Airports opening, airlines flying – the re-emerging of aviation.

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Viewing 15 posts - 151 through 165 (of 186 total)

  • GivingupBA
    Participant

    Yesterday I flew nonstop from Seoul to London (repatriating myself after 4 months away from the UK) on an A350. There were 29 passengers on the plane – I know because I walked around the entire plane halfway through the flight, ‘Y’ and ‘C’, carefully counting everyone – it was a surreal experience pulling the curtain aside and peering into ‘Y’, because absolutely no-one was visible, just endless empty rows of seats (the few passengers there were all laying down on rows of 3 seats). Heathrow was eerily quiet, of course. No-one checked my compulsory gov.uk 14-day locator quarantine form that you have to submit on-line less than 48 hours before arrival (there was one little desk just before Immigration, with one guy asking everyone who passed “Done the form? Done the form?” – some people were standing there doing the form on their phones. I said “yes” as I passed him but he didn’t check).


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Welcome home GivingupBA. Under the circumstances, it must have been a very pleasant and quiet flight. 29 passengers on a 350… wow!

    Your report still makes me baffled about the ease of how passengers just saunter into the UK. During the height of the crisis, the scientific and medical arguments put forward were that if anyone infected were to arrive into the UK it would make little difference based on the number of infected people already in the UK.

    Now the number of infections in the UK have reduced, surely the above argument is no longer valid and anyone coming into the UK, infected, will make a difference. I saw a shocking interview on Sky News (the interview was still running this morning) from a US Dr, in Houston, who said they were fighting the pandemic on 2 fronts, the virus and the stupidity of Americans. Yet still passengers from the US for example, appear to be sauntering into the UK after filling out a form, although the USA still does not want any non residents entering their country. For balance, the hospital in Houston did claim a 96% success rate in beating the virus.

    I accept the UK economy needs to reopen, I accept people need to travel (me included), I accept people need to make their own decisions about when to travel and I accept(to a degree) we are not a nanny state. I also accept the Government have provided a list of destinations UK arriving passengers will not have to self quarantine on arrival back into the UK.

    However, in a country where individuals can/could decide a holiday is categorised as essential travel (I realise the essential travel definition is about to change), where you can take public transport and go shopping when you are meant to be in QUARANTINE and where private jets, departing from the USA being refused entry into Italy but naturally are given landing rights into the UK…..

    https://www.thelocal.it/20200703/treated-like-criminals-italian-police-turn-away-american-tourists-arriving-by-private-jet

    …does filling in a form pre arrival and a soft touch quarantine (what amounts to self isolation, with ‘exeat’ passes) really offer the best protection at this stage for the UK from passengers arriving from countries which are still suffering from high rates of infections and/or deaths?

    Last week Boris stated he was not expecting a second wave, from yesterdays press conference with the medic and scientific advisors in tow it appears to be 50 / 50….

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    GivingupBA
    Participant

    Thank you for your kind welcome home, Martyn. I was surprised at LHR to see no health checks at all, also no temperature checks. At Seoul airport my temperature was checked twice before getting to the boarding gate – and not by passing a passive camera, but by officials in masks taking everyone’s temperature. They took it very seriously. With a temperature, you cannot board a flight.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Indeed, welcome safely home Martyn. I would prefer an A350, / 789 series with spaced out 1-2-1 Aircraft in Business, and comfortably less seats across in all classes, and choose such an aircraft in the future!

    I find it shocking that LHR continues, as Government Policy enables, for our borders still to be so negligently managed.
    I noted on my return beginning of March 2020 from Australia, how no information, notices, or even hygiene measures were in place at LHR.
    Qantas have suspended International flights several times, til October, and now proposals to 2021.
    The Australian Borders may well not be opened for travel in or out, for Australians or Visitors.
    It is very strict, yet pro-active, and at least determined action, clear, concise, and planning can be made from there.
    They have also preserved Domestic flights, essential for the Country and its terrain, as well as interstate support.

    My previous comments on “Lockdowns” referred to the Governments ridiculous Policy introduced only a few weeks ago.
    The “Andrew Marr” show on BBC1 Sunday, featured a WHO Epidemiologist, who stated that analysing the DNA of the virus, they were able to say where it was obtained, as these can be sub typed, and have characteristics.
    The Majority of these were identified mostly from Spain, France, not China, so actually brought in through Our Borders with no monitoring or protection.

    I would like to see more Consultation from the Airports as to what WE feel we need top fly from their airports and fly safely, as well as the Airlines.
    As mentioned in another thread, many Hotel Brands have been asking frequent guests what would they wish in terms of precautions, stay options, with very detailed and Open suggestions taken in. Many have adopted International Certifications from Leading Companies in the field, so they will be “Approved and certificated” as met to these standards.
    KLM and Air France asked this a month ago, yet some Airlines like Qatar, appear to be going over the top requiring visors, and the same PPE as Dr’s or Nurses in Covid ITU’s.
    Yet in proportion to populations Qatar is the worst in the World!

    So i would like to see more engagement with the customers from both.

    The conduct of The Government in totally avoiding any guidance, let alone planning, has caused a devastating situation for Airlines in The UK. No Strategy
    The BA sly moves as described by MP’s as Disgraceful and Shameful, stands for all to see.
    I have found the many news items on the effects on all Airport and Airline staff, to be cruel, and clearly affecting lives to the point that they actively damage the Mental and Physical Health of their own staff.
    These are the people who enable our enjoyable travel, and we owe much too.

    I compare this to the way I know of KLM and Qantas engaging with their staff, and both Netherlands and Australian Governments supporting the Aviation infrastructure, and supply services, for the Future of their nation.
    Nothing here from the UK.

    We will be living with Covid for some time, until we see an active vaccine, and this needs to be Worldwide. Another rise is expected by Hospitals Dr’s and Nurses here in the UK, we shall see in some weeks time following the behaviours recently when restrictions have been lifted.
    So this could just be the beginning, is far from over, as the WHO Experts, and many respected experts predict Worldwide identify.

    Surely this is enough to have representation, openness, planning and a strategy to work towards from all involved, for the UK Aviation Industry, urgently from the UK Government??


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Hi Marcus,

    Totally agree that Government needs a plan, and strategy. The problem is that this Government was elected on a BREXIT mandate and that is the Government’s # 1 priority and interest.

    Citizens’ health and the economy come a very poor second as there are few in the Government with any experience, or even interest.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Qantas have suspended International flights several times, til October, and now proposals to 2021.
    The Australian Borders may well not be opened for travel in or out, for Australians or Visitors.
    It is very strict, yet pro-active, and at least determined action, clear, concise, and planning can be made from there.
    They have also preserved Domestic flights, essential for the Country and its terrain, as well as interstate support.

    I know you mention Australia as an example in almost every post these days on the benefits of why hard border controls are effective.

    Just to be clear is that the same Australia that has locked down the entire population of Melbourne for 6 weeks? Perhaps in the real world, UK nationals are the least of their problems…..

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Having lived and Worked in Australia, yes i have many friends and colleagues, as well as 3 visits a year down there to have a realistic feel of what is happening there from them, as well as on my visits. I know and work with Many Specialists, mostly Professors / Dr’s who are literally dealing with the Covid-19 on the front line.
    So yes, it is relevant.
    Similarly, your frequent posts focused on Dubai, you would have a greater insight.

    A Cross Cultural view and awareness of parts of The World others may not get to, is very useful Professionally, and one of the great benefits of BT, as contributed by many over years, towards travel, opf interest, and enabling many of us to be more aware and informed.
    This has been so for my 10+ yrs membership here…and having won the monthly Magazine’s Contribution prize twice when it was active, for doing just that.

    The knowledge of how to diagnose, screen, treat, Track and Trace, and post rehabilitation, is indeed being learned in this manner from many countries around The World.
    Medics & Nurses are on the front line treating this Pandemic in many countries, so the sharing of much useful, or effective ideas is a great relevance. Best Practice, and the sharing of such, is saving many lives as this continues.
    Just as the Scientific community, Researching the Aetiology, Pathology, screening, testing & tracing and trying for a vaccine is happening.

    Being there in January 20, and returning late Feb, to Early March in LHR, it was easy to see what was happening in Asia, then Australia, the controls, the cautions, and i could see what would be coming towards Europe and the UK.
    With the WHO and many Organisations and Countries affected by this sweep around the World, as we now are seeing in South and North America, there is great wisdom in relating what countries have done, that appears to have been more effective than others, and the UK.
    It is easier to pick what works well and what does not, how one Country manages the same issues better than the next.
    Especially as this is a steep learning curve with a new Virus, just starting to impact – it is far from over.

    The World is just at the beginning living with this Virus.
    So, it is relevant, and also valid to any possibility of us travelling the same again, if we can, in the coming years.
    This merging of such a Health World Pandemic, is the most prolific people will ever have experienced in our lives so far.
    Nothing has ever “stopped” The World, Business, suspended travel, everyday life and human behaviour in many of Our lifetimes, cych as this in Our Generations.
    People Worldwide from many countries working together, are attempting to try to enable us to survive, let alone go back to living as we did before!

    So yes, a local insight is very valuable if shared, whether you appreciate it or not.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I know you like to answer everything with a long story Marcus, but my point really wasn’t about your local knowledge, friends in Australia, winning letter of the month etc.

    It really was this. You have been a big promoter of the Australia model as a gold standard in dealing with Covid – particularly how shutting down borders and stopping international travel until 2021 is the best way to handle things and how the UK should have closed down it’s borders too.

    Isn’t it therefore a bit strange that having closed to the world early on, and remained so, we now see that the second biggest city Melbourne (it may even be the biggest now) has just been locked down for 6 weeks? And that the border between NSW and Victoria has been closed today for first time in 100 years? Seems to me that Australia may have some positives but it is certainly not all it is cracked up to be when handling coronavirus.

    Unfortunately being a regular traveller somewhere and having “local insight” does not automatically make one an expert….as you say I travel regularly to Dubai but it would not qualify me in any way to reach a judgement on whether the sterilisation programmes they have been running are any better or worse than measures adopted elsewhere.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Australia initially closed All state Borders, except for permit holders, so it is not the first time now in 100 years.

    They have had nationwide, 104 deaths, and 8,362 confirmed cases in the whole of this year.
    This compares to 28,634 in the UK as of yesterday, with 44,391 deaths here.we are having 8,500 conformed cases a day, not a 121 spike as Melbourne.
    The USA has had over 130,000 deaths sadly, so far.

    So who is doing better?!!!

    Hence they are being referred to as a handful of countries by many experts, in news articles in both print, and on in depth interviews with the WHO, Leading UK and International scientists on TV, such as Newsnight, Andrew Marr Show, BBC News, and The Times. They have been recognised a dealing with the Pandemic in some of the best ways Worldwide not by me, but International organisations.

    We have the start of further Outbreaks in areas here already also, and more from people at pubs from the unlocking last weekend starting, as have all countries when they have begun to unlock. This is the beginning of the Pandemic only. Especially considering India, North and many Countries in South America, as featured on C4 news, and Newsnight recently.

    As has already been noted by others on here of you, I am not really interested nor bothered by your views or comment on how i convey, or what i write. Everyone has the right to express their view, and the decent contributors tend not to need to be “Bitchy”, merely share their views calmly and discuss.
    This would be an appropriate behaviour, Business like and Professional, even if you do not want to follow this.
    This is The BusinessTraveller Forum, not the SimonS1 column.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Australia initially closed All state Borders, except for permit holders, so it is not the first time now in 100 years.

    My apologies – Reuters and virtually the whole global media must have this wrong then:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-australia/australia-closes-state-border-for-first-time-in-100-years-to-halt-coronavirus-idUSKBN247074

    They have had nationwide, 104 deaths, and 8,362 confirmed cases in the whole of this year.
    This compares to 28,634 in the UK as of yesterday, with 44,391 deaths here.we are having 8,500 conformed cases a day, not a 121 spike as Melbourne.
    The USA has had over 130,000 deaths sadly, so far.

    So who is doing better?!!!

    I’m sure you are not naive enough to thing that a direct comparison of numbers provides the answer. What about all the other factors like age profile, percentage of BAME population (which has a much higher incidence) and even basic things like population of UK being approaching 3x the size in a much smaller landmass. That is assuming you believe the number of deaths is the only thing that matters. Time will tell who has made the right calls in handling the virus.

    We have the start of further Outbreaks in areas here already also, and more from people at pubs from the unlocking last weekend starting, as have all countries when they have begun to unlock

    But to be clear the rolling average of cases up to yesterday was still downwards.

    It is not a question of being “bitchy”, of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, unfortunately though when it comes to dealing with Coronavirus the UK Government (who you regularly run down) has to take into account the facts and the wider economic prosperity of the nation not just a nice Jackanory style story. That is why they are taking the decisions they are.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Not withstanding the differences in size of the landmass/population distribution/bame and all the other variables – it’s interesting to see how 2 countries/cities deal with an outbreak, spike, cluster or otherwise.

    Melbourne has a spike of ca. 120 new cases and the city is shut down for 6 weeks – Hillingdon hospital (which is a suburb of London and close to Heathrow airport) has a new Covid-19 outbreak and only closes the hospital except for emergency ambulances and emergency admissions. Most people around Hillingdon dont even realise about the new outbreak, why would they? (and I am not suggesting who is right or wrong)

    Walking through my local high street yesterday, I noticed hairdressers PPE varied from a chin positioned face mask to a face mask with a plastic overall. Certainly no where near the amount of protection that the hairdressers presented on news programmes were wearing. Most parking in the high street has been suspended, to allow for social distancing – yet very few people adhere to social distancing. The supermarkets try to create a one way system, ignored by customers and staff alike.

    The economy is starting to move, the equity markets are recovering, hovering around the 6,300 mark, which is half way between the high / low point of the pandemic period.

    BUT – the gravitas of the pandemic (in the UK) has disappeared. The daily briefings have gone, politicians not answering reporters questions (nothing unusual there) the daily figures detailing the pandemic stats are difficult to find, borders remain open, just fill in a form and try not to forget to hand it in. No worries though, we can all go on holiday. Bars and beaches open and the pictures were horrific – as for the continual demonstrations…

    I take the view that not enough people are taking the current situation seriously enough. We all may have choices but we shouldn’t have a choice of whether to follow the rules and guidelines. Business needs countries to open THEIR border to UK citizens – foreigners appear happy to come here, but outside of the holiday resorts, countries don’t appear to want UK people anywhere near. i cant even go to my Guernsey office without quarantining for 14 days.

    As for a nice Jackanory style story – I wish…

    For our overseas friends https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackanory

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    BUT – the gravitas of the pandemic (in the UK) has disappeared. The daily briefings have gone, politicians not answering reporters questions (nothing unusual there) the daily figures detailing the pandemic stats are difficult to find, borders remain open, just fill in a form and try not to forget to hand it in.

    Yes, this is true, but when you have 3 months of grind any liberation is likely to be over celebrated (not that this makes it satisfactory).

    But I think the number of places accepting Brits is increasing. Dubai is open, Kenya from 1/8, actually the challenge is the UK quarantine issue still.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    actually the challenge is the UK quarantine issue still.

    I don’t agree with the above statement.

    UK Plc is well and truly open for business. Employees are returning to offices (except of course those now going on holiday). Virtually any foreign business visitor is being welcomed into the UK with virtually no medical checks (yes they have to complete a health form, but as reported, no one seems bothered to relieve people of the forms). The UK’s attempt at quarantine was something out of a Benny Hill sketch, with people self isolating, when they are not going out food shopping or travelling on public transport. Foreign visitors only challenge is finding a flight from their point of origin to the UK, but with planning, i don’t think any foreign business can not access the UK, in person.

    All other major business centres outside of Europe (USA, ASIA and Australia) have either closed borders or strict 14 day quarantine. Strict as in serious fines or jail time for those that break the rules, therefore blocking UK Plc from operating effectively. Dubai may be open, but for transit passengers ex- UK or passengers holding a UK passport, doors for onward travel will remain firmly shut.

    I don’t see how UK’s so called quarantine/self isolation remains an issue for UK Plc.

    Yes, this is true, but when you have 3 months of grind any liberation is likely to be over celebrated (not that this makes it satisfactory).

    Typical mentality of those that think we are now in the clear…


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I don’t agree with the above statement.

    I was responding to your point that “countries don’t appear to want UK people anywhere near”.

    For me as a UK person Dubai is open, as is Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya (from 1/8) – these being places I travel to. The issue is on return to UK I would need 14 days isolation. Admittedly enforcement is non existent, but that is a UK restriction not an overseas country one.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant
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