Since 2015, Air Canada pilots have been using iPads in the flight decks of its aircraft, which helped eliminate cumbersome and heavy manuals, navigation charts, checklists and other materials. This simple gesture reduced the aircraft’s overall weight, which is a key factor in fuel consumption, and allowed Air Canada to eliminate between 110 and 200 tonnes of CO2e fleetwide.
After years of use, many of those iPads had fallen into a state of disrepair and were no longer of any use to Air Canada.
But rather than simply send 500 iPads off to the landfill, Air Canada partnered with electronic recycler Greentec of Cambridge, Ont., to responsibly dispose of them, in line with the airline’s environmental commitment to Leave LessExternal site which may not meet accessibility guidelines.. By working with Greentec to recycle the iPads, Air Canada was able to divert 328 kilograms from landfill, as well as another 100 kilograms of other forms of e-waste.
“The successful recycling of our iPads and other e-waste reduces our environmental impact as we strive to remain a global leader in sustainability in aviation. Through Greentec’s expertise in sustainable e-waste management and data destruction, Air Canada was able to securely and in an environmentally friendly way dispose of this equipment and keep our operations aligned with our goals of continuing to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Teresa Ehman, Senior Director of Environmental Affairs at Air Canada
Not only did Greentec help recycle the physical iPads, it also ensured critical data on the iPads was securely destroyed.
“Working with Air Canada, Greentec supported one of the largest airlines in the world to securely dispose of sensitive data and maintain pilot data privacy,” said Tony Perrotta, Greentec CEO and President. “Our goal is to assist all organizations in secure data destruction, as well as effectively reduce their electronic waste and contribute to the development of new devices with recycled parts. Together, we can all help advance the circular economy.”
Here is how the recycling process works:
Once the iPads arrived at Greentec’s facilities, a technician disassembled the devices and removed environmentally hazardous materials (Lithium-ion batteries).
The iPads were then loaded into a fully enclosed shredding system with negative pressure and active carbon filtration to remove any hazardous vapours and dust.
Valuable materials, including precious metals, copper, aluminum, and steel were next separated and recovered. Greentec’s Responsible Recycling (R2) Certification ensures all reuseable materials extracted from each iPad will be recycled in the construction of new devices, furthering the circular economy.
Recycling iPads is the latest in a number of initiatives undertaken by Air Canada to help reduce the amount of waste generated by the airline under its Leave Less commitment.
That includes the reduction of single-use plastics such as stir sticks, removing more than 38 million pieces of single-use plastic from onboard service in 2019 alone.
Old employee uniform pieces were donated to Brands for Canada who removed all branding and offered the items to people re-entering the workforce, without the means to purchase new clothes, and hoping to begin new careers.
In other cases, pilot uniforms were shredded and repurposed into stuffing for punching bags that were donated to community centres, converted into alternative items such as automotive stuffing.
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Delta Air Lines flight DL1730 from Los Angeles to Atlanta was forced to divert to Oklahoma City after an off-duty flight attendant disrupted the flight:
IndiGo Builds Up Cash Reserves As It Prepares For Third Wave
As IndiGo slowly begins its recovery from the second wave, it’s already preparing for a third wave. The airline plans to build up cash reserves of over ₹7,500 crores ($1.02 billion) to ensure that it can weather any more challenges in the future. Let’s find out more about how and why IndiGo is building up this war chest.
In an interview with Financial Times, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta spoke about the future of Indian aviation and his airline’s plans. The news comes days after IndiGo recorded a ₹1,174 crore ($160mn) loss for the first quarter of 2021 (Q4 of the fiscal year). Losses are expected to deeper during the April-June quarter, which saw passenger levels fall drastically due to the second wave in India.
However, IndiGo is already deep in preparations for any further shocks. The carrier has already passed a plan to raise ₹3,000 crores ($410 million) from qualified investors in the future. In addition to this, IndiGo also plans to raise another ₹4,500 crores ($615 million) through bank credit lines and sale-and-leaseback deals with lessors.
This $1 billion war chest is all in preparation for India’s third wave of COVID-19. Doctors have warned that another wave is extremely probable, and everyone must prepare. IndiGo isn’t taking any chances and is creating a huge fund to survive. In a statement, Dutta said,
“The doctors tell us there will be a third wave. There are no ifs and buts about it, and it will probably come around November, December…The board says ‘look, the environment is volatile… What if we go for another three months’ shutdown, then what? And the revenue is zero?’ It’s for that sort of disaster scenario that we are building insurance.”
The second wave has hit airlines extremely hard. While flights were not shut down like during the first wave, passenger traffic fell sharply. From 313,000 passengers in the first week of March, only 57,000 travelers were getting on flights in late May. This meant carriers had to slash capacity sharply and saw revenues shrink drastically.
With a third wave expected, IndiGo is planning far in advance. This leaves the carrier in an enviable position compared to others in the industry. At a time when airlines are unable to pay employees their salaries, the industry is still reeling from the current wave. However, IndiGo has already seen a recovery begin and expects to see things getting better soon.
IndiGo expects to see many “revenge vacations” after being locked in for nearly three months. This will boost capacity and passenger traffic in the short run and help carriers boost their revenues. However, a full recovery will take until at least the middle of 2022, if not later, as vaccinations and border restrictions remain slow moving.
For now, expect IndiGo to continue its recovery and slowly build back to early 2021 levels and beyond.
What do you think about IndiGo’s planning for the third wave? Let us know in the comments!
UK Airlines Prepare For Setback Over Delay In Lifting Restrictions
With the UK seeing an uptick in cases, it looks like the government will delay the lifting of its lockdown restrictions until at least July 19th. Because of this, airlines based in the country appear to be shrinking their schedules and canceling flights, pushing things back by about a month.
UK airlines cancel flights
It looks like a number of UK-based airlines are reacting to news of the extended restrictions by cutting their flight schedules. According to the Daily Mail, airlines British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and easyJet have all canceled flights until after July 19th- the new end-date for restrictions. Here’s what we know so far:
British Airways: Earlier this week, we reported that British Airways has dialed back its schedule for June and July. According to aviation data experts Cirium, British Airways has 3,867 flights scheduled for the entire month of June. This past week that fell by 42% (1,625 flights) to 2,242 flights for the whole month.
easyJet: Once extremely optimistic and eager for the summer travel season, the budget airline has begun dropping some services to Greece and France.
Virgin Atlantic: The airline told the Daily Mail that it has had to delay the restart of some of our Caribbean services in response to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 restrictions. “These include the London Heathrow to Trinidad and Tobago service, currently assigned Red List status on the UK Government’s traffic light system, which will now resume from 7 October and our London Heathrow – Havana route, now due to commence 1 October,” the airline states.
The carrier has also delayed the restart of some of its transatlantic flights to mid-July. This includes its London Heathrow services to Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Manchester to Orlando, Atlanta, and New York-JFK.
All those affected should be notified by their respective airlines or travel agents. Virgin Atlantic notes that when one of its flights is canceled, customers can rebook their flights for a new travel date all the way until April 30th, 2023. Alternately, they can convert their booking to a travel voucher or request a full cash refund.
The anticipated delay to ending lockdown
While an official decision has yet to be published by the government, reports are suggesting that the UK’s ‘Freedom Day’ will soon be pushed back to July 19th, from the original date of June 21st.
This anticipated announcement is believed to be a response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases- recorded as a 240% increase in a period of seven days. The overwhelming majority of these cases, 90% according to The Standard, are the ‘Delta strain,’ which was originally found in India.
Now well aware of how bad an outbreak can get, especially with a variant that may be even more contagious, it looks like the UK will be taking a more cautious approach. Unfortunately, for many Brits, this move will mean a summer vacation closer to home.
Have you been affected by any flight cancelations? Share your experience by leaving a comment.
UAE Extends India Travel Ban Until July 6th: Is The End Near?
The UAE has extended its Indian travel ban once again as cases in the country remain high and with dangerous variants in circulation. Both Emirates and Air India Express have confirmed the extension, which began on April 24th. However, considering this ban is only for one week rather than a fortnight or month, could the UAE be opening its borders to Indians soon? Let’s find out more.
The UAE officially announced its travel ban on April 22nd, with all travelers in India in the last 14 days banned from April 24th. The original ban was only for 10 days, but it has since been extended numerous times due to India’s devastating second wave.
This week saw another extension of the UAE’s travel ban, with travelers barred until at least July 6th. Both Emirates and Air India Express have confirmed that services to the UAE will remain restricted until this date. The news will come as a blow to the thousands of travelers stranded in India and hoping to return.
As cases come down in India, there has been some hope on the horizon for stranded travelers. From a peak of 414,000 cases at the start of May, cases have fallen to just 81,000 on 12th June. This sharp drop could set the stage for countries reopening their borders to India after three months of restrictions.
Notably, the UAE’s travel ban extension has only been for seven days, from July 30th to July 6th. Previously, the extensions were made in increments of 14 days or 30 days, making it clear that services were unlikely to resume soon. Could the short extension mean a border reopening is on the horizon?
It is important not to read too far into the fine print. The UAE could well extend its travel ban for another month until cases in India reach pre-second wave lows. Moreover, the Delta variant has found to be much more transmissible, causing outbreaks in countries like the UK and Singapore as well.
The next step for airlines will be opening up to connecting passengers. Once Emirates and Etihad allow transit passengers once again, travelers can start to hope that the travel ban will be gradually lifted. Similar steps have been taken for travelers from Brazil, another hard-hit, virus variant country. For now, the question of when the travel ban will be lifted remains up in the air.
Huge blow to airlines
At the start of 2021, routes between the UAE and India were some of the busiest in the world. Indeed, India is Emirates’ busiest market, and Air India Express’s entire business model runs on serving the Middle East. The travel ban is taking a heavy toll on airlines in both countries and many will be eager to see flights resume.
However, until cases fall further and the threat recedes, the ban will remain in place. When that happens is anyone’s guess.
What do you think about the UAE travel ban? Let us know in the comments.
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