Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 1 November 2021.
Australia Reopens To International Travel
Today marks the resumption of many scheduled international passenger flights to Australia. Sydney and Melbourne have reopened their borders to international travel without mandatory quarantine.
The first international flight to land in Sydney this morning was Singapore Airlines flight SQ211 arriving early at 05:21 AEDT. This beat the first scheduled arrival, Qantas flight QF12 from Los Angeles at 06:04 AEDT.
Qantas’ first scheduled flight to London in more than 18 months, QF1, departs Sydney at 18:30 AEDT today. After a refuelling stop in Darwin, it will arrive at London Heathrow Terminal 3 at 06:50 GMT tomorrow.
Willie Walsh Defends Aviation’s Approach To Net Zero
The Guardian has interviewed IATA Director General Willie Walsh on aviation’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2020, ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
Whilst airlines have committed to net zero emissions by 2050, Willie Walsh is keen to emphasise that this can not be achieved by them alone:
“You’ve got to mandate the people who produce the planes, the engines, the fuels, operate the air traffic control systems. They’re all standing there staring at us, saying, ‘OK guys now, you do it.’ In the same way as the car industry was forced to deliver, they’ve got to be forced to deliver. It clearly requires proper government policy.”
Also, the industry should only pursue options for zero emissions aircraft that are credible. Claims by Boris Johnson that a zero emissions long haul flight could be achieved by 2050 are not:
“I don’t think that’s credible, and it’s not helpful. It’s nice to have ambition, and maybe that’s why he’s doing it. But we don’t think you can get a commercial transatlantic aircraft in the time frame he’s talking about.”
A future without air travel is not one that can be contemplated:
“Think what would have happened if air cargo hadn’t been available at the beginning of this pandemic. Governments were hugely reliant on aircraft for vaccines and PPE.”
“People left Ireland and went to America; they were never seen again because they couldn’t afford to travel. I’ve got cousins in Boston that left Ireland back in the 1970s, we grew up together, they headed off and that was it – never to be seen again. You used to get a postcard.”
IAG Releases Its Third Quarter Results
IAG will release its third quarter results this coming Friday, 5 November.
Air France KLM announced a relatively positive third quarter result last Friday with an operating profit of €132m and net loss of €192m. With the US market closed until next Monday, it is unlikely that IAG will be able to match this.
IAG management are likely to be asked about capacity and fleet plans for 2022, as well as plans for Gatwick. Last week, BA started recruiting “hands on” management roles ahead of a “demanding” six months before launch of the new airline which is yet to be given the official go ahead.
BA Route Network Changes
A few more BA route network changes for this week:
BA returns to Newark at London Heathrow today. Cape Town follows tomorrow. BA will also add extra flights to Mauritius from Wednesday until 7 January 2022.
Tokyo Haneda is temporarily suspended from today. A number of short haul routes are also temporarily suspended from Monday 8 November. These include Bordeaux, Bilbao, Krakow and Zagreb.
BA has also ended wide body aircraft on selected flights to Cairo, Rome, Stockholm and Zurich. Wide body aircraft continue to operate on occasional flights to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Madrid and Paris Charles de Gaulle.
Also of note this week:
BA has a new advertising agency. The relatively young agency Uncommon London Creative Studio has won the account from WPP. The agency’s mission is “building brands that people in the real world actually wish existed.”
The Civil Aviation Authority has released domestic and international route statistics for September. After a period of strong month-on-month growth transatlantic passenger numbers have stabilised ahead of the reopening of the US next week.
One of Heathrow airport’s biggest shareholders Ferrovial claims the decision by the CAA not to allow a 90% increases in passenger charges means it is unlikely to invest in the airport. Ignacio Castejon of Ferroival says “[It] makes me feel very sceptical about the appetite to contribute further capital into Heathrow.” Bear in mind these comments have been made whilst a CAA consultation is underway. Critics would point out Heathrow’s shareholders received substantial dividends before COVID-19. (Telegraph)
From boarding a Qantas flight to checking in to your hotel. How the music you hear when you travel is chosen. (The Guardian)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
British Airways has reached an agreement with UK Export Finance and a syndicate of banks for a new 5 year Export Development Guarantee credit facility of £1 billion.
This is additional to a £2 billion UKEF facility announced in December 2020 and drawn by BA in March.
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