KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) has succesfully conducted and still continuing its rescue and repatriation mission, transporting stranded citizens back to their home countries during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) in the country, as well as Conditional MCO in certain states.
To date, the airline has successfully operated 218 rescue and repatriation flights through scheduled and chartered services since March 2020, utilising its A380, A350, A330 and B737 aircrafts.
Adapting to Challenges
According to BERNAMA, the current situation has brought upon opportunities for the national carrier to fly to new cities outside its usual network, which include international destinations across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and even Africa such as Cam Rahn, South Sudan, Cairo, Turkmenbashi, Turkmenabat , Dili, Nadi, and Port Moresby where few commercial flights are available.
Group Chief Operations Officer, Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi said out of the 218 flights, 168 were charter services through strategic collaboration with government ministries and individual organisations.
So far, the airline has flown over 20,000 passengers safely back to their loved ones.
It has been a challenging yet exciting experience for us to operate in these new markets under the current circumstances, due to the ever-changing health and safety requirements, as well as strict border controls by the respective countries.
However, active engagements with the respective embassies, ministries, government agencies, organisations and regulatory bodies have made it possible,” he said in a statement today.
There was a positivity a few months ago with Malaysia opening up for domestic operations. However, with scheduled international passenger services are still suspended, the airline is trying to adapt the current situations and challenges. The carrier is facing trouble amid the pandemic, and it is continuing discussions with creditors about its ongoing restructuring process.
Encouraging Cargo Trend
Over the same period, the airlines’ sister company, MAB Kargo Sdn Bhd has worked closely with governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to transport over 2,000 tonnes of medical equipment and disaster-relief provisions to impacted regions around the globe.
“This includes ventilators, surgical gloves, sterile isolation gowns and protection suits with goggles for various organisations via over 50 passenger-to-cargo (P2C) and cargo-in-cabin (CIC) flights. The CIC allows the airline to carry cargo on seats, overhead stowage compartments, closets and under the seats depending on the size of the boxes,” it added.
It said the MAB Kargo team toiled hard to ensure all shipments are delivered according to schedule, resulting in the gradual improvement of the company’s export throughput numbers.
The encouraging trend has eventually increased the numbers whereby the export throughput figures in August 2020 have now matched pre-COVID-19 level, contributed by the reopening of more economic sectors and the usage of P2C flights to compensate the loss of belly capacity.
Ahmad Luqman said the demand for medical equipment worldwide has kept its aircraft flying and the cargo terminals busy.
Our freighter schedules are adjusted to meet customers’ requirements. Despite lesser flights in the network, we continue to support the value-chain of day-to-day business and ensure minimal disruptions, he said.
Malaysia is still under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) and Conditional MCO in individual states. Subsequently, the nation’s borders remain closed to foreigners, and citizens are unable to leave amid the global health crisis.
Despite its troubles & the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia Airlines pledged to do its best to serve passengers across the globe. It will nonetheless be hoping that current conditions will be improving over the next few months.
RAF Firefighters Successfully Tackle Blaze in The Middle East
Royal Air Force (RAF) firefighters currently stationed at a coalition air base in the Middle East have successfully dealt with a blaze that broke out in one of its buildings.
On Tuesday 10th November a fire is believed to have been caused by a defective air conditioning unit was brought under control by the firefighters.
What are the RAF doing in the Middle East?
The RAF firefighters are deployed on a four-month rotation and provide firefighting cover across the air base.
There were no reported casualties and the fire had no impact on coalition operations.
One firefighter who responded to the incident has recently passed out from the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre, which saw the last cohort pass out in October.
I was excited to use the knowledge I had learned throughout my training. I carried out search procedures to identify the fire room and carried out offensive firefighting tactics to extinguish the fire. The result was the fire was contained to a single room, preventing further damage to the building.
When RAF firefighters arrived on the scene they were met with high levels of smoke from the building.
Another firefighter commented:
It was brilliant to be able to react and produce a successful response from an emergency service within a coalition environment. This highlights the effectiveness and adaptability of the RAF Fire and Rescue Service.
Where are the RAF currently based?
The RAF firefighters are currently deployed to the Middle East as part of the 83 Expeditionary Air Group (EAG). They are based at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar as part of a coalition operation.
The area of responsibility for 83 EAG extends from the southern end of the Arabian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean.
The team provides fire cover for a range of different military aircraft and buildings at the coalition airbase. They have been regularly involved in practice exercises with the host nation to test their joint procedures.
Let us know your comments on this below!
BREAKING-Antonov AN-124 Suffers Runway Excursion Following Emergency Landing
An engine failure has caused a Antonov AN-124 to make an emergency landing at Novosibirsk-Tolmachevo Airport (OVB) in Central Russia.
The Antonov An-124-100 freighter, registered as RA-82042, took off from OVB on its way to Wien-Schwechat International Airport (VIE) carrying a total of 14 people.
During take-off a failure was reported on the number 2 engine. This prompted the crew to initiate emergency protocol and conduct a go around followed by an immediate landing.
It is reported that the cowling from the no.2 engine was found in a nearby field.
Inspectors from the Investigative Committee of Russia have been sent to carry out a preliminary investigation and establish the circumstances of the incident.
Travel Radar will continue to update on this story as more information becomes available.
Do you want to provide us some more information regarding this event? Get in touch with our editorial news desk, firstname.lastname@example.org
FLIGHTPLAN Event Encourages Airlines to Boost Passenger Confidence for Post-COVID-19 Recovery
A Passenger Confidence Tracker undertaken by Inmarsat Aviation was a central feature at the recent FLIGHTPLAN event. The theme of the event was Strategies for Recovery post COVID-19. An important element of recovery will be passenger confidence. The survey, the largest ever undertaken, includes valuable insights into passenger behaviour during the pandemic. It also explores their expectations post COVID-19.
The Passenger Confidence Tracker – A COVID-19 Survey
9,500 air travellers from twelve countries took part in the Passenger Confidence Tracker. Over 80% said that their attitude to flying would change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And 1 in 5 said they would choose specific, trusted airlines for their flights. This is a significant factor and one the airlines should focus on.
The fundamental message is consistency regarding hygiene practices. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is trying to create worldwide standards. There is a need for closer co-operation between nations regarding all aspects of a flight. These include the journey from home to the airport. The airport experience. The flight itself and what happens on arrival at the destination. Currently we are seeing a situation where airlines are competing by claiming to have the best safeguards in place. But in the interests of the whole industry there should be co-operation across the board. An industry acting cohesively will boost passenger confidence.
Passenger confidence will lead to an increase in passenger numbers.
The New Passenger Journey Post COVID-19
Cabin cleanliness was the most important factor. Passengers need to know what measures each airline is taking. They also need to see that airlines care. For example, staff wearing face masks and a reduction in the number of touch points. Technology will be very important in creating a connection between customers and a brand. Airline crews can engage with passengers through apps on their smartphones. The refreshment trolley can be replaced by a system that allows passengers to order and pay in advance.
The definition of the flight experience will continue to evolve as more touchless technology is introduced. Biometrics (facial recognition) will allow passengers to move through the airport without needing to produce passports and boarding passes. Passengers should be trusting in science. Surveys say that the risk of inflight transmission of infection is very small.
People feel less anxious if they are in control of everything around them. Touchless technology, and information delivered through smartphones will give passengers more control over their journeys. But there are other elements of the journey that need to be addressed including passengers’ need for space.
Personal Passenger Comfort Post COVID-19
The Passenger Confidence Tracker also revealed a popular desire for more space in the cabin. Many passengers are still keen to keep a social distance from those around them. Delta is responding to this need by continuing to block middle in Economy. At the other end of the scale is an emerging trend, the Pure Sky Room. Passengers can enjoy the luxury of their own space surrounded by wall to ceiling curtaining.
Inflight WiFi will also be more important to the enjoyment of a flight. There has been a large increase in the number of passengers using WiFi on flights during the COVID pandemic. Social distancing and mandatory face masks have limited the opportunity to socialise during a flight. Passengers will be more reliant on personal devices for entertainment.
It seems we are looking at a passenger-led recovery in the aviation industry. Do you agree? Post your views in the comments.
Boeing gets Air Force Training Contract from Middle East
Boeing announced three foreign military sales contracts from the middle east market today, valued at more than $800 million these contracts cover the sales of training services. This is a comprehensive support and includes for pre-delivery training and marks a great milestone for Boeing following a year of declining sales.
Over 100 Years of Boeing Training Arrives in Middle East
It is important to have trained personnel when sophisticated defence system products are purchased. Boeing enters the region with over a-hundred years plus experience and can effortlessly achieve this.
The Boeing contract is with the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) for their F-15QA program management: Including maintenance and aircrew training.
The $240million five year contract is expected to enhance the credibility of Boeing’s dwindling image due to the 737 MAX fiasco.
Meeting in-country demands and providing spares and logistics support is part of the deal
Boeing received a separate not-to-exceed $68 million contract to provide maintenance and logistics support. This is towards the pre-delivery training for the F-15QA program. This will commence in Q1 of 2021.
QEAF will send pilots and weapon system operators to the U.S., to achieve the force’s training needs.
Training will include in-person instruction, simulation events and flying operations, and will be held near Boeing’s F-15 production facility in the U.S. through mid-2021.
In the near future, Boeing will also assist the QEAF in establishing a maintenance and training centre in Qatar itself. The whole process is expected to be completed by 2024.
“The tailored training and sustainment delivered by our team, coupled with Boeing’s platform expertise, allows us to deliver a holistic solution to our Qatari customer so they can optimize the full capability of their fleet with high availability rates,” said Tim Buerk, director of Middle East defense services for Boeing. Adding:
“We look forward to our continued partnership with Qatar and further supporting their mission readiness needs.”
The middle east defence market is an ever lucrative business opportunity to defence manufactures, such as Boeing. The market always seeks the latest technologies and has the money to invest. When a defence deal is done, a whole gamut of complete offerings including training services follows. In this case, Boeing training services have a natural advantage. This development is positive news as far as Boeing is concerned. Let us know your thoughts below!
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