Author Archives: Harry Johnson

IATA: Negative passenger demand trend continues in February Aviation Feature, Aviation News

IATA: Negative passenger demand trend continues in February 1

Total demand for air travel in February 2021was down 74.7% compared to February 201International passenger demand in February was 88.7% below February 2019Total domestic demand was down 51.0% versus pre-crisis (February 2019) levels

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that passenger traffic fell in February 2021, both compared to pre-COVID levels (February 2019) and compared to the immediate month prior (January 2020).
Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to February 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.

Total demand for air travel in February 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 74.7% compared to February 2019. That was worse than the 72.2% decline recorded in January 2021 versus two years ago.
International passenger demand in February was 88.7% below February 2019, a further drop from the 85.7% year-to-year decline recorded in January and the worst growth outcome since July 2020. Performance in all regions worsened compared to January 2021.
Total domestic demand was down 51.0% versus pre-crisis (February 2019) levels. In January it was down 47.8% on the 2019 period. This largely was owing to weakness in China travel, driven by government requests that citizens stay at home during the Lunar New Year travel period.

“February showed no indication of a recovery in demand for international air travel. In fact, most indicators went in the wrong direction as travel restrictions tightened in the face of continuing concerns over new coronavirus variants. An important exception was the Australian domestic market. A relaxation of restrictions on domestic flying resulted in significantly more travel. This tells us that people have not lost their desire travel. They will fly, provided they can do so without facing quarantine measures,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Qatar Airways operates world’s first fully COVID-19 vaccinated flight Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Qatar Airways operates world’s first fully COVID-19 vaccinated flight 2

The special flight will showcase all the measures the airline has put in placeQR6421 passengers will be serviced by fully vaccinated staff at check-inPassengers on board will be able to livestream the historic experience

Qatar Airways continues to lead the recovery of international travel, operating the world’s first fully COVID-19 vaccinated flight today. QR6421 will depart Hamad International Airport at 11:00 AM carrying only vaccinated crew and passengers onboard, with passengers also to be served by fully vaccinated staff at check-in. The special flight, which will return to Doha at 14:00, will showcase all the measures the airline has put in place to ensure the highest standards of safety and hygiene on board, including its latest innovation, the world’s first ‘Zero-Touch’ in-flight entertainment technology. The special service will be operated by the airline’s most technologically advanced and sustainable aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000, with the flight also fully carbon offset in line with the carrier’s environmental responsibilities.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Today’s special flight demonstrates the next stage in the recovery of international travel is not far away. We are proud to continue leading the industry by operating the first flight with a fully vaccinated crew and passengers and providing a beacon of hope for the future of international aviation. With aviation being a critical economic driver both globally and here in the State of Qatar, we are thankful for the support we have received from our government and local health authorities to vaccinate our staff, with over 1,000 vaccinations being administered per day.”

Passengers on board will be able to livestream the historic experience thanks to Qatar Airways’ industry leading Super WiFi onboard that combines the latest technology from Inmarsat, SITA for Aircraft and Thales.
To show its gratitude to those who have played key roles throughout the pandemic, Qatar Airways gave away 100,000 complimentary return tickets to healthcare workers and 21,000 to teachers around the world in 2020.

TAP Air Portugal passengers can now be tested at Lisbon Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

TAP Air Portugal passengers can now be tested at Lisbon Airport 3

TAP offers its passengers a COVID-19 testing service at Lisbon airportThe results of the tests are sent directly to the passenger by e-mail within 30 minutesNew service is available in the UCS building, which is located at the Rua B building 8 next to ​​Lisbon Airport

TAP Air Portugal, in partnership with UCS, the Group’s Health Care Unit, now offers all TAP passengers a COVID-19 testing service at Lisbon airport.
The results of the tests are sent directly to the passenger by e-mail within 30 minutes in the case of the Rapid Antigen Tests; and between 6 to 8 hours in the case of PCR Tests.

For now, this new service is available in the UCS building, which is located at the Rua B building 8 next to ​​Lisbon Airport. From April 19, the UCS services will also be available at the departures area of ​​the airport.
The testing service can be scheduled directly on the UCS website.
Additionally, through May 31, TAP’s Book with Confidence program allows customers to change their bookings at no cost.

TAP Air Portugal is the flag carrier airline of Portugal, headquartered at Lisbon Airport which also serves as its hub. TAP – Transportes Aéreos Portugueses – has been a member of the Star Alliance since 2005 and operates on average 2,500 flights a week to 90 destinations in 34 countries worldwide.

Iran’s Kish Air launches Kazakhstan flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Iran’s Kish Air launches Kazakhstan flights 4

Iranian airline launches Kazakhstan serviceKish Airlines flies from Gorgan to AktauKish Airlines is an air carrier operating from Kish Island, Iran

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the official news agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian Kish Airlines launched air service between Gorgan, Iran and Aktau, Kazakhstan.
The inaugural flight from Gorgan arrived at Aktau Airport on April 1, 2021.

Kish Airlines is an air carrier operating from Kish Island, Iran. It operates international, domestic and charter services as a scheduled carrier. Its main base is Mehrabad International Airport, Tehran.
At present Kish aIR IS OPERATING two dry leased and two purchased Russian-made Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft and a fleet of medium-range MD-80 series aircraft and short-range Fokker 100 on its domestic and international routes.

TAP Air Poprtugal passengers can now be tested at Lisbon Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

TAP Air Poprtugal passengers can now be tested at Lisbon Airport 5

TAP offers its passengers a COVID-19 testing service at Lisbon airportThe results of the tests are sent directly to the passenger by e-mail within 30 minutesNew service is available in the UCS building, which is located at the Rua B building 8 next to ​​Lisbon Airport

TAP Air Portugal, in partnership with UCS, the Group’s Health Care Unit, now offers all TAP passengers a COVID-19 testing service at Lisbon airport.
The results of the tests are sent directly to the passenger by e-mail within 30 minutes in the case of the Rapid Antigen Tests; and between 6 to 8 hours in the case of PCR Tests.

For now, this new service is available in the UCS building, which is located at the Rua B building 8 next to ​​Lisbon Airport. From April 19, the UCS services will also be available at the departures area of ​​the airport.
The testing service can be scheduled directly on the UCS website.
Additionally, through May 31, TAP’s Book with Confidence program allows customers to change their bookings at no cost.

TAP Air Portugal is the flag carrier airline of Portugal, headquartered at Lisbon Airport which also serves as its hub. TAP – Transportes Aéreos Portugueses – has been a member of the Star Alliance since 2005 and operates on average 2,500 flights a week to 90 destinations in 34 countries worldwide.

US domestic air travel to make full recovery by early 2022 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

US domestic air travel to make full recovery by early 2022 6

Consumers are looking forward to summer travelExperts are now predicting that the US will reach herd immunity by mid-June to early July — three to six weeks ahead of earlier forecastsThe overall comeback of travel will depend on how fast nations get their populations vaccinated

Leisure travel in America will push the US domestic airline industry to a COVID recovery by early 2022.
A year ago, industry analysts would have thought that a full domestic recovery in this timeframe for the US was almost impossible, but the combination of pent-up demand, economic stimulus, and access to vaccines is making a difference. It is still too early to talk about a full recovery for the overall industry, but the experts expect some of the airlines to start turning cashflow positive in a matter of months, particularly in the US.

The rapidly increasing availability of vaccines and economic stimulus from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act are two reasons for the increase in domestic leisure travel in the US. Both factors also happened to coincide with the timing of spring break across many states, which caused a spike in demand.
Consumers are also looking forward to summer travel, and the experts are now predicting that the US will reach herd immunity by mid-June to early July — three to six weeks ahead of earlier forecasts.
In mid-March, US travel demand rose to more than 50 percent of 2019 levels, which is the highest it has been on a sustained basis since the start of the pandemic.

The opposite is true with corporate and international travel, which is still down more than 80 percent from 2019. These segments of the market will not recover before 2023.
The loss of business travel is a real challenge for some full-service airlines, because they depend on high-yielding customers to provide more than half of their profits and a third of revenues in major economies such as the US. To compensate for the loss of business and international travelers, full-service carriers are starting to sell more services a la carte, aimed at a broader customer base with different needs and less willingness to pay.
The analysis of US Department of Transportation data reveals revenue per available seat mile (RASM) for full-service airlines fell 50 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020, making it one of the darkest periods for US carriers. Meanwhile, the RASM for low-cost airlines fell 23 percent in the same three months. The third quarter of 2020 brought the performance of the two airline groups closer together, with full-service carriers declining 45 percent and low-cost carriers down 38 percent.

The overall comeback of travel will depend on how fast nations get their populations vaccinated and standardize their health passport travel protocols and testing regulations, but the demand to travel is here.

Ethiopian On-Time Performance surpasses industry average Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Ethiopian On-Time Performance surpasses industry average 7

Ethiopian makes a substantial investment to enhance its customer serviceOn-Time Performance refers to an airline departure or arrival that occurs within 15 minutes of the scheduled timeThe last three months have been extraordinarily productive in terms of efficiency

Ethiopian Airlines Group announced that it has reached 91% On-Time Performance of all global flight departures for the last three months while the industry average stands around 85%. The airline has operated a total of 18,385 flights in January, February, and March in which it has scored 91% on-time departures.
We have recognized from our customers’ feedback that the COVID-19 TravelRequirements, and especially the expiry of Negative PCR Test certificates by manycountries after 72 hours, have made on-time flight departures and smooth connectivity more important than ever in the past. As a result, our winning team has made it its top priority and achieved record levels of flight punctuality.

Ethiopian Airline Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam said, “As a customer-centricairline, we make a substantial investment to enhance our customer service. When customers choose Ethiopian, we make sure that they get the best possible experience with us including arriving to their destinations on time. The last three months have been extraordinarily productive in terms of efficiency in our flight operation. I am proud of my colleagues who are committed to eliminate any inconvenience for our esteemed passengers.”
On-Time Performance refers to an airline departure or arrival that occurs within 15minutes of the scheduled time. Punctuality is of paramount importance for passengers as delay or cancellation affects their itinerary and makes passengers incur extra costs.

Air Canada and Transat terminate proposed acquisition agreement Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Air Canada and Transat terminate proposed acquisition agreement 8

Proposed acquisition of Transat by Air Canada canceledAir Canada and Transat had originally agreed in June 2019 on the acquisitionTerms were amended in 2019 and revised in 2020 due to severe economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Air Canada and Transat A.T. Inc. announced today that they have mutually agreed to terminate the Arrangement Agreement for the proposed acquisition of Transat by Air Canada.
Air Canada and Transat had originally agreed in June 2019 on the acquisition, the terms of which were subsequently amended in August 2019 and then revised in October 2020 as a result of the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As previously disclosed, the acquisition was conditional on the approval of various regulatory authorities, including the European Commission (“EC”). In order to meet that key condition, Air Canada offered and enhanced a significant package of remedies, which went beyond the commercially reasonable efforts required of Air Canada under the Arrangement Agreement and what has been traditionally accepted by the EC in previous airline merger cases. Following recent discussions with the EC, it has become evident, however, that the EC will not approve the acquisition based on the currently offered remedy package.
After careful consideration, Air Canada has concluded that providing additional, onerous remedies, which may still not secure an EC approval, would significantly compromise Air Canada’s ability to compete internationally, negatively impacting customers, other stakeholders and future prospects as it recovers and rebuilds from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially in this challenging environment, it is essential that Air Canada focus on creating the optimal conditions for its full recovery by preserving and leveraging all of its key strengths and assets including its strong employee culture.
Both Air Canada and Transat have agreed to terminate the Arrangement Agreement with Air Canada paying Transat a termination fee of $12.5 million, and with Transat no longer under any obligation to pay Air Canada any fee should Transat be involved in another acquisition or similar transaction in the future.

Ukraine International Airlines is gradually restoring its flight network Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Ukraine International Airlines is gradually restoring its flight network 9

Despite numerous travel restrictions in early 2021, UIA has done a commendable workFrom January, 1 to March, 31, 2021, about 30 000passenger requests were considered and processedThe airline seeks to resume normal operations as soon as conditions permit

Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) continues to gradually restore its flight network despite the factors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, which affect the operation of the airline and the entire aviation industry as a whole.
Despite numerous travel restrictions for both Ukrainian citizens and passengers of foreign countries in early 2021, UIA has done a commendable work and is ready to share its work results for the 1st quarter of 2021 (compared to the pre-crisis 1st quarter of 2020):

The number of performed scheduled flights: 1 424, which is 82% less than during the same period in 2020;Number of charter flights: 1 116, compared to 419 flights in 2020;The total number of passengers carried: 322 732, which is 67% less than during the same period in 2020, in particular:
passengers on regular flights: 121 047 (900 516 in 2020);passengers on charter flights: 201 685 (75 520 in 2020);
Percentage of transit passengers is 34% (including all scheduled flights), compared to 46% in 2020;The volume of cargo and mail transportation (both on regular and charter flights) is 743 000 kg, which is 76% less than during the same period in 2020.
From January, 1 to March, 31, 2021, about 30 000 passenger requests were considered and processed and 6 711 576 US dollars were refunded to passengers. In total, during 12 months of its activity during the pandemic from April 2020 to March 2021, UIA refunded more than $33 million to passengers.
UIA is now closely monitoring the epidemiological situation, governmental guidelines and regulations to all countries where the airline operates. The airline seeks to resume normal operations as soon as conditions permit.

North Korean Air Koryo announces resumption of China flights Aviation Feature, Aviation News

North Korean Air Koryo announces resumption of China flights 10

North Korea has closed all ports of entry by land, sea or air in January 2020North Korea is showing “increasing signs” of easing its border restrictions with ChinaEarlier, Air Koryo released its flight schedule to the Russian port city of Vladivostok

North Korea’s Air Koryo appears to be set to resume operating two flights between Pyongyang and Beijing this week, the airline’s website showed today. It is still not entirely clear whether and when exactly the service will resume after more than a year of suspension amid COVID-19 pandemic cross-border restrictions.
The flight schedule posted on North Korean national flag carrier’s website, the airline’s JS251 flight will depart from Pyongyang at 4:00 p.m. and arrive in Beijing at 5:50 p.m. on Thursday. Another flight is scheduled to depart from Beijing for Pyongyang on Friday.

As of 4:30 p.m., however, no flight took off from Pyongyang, according to a real-time flight tracker. Some speculated that the airline could have tested its website in preparation to resume flights to China.
Earlier today, a unification ministry official told reporters that the North Korea is showing “increasing signs” of easing its border restrictions with China.
North Korea has closed all ports of entry by land, sea or air in January 2020 in an efforts to block the coronavirus from spreading into the country.
Earlier, Air Koryo released its flight schedule to the Russian port city of Vladivostok, but did not operate the flights there either.

North Korea has not reported any case of COVID-19 virus infection, but it has called for nationwide efforts to prevent the virus from breaking out on its soil through intensified border controls and tightened quarantine processes.

Walsh takes the helm at IATA Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Walsh takes the helm at IATA 11

Willie Walsh has officially taken on the role of Director General of the organizationWalsh joins IATA after a 40-year career in the airline industryWalsh is deeply familiar with IATA, having served on the IATA Board of Governors for almost 13 years

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Willie Walsh has officially taken on the role of Director General of the organization. He succeeds Alexandre de Juniac. 
“I am passionate about our industry and about the critical work that IATA does on behalf of its members, never more so than during the COVID-19 crisis. IATA has been at the forefront of efforts to restart global connectivity, including developing the IATA Travel Pass. Less visible but of equal importance, airlines continue to rely on IATA’s financial settlement systems, Timatic and other vital services to support their day-to-day operations. I am grateful to Alexandre for leaving behind a strong organization and a motivated team. Together, the IATA team is absolutely focused on restoring the freedom of movement that airlines provide to billions of people around the world. That means your freedom to visit friends and family, to meet critical business partners, to secure and retain vital contracts, and to explore our wonderful planet,” said Walsh.

“In normal times over four billion travelers depend on aviation each year and the distribution of vaccines has put the value of efficient air cargo in the spotlight. Airlines are committed to delivering safe, efficient, and sustainable services. My goal is to ensure that IATA is a forceful voice supporting the success of global air transport. We will work with supporters and critics alike to deliver on our commitments to an environmentally sustainable airline industry. It’s my job to make sure that governments, which rely on the economic and social benefits our industry generates, also understand the policies we need to deliver those benefits,” said Walsh.
Walsh was confirmed as IATA’s 8th Director General by the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting on 24 November 2020. He joins IATA after a 40-year career in the airline industry. Walsh retired from the International Airlines Group (IAG) in September 2020 after serving as its CEO since its inception in 2011. Prior to that he was CEO of British Airways (2005-2011) and CEO of Aer Lingus (2001-2005). He began his career in aviation at Aer Lingus in 1979 as a cadet pilot.
Walsh is deeply familiar with IATA, having served on the IATA Board of Governors for almost 13 years between 2005 to 2018, including serving as Chair (2016-2017). He will work from the Association’s Executive Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG announces virtual Annual General Meeting on May 4 Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Deutsche Lufthansa AG announces virtual Annual General Meeting on May 4 12

Shareholders can submit questions to the Executive Board until May 2ndThree Supervisory Board members are up for electionThe Annual General Meeting will be broadcast live

Today, Deutsche Lufthansa AG invited its shareholders to the 68th Annual General Meeting on May 4th, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will once again be held virtually, recognizing the need to apply current infection control regulations to protect the health of shareholders.
The Annual General Meeting will be broadcast live on lufthansagroup.com. Shareholders, who have registered for online services in advance can also take part in the voting online.

Shareholders have the opportunity to submit questions on the agenda to Executive Board by midnight on May 2nd. For the first time, shareholder statements may also be submitted as a video or an audio message.
Angela Titzrath and Dr. Michael Kerkloh, the two members of the Supervisory Board nominated by the Economic Stabilization Fund of the Federal Republic of Germany and previously appointed by the court, will be up for election on May 4th.
Stephan Sturm will resign from the Supervisory Board with effect from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting.  As his successor, the Supervisory Board recommends to the Annual General Meeting the election of Britta Seeger.
Another item on the agenda is the creation of a new Authorized Capital C in accordance with §7b WStBG of up to 5.5 billion euros with a term of five years. The authorization enables Deutsche Lufthansa AG to flexibly use financing opportunities to raise equity on the capital market. The amount of Authorized Capital C is a technicality, derived from the amount of Silent Participations I and II of the Economic Stabilization Fund, as a potential capital increase under Authorized Capital C would be directly linked to the repayment of stabilization measures. In the event of a capital increase, the shareholders would be granted subscription rights. The Company has not taken any decision on a capital increase in utilization of Authorized Capital C.