Aviation Business Briefing – Monday 18 December 2017

A weekly aviation business briefing published every Monday. This week features news from Delta, easyJet, Norwegian and Ryanair.

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Atlanta Airport Power Outage – Sunday 17 December 2017 (Image Credit: CNN)

Hello and welcome to our weekly aviation business briefing for the week beginning 18 December 2017.  This is our last briefing of 2017 and will return on Monday 8 January 2018.

Atlanta airport suffers a major power outage

Atlanta airport suffered a major power outage at approximately 13:00 Eastern Time on Sunday afternoon.

At the time of writing the Federal Aviation Authority has imposed a ground stop on all passenger flights. Delta Air Lines has advised that it has cancelled in excess of 450 flights. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has the latest news.

Two Delta and one British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Atlanta on Sunday were diverted. Flight DL285 diverted to Cincinnati. Flight DL31 diverted to New York JFK. BA227 diverted to Washington Dulles.

In other Delta news in a very busy week for the airline, the airline held its annual Investor Day last week. The slide deck is a mercifully short 56 slides. There are no specific London Heathrow announcements.

Delta has also opened a new Sky Club at Terminal C of New York LaGuardia airport and an order of 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft for US domestic operations. Delta will also say adieu to the Boeing 747 this week.

easyJet announces swathes of new routes at Europe

easyJet has announced no less than 20 new routes from UK airports for next summer. These include London Gatwick to Ancona and Nea Anchialos. London Luton to Dalaman, Genoa, Palermo, Reus and Thessaloniki. London Southend to Bordeaux, Dubrovnik, Prague and Pula.

Separately, the European Commission has approved easyJet’s acquisition of Air Berlin’s operations at Berlin Tegel. easyJet’s operations will begin on 5 January 2018. Initial routes will include domestic routes from Berlin to Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart. In addition, easyJet will operate 15 international routes.

Lufthansa made further concessions to the European Commission in order to clear its purchase of Air Berlin. Lufthansa announced it will no longer acquire Niki. Niki had been the subject of interest from other parties such as International Airlines Group. Niki responded by suspending operations as of Thursday 14 December.

Norwegian has announced the purchase of 28 weekly slot pairs at London Gatwick, effectively allowing for another four daily return flights.

Norwegian also continues to pursue its frankly implausible rate of expansion with a raft of new transatlantic flights from mainland Europe to the USA. Next summer, Norwegian will add flights from Amsterdam to New York JFK, Madrid to New York JFK and Los Angeles and Milan to Los Angeles.

In proof that aviation is anything but predictable Ryanair pulled a huge volte face in announcing it would formally recognise pilot unions in a number of territories including the UK and Ireland. This has been announced in order to see of a threat of industrial action this coming Wednesday. Ryanair should announce its contingency plans today if the industrial action goes ahead. The Guardian reports that Impact, which represents Ryanair pilots in Ireland has called off the industrial action.

Also of note this week:


BA releases another brilliant “BA Magic” video.
It took a while for this idea to get into its stride but it has proven to be one of the best initiatives BA has come up with in a long time. (BA Media Centre)

Delta & Virgin Atlantic, Finnair, Singapore Airlines and WestJet have released their annual Christmas films. Watch them as part of our full collection.

Lufthansa follows Air France KLM in changing its “Miles & More” frequent flyer programme so that miles from flying are principally earned by reference to the cost of the ticket, rather than the distance flown. (Lufthansa Group)

Qantas Boeing 787 begins international operations on the Melbourne – Los Angeles route. Qantas also announces a new Boeing 787 route, Melbourne to San Francisco which will launch in late 2018. (Qantas)

And finally, regarding the infamous bet between Sir Richard Branson and Willie Walsh. Sir Richard Branson says he won. Willie Walsh says he won. So that’s all clear. (The Guardian)

Previous editions of the Monday Briefing

Here are the latest editions of the Monday Briefing:

As stated at the top of this page this is our last Monday briefing of 2017. Thank you for reading and we look forward to resuming this service on Monday 8 January 2018.

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