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Cruise Ships May Set Sail on Sunday, but Only With Crew

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Cruise ships can prepare to set sail again beginning Sunday under a conditional order issued by U.S. health officials that aims to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission at sea by requiring a host of measures, including testing and quarantine, all designed to keep crews and passengers safe.

No ship will set sail with passengers immediately, and the cruise tourism industry may not rebound anytime soon. Under new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, companies must be certified to sail by proving they can operate safely with crews onboard. To do so, they must carry out a simulated journey, or a number of simulated journeys, with unpaid guest volunteers or crew members playing the role of passengers.

The simulated journeys must provide regular onboard activities such as meal service and entertainment in common areas of the ship, while providing enough space for social distancing. Ships will be required to have laboratory capacity to ensure that routine testing for the coronavirus can be carried out at regular intervals, as well as when anyone embarked or disembarked from the vessel. Both crew members and passengers will wear masks in public spaces.

Symptomatic travelers on the ship will have to be isolated, and remaining passengers quarantined, and the efforts will be evaluated by the agency in order for operators to obtain certification to sail with commercial passengers.

The C.D.C. outlined the phased approach, acknowledging in a statement: “Cruising safely and responsibly during a global pandemic is very challenging.”

The federal health agency had tried to extend until next February the no-sail order it had issued last March. But the White House blocked the order in an apparent attempt to avoid alienating the powerful tourism industry in Florida, one of the swing states that could determine the outcome of the presidential election on Tuesday.

“This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing,” said Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C. “It will mitigate the risk of Covid-19 outbreaks on ships and prevent passengers and crew from seeding outbreaks at ports and in the communities where they live.”

The framework outlined by the C.D.C. built on a report issued on Sept. 21 by the Healthy Sail Panel, an alliance of industry leaders and nongovernmental experts convened by the Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which met over the course of several months, ultimately developing 74 recommendations. C.D.C. representatives acted as observers at the meetings, Dr. Martin Cetron, director of global migration and quarantine at the C.D.C., said.

The agency later used the framework to develop the guidelines for conditional sailing that include the phased approach to resuming operations, Dr. Cetron said.

Observers will monitor and evaluate the mock journeys to ensure adherence, he added. “If the outcome is not as desired, one has to ask: Is the plan not good enough, or is implementation not good enough?” Dr. Cetron said. “This is a virus that can be very unforgiving of a mistake."

“We all recognize this virus is a formidable foe, and we’re going to be living with it for a while, and we need to adapt our systems to have maximum impact,” he added.

Ships will have fewer guests than in the past, and both crew members and passengers would be required to wear masks and to maintain social distancing, Dr. Cetron said. At first, new crew members joining a ship would not only be tested before boarding, but also be quarantined for 14 days. The crew would also be quarantined for 14 days before disembarking.

The quarantines would not apply to passengers, however. The C.D.C. said passengers would instead be tested twice before boarding, he said. The guidelines will continue to be improved and “tweaked” along the way, he added.

The world’s major cruise lines have been idled for months under no-sail orders as the pandemic swept around the world, after tourists and crews aboard ships like the Diamond Princess docked and were stranded for weeks as infection rates soared onboard.

Many cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, had already announced they would not resume sailing until at least December. Some have canceled future sailings — Carnival Cruise, for example, has canceled all sailings through Dec. 31, as well as some sailings in 2021 and 2022. But with cases rising to record levels in the United States, and European countries initiating new lockdowns with surges of infections spreading, an imminent return to cruise-ship travel remains in doubt.

The no-sail order had been extended several times since March but is set to expire on Saturday.

The C.D.C.’s website says that scientific evidence suggests cruise ships — which bring travelers from around the world together to live in close quarters with crew members, where social distancing is hard to maintain — “pose a greater risk of Covid 19 transmission than other settings,” and that outbreaks onboard cruise ships “pose a risk for rapid spread of disease beyond the voyage and into communities across the globe.”

Asymptomatic and mild illnesses can easily go undetected, allowing for covert spread of the coronavirus, which spreads through microscopic droplets in the air. Even if cases are identified, isolation and quarantine are difficult.

One notorious example was the outbreak that occurred on the Diamond Princess after it took on a single infected passenger on Jan. 20. A month later, more than 700 of the 3,711 onboard tested positive. Thirty-seven people required intensive care, and nine died.

By: Roni Caryn Rabin
Title: Cruise Ships May Set Sail on Sunday, but Only With Crew
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/30/health/covid-cruise-ships-cdc.html
Published Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2020 22:02:15 +0000

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Vacation

What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?

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People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Daniel Tanner on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/ansett-airlines-inflight-bar-menu/
Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

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These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?

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The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/science/shrimp-parade-thailand.html
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

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Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?

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There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.



Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/aer-lingus-manchester/
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

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