Greece To Allow Travellers From 29 Countries Starting Next Month

Greece announced on Friday that it will reopen its borders to travelers from 29 countries from 15th June.…

Greece To Allow Travellers From 29 Countries Starting Next Month

Greece announced on Friday that it will reopen its borders to travelers from 29 countries from 15th June. The list does not include the UK or the USA. Visitors to the country will be subject to random coronavirus testing.

Thessaloniki is one of the airports opening up to international tourists. Photo: Getty Images

Greece opens doors before peak season

As reported by Reuters yesterday, visitors from 29 countries will be allowed to enter Greece from 15th June. The move comes as the Greek government looks to mitigate the damage to the economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The timing enables Greece to benefit from the peak season for holidaymakers.

The 29 countries included are Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Finland.

The Greek Tourist Ministry said that visitors from these countries could travel to Greece on direct flights to Athens and Thessaloniki in the north of the country. Furthermore, Greece will expand the list of eligible countries on 1st July as it monitors and evaluates developments related to the coronavirus.

The first phase does not include the UK

The first phase of permitted countries doesn’t include the UK. This appears to contradict an implication made earlier by tourism minister Harry Theocharis. According to The Telegraph, he said the following:

“Greece would do everything in its power to ensure Britons were among the first international sun-seekers to return.”

If the UK can bring its coronavirus cases down to acceptable levels over the next few weeks, British holidaymakers may be allowed to return to Greek resorts in the second phase in July.

Santorini view
The Greek Islands are opening up to tourists. Photo: Maggie Meng via Flickr

Random tests for visitors to Greece

Travelers arriving in Greece could be subjected to random sample testing for coronavirus. Additional safety measures are being implemented across the country. These include limits on capacity in resorts and hotels, and every hotel should have a designated doctor.

Altogether, thanks to Greece imposing a strict lockdown early in the coronavirus outbreak, the number of cases has been relatively low. The country has had less than 3,000 confirmed cases and a total of 175 deaths.

However, opening the borders to international visitors does bring risks. Dr. Spiros Sapounas told ITV News the following:

“We believe that it’s inevitable we are going to have a case during the summer from the increase of tourism, but we hope that we are going to contain it and take all the necessary measures to avoid the spread.”

Greek Islands also open to tourists

As Greece tries to salvage its summer tourist season, ferry services to its islands have restarted. Since the March lockdown, the islands had been off-limits, but now bars, cafes, and restaurants are open for business.

Social distancing measures are being imposed on ferries and in restaurants. On the island of Santorini, Perspex screens are being installed around sun loungers to help sunseekers to keep their distance.

Aegean A320
Aegean revealed its new livery before the lockdown. Photo: Riik@mctr via Flickr

Greece grounded planes in March

Greece grounded almost all aircraft from 26th March. One of the last flights from Athens was a unique Japan Airlines service to collect the Olympic Flame. Sadly, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have also fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, Condor and Lufthansa announced last year that they were launching new routes to Greece in 2020. A month before the lockdown, Greek airline Aegean Airlines revealed its new livery for its aircraft. However, the airline has not had much chance to show off its brand new look.

Will you be among the first to head for the Greek resorts? 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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KLM Tests Out New Sustainable Taxiing Technology

KLM has become the latest airline to test out sustainable aircraft taxiing with TaxiBot. On 27th May, the…

KLM Tests Out New Sustainable Taxiing Technology

KLM has become the latest airline to test out sustainable aircraft taxiing with TaxiBot. On 27th May, the airline announced that it had begun conducting tests with a Boeing 737 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. KLM plans to use this sustainable technology to drive down its CO2 emissions to 15% on 2005 levels.

KLM has begun testing a TaxiBot to reduce CO2 emissions. Photo: KLM

KLM takes the TaxiBot for a spin

Earlier this week, on 27th May, KLM shared some exciting news. It has been testing out brand new technology to make its operations more sustainable. On Wednesday, it used a hybrid towing vehicle to maneuver an empty Boeing 737 to the runway. While it may not seem all that significant, this test is expected to prove that the TaxiBot can reduce carbon emissions from taxiing by between 50 and 85%.

The technology was delivered to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport back in March 2020, and Turkish leisure airline Corendon Airlines was the first to test it out in April. KLM is now conducting its own tests with the technology before it passes it on to its subsidiary Transavia.

KLM’s Project Manager for the initiative Jeroen Jaartsveld said the below in a statement:

“It’s important to find out how far we can cut CO2 emissions by using the Taxibot. We’d also like to know how long it takes to taxi with the Taxibot, what effect this has on aircraft engine maintenance, and how we might introduce sustainable taxiing with Taxibots on a large scale into Schiphol’s daily operations.”

close-up of KLM on taxibot
The sustainable taxiing technology has been in Amsterdam Schiphol since March 2020. Photo: KLM

So, how does the TaxiBot work?

Operational efficiency is not compromised

Moving at a rate of 23 knots, the TaxiBot does not compromise speed or operational efficiency. In fact, it gives back a lot of power to pilots. While this taxiing process does not require engines to be switched on until planes are at the start of the runway, pilots can control their movement from within the cockpit. This is an added benefit compared to regular taxiing.

In addition, the TaxiBot preserves the Nose Landing Gear lifecycle and reduces noise pollution. All in all, it seems this more sustainable taxiing solution is better all-round. It’s eco-friendly and more cost-effective by saving on fuel expenditure and damaged parts.

And it’s precisely this justification that KLM is using to drive its growth with the product. It hopes to cut its carbon footprint by 15% on 2005 levels as part of its Fly Responsibly campaign.

The TaxiBot can cut emissions by 50-85% during taxi. Photo: KLM

Pioneers in sustainable technology

Despite the attention that KLM has garnered from this testing, it’s not the first airline to pioneer the technology. Neither was Corendon. Airlines in India have been using the TaxiBot since 2018. It was first deployed for SpiceJet and Air India Express’ Boeing 737 aircraft. Since then, Indigo, Go Air, Air India, and India Air Asia have been trialing the sustainable solution with Airbus A320s.

That said, KLM is one of the global leaders in sustainability beyond innovative operational solutions like the TaxiBot. It’s Fly Responsibly campaign outlines numerous strategies for issues it is currently addressing.

head-on KLM aircraft
KLM is one of the leaders in innovative environmental solutions and had a Fly Responsibly campaign to prove it. Photo: Getty Images

Among them is the promotion of its passenger carbon offsetting scheme CO2ZERO with which it says it’s been able to plant 1,000 hectares of tropical forest since 2017. In addition, it’s working on closed-loop recycling to reduce cabin waste by 50% on 2011 levels by 2030. However, KLM has put the majority of its efforts into its Sustainable Aviation Fuel dependency. It currently uses 57 times more sustainable fuel than it did nine years ago, and it’s looking to improve that.

With so much going on, it looks like KLM can feel confident that its attempt at reducing carbon emissions will be successful. Will it be enough?

Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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