AviationA new airline for Hong Kong on the cards, and the A380 is back

Aviation Wrap: Airlines outline tentative flight plans

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Singapore Airlines will operate only 6% of its January capacity this week. Credit: Airbus
Singapore Airlines will operate only 6% of its January capacity this week. Credit: Airbus

Airlines continue to juggle their schedules as the combination of travel restrictions and loss of demand impacts the entire travel and tourism sector.

According to OAG, Singapore Airlines will operate only 6% of its January capacity this week whilst Cathay Pacific will operate just over 10% of its normal flight levels.

Malaysia Airlines has tweaked its international schedule for the northern winter 2020/21 season, beginning October 25, but many of the changes are dependent on borders opening up, and the airline is prepared to make cutbacks where necessary.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir have increased the frequency of selected services for their passenger network in August, September and October 2020, and reinstated flights to Cebu, Istanbul, Milan, Perth, Phnom Penh and Taipei.

All flights are subject to regulatory approvals and schedules are subject to changes, the airline noted.

In August Cathay Pacific has listed flights from Hong Kong to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo, Manila and Taipei. There are no flights listed to Bangkok due to Thailand’s restrictions on international commercial flights.

Qatar back in business Down Under

Qatar Airways continues to fly through the Covid-19 crisis. The Doha-based airline will restore its full schedule to Australia when it resumes services to Adelaide starting from August 16. The South Australian capital will become the airline’s fifth destination in Australia to resume flights, making Qatar Airways the only international carrier currently servicing five major cities in Australia.

Qatar requires passengers to present a document confirming a negative Covid-19 test result before they allowed to board the flight.

New airline for Hong Kong mooted

There is speculation in Hong Kong that mainland property tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau, who runs Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines, will challenge Cathay Pacific with a low-cost airline.

The South China Morning Post reports that Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department is processing a Greater Bay Airlines Company Limited’s application for an air operator’s certificate.

SCMP reports the new airline is believed to be looking at operating on a low-cost model mainly with flights between China, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.

Wake-up call for A380

Reports of the demise of the Airbus A380 jetliner may be premature even while many of them remain mothballed in pristine desert environments around the world.

Emirates has returned the A380 to service on six routes: London, Amsterdam, Cairo, Paris, Guangzhou and Toronto.

Emirates says super jumbo will be used on other routes “when they restart in line with market demand, along with operational approvals”.

To sweeten the deal for passengers, Emirates is offering Covid-coverage health insurance, valid for 31 days, covering passengers’ medical expenses and quarantine costs.

Thai airlines rewarded

Thai Airways International and THAI Smile have received the Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration (SHA) logo from Tourism and Sport Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

The Amazing Thailand SHA project is a partnership between the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and private sectors to recognise those organisations that combine high public health safety measures with hospitality service standards.

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