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Passengers Sustain Injuries After Plane Skids Off Runway at Alaska Airport



At least two people were critically injured when a commercial plane skidded off the runway at Alaska’s Unalaska Airport on Thursday evening, according to KTUU.

The Saab 2000 aircraft was carrying 39 passengers, including members of a high school swimming team, and three crew members when it went off the runway around 5:40 p.m. local time Thursday. The flight was being operated by PenAir, a regional airline based in Anchorage that currently has a codesharing agreement with Alaska Airlines.

The airline confirmed that “two passengers were critically injured and ten others are receiving medical care in Unalaska,” in a news release issued late Thursday. “All other passengers are being cared for.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our passengers and crew, and the family members of everyone with loved ones on this flight,” added the company’s CEO Dave Pflieger.

Alex Russin, superintendent of schools in Cordova, Alaska, told CNN that “all students and chaperones are accounted for and OK.”

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation into the accident.

“We’ve got a major investigation going here,” said Clint Johnson of the NTSB via KTUU. “We’re trying to get an investigator down, and the rest of the team will be coming from Washington, D.C.”

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Emirates Announces Firing Employees Amid the Pandemic



Emirates Airline, the last holdout among the Gulf region‘s three major East-West carriers in retaining its workforce announced on May 31, 2020, that it had fired an undisclosed number of employees, due to the near-shutdown of global air travel amid COVID-19.

The other two—Abu Dhabi’s Etihad and Doha-based Qatar Airways—had already scaled back in terms of staffing as the virus spread, virtually eliminating passenger demand and causing international borders to slam shut.

While Emirates has been applauded during the pandemic for continuing to run repatriation flights around the globe, as well as delivering cargo and critical supplies, it has been dramatically affected by the halting of international passenger travel, just like the rest of the world’s airlines.

In a statement, the company said, “We have endeavored to sustain the current family as is…but have come to the conclusion that we, unfortunately, have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us.”

Without revealing any particulars of the mass firing, Emirates assured that those being axed from its workforce would be treated, “with fairness and respect.”

ABC News reported that to try and balance some of the immense losses the airline continues to suffer, Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, injected an undisclosed amount of equity into its operations back in March.

Although the flag carrier, owned by a Dubai sovereign wealth fund, had already reduced its staff members’ pay during the course of the global health crisis.

Meanwhile, Emirates’ home base, Dubai International Airport—typically the world’s busiest in terms of international passenger traffic—has also been running only a fraction of its normal operations.

Dubai, which has positioned itself as a critical hub for the free movement of people, goods and capital from around the globe (all of which the pandemic has disrupted), now depends heavily upon a resumption of activity at its airport.

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