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Monday, December 7th, 2020

Lufthansa will have shed 27,000 jobs by year end - further cuts expected in 2021

According to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Lufthansa, along with its subsidiaries Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines will have cut its workforce by 27,000 by the end of 2020 to help mitigate the catastrophic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel.

20,000 of those jobs will employees based outside Germany, while approximately 7,500 staff will no longer be under the group’s umbrella when its catering unit, LSG, is sold. The newspaper further reports that Germany’s flagship carrier will shed a further 10,000 jobs in 2021 as it does not anticipate passenger numbers will recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

Having secured a €9 billion government bailout earlier in the year, Lufthansa has already burned through €3 billion of it. According to Chief Executive Carsten Spohr last month, Lufthansa has 27,000 too many full-time equivalent staff, though it had promised unions not to make forced redundancies in return for cuts to bonuses and other payments.

A deal to cut costs and save jobs at Lufthansa has won the support of a majority of the Verdi trade union members who work for the German airline as ground staff, according to the results of a ballot. A formal announcement is expected today (Monday.) The deal with Verdi followed months of on-off talks, during which the union accused management of seeking to cut jobs even after taking a bailout to keep its planes flying. (€1.00 = US$1.21 at time of publication.)


ANA Partners with Toyota Industries to test automated technology at Saga Airport

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has partnered with Toyota Industries to conduct additional tests of the robotic baggage loader and autonomous towing tractor to further develop these innovative technologies to accelerate their adoption.

Scheduled for December 14th - 18th, this latest series of tests will demonstrate the gains made by autonomous technology. The tests will take place at Kyushu Saga International Airport (Saga Airport) where ANA has conducted trials of automated technology since March 2019. The airport has served as the location for the trials as ANA has partnered with Saga prefecture to transform Saga Airport into one of the world's smartest, best connected airports.

By automating baggage and cargo handling operations, ANA is advancing its initiative to develop "Simple & Smart" airport ground support operations, helping to create a streamlined and comfortable working environment for all while allowing airports to function efficiently with smaller workforces.


Delta and KLM to offer COVID-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam

Trans-Atlantic partners Delta Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are launching COVID-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam, effective Dec. 15. The airline partners have worked with the Dutch government, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to deliver a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program that will allow eligible customers to be exempt from quarantine on arrival after receiving a negative PCR test result on landing in the Netherlands.

Pieter Elbers, President & CEO KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, said, "This is a very important and great step forward. Until an approved working vaccine is available worldwide, this testing program represents the first step towards the international travel industry’s recovery. I am grateful for the constructive collaboration with our partners Delta Air Lines and the Schiphol Group and to have the support of the Dutch government to make this unique COVID- free travel corridor trial possible."

The COVID-tested flights will operate four times per week from Atlanta to Amsterdam, with Delta and KLM operating two frequencies each. Only passengers with negative test results will be accepted on board. The flights will initially run for three weeks and, if successful, the airlines hope to extend the program to other markets.


TUI, Condor and SunClass Airlines now live on CargoAi

CargoAi is increasing its offer to freight forwarders by making real-time prices and electronic bookings available on its platform for major leisure carriers: TUI, Condor and SunClass Airlines. This roll-out has been made possible thanks to the support of ECS Group, the GSSA of these airlines in Total Cargo Management.

Pursuing its digitization strategy for air freight, CargoAi thus offers its users access to a variety of air transport solutions anywhere in the world. ‘These three airlines offer a multitude of destinations. Our users can now benefit from this by reserving their capacities on our platform in a few seconds’, said CargoAi CEO Matthieu Petot.

For ECS Group, the approach also aims to provide a premium service to its airline customers and above all, to offer them an additional sales tool for their cargo capacities.

This is an important step for CargoAi, which is aiming for a ‘smooth, simple’ digitization of the industry. ‘We offer a turnkey service to our customers by doing all the technical work upstream, without the need for any investment on their part. These are the types of actions that will lead to a digitized industry, equal to its importance in the world economy’, said Matthieu Petot. 


GA Telesis Engine Services signs cooperative agreement with Atitech S.p.A.

GA Telesis Engine Services OY (GATES) has signed a new cooperative agreement with the airframe base/heavy maintenance provider Atitech S.p.A. of Naples, Italy.

GATES and Atitech, both highly experienced in their respective fields, have joined forces to provide turn-key solutions to Atitech’s customers for activities not under its capability, such as engine shop visits. The first two CFM56-5B engines were shipped to GATES’ facility in Helsinki, Finland, for a full performance restoration shop visit.

“This cooperation with GATES marks an achievement again in Atitech’s pursuit to provide great customer service. Long-term partnerships with our customers are vital in the field of heavy airframe maintenance, and we are fully committed to developing our service offering towards our customers,”
said Giovanni Lettieri, Atitech Chairman.

Aurimas Urbonas to lead BAA Training Spain

Managing director Aurimas Urbonas has been appointed to lead BAA Training Spain – a modern six simulator aviation training center near Barcelona El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport, set to accommodate various pilot training needs: wet and dry full flight simulators lease services, type rating training, and more.

Urbonas will bear responsibility for BAA Training Spain's performance. He will convey and execute the company’s vision, establish and maintain effective links with customers, and develop long-range plans and strategies.


Virgin Galactic unveils spacesuits for pilot corps

Virgin Galactic has unveiled the spacesuits its pilots will wear as they fly private astronauts on journeys to space.

Designed in collaboration with the company’s technical spacewear partner, Under Armour, the Virgin Galactic pilot corps will wear the spacesuit and footwear on future flights - including the first human spaceflight from New Mexico, which is due to take place this month with the flight window opening on December 11.

Wearing the spacesuit on the December flight will be Chief Pilot, Dave Mackay and Pilot, CJ Sturckow – who is expected to become the first person to fly to space from three different U.S. States. They are both members of the eight person team in the Virgin Galactic pilot corps.

This design is the latest addition to the astronaut apparel created with Under Armour, which also includes the spacewear system that Virgin Galactic future astronaut customers will wear for their spaceflights.

For the pilots’ suits, the design team followed a brief to create a non-pressurised spacesuit which not only aesthetically conveys the pilots’ role in Virgin Galactic’s mission, but which also practically supports their unique task of flying regularly at over three times the speed of sound into space and back.

Due to these unique requirements, each member of the pilot corps was heavily involved in the design process, providing feedback and wearing test versions of the spacesuit while completing various assignments.

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