From the whole Simple Flying team, I’d love to use this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year. There’s no denying that 2020 was a terrible year for aviation, and the whole Simple Flying team hopes that with the help of the COVID-19 vaccines being approved, things will get better in 2021.
This year, Simple Flying will turn three years old, and we’d love to thank you for being a part of the journey so far, whether you’re a seasoned reader or new to the site. My colleague Jo has already touched on where Simple Flying is in her Christmas piece. To welcome the new year, we decided to look at the Simple Flying team’s favorite stories of 2020.
Welcoming a new airport
Tom Boon – Content Manager
My highlight of the year was the opening of the new Terminal 1 at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Being based in Germany, I was able to attend the opening event when traveling into the country was hard for many.
It was an honor to be part of history, having waited so long for the airport to finally open. Some had questioned whether it would indeed open or whether it was easier to start afresh. It was just a shame to see the new runway closed so soon after it had opened due to the pandemic. (October 31st)
In-flight COVID Transmission Research
Jo Bailey – Editor
I really enjoyed finding out what different manufacturers are doing to validate how COVID is spread around the aircraft cabin and what needs to be done to keep passengers safe. I think we’ve learned so much this year about cabin airflow and have dispelled many myths around recycled air and contaminant spread onboard. (October 21st)
Emirates’ Airbus A380 plans
Sumit Rehal – Deputy Editor
This was my favorite article from this year. It was a pleasure to speak with the COO of Emirates, Adel Al Redha, about important aspects of the airline during this unprecedented time. We were able to know more about the carrier’s Airbus A380 plans in the interview. While the superjumbo is being retired across the globe rapidly, it was interesting to know that the type will continue to feature well for Emirates.
I look forward to more discussions such as this in 2021. (October 31st)
Vietnam Airlines A321neo incident
I learned a lot about the technical side and had to provide a lot of different graphics for it. It also received a great response from readers. (December 4th)
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 Farewell
I enjoyed writing this article. Doing so required me to attend the media day for Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 747 farewell event, which was a great privilege. It was fascinating to learn about the ‘Queen of the Skies’ from the amazing pilots, cabin crew, and engineers who worked on the type. It was also wonderful to experience the airline’s Upper Class service, in which the family nature of its staff really shone through.
I know the public event the following day sold out almost instantly, so I was glad to be able to share my experiences with readers who did not get the opportunity to attend. We’ll all miss Virgin Atlantic’s 747s, and, as someone who lives under the flightpath of transatlantic departures from Heathrow, the skies won’t be the same without them! (December 12th)
Interviewing Azul Linhas Aereas
Daniel Martinez Garbuno
I really liked making this article, because it was my proper first interview for Simple Flying. Moreover, I could write about a really interesting subject, the launch of a new carrier in Latin America, Azul Conecta. I’ve got to say, I also love writing about Interjet. (August 18th)
A heartwarming story about puppies!
Following six months of travel restrictions, state-aid and furloughs, it was lovely to get to write about a puppy named Harris who was rescued from the side of the road in Texas and was brought to his forever home by a kind and caring flight attendant named Marcel. (Plus, nothing makes me happier than when an animal gets adopted from a shelter.) (August 10th)
Serbia-Kosovo flight rights
I was very happy to be one of the first to report on this historic moment. It was such a major sign of the importance of the aviation industry to countries and the importance of commerce for peace. (January 20th)
100 Years of the FAA
In a year full of cut schedules and cancelations, it was amazing to look back and see how far aviation has come and how it has been shaped by global events and the drive for a safer, more comfortable, more ecological industry. Researching this article was fascinating. There was so much more that could have gone into the final piece. As I was writing, I thought about the possibility that in 50 or 100 years, another writer will capture the events of 2020 and show how the present will impact the future of aviation as we know it. (August 21st)
Wind Shear vs. Turbulence
Having been involved in a severe wind shear incident landing at Bristol a few years ago, it was fascinating to learn more about what causes it. (August 29th)
Southwest remaining a Boeing customer
I enjoyed listening to the webinar to get information for this article. How to run an airline also proved to be an interesting subject matter too. (December 17th)
The race for speed
I always enjoy looking at new developments in routes, aircraft, or technology. With all the cutbacks and problems in 2020, looking forward to such innovations is especially welcome. In a similar way, I have enjoyed following new aircraft developments in China. More options and competition should be good in the long term. (December 15th)
An A318 flight like no other
I really enjoyed writing this article as I got to learn all about St. Helena and its unique airport. (April 20th)
2020’s profitable airlines
While I had many favorites (including my trip reports!) I really enjoyed this profitability story because it focused on the positive of this year’s aviation news. Studying the important cargo metrics (price per mile/cargo space) and how airlines are adapting proved to be quite interesting and unique. It’s rare to see airline profits this year, so it’s always interesting to research a story like this! (September 14th)
What was your favorite story of 2020? Let us know in the comments below!