Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 21 February 2022.
Today’s the day Australia reopens its borders to international travel. Meanwhile in another sign of travel returning to its pre COVID-19 state, flights in the UK remain subject to disruption due to severe weather, with short haul flights bearing the brunt of cancellations.
IAG Prepares To Announce Its Annual Results
It’s results season.
Last week Air France-KLM and Finnair announced their annual results for 2021. This Friday it’s the turn of IAG. Lufthansa will follow next week.
For IAG, we can expect another heavy annual loss. Analysts will be keen to understand the group’s capacity plans for the coming year – and whether they can be fulfilled – as well as plans for aircraft deliveries in the coming years.
BA has tried to make much of planned investments in customer service but, apart from the roll out of its Club Suite, there is little by way of hard capital spend.
Ever since the decision by the UK to leave the European Union, there has been the question whether IAG’s ownership structure could be compliant with the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
Former IAG CEO Willie Walsh always confidently brushed aside any concerns. When IAG was formed it was structured to ensure that both BA and Iberia were majority UK & Spanish owned to comply with bilateral route authorities.
There have been reports of lobbying by France and Germany for the EU to demand IAG spin off BA to comply EU airline ownership laws. When asked about the need for airlines operating in the EU to comply with such laws, Air France KLM CEO Benjamin Smith was quoted in the Financial Times last week as saying the group would not be “holding back our efforts to make sure they are”.
IAG is unlikely to comment on litigation between its shareholder Qatar Airways and Airbus, nor ongoing pay negotiations at BA.
ITA Airways Launches London City – Milan Linate
ITA Airways, the successor airline to Alitalia, announced on Friday it will launch a new route from London City airport to Milan Linate.
The route will operate up to three times weekly from Monday 28 March 2022. It will initially be operated as a wet lease by German Airways, with Embraer E190 aircraft. ITA Airways plans to eventually operate this route with its future deliveries of Airbus A220 aircraft.
American Airlines Suspends Heathrow – Seattle
American Airlines is to temporarily suspend its service from London Heathrow to Seattle.
This is one of a number of long haul routes to be suspended due to ongoing delivery delays to new Boeing 787 aircraft.
Also of interest this week:
BA is reported to be in discussions with local tourism authorities in the Dominican Republic to launch a new route to Puerto Plata. It’s not clear whether this would be a non-stop route or, more likely, a one-stop via an existing destination. (Dominican Today)
“See the (worst people in the) world”. How onboard disputes over highly politicised COVID-19 measures in the US such as mask mandates have pushed some Flight Attendants to quit. (New York Times)
News from London Air Travel you may have missed:
BA adds a new day flight from Newark to London Heathrow, initially summer seasonal only. (London Air Travel)
Qantas extends the operation of all flights from London Heathrow to Melbourne & Sydney via Darwin. (London Air Travel)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
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