Munich Airport expands flights services

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The number of flights on offer from Munich Airport is set to increase over the coming weeks. International air travel had come to a virtual standstill on account of the numerous travel restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, many airlines are now gradually starting to ramp up their operations from the German hub.

Lufthansa is due to resume regular services from Munich to Brussels, Milan, Rome, Vienna and Zurich over the coming days. Two US cities are also on the list of Lufthansa’s nonstop destinations. On Tuesday 2 June the airline reopened its route from Munich to Chicago while the first flight to Los Angeles took place on 3 June. Initially services to both US cities will be provided three days a week. Lufthansa also reopened three times weekly flights from Munich to Tel Aviv on 3 June.

Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings has already been serving its route from Munich to Palma de Mallorca again and will also be offering flights to Pristina again from 6 June.

Having maintained its operations from Munich over the past several weeks, Qatar Airways will continue flying to Doha four times per week. Greece’s Aegean Airlines has re-established its connection from Munich to Athens and is initially offering three weekly flights. Luxair is again providing services between Munich and Luxembourg five times a week, while airBaltic has resumed services to Riga four times a week. The schedule of existing connections operated by Alitalia to Rome, KLM to Amsterdam, Air France to Paris, Finnair to Helsinki and Belavia to Minsk will be partially expanded to provide greater frequency.

From mid-June Lufthansa is due to start flying to additional destinations including 30 additional European cities on a regular schedule.

For the time being all arrivals and departures at Munich will continue to be operated via Terminal 2. The wearing of masks continues to be mandatory in all terminals, while flooor markings have been designed in close consultation with the competent health authorities.

London City to resume services by end of June

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Following the suspension of commercial operations on 25 March as a result of the coronavirus crisis, London City Airport plans to restart services by the end of June.

It is expected that domestic services to key cities in the UK will begin first with international flights expected to follow in July.

Staff have been busy working behind the scenes to prepare the terminal to welcome back passengers and to offer a safe and speedy journey through the airport. Progress has also been made on the airport’s major development programme with construction following government guidelines and focusing on key airside projects including aircraft stands, the parallel taxiway and new immigration and baggage facilities.

Temperature Checking Technology both on departure and arrival will also be in place for passengers, while airport staff will be provided masks and visors. Rigorous and thorough cleaning regiments will also be deployed throughout the terminal and will include the use of an anti-bacterial surface treatment which will begin to kill all germs upon contact and lasts for up to 12 months.

Wherever possible staff and passengers will be asked to observe social distancing rules in the terminal and throughout the airport. London City is also working with long-term partner CrowdVision to enable the detection of areas where there is a high concentration of passengers who can then be moved to less populated areas.

Commenting on the airport’s plans to re-open Robert Sinclair, CEO at London City said: “When our doors re-open again shortly, our ambition is to provide the best airport experience in the UK to our passengers by ensuring we follow industry guidance to the letter and by maintaining our reputation as the quickest London airport to get to and through.

“While there are many challenges ahead for the UK aviation industry, it is our hope that by outlining the steps we are taking to make the airport safe, and by incorporating the views of our regular travellers into our plans, we will give people the confidence to fly from our airport to destinations across the UK and Europe.”

The airport has been making use of the UK Governments Job Retention Scheme and currently pays furloughed staff 100% of their wages.

 

Alstef strengthens partnership with Sheremety..

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Having completed and commissioned the complete baggage sorting systems in Terminals B and C at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, baggage handling solutions provider Alstef has been selected to maintain and operate these two terminals for a 10-year period.

A team of 80 people is working across the two terminals to allow a 24/7 presence that will ensure the system’s operation as well as preventive and corrective maintenance of the equipment. Remote assistance and the implementation of a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) will also be in place.

The system is controlled using BagWare software developed by Alstef. Control teams can manage the allocation of the sorting chutes according to flights, automatic storages, the daily update of flight schedules and the treatment of the out-of-format baggage. Baggage tracking is ensured throughout the various screening stages (explosives, radiation, customs, prohibited items) which includes manual coding if needed and the ability to send baggage tot he reconciliation zone if its deemed suspicious.

Cologne Bonn Airport prepares for reopening

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Preparations are underway at Cologne Bonn Airport for the resumption of passenger traffic. In preparation for the gradual return of airline services and to ensure passengers and staff can travel safely through the terminal, numerous measures are already being taken in the airport’s terminals.

‘We’re ready to go, and can’t wait for the terminals to be bustling again,’ said Johan Vanneste, CEO of Flughafen Koln/ Bonn GmbH. “To ensure our passengers feel at ease and reach their destination safely and in good health, we and our partners have taken a number of measures that will minimise the risk of infection at our airport as long as they are upheld.”

It is compulsory to wear a mask upon entering the airport’s terminals, both before and after passing through security. Restaurants and shops within the airport are required to comply with official requirements, such as reducing the number of seats, maintaining physical distance between guests and implement hygiene measures. Stickers on the floor remind passengers to maintain the necessary 1.5m distance, while barrier tape will also ensure more space between travellers. Airline staff and handling agents will sit behind protective screens at check-in counters. Access to the security checkpoint will be limited with passengers passing through one at a time. At present passengers are only allowed to take one piece of hand luggage with them through security. In the waiting areas every second seat will be blocked off to ensure physical distancing is adhered to. However, families and passengers travelling together will be able to sit together.

Posters, videos, flyers and announcements will continue to remind passengers to wash their hands and observe coughing and sneezing etiquette. Disinfectant dispensers had already been set up across the terminal at the start of the crisis, but more are being added. In addition, the airport has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection in its terminal buildings, with particular care given to high-touch areas such as self-check-in screens and touchpoints, handrails and luggage trolleys.

He added that while the travel experience at Cologne Bonn Airport will certainly be different to the pre-coronavirus one initially, the airport is “making every effort to ensure our passengers feel relaxed and well taken care of as they start their business trip or long-awaited holiday. We’re also relying on passengers themselves being responsible – everyone has to do their bit in order for our measures to work. Let’s help each other to stay healthy.”

The airport is hoping for traffic to gradually ramp up over the coming weeks and months as airlines begin to resume operations. “Initially, we expect there to be a few additional flights in June, and are cautiously optimistic for the subsequent summer months. We hope traffic will gradually keep increasing,” said Vanneste.

Wizz Air extends services with two new bases ..

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Wizz Air is expanding its operations opening two new bases at Larnaca in Cyprus and Milan Malpensa in Italy from July. The Hungarian low-cost carrier has also announced additional routes from London Luton Airport.

The airline plans to base five Airbus A320 aircraft at Milan Malpensa which will serve 20 new routes includeing Athens, Corfu, Eindhoven, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lisbon, London Luton, Menorca, Marrakesh, Porto, Pristina, Reykjavik – Keflavik, Rhodes, Santorini, Tallinn, Tel Aviv, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Valencia, Zakynthos.

The carrier has also announced 10 new routes from its new base at Larnaca where it will base two Airbus A32- aircraft. These include: Athens, Billund, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Karlsuhe/ Baden-Baden, Memmingen, Suceava, Thessaloniki, Turku and Wroclaw.

Commenting on the new services from the Cypriot hub  in a statement on Linked in, Andys Frangos, Senior Manager Operations at Larnaca, said: “Great news, coming exactly at the time when the focus is on the post Covid-19 reactivation plan for the airport… Looking forward to welcoming more passengers to our beautiful island.”

Meanwhile a statement from Wizz Air read: “Once a game changer, always a game changer. While legacy airlines are being bailed out by governments all over Europe, we are happy to announced our new bases in Milan Malpensa and Larnaca.”

Swedavia appoints new director for Malmö Air..

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Karin Öhrström has been appointed as the new Airport Director for Malmö Airport by Swedish airport operator, Swedavia. She will assume her new duties on 1 September.

Öhrström holds a Master’s degree in engineering and has been in her current position at energy services provider, E.ON Energilösningar for more than 20 years. She is currently Head of Customer & Sales and brings extensive experience from her previous management positions and duties.

“I am both proud and pleased that we have recruited Karin as the new airport director of Malmö Airport,” said Susanne Norman, director of regional airports at Swedavia. “Her knowledge and experience will be a major addition to the airport and to Swedavia. Our ambition is to continue developing Malmö Airport as an important regional airport that contributes to acess in southern Sweden and to continue driving our climate change work,” Norman continued.

Öhrström will succeed Peter Weinhandl, who has been Malmö’s Airport Director since 2012 and will retire in September this year.

“This is a new and exciting industry for me, one that nevertheless has surprisingly many similarities with the energy sector. Swedavia has an inspiring social remit, a clear customer focus and wants to lead the way in areas that are important to me. This includes regional access and growth as well as the aviation industry’s transformation in the face of climate change, but also gender equality and sustainability. I am really looking forward to taking on my new duties together with all the employees at Malmö Airport,” said 49-year-old Öhrström.

Porter Airlines defers resumption of services..

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Although Porter Airlines had initially planned to resume services next month, the Canadian regional carrier which is headquartered at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has deferred its return to service to 29 July.

“We want to see our planes in the sky as soon as possible and are actively working to prepare for our resumption of service,” said Michael Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines. “However, the ongoing uncertainty presented by government travel restrictions, including border closures, is impacting our ability to operate flights,” he continued.

Seasonal summer markets that Porter intended to serve this year are being cancelled as part of this service deferral. Musoka, Ontario and Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, are the two destinations affected.

“We are closely watching developments and know that Porter will be an important part of providing people with travel options as the economy recovers,” Deluce said.

In advance of its return to service, the airline is preparing to introduce new health and safety measures. Details of these initiatives will be announced closer to when flights restart, so that plans are as closely aligned with the latest public health recommendations as possible.

Waltzing Matilda sees pick up in business

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Boston-based jet charter operator, Waltzing Matilda Aviation (WMA) has noted a pick up in business in the past week having experienced a quiet April and first half of May.

Based on levels of activity at its home base – Laurence G Hanscom Field Airport in Bedford, Massachusetts, WMA believes business is coming back faster than for some of the bigger national players who have been forced to furlough crews during the downturn. Having maintained full staffing levels in recent months WMA has used some of this downtime to invest in new systems and enhance its website.

Commenting on how WMA has been fielding up to 50 jet charter enquiries a day up from 5-10 just two weeks ago, CEO John Thomas, said: “With a massive imbalance in clients wanting to fly from Florida to the North East we are seeing unbelievably low pricing for one way southbound flights as low as $6,500. But we don’t expect this imbalance will last for more than a couple of weeks after which southbound pricing will rise to their more normal levels.”

Thomas added that with the FET (Federal Excise Tax) holiday until the end of December, as well as low fuel prices, now is one of the cheapest times to fly privately. “We have picked up a number of new corporate customers who have already made the decision not to allow their staff to fly commercially for the forseeable future and therefore see private aviation as the only viable option.”

Belfast City operates reduced schedule to Lon..

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In conjunction with Aer Lingus and to facilitate essential travel Belfast City Airport is facilitating a reduced flight schedule to London Heathrow.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, Belfast City has introduced measures throughout the terminal to protect everyone on site. These include perspex screens, additional hand sanitising units and markings to promote social distancing throughout the terminal. Passengers are also being asked to wear ‘face coverings’ when in the terminal and onto their flight.

Southampton and Guernsey airports team up to ..

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Southampton Airport and Guernsey Airport have joined forces along with Channel Island’s based airline Aurigny to ensure a special charter flight carrying medical samples to be tested at Southampton General Hospital was carried out efficiently and safely.

“We are extremely proud to have been providing lifeline flights to the Channel Islands throughout this difficult period,” said Neil Garwood, Managing Director of Southampton Airport. “It has never been more important to enable medical flights than during this pandemic response,” he added.

Southampton General hospital is one of the key medical facilities for the Channel Islands and as such is key in the islands’ response to the pandemic. The flight, which took place on Sunday 24 May, on a Dornier 228NG, was requested by authorities on Guernsey on the Saturday. “Our team pulled out all the stops working with Aurigny and Guernsey Airport to make sure this precious medical cargo reached Southampton in time,” added Garwood.

As a popular year-round air route for passengers arriving from the Channel Islands, Southampton Airport is a key access point to the south of England. Aurigny is currently operating daily services to Southampton from Guernsey for those with a requirement to travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes vital medical appointments.

Header image: the Aurigny Dornier 228NG after landing at Southampton Airport