2020’s Top Aviation News Stories

2020 was a weird year for everyone but it was a particularly hard year for the aviation industry. Despite this, there were still some lighter moments to remember. Here’s the rundown:

  1. One of the airports in Alaska became the busiest one in the world

A strong suit of Alaska’s Anchorage International Airport is that they can bring in medical supplies, which has been the top priority ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and this added to the increase in cargo traffic. This factor, in addition to the lessening of people who are flying out due to the pandemic, and boom — it became one of the busiest airports in the world.

  1. The rise of ‘Flights to Nowhere’

Everyone has been deprived of a lot of things for the past year and one thing that has been limited is traveling. Because of this, Australian airline Qantas launched a flight to nowhere, where passengers can go on a 7-hour flight and just do sightseeing over areas like Byron Bay and the Gold Coast. Aside from this, EVA Air also launched an on-board speed dating program called “Fly! Love Is in the Air” and Thai Airways did the same concept as Qantas and flew over some of Thailand’s Buddhist religious sites.


  1. Naomi Campbell’s airplane ritual becoming viral

Back in 2019, Naomi Campbell uploaded her airport routine on her YouTube channel and it included her intricate airplane ritual which included cleaning the surfaces with disinfectant and wearing a mask. Obviously, it was more relevant in 2020.


  1. The world’s longest passenger flight became much longer

The longest flight known is an 18-hour one between Singapore to Newark, New Jersey and this travel time got even longer because Singapore Airlines changed airports from Newark to JFK in New York. This now has a total distance of 9,536.5 miles, with an extra 2.5 miles.


  1. A man accidentally threw himself off from a fighter jet

A couple of employees at a firm decided that it was a good idea to surprise their 64-year old colleague by making him fly in a fighter jet but when did it, he was so stressed out that he decided to eject himself from the jet, causing him to parachute from 2,500 feet above the ground.


  1. More plane news stories

Because traveling is restricted around the world and to be able to make business with planes, some companies like Portuguese charter operator Hi Fly made their passenger planes into cargo planes. 


Another news to remember is when Airbus had a trial run for A350-1000 and it successfully flew off without a pilot operating it, although there were 2 pilots on standby. In addition to this, a plane flew without jet fuel and this is thanks to the collaboration of magniX and aerospace firm AeroTEC, who created the world’s largest all-electric aircraft and flew it last May 2020.


  1. The airport with a curse

One of Berlin’s airports, Brandenburg Airport, finally opened in October after a decade of delay and almost 5 billion dollars over budget.

  1. New ‘funny-looking’ plane designs

One of the biggest planes, the Beluga XL from Airbus, which is shaped like a whale, started servicing last January. There was also the Celera 500L, a bullet-shaped plane that seats 6 people. Lastly, the Caspian Sea Monster, which is a mix of an aircraft and a hovercraft, was taken from the Russian coast to the Derbent city after not using it for 30 years.


  1. Challenges in airport touchdowns 

In the month of May, the company Eurowings resumed its operations but it seemed like they got a little too excited and were told to turn around during their flight from Dusseldorf to Sardinia in Italy because their destination airport was still closed.


Last December, Buddha Air flew their passengers to the wrong destination, which was 250 miles away from where they were supposed to be.