Qantas

Qantas to give final 747 Jumbo jet a farewell fit for a queen

Qantas
© Image Qantas

Qantas has announced a program of events to farewell its last remaining Boeing 747 and provide Australians the opportunity to say goodbye to the much loved “Queen of the Skies” ahead of its retirement from the national carrier’s fleet.

The airline will operate three one-hour “farewell jumbo joy flights” departing from Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, in response to requests from employees and customers for one final chance to fly on the aircraft.

Qantas 747 Fleet Captain Owen Weaver said the 747 has a special place in the hearts of many Australians.

“The 747 has been a magnificent aircraft and it’s fitting that we celebrate the end of five decades of history-making moments for the national carrier and aviation in Australia,” Captain Weaver said.

“Since the first 747 joined the Qantas fleet in 1971, these aircraft have operated numerous rescue flights to bring Australians home during times of crisis and provided a safe passage for many travellers taking their first international flight to or from Australia.

“These three flights will offer the final opportunity to fly on the Qantas 747 before it leaves, with some of our frequent flyers and aviation enthusiasts as fond of the aircraft as we are, having spent thousands of hours onboard over the years.

“There is an enormous amount of nostalgia and affection associated with our 747 and for those who miss out on a seat on the flight, they will at least be able to catch a glimpse of the aircraft as it takes to Australian skies for the last time.”

The flights will go on sale at midday on Wednesday 8 July on Qantas.com and will operate on Monday 13 July (Sydney), Wednesday 15 July (Brisbane) and Friday 17 July (Canberra). Economy fares cost $400 and a small number of Business Class tickets will be available for $747 with additional extras included.

Seats will be limited to maximise passenger comfort (in line with other previously operated joy flights).

The flights will be operated on a cost-recovery basis and profits will be donated to the HARS Aviation Museum at Albion Park (Wollongong) and the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach to support their efforts to preserve and promote the 747 legacy for future generations. Both museums have a Qantas 747 on public display.

The final 747-400 in the fleet will depart Sydney at approximately 2pm on 22 July 2020 as flight QF7474.

Prior to its final departure on the 22nd July, Qantas will host a hangar farewell event for employees.

Note: The farewell jumbo jet joy flights will operate with Fly Well protocols in place.

Qatar

Qatar Airways Further Enhances Its Safety Measures Onboard For Passengers And Cabin Crew

Qatar

© Image Qatar

Qatar Airways has increased its health and safety measures onboard by introducing new personal protective equipment (PPE) for customers and cabin crew. The airline’s additional robust measures include offering face shields and protective kits to all passengers, in addition to a new protective gown for cabin crew.

The disposable face shield will be available in two standard sizes – one for adults and the other for children. The children’s face shields feature the airline’s Oryx Kids Club mascots as part of their design. Passengers travelling from Hamad International Airport (HIA) will receive their face shields at the check-in counters, whereas at other destinations, the face shields will be distributed at the boarding gates.

Onboard, all Qatar Airways passengers will be provided with a complimentary protective kit. Inside a ziplock pouch they will find a single-use surgical face mask, large disposable powder-free gloves and an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel. Business Class customers will also be offered an additional 75ml sanitiser gel tube.

Qatar Airways has also introduced new disposable protective gowns for cabin crew that are fitted over their uniforms, in addition to safety glasses, gloves and a mask. The new branded gowns are personalised with Qatar Airways’ logo imprinted on the top left corner.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the safety of our passengers has been our highest priority. By introducing these additional onboard safety and hygiene measures, our customers can rely on us and our unparalleled expertise to fly them safely to their destination. As the largest international airline flying consistently throughout the pandemic, we have become one of the most experienced in safety and hygiene. We will continue to lead the industry in terms of the services offered to our passengers, so that they can travel with confidence.”

To ensure the highest levels of hygiene onboard, Economy Class passengers are required to wear their face shield visor in addition to their face mask or covering throughout the flight, except when they are served their meals or drinks. Business Class customers are asked to wear their face shield and mask onboard at their own discretion, as they enjoy more space and privacy. In addition, for aircraft equipped with Qsuite, Qatar Airways’ award-winning business seat, Business Class customers are offered even greater privacy with sliding partitions and fully closing doors, and an option to display a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator if they wish to limit their interactions with cabin crew.

Parents flying with children should advise them to keep wearing their PPE throughout the journey, although children under two years of age are not advised to wear face shields and face masks or coverings . During boarding and disembarkation, all passengers will be required to wear their face mask or covering as well as the face shield.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the airline has also applied other additional health and safety measures onboard its flights. Business Class meals are served covered on a tray instead of a table set up, and a cutlery wrap is offered to passengers as an alternative to individual cutlery service, in an effort to minimise contact between crew and passengers. Qatar Airways has also introduced single-use menu cards and sealed refreshing wipes. Economy Class meals and cutlery are served sealed as usual, and menu cards have been temporarily discontinued. All social areas onboard the aircraft have been closed adhering to the social distancing measures.

Qatar Airways’ aircraft are regularly disinfected using cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Its aircraft feature the most advanced air filtration systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of viral and bacterial contaminants from re-circulated air, providing the most effective protection against infection.

All the airline’s onboard linen and blankets are washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are rigorously sanitised after each flight. These items are then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing hygienic disposable gloves.

Cabin crew have received training on how to minimise their chances of contracting or spreading the infection, are thermally screened before the departure of flights and after their arrival, and are quarantined and tested if any colleagues or passengers on a flight shows any symptoms of infection or test positive for the virus.

In addition, HIA has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and applied social distancing measures throughout its terminals. All passenger touchpoints are sanitized every 10-15 minutes and every boarding gate and bus gate counter is cleaned after each flight. In addition, hand sanitizers are provided at immigration and security screening points.

Since mid-February, Qatar Airways has helped reunite almost two million passengers with their loved ones, operating a mix of scheduled and charter services plus extra sectors. Globally, Qatar Airways relaunched 11 destinations on 1 July. This marks the largest number of route resumptions in a single day since Qatar Airways started to rebuild its network in what the airline has dubbed ‘Takeoff Wednesday’. By mid-July, its network will expand to more than 65 destinations worldwide.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted “Skytrax Airline of the Year” title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times. Its home and hub, HIA, was recently ranked ‘Third Best Airport in the World’ by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020.

Virgin

Virgin Atlantic set to return to 17 additional destinations

Virgin

© Image Virgin

Virgin Atlantic has announced its plan to restart passenger flights to 17 additional destinations from August 2020

The airline recently announced that flights from London Heathrow are expected to resume from 20 July. Now Virgin Atlantic has released more detailed plans that will see passenger flying restart to many destinations across its network.

Virgin Atlantic plans to resume flights from London Heathrow to:

  • Hong Kong on 20 July
  • New York on 21 July
  • Los Angeles on 21 July
  • Barbados on 1 August
  • Shanghai on 4 August
  • San Francisco on 4 August
  • Tel Aviv on 9 August
  • Miami on 18 August
  • Lagos on 23 August
  • Atlanta on 25 August

Virgin Atlantic has taken the difficult decision to delay the restart of its flights to Orlando. These will now resume from London Heathrow and Manchester on 24 August.

The airline is also planning to restart flights from London Heathrow to Washington, Seattle, Las Vegas, Mumbai, Delhi and Johannesburg during September 2020. Flights from London Heathrow to Boston, Montego Bay, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago are planned to restart during October 2020. This is when flights from Manchester to Barbados will also return.

Seasonal services from Glasgow and Belfast to Orlando will resume for selected dates in summer 2021.

Virgin Atlantic's health pack for customers

© Image Virgin

Virgin Atlantic has also announced additional measures to offer peace of mind when taking to the skies. These include enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at all stages of travelling, safe distancing to be adhered to wherever possible, and the use of face masks for all passengers and cabin crew.

The airline recently revealed a new personal Health Pack that every customer will receive onboard a Virgin Atlantic aircraft.

Visit Virgin Atlantic to find out more.

Delta

Beverage service returns: Delta reintroduces select beer and wine on domestic flights with added safety measures

Delta

© Image Delta

Beginning July 2, domestic First Class and Delta Comfort+ customers will begin to see complimentary beer and wine on all flights greater than 500 miles as Delta begins reintroducing adult beverage offerings after recent service adjustments made in March.

Delta teams listened to feedback from customers and consulted with health professionals before bringing single-serve red and white wine, as well as Heineken, Miller Lite, SweetWater 420 and SweetWater IPA * back on-board.

“In keeping with the Delta CareStandard, our goal is to serve all of our food and beverage offerings in the safest way possible – both for our customers and employees,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President of In-Flight Service. “We take pride in always listening to our customers, and we know beer and wine are the adult beverages our customers want most. These selections are the first step towards a normalized beverage offering while we continue to keep customer and crew safety at the center of everything we do.”

Flight attendants will pass the cans and single-serve bottles – which are complimentary in both First Class and Delta Comfort+ – using serving trays to minimize touch points on-board. Since beer and wine selections have fewer touch points than other adult beverage options and are individually contained, they are the first to be reintroduced on-board as Delta brings back food and beverage options.

Delta’s on-board food and beverages continue to evolve based on customer feedback and guidance from health professionals. Complimentary beer, wine and cocktails remain available to all cabins on long-haul international routes, including top-shelf liquor and sommelier-selected wines for customers seated in Delta One. On-board service adjustments like individual snack bags on domestic flights and other U.S. domestic offerings remain in place.

A comprehensive overview of these updates and more can be found via infographics, videos and Q&As on our delta.com Coronavirus Update Center.

*Alcoholic beverages are available for customers 21+. Beer and wine selection subject to change and availability.

UNITED

For United Airlines Captain Whitson, ‘every day is a gift’

United

© Image United

Mornings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially mornings that involve starting work at 3 a.m. But mornings don’t bother Houston-based Boeing 737 Captain David Whitson anymore. “I don’t care if I have to wake up early to fly a red-eye,” said David. “It’s the little things I appreciate more now. Little things don’t bother me.” For David, the little things are a gift. A gift called life. It’s a gift David is thankful to still have.

“In August of 2016, I started to feel ill,” said David. “I had a headache that wouldn’t go away. Then, it turned into a fever, my lymph nodes were next, so I went in.” At the doctor’s, David was diagnosed with leukemia. “I was told I had an FLT3 mutation, which is really not good,” said David. “I essentially was told I was going to die unless the treatment went perfectly and I found a bone marrow match.”

David was immediately put on Be The Match, the largest and most diverse registry in the world to help find matches for people diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. While he waited, David continued to fight. “The emotion I felt throughout the process I would describe as hope,” he said. “Every cancer patient needs a chance.” David’s chance came calling in December 2016. “A sweet young lady named Allie Reimold saved my life,” said David. “She was a student at Purdue University when she signed up with Be The Match at a charity event called, ‘Purdue University Dance Marathon.’ The event raises funds for children with cancer.”

After receiving his bone marrow, David focused on getting stronger. He overcame obstacles like weight loss, taking over 30 pills a day and even battling a virus, but he fought back with determination and the support of his family, as well as his United family. “I’ve been given a really generous gift,” said David. “This has given me the opportunity to be a better person, husband, father and more. As I worked to get back to work, everyone was rooting for me to come back. You can tell everyone cared, especially the Houston chief pilot’s office.”

Without experiencing a battle like David’s, there is no way to know where he drew all of the strength needed for his recovery,” said Houston Base Chief Pilot Ernie Aller. “The one thing I do know is returning to the skies with his friends and co-workers was one of them.” Today, David is back. He’s back to being a pilot, a husband, father and now, an advocate for bone marrow registry, especially throughout the month of November as it is National Marrow Awareness Month.

“Three years ago, I knew nothing about bone marrow registry,” said David. “Today, there are about 14,000 people awaiting a match or need a transplant. Minorities are greatly under-represented. If I can have a small part in registering someone else, I will do it!”

Last year, David and his wife headed to Purdue University for the first time to take part in the dance marathon and work the Be The Match booth. “I was able to share my story and we had an amazing turnout,” said David. “We were able to register nearly 500 people, the largest ever at Purdue.”

It’s a number that David plans to keep growing so that more people get the chance to tell their story just as he is doing today.”I never thought someone would save my life, so just being here to say ‘thank you’ means so much,” said David. “Every day is a gift.”

Be The Match is one of 10 organizations that United is matching mile donations, one-to-one, to through Miles on a Mission, our airline miles donation platform. Help us support causes that continue to do their important work during the coronavirus, like Be The Match, which continues to courier bone marrow donations to patients who vitally need them. Visit united.com/donate to learn more about what we’re doing to help organizations doing important work in response to COVID-19.


Source: hub.united.com/united-captain-whitson-be-match-2645714333.html

Skyteam

SkyTeam announces SkyCare&Protect

Skyteam
© Image Skyteam

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, has announced SkyCare&Protect. This new alliance-wide pledge sees all 19 airline partners support a series of personal safety measures to help protect passengers and airline employees when they travel on or between SkyTeam members.

Announcing the pledge, Walter Cho, Chairperson of SkyTeam said “20 years ago today, SkyTeam was founded with the promise to care more about our customers. Although the world and our industry have drastically changed in the last six months, initiatives such as SkyCare&Protect are a shining example of the alliance’s commitment to look after customers when they travel across SkyTeam’s network.”

SkyCare&Protect brings together safety and hygiene practices from each member airline and recommendations from health and industry authorities. This includes the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC, ECDC).

Kristin Colvile, CEO and Managing Director of SkyTeam, said “As we mark two decades since SkyTeam was established, we want our customers to know that SkyTeam and its member airlines have always made the personal safety of every passenger our number one priority.

SkyCare&Protect enhances the entire customer journey in light of the COVID-19 pandemic but these measures will evolve, with health, safety, and security continuing to form part of the foundations of SkyTeam.”

SkyCare&Protect currently consists of 15 measures, based on five layers of protection that enhance personal safety at every step of the journey.

Ready to fly, as a technology-driven alliance, members are committed to creating a more touchless journey. All airlines provide passengers the ability to check-in digitally for their flights. This limits contact with airport staff and reduces the need to touch surfaces such as kiosks.* Certain members and airports are offering additional contactless services including self-baggage drop and boarding.

Cleaned, members have committed to multiple measures to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness. This includes increased cleaning of high-touch areas both at the airport and onboard, while aircraft are being intensively disinfected more frequently. On request, cleaning wipes are available if customers wish to further clean their space.

Additionally, the majority of modern aircraft operating in SkyTeam members’ fleets are equipped with hospital-grade High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. These filters trap more than 99.95% of particles including bacteria and viruses, allowing fresh air to be circulated in the cabin every three minutes on average.

Protected, within members’ hub airports, various measures have been implemented in line with local regulations, including floor markings, controlled queuing, and signage to help facilitate proper spacing. Hygiene stations with hand sanitizers are available and the use of face coverings by airport staff and/or clear screens placed between customers and staff offer greater protection.

To further create a safer space for all travelers and employees on board, members currently require the use of face coverings for cabin crew and passengers.

Screened, some members may conduct passenger health checks, in line with local regulatory and governmental requirements. This could include temperature checks using thermal imaging cameras or hand-held thermometers at various points in the journey. Customers may also be asked questions regarding their health during the check-in procedure or for some destinations they may require a health certificate.

Informed, to allow passengers to make educated decisions about their travel plans, members will regularly update travel information on their websites. This includes providing an overview of the measures that have been put in place to safeguard the wellbeing of travelers.

SkyTeam and its 19 members remain committed to creating a safer travel experience for all travelers. With SkyCare&Protect we are ready, with even more enhancements being developed. For comprehensive information on SkyCare&Protect click here.