Airtravel

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
New still in construction Berlin airport uses outdated Windows XP
New still in construction Berlin airport uses outdated Windows XP
Credit: Florian Schmidt courtesy Twitter

With a delay of almost nine years, the new Berlin airport is scheduled to be opened on the last day of October. A journalist from t-online has now spotted that parts of the IT systems at the Berlin airport still run on an outdated version of Windows XP that lost support my Microsoft latest in April 2019.

The system has been spotted in an elevator. Currently, it is unclear if the system is connected to the internet or to an internal network leaving the security implications unclear.

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 • 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."

Regional News • Americas • United States
1,000+ TSA employees tested positive for Covid-19
A Transportation Security Administration agent at a checkpoint verifying passenger identification, John Glenn Columbus International Airport
A Transportation Security Administration agent at a checkpoint verifying passenger identification, John Glenn Columbus International Airport Credit: Michael Ball / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

A report released by the Transportation Security Administration shows that 1,018 employees of the agency have tested positive for Covid-19, six have died. Most of them are working as security screeners who continued working at airports.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Union seeks Embraer's Board ouster after failed Boeing deal
E190 airplane from Embraer
E190 airplane from Embraer Credit: Antônio Milena/ Agência Brasil

The Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos de São José dos Campos e Região, the workers' union representing employees of Embraer, filed a lawsuit on Friday seeking to dismiss the company’s board after the $4.2 billion failed merger with Boeing.

"Embraer has been treated merely as a market issue. This is a strategic company for the country and can't be at the mercy of shareholders' interests. It is necessary to hold the Administrative Council responsible for the crimes that are being committed against this national patrimony and its workers ", states union director Herbert Claros.

Regional News • Africa
Nigeria: Domestic flights resume on July 8th
Nigeria: Domestic flights resume on July 8th
Credit: unsplash.com / Avel Chuklanov

Nigerian airports in Lagos and Abuja will reopen and resume domestic flights on July 8th. On July 11th, airports in Port Harcourt, Kano and Owerri will reopen and others will follow on July 15th. A date for international flights will be announced in 'due course' said the country's aviation minister Haid Sirika.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Alitalia to resume international flights from Milan
Alitalia to resume international flights from Milan
Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Alitalia on Wednesday resumed international flights from Milan Malpensa airport to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and London, as Italy gradually reopens its airports to foreign travellers and scraps restrictions imposed to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

Also, during this month, the company will start flying to a dozen domestic destinations from Milan Malpensa.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazil issues Covid-19 international border restrictions for 30 days
Rio de Janeiro view from the Sugar Loaf
Rio de Janeiro view from the Sugar Loaf Credit: Raphael Nogueira

The Brazilian Government published an ordinance restricting foreign nationals access to the country for 30 days.

"It is restricted, for thirty days, the entry into the country of foreigners of any nationality, by road, by other terrestrial means, by air or by water transport", says the ordinance.

Excluded from the restrictions does not apply are those arriving by air "to establish residency for a specific time and who hold a temporary visa for the following purposes:" research, teaching or academic extension; study; job; making investment; family meeting; artistic or sporting activities with a fixed-term contract ".

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs as pandemic causes plunge in demand
Airbus A380
Airbus A380 Credit: unsplash.com/G-R Mottez

In a statement released on Tuesday, Airbus announced it would be cutting around 15,000 jobs over the next twelve months as the company experiences a plunge in demand for new aircraft. The European Aerospace corporation has production facilities in Spain, the UK and Germany and employs over 134,000 people globally.

"Airbus is grateful for the government support that has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures," the statement read. "However with air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post Covid-19 industry outlook."

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Boeing 737 MAX certification flight tests to begin Monday
Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 MAX Credit: Aka The Beav (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Pilots and test crew members from the US Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing aim to kick off Monday a certification test campaign for the 737 Max on Monday, expected to last at least three days.

The 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019, two crashes - a Lion Air flight and an Ethiopian Airlines flight - within five months of each other involving a faulty flight control system, known as MCAS.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Lufthansa shareholders approve €9 billion bailout
Planes parked in Frankfurt
Planes parked in Frankfurt Credit: Oliver Roesler (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Lufthansa shareholders voted in favour of a €9 billion bailout from the German government on Thursday, following a tense week in which Heinz Hermann, the company's most significant shareholder, threatened to block the deal.

"We have no more money," Chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley told shareholders. "We are living from the reserves we set aside. Without support, bankruptcy looms in the next few days."

Ryanair announced it plans to challenge the deal through European courts.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
More than 30% of civilian pilots in Pakistan have fake licenses
PIA international airoplane
PIA international airoplane Credit: Shadman Samee (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Pakistan's aviation minister, revealed 262 pilots in the country paid someone else to take the pilot license exam on their behalf. Pakistan has 860 active pilots serving its domestic airlines, including the country's flagship PIA.

Khan said that pilots holding fake licenses or degrees, working in any airline, will be grounded immediately.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
EasyJet raises $520 million in share sale
Airbus A320 of EasyJet
Airbus A320 of EasyJet Credit: MercerMJ (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

EasyJet raised about $520 million in a share sale, almost 15% of its existing share base, to enable the company to survive for many more months even if air travel does recover in a slower pace than predicted.

The company has said it does not expect passenger demand to come back to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 and is planning to cut up to 4,500 jobs.