Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 14 June 2021.
A Second Lost Summer
Ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall last week, all airlines operating flights between the UK and the US issued a joint statement calling for transatlantic travel between the two to be reopened.
Curiously, it was only BA and Virgin Atlantic that really promoted the statement. The actions of their US counterparts were much more muted.
This is possibly because they have a buoyant and a substantially larger domestic market – typically five times the size of their international markets – to keep them in business. Or perhaps they knew it would fall on deaf ears. Which it did.
The government is expected to today confirm at a press conference that the planned lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions in England on 21 June 2021 will be delayed by up to four weeks. It is a safe assumption that the “green list” will not be extended during this time.
The UK travel industry appears to have few friends in government at present. There are growing calls for the furlough scheme to be extended to April next year, which would cover the entirety of the winter season.
British Airways has also called for the government to provide further sector specific support with subsidies to cover the cost of maintaining grounded aircraft.
Meanwhile in Europe, according to Politico, the European Council is expected to today formally adopt a streamlined set of travel rules for EU Member States.
In what won’t be the last airline casualty of COVID-19, last week Air Antwerp, which flew between London City and Antwerp, confirmed it will not resume flights in August as planned. Its website is still live but the airline has stopped taking bookings.
As has been widely reported Aer Lingus Regional franchise operator Stobart Air suspended operations last week after a deal to sell the airline fell through. Full details of replacement flights covering its former routes are available from Aer Lingus.
South African Airways
The South African government confirmed last week it has selected The Takatso Consortium as the preferred Strategic Equity Partner for South African Airways.
The consortium will own 51% of the airline and the state will retain 49% ownership. The intention is to eventually list the relaunched airline.
The consortium comprises Harith General Partners, which invests in African infrastructure and owns Lanseria International Airport, and South African based aviation group Global Aviation which launched the local airline LIFT last year.
A due diligence exercise is now underway and once this is complete the consortium will outline plans for the airline’s route network, fleet, brand and global partnerships.
Staying with South Africa, Virgin Atlantic confirmed last week it plans to reinstate passenger flights from London Heathrow to Johannesburg on 24 June.Continue reading “London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 14 June 2021”