EU urged to adopt vaccine passports

Greece and Austria are urging other EU states to adopt coronavirus vaccination “passports” which could help revive Europe’s stricken tourist industry. The idea of such a document, likely to be a certificate, would be to permit those who have been vaccinated to travel freely within the EU. The proposal was put forward during a virtual discussion between EU leaders, but a vaccine passport faces opposition from some of the bloc’s 27 member states. France and Germany say such documents could be premature because data on the efficacy of vaccines in preventing a person from carrying or passing on the virus … Continue reading EU urged to adopt vaccine passports

Boeing 777: Signs of metal fatigue found on Denver plane engine

One of the fan blades in the plane engine that failed shortly after take-off in Denver showed signs of metal fatigue, investigators say. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the blade would undergo further examinations. Flight 328 was able to make an emergency landing at Denver airport on Saturday, but parts of the engine fell on homes. No-one was hurt. Boeing has recommended grounding all its 777 aircraft with the same engines. It said 128 jets should be suspended until inspections had been carried out. United Airlines, Egyptair, and operators in Japan and South Korea have all said they will … Continue reading Boeing 777: Signs of metal fatigue found on Denver plane engine

Update: United Airlines grounds planes after engine failure

United Airlines says it is grounding 24 of its Boeing 777 aircraft after one of its jets suffered engine failure after take-off on Saturday. The plane, carrying 231 passengers and 10 crew, was forced to return to Denver airport. No injuries were reported. Debris from the jet was found scattered over a nearby residential area. In response to the incident, Japan has asked all airlines using Boeing 777s with the same Pratt & Whitney 4000 engine to avoid its airspace. Boeing said it supported Japan’s decision and has recommended suspending operations of all its 777s with the same engine while … Continue reading Update: United Airlines grounds planes after engine failure

Nepal bans three Indian climbers for faking Everest summit

Nepal on Wednesday revoked the Everest summit certificates of two Indian climbers for faking their 2016 ascent, and banned them and their team leader from mountaineering in the country for six years, officials said. Narender Singh Yadav and Seema Rani Goswami said they reached the top of the world’s highest mountain in the 2016 spring season, and Nepal’s tourism department certified their claim at the time, but outrage erupted among Indian mountaineers after Yadav was listed for the prestigious Tenzing Norgay Adventure Award last year, triggering an investigation.  Tourism Ministry spokesman Tara Nath Adhikari told AFP their investigations and enquiries … Continue reading Nepal bans three Indian climbers for faking Everest summit

Vaccinated tourists can now visit the Seychelles without quarantining

The Seychelles has become the first country in the world to allow vaccinated tourists to enter the country without the need to quarantine, travellers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will still need to follow social distancing measures, but they will now be allowed to visit the Indian Ocean archipelago without self-isolating upon arrival. The country began vaccinating its population earlier this month, rolling out the Sinopharm vaccine on 10 January. Tourism is arguably the most important industry to the Seychelles’ economy, with 15 per cent of the working population directly employed by the sector, the relaxed restrictions for … Continue reading Vaccinated tourists can now visit the Seychelles without quarantining

North Korea to redevelop Mount Kumgang resort

Pyongyang plans to redevelop its flagship Mount Kumgang tourist complex into an international resort, a year after leader Kim Jong Un ordered South Korean-built buildings there demolished, state media reported on Sunday. The resort, once a prominent symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation – was built by South Korea’s Hyundai Asan on one of North Korea’s most scenic mountains, drawing hundreds of thousands of Southern visitors, but last year, Kim condemned the development with South Korea as an eyesore and described facilities there as “shabby” and built like “makeshift tents in a disaster-stricken area or isolation wards”, ordering their removal. On … Continue reading North Korea to redevelop Mount Kumgang resort

Thailand relaxes travel curbs for tourists from more than 50 countries

Thailand has eased travel restrictions for citizens from 56 countries in a bid to boost the country’s pandemic-hit tourism industry although visitors will be required to undergo a mandatory two-week hotel quarantine. Tourists from countries including Australia, France and the United States can travel without visas, but would need a certificate to show they were free of COVID-19 72 hours before travel and a reservation at a quarantine hotel, Taweesin Visanuyothin, a spokesman for Thailand’s COVID-19 task force said on Thursday. Visitors would then be subject to a two-week quarantine period after arriving, he said, adding that the normal 30-day … Continue reading Thailand relaxes travel curbs for tourists from more than 50 countries

Covid-19: Safety concerns over planes returning to service

Experts are warning airlines to take extra care when reactivating planes left in storage during the pandemic. Pilot rustiness, maintenance errors and even insect nests could be potential dangers for aircraft re-entering service. Travel restrictions have caused a huge decline in flying, with many planes put in extended storage, as a result, there has been a spike in the number of reported problems as planes return to service. “Every aircraft is going to have a specific set of instructions for maintenance, but it has never been done on this scale before,” said Greg Waldron, Asia managing editor of aviation magazine … Continue reading Covid-19: Safety concerns over planes returning to service

Shanghai rises to become world’s most connected city

Shanghai has dethroned London to become the world’s most connected city as the coronavirus shakes up international travel. London has seen a 67% fall in connectivity in air travel, according to airline industry body IATA, Shanghai has risen up the ranks, and the world’s four most connected cities are now all in China. IATA says the pandemic has “undone a century of progress” for connectivity between cities. “The dramatic shift demonstrates the scale at which the world’s connectivity has been re-ordered over the last months,” said Sebastian Mikosz, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Large transport hubs … Continue reading Shanghai rises to become world’s most connected city

China pushes for QR code based global travel system

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a “global mechanism” that would use QR codes to open up international travel. “We need to further harmonize policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of people,” he said, the codes will be used to help establish a traveller’s health status, but Human Rights advocates warn that the codes could be used for “broader political monitoring and exclusion”. Mr Xi made the comments at the G20 summit, an online meeting of heads of state from the world’s 20 largest economies, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia over the … Continue reading China pushes for QR code based global travel system

TripAdvisor warns users over Thai hotel that legally pursued reviewer

TripAdvisor has warned about a Thai hotel that made a legal complaint against a customer for a negative review, resulting in his arrest. Wesley Barnes, who is a US citizen, posted a scathing review of the Sea View Resort on the travel review site. He was subsequently detained and charged under Thailand’s strict anti-defamation laws, he was later released after issuing a public apology. Now TripAdvisor has hit back, the saga appeared to have ended when Mr Barnes left Thailand last week, but TripAdvisor has had the last word by leaving a warning notice on the hotel’s page. “This hotel or individuals … Continue reading TripAdvisor warns users over Thai hotel that legally pursued reviewer

Indian airline turns to seaplanes to boost travel

In this era of coronavirus pandemic, an Indian airline, SpiceJet is turning to seaplanes to boost travel during the pandemic downturn, the country’s biggest regional airline has approval for 18 seaplane routes, one of these routes is to Kevadia, the site of the world’s tallest statue, an 182-metre tribute to the country’s first home minister, Vallabhbhai Patel. During the pandemic, SpiceJet is focusing on new sources of revenue, including transporting cargo and regional flights using smaller planes, airlines have struggled during the coronavirus to remain profitable and many have gone bust, including the UK’s Flybe and Virgin Australia, many others … Continue reading Indian airline turns to seaplanes to boost travel