The mediator in the lawsuit brought by the state of Florida seeking to force the immediate restart of cruises informed the US District Court judge that Florida and the US Centers for Disease Control are deadlocked. By declaring an impasse in the mediation, the case has been sent back to the court to decide the issue.
Both sides in the case made new filings with the court renewing the argument over the CDC’s jurisdiction and actions under its current Conditional Sail Order and the framework by which cruise lines are permitted to apply for a return to service. Filing the case in April, Florida, which was later joined by Alaska and Texas in the suit, contended that the CDC had overstepped its authority and was unfairly singling out the cruise industry causing significant harm to the state.
Since the filing of the case, the CDC has proceeded with its framework and granted approvals for the first cruises and simulated test cruises on the path to the restoration of cruises from US ports. In addition, President Joe Biden signed into law the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which exempted large ships from US sabotage regulations to permit 2021 summer cruises to Alaska while Canadian ports remain closed.
In addition to telling the court that the CDC is following protocols designed to ensure the health and safety of Americans, the CDC is asking the court to permit the filing of a supplemental briefing on the Alaska act and the potential impact a decision in the Florida case might have on the resumption of cruising in Alaska. The Congressional act says that foreign flag cruise ships can resume sailing to Alaska abiding by the rules and restrictions of the CDC. Lawyers for the CDC contend that if the court voids the Conditional Sail Order it would put this summer’s Alaska cruises in jeopardy.
“Florida is, however, concerned that further briefing will only serve to delay a ruling on Florida’s motion for a preliminary injunction. With each passing day that cruises – a singled-out industry – cannot operate, Florida suffers irreparable harm,” they write in their response to the court. Florida’s lawyers contended that the act confirms Florida’s case in that the CDC required Congress’s authorization and that by not mentioning Florida in the act, “that Congress decided not to ratify the CDC’s conduct as to Florida.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaking after the impact was declared said, “Unfortunately, the CDC has opted to continue its ridiculous and unlawful regulations that target a single industry by imposing vaccine requirements — something no other business or industry must do.” DeSantis in his attacks on the CDC said that it is discriminating against families and children with its masking and vaccine mandates for cruises and imposing burdensome requirements that are continuing to change and that are delaying the resumption of cruising.
“The CDC did almost nothing to re-open sailing until Florida filed suit,” said DeSantis. “While it is a positive sign to see the CDC begin to green light ‘conditional cruises’ following Florida’s lawsuit, there is still no set date upon which cruises can resume business operations. The CDC has no excuse for ruining two summers of sailing, and it is well past time to end the CDC’s desperate attempt to prolong its power trip over America. Floridians are ready for a real trip on our waters.”
While the court continues to hear the arguments in the case, the CDC is, however, also moving forward with its framework for the resumption of cruising. After giving Royal Caribbean International approval for the first simulated cruise and Celebrity Cruises permission to resume restricted revenue service, the CDC has now approved 10 cruise ship applications with one additional pending approval. Celebrity Cruises received approval for a second ship to resume service operating with fully vaccinated passengers and crew, while Disney Cruise Line gained approval for a test cruise and was the first approved for Port Canaveral, Florida. Carnival Cruise Line has also received approval for two of its cruise ships to operate simulated a cruise from Miami and Galveston, while Royal Caribbean received approval for four additional cruise ships to operate simulated voyages. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line currently has provisional approval for a test cruise. Once the cruise lines have demonstrated to the CDC the effectiveness of their health and safety protocols those ships should receive conditional sail orders.
The major challenge for the cruise lines is the CDC’s requirement for face coverings for non-vaccinated passengers and in large gatherings, and the cruise lines’ requirement to certify that passengers are vaccinated. Florida outlawed the use of vaccine passports and has threatened to fine the cruise lines if they proceed to ask for proof of vaccination status. Florida’s governor declined a suggestion that cruise lines be exempted from the ordinance permitting them to follow CDC restrictions once passengers boarded their ships.
Florida in its legal case is continuing to press the court to issue an immediate injunction against the CDC. They argue the injunction is necessary so that the cruise lines could resume sailing this summer, while the cruise lines have cautioned that it will require time to restaff and restart the broader fleet of cruise ships that have been idled and in many cases destaffed for nearly a year.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]