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

30 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 very important safety briefing brought to us by Furlough Airways, which contains some essential guidance to keeping us safe during the current lockdown. Please take a few minutes of your time and ensure you give it your full attention.

It is not unusual for airports across the world to host live music events, but 23 North American airports have revealed plans to host the Jetstream Music Festival on 06-May-2020, which will be streamed to the world via Facebook Live. For one night only and hosted by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the free, multi-hour livestream will see each airport feature a musician local to their city performing in support of the creative community during the Covid-19 crisis. The lineup features a diverse range of acts, representing each city's unique music culture. For more information - including how to tune in - click here.

AirAsia is one of the world's most recognised airline brands... and it will shortly be back in the skies. But, this will be the 'new AirAsia' with a range of protocols to ensure the safety of its staff and passengers. The crew may be dressed in a new uniform that wouldn't be out of place in a Star Wars movie, but it is all part of the airline group's "responsibility to ensure you arrive safely and in good health at your destination," says Group CEO Tony Fernandes. He adds: "We are working hard to make sure we are as safe as possible. Safety is a marathon and no one can guarantee but we have worked hard to mitigate risk."

Here's an interesting way to encourage people to keep their hands clean and sanitised... you can only open the door unless you have sanitised your hands! OK, it is not full-proof (we have all sneaked through a door when it was opened by someone else), but it does highlight how such new cleanliness techniques could be introduced into our daily lives.

Air transport continues to play a vital role in the fight against Covid-19. While the skies may be quiet over The Blue Swan Daily offices we are hearing an increasing number of overflights. A quick scan on flight tracking sites highlights it as another cargo charter most likely carrying vital medical supplies and equipment. Here, Christina Cassotis, CEO of Allegheny County Airport Authority, shares the story of one such flight into Pittsburgh International Airport this past weekend.

After reporting these past couple of months on route cuts, airline groundings and very sadly on airline's plans to cull their workforce to adapt for the 'new normal'. It is really encouraging to see route development continues. Let's wish Sun-Air Scandinavia every success with its planned Billund-Brussels route, which is due to commence in Sep-2020. It is not alone, there are many other airlines adapting their strategies that could see other new city pairs being added across the world.

As most airlines are preparing to return to regular commercial flying, some are pushing out marketing content to engage with travellers. Here, Germany's Eurowings says #WeWillFlyYouAgain.

Those popular #dontrushchallenge videos continue to dominate our social media feeds, keeping crews busy and us entertained during as many of us remain under social isolation. This week we feature a few lesser known airlines. Here's the example from Flair Airlines in Canada...

... and here is another from Avion Express.

This is one for all the #avgeeks out there and highlights just how significant Covid-19 has impacted air transport. Writing about 80% to 90% cuts in flights and capacity only really hits home when you see images and videos of the long lines of inactive aircraft. From specialist parking locations in the desert to runways and taxiways at some of the world's largest airports, there are aircraft everywhere... except in the skies above us!

Producing all these stories is hungry work and we were delighted to learn this week that having already successfully sent their excellent signature cookies into space - to the International Space Station (ISS), to be accurate - that DoubleTree by Hilton has now published the full recipe for the delightful snacks so we can all make them at home. Apparently, the recipe makes 26 cookies, but don't tell anyone, otherwise you will have a lot of explaining to do!

That's all for this week, the kitchen is now calling me!