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Travel again in 2021!

I just read in a Finnish newspaper that Finnair is starting to re-train their pilots for the upcoming travel season. They feel that, as the pilots have not flown in six or more months, they need a refresher course to get started again in 2021. And Finnair's stock started to rise nicely.
Finns are already reserving trips or package deals for Summer 2021 and Fall/Winter 2021. Their favorites remain the Grand Canary Island, Tenerife, and Thailand for the balmy weather and great prices.

Posted by
18424 posts

That's great, Marjatta. Does Finland expect to have most of the country vaccinated by June? I have a personal interest, since it's a potential destination on my next trip. I know how narrow the "summer" window is in Finland.

Posted by
4582 posts

I guess that flying a passenger jet isn’t just like getting back on a bicycle - pilots need a refresher to keep their skills and procedures fresh. Finnair’s got a good plan to be prepared.

Based on their destination preferences, Finns clearly value warm places — must be part of the appeal of a sauna!

Posted by
21 posts

Finland started to vaccinate people the 27th of December. First the nursing etc personnel, and perhaps by March, regular folks.
Finns have traveled to the Canaries since the 60s. They love the sun and Summer weather in December, plus the inexpensive life there. Thailand is a newer choice for them. Sauna has nothing to do with this!

Posted by
4582 posts

OK, Marjatta - even if hot saunas and hot travel destinations are only related by temperatures, I can understand one big difference. Sauna is dry heat, but Bangkok, Thailand was about the most humid place I’ve ever been.

Posted by
4581 posts

Covid - Tenerife is by far the worst affected Canary Island, which is why the U.K. reintroduced the quarantine requirements before our new Covid strain got us banned from everywhere! Let’s hope they get it under control soon.

We have postponed our January 2021 trip to Fuerteventura to October.

Posted by
21 posts

Very true, Canary Islands is not now the best place to be. Gran Canary Island is inundated with refugees, as it is so close to the African coast (65 km) and refugees come to Maspalomas Beach en masse. As the rest of Europe is closed to them, they found this little back door to come to. I hope the situation get better and we can resume our vacations on the islands!

Posted by
1682 posts

I would agree that without flying for six months refresher training is in order.

I'm still a little leery about a smooth roll out of the vaccine without hiccups. We "should" be vaccinated by late spring but...

Posted by
2246 posts

Thanks for posting. My mother's parents were immigrants from Finland, and I hope to make it there someday. From the outside looking in, it sure seems like Finland has its act together.

Posted by
6630 posts

Pilots are just like any other professionals, they need to have a certain number of hours in training and practice to retain their certification (no different than bus drivers, etc.). That's part of the reason there are mostly empty planes flying around, although now they're carrying cargo. A pilot's certification requirements are not necessarily an indicator that normal passenger travel (that we're used to) will ramp up quickly, because they need to do that no matter what. Same with people booking things. A booking is simply intent or desire or a reflection of optimism about future conditions, it's not a "trip" - it can be postposed or cancelled. I personally think there will be many shadow bookings that will end up being cancelled, but I'm speaking of the US. I have no idea what the situation is in Finland. Travelers from the US can't get to Finland right now. Availability of travel in 2021 depends on where you are and what countries will be open to you. We (in the US) are barely starting the vaccination effort here and already behind. Our population is much larger than Finland so it will take a lot longer.

Posted by
4305 posts

Vaccination doesn't preclude you from transmitting the virus, it doesn't stop you from being a carrier so simply because you're vaccinated doesn't mean the world is open to you. Scientists have determined that for the virus to effectively fizzle out there has to be immunity by 70% of the population. If Finland manages to vaccinate 70% of the population by the summer it may be the case that the virus has been curtailed there but that doesn't mean there's no risk of spreading it elswhere. Countries that have managed to bring the infection rates down but have not established a sufficient immunity level are unlikely to want to risk inviting potential carriers. I don't forsee mass travel next summer.

Posted by
609 posts

Not to be a spoil sport, but vaccination unfortunately is different than vaccine.

Here’s the math: If the goal is to reach 80% of Americans vaccinated with a 2-dose #covid19 vaccine, it will take 10 years at our current pace. We are at 1 million vaccinations a week. To get to herd immunity by June 2021, we need to be at 3.5 million vaccinations a day.

https://twitter.com/DrLeanaWen/status/1343920976854196225
also,
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/12/29/covid-19-vaccine-distribution-slow-testing/

Posted by
21 posts

Wow, so many posts to reply to:
I agree, the vaccination is not a cure for all. The doctors here say that all precautions need to be adhered to, just as before. I don't know when everyone here has been vaccinated? By Summer?
Of course pilots need refresher training from time to time. This news just hit me today, as a sign of all being back to normal! That there is hope in getting to places again!
Your immigrant parents, Finns, should come and visit. I am a Finn who lived in the U,S, for 45 years and then retired in Finland. Surprisingly, Finland is less expensive for me to live in (in 'expensive Scandinavia') than the U.S. would have been. Every permanent resident has medical, with co-pay. I feel very secure to be here.
Finns rarely cancel their travel reservations. They know what they want, as they often have been there several times already. Finns are the most traveled nation in the world, one survey found.
Airports in Finland test all arriving passengers and then send them to voluntary quarantine for ten to fourteen days if needed. There have been some fake negative test reports found on arriving passengers and dealt with promptly.

Posted by
4305 posts

Finns are the most traveled nation in the world, one survey found.

Finns, whilst widely travelled, make most of their trips domestically. Norwegians travel outside of their country more than the Finns whilst those from Hong Kong make the most international trips per capita.

Posted by
7268 posts

There is the smell of travel in the air.

As in "I love the smell Jet A-1 in the morning" ?

Posted by
21 posts

I found the Most Traveled report: (yes, it was domestic and foreign travel)

The citizens of these nations travel the most, Finland at the top
Research showed that the most eager travelers are in Scandinavia. Finland was number one. Each Finn makes on average 7,5 trips a year. Of those 5.8 trips are domestic (most have summer homes or cottages in the country) and 1,7 trips abroad.
Second on the list is the U.S. where each person makes 6,7 trips a year. Americans travel domestic 6,5 trips per year, and rarely go abroad.
The next countries are Sweden, Denmark, Norway. Scandinavians travel a lot domestically as they often have a second home or cottage in the country.
Tometric analysts state that as the standard of living is high in Scandinavia, salaries are high and unemployment is low, which makes it possible for them to travel frequently. Abroad they get more for their money and it is less expensive than to travel in the home country.
A second report was published by The Telegraph, UK

Posted by
9376 posts

Let's clarify a few things about pilot proficiency.

To keep a airline pilot license active, a pilot must complete three take off and landings in the previous 90 days. To qualify for night flying, a pilot must complete three take offs and landing at night within the previous 90 days. Additionally, all airline pilots must be checked out for emergency procedures and crew resource management, among other things, every six months.

This is usually done in a simulator. If a pilot has not had three take off and landings in the previous 90 days, his/her airline will get them into the simulator. The six month procedures are always done in a simulator and not in real flight. That's for two reasons--it would be dangerous to put an actual plane in an emergency situation and the cost of operating the plane is much higher than in the simulator. (We're not talking Microsoft flight. We're taking a multi-million dollar machine that inside is the exact replica of the aircraft.) The simulators are so precise they feel and react just like the real thing.

So if pilots have been furloughed they have to in a sense be recertified. The is true both in the U.S. and in Europe.

The planes flying empty are not to keep the pilots current. They are flying to keep landing slots. If not used, the airline could lose them.

Posted by
6630 posts

That makes sense, Frank II, thanks for the clarification.

Posted by
1125 posts

Who took part in those travel surveys, and what constitutes a trip? The figures presented have no context and make no sense whatsoever.

Posted by
4582 posts

I have to make a trip to the bathroom several times a day. It is usually easier to go, domestically than abroad.

And when air travel is viable again, might need a refresher course for operating all those mechanisms unique to jetliner toilets.

Posted by
154 posts

@ Cyn. A great business opportunity with plenty of potential eager students.

@ James. I enjoy your repartee, but I have no idea what the variation in house area between Finland and USA has to do with travel in 2021. Unless you are sending coded messages to the FSB.

Well, in the great south land the shortened fireworks over the coat hanger and the house of sails has finished so must be 2021. Has been a rather pleasant evening. Have had a quite few glasses of the local Méthode Champenoise sparkling white.

I see the USS Enterprise delivery of vaccinations is currently barely underway and as it is using very little impulse power the chances of extensive travel early in 2021 seems remote. I understand that Starfleet has decided to retire the current captain and replace him with a more experienced captain and engineering crew who understand how to run the engine room. January 20th has been selected as the handover date for a smooth transfer of command. The new command has its work cut out unifying a very divided outfit. Could take some time to get the Enterprise up to impulse power and then move into true warp speed. The gambler in me is looking closely at the odds being offered for the resumption of travel in the 2021 and 2022 years. Personally, I am quietly confident that the new command will have you all up in the air and about before the years end.

@Marjatta.The following is not intended as a put down, but rather as a hopefully helpful insight. My Oxford describes balmy as mild and fragrant, soothing. South East Asia and surrounds are my stamping ground. At a stretch Koh Samui may be described as balmy on occasions. The rest of Thailand is succinctly described as bloody hot and bloody humid. Still a great place to visit. Wonderful people and culture. Hope you get there sometime and enjoy it. In Bangkok everyone drives like they are possessed by the devil, and on my side of the road too. If one can drive in Bangkok, one can drive anywhere. After Bangkok and Denpasar driving in Italy is a breeze, and the Amalfi coast is a Sunday picnic.

Confidently predicting this year will be better than the last. Ron

Posted by
1682 posts

As I understand the situation it is up to each states to administer the vaccines and I understand the merit of this approach. I suppose this will be a good test for the governors and their government.

Posted by
25180 posts

850 and a third square feet actually

although what that has to do with the price of eggs, I'm not sure

Posted by
4582 posts

Happy New Year to the Down-under continent, and to Finland coming up soon, and the rest of the world when this day ends, but could we travel back to saunas for a moment?

What’s the size of a typical sauna in Finland? I’ve been told that most everyone who can have one at home has one, so do they have just enough room to squeeze in a household’s occupants, or are many large, to accommodate lots of folks? Traveling has myriad benefits, but if you’ve got an awesome sauna at your home, are you even 0.00001 % less likely to want to leave to go somewhere else, even if it has a warm climate?

And is taking an authentic sauna one (maybe minor) reason to visit Finland?

Posted by
1682 posts

Cyn, you have to do the Finnish thing of alternating the sauna with a jump into the snow. You will feel unbelievably great after a few rounds.

If you really want to do this right you have to wrestle with someone in the snow for a minute.

Posted by
21 posts

My intent was not to insult or criticize anyone. Since English is not my native tongue, perhaps I used a wrong word or expression, as someone already commented earlier. I am just tired frustrated of the corona virus and its effects on our lives. Hopefully it will pass soon and we can return to normal life. My hope is that someone will make America and the world great again.

Posted by
12228 posts

geovagriffith; what i read in that is sort of why I gave up trying to follow the numbers and the amateur analysis of the numbers. Then again maybe John Hopkins has good doctors and not so good doctors. Anyone check out this guy's background?

'But if it is true. Would that impact visiting a country that had twice the infection rate as the US? Safer? Worse? Doesn't Matter?

Posted by
18424 posts

I'd love for that to be true, but that's much more optimistic than the other opinions I've read, and it's coming from a surgeon. I don't know why anyone should believe what Dr. Makary says rather than what people like Dr. Fauci say.

I'm not aware of reliable data on the number of people who have been infected vs. the number diagnosed in the US. Clearly, many people are infected without being tested, but is the figure 1.5x, 2x, 3x, ?? I certainly don't think it's 6.5x (and no, I'm not a medical person at all, much less an infectious disease expert).

Posted by
1682 posts

https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-israel-vaccine-int-idUSKBN2AJ08J

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine greatly reduces virus transmission, two Israeli studies have found, shedding light on one of the biggest questions of the global effort to quash the pandemic.

Note: Michal Linial, a professor of molecular biology and bioinformatics at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, said the findings were a big step towards answering one of the most important questions in combating the pandemic.

Anyway, I agree with Agnes. Linial isn't even an epidemiologist.

Posted by
12228 posts

"greatly reduces" what does that mean? That's not a sure thing!!! Even the vaccine is only 96% effective!! Who is this guy? A doctor of molecular biology and bioinformatics? What does that mean?

The conflicting statements are all so confusing that I quit trying to figure any of it out. I will get my second jab, and get on with life. The rest doesn't matter. What is open is open, what is closed is closed. Masks and distance as required by the situation and respect for others.

Posted by
1761 posts

James, I generally like your posts. But just because you don’t know what bioinformatics is doesn’t mean that the person isn’t qualified.

You might want to do research before you assume that since you don’t know what it is it can’t be worth anything. It’s actually an area of science has been very heavily involved in dealing with this pandemic

Posted by
12228 posts

Thank you Carol. But be careful, speaking out loud that you like my posts will not go well for you.

I was really just venting a bit about all the conflicting experts.

I actually looked up bioinformatics (cause I really didn't know what it was) prior to my post. Fascinating.

Posted by
1716 posts

James E- I also like your posts and agree that what will be open, will be open. What will be closed, will be closed. Life goes on. Getting my second jab in a week. Cautiously optimistic about travel this year, I definitely plan domestic travel and hope for one trip to Europe by late fall. Sigh. I told my husband that now I am behind in my travel plans, we will have some making up to do next year!