London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 1 March 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

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Heathrow Terminal 5C (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 1 March 2021.

Future Uncertain

The news media is not known for the quality of its reporting on statistics.

This was perfectly illustrated last week when many outlets breathlessly reported “600%” increases of flight and holiday bookings after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans to lift England out of lockdown. 600% of next to nothing is not a lot.

Qantas, which has been able to operate a domestic network of varying forms throughout COVID-19, illustrated last week how much network and schedule planning for airlines has changed.

The traditional winter and summer seasons are out of the window. As is the 353 day selling window for flights. Demand, which airlines have spent decades honing algorithms to forecast, will remain volatile. Announcements on border changes can result in immediate spikes in demand or mass cancellations.

Airlines will have to “war game” possible route and network planing decisions and implement capacity changes within a matter of hours of border restrictions changing.

Qantas Investor Presentation February 2021
Qantas Investor Presentation February 2021 (Image Credit: Qantas)

Whilst BA was keen to talk up the prospects of demand returning when restrictions are lifted with the scope for capacity to reach up to 70% of 2019 this summer, its parent company did not give much away in its annual results last week.

Apart from confirming that 5 short haul and 10 long haul aircraft will be delivered to the group this year, that was pretty much it in terms of firm plans. Lufthansa will follow Air France KLM and IAG in announcing its annual results this Thursday.


In case you missed it:

Qantas plans to resume London Heathrow flights from 31 October 2021. (London Air Travel)

Also of note this week:

The CAA has published passenger data for domestic and international routes for January 2021.

Jersey Airport’s 1937 Arrivals Building has been spared demolition after regulators decided it longer constituted a safety threat. (Jersey Evening Post)

To another airport: Berlin Tegel. Photographers Felix Brüggemann and Robert Rieger took photographs of the now closed airport whilst it was empty due to COVID-19 for the book “Flughafen Tegel”. If you want to buy a copy you’ll need to move very quickly as its 500 copy print run is almost sold out. (POOL Publishing)

On the theme of nostalgia, Twentieth Century Posters has added a number of original vintage travel posters to its online catalogue including BOAC Eastern Hemisphere Routes and BOAC Western Hemisphere Routes by E. O. Seymour from 1949 and British European Airways route map by Charles Hawes from 1958. (Edit: Now all sold!)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

Porter Airlines in Canada has extended the suspension of all flights until 19 May 2021.

London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing is published every Monday at 06:00 BST. If you have any tips or stories please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news throughout the week.

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