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Monday, January 25th, 2021

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Airbus forced to quarantine 500 staff in Hamburg after COVID-19 outbreak

Airbus has been forced to quarantine 500 of its 12,000-strong workforce at its Hamburg-Finkenwerder, Germany site after 21 individuals tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. As of yet it is not known if this is an outbreak of the more virulent variant that has been spreading rapidly throughout Europe from the U.K. These members of staff have been asked to stay at home while the company decides whether or not this will have an impact on production at the Hamburg-Finkenwerder site.

Meanwhile, German health authorities are trying to establish the cause of the outbreak, a spokesman of the Hamburg health authority said. The announcement was made on Friday and it is anticipated the variant of virus will have been more accurately identified by the middle of this week. “The cause of the cases is still under investigation. We are fully supporting the authorities,” an Airbus spokesman said.

Annette Mann heads Corporate Responsibility unit at Lufthansa Group

Since the beginning of the year, Annette Mann has headed the newly established unit of Corporate Responsibility at the Lufthansa Group. In this function, she is responsible for the further development, management and implementation of a holistic and Group-wide sustainability program. This includes, in particular, measures for climate-neutral flying, the optimization of the entire travel chain under the aspect of sustainability, Group-wide reporting on non-financial topics, and social commitment. Mann reports directly to Christina Foerster, Executive Board Member Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility at the Lufthansa Group.

In her new role, she has agreed to have Lufthansa Group participate in a pioneering project to generate so-called “green hydrogen” in the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. The representatives of the partners involved in this project have signed a memorandum of understanding, which include the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Siemens Energy Global, Masdar and Marubeni Corporation, Khalifa University, Ethihad Airways and the Lufthansa Group.

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American to update current livery with new, mica-free paint color created for Silver Eagle™

Starting this month, American Airlines' aircraft approach their regularly scheduled paint refresh date. American will begin repainting them with a new, non-mica gray paint that looks nearly identical to what is soaring across the skies today, but is less expensive, lighter, more fuel efficient and better for the environment.

The repaint will update American’s current livery with a new, mica-free paint color created specifically for the airline: Silver Eagle™.

“We had an opportunity to do things differently as planes approached their scheduled repaint date,” said Jill Naden, 787 Engineer at American. “We looked at this very carefully and figured out an alternative that would be less expensive, and importantly, better for the environment. By moving to Silver Eagle, our fleet of airplanes will burn approximately one million fewer gallons of fuel per year. We estimate this alone will reduce American’s carbon emissions by 9,525 metric tons per year once the fleet is repainted.”

The mica layer adds about 62 pounds to the weight of a Boeing 737-800. American started 2021 with 282 Boeing 737-800 aircraft in the fleet, with each aircraft flying up to six trips per day. By removing the mica layer, the airline is expected to save nearly 300,000 gallons of fuel annually in this fleet type alone. In addition to the reduction in emissions resulting from removing the mica layer, American will also use fewer chemicals when painting and repairing aircraft.

American will gradually introduce the refreshed livery beginning with the 737-800 fleet. New aircraft on order are expected to be delivered to American with the updated look in the second half of 2021.

German air traffic industry adjusts mandatory mask-wearing requirement with effect from February 1, 2021

As hereby communicated by the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG), the association of national and international airlines in Germany, the German air traffic industry adjusts the rules regarding compulsory mask wearing. This means that as of February 1, 2021, all passengers, including children as from six years, at German airports as well as onboard the respective aircraft are obliged to wear medical face masks.

Permitted are both surgical as well as FFP2 masks, more specifically masks complying with the standard KN95/N95. A simple cloth face covering is no longer sufficient. Furthermore, visors, masks with an outlet valve as well as basic means of oronasal covering such as scarfs for example continue to be prohibited.

The adjusted mandatory mask-wearing requirement is applicable in all passenger areas at German airports as well as onboard of aircraft of Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Condor, Eurowings, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and TUIfly. The obligation applies to both departing and arriving flights to Germany. The masks are to be provided by the passengers themselves.

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Boeing sets ambitious target to advance long-term sustainability of commercial aviation

Boeing is setting an ambitious target to advance the long-term sustainability of commercial aviation, committing that its commercial airplanes are capable and certified to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuels by 2030. Boeing has previously conducted successful test flights replacing petroleum jet fuel with 100% sustainable fuels to address the urgent challenge of climate change.

According to the Air Transport Action Group, U.S. Department of Energy and several other scientific studies, sustainable aviation fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% over the fuel's life cycle with the potential to reach 100% in the future. Today, sustainable aviation fuels are mixed directly with conventional jet fuel up to a 50/50 blend — the maximum allowed under current fuel specifications. In order to meet aviation's commitment for reducing carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2050, airplanes need the capability to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuels well before 2050.

"Our industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change, and sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal. "We're committed to working with regulators, engine companies and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels."

Boeing's commitment is to determine what changes are required for its current and future commercial airplanes to fly on 100% sustainable fuels, and to work with regulatory authorities and across the industry to raise the blending limit for expanded use.

Boeing has been a pioneer in making sustainable aviation fuels a reality, partnering globally with airlines, industry, governments and research institutions to expand limited supplies and reduce the fuels' cost. Boeing worked with airlines, engine manufacturers and others to conduct biofuel test flights starting in 2008 and gain approval for sustainable fuels in 2011. In 2018, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flight-test program made the world's first commercial airplane flight using 100% sustainable fuels with a 777 Freighter, in collaboration with FedEx Express.

Brussels Airlines signs ground handling contract with Alyzia

Following the bankruptcy of its handling partner Swissport Belgium in June 2020, Brussels Airlines initiated a procedure to search for a new ground handler in its home base at Brussels Airport. As the bankruptcy vacated the second handling license at the airport, several contenders entered the Belgian market to run for a permanent license. In December, the second permanent operating license was granted to Alyzia, a French company serving over 80 airlines in eight French airports.

After a thorough tender process that took several months and which was based on quality, performance and cost criteria, Brussels Airlines decided to appoint Alyzia as its new ground handling provider at Brussels Airport as of April 1, 2021. The contract foresees a cooperation until at least March 31, 2024. The contract includes ramp handling (including baggage handling, tarmac handling and de-icing, among other services) and the management of Brussels Airlines’ Lost&Found service. Until the end of March 2021, Brussels Airlines’ ground handling continues to be managed by Aviapartner, the other license holder.
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