PANDEMIC NEWS UPDATE: NetJets brings back furloughed flight crews; fresh aid proposed for U.S. airlines and airports
By Cat Hofacker|July 29, 2020
Our weekly compendium of coronavirus news
• NetJets, an Ohio based private aviation company, announced yesterday that it will reinstate all European pilots and flight crews furloughed in April. The company also plans to add 60 new aircraft to its global fleet by the end of 2021.
• Effective Aug. 1, the United Arab Emirates will require all travelers, including citizens and residents, be tested for covid-19 before entering the country, “irrespective of the countries they are coming from,” according to a statement on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s website. The French and German governments also announced last week that they will begin screening residents returning from countries deemed high risk.
• The air transport industry in the U.S. could receive additional government aid. Senate Republicans on Monday announced the HEALS Act, short for Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools, which would include $10 billion in grants for airports. Also on Monday, a bipartisan group of 223 lawmakers sent a letter to congressional leaders calling for a six-month extension of the $32 billion in grants awarded to passenger airlines and cargo carriers under the CARES Act to keep employees on the payroll. The program is set to expire Sept. 30.
• Satellite imagery company BlackSky of Virginia last week received a contract from the U.S. Air Force to monitor “the efficacy of COVID-19 mitigation efforts worldwide,” according to a BlackSky press release. The company will combine satellite imagery of U.S. military bases overseas with reported infection numbers from local governments to detect outbreaks and analyze the spread of the virus.