Qatar Airways operates flight with all aboard Covid-vaccinated
April 07, 2021
Qatar Airways has operated what it describes as the first flight carrying only crew and passengers vaccinated against Covid-19. The special flight, QR6421 operated with an Airbus A350-1000, took off from Doha on 6 April and returned to the city's Hamad International airport after a 3h sortie. Qatar Airways says the check-in staff were also fully vaccinated. "Today's special flight demonstrates the next stage in the recovery of international travel is not far away," states Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker. Some airlines have been racing to vaccinate their staff as the pandemic rages. Singapore Airlines and Etihad in February became the first major carriers to operate flights with vaccinated crew. Countries are currently debating the use of vaccination passports as they seek ways to open up air travel safely. Iceland, for example, has said that it will welcome travellers who can show proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from an infection.

EASA validates 737 Max 8-200 certification
April 07, 2021
European safety regulators have granted type certificate validation to the Boeing 737 Max 8-200, new high-density variant of the re-engined twinjet. In a certification document revision the European Union Aviation Safety Agency lists a validation date of 6 April, following US FAA certification on 31 March. The 8-200 has been developed to increase the seating capacity of the Max 8. It has the same maximum take-off weight as the Max 8, at 82.2t, and the same baggage hold volumes. Irish budget carrier Ryanair is a major customer for the aircraft, having increased its order from 135 to 210 of the type in December last year. Ryanair is configuring its 8-200s with 197 seats. The aircraft has an extra pair of exit doors to meet evacuation requirements. EASA limits the maximum total number of cabin occupants to 207 – comprising 202 passengers and five cabin crew – owing to environmental control system ventilation rates. It recertificated the 737 Max towards the end of January this year following its grounding of the type in March 2019.

JAL begins trials with CommonPass, VeriFLY, IATA Travel Pass
April 06, 2021
Japan Airlines is starting independent trials with three digital health credential applications to implement standardised digital health checks on international flights. The applications are CommonPass, VeriFLY, and IATA Travel Pass. JAL trialled the CommonPass application on its Haneda-Honolulu service on 2 April, will do so on Narita-Singapore on 5 April. The carrier says its trial will confirm the application's ability to send Covid-19 test results from Toho University Haneda Airport Terminal 3 clinic, a testing facility approved by Hawaii. For the others, JAL plans to implement VeriFLY for flights to North America in April, and trial IATA's on selected international flights in May.


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