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Southwest celebrates 50 Years with a new “Freedom One” logo jet on N500WR

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Credit: Stephen M. Keller, 2021

Southwest Airlines just announced:

Southwest Airlines today celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its first flight by thanking Employees by offering a gift of 50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards® points. The Nation’s largest domestic carrier also unveiled Freedom One, a Boeing 737-800 (Boeing 737-8H4 N500WR, msn 36898) emblazoned with a stylized flag of the United States of America.

“The word ‘freedom’ has significant meaning to the People and history of Southwest Airlines,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re eternally grateful to those who have served and are currently serving in our Armed Forces— including the more than 7,400 veterans and 1,500 military spouses in our Southwest Family. Our Purpose is to connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. We simply couldn’t fulfill our Purpose if not for the sacrifices and dedication of our military men and women. We appreciate their service and bravery in providing a blanket of freedom for our country.”

Freedom One was unveiled to Southwest® Employees during a Company celebration at the Southwest Airlines® Technical Operations Hangar at William P. Hobby International Airport in Houston, where attendees included Southwest Military Ambassadors, Military Council, winners of the Company’s prestigious President’s Award, and others. Military Ambassadors are Southwest Employees who are veterans and military spouses. They serve as a resource for the Company to foster inclusion for veterans and service members.

The specialty plane features 50 stars and 13 stripes and becomes a high-flying tribute to 50 years of Southwest Airlines service with a symbol of unwavering pride for our Nation and its heroes. It is the first Boeing 737-800 to join the airline’s unique paint schemes. Other special paint schemes on Southwest Boeing 737-700s include: Arizona One, California One, Colorado One, Florida One, Illinois One, Lone Star One (Texas), Louisiana One, Maryland One, Missouri One, Nevada One, New Mexico One, and Tennessee One.

Before unveiling Freedom One, Kelly announced Southwest is offering an Employee gift to recognize and appreciate active Southwest Employees in the milestone moment for Southwest Airlines: 50,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points deposited later this year into the account of each Employee who chooses to accept the gift.

“Southwest revolutionized the travel industry since our very first flight on June 18, 1971—a time when less than 15% of Americans ever had traveled by air,” said Kelly at the Employee celebration. “The People of Southwest democratized the skies with friendly, reliable, and affordable air travel, and what better way to honor you, our Employees, on our 50th Anniversary than by offering a gift of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points.”

Southwest’s first flights operated on what was known as the Texas Triangle, between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Throughout the next fifty years, Southwest grew to become the nation’s largest domestic airline, carrying up to 1 in the 4 travelers in the United States. Today, Southwest operates one of the world’s largest fleets of Boeing 737s, serves 121 destinations throughout North America, Employs more than 56,000 People, and is consistently ranked among the best airlines and best employers in the world.

June 18, 1971 Southwest Airlines begins service to DAL, SAT, and IAH. Our flight schedule starts with six roundtrips DAL-SAT and 12 roundtrips DAL-IAH with $20 one-way fares.

Following the Southwest Employee celebration, Freedom One departed Houston, headed for Dallas. Pilots and Flight Attendants onboard are Southwest Employees who served in the military or in the reserves. Additionally, a military veteran dispatched the flight from Southwest’s Network Operations Control facility in Dallas. As the aircraft approached Dallas, it followed the Federal Aviation Administration’s HERBZ navigational flight path to the airport, recently named in honor of Southwest Founder Herb Kelleher.

Video: The painting of N500WR:

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/06/18/southwest-celebrates-50-years-with-a-new-freedom-one-logo-jet-on-n500wr/

Aviation

Hilton Grand Vacations’ Timeshare Test and 9 Other Top Travel Stories This Week

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Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including the impact of coronavirus. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.

How Hilton Grand Vacations Digests a $1.4 Billion Takeover Will Test Hot Timeshare Market: The timeshare sector is underway with overdue change. Chasing changing traveler tastes, millennials, and eventually Gen Z buyers means pushing into cities and offering more flexibility.

United Airlines Eyes Blockbuster 2022 With Plans to Be Larger Than Pre-Pandemic: United has big aspirations for 2022 as the travel recovery continues to accelerate in the U.S. But very real concerns about the Delta variant and the broader recovery outside of the airline’s control could set those plans back.

Tripadvisor Plus Creates Less Friction and Lower Costs for Hotels: Adding channel managers to bypass global distribution systems Amadeus and Sabre isn’t a super-duper game-changer for Tripadvisor Plus, but less friction and lower fees can lead to greater traction.

Kayak Is Missing a Golden Opportunity With Its New Corporate Travel Platform:
In what could be the travel industry’s most drawn-out launch of a booking tool, the final version will appeal to many small companies — but it could have offered so much more.

Japan’s Tourism Reality From Olympics: Build It and Maybe They Will Come Later: The 2020 Tokyo Games will be a big financial hit for Japan’s tourism sector, but vaccines now under way plus pent-up demand and infrastructure boosts could make it come out of this tough stretch a winner — sooner than one might think.

Canada to Lift Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated U.S. Travelers From August 9: The decision by Canada to open its border to fully vaccinated U.S. visitors is a massive boost for the country’s economy. While businesses in Canada have lost billions of dollars due to the absence of U.S. customers, the reopening’s timing in early August allows them to salvage something from the summer.

Travel and Fintech Are Colliding in New Exciting Ways: Fintech is trending, and likewise for superapps in certain parts of the world. Getting into travel is too delicious to resist, but the world is not ending for incumbent travel competitors.

Hilton Sees Bigger Meetings and Events Role in All-Inclusive Resort Growth: All-inclusive resorts are always going to be dominated by leisure travel, but it’s a smart move by Hilton to position these properties for some level of corporate meetings and events. Leisure traveler tastes aren’t the only ones that changed over the span of the pandemic.

Why American Airlines Lags Delta and United on a Key Recovery Metric: American likes to tout its strengths from more flights and a broader domestic network when it talks about the recovery. But with higher costs than competitors, it will continue to lag its peers even as some forecast profits in the coming months.

Hopper Sells Travel But Its Fintech Hedging Drives the Growth: Hopper makes more money on add-on, fintech-oriented services than on selling travel — even the usually juicy hotel business. The business isn’t profitable but who cares when grabbing market share is on the agenda.

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Source: https://skift.com/2021/07/24/hilton-grand-vacations-takeover-and-9-other-top-travel-stories-this-week/

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American Airlines details plans for Charlotte Douglas International Airport expansion, hundreds of new jobs

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Aviation

Air Canada: Welcome aboard this flight to Tokyo

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22 July 2021

We’re proud to fly Team Canada to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and wish them the best of luck! #FlyTheFlag

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/07/23/air-canada-welcome-aboard-this-flight-to-tokyo/

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Aviation

YVR arrivals terminal splits passengers by COVID-19 vaccination status

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From CityNews1130 – link to source

BY DENISE WONG AND BAILEY NICHOLSON | Jul 23, 2021

(Courtesy: Twitter @yvrairport)

SUMMARY

  • Passengers arriving at YVR from outside Canada will find themselves divided into two lines: Vaccinated and unvaccinated
  • People who have received both COVID-19 vaccine doses have a different process upon arrival than those who have not
  • Regardless of vaccination status, passengers from outside Canada need to provide information in the ArriveCAN app

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you’re flying into YVR from outside of Canada, you’ll notice some separation inside the airport. There are now one for passengers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and another for unvaccinated travellers.

Robyn Vicker, vice president of Passenger Journey at YVR, says dividing passengers this way helps determine the next steps upon arrival.

“For vaccinated passengers, if they meet the criteria of having had a Canadian-approved vaccine, at least 14 days prior to travel, then they don’t have to do the two weeks of quarantine upon arrival into Canada. Additionally, there’s no longer a government-approved hotel that they have to stay at,” she explained.

If you aren’t fully vaccinated, you’ll need to set up 14-day quarantine plans with airport staff. People who only have one dose will be considered unvaccinated.

Vicker says it will be a faster process for Canadians who have received both doses, noting all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, need to provide travel information in the ArriveCAN app.

The separate queues at YVR are only at the international arrivals terminal, not at the departures terminal.

“When people are departing YVR to another country … they will all go through the same process,” Vicker confirmed, adding people flying to other countries are responsible for adhering to their destination’s entry requirements.

Anyone arriving into Canada must have a negative PCR test completed 72 hours before departure.

Right now, only Canadians and others with exemptions (such as the immediate family of Canadians or permanent residents and international students with valid paperwork) are allowed into the country without the need to quarantine, provided they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Aug. 9, it’s Americans, and then if all goes well and we’re still meeting all of the criteria, then after Sept. 7, that opens up to the world,” Vicker noted.

Masks are still mandatory in the airport and aboard flights. Vicker notes starting Aug. 9, departing passengers will no longer be subject to temperature checks.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/07/23/yvr-arrivals-terminal-splits-passengers-by-covid-19-vaccination-status/

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