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The AirlineGeeks Podcast Episode 30: Changing Travel Possibilities

The AirlineGeeks Podcast Episode 30 (Graphic: AirlineGeeks)

Thank you for reading the AirlineGeeks Podcast Recap. This article gives a brief look at last week’s episode of our news podcast. For our full analysis of each of these stories, you can listen to The AirlineGeeks Podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast or through our distributor, Anchor.

The first story takes a look at American Airlines’ new Health Passport system. The application American will use, developed in partnership with biometrics company Daon, will help travelers manage travel coronavirus requirements, especially when flying internationally or to states with special restrictions. Passengers will also be able to make sure they meet all symptom requirements before travel, helping passengers make informed decisions and opening a centralized system for American to keep track of passenger health reports.

American is far from the only airline using such an application, and questions arise of the future of these services. Will so-called “health passports” become commonplace? If so, how do airlines and governments around the world develop a streamlined system? And how do virtual “passport” systems guard against hacks and verify that user information is accurate?

Former American MD-80s at O’Hare. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Greg Linton)

Next, our podcast moves to New Zealand, which has developed a new travel bubble with the Cook Islands to help passengers inbound to New Zealand enter the country without coronavirus restrictions. The countries hope that this agreement will boost economic recovery, and Air New Zealand is returning additional staff and aircraft to service just for this route. This is not the first time a similar travel bubble has arisen, and we discuss past travel bubbles and the implications of this new one.

Last, we discuss new announcements that multiple Canadian carriers, including Air Canada and WestJet, have made substantial cuts in response to still-depressed travel demand. While Canada’s government is still prohibiting most international travel and several territories have limited or banned even domestic flights, these carriers have unsuccessfully petitioned for government support past simple payroll support. The government’s unwillingness to provide it has forced many airlines to scale back, and these recent cuts have made a dent – between the two airlines, nearly 3,000 additional workers will be furloughed as well as a substantial amount of route cuts.

We discuss the implications of these cuts and where Canada’s aviation industry is moving. We also look at some airlines that have completely suspended operations since the pandemic began. And we discuss when we might see substantial recovery in Canada with mass vaccinations on the horizon.

We hope you’ll listen to the podcast episode, linked above, for more in-depth analysis of each of these stories. Monitor our page on your favorite streaming service each Friday to hear the latest episode just as it’s published – at 12 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time each week. Feel free to leave a comment sharing your thoughts on this week’s episode.

John McDermott


  • John McDermott

    John McDermott is a student at Northwestern University. He is also a student pilot with hopes of flying for the airlines. A self-proclaimed "avgeek," John will rave about aviation at length to whoever will listen, and he is keen to call out any airplane he sees, whether or not anyone around him cares about flying at all. John previously worked as a Journalist and Editor-In-Chief at Aeronautics Online Aviation News and Media. In his spare time, John enjoys running, photography, and watching planes approach Chicago O'Hare from over Lake Michigan.

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