(March 21 to April 19)
The New Moon in Aquarius throws the spotlight on your growing popularity! More sociable and treasured than ever, your satisfaction ratings just keep rising — but at the same time, so does the sensation that every move you make has become the focus of gossip and that everyone is getting ready to pass judgment on you. Remember: every red carpet opportunity comes hand in hand with cameras flashes in your face. But for now, enjoy the dolce vita without spending too much time pondering the risks and responsibilities of success!
(April 20 to May 20)
Now that you have left Saturn’s stumbling blocks behind you, it is time to re-open your heart and turn your mind to career plans. There will be many opportunities in both areas. Work is at the center of your attention, although bursts of enthusiasm alternate with real worries. The best idea is to relax and take things as they come. Satisfaction is on its way.
(May 21 to June 21)
The Aquarian New Moon revives your curiosity, the driving force behind your sign. You feel a need to travel and to fill your eyes and mind with new things. Make the most of every opportunity that this very favorable New Moon will offer you. A weekend away will lead to a trip to far-off places. The word of the month is "expansion."
(June 22 to July 22)
A change of image is required, and the New Moon will push you to trim away the dead wood so that you can flourish again, finer and healthier than before. You are in a transformative phase in every aspect of your life, from a burning desire to clean out your house and throw away everything you no longer use, to a decision to close the door on a number of old friendships that have lost their soul.
(July 23 to August 22)
This will be a rich and stimulating month, bringing the possibility of new contracts or job offers that will give you a push out of the impasse in which you have been stuck recently. We are not yet talking about the role which will win you an Oscar, but you will be more than just an extra in the background of the scene. You should accept some small compromises, be patient and look to the long-term. This is just the beginning!
(August 23 to September 22)
The New Moon pushes you to take better care of yourself both mentally and physically. It is about time you treated yourself to a massage, or a gym membership, or simply by setting aside some time for relaxation. Don’t underestimate the importance of our ancestors’ claim: mens sana in corpore sano — a healthy mind in a healthy body!
(September 23 to October 23)
A wave of inspiration will activate your creative side, both at work and in everyday life. If your writer’s block (either literal or metaphorical) has had you staring at a blank page for months, you will regain your inspiration and flow. You will also feel a renewed sense of trust in your own abilities, which is never a bad thing!
(October 24 to November 20)
The New Moon draws attention to some worries about home and family. You receive many requests for help from friends and relatives, but after helping all and sundry, you are left with the strong feeling that there is no time left for you. Try not to set aside your own projects, especially those that will set you on the path to greater independence. You need a breath of fresh air: It may be the right time to start thinking about a change of scenery.
(November 21 to December 22)
Your natural curiosity and love of exploration are stimulated by this week’s New Moon. Many people born under this sign are returning from a recent transfer or have just started a new job. You need to patrol your new neighborhood, grasp the rules and dynamics and establish new allies. For Sagittarians working in communication, this month brings many opportunities to express yourself, especially in writing.
(December 23 to January 20)
We are all feeling the ripples of the crisis, but you seem to be more disadvantaged by the global recession. Financial worries come and go on a regular basis, increasing your levels of anxiety and frustration. The New Moon in Aquarius marks the start of a month in which your finances will be at the center of your attention. There are challenges on the horizon, but you will find original and successful solutions.
(January 21 to February 21)
The New Moon is in your sign this month, marking the start of a new cycle which be characterized by the desire to cut ties with the past, ties that are preventing you from living life to the fullest. Recently freed from the chains of Saturn, a personal revolution is in the cards, but only if it is well thought-out and implemented, and not just an act of angry rebellion against a life that no longer fits you.
(February 22 to March 20)
This month will start with a period of reflection, thanks to the New Moon in Aquarius. Thinking back over the last few months, you may feel that a bit of confusion has clouded your sign. You feel called to take things seriously and make things happen in your field of interest, but the road ahead twists and turns, full of obstacles. It is time to draw up a new strategy. If you can combine intuition (your strong point) and common sense (which you often lack), you will discover that your path is long and bright; a few sharp turns are no longer cause for fear.
Will flying be greener? More comfortable? Less frequent? As the world eyes a post-COVID reality, we look at ways the airline industry has been changing through a pandemic that has devastated air travel.
It's hard to overstate the damage the pandemic has had on the airline industry, with global revenues dropping by 40% in 2020 and dozens of airlines around the world filing for bankruptcy. One moment last year when the gravity became particularly apparent was when Asian carriers (in countries with low COVID-19 rates) began offering "flights to nowhere" — starting and ending at the same airport as a way to earn some cash from would-be travelers who missed the in-flight experience.
More than a year later today, experts believe that air traffic won't return to normal levels until 2024.
But beyond the financial woes, the unprecedented slowdown in air travel may bring some silver linings as key aspects of the industry are bound to change once back in full spin, with some longer-term effects on aviation already emerging. Here are some major transformations to expect in the coming years:
Cleaner aviation fuel
The U.S. administration of President Joe Biden and the airline industry recently agreed to the ambitious goal of replacing all jet fuel with sustainable alternatives by 2050. Already in a decade, the U.S. aims to produce three billion gallons of sustainable fuel — about one-tenth of current total use — from waste, plants and other organic matter.
While greening the world's road transport has long been at the top of the climate agenda, aviation is not even included under the Paris Agreement. But with air travel responsible for roughly 12% of all CO2 emissions from transport, and stricter international regulation on the horizon, the industry is increasingly seeking sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based fuel.
Fees imposed on the airline industry should be funneled into a climate fund.
In Germany, state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports that the world's first factory producing CO2-neutral kerosene recently started operations in the town of Wertle, in Lower Saxony. The plant, for which Lufthansa is set to become the pilot customer, will produce CO2-neutral kerosene through a circular production cycle incorporating sustainable and green energy sources and raw materials. Energy is supplied through wind turbines from the surrounding area, while the fuel's main ingredients are water and waste-generated CO2 coming from a nearby biogas plant.
Farther north, Norwegian Air Shuttle has recently submitted a recommendation to the government that fees imposed on the airline industry should be funneled into a climate fund aimed at developing cleaner aviation fuel, according to Norwegian news site E24. The airline also suggested that the government significantly reduce the tax burden on the industry over a longer period to allow airlines to recover from the pandemic.
High-flying ambitions for the sector
Hydrogen and electrification
Some airline manufacturers are betting on hydrogen, with research suggesting that the abundant resource has the potential to match the flight distances and payload of a current fossil-fuel aircraft. If derived from renewable resources like sun and wind power, hydrogen — with an energy-density almost three times that of gasoline or diesel — could work as a fully sustainable aviation fuel that emits only water.
One example comes out of California, where fuel-cell specialist HyPoint has entered a partnership with Pennsylvania-based Piasecki Aircraft Corporation to manufacture 650-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell systems for aircrafts. According to HyPoint, the system — scheduled for commercial availability product by 2025 — will have four times the energy density of existing lithium-ion batteries and double the specific power of existing hydrogen fuel-cell systems.
Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce is looking to smash the speed record of electrical flights with a newly designed 23-foot-long model. Christened the Spirit of Innovation, the small plane took off for the first time earlier this month and successfully managed a 15-minute long test flight. However, the company has announced plans to fly the machine faster than 300 mph (480 km/h) before the year is out, and also to sell similar propulsion systems to companies developing electrical air taxis or small commuter planes.
New aircraft designs
Airlines are also upgrading aircraft design to become more eco-friendly. Air France just received its first upgrade of a single-aisle, medium-haul aircraft in 33 years. Fleet director Nicolas Bertrand told French daily Les Echos that the new A220 — that will replace the old A320 model — will reduce operating costs by 10%, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 20% and noise footprint by 34%.
International first class will be very nearly a thing of the past.
The pandemic has also ushered in a new era of consumer demand where privacy and personal space is put above luxury. The retirement of older aircraft caused by COVID-19 means that international first class — already in steady decline over the last decades — will be very nearly a thing of the past. Instead, airplane manufacturers around the world (including Delta, China Eastern, JetBlue, British Airways and Shanghai Airlines) are betting on a new generation of super-business minisuites where passengers have a privacy door. The idea, which was introduced by Qatar Airways in 2017, is to offer more personal space than in regular business class but without the lavishness of first class.
Aerial view of Rome's Fiumicino airportcommons.wikimedia.org
Rome's Fiumicino Airport has become the first in the world to earn "the COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating" from Skytrax, an international airline and airport review and ranking site, Italian daily La Repubblica reports. Skytrax, which publishes a yearly annual ranking of the world's best airports and issues the World Airport Awards, this year created a second list to specifically call out airports with the best health and hygiene standards.
The pandemic has also accelerated the shift towards contactless traveling, with more airports harnessing the power of biometrics — such as facial recognition or fever screening — to reduce touchpoints and human contact. Similar technology can also be used to more efficiently scan physical objects, such as explosive detection. Ultimately, passengers will be able to "check-in" and go through a security screening anywhere at the airports, removing queues and bottlenecks.
Data privacy issues
However, as pointed out in Canadian publication The Lawyer's Daily, increased use of AI and biometrics also means increased privacy concerns. For example, health and hygiene measures like digital vaccine passports also mean that airports can collect data on who has been vaccinated and the type of vaccine used.
Auckland Airport, New Zealand
The billion-dollar question: Will we fly less?
At the end of the day, even with all these (mostly positive) changes that we've seen take shape over the past 18 months, the industry faces major uncertainty about whether air travel will ever return to the pre-COVID levels. Not only are people wary about being in crowded and closed airplanes, but the worth of long-distance business travel in particular is being questioned as many have seen that meetings can function remotely, via Zoom and other online apps.
Trying to forecast the future, experts point to the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks as at least a partial blueprint for what a recovery might look like in the years ahead. Twenty years ago, as passenger enthusiasm for flying waned amid security fears following the attacks, airlines were forced to cancel flights and put planes into storage.
40% of Swedes intend to travel less
According to McKinsey, leisure trips and visits to family and friends rebounded faster than business flights, which took four years to return to pre-crisis levels in the UK. This time too, business travel is expected to lag, with the consulting firm estimating only 80% recovery of pre-pandemic levels by 2024.
But the COVID-19 crisis also came at a time when passengers were already rethinking their travel habits due to climate concerns, while worldwide lockdowns have ushered in a new era of remote working. In Sweden, a survey by the country's largest research company shows that 40% of the population intend to travel less even after the pandemic ends. Similarly in the UK, nearly 60% of adults said during the spring they intended to fly less after being vaccinated against COVID-19 — with climate change cited as a top reason for people wanting to reduce their number of flights, according to research by the University of Bristol.
At the same time, major companies are increasingly forced to face the music of the environmental movement, with several corporations rolling out climate targets over the last few years. Today, five of the 10 biggest buyers of corporate air travel in the US are technology companies: Amazon, IBM, Google, Apple and Microsoft, according to Taipei Times, all of which have set individual targets for environmental stewardship. As such, the era of flying across the Atlantic for a two-hour executive meeting is likely in its dying days.
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