Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 1 June 2020.
Aviation’s June Return
As many countries in Europe are due to lift travel restrictions this month, the UK is determined to remain an outlier.
Its mandatory quarantine regime on passengers arriving in the UK is due to come in to force next Monday, 8 June 2020.
As per the front page lead of today’s Times, it has been widely condemned by the aviation industry as destructive, ill-judged and unenforceable. If the UK government’s “test and trace” contact tracing system is anything to go by, it will not instil confidence.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that the government has recruited the professional services firm KPMG to advise on what mandatory measures should be put in place on passengers departing from the UK. These are reportedly due to be agreed this week.
The Department for Transport is also working on plans for “air bridges” to countries deemed to have a low risk of COVID-19 transmission. These are due to be finalised by 15 June.
Other options under consideration include 20 minute COVID-19 tests on arriving passengers.
Elsewhere, there are small signs that aviation is starting to rebuild.
Austrian Airlines will resume flight operations from Monday 15 June. This will include a daily flight to London Heathrow.
Brussels Airlines will also flight operations from Monday 15 June, with flights to London Heathrow resuming on Monday 22 June.
Further afield, Hong Kong International Airport will begin accepting transit passengers from today.
Virgin Australia Whittles Down Final Bidders
Deloitte, the administrators of Virgin Australia, may announce the two final round bidders for the airline as soon as today.
Bain Capital, BGH Capital, Cyrus Capital and Indigo Partners submitted second round bids last week. Canadian asset manager Brookfield is reported to have entered the bidding process at the 11th hour.
Visions for the airline appear to vary widely with some bidders planing a return to its low cost short-haul roots and others seeking the maintain its ambition to be a full service rival to Qantas.
There appears to be a risk that the airline may fall into liquidation before the bidding process has completed with Deloitte reported to have made an unsuccesful plea to the Australian federal government for emergency funding. (Sydney Morning Herald).
Things have been relatively quiet as far as Virgin Atlantic is concerned. That’s not necessarily a bad sign. A lack of leaks to the press often indicates progress behind the scenes.Continue reading “London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 1 June 2020”