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Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

American Airlines to shed 19,000 jobs and Delta furlough 1,900 pilots in October

American Airlines has announced that unless there is further governmental aid provided, when the current government stimulus runs out at the end of September, it will be foced to shed 19,000 of its March 140,000-strong workforce. By the end of October, taking into account voluntary exits and retirments, staffing levels at American Airlines will shrink to around 100,000, an overall drop of 40,000 jobs.

'In short, American's team will have at least 40,000 fewer people working October 1 than we had when we entered this pandemic,' Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a memo reported by Reuters news agency. Currently, Amarican Airlines plans to operate at below 50% of its pre-pandemic capacity on domestic routes, and below 25% for international ones.

The news comes just a week after the carrier announced it will stop flying to 15 U.S. cities at the end of September when federal requirements to serve those cities also ends, including Springfield, Illinois; Huntington, West Virginia; Del Rio, Texas.

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines (Delta) announced on Monday that it intends to furlough 1,941 pilots in October. “We are six months into this pandemic and only 25% of our revenues have been recovered. Unfortunately, we see few catalysts over the next six months to meaningful change this trajectory,” Delta's head of flight operations John Laughter said in the memo, adding that the carrier was: “simply overstaffed.” Delta has tried to avoid furloughs though the offer of attractive retirement packages to those who have been with the carrier for over 25 years, as well as buyout and voluntary exit programs, but insufficient numbers have opted to take advantage of these offers.


Recaro Aircraft Seating inks deal with Wizz Air for economy class seats on 146 Airbus aircraft

Recaro Aircraft Seating has secured a deal with Wizz Air for 31,767 passenger seats. The SL3710 economy class seat will be installed on 146 Airbus aircraft starting in 2021. This partnership is part of a larger deal with the Indigo Partners portfolio of airlines for nearly 100,000 passenger seats, which is the largest order of seats in the history of Recaro.

Recaro worked closely with Wizz Air to develop a sustainable seat for the carrier, as the airline already has numerous sustainable initiatives in place. Wizz Air has reduced its carbon footprint by utilizing efficient Airbus aircraft and prioritizing lightweight products for its cabins among all Airbus 320 family operators.

The newest and lightest member of the Recaro economy class seat lineup, the SL3710 economy class seat weighs approximately eight kilograms. Its efficient design is comprised of durable and reliable parts, which makes it a cost-effective choice for airlines focused on minimizing fuel and maintenance costs.


Spectre Cargo Solutions delivers Boeing 737-700BDSF aircraft to Tianjin Air Cargo

Spectre Cargo Solutions, through its Irish entity NGF Overseas Aircraft, has delivered a Boeing 737-700BDSF aircraft to Tianjin Air Cargo (TJAC).  The freighter is on a long-term operating lease with Tianjin Air Cargo.  It is the first Boeing freighter of the type to be delivered to a Chinese operator.

Tianjin Haite Aircraft Engineering (HAITE) performed the IAI 737-700BDSF modification for Spectre; the aircraft is the fourth 737-700BDSF received by the lessor.

Before conversion, the aircraft had been operated by Xiamen Airlines since 1998. Together with TJAC’s Spectre-leased 737-800BCF, this latest delivery brings TJAC’s fleet to four Boeing freighters.

Finnair starts co-operation negotiations on plans to reduce 1,000 jobs due to COVID-19 impacts and travel restrictions

Finnair has started co-operation negotiations on its plan to reduce up to 1,000 jobs, to make other structural changes and to implement additional temporary layoffs due to the impacts of the corona pandemic. The co-operation negotiations concern approximately 2,800 employees working at Finnair in Finland, and similar processes are conducted in Finnair’s units abroad. Finnair employs a total of approximately 6,700 employees, of whom 6,200 are based in Finland. Almost all of Finnair’s employees in Finland have been temporary laid off for a part of the spring and summer. In addition to the planned personnel reductions, Finnair will continue to apply temporary layoffs for practically all its personnel in Finland. The temporary layoffs can be either for fixed-term or until further notice.  

The goal is to ensure the continuity of Finnair’s core operations so that cabin and flight deck crew can return to work gradually as soon as the market recovers and flights can be increased. For this reason, Finnair is not currently planning permanent reduction of its flying personnel in Finland.

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AAR partners with Corporation for Skilled Workforce and Lumina Foundation to reduce labor shortage

AAR has announced a new partnership with Corporation for Skilled Workforce (CSW) to grow and diversify the talent pool of aviation maintenance technicians and reduce future labor shortages. The initiative, powered by a grant from Lumina Foundation, will also raise awareness of lucrative aircraft repair jobs and career pathways in aviation.

Through October 2021, AAR and CSW will engage community colleges and technical training providers in strategic locations to develop competency-based programs, curriculum and stackable credentials that meet FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) requirements. Next month, AAR is launching a pilot program to mentor and develop a cohort of up to 20 women in aviation maintenance at its aircraft repair facility in Miami. The initiative also will expand Skillbridge programs to provide job opportunities for military veterans and active duty personnel who are transitioning to civilian aviation maintenance careers.

The average age of an aviation maintenance technician is 54. The project expands AAR’s work under its EAGLE Career Pathways Program at seven colleges and technical training centers in the U.S. to mitigate mass retirements in the industry by diversifying the talent pool.


ecoDemonstrator program testing quieter, cleaner flights with Etihad

An Etihad Airways 787-10 Dreamliner decked out with special equipment that can enhance safety and reduce CO2 emissions and noise, has commenced flight testing this week for Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program.

A series of flights will gather the most detailed information to date about aircraft acoustics from some 1,200 microphones attached to the outside of the 787 and positioned on the ground. The collaboration between NASA and Boeing will improve the agency’s aircraft noise prediction capabilities, advance ways for pilots to reduce noise and inform future quiet aircraft designs.

“At NASA, we’ve been researching the individual airplane noise sources, their interactions with the airframe and how they combine to the total aircraft noise,” NASA technical lead Dr. Russell Thomas said. “This unique, carefully designed flight test provides the environment where all these effects are measured, which will be key to advancing our ability to design lower-noise aircraft.”


Qantas proposes to outsource ground handling operations at ten Australian airports

As part of its COVID recovery plan, the Qantas Group has informed its people and relevant unions of initiatives affecting its ground handling operations at airports across Australia.

Qantas and Jetstar directly employ people in various ground operations roles – which includes baggage handling and aircraft cleaning – at 11 large airports around the country. They also use specialist ground handlers at airports at 55 other airports they fly to across Australia.

The COVID crisis has driven the need to examine how these services can be delivered more efficiently. Therefore, Qantas is proposing to outsource its ground handling operations at the ten Australian airports where the work is done inhouse. As part of this, a review will assess both external ground handlers and an in-house bid in search of making this function more efficient. Should the decision be taken to outsource the work, it could impact up to 2000 employees, including some management roles.

Qantas is proposing to outsource its bus services for customers and employees in and around Sydney Airport. A similar, but separate, review will also be conducted on this proposal. Should the decision be taken to outsource the work it could impact 50 employees. Jetstar Airways has decided to outsource ground handling at the six remaining Australian airports where the work is done in-house, impacting 370 jobs, subject to union consultation.

This latest announcement follows a AU$2.7 billion statutory loss for the Group in FY20 and a AU$4 billion drop in revenue in the second half due to the COVID-19 crisis and associated border restrictions. Further significant losses are projected in FY21 and an at least AU$10 billion drop in revenue due to the ongoing impact of COVID.

Job losses of at least 6,000 have already been announced as part of rightsizing and restructuring the business in response to border closures and more permanent structural changes to the aviation industry. (Possible job losses of up to 2,500 as a result of this announcement would be in addition to the 6,000 figure.) Planned capital investment is also being significantly reduced, including the deferral of aircraft orders.


Textron Aviation delivers King Air 350ER aircraft to Victoria Police

Textron Aviation has delivered a Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft to Australian aviation service company Skytraders, which will operate and maintain the aircraft on behalf of Victoria Police.

The King Air 350ER will primarily support Victoria Police Air Wing (VPAW) and its team of Tactical Flight Officers, who lead airborne law enforcement, training, search and rescue, and extended offshore marine safety missions throughout the state of Victoria, Australia.

The custom-configured mission package for Victoria Police includes advanced mission management system, ground moving target indicator object detection, Tactical Flight Officer workstations, tactical radios, satellite communications and a data downlink. The extended range King Air is also fitted with optional factory installed Pratt and Whitney PT6A-67A engines.

The Beechcraft King Air350ER is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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