London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 8 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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Flybe De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 Aircraft, London City Airport
Flybe De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 Aircraft, London City Airport (Image Credit: London City Airport)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 8 March 2021.

From today anyone travelling from England to a destination outside the UK must complete a declaration form to demonstrate they are travelling for a “legally permitted reason”. Full guidance is available from the UK government.

If you are departing from the one of the very few flights at London Gatwick’s North Terminal you will also need to pay a minimum £5 drop off charge if arriving by car. This will apply to the South Terminal from 12 April, assuming it is open to passenger flights by then.

Doubts About Flybe’s Return

It may seem like a lifetime ago, but it is just over one year ago since Flybe collapsed.

“Thyme Opco” was established in September of last year as a vehicle to acquire the assets of Flybe and is reported to be working on plans to relaunch the airline. One director, Lucien Farrell of Cyrus Capital, a member of the consortium that previously owned the airline, resigned as a Director of the company last week.

Press reports have suggested the value of Flybe’s assets rests in the 12 Heathrow bmi remedy slot pairs it had at the time of entering into administration. These were taken back by IAG last year and have been advertised by Mazars to potential new entrants. The administrators of Flybe have advised in their official reports they are to challenge IAG’s appropriation of the slots in court.

“Heathrow – Britain’s Busiest Airport” Returns

Heathrow – Britain’s Busiest Airport” – not that is much of an accolade at the moment – returns to ITV at 20:00 Wednesday 10 March.

The latest series does cover the operation of Heathrow during lockdown. Next week’s episode features the final departure of the Boeing 747 from the airport.

Readers in the UK can catch up with the series on the ITV Hub.

Also of note this week:

Jonathan Hinkles, Chief Executive of Loganair, writes that following the end of the Brexit transition period, UK airlines are at a competitive disadvantage to their EU counterparts in securing ad hoc charter work. This is due to the need to obtain permits to fly from the EU. (Financial Times)

Staying on the theme of Europe there have been positive noises in the past from some countries in Europe about the reopening of borders, here is a good primer on the European Commission’s plan to reopen travel with a “Digital Green Certificate”. (Politico)

The European Commission is also this week due to discuss with the Italian government to nationalise Alitalia. (Reuters)

A potentially interesting court case on the value of the Virgin brand. Some time ago Virgin entered into an agreement with Brightline, which operates a railway line in Florida, to rebrand it as Virgin Trains USA. Brightline unilaterally terminated the agreement last year claiming the Virgin brand is “no longer of high quality status”. Virgin Enterprises is suing Brightline in the UK courts for unpaid royalties. (Financial Times)

Late post publication updates:

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