London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 12 July 2021

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Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft VH-OJA Pre Departure, London Heathrow Terminal 3, Thursday 14 November 2019
Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft VH-OJA Pre Departure, London Heathrow Terminal 3, Thursday 14 November 2019 (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 12 July 2021.

Qantas International Pilots On Being Grounded

Whilst Qantas remains hopeful that it can resume flights outside of Australia and New Zealand later this year, in all likelihood the airline’s international route network will remain suspended well into 2022.

This has taken a significant toll on Qantas’ international pilots. The Sydney Morning Herald has obtained postings on an internal forum by Qantas pilots who have been stood down by the airline.

They detail not only the significant financial cost of not earning any income but also the impact on mental health of continued uncertainty:

The last time I operated in a Qantas uniform was the 1st of March 2020 and I am fast chasing in on 500 days stood down. I estimate that since March 2020 I have had 70-80 nights where I have slept through the night. The financial hit has been significant, but it pales in comparison to the mental hit. The worry that breeds from uncertainty is palpable. The uncertainty eats at you every day; it clouds your thinking, it affects your decisions and corrodes relationships.

The mental health of many stood down employees is at breaking point. Dealing with no income for a few months let alone more than 12 months and potentially more than two years is a significant challenge for people to deal with. Qantas Airways has a significant part to play in how their employees progress through this journey and how they come out the other side.

BA Route Network Updates

Here are a few more BA route network updates for the coming week:

BA returns to Gothenburg at London Heathrow this Friday. At London City, BA CityFlyer is due to restart summer seasonal flights Mykonos on Friday.

Turning to the Caribbean, next week BA should return to Providenciales and Grenada on Tuesday 20 & Wednesday 21 July respectively, both from London Gatwick via Antigua.

At Heathrow, twice weekly flights to Antigua on Wednesday & Saturday start at from 21 July 2021. A weekly flight St Lucia from Heathrow also launches on 24 July 2021.

Finnair Targets SAS In Stockholm

Attempts by European airlines to launch flights at rival airline hubs have rarely been successful.

There was Air France’s short lived service from London Heathrow to Los Angeles. And BA’s attempt to launch transatlantic flights from Amsterdam Schipol and Paris Orly airports.

This has not deterred Finnair which last week announced new winter seasonal flights from Stockholm Arlanda airport to Bangkok, Miami and Phuket.

This is no doubt driven, like recent route announcements from KLM, by the need to shore up as much leisure travel revenue as possible. In the case of Miami, Finnair will compete directly against SAS and, for Bangkok, SAS’s Star Alliance partner Thai Airways.

The Direction Of Travel

“Direction Of Travel” is a recently launched newspaper dedicated to vintage airline maps.

Founded by London based photographer Christian Nolle it has opted for a larger newsprint format rather than a book.

Each 24 page edition is dedicated to distinct groups of airlines. The first edition features American Airlines and United Airlines from 1938 to 1977. The second edition features British European Airways, Interflug and Sabena. Further editions are expected later this year.

Staying with aviation design, Batsford Publishing has recently published a book dedicated to the work of 20th century designer Tom Eckersley who designed posters for British Rail, London Transport and Pakistan International Airlines.

Also of note this week:

The Office for National Statistics now includes daily flight data from EuroControl in its weekly economic activity updates. (ONS)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

Manchester Airport has confirmed that its newly extended Terminal 2 will open to passenger flights on Wednesday 14 July. Jet2 and TUI will be the first airlines to operate from the terminal.

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