After more than a year of waiting, tens of thousands of Air Canada customers are poised to finally receive COVID-related refunds. The carrier agreed to convert outstanding credits to proper refunds as part of a C$5.8 billion financial aid package funded by the Canadian government.
The French government likely just spent the most money ever on airport landing slots. A €4 billion deal to recapitalize the Air France-KLM group will see a token divestment of operating slots at Paris-Orly airport, assuming a competitor is keen.
The US Department of Transportation will require Hong Kong-based airlines to file their planned operations in advance, a first step towards potentially limiting the frequency or types of flights from the Chinese Special Administrative Region to the United States. The move comes in response to a change in quarantine policies effected 20 February that asymmetrically benefit Cathay Pacific’s cargo operations over all other operators.
Airlines and online travel agencies can now quickly and easily inform passengers of destinations’ COVID-19 testing requirements inline as part of flight searches. The new data distributed by industry stalwart ATPCO provides clear details about which countries and airlines require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before departure and if vaccination is required to enter a country.
In the COVID era many companies are more than happy to provide some sort of safety rating, hoping to boost the travel industry’s recovery. Alas, despite their ostensibly noble goals, the end results appear to generally be garbage not worth trusting at all.
Air Canada and Air Transat received approval from the Canadian government this week to close on their merger, though not without some additional conditions covering slots, loyalty, lounges, and Quebec employment guarantees.
Chalk up another major long-haul LCC failure. Norwegian will abandon its fleet of 37 787 Dreamliners, refocusing on the short-haul European market served with single-aisle aircraft.
JetBlue expects new and extended spending cuts as well as increased debt headed in to 2021 as its recovery remains “volatile” and Thanksgiving came up short of targets.
JetBlue was one of the last carriers to keep seats blocked on board. Headed into the new year, however, that era will come to a close. As of 8 January 2021 all seats on board will be available for sale.
Canada is on the cusp of pushing serious funds into its aviation industry, a move necessary to keep the planes moving as COVID-19 continues to suppress demand in the country. But Minister of Transport Marc Garneau added a caveat to the plan, one that could make passengers even happier than the airlines: Refunds must be issued for canceled flights.