London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 14 January 2019

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Flybe and Virgin Atlantic
Flybe and Virgin Atlantic

Welcome to our first Monday Briefing of the year for the week beginning 14 January 2019.

Flybe & Joon

Two weeks into 2019 and two airline brands will at the very least start to disappear this year.

Air France-KLM confirmed that it is consulting with trade unions on folding its millennial brand Joon back into Air France.

Last Friday, the Connect Airways consortium compromising Cyrus Capital, Stobart Air and Virgin Atlantic have bid a mere £2.2m for Flybe.

For Virgin Atlantic, whose historical forays into the world of short-haul travel have been very brief, this is a small commitment of capital. However, it is going to be a big commitment of management time and its brand reputation when the main airline is still struggling to return to profitability. As the Flybe route network is reshaped to fit Virgin’s long-haul network, it is inevitable there will be some fall out.

The takeover itself is far from certain. Shortly after publication, according to Sky News, Flybe is expected to announce to the stock exchange that Andrew Tinkler has acquired a stake in the airline of approximately 10%. This could disrupt the consortium’s attempts to secure shareholder approval for the deal.

Apropos of nothing, Andrew Tinkler was unceremoniously sacked as Chief Executive of Stobart Group in June last year amid claim and counter-claim about misconduct and boardroom plots.

Disruption Advisory

Significant disruption is expected to flights departing from Frankfurt on Tuesday 14 January 2019 due to planned industrial action by security staff.

Industrial action is also taking place at Bremen, Dresden, Hamburg, Hanover and Leipzig/Halle.

BA is allowing passengers due to depart from Frankfurt to change to alternative dates this week. Lufthansa has also implemented a similar flexible rebooking policy.

In case you missed it:

London’s new routes for 2019. (London Air Travel)

BA’s plans for 2019. (London Air Travel)

BA’s fleet renewal and refurbishment plans in 2019. (London Air Travel)

BA’s refurbished Boeing 777-200 in 2019. (London Air Travel)

BA Airbus A380 flights in 2019. (London Air Travel)

easyJet’s plans for 2019. (London Air Travel)

Virgin Atlantic’s plans for 2019. (London Air Travel)

The Economist Bonus Avios Offer. (London Air Travel)

40 years of business class. (London Air Travel)

Also of note this week:

Ahead of the House Of Commons voting on the Withdrawal Agreement governing the UK’s departure from the European Union, the European Commission has written to the 27 Member States remaining in the EU to confirm the airlines they licence still comply with EU ownership laws. (Financial Times)

Crossrail The Dangerous Sound Of Silence. (London Reconnections)

London City Airport releases CGI images of its planned new terminal. (London City Airport)

Virgin Atlantic’s new cabin crew training rig. (Virgin Atlantic)

Late Post Publication Updates

[Reserved for updates during the day.]

Finnair has announced a new twice weekly winter seasonal route from Helsinki to Sapporo. The route operates from Sunday 15 December 2019 to Friday 27 March 2020. (Finnair)

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