London Air Travel's Monday Briefing – 27 January 2020

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

South African Airways Airbus A340 Aircraft
South African Airways Airbus A340 Aircraft (Image Credit: South African Airways)

Hello and welcome to the London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 27 January 2020.

News over the past week has of course been dominated by the Coronavirus outbreak in China. As of Sunday 26 January 2020, BA has updated its guidance for passengers. Any passenger due to fly with BA to any destination in mainland China or Hong Kong up to Sunday 23 February 2020 can change to an alternative date or obtain a refund.

Update: Virgin Atlantic has announced that passengers due to fly with the airline and its codeshare partners to mainland China and Hong Kong up to Saturday 29 February 2020 can rebook up to Tuesday 31 March 2020, or seek a refund.

Cathay Pacific has also announced that Cathay Dragon has suspended all flights from Hong Kong to Wuhan until Tuesday 31 March 2020. Cathay Pacific also has a flexible rebooking policy in place for all passengers due to travel to any of its destinations in mainland China.

The latest guidance from the UK Government is available here. The World Heath Organization also has guidance for international travellers.

South African Airways

Last week South African Airways was forced to deny speculation that it was on the cusp of suspending operations.

The airline has however undertaken tactical cancellations of selected domestic flights from its Johannesburg hub to Cape Town and Durban, as well as Johannesburg – Munich, to conserve cash.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation reports that the airline has sufficient cash to pay its January salaries to staff. The running of the airline is being overseen by a Business Rescue practitioner and it is awaiting funding of R 2 billion. There has been no update from either the National Treasury or Department Of Public Enterprises in South Africa.


The Financial Times reported on Friday evening that Flybe is seeking a Government loan of £100m which would be on “commercial terms”.

As a condition of this, Flybe’s owners have promised to inject a further £20m into the airline, in addition to £30m it has already promised. The Sunday Telegraph also reports that Flybe is in negotiations with UK regional airports over unpaid landing fees, many of whom are effectively dependent on Flybe for survival.

Update: Sky News reports that the UK Government has appointed Alvarez & Marsal to advise on the loan to Flybe. The Financial Times also reports that a potential loan is complicated by the fact that Flybe has no unencumbered assets to provide as collateral.

Separately, Flybe’s franchise partner Eastern Airways has announced a tranche of new routes from Teeside International airport. This includes a new route to London City airport from Tuesday 27 April 2020. However, the exact schedule has not yet been confirmed and flights are not yet on sale.

Flybe will also transfer its route from London Heathrow to Guernsey to London Southend airport from Sunday 29 March 2020.

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London Air Travel's Monday Briefing – 20 January 2020

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

Flybe Bombardier Q400 Aircraft, Cornwall Airport Newquay
Flybe Bombardier Q400 Aircraft, Cornwall Airport Newquay (Image Credit: Cornwall Airport Newquay)

Hello and welcome to the London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 20 January 2020.


The news over the past week has of course been dominated by the financial difficulties of Flybe.

Who knows what will be the ultimate fate of the airline, but it can be said with confidence that this story will run and run. It could well end with some high profile figures appearing before a Transport Select Committee hearing.

There are a lot of multi-faceted aspects as to how Flybe got here. There are also a lot of vested interests in its ultimate fate.

It’s worth recalling that the original sale of Flybe to the Connect Airways Consortium comprising Cyrus Capital Partners, Stobart Air and Virgin Atlantic was highly controversial. The need for approval from Flybe’s public shareholders was circumvented by structuring the sale of the airline as a sale of its assets, thus wiping out any remaining shareholder value. When Flybe floated on the stock exchange in 2010, it was valued at some £250m. The urgency of the sale was seen as critical to securing the airline’s future.

Flybe has now secured what is known as a “Time To Pay” arrangement with the UK’s tax authority HM Revenue & Customs in respect of an outstanding liability of Air Passenger Duty of approximately £10m. This is a common arrangement used by businesses in financial distress.

The Government has also promised to look at the levying of Air Passenger Duty on domestic flights. Airlines have spent years lobbying against Air Passenger Duty to no avail. The Treasury, which is no stranger to complaints and lobbying from industry groups, will at best come up with a fudge that is revenue neutral.

Flybe is also in discussions with the UK Government about securing a short-term loan on commercial terms.

Flybe’s rivals are furious. IAG, whose slots are being used by Flybe at London Heathrow, has submitted a complaint to the European Union alleging that Flybe is in receipt of state aid. Should Flybe be seen to receive any special treatment from the UK Government, its rivals could well also seek a judicial review.

They can argue, with some justification, that Flybe’s financial problems were well documented before its current owners bought the airline. The Connect Airways consortium had ample opportunity to do a full due diligence.  

Virgin has an uncanny ability to keep its head down when trouble is brewing. However, assuming the rebranding to Virgin Connect ultimately goes ahead, it will not be able to avoid scrutiny.

Managing an airline with multiple shareholders is hard enough. With its shareholders having different interests – Virgin wants Flybe to feed its operations at Heathrow and Manchester and Stobart Air wants it to grow Southend airport (which it owns) – turning around Flybe is not going to be easy.

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London Air Travel's Monday Briefing – 13 January 2020

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

Luis Gallego, Chief Executive Designate, International Airlines Group
Luis Gallego, Chief Executive Designate, International Airlines Group (Image Credit: Iberia)

Hello and welcome to the first Monday Briefing from London Air Travel for 2020.

Two weeks into the year, we’ve had a reminder that airlines are never far away from geopolitical events. A number of airlines are still financially vulnerable – late on Sunday evening Sky News reported that Flybe is in talks to secure additional financing. This year will also see a significant upheaval in the management of IAG.

IAG Prepares For Life After Willie Walsh

It has been known for some months that Willie Walsh was due to retire from IAG before October 2021.

IAG has since moved very quickly – there has been speculation in the Sunday papers as to why – to replace Willie Walsh as CEO. Last week, IAG announced that Luis Gallego will be CEO of the group from Thursday 26 March 2020.

Luis is currently CEO and Chairman of Iberia as well as Chairman of its low cost long-haul brand LEVEL. Luis has also previously been CEO of Iberia Express – long seen by Willie Walsh as a model of operational excellence.

There is no question that Luis will have a very different management style to Willie Walsh.

I’ll quote Oscar Wilde that whenever people agree with me, I always think I’m wrong, but the fact that they’re disagreeing with me means I’m right.

Willie Walsh, 2018

Memories about BA are often very short and very selective. It’s worth recalling that many commentators were convinced that a merger of BA and Iberia could not work. Ironically, one concern was that IAG would not be able to exert control over the two airlines, which has proved to be far from the case.

IAG can justifiably claim to have pursued cost & revenue synergies with considerably more vigour than Air France-KLM and Lufthansa and introduced genuinely new ideas.

There have certainly been some mis-steps. It wasn’t until that long ago that Willie Walsh was convinced that BA did not need to change its “yin-yang” layout in Club World. In reality, BA would have saved itself a lot of grief it had introduced an entirely long-haul business class new seat with the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 in 2013. BA’s high profile IT failures point to a lack of investment which has since has been addressed with a higher profile for IAG’s Chief Information Officer.

It is also only until very recently that IAG appears to have taken a look at the relative positioning of its brands in the market. Talk of “stretching” the BA brand a few years ago has since been reversed.

Willie Walsh’s departure does seem premature. Having long been an advocate of “rational” behaviour and disciplined investment, he has almost relished the opportunity to prove IAG’s financial resilience during an industry crisis. That will now fall to Luis.

Luis Gallego will have no shortage of items on his to do list. The acquisition of Air Europa will inevitably be challenged by regulatory authorities. IAG will also need to decide how to rationalise its brands in Spain, which will number five. There is also the question of LEVEL, where its ambitious growth plans appear to have been put in hold.

There is also the question of how IAG’s structure will be compatible with the terms of an eventual UK-EU trade deal with many investors and journalists left unconvinced by IAG’s apparent lack of concern to date.

From a UK perspective, when relative weakness is that having not run BA, Luis Gallego is not known amongst UK Government ministers. IAG will have to lobby the UK Government on a number of matters, including the third runway at Heathrow and possibly the Competition & Markets Authority’s findings on its review of the transatlantic joint business with American Airlines.

A new CEO will undoubtedly lead to other management changes in a group that does like to move executives around and there has inevitably been speculation about Alex Cruz at BA.

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Monday Briefing – 16 December 2019

Welcome to our weekly briefing on air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

Concorde and Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, Finland, 1997
Concorde and Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, Finland, 1997. Photo by Eric Chretien/Gamma-Rapho published under license from Getty Images. Unauthorised distribution and reproduction prohibited.

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 16 December 2019. This is our last edition for 2019. The Monday Briefing will return on Monday 13 January 2020.

This big Christmas getaway starts this weekend. It’s somewhat customary for there to be some form of transport snarl-up in the UK in the run up to the Christmas, whether it be snow, fog, or rogue drones. At the risk of speaking too sign, weather conditions in London are looking relatively benign for this year.

Whilst the political climate in the UK remains febrile, there is at least some certainty to for the year ahead. The UK is now certain to leave the European Union in 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised a radical transformational domestic policy agenda. Of course, so did Theresa May on becoming Prime Minister, before being all consumed by the Brexit process. As much as all sides of the debate would like it to be otherwise, the UK’s departure from the European Union is nowhere near complete.

Whilst Boris Johnson has been an advocate and dreamer of many grand projets, he is no advocate of a third runway at London Heathrow and has expressed doubts about HS2. There was deep frustration during Theresa May’s regime that business was simply not being listened to and many will be lobbying for investment in transport infrastructure. Boris Johnson is well skilled in the art of telling his audience what they want to hear, but whether he can implement anything is another matter.

BA Summer 2020 Schedule

Last week, we had the first significant official announcement of BA’s summer 2020 schedule, with six new seasonal routes at London Heathrow.

Further short-haul route announcements are expected. There’s been little by way of news as far as long-haul routes are concerned. Though with delivery of new Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft next year, as well as the refurbishment of Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 aircraft, there will be at least a significant reallocation of aircraft on routes next year.

In case you missed it:

Qantas is one step closer to launching non-stop flights from London to Sydney having selected the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, albeit without a firm order yet. The only significant barrier are negotiations with the Australian and International Pilots Association.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has form on playing hardball with trade unions. There are tensions at JetStar with industrial action taking place this week. This has been called by the Australian Federation of Airline Pilots and Transport Workers Union. 

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Monday Briefing – 9 December 2019

Welcome to our weekly briefing on air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

South African Airways Airbus A340 Aircraft
South African Airways Airbus A340 Aircraft (Image Credit: South African Airways)

Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 9 December 2019.

South African Airways Enters Business Rescue Process

South African Airways has entered a formal process in South Africa known as “Business Rescue”.

This is a pre-insolvency process similar to Chapter 11 in the United States. A business rescue practitioner has been appointed to oversee the running of the airline and a restructuring process with the aim of avoiding a liquidation of the state owned airline.

Given South African Airways’ well documented and long-standing financial problems, this will, at a minimum, inevitably lead to substantial changes (though the process is highly political) particularly to its international network.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission on Loyalty Programmes

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission published a report last week on loyalty programmes in Australia.

These of course include Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Australia Velocity. The headline findings will not surprise those who are well versed in airline frequent flyer programmes, namely there’s no such thing as a free lunch and beware the fallacy of the sunk cost.

It does include specific recommendation such as greater transparency and protection against unfair contactual terms. The report also cites concerns about loyalty programmes acting as barriers to entry for new market entrants.

The report does also include some interesting comments on the psychological aspects of airline frequent flyer programmes, such as the “endowed progress effect” when members feel that as they have started on the journey towards a specific reward, they feel compelled to complete the journey to claim it.

Frequent flyer miles are of course currencies in their own rights. Around 110 billion Avios are issued across participating programmes every year. However, there is very little by way of consumer protection. Airlines can, and have, devalued frequent flyer currencies at very short notice with very little recourse.

Given the increasingly tough line regulators are adopting in favour of consumers in many territories (particularly the Competition & Markets Authority in the UK), do not rule out some form a formal regulation in the longer term.

Qantas & Air France-KLM Frequent Flyer Partnership

Staying on the theme of frequent flyer programmes, Qantas has today announced a new frequent flyer partnership with Air France-KLM.

Members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme will be able earn and redeem points across the entire Air France and KLM networks, as well as receive their frequent flyer benefits when flying on Air France and KLM. This follows the establishment of reciprocal codeshare last year.

Also of note this week:

The Civil Aviation Authority has appointed the consultancy Flint Global to advise on a possible break-up of Heathrow, whereby individual terminals would be operated by separate entities. (Sky News)

KLM has opened a new non-Schengen lounge at Amsterdam Schipol airport. (KLM)

Madrid Barajas airport is planning a series of changes to make the airport more welcoming to Chinese visitors such as accepting payments through WeChat Pay (UK airlines remain deeply frustrated at how the UK’s visa regime makes it much harder for Chinese visitors to come to the UK when visiting Europe). (El Pais In English)

Qantas launches a dedicated microsite to mark its centenary. (Qantas)

Continue reading “Monday Briefing – 9 December 2019”

Monday Briefing – 2 December 2019

Welcome to our weekly briefing on air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

South African Airways Airbus A340 Aircraft
South African Airways Airbus A340 Aircraft (Image Credit: South African Airways)

Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 2 December 2019.

South African Airways

There has been considerable speculation about the long term health of South African Airways over the past week.

Last week the Financial Times reported that the airline was close to financial collapse. It had only paid 50% of staff salaries for the month having experienced a “sudden detoriation” in its finances following eight days of industrial action at the airline. Some insurers are also reported to have stopped providing insolvency protection for tickets issued by the airline due to fears over its future.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation has since reported that outstanding staff salaries have now been paid. However, negotiations are ongoing between South African Airways and the Government on securing state guarantees for further funding from commercial banks.

Virgin Trains Bows Out

After holding the West Coast Main Line railway franchise for 22 years, Virgin Trains bows out this coming Saturday.

It will be replaced by Avanti West Coast a joint-venture between First Group and Italian rail operator Trenitalia which will operate what will become known as the West Coast Partnership.

This is of course not strictly air travel related, but the upgrade to the West Coast Main Line from London Euston has had a significant impact on passenger volumes between London airports to Manchester. Whilst Virgin likes to take credit for the significant infrastructure upgrade, this should really go to UK taxpayers.

Today, in the air, just BA serves the route from Heathrow with occasional weekly summer flight from London City. Previously bmi British Midland, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and VLM have operated between London and Manchester.

With Virgin Trains’ East Coast Main Line franchise having been terminated early, this does significantly reduce the brand presence of Virgin in the UK. One consequence of the new franchise is that BA may introduce an interline agreement Avanti West Coast, as it has with London North Eastern Railway.

Clive James

The renowned author, critic and poet Clive James passed away last week.

Clive James’ long and distinguished career included the 1991 “Postcard From” series for BBC Television. The edition below is from his beloved home city of Sydney.

Clive was also a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s “A Point Of View”. This is one edition from April 2008, in which Clive revelled in the chaotic opening of London Heathrow Terminal 5.

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Monday Briefing – 25 November 2019

Welcome to our weekly briefing on air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

Qantas Project Sunrise
Qantas Project Sunrise (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 25 November 2019.

Qantas Tells Airbus & Boeing To “Sharpen Their Pencils”

After Qantas’ much hyped non-stop flight from London to Sydney a little over a week ago, Qantas revealed at its annual investor day that it is not currently satisfied with bids offered by either Airbus or Boeing for new ultra long range aircraft.

Airbus and Boeing have submitted proposals for the Airbus A350-1000ULR and Boeing 777-8X aircraft respectively. According to comments made by Tino La Spina, Chief Executive of Qantas International, Airbus and Boeing have been told to “sharpen their pencils”.

The business case for non-stop flights between London and Sydney is also described by Tino La Spina as “almost there”. Though, the previous deadline of the end of this year for a decision now appears to be an aspiration.

New Qantas Singapore First Class Lounge

Qantas officially opens its new First Class lounge in Singapore on Monday 2 December 2019.

Qantas has teased some images on social media this weekend. The Qantas website advises that access to the lounge may be available to a limited number of customers ahead of its official opening next week.

Gatwick Slot Trades

A couple of relatively minor slot trades at Gatwick were confirmed last week.

TUI Airways has transferred 27 weekly slot pairs to BA for the summer 2020 season. It has been suggested that this may be to facilitate charter services to be provided by BA to TUI.

3 weekly slots have also been transferred from Thomas Cook to BA. These appear to be the return of slots that were previously leased.

The End Of The Annual Christmas Film?

For the past few years, the release of an annual Christmas film by the world’s largest airlines and airports has been a firm fixture in the calendar.

Aided by direct distribution channels on social media, WestJet was the pioneer of this genre. Heathrow has for the past three years run very successful campaigns featuring the Heathrow “bears” Doris and Edward.

It does now feel that every permutation of the theme of the surprise flight / reunion has been exhausted, and Heathrow has wisely decided to take a break this year.

Disruption Advisory

Disruption is expected to flights to Italy today due to a general strike.

BA has in advance retimed the following return flights to Italy today:

BA2608 London Gatwick – Naples – STD 08:50 New ETD 13:55
BA2609 Naples – London Gatwick – STD 13:30 New ETD 18:30

BA576 London Heathrow – Milan Linate – STD 09:20 New ETD 08:40
BA577 Milan Linate – London Heathrow – STD 13:15 New ETD 12:20

BA2688 London Gatwick – Genoa – STD 10:25 New ETD 14:25
BA2689 Genoa – London Gatwick – STD 14:10 New ETD 18:20

Other flights are likely to be delayed and may also be cancelled at short notice. easyJet has also given warning of delays and cancellations on flights to Italy.

Finnair is also advising of possible disruption today at Helsinki airport due to secondary industrial action called by the Finnish Aviation Labour Union following a dispute at the Finnish postal service, Posti. (Finnair)

Continue reading “Monday Briefing – 25 November 2019”

Monday Briefing – 18 November 2019

Welcome to our weekly briefing on air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

Qantas Centenary Aircraft
Qantas Centenary Aircraft (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 19 November 2019.

Qantas “Project Sunrise” Test Flights

You have to credit Qantas for the amount of PR they have managed to generate from its “Project Sunrise” test flights to Sydney.

You can read reviews of the latest flight from London Heathrow to Sydney from CNN and The Sunday Times.

Of course, PR is all about expectations management and timing. Qantas has said a final decision on whether to order ultra long-range aircraft will be made by the end of the year. Given that a final go ahead also requires regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia, and agreement with Qantas trade unions, it seems implausible this will all happen in the next six weeks.

Qantas is holding its annual investors day at 09:00 AEDT on Wednesday 19 November 2019 and may provide more detailed timescales then.

South African Airways Strike

South African Airways’ local and international flights have been subject to significant disruption over the weekend due to open-ended industrial action called by the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (SACAA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

South African Airways’ flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg has been cancelled on Saturday and Sunday, but is expected to resume from today.

The strike follows the announcement of a restructuring plan by the state-owned airline which has not submitted financial statements to the Parliament of South Africa for the past two years.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation reports that National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa is to call a secondary strike which may result in broader disruption to the aviation industry in South Africa.

The latest guidance for passengers is available from South African Airways.

Lufthansa Sustainability Measures

Lufthansa has announced a number of group-wide sustainability measures to encourage passengers to offset the carbon emissions from their flights.

Both Lufthansa and SWISS have adopted the “Compensaid” platform which allows passengers to offset CO2 emissions from their flights. Lufthansa also plans to introduce a new corporate fare which automatically includes carbon offsetting from 2020.

Virgin Australia “Up, Up and Toupee”

Virgin Australia has launched a new TV advertising campaign in Australia. In a somewhat “different” advert under the banner of “Feel Good Flying”, it features a flying toupee taking off from its owner and making its own way to the airport.

This marks a retreat by Virgin Australia which had sought to become a full service, second force rival to Qantas Group and positioning itself somewhere in the middle of its budget airline origins and Qantas.

The Age Melbourne features an interview with Virgin’s recently appointed CEO Paul Scurrah.

Continue reading “Monday Briefing – 18 November 2019”

Monday Briefing – 4 November 2019

Welcome to our weekly briefing on air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

International Airlines Group
International Airlines Group

Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 4 November 2019

International Airlines Group To Acquire Air Europa

IAG has announced to the stock exchange this morning that it has reached an agreement to acquire Air Europa for €1 billion.

IAG claims the acquisition will consolidate its position in the Europe – South America market and the competitiveness of its Madrid hub against European rivals. Last year, Air Europa carried 11.8 million passengers operating a fleet of 66 aircraft.

Air Europa will initially operate as a standalone airline in IAG but will co-operate with other IAG airlines through codesharing and adoption of the Avios frequent flyer currency. The transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2020. This will be the first acquisition by IAG in nearly five years following the purchase of Aer Lingus.

The full press statement can be viewed at IAG and a full write up of the deal is here.

International Airlines Group Capital Markets Day

IAG holds its annual Capital Markets Day this coming Friday, 8 November 2019.

It’s at previous events we have learned of BA’s plans to “densify” its Boeing 777 aircraft and its investment plans for Club World.

Given IAG’s recent announcement to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, the group’s response to climate change is likely to feature prominently.

At a minimum, we should have an updated fleet plan for IAG airlines. Hopefully, there will be further details of planned BA lounge refurbishments, a firm timetable for the roll out of its Club Suite and plans for long-haul expansion at London Gatwick.

It is also often the case that developments you expect to be announced aren’t. We have been waiting some time for IAG to implement single Avios account balances across IAG frequent flyer programmes and dynamic pricing of Avios rewards.

You can read a recap of last year’s events here as well as the BA specific announcements from the day.

If there are any announcements of note, we will share them throughout the day on Twitter.

Air France-KLM is also holding its annual investor day tomorrow, 5 November 2019 and Finnair holds its event next Tuesday, 12 November 2019.

Norwegian’s Challenge

At IAG’s third quarter results announcement last week Willie Walsh said of Norwegian that it is “clearly not out of the woods yet” and “they still have a long way to go”.

The Financial Times documents the scale of the challenge for its new CEO Geir Karlsen.

The airline has a debt burden of $6.8 billion. Its credit card companies are holding back funds, depriving the airline of vital liquidity. Like many other airlines, it is also contending with the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and some Boeing 787 aircraft.

It has obtained some breathing space by deferring the redemption of two bonds. Other measures to shore up liquidity are on the table such as selling off all or part of its frequent flyer programme.

Qantas “Project Sunrise” Update

Qantas has set itself a hard deadline of December of this year to make a decision whether to order capable of flying from London to Sydney non-stop.

This is subject not only economically viable offers from Airbus and Boeing, but also regulatory approval and agreement with Qantas trade unions.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce of course has form on not being afraid to play hard ball with Qantas trade unions. The Sydney Morning Herald reports of tensions emerging between Qantas and its trade unions, who are making it clear they will not be boxed in by an arbitrary deadline.

Continue reading “Monday Briefing – 4 November 2019”

Monday Briefing – 28 October 2019

Welcome to our weekly briefing on air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

London Air Travel » Monday Briefing

Dreamflight, London Heathrow, Sunday 27 October 2019
Dreamflight, London Heathrow, Sunday 27 October 2019 (Image Credit: British Airways)

Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 28 October 2019.

European Airlines Third Quarter Results

Air France-KLM and IAG announce their third quarter results this coming Thursday, 31 October 2019. Lufthansa follows next Thursday, 7 November 2019.

In the case of IAG we know that results will be severely impacted by the three days of planned industrial action by BA pilots in September. Protests in Hong Kong will also have had an impact.

Last week Qantas stated that the collapse in traffic to Hong Kong had cost the airline AUD$25 million. Qantas also cited weakening demand and the global trade war having an impact on cargo volumes.

Whilst any significant announcements are likely to be reserved for IAG’s Capital Markets Day next Friday, IAG will be asked by investors about the state of industrial relations at BA and its response to the planned departure of LATAM from the Oneworld alliance.

“Airline Maps”

British Overseas Airways Corporation World Jet Routes Map
British Overseas Airways Corporation World Jet Routes Map

A new book chartering the history of the airline map is published this coming, Wednesday 29 October 2019.

“Airline Maps” published by Particular Books features archive route maps from airlines such as Air France, British European Airways and British Overseas Airways Corporation.

The authors Mark Ovenden and Maxwell Roberts have given an interview to Citylab.

Dreamflight Takes Off

Dreamflight, London Heathrow, Sunday 27 October 2019
Dreamflight, London Heathrow, Sunday 27 October 2019 (Image Credit: British Airways)

The annual “Dreamflight” departed London Heathrow for Orlando yesterday, Sunday 27 October 2019.

Founded in 1986 by former BA staff members Patricia Pearce MBE and Derek Pereira, Dreamflight is a registered charity that raises funds to charter a BA Boeing 747 carrying hundreds of children with a serious illness or disability on a once in a life time trip to Orlando, Florida.

Approximately 200 children travel on each annual flight together with BA cabin crew and a dedicated medical team, including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists who are on hand 24 hours a day throughout the trip. The flight is also supported a team of BA volunteers who assist with its departure at Heathrow.

Since the first flight in 1987 around 6,000 children have flown on Dreamflight. There’s more information at Dreamflight.

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