Aviation News in Brief 27 January 2021

Air New Zealand, Korean Air, STELIA Aerospace, Astral Aviation, Cebu Pacific, Chatham Islands Airport

(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneair-new-zealand-finalises-order-for-dreamlinersAir New Zealand requires face masks on all flights: Air New Zealand has started to require the use of face masks on all international flights to and from New Zealand as a result of updated overseas government border requirements and as a further proactive safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Currently, customers travelling on the airline domestically, as well as between Australia, Rarotonga, Samoa, South Korea and Tonga are subject to local government requirements to wear masks inflight. Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer David Morgan says the airline continues to proactively review operational processes to keep its customers, employees and New Zealand safe. “As COVID-19 cases around the world continue to rise, particularly with new variant strains, we’ve put this requirement in place to further ensure the safety of our customers, aircrew and broader New Zealand.”

Korean Air expands baggage notification service: Korean Air has expanded its baggage notification service to international flights departing from 15 cities to Incheon Airport. The baggage notification service notifies customers through their smartphone that their checked baggage has been safely loaded on their flight. Korean Air began the notification service from June 2020 for international flights departing from Incheon Airport, and the service was expanded in July to six other routes departing from North America, such as New York, Dallas and Vancouver, to Incheon. From 18 January the airline expanded the service to flights departing from 15 cities: four cities in Europe (Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Vienna); six cities in North America (Atlanta, Boston, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Seattle Washington, D.C.); three cities in Oceania (Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney); and Dubai and Hong Kong. Information from the baggage reconciliation system (BRS), which was independently developed by Korean Air, is matched with barcode information scanned from the check-in and loading processes. The BRS not only ensures that baggage is on the correct flight, but also provides baggage tracking.

STELIA Aerospace awarded Top Employer: STELIA Aerospace has been awarded the “Top Employer” certification by the Top Employers Institute, an international award recognising this year 94 French companies, of which only two in the aeronautical industry. This certification was delivered for 2021, after several months of an audit conducted by the Top Employers Institute, the international authority certifying excellence in human resource practices across the world. This audit compared STELIA Aerospace’s HR strategies, policies, processes and tools with the best practices worldwide, and was followed by a second audit conducted by an independent organisation. The Top Employers Institute annual study identifies the best employers in the world, in all sectors of activity.

Astral Aviation announces plan for B767F: Following the acquisition of a B767-200F from Air Transport Services Group in October 2020, Astral Aviation will deploy the freighter on the Nairobi – Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) route, with effect from 3 February 2021, offering capacity for 80 tonnes per week of flowers and vegetables to the UAE. Astral will also upgrade the B767-200F on its Nairobi – Johannesburg route which it currently operates on the B727-200F increasing the total capacity to 160 tonnes per week to South Africa. The freighter will also offer capacity on high-priority for the distribution of the COVID vaccine to and within Africa in addition to humanitarian cargo.

cebu-pacific-joins-iataCebu Pacific offers COVID insurance: Cebu Pacific has introduced COVID Protect as its newest add-on to CEB TravelSure, the airline’s comprehensive travel insurance plan, to give travellers peace of mind when flying during this time. This timely upgrade, which will cover COVID-related hospitalisation and treatments in the Philippines, aims to provide passengers more options with their travel plans as the airline prioritises everyone’s health and safety. With COVID Protect, passengers travelling with CEB who test positive for COVID-19 will get up to 1 million pesos (approx. S$27,580) coverage for hospitalisation and medical expenses. This upgrade to the airline’s comprehensive travel insurance plan is available for all passengers flying from all CEB’s domestic destinations, as well as its international destinations. Coverage begins on the date of departure from origin destination and ends two hours upon arrival of return flight to origin destination, with a maximum duration of 30 consecutive days. Coverage applies to both Filipino and non-Filipino passengers who are legal residents of the Philippines.

Preferred contractor named for Chatham Islands Airport work: Downer New Zealand has been selected as the preferred contractor with them being offered the opportunity to proceed into the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) model. Over the next three weeks negotiations will be held between the Airport Contract Management Team and Downer representatives to finalise a contract for the ECI process. In addition to the selection process further geotechnical and survey work has been completed to identify suitable materials for construction and to refine quantities required. The ECI process will see the preferred contractor, BECA and the Airport Company work together to develop a design for the runway and apron extension and strengthening and finalising detail on such things as logistics, the use of local labour and contractors, community liaison for the project and refining detail on the sourcing and production of aggregates. At the completion of the ECI process the contractor will provide a firm price and subject to this being within the anticipated funding envelope and further ministerial approvals, a construction contract will be let. The aim is to commence the construction of the extended runway and strengthen the existing runway and apron in mid-2021 with completion envisaged in mid to late 2022.

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