Coronavirus: The view from the other side – trying to look on the brighter side of life

16 April, 2020

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. While it is important to stay informed, right now there is very little positive news out there. With route cuts, airline closures, empty hotels the current trend, The Blue Swan Daily is launching 'The view from the other side' a weekly series that aims to bring a little relief and highlight some of the positive stories and messages from the travel and transport industries.

We start this week with a message from Stefan Magiera, chief commercial officer at Saudi Arabian carrier flynas, highlighting an issue that many of us are facing... balancing working from home with caring for and teaching our children. If we couldn't name the characters from PAW Patrol before the coronavirus pandemic, we certainly can now. As Mr Magiera acknowledges, it may at times be frustrating, but it is a gift to be able to spend valuable time seeing our children growing up each day.

Air New Zealand may not be flying a lot of passengers right now, but its commitment to New Zealand's unique flora and fauna remains top of its activities. This week it carried a very special cargo of Tūturuatu for the Department of Conservation (DOC).

While UK long-distance train operator LNER is operating a reduced frequency of services linking London to Edinburgh, Newcastle, York and Leeds along the country's East Coast Mainline, it is offering its staff the opportunity to make a difference to communities along the routes its serves allowing them to volunteer to help the NHS, emergency services or charities under its #LNERReserves programme.

It appears that cabin and cockpit crews at European leisure carrier TUI are itching to get back to flying again. This video, shared by communications chief Aage Duenhaupt, highlights how they have been very active in sharing their motivation about getting ready to fly again.

This is not the first time that British Airways has been forced to cancel the majority of its operations during its 100 years of operation. It continues to operate a skeletal network right now, but when its aircraft are cleared for take-off once again, it says it "will be ready to fly and to serve".

We highlighted in the feature 'You can't touch this! Health checks, cleaning programmes and social spacing initiatives could be here to stay to provide reassurance and confidence in flying' this week about how flying could change from a health and wellbeing basis. US major, Delta Air Lines, is one airline that has been very pro-active about the measures it is taking with cleaning programmes and social spacing initiatives to provide reassurance and confidence to passengers.

Virgin Atlantic Airways may have temporarily suspended all passenger operations, but like many of the world's airlines its aircraft remain active supporting the cargo industry in flying urgent supplies.

We started this week with children and end this week in a similar vain with a special initiative from Virgin Atlantic Airways. The UK carrier this week launched its virtual "flight school", a short series of daily videos on Instagram TV, delving into the lesser known facts and secrets of the aviation industry. In lesson one, First Officer Bernice Moran talked about the joy of flying. Other episodes featured Otis Dublin, a cabin service supervisor discussing cabin crew medical training and crisis management; Henry Buckley, a customer experience designer discussing the development of an aircraft interior; and Macauley Rhind, an apprentice engineer discussing what goes in to keeping an A350-1000 flying?