Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 19 November 2019.
Qantas “Project Sunrise” Test Flights
You have to credit Qantas for the amount of PR they have managed to generate from its “Project Sunrise” test flights to Sydney.
Of course, PR is all about expectations management and timing. Qantas has said a final decision on whether to order ultra long-range aircraft will be made by the end of the year. Given that a final go ahead also requires regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia, and agreement with Qantas trade unions, it seems implausible this will all happen in the next six weeks.
Qantas is holding its annual investors day at 09:00 AEDT on Wednesday 19 November 2019 and may provide more detailed timescales then.
South African Airways Strike
South African Airways’ local and international flights have been subject to significant disruption over the weekend due to open-ended industrial action called by the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (SACAA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).
South African Airways’ flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg has been cancelled on Saturday and Sunday, but is expected to resume from today.
The strike follows the announcement of a restructuring plan by the state-owned airline which has not submitted financial statements to the Parliament of South Africa for the past two years.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation reports that National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa is to call a secondary strike which may result in broader disruption to the aviation industry in South Africa.
The latest guidance for passengers is available from South African Airways.
Lufthansa Sustainability Measures
Lufthansa has announced a number of group-wide sustainability measures to encourage passengers to offset the carbon emissions from their flights.
Both Lufthansa and SWISS have adopted the “Compensaid” platform which allows passengers to offset CO2 emissions from their flights. Lufthansa also plans to introduce a new corporate fare which automatically includes carbon offsetting from 2020.
Virgin Australia “Up, Up and Toupee”
Virgin Australia has launched a new TV advertising campaign in Australia. In a somewhat “different” advert under the banner of “Feel Good Flying”, it features a flying toupee taking off from its owner and making its own way to the airport.
This marks a retreat by Virgin Australia which had sought to become a full service, second force rival to Qantas Group and positioning itself somewhere in the middle of its budget airline origins and Qantas.
The Age Melbourne features an interview with Virgin’s recently appointed CEO Paul Scurrah.
Also of note this week:
easyJet is expected to report a fall in annual pre-tax profits this Tuesday. (Sunday Times)
A day in the life of a Maître de Cabine Europe at SWISS. (SWISS)
Behind the scenes of the baggage system of London Heathrow Terminal 3. (Virgin Atlantic)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]