Transportation

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Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
German capital airport BER opens after nine years of delays
German capital airport BER opens after nine years of delays
Credit: unsplash.com / reisetopia

After a delay of nine years, the new airport of the German capital Berlin the BER has been opened. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, only a few thousand passengers per day are expected at the new airport in the coming weeks.

Berlin will now close the inner city airport Tegel. The last plane is scheduled to take off there on November 8.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
Whale tail sculpture saves Dutch metro train

A Dutch metro train was saved from disaster Monday when it smashed through a safety barrier but was prevented from plummeting into water by a sculpture of a whale tail. The driver of the train, who was the only person on board, was unharmed in the incident which happened just after midnight at Spijkenisse, near the port city of Rotterdam.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Porsche: New lawsuits over alleged fraud in the US
Porsche: New lawsuits over alleged fraud in the US
Credit: Delphine Sindynata (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to SPIEGEL information, the law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein filed a lawsuit on behalf of Porsche drivers a few days ago. Porsche has alleged sold vehicles that use more petrol on the road and emit CO2 into the air than on the test bench. In order to manipulate the values, the group allegedly installed transmission parts and software in test vehicles, which reduced emissions in the laboratory.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Harvard study finds ventilation systems on planes filter out 99% of airborne viruses
Harvard study finds ventilation systems on planes filter out 99% of airborne viruses
Credit: unsplash.com / Alev Takil

A study by Harvard University found that the ventilation systems on planes filter out 99% of airborne viruses and "effectively counters the proximity travelers are subject to during flights." Thus the risk of contracting Covid-19 on airplanes is lower than in a grocery store if precautions are being followed, including wearing masks and screening passengers for symptoms.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
Alert on supertanker off Isle of Wight - seven detained
Alert on supertanker off Isle of Wight - seven detained
Credit: unsplash.com / Dan

There was a police operation off the British coast on Sunday afternoon. British military has boeaded the ship and detained seven stowaways after the crew had been threatened by them. The authorities set up an exclusion zone around the tanker several miles.

The British Ministry of Defense has stated that "Armed forces have gained control of the ship and seven individuals have been detained,".

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Austrian government to provide €40 million in funding for electric cars in 2021
An electric car being charged in Flachau, Salzburger, Austria.
An electric car being charged in Flachau, Salzburger, Austria. Credit: Jakob Härter (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In 2021 the Austrian government will provide 40 million euros in funding for electric cars. This was announced by Environment and Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler on Sunday.

In the years 2019 and 2020, a total of 93 million euros - together with the automobile importers - were available. As the APA (Austrian Press Agency) stated, these funds have now been almost completely exhausted. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry had increased the subsidy per e-car from 3000 to 5000 euros.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Deutsche Bahn extends train routes between German metropolises
Deutsche Bahn extends train routes between German metropolises
Credit: unsplash.com / Yannes Kiefer

Deutsche Bahn has published its new timetable, which comes into effect on the 13th of December. The company intends to offer 13,000 additional seats by the end of the year by expanding its train fleet. Among other things, the long-distance trains will then run between Hamburg and Berlin at 30-minute intervals. From June 13, 2021, the railroad plans to deploy its XXL-ICE with 918 seats on the Hamburg-Frankfurt-Basel-Zurich-Chur route for the first time.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
SpaceX and Pentagon sign contract to jointly develop rocket that is able to ship weapons around the world
SpaceX and Pentagon sign contract to jointly develop rocket that is able to ship weapons around the world
Credit: unsplash.com / Tim Mossholder

A new military contract has been signed by SpaceX and the Pentagon with the goal to develop a new rocket. Using a specialized rocket that is able to land after the flight, the Pentagon would be able to move "the equivalent of a C-17 payload anywhere on the globe in less than an hour".

The first tests are expected to begin in 2021.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Norway: 61.5% of newly registered cars are now electric
Norway: 61.5% of newly registered cars are now electric
Credit: unsplash.com / CHUTTERSNAP

In September 9,560 new electric cars have been registered in Norway making it 61.5% of the total number of car registrations in that month.

Since the beginning of the year, 48,175 electric cars have been registered in the country. Volkswagen is leading in newly registered cars with 1,989 VW ID.3 in September followed by 1,116 registrations of the Tesla Model 3.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
KLM flight from Bucharest to Amsterdam searched after bomb threat
A KLM Boeing 737
A KLM Boeing 737 Credit: Julian Herzog (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Reuters reports that the Saturday KLM flight from Bucharest to Amsterdam (KL1376) was evacuated before just before the departure on after a bomb threat was received, which later appeared to have been a false alarm.

KLM informed that passengers and crew have been taken off-board of the Boeing 737 and are safe, the flight will departure now on Sunday

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Californian governor bans sale of new gasoline-powered cars starting 2035
Californian governor bans sale of new gasoline-powered cars starting 2035
Credit: unsplash.com /

The Californian Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that by executive order new cars and light trucks that are powered by gasoline will be prohibited to be sold starting in 2035. This does not include cars that are already on the road at that time. Those will continue to be legal and can be resold.

Newsom stated that "this is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change".

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Tesla sues US government over tariffs on goods from China
Tesla sues US government over tariffs on goods from China
Credit: unsplash.com / Afif Kusuma

The electric car manufacturer Tesla has sued the United States government and wants to legally enforce an exemption from US punitive tariffs on imports from China.

With Tesla being one of several hundreds of companies starting such proceedings on the import tariffs, the company is seeking to avert existing import tariffs as well as compensation for tariffs that have already been paid.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Dutch minister in doubt of Air France-KLM's future without more cost cuts
Dutch minister in doubt of Air France-KLM's future without more cost cuts
Credit: Nabil Molinari (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Dutch Finance minister Wopke Hoekstra said Sunday Air France-KLM needs to lower its costs to survive its current crisis. Air France-KLM stated last month that it was losing 10 million euros per day due to the Covid-19 crisis.

In an interview with the Dutch public television, Hoekstra said, "The survival of Air France-KLM is not a given, They will have to address their cost base even as things stand now. And suppose this situation lasts until the end of next year, then they will have to cut even deeper."

Back in July, French and Dutch governments loaned a total of €10.4 billion, and in return, KLM has said it would reduce its staff by 20%, and Air France would reduce 16% of its workforce, through 2022.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
20 people injured in a bus crash in Spain as a horse runs onto the street

About 30 workers from the PSA Citröen plant in Vigo were on a bus, returning to their homes at the end of the working day when a horse walked onto the road. The bus driver tried to avoid hitting the horse without success. The vehicle overturned from the collision with the horse.

In total, twenty people were injured, including seven that had to be taken to the hospital.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
Dehli, India: Subway trains resume after 5-month-long Coronavirus shutdown
India's transport system carried around 2.7 million passengers a day before the lockdown.
India's transport system carried around 2.7 million passengers a day before the lockdown. Credit: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Dehli's metro is resuming again after being suspended for five months due to the Coronavirus lockdown measures. The Indian economy has started to reopen even though the country experiences high daily counts of new infections.

Commuters will have to wear masks, keep a safe distance and have their temperature checked.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Lufthansa has 1.2 million outstanding applications for Covid-19 related ticket refunds
Lufthansa has 1.2 million outstanding applications for Covid-19 related ticket refunds
Credit: unsplash.com/Kevin Hackert

AUA parent Lufthansa is making progress with the reimbursement of cancelled tickets from the Corona crisis. In the current year, the group has now returned 2.5 billion euros to 5.6 million customers, the group announced on Friday. However, this still leaves 1.2 million applications open, with a volume of around 600 million euros.

In the past seven days, 20,000 cases were settled daily, according to the company. If things had continued at the same pace without new cancellations, the applications would have been cleared in 60 days. The Group had announced that it would settle the cases from the first half of the year by the end of August.

According to EU law, airlines are obliged to refund the ticket price within seven days if they initiate cancellations. Following the collapse of air traffic in March, Lufthansa switched off automatic refund processes and insisted on individual case reviews.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Court of Appeal ruling avoids Lyft and Uber California ridesharing suspension
Court of Appeal ruling avoids Lyft and Uber California ridesharing suspension
Credit: Elvert Barnes (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

A last-minute decision by the California First District Court of Appeal avoided the suspension of ridesharing operations by Lyft and Uber. Both companies were planning to suspend their California operations at Thursday 23:59 (Pacific Time) due to the requirement of reclassifying all Lyft drivers as employees.
Before the appeal was accepted, in a blog post, Lyft stated: "We don’t want to suspend operations. We are going to keep up the fight for a benefits model that works for all drivers and our riders."
"We are glad that the Court of Appeals recognised the important questions raised in this case, and that access to these critical services won’t be cut off while we continue to advocate for drivers’ ability to work with the freedom they want," Uber said in a statement.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Uber could pause ride-hailing in California if drivers become employees
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The San Francisco Superior Court granted California’s request for a preliminary injunction saying that Uber and rival Lyft must make drivers employees rather than independent contractors. Judge Ethan Schulman delayed that order for ten days, giving the companies time to appeal, as both have said they will.

Dana Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, stated: "If the court doesn’t reconsider, then in California, it’s hard to believe we’ll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly."

Uber and Lyft are pushing Proposition 22, a November ballot initiative that would keep drivers as freelancers entitled to some benefits and earnings guarantees.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Air India plane breaks into two after landing in Kerala
Boeing 737 that crashed in Calicut
Boeing 737 that crashed in Calicut Credit: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt (Public Domain)

The Air India Express plane from Dubai crashed in the southern city of Calicut in Kerala. The Boeing-737 plane had 191 passengers and crew on board when it crashed under heavy rain on Friday, police said.

At least fifteen people including both pilots died in the crash. Most onboard have been evacuated and at least 50 injured, including 15 in serious condition, have been taken to hospital, authorities said.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Italy threatens to ban Ryanair over Covid-19 compliance
Boeing 737 Ryanair
Boeing 737 Ryanair Credit: Dylan Agbagni (Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

ENAC, the Italian air transport regulator, has threatened to suspend Ryanair from flying to Italy over what it claims were "repeated violation of anti-Covid-19 health measures drafted by the Italian government".

Ryanair said in a statement that ENAC’s assertions were "factually incorrect" and that the company "complies fully with the measures set out by the Italian government."

Italian rules require passengers to maintain distance from others unless other precautions are taken including controlled boarding and disembarkation to avoid close contact, temperature tests and the wearing of face masks.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Embraer reports commercial aviation revenue down by 82%
KLM Embraer 190
KLM Embraer 190 Credit: Dylan Agbagni (Public Domain)

Embraer announced Wednesday that its commercial aviation revenue had fallen by 82% to $109 million in the second quarter because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company had a net loss of $315 million in the quarter.

The company also stated that 50% of its aircraft orders have been deferred to 2022, but despite having no cancelled orders, Embraer cautioned that long deferrals would make 2021 difficult.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Ford CEO Jim Hackett to retire, COO Jim Farley to lead the company
Jim Hackett
Jim Hackett Credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company announced its current CEO, Jim Hackett, will retire on October 1, ending a three-year run in which the automaker has tried to streamline its operations. Hackett will be succeeded by Jim Farley, currently COO of the company.

Ford’s executive chairman William Clay Ford Jr., said: "I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,".

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
EVA Air will have a Hello Kitty-themed flight to nowhere on August 8
EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER with Hello Kitty painting
EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER with Hello Kitty painting Credit: Jeffhuang0627 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

EVA Air announced Monday it will be celebrating Father’s Day, August 8 in Taiwan, by selling tickets to a Hello Kitty flight to nowhere. The company is looking for innovative ways to get in the air again despite travel restrictions to other countries.

The Hello Kitty-themed plane will take off from Taipei Taoyuan Airport and will land three hours later back at the same location.

During the flight, guests onboard will be treated to a special amenity kit filled with gifts, and be given the chance to purchase Hello Kitty duty-free items at a steep discount. The company also announced passengers would be served a meal designed by Michelin three-star chef Motokazu Nakamura.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Airbus to reduce production of A350
Airbus A350
Airbus A350 Credit: wallycacsabre (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Airbus announced Thursday that it will reduce the production of the A350 aircraft to only five units per month, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the company's second-quarter results. Airbus had already reduced the A350 production from 9.5 to 6 planes per month in April.

The company is cutting up to 15,000 jobs to deal with the crisis, which it expects to hold output down by 40% for some two years compared with pre-crisis levels.

CEO Guillaume Faury stated, “We believe it is going to be a long and slow recovery,”.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Boeing to end production of the 747 in 2022
Boeing 747-400 Dreamliner
Boeing 747-400 Dreamliner Credit: Brian (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Boeing CEO, Dave Calhoun, has announced Wednesday the company will end production of the 747 in 2022. Boeing will keep producing the aircraft at a rate of one every two months until the programme ends, with the US president’s Air Force One expected to be one of the last deliveries.

According to analysts, the end of the 747 programme has been hastened by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put Boeing’s customers under even greater pressure and forced them to re-evaluate the usage of planes that rely on hundreds of passengers to be profitable.

Qantas, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Lufthansa already decided for the retirement of their 747 fleets.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Germany: Berlin airports begins mass Covid-19 testing
Berlin Tegel Airport
Berlin Tegel Airport Credit: Matti Blume (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Berlin airports began large scale and free Covid-19 testing on Wednesday. The Berlin Brandenburg Airport Company (FBB), the Charité and the Berlin Senate planned that returnees from high-risk areas could be tested as soon as they land on the German capital.

Passengers with a negative coronavirus test result will not be required to go into the 14 days domestic quarantine.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Delta Airlines CEO states that over 100 passengers have been banned over mask requirement
Delta Airlines CEO states that over 100 passengers have been banned over mask requirement
Credit: Delta News Hub (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The CEO of Delta Airlines ED Bastian has stated in an interview with NBC News that as Covid-19 measures all planes are getting sanitized, booked to only 60 percent of their capacity and all passengers and employees are required to wear masks on the planes at all times.

He also stated that over 100 people have been banned from flying over refusing to wear a mask. People that claim to have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask are required to talk to a Doctor from the University of Pittsburg Medical Center in order to assess if the condition indeed prevents passengers from wearing a mask on the airplane.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Boeing 737 MAX not expected to fly before October
Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 MAX Credit: Jeroen Stroes Aviation Photography (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Reuters report that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is unlikely to unground the Boeing 737 MAX before sometime in October. The aircraft was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal accidents that killed 346 people.

Boeing has said it expects to resume deliveries of the 737 MAX before September 30 following regulatory approval.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
British Airways retires entire 747 fleet
British Airways BOAC liveried aircraft
British Airways BOAC liveried aircraft Credit: British Airways

British Airways (BA) will retire its entire Boeing 747 fleet with immediate effect after the downturn in travel sparked by the Covid-19 outbreak. The company, the world’s largest operator of the 747, had initially planned to retire the last of its 747 on 2024.

BA said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with immediate effect.".

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Senegal: International flights resumed
Check-In area at Aéroport international Blaise Diagne, Senegal
Check-In area at Aéroport international Blaise Diagne, Senegal Credit: Jjm2311 / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Senegal resumed international flights on July 15th. Air traffic had been on hold for almost four months. Travelling passengers have to produce a negative Coronavirus test that's not older than seven days.

Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, General Director of Public Health: "‘Today, to come to Senegal, we demand strict compliance with border measures, namely the wearing of masks. Everybody wears a mask, you have the physical distance, even at the seats where you rest. We have alcohol-based gels everywhere, even at the ATMs."