansa whose FTK in the first half of the year fell by 36 percent.

Rotating shifts and government bailouts

While other flag carriers around the world have announced large-scale job cuts, both Korean Air and Asiana have also managed to avoid it, in part by putting staff on a rotating schedule.

Currently, only 30 percent of some 20,000 Korean Air staff are at work while the rest are on paid leave on a rotating basis. At Asiana, some 4,600 staff including cabin crew have been on paid leave while the rest of its some 10,000 staff rotate on a 15-day basis to squeeze staff spending. Schemes at both airlines are helped by government bailouts worth a total of 3 trillion won which was announced earlier this year.

“With air routes across the world being closed, over half of the staff have been on paid and unpaid leave to help survive the aviation crisis,” a source at a major airline said.

“Since the impact of the pandemic will continue to threaten the industry in the second half of the year, the government should consider providing more support to retain jobs in aviation safe,” the source added.

Such a move, however, has also faced protests. Some of the foreign pilots, for instance, argue they have been subject to discriminatory measures in going on unpaid leaves or having their contracts terminated.

What lies ahead?

Low-cost carriers are left more vulnerable as they cannot pivot to cargo businesses and have received a drastically smaller amount of government bailouts. Jeju Air, for instance, Korea’s biggest LCC, reported a net loss of 100.6 billion won ($84.4 million) in the April-June period.

Full service carriers are in a better position for now, though challenges remain.

Some market analysts forecast that both the airlines will continue their relative success in the third quarter. A report from Korea Investment & Securities predicted the airlines will continue to stay in the green as air freight rates will bounce back.

“Korean Air appears to be on course to become the only airline in the world whose debt-equity ratio would drop this year,” the report noted.

Korean Air recently secured over 1 trillion won through paid-in capital increase, and has plans to secure another trillion won through the sale of its catering and duty free businesses.

Professor Hurr predicts competition will rise.

“I think the current situation will be temporary as other international airlines see Korean Air and Asiana and try to follow suit,” he said.

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Re: covidair - Etihad to provide COVID-19 insurance to passengers
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2020, 12:05:51 AM »
Etihad to provide COVID-19 insurance to passengers to boost travel confidence

(Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways on Monday said it would cover medical and quarantine costs for passengers if they contract the new coronavirus after traveling on one of its flights.

Airlines around the world are trying to find ways to stimulate demand that has been shattered by the pandemic and expected to take years to recover.

Medical costs of up to 150,000 euros ($177,000) and quarantine costs of up to 100 euro a day for 14 days will be covered by Etihad for its passengers who contract the disease within 31 days of first travel.

“This additional cover will not only instill confidence to travel but also reassure our guests that we are doing all we can to keep them safe and protected," Etihad Vice President Duncan Bureau said in a statement.
The COVID-19 cover is included in the airfare of tickets for travel until the end of the year, valid around the world and is being offered in partnership with insurance firm AXA .

The move matches Dubai's Emirates, which in July started offering free COVID-19 insurance.

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Re: covidair - Cathay Pacific to park up to half its fleet in desert
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2020, 12:28:48 AM »
Cathay Pacific planning to park up to half its fleet in desert as aviation industry struggles to recover from coronavirus
Hong Kong carrier has already sent dozens of aircraft to Alice Springs, and a significant number of its 180-strong fleet could follow
Capacity continues to outstrip demand, and long-haul flights not expected to fully return to normal until 2024


Cathay Pacific Airways
is studying plans to park even more aircraft abroad in long-term storage, the Post has learned, with a recovery in air travel taking longer than anticipated.

The group, which also covers Cathay Dragon, could send as many as half of its 180 passenger aircraft to desert locations eventually, one source familiar with the matter said, but another said it could be slightly less.

A revised number of planes to be sidelined has yet to be finalised, but it will be larger than the third of the passenger fleet planned earlier, as the fallout from the global slump in air travel brought on by the coronavirus pandemic sharpens.

Airlines across the world have teetered close to collapse, with borders closed and demand for air travel sapped by the disease.

“I think given what we know right now about Cathay’s fleet, they’re essentially uniquely unsuited for the current markets,” said Luya You, transport analyst at brokerage Bocom International.

“We know that widebodies make even less economical sense to fly right now when load factors remain abysmal. Therefore, it’s much more cost effective to ground than to fly.”

The vast majority of the Cathay group’s 235 planes are large widebody aircraft, which are not ideal for weak travel demand, and it does not have domestic flights to fall back on.

Domestic and short-haul flights are expected to recover quickest, according to industry predictions, as evidenced by the nearly full recovery
in domestic mainland Chinese air travel, while it could be 2024 before long-haul travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.
Alice Springs in Australia was the first long-term storage location
used to park dozens of Cathay aircraft.

With passenger numbers still low, airlines struggled to generate revenue in July, and Brian Pearce, chief economist at the International Air Travel Association (IATA), said he expected that trend to continue.

While capacity still outstripped demand, Pearce said carriers would probably continue to burn cash, leaving “airline finances in a relatively fragile situation”.
Cathay has suffered badly, and lost HK$9.87 billion
(US$1.27 billion) in the first six months of this year. The carrier needed a government bailout, totalling HK$27.3 billion to save it from collapse, and a sweeping structural review
that is expected to conclude by the fourth quarter of this year could see it cut jobs.

Meanwhile, a recovery of international travel in the Asia-Pacific region has been slow to materialise, although numerous places in an area hit earliest by Covid-19 have been quickest to get it under control.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong said it was discussing travel bubbles with at least 11 countries, but officials did not give a timeline, with governments remaining cautious about imported cases and a resurgence in infections.

Brendan Sobie, from Sobie Aviation, said travel bubbles within Asia were critical for hubs that rely entirely on international traffic, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, to start to recover.

“Unfortunately traffic has been stalled now for several months at unimaginably low levels, as the international market is limited to one-way repatriating traffic and a minuscule amount of essential business or government traffic,” he said.

Sobie said travel bubbles would add a “slight uptick” to international travel in Asia if successfully implemented, but passenger numbers would be a fraction of what demand normally looked like.

“What we are all hoping for here are some initial baby steps and some positive trends following so many months of gloom and doom for the aviation industry,” he said.

For August and September, Cathay has been flying just 8 per cent of its pre-virus schedule, the most passenger flights it has operated in six months.

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Tracking the massive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world’s airline industry in early 2020

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Re: covidair - Vietjet Ubon Ratch flights Bt50 fare to all local destinations
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2020, 01:18:06 PM »
Thai Vietjet launches new Ubon Ratchathani flights by offering Bt50 fare to all local destinations
Thai Vietjet is launching its new Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani flights by offering a Bt50 fare, excluding taxes and fees, on all its domestic flights for travel between October 6 and March 31, 2021 (excluding public holidays).

Bookings need to be made before Friday (September 11) at SkyFUN.vietjetair.com, the airline’s Facebook page or mobile app.

The promotion is applicable to all domestic Thai Vietjet flights, including Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi, Udon Thani, Hat Yai, Khon Kaen and Nakhon Si Thammarat. The promotion is also applicable to Phuket-Chiang Rai, Udon Thani-Chiang Rai flights, as well as flights to Surat Thani, which start from November 4, and Chiang Rai-Hat Yai, which start from November 1.

Thai Vietjet is expanding its flight network within Thailand and neighbouring countries. Apart from its 13 domestic routes, it also flies to eight destinations in the region, including China.

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Hong Kong bans flights from KL after passengers test positive for Covid-19
Hong Kong's aviation regulator has banned flights between the city and Kuala Lumpur for two weeks after five Cathay Dragon passengers transiting via Malaysia from India tested positive for the coronavirus.

The move, a month after Air India was hit with the same punishment, has shut off a key route for the thousands of Indian citizens still trying to return to Hong Kong after being stranded abroad for several months.

India has the second-most cases of Covid-19 in the world behind the United States, at 5.3 million and rising. In total, 30.5 million cases and 953,000 deaths had been reported worldwide as of Sunday.

A spokeswoman for Cathay Dragon said it was notified on Saturday night by health authorities in Hong Kong that five passengers on flight KA734 from Kuala Lumpur last Friday had the virus.

"As a result of the Civil Aviation Department directive, we will suspend our passenger services between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong until October 3," the airline said in a statement.

Affected passengers would be refunded or given alternative travel arrangements, the airline said.

The five passengers flew to Malaysia on an Air India Express service before connecting to Cathay Dragon. Authorities in Hong Kong, according to Cathay, said the affected passengers' documents complied with strict health rules.

As well as sending the affected aircraft for deep cleaning, Cathay said it was trying to trace people who were in close contact with the passengers on board.

Flight KA734 also carried four Covid-19 passengers on Sept 11 from India.

Meanwhile, Air India flight AI314 on Sept 8 had seven virus cases detected upon arrival in Hong Kong.

Since July 25, the Hong Kong government has required travellers from high-risk countries - including India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia and the United States - to secure a negative Covid-19 test with certification and validation within 72 hours of departure. A hotel reservation for 14 days must also be presented as proof.

Among the requirements is a stipulation that testing must be undertaken at an accredited or government-approved facility. However, Hong Kong relies upon other governments to determine what a testing facility must do to be approved.

People have been left desperate, as flights from India to Hong Kong have been slow to be organised despite high demand.

Air India was also banned from flying to the city for two weeks in August after a dozen Covid-19 cases were detected.

When the ban took effect, the Hong Kong government advised people stranded in India to fly to the city via transit hubs such as Kuala Lumpur, despite the potential for increased exposure to the virus.

Imported cases from India have previously arrived in Hong Kong via Singapore, Doha and Kuala Lumpur.

Air India has a flight from Delhi to Hong Kong scheduled on Monday and expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Last week, Air India Express was banned by Dubai authorities for 15 days starting on September 18, after the airline's airport ground handling agents boarded two passengers who had tested positive for the virus. The ban was lifted after 24 hours.

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Airlines push for coronavirus testing before international flights
They hope testing will reopen international routes that have been cut

The U.S. aviation industry is urging the government to establish COVID-19 testing protocols before international flights as a way to safely reopen travel routes that have been cut amid the pandemic.

Industry stakeholders want the U.S. to reach an agreement on pre-flight COVID-19 testing procedures with Europe, Canada or the Pacific first as part of a "limited testing pilot project." This would allow people to travel between two countries without the need to quarantine, and allow government officials to evaluate the efficacy of the program.

International travel among U.S. carriers is currently down 82% compared to last year as many countries' borders remain closed to U.S. citizens, according to Airlines for America. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates the loss of international travel and tourism will cost the U.S. economy $155 billion.

On Tuesday, global airlines called on governments to replace restrictive quarantine measures with COVID-19 tests prior to all international flights.

"A global agreement is needed to ensure test results on departure are accepted on arrival," International Air Transport Association Director General Alexandre de Juniac said. “It will also boost passenger confidence that everybody on the aircraft has been tested.”

full article abcnews.go.com
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Re: covidair - Embattled Cathay Pacific faces continued ‘cash burn’
« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2020, 12:51:39 PM »
Embattled Cathay Pacific faces continued ‘cash burn’
 Cathay Pacific faces a long, bumpy ride ahead before it can end an “unsustainable” level of cash burn, its CEO told China Daily.

The embattled carrier suffers from a net cash outflow of up to HK$2 billion each month to support its sagging business, which Cathay Pacific CEO Augustus Tang Kin-wing described as “unsustainable” in an interview.

According to Tang, Hong Kong’s flagship airline now carries only 1,500 passengers per day, compared with 100,000 “in any previous normal year”.

“The cash burn will continue to be significant until the number of passengers return to a certain level,” said Tang, adding that he doesn’t have a target for the passenger numbers.

Tang, who took the helm at the company in August last year, does not envision an industry-wide recovery until an effective vaccine “has been proven and made widely available and acceptable”.

“Before that condition is reached, the demand for air travel will probably be just suppressed. Once an effective vaccine becomes widely available, however, I think the demand will be tempered initially. Over a longer period of time, there will still be growth, but the growth may not be as strong as before,” Tang warned.

The Cathay Pacific Group is undergoing a strategic review to restructure its hard-hit business. Recommendations are due to be presented to the board in the fourth quarter on the “size and shape” of the company to ensure the group’s continued survival. Tang didn’t reveal any details.

Since it will take time for the aviation market to recover, Tang said a net cash outflow will continue in the short term even after the “restructuring of business” has been completed.

“The general top-level plans include bold moves to improve our overall competitiveness and cost efficiency, enable us to provide a stronger, more competitive offering, and the inevitable rationalization of the routes and right-sizing of the airlines,” he noted.

The overarching goal, Tang added, is to ensure its “extreme competitiveness” in what he described as “the new travel industry”.

The Cathay Pacific Group announced in mid-September it would not apply for further government employment subsidies for its main business units, freeing up its ability to make major job cuts at Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

It has, however, applied for further support for budget carrier HK Express, Air Hong Kong, Cargo Terminal, Hong Kong Airport Service and Cathay Pacific Catering Services.

Cathay, which received a US$5 billion rescue package led by the Hong Kong government in June, applied for the first tranche of the wage subsidy scheme from June to August. Cathay Pacific received more than HK$458 million for its 17,703 employees while Cathay Dragon received HK$69.08 million for its 2,581 employees.

Tang didn’t respond to the possibility of job cuts as part of the airline’s restructuring.

The 74-year-old airline cut its operating passenger flight capacity to nearly 10 percent in September, with a similar level in October.

As many as 72 planes – or 40 percent of the airline group’s fleet – will be parked outside Hong Kong, as only a small part of the flight business will continue to be operated “in the foreseeable future”.

Qatar Airways, the third-largest shareholder in Cathay Pacific, said on Sunday it received US$2 billion in state aid to weather the pandemic, after it posted a net loss of US$1.92 billion for the year ending March 31 in one of its “most difficult years”.

business.inquirer.net
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Re: covidair - THAI to offer special flights to some destinations in October
« Reply #46 on: September 30, 2020, 09:48:00 PM »
THAI to offer special flights to some destinations in October
Thai Airways (THAI) will be providing special flights to London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Taipei and Hong Kong in October for people who wish to travel outside Thailand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bangkok-London flight TG916 will take off at 12.50am and arrive at 7.10pm (UK time) on October 4, 11, 18, while another flight to London will take off on October 25 at 1.20pm and arrive at 7.35pm local time.

The Bangkok-Copenhagen flight TG950 will take off on October 4, 11 and 18 at 6.50am and arrive at 1.05pm (local time) and will take off at 6.50pm on October 25 to arrive at 12.35am (local time).

The Bangkok-Stockholm flight on October 14 will take off at 7.05am and arrive at 1.10pm (local time).

The Bangkok-Hong Kong TG638 will take off at 1.55pm on October 21 to arrive at 5.40pm (local time) and at 2pm on October 28 to land in Hong Kong at 5.45pm (local time).

The Bangkok-Taipei TG632 flight will take off at 8.25am on October 8, 16 and 23 and arrive at 1.05pm local time, while the flight on October 30 will take off at 8.15am and arrive at 12.45am local time.

Wiwat Piyawiroj, the airline’s executive vice president for commercial operations, said THAI aims to help people who want to travel to these destinations in the coming month.

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Re: covidair - AirAsia Japan moves to shut down for good
« Reply #47 on: October 01, 2020, 11:08:57 AM »
AirAsia Japan moves to shut down for good
Low-cost carrier AirAsia Japan Co. has begun taking steps to cease its operations, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

AirAsia Japan had notified related organizations of the policy by Tuesday. Sluggish travel demand following the spread of the new coronavirus is believed to be responsible for the decision.

The company was established in 2014 with investments from parties including Malaysia-based AirAsia, the largest LCC in Asia. It started operations in 2017, and currently operates four routes connecting Chubu Centrair International Airport in Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture, where it is based, with New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, Fukuoka Airport, Sendai International Airport and Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei.

The company suspended operations on all routes in the spring as the novel coronavirus spread. It resumed flying in August, but the number of passengers remained low.

AirAsia Japan invited its workers to apply for voluntary retirement, and 70 of about 300 employees did so. The company took additional streamlining steps as well, but is believed to have deemed it difficult to continue operating.

Because of their low fares, LCCs are said to quickly fall into the red when boarding rates drop. In addition, their financial base is often weaker than that of major airlines.

More LCCs may experience financial difficulties if a recovery in demand for air travel is delayed.

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Re: covidair - Budget airline AirAsia X out of money
« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2020, 05:38:23 PM »
Budget airline AirAsia X out of money, needs $120 million for restart - report
(Reuters) - Long-haul, low-cost carrier AirAsia X Bhd AIRX.KL has run out of money and needs to raise up to 500 million ringgit ($120.60 million) to restart the airline, deputy chairman Lim Kian Onn said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday.

The Malaysian airline, the long-haul arm of AirAsia Group Bhd AIRA.KL, said this month it wanted to restructure 63.5 billion ringgit ($15.32 billion) of debt and slash its share capital by 90% to continue as a going concern.

“We have run out of money,” Lim told The Star newspaper. “Obviously, banks will not finance the company without shareholders, both old and new, putting in fresh equity. So, a prerequisite is fresh equity.”

He said the airline had actual liabilities of 2 billion ringgit, with the larger figure of 63.5 billion ringgit including all lease payments for the next eight to 10 years and its large order for Airbus SE AIR.PA planes and contracted engine maintenance with Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC RR.L.

“If we find RM300 million in new equity, then the shareholder funds are RM300 million at the restart of business and if we are able to borrow RM200 million, we feel that we will have a good platform to start all over again,” he told The Star.

Lim said AirAsia X also needed to convince its lessors of its business plan, adding an unnamed lessor recently took back one of the airline’s planes to convert it to a freighter.

The airline plans to liquidate its small Indonesia-based carrier and has completely written down its stake in Thai AirAsia X in its books, with the Thai carrier not part of the restructuring scheme, Lim told the newspaper.

Rival Malaysia Airlines is also in financial trouble, but Lim said there would be “no good outcome” from seeking to merge two airlines in dire straits.

AirAsia X declined to comment beyond the details published in the newspaper article.

reuters.com
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Re: covidair - 10 international airlines selling flights to Thailand
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2020, 03:12:57 PM »
10 international airlines selling flights to Thailand
Ten international airlines have started selling tickets to Thailand and the first group of special tourists is landing in Bangkok today (October 20), the Transport Ministry said.

All foreign arrivals will be required to follow procedures set by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine in alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facilities.

The airlines selling tickets to Thailand are Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Swissair, Austrian Airlines, EVA Air and KLM.

Meanwhile, a flight from Shanghai carrying Thais as well as a group of 41 tourists with special tourist visa (STV) will land in Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday at 5pm. Another group of 100 tourists from Guangzhou is scheduled to land in Bangkok on October 26.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has announced that Thailand has opened its skies, but flights are only allowed to land under strict regulations.

Thai airlines, meanwhile, have yet to seek permission for international destinations as airports overseas are open under conditions that will not generate enough profits.

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