Monday Briefing – 14 October 2019

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Extinction Rebellion Protest, London, Friday 11 October 2019
Extinction Rebellion Protest, London, Friday 11 October 2019 (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 14 October 2019.

Aviation Prepares For Climate Change Scrutiny

Events were dominated last week by the ongoing “Extinction Rebellion” protests in London, which involved a day of disruption at London City airport.

Whilst the protestors generated a lot of press coverage, they have not yet won over the “hearts and minds” of the public. Many representatives did not perform well when some of their apocalyptic claims were put to question in TV interviews.

That said, the airline industry is now preparing itself for much greater scrutiny on its impact on climate change.

Last week BA’s parent company IAG announced it plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. BA will also pay to offset the carbon emissions from UK domestic flights from next year. Though, note BA has not yet changed its plans to keep the Boeing 747 in service until 2024.

Whilst the concept of “flight shaming” has entered contemporary lexicon and some in the commentariat are calling for higher taxation on frequent flyers (Financial Times) there is no sign yet of a wholesale shift in public opinion against flying.

That said, public sentiment can change. Witness the near wholesale change in attitude towards single use plastics following the BBC series “Blue Planet II”. A single image with the right messenger can have a powerful impact. This is an industry where even a small percentage fall in demand can have huge financial consequences.

German Rail Advert 2019
“No need to fly – Around the world in Germany” (Image Credit: Ogilvy & Mather for Deutsche Bahn)

Qantas “Project Sunrise” Test Flights

Qantas will carry out the first of its ultra long range “Project Sunrise” test fights this week. A Boeing 787-9 aircraft will fly from New York JFK to Sydney on Friday.

A test flight with another Boeing 787-9 aircraft will operate non-stop from London to Sydney later this year. Qantas has confirmed that Airbus and Boeing have submitted final offers to supply aircraft capable of flying non-stop from London to the East Coast of Australia.

A decision is expected by the end of this year. As well as economics, a final decision is dependent on regulatory approval and reaching agreement with Qantas’ trade unions. It has to be said if Qantas does not go through with the project, it will be a considerable failure in expectations management.

Also of note this week:

Air New Zealand appoints Greg Foran, currently President & Chief Executive Officer of Walmart US as its CEO. (Air New Zealand)

Guernsey based Aurigny is expected to report losses of £9.6m in 2020. (BBC News)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

The European Commission has approved a bridging loan from the German Government to Condor. (Condor)

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