The FAA a has given Boeing permission to begging flight testing for re-certification purposes.
This is a major step for the company, but at best it will only result in re-certification in the US. EASA, Canada, China, India, Ethiopia, and Indonesia (the later pair where the original disasters occurred), all want their own process and demands met first.
The FAA is trying to negotiate a way round for its own process to be at least part of the cooperation with other authorities, but few are prepared to accept the FAA on face value. In their view it lost all authority when it’s over exposure to Boeing control became clear. Despite efforts to rectify the issue the FAA is still full of former Boeing employees and while it’s done a lot to distance itself from the company, trust has been lost.
LIAT to be liquidated
LIAT is an important airline connecting the Caribbean islands, and plans to restart operations on July 15. However it’s based out of Barbados and the Prime Minister there has said the current airline is to be liquidated, then reconstituted using the same brandimg “as a leaner fitter airline”.
Tayaranjet goes low-cost
Italian backed Bulgarian based Tayaranjet, has been supplying wet lease services to the defunct AirItaly and ErnestJet, but has decided to opt for low cost as a new business plant to expand.
Low cost models seem to be keen to exploit the weakness of the legacy carriers, and Southern Europe, especially Italy, Greece and the southern Balkans are poorly served compared to much of Europe, although Wizz has been expanding its footprint, and RyanAir clearly sees Vienna as an access point to the region.
American dumps distancing, others will follow
As states in the southern US from Florida to Texas and Arizona are forced to reimpose partial or even full lockdowns as hospitals fill with Covid patients – this time with mostly 18-39 year olds who can’t be bothered with social distancing – American Airlines has dumped its plans for empty middle seats, and will go back to full aircraft bookings.
Some airlines have considered the same, some never did it in the first place. The economies don’t work especially well. There is also a great deal of evidence it makes no real difference in an enclosed cylinder with HEPA filters and full decontamination after every flight. The key seems to be wearing a mask, which stops transmission in confined space. However Americans get all het up about being made to wear a mask, putting their right not be told to wear one above killing the person next to them. Lack of leadership and weakness from the Trump Administration on the subject has made it more difficult to persuade people to put others before themselves.
The problem has been so acute airlines have now decided to make mask wearing compulsory, you simply won’t board if you refuse to wear one, and you’ll be banned from the airline if you take it off in flight.
You’ll also have to self-declare your Covid status before being allowed to book and it will form a legally binding part of your contract with the airline. Enforceable? Probably not, but a lifetime ban from an airline might prove problematic long term.
While not connected to American Airlines, an incident in Japan has shown that the fogging agent used to decontaminate the interior of a 787 somehow has caused one of the engines to loose power on take off. It’s under investigation.