Qatar Airways Announces Details Of American Airlines Codeshare

Qatar Airways has announced details of its new codeshare agreement with fellow oneworld member American Airlines. The news comes…

Qatar Airways Announces Details Of American Airlines Codeshare

Qatar Airways has announced details of its new codeshare agreement with fellow oneworld member American Airlines. The news comes following years of disagreement between the two airlines.

Qatar Airways has launched its codeshare agreement with American Airlines. Photo: Qatar Airways

A year ago, it was no secret that Qatar Airways was unhappy with its partner American Airlines. In March 2019, the airline was rumored to be ready to pull the trigger on leaving its alliance. This followed months of repeated threats by the airline’s CEO Akbar al-Baker.

However, unlike LATAM, Qatar remained a part of the alliance, it seems as though old wounds are finally beginning to heal with the announcement of its American Airlines codeshare.

What are the details?

Qatar Airways today revealed the details of its new codeshare agreement with American Airlines. A codeshare agreement is a standard agreement between carriers that allows one airline to sell tickets on another airline. It also applies a flight number for both airlines to the relevant flights.

American Airlines Los Angeles
Qatar Airways will be able to sell tickets on over 1000 domestic American Airlines once the rollout is complete. Photo: Getty Images

Qatar Airways’ codeshare agreement started a couple of days ago. However, the Qatari carrier waited until today to share the news. The rollout of the codeshare agreement won’t be instant. However, once complete, it will add a vast network of travel options for passengers.

Qatar Airways has flights to 10 destinations in the United States, although the airline is currently only flying to a handful of its destinations due to the current situation. However, when the codeshare is in full swing, it will cover over 1,000 domestic flights operated by American Airlines.

While impressive, that’s not all. Pending government approval, more destinations in Central America and the Caribbean will be added.

Qatar Airways Getty
American Airlines will also be able to place its code on Qatar Airways flights from the United States. Photo: Getty Images

Commenting on the announcement, Qatar Airways’ CCO, Simon Talling-Smith said:

“This codeshare is just the first step in renewing our long-term strategic partnership with American Airlines. The rollout of this domestic codeshare demonstrates our airlines are confident about the future…”

Meanwhile, American Airlines’ SVP of Network Strategy, Vasu Raja, added:

“We are pleased that we’ve reached this important milestone with Qatar Airways… This is just the beginning of a strong partnership and we have a very bright future ahead of us.”

oneworld spat over?

One would assume that today’s announcement would mean that the airline’s spat with the oneworld alliance is over. After all, Qatar’s unhappiness with its alliance membership largely stemmed from a dispute with American Airlines.

Akbar al Baker
It seems as though the Qatar Airways feud with the oneworld alliance is concluded. Photo: Getty Images

Qatar believed that its American partner was making claims against it to the US Government. At the ITB trade show in Berlin last year, Al Baker commented:

we in the matter of a month or two will give you the news if we are going to stay or not, and I think the latter will happen.”

However, seeing as it is far more than a few months later, it seems as though Qatar Airways is committed to the alliance for the long term.

What do you make of the Qatar Airways American Airlines codeshare? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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SpaceX To Trial ‘Sunshading’ As Starlink Launch Delayed

SpaceX has been forced to push back the 8th launch of its Starlink low-Earth orbit satellites, due to…

SpaceX To Trial ‘Sunshading’ As Starlink Launch Delayed

SpaceX has been forced to push back the 8th launch of its Starlink low-Earth orbit satellites, due to a tropical storm. Despite this, the company is preparing to tackle the ongoing issue of the visibility of its smallsats in space, with a new ‘sunshading’ technology that could make them invisible to stargazers on Earth.

SpaceX is testing ‘sunshading’ on its next Starlink launch. Photo: SpaceX

‘Sunshading’ trial on next Starlink launch

SpaceX has come under fire for the visibility of its Starlink constellation in the skies at night. With millions around the world already spying the lights in the sky, astronomers and stargazers have raised concerns about interference from the eventual mega constellation.

In a bid to appease the angry masses, SpaceX sent up a ‘DarkSat’ in a batch launched in January. This unit was coated in an anti-reflective covering and was noted to be considerably darker than is un-coated cohorts. However, this was not enough to quell the worries of the world’s astronomers.

As such, the next batch to go up with include some units with a new experimental means of ‘sunshading.’ In a tweet, founder Elon Musk confirmed this new method, known as VisorSat, would be deployed, as well as operational methods of reducing visibility, including changes to the solar panel angle.

Starlink already has permission to become a constellation of 12,000 satellites, although SpaceX has applied for 30,000 more. To put this in perspective, the total number of objects launched into space in human history is just 9,400. As such, the astronomers’ concerns can be understood; hopefully, VisorSat will provide a solution to the concerns.

What is VisorSat?

The issue with Starlink is that the reflectivity of the satellites, along with their proximity to Earth, means the sunlight is bounced off the units and seen on the ground. Other satellites in higher orbits can be seen in this way but tend to be few and far between. With hundreds of Starlink satellites already in orbit and plans for thousands more, the visible trains of light could start to become a real issue.

visorsat
It is hoped VisorSat will provide the solution to the problem of Starlink visibility. Photo: SpaceX

To solve this problem, Elon Musk has developed an experimental system to prevent light from being reflected. The VisorSat is hoped to be the answer to this issue, with Musk telling SpaceNews,

“Our objectives, generally, are to make the satellites invisible to the naked eye within a week, and to minimize the impact on astronomy, especially so that we do not saturate observatory detectors and inhibit discoveries.”

The concept is set to deploy panels like a sun visor on a car windshield to keep the antennas in shadow. Musk noted that it is made of a special foam that doesn’t interfere with the antennas.

It has not been confirmed at this stage how many of the satellites will feature the VisorSat system.

Next Starlink launch put back by tropical storm

Another 60 Starlink satellites were set to be launched this week, but the mission has been pushed back as a result of inclement weather from Tropical Storm Arthur. The Starlink flight will now take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on May 27th.

SpaceX
A batch of 60 Starlink satellites launched earlier this year. Photo: SpaceX

When this launch takes place, it will become the eight deployment for Starlink. To date, 422 of the satellites are already in place in low-Earth orbit, including two prototypes that went up in 2018. SpaceX previously said that a constellation of 400 or more should be capable of ‘minor’ coverage, while 800 would provide ‘moderate’ service.

As such, we could likely see the world’s first true LEO network up and running relatively soon.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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