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Thursday, May 21st, 2020

easyJet owns up to massive customer data hack – nine million affected

easyJet, Europe’s second-largest low-cost carrier has admitted that in January this year the company was the subject of a “highly sophisticated cyber-attack” and that email addresses and travel details of approximately nine million passengers had been compromised. In addition, the credit card details, including the all-important CVV security code number of 2,208 accounts had been accessed. The U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office has been informed.

easyJet has explained the four-month delay in advising passengers of the data breach because:  "This was a highly sophisticated attacker. It took time to understand the scope of the attack and to identify who had been impacted," the airline told the BBC. "We could only inform people once the investigation had progressed enough that we were able to identify whether any individuals have been affected, then who had been impacted and what information had been accessed.

easyJet is now contacting all affected passengers, advising them to be aware of possible phishing emails, and expects to have completed this task by May 26. The airline felt confident that while passenger data had been compromised, the nature of the attack was more a targeting of “intellectual property”. "There is no evidence that any personal information of any nature has been misused, however, on the recommendation of the ICO, we are communicating with the approximately nine million customers whose travel details were accessed to advise them of protective steps to minimize any risk of potential phishing. We are advising customers to be cautious of any communications purporting to come from EasyJet or EasyJet Holidays."

Phishing attacks have increased 100-fold since the coronavirus pandemic and Google is currently blocking over 100 million phishing emails on a daily basis. The airline industry appears to have a susceptibility to cyber-attacks, with 2018 seeing British Airways slapped with a £183 million fine after data involving 380,000 transactions was compromised, while compensation payouts to passengers could see that figure rise to £3 billion. Under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), if easyJet is found to have mishandled customer data, it could face fines of up to 4% of its annual worldwide turnover. (£1.00 = US$1.22 art time of publication.)

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DC Aviation Group contracted for upgrade of one Global 5000 with Gogo Elite Smart Cabin System

DC Aviation Group has been contracted for the upgrade of a Global 5000 with a Gogo Elite Smart Cabin System (SCS Elite), an Inmarsat SwiftBroadband High Data Rate Service as well as a new satellite communication system.

The SCS Elite package is a highly integrated smart cabin system that allows passengers to control the cabin environment with a single interface.

Since 2017 DC Aviation is a full-service maintenance, repair and overhaul provider for Gogo Business
Aviation and participates as a partner for hardware sales and installations on various types of business aircraft for Gogo’s portfolio of products.


Qatar Airways and American Airlines begin strategic partnership

The first stage of the strategic partnership between Qatar Airways and American Airlines hast started, with Qatar Airways placing its code on American Airlines’ domestic flights, strengthening connectivity and creating hundreds of new travel options for passengers. The codeshare will be rolled out in phases over the next few weeks and once completed, will see Qatar Airways’ code placed on over 1000 of American Airlines’ domestic flights connecting with Qatar Airway’s 10 U.S. gateways. The first codeshare flights have already started on May 17, 2020.

The first phases of the codeshare will see Qatar Airways’ passengers able to book travel on American Airlines’ extensive domestic connections via Chicago (ORD) and Dallas (DFW) to 200 cities including Miami (MIA), Houston (IAH), Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Minneapolis/St.Paul (MSP), Seattle (SEA), and San Francisco (SFO). Additional cities, including destinations in Central America, and the Caribbean will be added, subject to government approvals.

Further expansion of the strategic partnership will include Qatar Airways placing its code on American’s international flights to North, Central and South America and Europe, and American Airlines placing its code on Qatar Airways flights between the U.S. and Qatar and beyond to a range of destinations in the Middle-East, Africa and Asia.


Air France to retire Airbus A380 fleet

Air France-KLM Group has announced the definitive end of Air France's Airbus A380 operations.

Initially scheduled by the end of 2022, the phase-out of the Airbus A380 fleet is beginning with immediate effect and fits in the Air France-KLM Group fleet simplification strategy of making the fleet more competitive, by continuing its transformation with more modern, high-performance aircraft with a significantly reduced environmental footprint.

Five of the Airbus A380 aircraft in the current fleet are owned by Air France or on finance lease, while four are on operating lease. The global impact of the Airbus A380 phase-out write down is estimated at €500 million euros and will be booked in the second quarter of 2020 as a non-current cost/expenses.

The Airbus A380 will be replaced by new-generation aircraft, including the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, whose deliveries have not yet been completed.


Norwegian finalises restructuring and secures state aid

Norwegian has confirmed that the restructuring is completed and that the state loan guarantee of in total NOK 3 billion has been approved. The company has now converted NOK 12.7 billion of debt to equity and laid a solid foundation for the future, although the next months will remain challenging.

Since the end of 2018, Norwegian has taken significant actions to restructure its operations and return to profitability. The company was on the path to deliver a positive net profit in 2020, and this summer was set to be the strongest in the company’s history. Instead, the coronavirus outbreak and global travel restrictions has led to a substantial drop in demand.

The Company has seized this time as an opportunity to restructure and develop a new strategy and business plan – New Norwegian – for a strengthened airline to re-emerge when travel restrictions are lifted and demand returns.

Leonardo Board of Directors confirms Alessandro Profumo Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Directors of Leonardo met for the first time on May 20, under the chairmanship of Luciano Carta. At the meeting, the Board confirmed Alessandro Profumo as Chief Executive Officer by conferring, in line with the previous structure, all the related powers for the unitary management of the company and the group.


Rolls-Royce to reduce workforce by 9,000 jobs

Having already taken action to strengthen the financial resilience of its business and reduce its cash expenditure in 2020 to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Rolls-Royce is proposing a major reorganization of its business to adapt to the new level of demand it is seeing from customers.

As a result, the company is expecting the loss of at least 9,000 jobs from its global workforce of 52,000. In addition to the savings generated from this headcount reduction, Rolls-Royce will also cut expenditure across plant and property, capital and other indirect cost areas. The proposed reorganization is expected to generate annualized savings of more than £1.3 billion, of which the company expects headcount to contribute around £700 million. The cash restructuring costs related to these actions are likely to be around £800 million, with outflows incurred across 2020 to 2022.

The proposed reorganization will predominantly affect the company's Civil Aerospace business, where it will carry out a detailed review of its facility footprint. It will also have implications for its central support functions.

Rolls-Royce's Power Systems business and ITP Aero are currently developing, negotiating and executing extensive measures to deal with the current situation. The Defense business, based in the U.K. and U.S., has been robust during the pandemic, with an unchanged outlook, and does not need to reduce headcount.

As part of the reorganization, the company will ensure that its internal Civil Aerospace supply chain continues to support the defense programs and explore any opportunities to move people into its Defense business.


Finnair’s pension premium loan guaranteed by the State of Finland

The Finnish Government has approved that the State of Finland guarantees Finnair’s pension premium loan up to €540 million. With the state guarantee, Finnair aims to further secure its cash position and business continuity also after the exceptional situation caused by the corona-crisis. Further, a commercial bank has guaranteed up to €60 million of the loan.

The arrangement is compliant with the EU state aid regulations and has been approved by the European Commission on May 18, 2020.

Finnair plans to draw part of the pension premium loan during the second quarter of 2020.

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