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Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

IATA recommends governments continue to shore up airlines over the winter

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents approximately 290 airlines across the globe, has colled on governments to support airlines during what is anticipated to be a very harsh winter from an economic standpoint as a result of ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

It has been estimated that, globally, airlines will post a combined loss approaching US$84.3 billion in 2020. It is a recognized fact that for northern-hemisphere airlines, the bulk of operating profits are generated over Q2 and Q3. As an example, the 2019 net profit margin for European airlines followed the normal seasonal pattern and was 9% and 17% respectively in Q2 and Q3 (the northern summer). However, it began at -1% in Q1 and finished the year at 2% in Q4 (the northern winter). In 2020 Q3 will be even more challenging in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to IATA, public opinion research in the first week of June 2020 showed greater caution among travelers in returning to travel. Only 45% of travelers surveyed intend to return to the skies within a few months of the pandemic subsiding. A further 36% said that they would wait six months. That is a significant shift from April 2020 when 61% said that they would return to travel within a few months of the pandemic subsiding and 21% responded that they would wait about six months.

“People are returning to the skies but the horizon of uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis is extending. Forward bookings are down, and people are hedging their travel bets by booking closer to the time of travel. Airlines in the Northern hemisphere rely on a strong summer season and a predictable booking curve to get them through the lean months. But neither of these conditions are in place and airlines will need continued help from governments to survive a hard winter. Airlines will need much more flexibility to plan schedules around these changing consumer trends. Financial and operational flexibility equals survival,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.


American Airlines to deny boarding to customers who are not wearing face coverings

American Airlines announced a stronger policy for customer face coverings as part of its commitment to the safety and well-being of customers and team members. American, like other U.S. airlines, already requires customers to wear a face covering while on board aircraft. American already enforces this policy at the gate and will deny boarding to customers who don’t comply. American now may also deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face covering. American made this change after working in conjunction with Airlines for America on an industrywide response.

The face covering requirement is important, so customers will notice more reminders of the policy as they travel with American, both at the airport and in flight.

Some passengers are exempt from the face covering requirement, such as young children and those with a disability or medical reason for why they cannot wear a face covering. The policy also does not apply while eating or drinking.

Norwegian to restart short-haul flights from the U.K.

Norwegian will in line with other European carriers and as a result of increased customer demand, begin to operate flights between London Gatwick to Oslo, London Gatwick to Copenhagen, Edinburgh to Oslo and Edinburgh to Copenhagen from July 1st.

London to Oslo will be operated seven times a week, London to Copenhagen six times a week, Edinburgh to Oslo and Copenhagen twice a week respectively.

Since April Norwegian has only operated eight aircraft on domestic routes in Norway. Now another 12 aircraft will re-join the fleet and be put into operation across Scandinavia to serve popular core destinations.

From July Norwegian will operate 76 routes across Europe from the airline’s Scandinavian hubs compared to the 13 domestic Norway only flights served today. Other destinations include Spain, Greece and key European cities.


TARMAC Aerosave opens 4th aircraft storage site at Paris-Vatry airport

TARMAC Aerosave, the expert group for the storage, transition, maintenance and recycling of aircraft and engines, has opened a fourth site at Paris-Vatry airport, in the Grand Est region (France). This site, in addition to the historic site of Tarbes and to the Teruel (Spain) and Toulouse-Francazal sites, brings the overall capacity of the aircraft storage group to 270 aircraft. The Paris-Vatry site can accommodate all types of aircraft, for associated storage and maintenance service only.

A former NATO base, known for its large reception capacity, a runway of nearly 4,000 m, 24-hour opening time and freight activities, the Paris-Vatry platform provides TARMAC Aerosave with parking areas of more than 60,000 m². TARMAC Aerosave can now accommodate 30 aircraft of all types, according to Group standards: parking adapted to the tonnage, and maintenance exclusively carried out by TARMAC Aerosave staff based in Vatry.

Rémi Paillassa has been appointed Project Manager for the Paris-Vatry site and has already taken up his duties on site. This new site offers TARMAC Aerosave customers a reception point in northern France. TARMAC Aerosave is thus positioned in the immediate vicinity of the main European airports (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Brussels) providing airlines with a "rear base" for short or medium-term storage.

Karim Grinate promoted to VP Component Sales at APOC Aviation

APOC Aviation has promoted Karim Grinate to the position of VP Component Sales. Previously Manager – Sales and Business Development, Grinate has been with APOC for just over a year. His new position recognises the processes and structures he has put in place to streamline the sales team and his focus on enlarging the customer base across targeted ATA Chapters and global regions.

Grinate is responsible not only for the commercial success of the component sales division at APOC Aviation, but also for the stock breakdown and compatibility with customers worldwide.

HEICO Repair Group is the world’s largest independent component MRO with capability for over 26,000 unique aircraft parts, servicing over 60,000 components annually. www.heico.com

GAMECO launches 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) program

GAMECO (Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited) has launched its 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) program on June 16, at its Guangzhou base, holding a door-cutting ceremony of its first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF), which commenced the production phase of the program.

GAMECO and Boeing launched work on the new production line of the 737-800BCF last year in response to growing demand in the air cargo market. With sharp declines in passenger air travel, airlines have shifted some of their business toward air cargo, as freighter needs have increased in response to greater cargo demands throughout the COVID-19. Amidst these circumstances, the air cargo market embraces phenomenal challenges and opportunities and plays an important role in both anti-pandemic relief activities and the reconstruction of supply chains.

The 737-800BCF is built on the Next-Generation 737 platform, well known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and lower operating cost. GAMECO’s freighter-conversion program transitions these passenger airplanes into freighters, extending their service life. A converted 737-800BCF airplane carries up to 52,800 pounds (23.9 metric tons) of payload with excellent operating economics to maximize operators’ profits. Since entering into service in 2018, the 737-800BCF has won more than 130 orders and commitments.


Personnel surplus at Lufthansa Group companies totals 22,000 full-time positions

The Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG has informed the representatives of the trade unions Verdi (Vereinigte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft), VC (Vereinigung Cockpit) and Ufo (Unabhängige Flugbegleiter Organisation) about the current personnel situation in the companies of the Lufthansa Group. This was followed by an information to the Lufthansa works councils to whom concrete figures of personnel overcapacity were presented and explained in the Group Economic Committee.

According to these figures, the 22,000 full-time positions that will probably be permanently eleminated after the crisis are distributed across all business segments and almost all companies in the Group. The Lufthansa airline's flight operations alone will be affected by the crisis with a calculated 5,000 jobs, 600 of which will be pilots, 2,600 flight attendants and 1,500 ground staff. A further 1,400 jobs at headquarters and in administration at other Group companies will also be affected. Lufthansa Technik has a worldwide surplus of about 4,500 jobs, 2,500 of them in Germany. In the LSG Group's catering business 8,300 jobs are affected worldwide, 1,500 of them in Germany.

In view of the serious consequences of the Corona pandemic for the entire airline industry, the need for restructuring applies to almost all companies in the Group. Germanwings, for example, will not resume flight operations, while Eurowings will reduce its administrative staff capacity by 30% and cut 300 jobs in return. Austrian Airlines has a personnel surplus of 1,100 jobs due to fleet downsizing. Brussels Airlines will reduce its capacity by 1,000 jobs, Lufthansa Cargo by 500.

Staff overcapacity can be partially compensated for by short-time working, collective agreements to reduce weekly working hours or other cost-cutting measures. The necessary crisis agreements are to be concluded by 22 June.


Thomas Global’s TFD-7000 series LCD flight displays certified for Boeing 767 in Japan

Thomas Global Systems has received Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for the company’s TFD-7000 Series plug-and-play LCD flight displays for Boeing 767 CRT-equipped aircraft.

JCAB approval of the TFD-7000 Series for Boeing 767 follows FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) and STC approvals last year for Boeing 757/767 and 737-3/4/500, and more recent approvals from Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Deliveries to a prominent operator in Japan are scheduled to begin later this year.

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