The repercussions are continuing to be felt across Norway after the COVID-19 incidents involving Hurtigruten’s management and cruise ships. Norwegian government officials and the media are expressing a sense of both betrayal and disappointment at how the situation was handled.
In the latest developments, Hurtigruten reported that it has asked its Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer Bent Martini to step down while the investigation is ongoing into how the company handled the outbreak of COVID-19 linked to a passenger who has disembarked its cruise ship the Roald Amundsen. Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement that the company had initiated the actions as it continued its review and external investigation of the situation.
The incident began on July 29 when it was discovered that a passenger who had disembarked from the cruise ship after a 7-day cruise to the Arctic had tested positive for the virus. Four crew members also aboard the ship reported feeling unwell at around the same time and were moved into isolation. Health officials informed Hurtigruten of the situation but the company failed to notify the passengers and crew on the ship and implement precautions. The company continued to delay the notification, and according to some reports attempted to hide the situation possibly going back on a promise to the Norwegian officials. Further, the passengers aboard the current cruise were permitted to disembark on July 31 before the announcement of the outbreak setting off an effort across Norway to do contact tracing and locate nearly 400 passengers from the two cruises.
Martini was asked to temporarily step aside after he admitted to the Norwegian media that he had been aboard the Roald Amundsen on vacation with his family during the July 24 cruise. He declined to say when he had become aware of the COVID-19 situation and what his role was if any in the timing of the public announcement.
CEO Skjeldam was later forced to admit that the company had made mistakes and failed to follow its protocols. He apologized to the passengers, crew, and people of Norway and promised a full investigation into the situation. Hurtigruten hired DNV to conduct an external investigation of the situation, but in the face of continuing criticism and an investigation by the Norwegian police, it was also learned that Hurtigruten has retained a maritime law firm. The company has made no public statements since last Friday.
Hurtigruten’s chief commercial officer, Asta Lassesen, was named interim chairman and will also take direct responsibility for the investigations. At last report, a total of 62 people had reportedly tested positive for the virus including 41 crew members and 21 passengers between the two cruises on the Roald Amundsen. Passengers from the second cruise are nearing the end of the self-isolation that Norwegian officials requested and at least 40 passengers were reported to have remained in Tromso, Norway after disembarking the cruise. Hurtigruten also tested passengers on two other cruise ships and suspending its expedition cruises as of last week.
In the meantime, Norwegian officials have also been warning the country about a rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 asking people to increase their precautions while slowing some of the efforts to reduce COVID-19 related restrictions. The cruise ship is being cited as one of several situations that might have contributed to the increase in cases. Norway is also suspending cruise ship calls in its ports for two weeks while it investigates the Hurtigruten situation.
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]