England’s hotel quarantine system working smoothly
According to Reuters, England’s new COVID-19 hotel quarantine system for arrivals from high-risk countries is running smoothly after it was introduced earlier on Monday, the health minister said.
But concerns persist that queuing times at airports could lengthen if there is not sufficient border staff, and there are worries about passengers arriving from high risk countries mixing with travellers from elsewhere while waiting.
Britain has ramped up its border controls to stop new variants of the coronavirus entering the country. Arrivals into England from 33 “red list” countries, including Brazil and South Africa, must now spend 10 days quarantined in a hotel room at a cost of 1,750 pounds.
Hours after the rules kicked in, queues at Heathrow, Britain’s biggest airport, were less than one hour long. For further details, please click here and continue reading on Reuters.
Dubai airport boss warns after 2020 passenger numbers slide 70%
According to the latest updates from Reuters, Dubai Airports’ chief executive warned on Monday it would be another tough year for the Middle East’s busiest hub, Dubai International, after passenger numbers slid 70% in 2020.
The airport, the base for airline Emirates and a major source of income for Dubai, handled 25.9 million passengers last year, mostly in the first quarter before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
“We are planning for it to be a tough year. That’s undoubtedly the case … anyone that doesn’t think it’s going to be a tough year has clearly not being observing what’s been going on,” chief executive Paul Griffiths told Reuters.
The number of flights handled in 2020 fell 51.4% to 183,993 while the amount of cargo dropped 23.2% to 1.9 million tonnes.
Aviation executives and analysts expect it will take years for the industry to recover, with international travel restrictions continuing to cripple global demand. For the rest of the news, please continue reading on Reuters.
Airbus Reveals Stunning ‘Airspace’ Narrowbody Cabin
According to Emily Derrick from Simple Flying, a few days ago, Airbus released some new images of its brand new, upgraded narrowbody cabin design. The manufacturer’s Airspace cabin is designed for the A320 family and will be featured first on JetBlue’s aircraft in a few months. We’ve looked at all the details of the stunning new cabin.
Airbus’s new cabin is still undergoing a few final tests, so it may be tweaked before any passengers enjoy the new comforts. Final testing is set to take place this month, focussing on the finer details and measuring the noise in the cabin.
However, even with a few tweaks and changes, the new design is undeniably stunning. The customizable LED lighting throughout the cabin lends a modern, state-of-the-art feel, which is reflected across the design. Even the lavatories have been given new technology with anti-microbial coatings and as many touchless features as possible.
There are also more practical changes such as new extra-large overhead bins and redesigned windows to let in more light. The window shades have also had some changes to make them sleeker. Changes to the side walls provide more shoulder space emulating cabins found on the larger A330neo and A350. Even the entrance area has been redesigned to be more welcoming to passengers and user-friendly for the crew. For the rest of the article with several pictures please click here and access Simple Flying.
emirates Suspends Passenger Flights To Melbourne, Australia & South Africa
According to Zainab Mansoor from gulfbusiness.com, Dubai carrier Emirates will continued to suspend flights to South Africa until March 10, 2021. This suspension is in accordance with recent government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa, into the UAE, the carrier said in a travel update on its website.
In a similar directive, Emirates has also halted flights to the Australian city of Melbourne, a suspension that will continue through till March 26.
”In line with the Australian government directive to suspend all international passenger flights arriving into Melbourne, Emirates is temporarily suspending passenger operations to Melbourne from February 16. Given passenger allocation restrictions on flights to Australia, the suspension will remain in place until March 26, 2021,” an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf Business.
“During this time, flight EK408 will operate as a cargo-only service. The return flight EK409 from Melbourne to Dubai will operate normally with both passenger and cargo capacity. Affected customers should contact their travel agent or Emirates contact centre for rebooking options. In the meantime, we continue to operate our flights for passengers to Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.”
Last month, the airline suspended all flights between Dubai and Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in Australia “until further notice.” The decision was made due to “operational reasons”. For further details, please click here and continue reading on gulfbusiness.com.
Air New Zealand update on Alert Level changes
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Auckland Region will enter COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from 11:59pm 14 February, while the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2, Air New Zealand has made a number of changes to its services. This was published yesterday.
The airline asks that customers travelling to and from Auckland check they are eligible to travel under the Alert Level 3 restrictions. Customers travelling from Alert Level 2 regions on our services are able to transit through Auckland on their way to other Alert Level 2 regions.
Food and beverage service onboard domestic flights had already been suspended in response to the latest community cases and this suspension will remain in place until further notice. Water is available on request on all flights.
From tomorrow, Air New Zealand’s Auckland lounges and valet parking will close. Due to capacity restrictions under Alert Level 2, the maximum number of people able to access the airline’s lounges in other regions is capped at 100.
While the country is at elevated Alert Levels, Air New Zealand will be taking extra precautions to keep its staff and customers safe. Air New Zealand front line staff and cabin crew will be wearing masks and gloves and customers are required to continue to wear face coverings onboard.
Customers with existing bookings between Monday 15 February and Sunday 21 February who wish to rebook to travel before Sunday 7 March will have any fare difference waived, and customers can call the contact centre to arrange this. For further details, please click here and read the full statement.
Jazeera Airways Adds New route To Sri Lanka From Kuwait
According to Chris Loh from Simple Flying, at the end of last week, Kuwait budget carrier Jazeera Airways announced that it would be launching a new service to Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. This will see direct, twice-weekly flights between Kuwait and Colombo and will also enable connections throughout the Middle East.
Jazeera Airways’ twice-weekly service to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport is as follows:
- J9551 departs KWI on Tuesdays and Sundays at 18:45 and arrives at CMB at 02:35 the next day.
- J9552 departs CMB on Wednesdays and Mondays at 03:35 and arrives at KWI at 07:05.
The airline says it is looking to increase the frequency of this service progressively over the course of the year.
According to the airline, the island-country of Sri Lanka re-opened to tourism on January 21st, after being ‘closed’ for 10 months.
As part of its efforts to restart its tourism sector safely, Sri Lanka now offers a quarantine free holiday which “gives visitors a relative amount of freedom to travel within the country while still observing safety protocols.”
For further details, please click here and access the full text on Simple Flying.