Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 19 April 2021.
Flybe Pilots Its Return
Shortly before it collapsed into administration, Willie Walsh delivered a withering verdict on Flybe: “That’s a business model that doesn’t work with shareholders that have suddenly cottoned on that they’ve bought a dog.”
That has not deterred its new owners, behind the company known as Thyme Opco Ltd, from buying the Flybe brand, intellectual property and its airport slots. Many assets such as aircraft parts and engines still rest with the administrators.
An appeal to the Secretary of State for Transport against a decision by the Civil Aviation Authority to revoke Flybe’s operating licence is underway.
It’s not clear whether the new Flybe intends to fly from Heathrow. When the former bmi remedy slots were re-advertised last year, there was a warning that the ownership of these slots is subject to a legal challenge. A subsequent report from the administrators of Flybe advised that they were challenging IAG’s appropriation of these slots after Flybe went into administration. There has been no update on this for some months.
At present, the only indicator of Flybe’s plans is fairly nondescript “Coming Soon” on the Flybe website. Whether it is operating marginal regional routes or providing feeder traffic to long haul airlines, neither have proven to be financial rewarding, let alone in the aftermath of a pandemic and aviation’s biggest crisis since the Second World War.
Archive Footage From KinoLibrary
The Kinolibrary archive hosts a vantage range of 20th century film footage.
It has in the past week uploaded to its YouTube channel, in three parts, very early 1920s films of a Handley Page G-EASN aircraft flying between London and Paris. You can see the passengers were certainly dressed for the occasion!
Also, the library has uploaded rare colour footage of Pan American World Airways from 1948 at what was formerly known as New York International Airport.
Also of note this week:
Australia and New Zealand have this morning opened their first “travel bubble” with Qantas & Jetstar operating 29 flights today. International travel is now allowed between the two countries without the need to undergo a mandatory quarantine. Further bubbles could be opened with Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. However, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dampened expectations of a full reopening of Australia’s borders this year. Any opening is likely to be gradual, initially for essential travel only with a mandatory period of self-isolation still in place. (ABC Australia)
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker gave The Sunday Times good value yesterday when he fired a fusillade of shots in the direction of former BA management, Dubai and Emirates. (The Sunday Times)
We’re not qualified to comment on the science, but this is an excellent visualisation on the risks of catching COVID-19 on an aircraft. (New York Times)
A Long Read on the stowaway that fell from Kenya Airways Flight KQ100 from Nairobi to London Heathrow. (The Guardian)
British Airways recounts the times its aircraft and cabins have featured on the silver screen. (The Club)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
The CAA has confirmed it has given JetBlue regulatory approval to operate transatlantic flights to & from the UK.
London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing is published every Monday morning at 06:00 BST and updated throughout the day. If you have any tips or stories please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news throughout the week.