Aviation Business Briefing – Monday 23 October 2017

Welcome to our weekly aviation business briefing for the week beginning Monday 23 October 2017 featuring news from Delta, Qantas and United.

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Great Southern Land
Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Great Southern Land (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Welcome to our weekly aviation business briefing for the week beginning Monday 23 October 2017.

The fallout from the collapse into administration of Air Berlin, Alitalia and Monarch continues. Oneworld has confirmed that Air Berlin will cease to be a part of the alliance from Saturday 28 October 2017. Therefore, Oneworld member airlines will cease reciprocal recognition of Air Berlin frequent flyers from this date. Reuters reports that Air Berlin may seek damages from Etihad. Lufthansa Group airlines are to also operate widebody aircraft on select domestic routes in Germany in response to high demand.

easyJet and Lufthansa have both confirmed they have expressed an interest in buying parts of Alitalia. Note that both are at pains to emphasise their interest is in a restrutured airline, something that has eluded Alitalia to date.

Qantas took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner last week. CNN Travel takes a look back at the evolution of London to Australia flights with a nice archive gallery of BOAC/Qantas flights to Australia.

Delta held a media event in Atlanta to mark the imminent launch of the Airbus A350. Delta’s Airbus A350 will first fly from Detroit to Tokyo Narita from Monday 30 October 2017, and then from Detroit to Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai from 18 November, 17 January and 19 April. It will fly to Amsterdam Schipol from 31 March 2018. There’s no sign of it heading to London any time soon.

Delta also announced a series of progressive improvements to long-haul economy dining including new menu cards and tableware. In addition, passengers on Delta One will be able to pre-order meals on flights from Atlanta and New York JFK to London Heathrow from early 2018.

It was not such as a good week for United. It disappointed investors with its third quarter results and outlook for the rest of the year. According to the Bloomberg investors were disappointed at results presentation with its share price falling further during a hostile Question and Answer session.

Another airline to disappoint investors last week was Flybe. The airline issued a second profit warning this year, citing higher than expected maintenance costs. Investors do not like surprises and Flybe was rewarded with a fall in its share price.

It is a trite observation that investor confidence in management and financial performance is hugely important for airlines. Otherwise, everything else gets difficult.

In terms of financial results due this week, American Airlines and Norwegian release their 3rd quarter results on Thursday 26 October. International Airlines Group announces its 3rd quarter results on the following day. Its share price also hit a record high of 663.5p last week.

On the subject of IAG, Iberia announced new routes from Madrid San Francisco and Managua as well an increase in flights to Tokyo Narita to five times weekly. It is encouraging to see Iberia expanding further and its return to Asia being successful.

BA and Finnair also announced an extension of their codeshare relationship on European short-haul flights BA will place its code on Finnair’s winter seasonal flights from London Gatwick to Kittilä and Ivalo. Finnair will place its code on BA operated flights from London to Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Tallin.

This weekend marks the start of the Winter 2017/18 timetable. A number of route changes include:

Suspended Routes

BA: London Gatwick – Lima (until March 2018)
BA: London Heathrow – Bergen
BA: London Heathrow – Paris Orly
BA: London Heathrow – Stavenger
CityJet: London City – Antwerp
CityJet: London City – Florence
Skywork: London City – Basel

New Routes

BA: London City – Paris Orly
BA: London City – Prague
BA: London City – Reykjavik
TAP: London City – Lisbon
VLM: London City – Antwerp

Here are some more items that caught our attention online:

The BALPA Blog looks at work/life balance for pilots.

10 trends shaping travel marketing today by Mark Tungate for AdWeek.

Working in our Heathrow Clubhouse from the Virgin Atlantic blog “Ruby”.

“And finally” Readers may recall Thames Television which held the ITV Weekday London franchise until 25 years ago in the days of regional ITV. It has a vast archive on YouTube. Last week it posted three archive videos from London Gatwick in the 1980s. Spot the flight to London Heathrow on the departures board in this clip:

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