PANDEMIC NEWS UPDATE: Udvar-Hazy Center to reopen; Delta cracks down on mask exemptions; pandemic prompts a goodbye to Boeing 747s from British Airways
By Cat Hofacker|July 22, 2020
Our weekly compendium of coronavirus news
The National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia will reopen to the public on Friday, the Smithsonian Institution announced Monday. Visitors are required to reserve a time slot online ahead of time and wear face coverings and maintain social distance while in the center.
Lockheed Martin reported $16.22 billion in earnings for the period between April and June, a 12% increase over the same period in 2019. “Mitigation plans put in place by each of our business areas, their teammates in the supply chain, the international community as well as strong support from the Department of Defense and broad U.S. government actions have allowed us to minimize the financial impacts on our company,” CEO and president Jim Taiclet said during an earnings call yesterday.
As of Monday, Delta Air Lines passengers who want to fly without face masks must have a medical professional vouch for them. Passengers “who indicate they have an underlying condition that prevents them from wearing a mask” must pass a “clearance-to-fly” process consisting of a phone consultation with a third-party medical provider once arriving at the airport, the airline said in a press release.
British Airways announced it will retire its fleet of 31 Boeing 747 aircraft, part of a broader initiative to cut costs and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. “We have committed to making our fleet more environmentally friendly as we look to reduce the size of our business to reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on aviation,” said Alex Cruz, British Airways chairman and CEO, in a press release.
The European Union on Thursday opened its external borders to an additional 12 countries based on criteria including a “stable or decreasing trend” of new covid-19 cases over the last 14 days. The U.S. has yet to make the list of approved countries, first released on July 1 and revised every two weeks by the European Council.