Aviation News in Brief 14 April 2020

Vietjet, Etihad, Emirates, Gazprom Neft, ACI Asia-Pacific.

A medical and customs control team meets an Air Astana repatriation flight at Almaty airport with passengers from coronavirus-infected countries for quarantine. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Vietjet introduces Power PassVietjet introduces Power Pass: Vietjet has launched a “Power Pass” that allows its holders to take unlimited flights within Vietnam. The airline operates nearly 300 flights daily covering 45 routes across the country. Power Pass holders can now feel safe to stay at home and plan to fly as much as they can for the whole year. The Power Pass account offers passengers with free air ticket’s net fares, free 15kg of checked baggage and 7kg of hand luggage on unlimited domestic flights during the validity of the pass. Passengers are able to change their flight schedules as many time as they want to for about US$4.00 for each change.

Vietjet introduces Power PassEtihad adds flights: Etihad Airways has announced a series of special passenger flights from Abu Dhabi to Brussels, Dublin, London Heathrow, Tokyo Narita and Zurich, in addition to those previously published. Etihad Airways has been operating special flights which have allowed passengers stranded in the UAE due to COVID-19 restrictions, the opportunity to return home. The flights also support the UAE Food Security Programme by utilising belly-hold capacity of passenger aircraft for cargo. The airline continues to repatriate UAE citizens on return sectors, where possible, and carry fresh produce as belly-hold cargo back to Abu Dhabi. In addition to these newly announced destinations, Etihad continues to operate special passenger flights from Abu Dhabi to several destinations including Amsterdam, Jakarta, Manila, Melbourne, Seoul Incheon, and Singapore.

Vietjet introduces Power PassEmirates announces passenger flights to more cities and cargo update: Emirates is planning to operate passenger services to Jakarta, Manila Taipei, Chicago, Tunis, Algeria, and Kabul in addition to the already commenced operation to London and Frankfurt. These services will facilitate residents and visitors wishing to return home. With the increase of services and flights out of Dubai, Emirates have recommenced its operation at Dubai International airport Terminal 3. Customers will be required to follow all health and safety measures required by the UAE authorities and the country of destination. Emirates SkyCargo has rapidly scaled up its cargo services to connect an increasing number of global destinations. The air cargo carrier currently operates flights to 51 destinations globally, out of which 19 cities are served by the Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777 freighter aircraft offering up to 100 tonnes of capacity per flight and 38 destinations are served by dedicated cargo flights on Emirates’ Boeing 777 passenger aircraft offering up to 50 tonnes belly capacity.

Gazprom Neft tests employees for virus: Gazprom Neft is rolling out full-scale COVID-19 preventative testing among all employees based in in the company’s oil production and refining facilities. The first stage of this programme will involve testing 50 percent of the company’s 80,000 personnel  to enable infected employees — including those showing no external symptoms — to be identified, isolated and treated. Measures will also be taken to identify and test those employees who have come into contact with infected colleagues. Full-coverage testing, and the preventative detection of latent forms of the illness — with subsequent isolation, together with epidemiological containment initiatives, are all effective measures in combatting COVID-19 at facilities in continuous operation. Gazprom Neft is now implementing a cohesive and integrated antivirus programme to combat the spread of COVID-19 among its own employees as well as those at oil-service companies and service organisations. Industrial enterprises and support-service vehicles are disinfected daily, employees’ health is continuously monitored, and all enterprises have been provided with personal protective equipment (PPE). Strategies for identifying and differentiating incoming personnel at entry points are being utilised, together with contactless shift and crew handovers and other organisational solutions. Gazpromneft-Aero has also begun preventative COVID-19 testing, starting with 166 shift workers at Gazpromneft-Aero Sheremetyevo. Testing will be conducted at all its refuelling facilities in over 20 Russian regions. Gazpromneft-Aero’s aviation refuelling facilities will employ comprehensive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, including regular temperature and blood pressure checks.

ACI Asia-Pacific names Young Executive of the Year: Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific said it has named Masahito Nakashima, assistant manager at Central Japan International Airport as the 2020 Young Executive of the Year. The award aims to drive young talent development at airports in the region and stimulate professional excellence among future leaders. Cargo Manager Naveen Raja Kannamala of GMR Hyderabad International Airport and Security Executive Abhishek Kumar of Mumbai International Airport received honourable mentions. Introduced in 2009, the ACI Asia-Pacific Young Executive of the Year Award is an annual research paper competition to encourage young talents in the Asia-Pacific region to contribute innovative solutions to current aviation industry issues. This year’s topic was “Future of Airport Security”. Nakashima will receive a US$1,000 cash award and a full fellowship to the Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP), a joint ACI/ ICAO programme to develop the next generation of airport leaders.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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