India has officially joined the UK’s red list as of 04:00 AM BST, heavily restricting travel between the two countries. The ban comes as several other nations also restrict travel from India amid a surge of cases and possible new variants. Let’s find out more about the impact of these restrictions.
As of this morning, no travelers except British or Irish citizens or those with residence rights in the country can enter the UK. Those who can still travel must submit to a 10-day, £1,750 ($2,425) hotel quarantine. The ban extends to anyone who has been in India in the 10 days before arriving in the UK.
The decision to add India to the red list was made on 19th April, giving travelers just over three days to reach the UK before the ban on 23rd April. However, thousands were unable to reach in time due to Heathrow and the government denying extra repatriation flights from India due to various issues.
Data from Public Health England, according to BBC, showed that 3,345 passengers arrived in the UK between 25th March to 7th April. Of these travelers, 4.8% of them (161) later tested positive, raising fears of a new variant spreading in the UK.
Not the only one
Yesterday, two major popular destinations for India found themselves banned. The UAE imposed a 10-day ban on all travelers from India entering the country, with some exceptions. The decision will have a huge impact on UAE aviation, given India is the single largest market for airlines there, and on Indian airlines.
Routes between the UAE and India had become some of the busiest international ones in the world last winter. There are 62 direct routes between India and the UAE offered by carriers in both countries, putting much at stake for airlines. However, given the current situation in India, flights are unlikely to resume in 10 days.
Canada also announced a ban on travelers from India for 30 days last night, in another blow to long-haul airlines. The ban went into effect from 11:30 PM local time yesterday, which means no more passengers can enter for now.
New Zealand had already canceled flights from India at the start of April due to rising cases. Australia has also decided to cut flights from India by a third due to rising cases in its hotel quarantine system. Oman also banned the entry of travelers from India from 24th April onwards, according to Hindustan Times.
The decision to issue travel bans comes as India tackles the largest COVID-19 wave in the world. The country saw 332,530 cases on Thursday, the highest daily toll for any country in the world ever. Moreover, fears of a new variant that is more dangerous has also pushed countries to ban travel. For now, don’t expect restrictions to be eased any time soon.
What do you think about the decision to ban travel from India? Let us know in the comments!
Air Canada cancels flight to Israel amid fighting
An Air Canada flight makes its final approach as it lands in Ottawa on July 3, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
CP24.com, Staff | Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Air Canada has cancelled a flight that was scheduled to depart for Israel on Tuesday amid violence in the region and says it is monitoring the situation to determine any further changes to its flight schedule.
The flight had already been delayed for 24 hours and the airline said Wednesday it has now been cancelled, along with a flight that was set to return from the country today.
Another flight is scheduled to depart from Toronto over the weekend, however Air Canada said that it will “continue to monitor events and will adjust our schedule further if warranted.”
Militants have rained down hundreds of rockets into Israel over the past few days, including some fired toward the main airport in Tel-Aviv, while the Israeli military has carried out airstrikes in Gaza.
American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have also cancelled or suspended some flights into the country amid the fighting.
Air Canada said affected customers have been notified and a goodwill policy will be offered to them.
With files from AP
Qantas ground staff blindsided by COVID passenger, say reports
Qantas ground staff at Brisbane Airport were reportedly blindsided by the news that a COVID-positive passenger from Papua New Guinea was about to land last week, according to reports.
The Courier Mail claimed employees involved felt that they were “put at risk”, particularly as aviation workers are yet to be prioritised in the current vaccine rollout in the same way as quarantine and border workers.
However, Qantas downplayed the story, saying that “there are a number of strict procedures in place for managing aircraft arriving from overseas” and adding that the ground staff in question “followed all procedures”.
Speaking with the Courier Mail, the staff involved called the incident “an absolute cock-up”, after they were informed 30 minutes prior to landing that an incoming flight, Air Niugini flight PX003, had a passenger onboard who tested positive for COVID-19 before boarding.
“No one could believe it,” the employee told the Newscorp publication, “We were put at risk, with no explanation of how an infected passenger flight could have been allowed to land.”
Despite his positive COVID test results, the man had an exemption letter allowing him to travel to Australia.
The source said that staff were already wearing gloves and masks at the arrivals gate, and were then told to “open the [aircraft’s] door and run” back to the terminal.
The Courier Mail confirmed that a Qantas supervisor did instruct staff to open the aircraft’s doors and return to the terminal to reduce any risk of transmission, as is standard procedure for international arrivals during the pandemic.
“The last we saw of the COVID passenger, he was sitting on the floor of the arrivals concourse looking very, very unwell, with officials from border force, quarantine and Queensland Health flapping about him,” the staffer said.
“We’ve been kept in the dark, and are extremely concerned because this thing spreads like wildfire.”
Later, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young confirmed that Australian authorities were aware that the man had tested positive for COVID-19, however were confident that he was not infectious and was instead shedding the virus.
“This gentleman was a fully recovered case, he was a historical case,” she said.
“And that was why he was given permission by Australian Border Force to travel to Australia.”
A spokesperson for Air Niugini confirmed the passenger was initially scheduled to fly from Port Moresby to Brisbane on 6 May, however was “denied uplift as his paperwork was not in order”, due to his positive test result.
He returned to the airport the following day, 7 May, with the appropriate paperwork that allowed him to fly despite the positive result.
“The passenger had previously been diagnosed with Covid-19 and had undergone 14 days’ quarantine as per normal procedures,” the spokesperson said.
“After that he kept getting positive results. He received a doctor’s certificate advising he was considered non-infectious, and that he had been symptom free in the previous 72 hours.
“Air Niugini had been in touch with the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby in relation to this case and they in turn liaised with the Australian Border Force which approved the uplift.
“There were questions upon the passenger’s arrival into Brisbane as to the correct processes to follow, but we understand they have now been identified and addressed.”
According to the Courier Mail, the passenger in question is an Australian passport holder.
A spokesman from the Australian Border Force said: “There are a number of categories in which the traveller is automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption), including if they are an Australian citizen,” he said.
“Quarantine arrangements are a matter for each state and territory.”
Peter Biagini, QLD Branch Secretary for the Transport Workers Union (TWU), stated the incident highlights the high-risk environment that aviation frontline workers face each day.
“Aviation workers are on the frontline and are at a high risk of interacting with positive COVID cases,” he said.
“So far the Federal Government has refused to prioritise aviation workers in the vaccine rollout, leaving workers vulnerable when situations like this arise.”
“While this passenger had an exemption, the fact remains that aviation workers were potentially in contact with a positive case, and despite PPE precautions we know that this is a very contagious virus that can spread very quickly,” Biagini added.
“This virus is primarily appearing from flights coming to Australia, and we need to ensure that the workers who are interacting with international flights are protected.”
Rex Has No Plans To Retire The Saab 340
Rex’s new Boeing 737 between Australia’s big cities have grabbed the headlines lately. But the airline’s core business is regional flying to small towns. Rex’s turboprops link the country to the city and are a familiar sight at Australian airports. But those turboprops are not getting any younger. Nonetheless, it seems like Rex will stick with them for a while yet.
Rex’s fleet of 60 Saab 340 planes have an average age of over 26 years. But according to Rex’s Deputy Chairman John Sharp, the Saabs have a lot of life left in them yet.
“They are the most brilliant aircraft,” Mr Sharp told a CAPA Live event on Wednesday. “They are very cost-effective. They are very strong, robust aircraft, and they will put up with a lot.”
Rex’s Saab 340s provide a vital service
Rex’s Saabs fly into big airports like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. But of the 60 plus airports Rex flies to, most are fairly quiet airstrips that only see a few commercial flights a day. Or sometimes, only a few commercial flights a week. Rex fills its Saabs with city-based professionals, public servants, and medicos heading out to the country for some fly-in-fly-out work. In the other direction, country residents head to the city on Rex for appointments and medical matters.
These flights crisscross the country and provide a vital public transport service. But many passengers say the Saabs are old, noisy, and like taking a bus. There has been speculation for several years about Rex replacing its Saabs.
Rex signed an MOU with ATR in 2020 to investigate fleet renewal
In mid-2020, Rex and ATR signed a memorandum of understanding regarding renewing and complementing Rex’s fleet of Saab 340s.
“We are delighted to be able to cooperate with such a great and well-proven company as Rex,” said ATR’s Fabrice Vautier at the time. “It is vital that communities and businesses can continue to prosper thanks to regional routes, and we believe ATR aircraft range provides a sustainable and dependable transportation system to airlines and the regions that they serve.”
But it is quite a leap from a 34 seat Saab 340 to an ATR 72-600 that comfortably seats double that number. While an ATR 72-600 might work nicely on some of Rex’s busier regional routes – say to Port Lincoln or Port Macquarie, it is much too big for many of Rex’s thinner regional routes.
Nothing wrong with the Saab 340, says Rex’s Deputy Chairman
According to John Sharp, Rex’s Saabs may be old, but there is nothing wrong with them, and he doesn’t see them leaving the fleet for some time.
“They are brilliant for regional flights, flights from one to two hours, they’re really good at that. We’re good at maintaining and operating them. Theoretically, we could go another 10 to 15 years with the Saabs because they’ve got enough life left in them.
“Like all these things, it will come down to the cost of maintaining them versus the cost of buying new ones. The second part will be demand. If we actually find these routes grow so much that we need to put on larger aircraft, then we will.
“The Saab offers small, cost-effective flights that give frequency and frequency gives convenience and convenience brings more passengers.”
Judging John Sharp’s comments, the Saabs aren’t going anywhere for a while. While fleet renewal is inevitable, it doesn’t appear to be a short to medium-term priority at Rex. With more Boeing 737-800s coming into the fleet, the Deputy Chairman suggests they could use them on some flights on some busier regional routes in the future. But for most of Rex’s country-based passengers, the Saab 340 will be flying them for some years to come.
Avcorp announces 2021 First Quarter Financial Results
VANCOUVER, BC, May 12, 2021 /CNW/ – Avcorp Industries Inc. (TSX: AVP) (the “Company”, “Avcorp” or the “Avcorp Group”) today announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. All amounts are in Canadian currency unless otherwise stated.
2021 First Quarter Highlights
- First quarter 2021 revenue was $23,933,000 compared to $40,205,000 in 2020. 2021 revenue decreased by $16,272,000, in comparison to 2020. Revenue was affected by lower customer requirements due to the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”).
- First quarter 2021 net income was $17,390,000 compared to net loss of $10,414,000 in 2020. The net income in the first quarter of 2021 was supported by the accommodation agreement.
- On March 12, 2021, the Company entered into a multiparty amended and restated Accommodation Agreement with a customer and Panta Canada B.V.
- Panta Canada B.V. has agreed to provide a USD $10,000,000 non-revolving standby loan facility and a USD $3,000,000 equipment loan for an aggregate availability of USD $13,000,000.
- The elimination of an unamortized cash advance, mutual release and forgiveness of certain historic and future guarantee fees payable to the customer, and a legal claim. The customer advance of $5,800,000 (USD $4,643,000), guarantee fee of $8,595,000 (USD $6,880,000), and a legal claim provision of $6,996,000 (USD $5,600,000) were released and included in the first quarter 2021 Net income.
- First quarter 2021 cash flows from operating activities were $1,603,000 compared to an outflow of $5,338,000 in 2020. The first quarter of 2021 cash flows from operating activities were supported by the receipt of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidies of $3,127,000.
- On February 25, 2021, the Company amended the Avcorp Composite Fabrication Inc.’s Gardena facility lease agreement effective January 1, 2021 to vacate certain buildings, reduce shared operating expenses, and set new lease terms.
- On March 15, 2021, the Company received a $2,532,000 (USD $2,000,000) second wave Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program Loan. The Company has recognized an estimated forgiveness of $1,224,000 (USD $967,000) in the current quarter as the company has satisfied the requirements of loan forgiveness.
Highlights Subsequent to Quarter-End
- The Company received Canada Emergency Wage Subsidies of $733,000 and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidies of $277,000 in April 2021.
Review of 2021 First Quarter Results
For the quarter ended March 31, 2021, the Avcorp Group recorded an operating income of $18,274,000 from $23,933,000 of revenue, as compared to an operating loss of $4,700,000 from $40,205,000 of revenue from the same quarter in the previous year. The first quarter of 2021 operating income increased in comparison to 2020 by $22,974,000 mainly attributable to the Accommodation Agreement settlement of $21,391,000 and the recognition of $3,231,000 government grants as other income in the current quarter, partially offset by a stock-based compensation expense of $1,376,000 on the 17,350,000 incentive stock options granted on March 19, 2021.
During the quarter ended March 31, 2021, cash flows from operating activities generated $1,603,000 as compared to utilization of $5,338,000 in 2020. The increase was attributed to the receipt of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidies of $3,127,000 in the current quarter and the timing difference on accounts receivables collection. The increase was partially offset by the increase in inventory in the current quarter.
As at March 31, 2021, the Company had $8,305,000 cash on hand (December 31, 2020: $7,044,000) and had utilized $74,906,000 of its operating line of credit (December 31, 2020: $76,439,000). The balance of the net loss and related adjustments on modification of bank indebtedness as a result of executing an amending agreement in 2019 was $135,000 as at March 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020 $269,000). The Company has a working capital deficit of $56,569,000 as at March 31, 2021, compared with $77,780,000 deficit as at December 31, 2020. Working capital surplus/deficit is defined as the difference between current assets and current liabilities. The Company’s accounts receivable, government grant receivable, contract assets, and inventories net of accounts payable amount to a $39,157,000 surplus as at March 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020: $33,174,000 surplus). The Company’s accumulated deficit as at March 31, 2021 is $131,529,000 (December 31, 2020: $148,919,000).
The Avcorp Group designs and builds major airframe structures for some of the world’s leading aircraft companies, including BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, Lockheed Martin and Subaru Corporation. The Avcorp Group has more than 65 years of experience, over 500 skilled employees and 560,000 square feet of facilities. Avcorp Structures & Integration located in Delta British Columbia, Canada is dedicated to metallic and composite aerostructures assembly and integration; Avcorp Engineered Composites located in Burlington Ontario, Canada is dedicated to design and manufacture of composite aerostructures, and Avcorp Composite Fabrication located in Gardena California, USA has advanced composite aerostructures fabrication capabilities for composite aerostructures. The Avcorp Group offers integrated composite and metallic aircraft structures to aircraft manufacturers, a distinct advantage in the pursuit of contracts for new aircraft designs, which require lower-cost, light–weight, strong, reliable structures. Comtek Advanced Structures Ltd., at our Burlington, Ontario, Canada location also provides aircraft operators with aircraft structural component repair services for commercial aircraft.
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