This is a roundup of news that I have come across during the day. Today you can read about the enhanced unemployment benefits expiring, early retirement for Cathay Pacific pilots, Qatar coming to the rescue of British Airways and Iberia, the Airbus flying taxi, CLEAR offering coronavirus screenings, and Delta banning a certain type of face mask on its flights.
Enhanced unemployment benefits have expired as congressional negotiators are deadlocked over a coronavirus relief deal. The additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance that Congress provided in late March ended Friday, dealing a significant financial blow to millions of jobless Americans. A new Senate bills calls for a new $200 weekly unemployment insurance and then 70% of lost wages.
Cathay Pacific said it will offer a voluntary scheme to its Hong Kong-based pilots who are approaching retirement age to leave the group early, in a continued effort to cut costs amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pilots aged 50 or 55 and above, depending on the retirement age outlined in their contract as 55 or 65 respectively, are eligible to apply for the early retirement scheme, the carrier said. Pilots aged 58 and above at its regional arm Cathay Dragon are also eligible.
International Airlines Group (ICAGY), which owns both European carriers said Friday that it plans to raise as much as €2.75 billion ($3.3 billion) from shareholders, including Qatar’s state-owned airline, to help weather the deepest crisis in aviation history. The company plans to use the money to pay down debt and increase the amount of cash it holds, as it prepares for several years of depressed demand.
Airbus demonstrated the new eVTOL in public last Monday during a visit by a German politician to its facility in Bavaria. The vehicle can carry four passengers with a range of 60 miles, and can travel at 75 miles per hour. That makes it slightly faster than a car travelling at most top legal motorway speeds.
The company has launched a new service called Health Pass by Clear, which is meant to screen for the virus before users congregate in a public space. The screening service has already launched on a trial basis at museums, restaurants, and sports arenas, with plans to keep extending to other venues.
“Any mask with an exhaust valve is not approved as an acceptable face mask for customers traveling on any Delta operated flight,” the Delta website now states. Masks with exhaust valves are intended for use in industrial environments like construction to avoid inhaling material particles, however they do not prevent the spread of virus particles. The exhaust allows virus particles to escape the mask which means that if you have COVID-19, you can spread the disease while wearing the mask.