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Return of bonuses from Air Canada execs “rare” case of change in compensation: expert

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From the Toronto Star – link to source story

By The Canadian Press | Mon., June 7, 2021

The tail of the newly revealed Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft is seen at a hangar at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, February 9, 2017.  MARK BLINCH / THE CANADIAN PRESS

HALIFAX – An economist says the recent decision by Air Canada executives to voluntarily give back their bonuses is an incredibly rare case of an about-face on compensation from a company.

David Macdonald, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, says it’s unusual for public outcry to be successful in nudging C-Suite employees to return their bonuses.

The airline announced yesterday its president and CEO, as well as its executive vice-presidents, had volunteered to return their 2020 bonuses and share appreciation units after “public disappointment” grew over its compensation program.

It says former president and CEO Calin Rovinescu, who retired in February, will be donating the value of his 2020 bonus to the Air Canada Foundation.

Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland expressed their displeasure with the company’s bonus program last week after the airline disclosed millions in bonuses to people it called “instrumental” to the airline’s survival during the pandemic.

The federal government paid $500 million for a six-per-cent stake in Air Canada and also agreed to a $5.9 billion loan package for the airline in April.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2021.

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/06/07/return-of-bonuses-from-air-canada-execs-rare-case-of-change-in-compensation-expert/

Aviation

Kenya Airways To Resume London Flights On Saturday

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Nairobi-based Kenya Airways has said that it will resume flights from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) to London Heathrow (LHR) starting Saturday, June 26, 2021. All flights between Kenya and the United Kingdom ceased on April 9, 2021, after the UK government added Kenya to its “red list” of countries.

Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Kenya Airways will resume flight to London next Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

Based on the COVID-19 infection rate, counties are listed as either green (no restrictions), amber (some restrictions), or red (mandatory ten-day quarantine). People returning to the UK from red countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for a minimum of ten days at their own expense. The price for the hotel stay is £1,750 ($2,417), per adult and while there, they must take two COVID-19 PCR tests that prove negative.

The Kenyan government retaliated

Following the news that Kenya was being added to the UK red list, the Kenyan government retaliated by banning flights to the East African nation from the UK. By doing this, the Kenyan government effectively put another nail in Kenya Airways’ coffin on the back of a yearly $330 million loss. 

In early June, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) extended the ban for a second time to August 24, 2021. Now fearing that its essential summer tourism season would be affected, the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday that flights between Kenya and the UK had the go-ahead to resume.

The high season for tourists visiting Kenya comes during the dry period between July and September. It is when the world-renowned migration of wildebeest and zebra through Maasai Mara Game Reserve takes place.

Kenya airways
The main tourism season is between July and September. Photo: Getty Images

Kenya needs tourism

Kenyan business news website Business Daily quotes a letter from the Ministry to the British High Commission which says:

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya presents its compliments to the British High Commission and has the honor to convey the decision … to lift all flight restrictions between Kenya and the United Kingdon.”

“All passengers irrespective of nationality and residency status coming to Kenya from the United Kingdom, irrespective of their route of travel to Kenya, shall be required to self-isolate upon arrival and take a subsequent test for four days after arrival,” the letter added.

In response to the good news, the website allAfricka quotes Kenya Airways acting Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Julius Thairu of saying the following:

“The resumption of flights to London, United Kingdom (UK) is in line with our plans to grow and expand our routes as restrictions lift which will positively impact the flow of trade and tourism across the region by offering our customers convenient travel across the world. This route offers our customers convenient connections to key destinations. We remain fully committed to offering our customers an onboard travel experience that has their health and safety in mind.”

To coincide with the resumption of flights between Nairobi and London, both counties have issued health protocols that arriving passengers must adhere to.

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Kenya is still on the red list

United Kingdom Rules:

Passengers traveling to the UK from Kenya must be either UK national, Irish nationals or have a right of residence in the UK. They will also need to provide a negative COVID-19 certificate three days before travel, book a government-approved quarantine hotel within 14-days before arrival and take two COVID-19 tests if they have been in a red list country or territory ten days before arriving in the UK.

Kenya Rules:

Passengers arriving in Kenya from the United Kingdom must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate conducted within 96 hours before arrival. This rule does not apply to children under five years old. Once in Kenya, they must self-isolate for seven days and take a second COVID-19 PCR test four days after arrival.

Embraer 190
Kenya Airways is still on the UK’s red list. Photo: Getty Images.

While it is nice to see Kenya Airways Nairobi to London flights return, it is hard to imagine that they will be busy since Kenya remains on the UK’s red list.

What do you think about Kenya Airways returning to London, and do you think they can be profitable even if they mostly carry cargo? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/kenya-airways-london/

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Aviation

The IATA Travel Pass – What You Need To Know

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Looking to fly international in 2021? You might be asked to download and use IATA’s new Travel Pass app. The app is aiming to become the go-to digital health passport, containing all your vaccination, testing, and travel requirements. Here’s a guide to the upcoming Travel Pass and its features.

Plane committed to takeoff V1 speed
As travel reopens, navigating complex health restrictions can be taxing for travelers and airlines alike. Photo: Getty Images

Complex

Traveling internationally in 2021 is not easy by any means. Even if countries open their borders, the health requirements can prove to be quite a maze. From vaccinations to testing to health declarations, it’s easy to miss out on things. However, IATA Travel Pass is here to alleviate most of these troubles.

IATA is also the creator of Timatic, a software that provides airlines with up-to-date health requirements for each country. The Travel Pass app will allow travelers to view their destination’s health checks and quickly begin fulfilling them by offer nearby verified testing centers and more.

ATA Travel Pass
By linking your passport to all health records, the app will prevent fraudulent test results or vaccine certification. Photo: IATA

The app, which is currently under testing with dozens of airlines globally, will also allow travelers to upload all their data onto the secure app. This includes a copy of your physical passport, which will be used to link vaccination records and test results. This allows labs to directly send results to the Travel Pass, preventing any false reports.

At the airport

Once you’ve uploaded your passport, taken a test at a verified test location (or proved vaccination), and got your results, you’re all set to go! A green tick on Travel Pass allows airlines to quickly verify your health details and proceed to check you in for flights.

This means no more long wait times as agents try to navigate individual country restrictions or test results. Airports like London Heathrow have seen hours-long queues as staff try to deal with multiple new steps before flying. Travel Pass can take over all over this work, pre-verifying you for your journey and details.

IATA Travel Pass
A green tick of the Travel Pass may allow you to pass through airport check-in and immigration upon arrival. Photo: IATA

However, IATA is not stopping at airlines alone. The industry leader is partnering with governments to make immigration easier too. Panama has become the first country to accept IATA’s Travel Pass as proof to enter the country and could be the first of many. This means no more long border checks with passenger locator forms and negative tests.

In trial

Currently, the IATA Travel Pass is only open for airline trials. If you’re flying with one of the dozens of airlines using the app, including British Airways, Singapore Airlines, LATAM, and many others, you will receive a code from the carrier first.

However, the wider rollout of the Travel Pass could be only weeks away, according to IATA Director General Willie Walsh. Once it is available, expect to see airlines quickly begin to use the app as passengers begin to navigate the new normal of international travel.

What do you think about IATA’s Travel Pass initiative? Let us know in the comments!

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/iata-travel-pass-guide/

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Aviation

What Is Taos Air In The United States?

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Taos Regional Airport (TSM) is a small facility situated in Taos, New Mexico, where most operations fall under the category of general aviation. However, in recent years, commercial flights have also begun to serve the airport in the form of Taos Air. This carrier is a ‘virtual airline’ that operates flights to Taos for the ski season. Let’s take a closer look at it.

Taos Air Fairchild-Dornier 328JET
Taos Air flies two Fairchild-Dornier 328JET aircraft. Photo: Carguychris via Wikimedia Commons

What is a virtual airline?

Let’s start by establishing the nature of Taos Air’s operations. As we have established, the carrier is what is known as a ‘virtual airline.’ This term refers to operators that have control over their companies but outsource different aspects of their operations.

In the case of Taos Air, its flights have been operated by Ultimate Jetcharters (2018-2019 winter season) and Advanced Air (2019-2020). In terms of other operational elements, Taos Ski Valley Inc. pays for the fleet’s upkeep, while the Town of Taos provides airport services. These include de-icing, a hangar, use of the airport’s terminal, and even marketing.

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A growing network

The function of Taos Air, which commenced operations in December 2018, is to increase accessibility by air to the Taos Ski Valley. It initially served the area from two Texan destinations, namely Dallas Love Field (DAL) and Austin-Bergstrom International (AUS).

Taos Air Network
The airline now serves the Taos Ski Valley from four destinations. Image: Taos Air

After a first winter season, Taos Air planned to operate summer flights on existing routes. However, it had to cancel these due to a lack of availability of charter aircraft and pilots. Of course, this outsourcing is one of the risks of virtual airlines.

Nonetheless, when the 2019-2020 winter season rolled around, the airline expanded to California (Los Angeles-Hawthorne and San Diego-Carlsbad). It had to cut this program short by around two weeks, terminating its schedules on March 15th, 2020 due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Similarly, it shelved its entire 2020-2021 program.

An exclusive experience

Taos Air offers its passengers a rather exclusive experience. Its flights use private terminals, meaning that passengers can check in as late as 30 minutes before departure. They are also entitled to a generous luggage allowance of two checked bags, and a free transfer to the ski resort at the other end. Furthermore, all flights are 100% carbon offset.

Taos Map
Taos Regional Airport is a little over an hour from the ski resort. Image: Google Maps

The airline is set to operate a summer service on its network between July and September this year. Passengers can even book thought itineraries between Texas and California via Taos. The flights to Taos take around two hours, and they start at $180 one-way.

The fleet

According to data from ch-aviation.com, Taos Air flights are operated by a pair of Fairchild-Dornier 328JET aircraft. The youngest of these is registered as N192TS, and has 32 seats in a 2-1 layout. It is 19 years old, and it was delivered to Independence Air in 2002.

Its counterpart in the fleet is 20 years old and bears a strikingly similar registration of simply N192T. This aircraft has 30 seats, boasting an impressive pitch of 34 inches. It first flew for Atlantic Coast Jet in 2001, where it originally bore the registration N418FJ.

Did you know about Taos Air? Perhaps you’ve even flown with the carrier? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/taos-air/

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Aviation

Air Transat To Expand In Florida This Winter

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In a statement issued June 16, 2021, Canada’s Air Transat announced its winter 2021-2022 program, including two new destinations in Florida. Starting from November 1, Air Transat will offer flights to nearly 50 destinations, including direct flights from Montreal to Fort Myers and Miami in Florida.

Air Transat Boeing 737-8Q8 C-GTQF
Air Transat’s main hub is Montreal Airport. Photo: Vincent Pace | Simple Flying

In addition to the two new Florida destinations, the Montreal-headquartered airline will return to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. With winter temperatures in the mid-seventies, Florida destinations appeal to Canadians looking to escape the frigid sub-zero temperatures at home.

When speaking about how it was adding and consolidating its destinations in the United States, Air Transat President and CEO Annick Guérard said:

“We know that our clients are eager to travel, whether it’s to visit loved ones or for a change of scenery, and we are sure to meet this strong, pent-up demand with the rich variety of destinations we are offering this winter. Plus, by adding Miami and Fort Myers to our program, we are consolidating our position in the United States, a popular sun destination for Canadian travelers.”

After a year of closed borders, Canadians will be happy to visit Florida next winter. Image: GCmaps

Miami is a vibrant cosmopolitan city that attracts visitors from around the world. At the same time, Fort Myers will appeal to Canadian’s looking for a relaxing vacation on the Gulf coasts calm sandy beaches.

Air Transat will fly from eight Canadian cities

Air Transat said that to help quench Canadians wanderlust, it would be offering direct flights from eight Canadian cities: Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Halifax, and Moncton.

Montreal:

From Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Air Transat will offer direct flights to the following counties: Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, El Salvador, and the United States.

Toronto:

From Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), passengers will be able to fly non-stop to Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St. Maarten, and the United States.

Québec City:

From Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), Air Transat will offer seven sunny destination flights to Cuba, the United States, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. To help Canadian’s fly domestically across the country and to allow for international connections, Air Transat says it will also operate domestic flights between Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Air Transat flights to Europe

Regarding flights between Canada and Europe, Air Transat says it will gradually add direct flights from Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. There will also be European flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to the United Kingdom, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Italy, and from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in France.

In its statement, Air Transat said that should the situation change because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Air Transat customers would be eligible for a refund.

Air Transat Getty
Air Transat has a fleet of 31 aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Specializing in holiday travel and offering vacation packages, Air Transat is Canada’s number one leisure airline. According to the aviation data and statistics website, ch-aviation, Air Transat has a fleet of 31 aircraft made up of the following planes:

  • 7 x Airbus A321-200s
  • 9 x Airbus A321-200NX(LR)s
  • 14 x Airbus A330-200s
  • 1 x Airbus A330-300

Have you ever flown with Air Transat? If so, please tell us what you think of them in the comments.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/air-transat-florida-expansion/

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