Several airline companies have announced new information about their state of affairs amid the coronavirus pandemic and how they are working towards providing safe and efficient air travel to their customers.
Starting next month, Singapore Airlines would be restarting San Francisco Flights after the COVID-19 crisis stifled most of its services. Company officials said an ultra-long-range, two-class Airbus A350-900 would be the pioneer of the airline’s revival that would provide three flights every week beginning on December 17.
The airlines would fly between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) with a capacity of 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy class seats. Executives also revealed that starting December 2, flights from Los Angeles to Singapore would be increased by two flights per week. The services would use a three-class A350-900 to transport customers.
Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based airline, also announced plans to make permanent cutbacks on some of its U.S. routes due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Dropped routes include flights to Seattle, Newark, and Washington Dulles. Airline executives said that the non-restoration of the three-routes is due to the significant impacts of the health crisis on the economy.
However, Cathay Pacific would still continue to provide flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York JFK. Additionally, the airline has also decided to temporarily suspend flights to Boston and Chicago.
On Friday, Copa Airlines announced the resumptions of its operations between SFO and Tocumen International Airport in Panama after an eight-month-long suspension of services. The company said in a statement, “As of November 21, Copa Airlines will connect San Francisco to 25 destinations and 15 counties in the Americas beginning with up to three weekly flights.”
Company officials revealed that flight CM382 would operation from San Francisco and depart at 7:50 p.m. with an expected arrival time of 6:18 a.m. in Panama. The flight back is scheduled to depart Panama at 10:11 a.m. and arrive in San Francisco at 2:58 p.m. A Boeing 737-800 NG would be servicing the flight with a capacity of 154, 16 of which are business class, while 138 are in the main cabin.
Locally, Frontier, Southwest, and Allegiant have all announced this week plans to add more routes from California airports in the following months, focusing heavily on leisure destinations, the San Francisco Gate reported.
Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has allowed airlines to utilize their 737 Max jets in providing flight services after conducting software changes and retraining their pilots. American Airlines said that it would be the first to start flying with the 737 Max, which would do one daily round-trip between Miami and New York LaGuardia starting on December 29 up until January 4.
The chief operating officer of American, David Seymour, said, “After that, we expect to gradually phase more 737 Max aircraft into revenue service throughout January, with up to 36 departures from our Miami hub depending on the day of the week.”
With the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more airlines have begun equipping their facilities with COVID-19 testing sites for incoming travelers and staff. This week, Los Angeles International opened testing sites. Airline companies said that the initial testing sites are only a precursor to the planned full, on-site rapid testing laboratory scheduled to be set up in December.
Clarity Lab Solutions operate the three testing sites and would offer FDA-approved PCR nasal swab tests for $150 each and will immediately provide results directly to participants in less than 24 hours from testing. The tests will be conducted as people come in with no need for reservations or appointments. The facilities would be open every day of the week from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.