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Repatriation Of Austalians In India Canceled By Travel Ban

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Australia has joined a growing list of countries temporarily banning flights from India. On Tuesday, Australia “paused” flights from India until mid-May. That’s impacting up to eight planned Qantas repatriation flights from India and causing further problems for Australian’s stranded there.

Australian-Repatriation-India-Travel-Ban-getty
Qantas is canceling repatriation flights from India after a flight ban. Photo: Getty Images

Travel ban leaves vulnerable Australians stranded

More than 12 months after COVID-19 struck, Australian citizens continue to struggle to get home. Around 9,000 Australians remain stranded in India and registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs, wanting to get home. Around 650 of these are classed as vulnerable – that is, either ill, under-age, out of money, housing, or visas.

Most Australians in the latter group had secured a highly sought-after seat on upcoming repatriation flights home. Now, stranded Australians are being told there’s no flights home until June.

Before the travel downturn, Air India was the only airline providing nonstop links between India and Australia. The New Delhi-based airline flew to Sydney and Melbourne. Air India suspended its flights to Australia last year. However, since then, the airline has run ad hoc repatriation flights.

Qantas last scheduled regular flights to India in 2012, when it flew to Mumbai via Singapore. Normally, Singapore Airlines does a brisk two-way business catering to the demand, flying passengers between Australia and India via its Singapore hub.

While Singapore has relaxed its slightly border and transit rules for Australians, it has also joined the list of countries suspending passenger and airline traffic from India.

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Air India Getty
Aside from some repatriation flights, Air India has paused its flights to Australia. Photo: Getty Images

Lack of quarantine beds cause a backlog of people wanting to get home

Until this week, Qantas had been operating an ongoing series of repatriation flights from India in an attempt to gradually get stranded Australians home. Limiting the number of flights Qantas can operate and the number of people it can fly is the availability of quarantine beds in Australia.

Everyone entering Australia must under-go 14-days of quarantine. Politicians, celebs, and the better connected usually score a free pass to do that at home. The rest of the hoi pollio have to go to a supervised quarantine facility, typically a downtown city hotel.

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According to the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications, around 5,500 people can enter Australia every week. There’s also a smaller second arrival stream. The Australian Government uses a former mining camp outside Darwin as a quarantine facility for most Qantas repatriation flights. That camp can accommodate 850 people per fortnight. This is soon to increase to 2000 people per fortnight.

The lack of quarantine beds limits the number of people airlines can fly into Australia. That has left tens of thousands of Australians stranded worldwide more than a year after this began.

Australian-Repatriation-India-Travel-Ban-getty
Australians (and anyone) else arriving home go straight into a 14-day quarantine period. Photo: Getty Images

No sign of Australian border restrictions easing

Despite opening a recent travel bubble with New Zealand and talk of a travel bubble with Singapore, the Australian Government shows little sign of dropping its fortress Australia position.

The Government is taking heat over a botched COVID-19 vaccination rollout where they over-promised and under-delivered. They are now making a political decision that it’s better to keep international borders shut for as long as it takes to minimize the risk of any real or perceived COVID-19 outbreaks

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said last week that even if the entire country was vaccinated, “you couldn’t just open the borders.”

“We still have to look at a series of different factors: transmission, longevity, and the global impact,” Minister Hunt said.

“We’re then looking at other countries within the Pacific and within the region that are potentially low-transmission environments.

“So a series of safety milestones as we progress forward, which allow us to open up.”

That’s not what tens of thousands of Australians stranded in India and elsewhere will want to hear.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/australian-repatriation-india-travel-ban/

Aviation

US airline industry sees surge in disruptive passenger cases

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Earlier this week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that there had been over 1,300 reported incidents of disruptive passengers on domestic US flights since February of this year. The numbers are staggering high considering the FAA usually sees only around 130-150 cases per year.

Back in January 2021, the FAA had announced a new “zero-tolerance policy” on disruptive passengers before, during or after a flight. According to the FAA, there were two separate incidents that were the main driving factors behind this new policy.

The first was mainly due to the relative belligerence and unruliness of passengers not wanting to wear masks onboard an aircraft. The second factor was the large gathering of anti-mask opposition which was visible leading up to the US capitol riot back in early January 2021. Before the introduction of this zero-tolerance policy, the FAA previously disciplined violators with measures such as warnings, counselling and smaller civil penalties.

However, in the wake of the new zero-tolerance mask and disruption policy, passengers can now be fined up to $35,000 and face imprisonment for interfering with crew members. Even though US domestic passenger figures are still well below that of the pre-pandemic levels, there has been a noticeable increase in disruptive incidents onboard planes in recent weeks.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 registered N285AK. Photo by Brandon Ravelo | AeroNewsX.

There have also been numerous reports this year about passengers failing to wear a mask while travelling onboard an aircraft. Some of the more recent events include Alaska state Senator Lora Reinbold, who was banned by Alaska Airlines for refusing to comply with face mask requirements. Meanwhile in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; a passenger was escorted off of a flight in Washington D.C., for arguing with attendants about masks.

Last week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), revealed that some 2,000 passengers had been reported for refusing to wear a face-covering since February 2nd when the requirements came into effect.

More recently, a 28-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly attacking an American Airlines flight attendant on the flight from Miami to New York City. While a Los Angeles-bound aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Denver after a passenger allegedly tried to open an emergency exit while in flight, according to local media reports.

The president of the Association of Flight Attendants Union, Sara Nelson, spoke about the abuse flight attendants had reported experiencing this year. She said that it is “way off the charts” compared to what has happened in the past two decades. She added there has been a wide range of incidents, including flight attendants being physically or verbally assaulted, pushed and choked.

In a response to the ongoing outcry, the FAA administrator, Steve Dickson tweeted stating “We will not tolerate interfering with a flight crew and the performance of their safety duties. Period.” A reassuring message for both passengers and flight crews and also highlights that the FAA will have no sympathy for those who willingly try to disrupt the necessary duties of flight crew members both on the ground and in the air. 

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Source: https://aeronewsx.com/us-airline-industry-sees-surge-in-disruptive-passenger-cases/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=us-airline-industry-sees-surge-in-disruptive-passenger-cases

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Libyan Coast Guard Shoots At Two Italian Fishing Boats: Italian Frigate And P-72A Surveillance Plane On The Scene

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P-72A Libya
A P-72A of the Italian Air Force (Image credit: Italian Air Force). In the right box the Libeccio frigate (Image credit: Italian Navy). In the left box: AIS situation off Libya (Image credit: MarineTraffic.com)

The Italian Navy and Air Force intervened in international waters off Libya after a Libyan Coast Guard patrol boat shot at Italian fishing boats.

Two Italian fishing boats were involved in an incident about 30 miles off Libya on May 6, 2021. Warning shots were fired at the Aliseo and Artemide fishing boats, in international waters, off Misrata by a Libyan Coast Guard patrol vessel: the commander of one of the two fishing boats was injured, the Italian media reported.

The Libeccio frigate of the Italian Navy (Marina Militare), supporting “Operazione Mare Sicuro” (Italian for “Safe Sea”) in the Mediterranean Sea was dispatched to assist the fishing boats. Operation “Mare Sicuro” was established in 2015, is a mission of the Italian Navy aimed at ensuring maritime security in the Central Mediterranean Sea – an area of major national interest – launched following the worsening of the Libyan crisis in order to provide presence, surveillance and maritime security, and to ensure freedom of navigation, according to national legislation and international agreements in force.

According to the Italian Navy, the Libeccio frigate was instructed to assist a group of three fishing boats (Artemide, Aliseo and Nuovo Cosimo) which were conducting fishing activities in the waters of Tripolitania,  within the “high risk” zone defined by the Interministerial Coordination Committee for Safety of Transport and Infrastructure  located 35 nautical miles from the Libyan coast, north of the city of Al Khums.

The intervention of the Italian Navy warship was requested due to the presence of a Libyan Coast Guard patrol boat rapidly approaching the Italian fishing boats.

Nave Libeccio, which at the time of the report was about 60 miles from the scene, headed towards the fishing boats at maximum speed and sent the helicopter, which reached the area and made radio contact with the patrol boat personnel.

The Libeccio frigate, which arrived in the vicinity of the fishing boats, received news of the presence of a seaman aboard Aliseo who was wounded in the arm.

Currently the fishing boats Artemide and Nuovo Cosimo are safely sailing northbound towards Mazara del Vallo harbour. The Libeccio frigate remained in support of the Aliseo fishing boat as the commander had been transhipped by Libyan personnel on board the patrol boat for medical checks and later released. The Aliseo fishing boat is currently free.

The P-72A

To verify the situation, a P-72A MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) was also dispatched to the area: the aircraft observed some warning shots from the Libyan patrol boat.

The aircraft, that operates a mixed Air Force/Navy crew, belongs to the 41° Stormo (Wing) an Italian Air Force unit based at Sigonella Air Base, in Sicily. The P-72A is a military variant of the ATR 72-600. The Italian Air Force has received four P-72s that the service has used to replace the Breguet BR1150 Atlantic.

The P-72A can undertake a variety of roles ranging from maritime patrol for the search and identification of surface vessels, SAR (search and rescue) missions, the prevention of narcotics trafficking, piracy, smuggling, territorial water security and monitoring and intervention in the event of environmental catastrophes. The P-72A is equipped with a communication suite that enables the aircraft to transmit or receive information in real-time to/from command and control centres either on the ground, in the air or at-sea, to ensure coordinated and effective operations. The aircraft is also equipped with a self-protection system. The aircraft is said to be able to fly missions lasting six and a half hours at ranges up to 200 nautical miles from its starting location.

P-72A Libya
The Atlantic and the P-72 flew alongside during the very last flight of the Atlantic, from Sigonella to Pratica di Mare on Nov. 22, 2017. (Image credit: Italian Air Force)

Previous incidents

The firing of warning shots at the Italian fishing boats is just the latest in a series of incidents in the troubled waters located within the ZPP (Zona Protezione Pesca – Fishing Protection Zone) unilaterally declared by Libya in 2005 with the intention of exercising sovereign rights over fishing resources.

Last year, the Antartide and Medinea fishing boats, were seized with eighteen seafarers on board and remained in Libya for 108 days before being able to return home on Dec. 20, 2020.

A few days ago, in the same area, the Italian Navy FREEM frigate Alpino was dispatched to protect a group of 7 fishing boats threatened by a rubber dinghy, coming from Cirenaica. The attempted seizure was averted by the timely intervention of the Alpino warship.

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

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Source: https://theaviationist.com/2021/05/06/libyan-coast-guard-incident/

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Startup Avelo Airlines To Launch East Coast Base In Connecticut

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A mere week after launching operations in California, ultra-low-cost startup Avelo Airlines has announced it will be expanding its operations to the East Coast. From the third quarter of 2021, Avelo will open a second base at Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN) in Connecticut, the airline said Thursday.

Avelo Boeing 737
Startup low-cost carrier Avelo is already expanding to the other side of the country. Photo: Avelo Airlines

Sees enormous potential at HVN

Avelo Airlines, flying out of Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) since April 28th, says it will be operating a single-class configuration Boeing 737-700NG to HVN. This means that it will take on more aircraft before Q3 as it currently only operates 737-800s.

It hopes the 737 will provide a more comfortable and attractive mainline jet experience for travelers from and to Southern Connecticut, compared to the smaller regional jets currently flying to the airport. Destinations are yet to be announced.

“We are very excited to partner with HVN as we begin to build our East Coast operations. Our surprisingly low fares and refreshingly smooth travel experience are sure to be embraced by residents of Southern Connecticut,” said Avelo’s Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy in a statement.

“Tweed New Haven has enormous potential, and our first East Coast base is great news for Avelo, New HavenEast Haven, and other local communities,” Mr Levy continued.

Avelo Ribbon Cutting
CEO Andrew Levy says Tweed New Haven has ‘enormous potential’. Photo: Avelo Airlines

More than 100 staff by the end of 2021

Tweed New Haven Airport is one of only two airports in Connecticut with regularly scheduled commercial service, the other being Bradley International in Windsor Locks. It is served by American Airlines under its American Eagle brand, with flights operated by PSA Airlines and Republic Airlines.

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Avelo Airlines is coming in with a $1.2 million investment towards the upgrade and modernization of the airport’s operations. It expects to employ more than 100 crewmembers at its new base by the end of the year. This includes pilots, cabin crew, customer support personnel, and technicians, most of whom will be hired locally.

“It is critically important for us to work with partners who share our ideals to maintain the convenience that people love about Tweed New Haven, while respecting the existing character of the local cities and their communities that we serve,” Sean Scanlon, Executive Director of Tweed New Haven Airport Authority, said.

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“We cannot imagine a better air partner to do this with than Avelo, as an airline that prioritizes people with a culture of service,” he continued.

American E175LR
HVN is currently only served by American Eagle’s regional jets. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

New carbon-neutral terminal

The investment from Avelo is part of a larger modernization project, estimated at $100 million. The airport’s operator Avports told Patch that it plans to build a new, carbon-neutral terminal and to extend the existing runway.

While travelers out of HVN may well prefer the Boeing 737s to the Embraers and Bombardiers, as Avelo’s CEO hopes, this will depend on the destination being the right one. Even with attractive pricing and more comfort, it is hard to beat the connectivity of flying with American. We shall have to wait and see how the two airlines get along in Connecticut.

What do you make of Avelo Airlines’ quick expansion? Is it the right time for it? Leave a comment below and let us know. 

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/avelo-airlines-east-coast-base/

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FedEx becomes Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, celebrates the 100th Boeing 767

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"100th Boeing 767 FedEx" special logo

FedEx Corporation and UEFA have signed a three-year agreement in which FedEx will sponsor the UEFA Champions League commencing at the start of the 2021/22 tournament and extending for three editions through to 2023/24. The agreement also includes sponsorship rights for the UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Youth League finals, the UEFA Champions League Futsal finals and UEFA eChampions League.

The sponsorship builds on the existing relationship with UEFA. FedEx became a main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League in 2015 and a UEFA National Team Football sponsor in 2019.  FedEx is also the Official Logistics Partner of UEFA EURO 2020 taking place in the summer of 2021 across multiple European host cities.

This new sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League reaffirms FedEx as a long-standing sponsor of UEFA.

In 2016, FedEx became the first sponsor to begin collaborating with the UEFA Foundation for Children, using football as a tool to deliver positive and social impact in communities around the world. Alongside sponsorship of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA EURO 2020, FedEx and the UEFA Foundation have delivered safe community football fields in Spain, Poland, Brazil, and South Africa and have rolled out a co-funded “Football for Employability” program benefitting young adults in Romania, Hungary, England and Ireland. FedEx also invited local children to be player mascots at UEFA Europa League finals in collaboration with non-profit organizations in Stockholm (Sweden), Lyon (France) and Baku (Azerbaijan), where an all-girl player mascot line-up made footballing history.

“Our global sponsorship of UEFA Champions League will deliver unrivalled opportunities for our brand, team members, customers, and communities. Aligning our brand with world class sports performance allows us to connect our services to our audiences through the passion and emotions generated by sports and enables us to contribute positively to our local communities,” said Brie Carere, executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer, FedEx Corp.

“We’ll continue to explore powerful social responsibility collaborations with the UEFA Foundation for Children, as we have done throughout our UEFA Europa League sponsorship.”

“FedEx has proved to be an incredibly valued UEFA partner. We are delighted they are continuing their evolution with us, which started in 2015 and now sees them supporting our flagship club competition, the UEFA Champions League,” said UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein. “The UEFA Champions League is the world’s greatest club competition, and we are looking forward to working with FedEx closely over the next three years to help them activate their numerous projects. They will benefit not just the footballing community, but also look to have a positive impact on the environment”.

In other news, the company is preparing to take delivery of the 100th Boeing 767. N277FE carries this special logo on the rear fuselage.

Top and Above Copyright Photo: FedEx Express Boeing 767-300F ER N277FE (msn 66246) (100th Boeing 767 FedEx) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 953640.

FedEx aircraft slide show:

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/05/06/fedex-becomes-official-sponsor-of-the-uefa-champions-league-celebrates-the-100th-boeing-767/

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