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Thursday, January 14th, 2020

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Air Canada to reduce workforce by 1700 under its COVID-19 Mitigation and Recovery Plan

Air Canada has announced that under its COVID-19 Mitigation and Recovery Plan, it will be adjusting its network by further reducing first quarter system capacity by an additional 25%. This will result in the workforce being reduced by approximately 1700 employees, while a further 200 will be impacted at its Express carriers. The Canadian flag-carrying airline will be reducing approximately 25% of its planned capacity for the balance of the first quarter of 2021. With this reduction, capacity in the first quarter of 2021 will be about 20% of what Air Canada operated in the first quarter of 2019.

Air Canada will continue to evaluate and adjust its route network as required in response to the trajectory of the pandemic, government-imposed travel restrictions and quarantines, and to market and regulatory conditions.

“Since the implementation by the Federal and Provincial Governments of these increased travel restrictions and other measures, in addition to the existing quarantine requirements, we have seen an immediate impact to our close-in bookings and have made the difficult but necessary decision to further adjust our schedule and rationalize our transborder, Caribbean and domestic routes to better reflect expected demand and to reduce cash burn. We regret the impact these difficult decisions will have on our employees who have worked very hard during the pandemic looking after our customers, as well as on the affected communities,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada. “While this is not the news we were hoping to announce this early into the year, we are nonetheless encouraged that Health Canada has already approved two vaccines and that the Government of Canada expects the vast majority of eligible Canadians to be vaccinated by September. We look forward to seeing our business start to return to normal and to bringing back some of our more than 20,000 employees currently on furlough and layoff,” concluded Ms. Guillemette.

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Thomas Rückert takes over position as CIO of the Lufthansa Group

Thomas Rückert has taken over the position as Chief Information Officer of the Lufthansa Group on January 1, 2021. He succeeds Roland Schütz, who left the company at his own request.

Rückert joined Lufthansa Technik as a trainee in 1995 and over the past 25 years, he has held various positions at Lufthansa Technik in Germany, Ireland and the Philippines. Most recently Rückert was Vice President Maintenance Services and headed Lufthansa Technik's worldwide overhaul network together with two other managers, reporting directly to the company's Executive Board. As spokesman for the Product Division, his responsibilities included all shared services, product development and digitalization.

First Boeing 767 to leave Austrian Airlines' fleet

OE-LAT, the first of three Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, will leave the Austrian Airlines fleet in March. The long-haul jet was manufactured in 1991 and was in service with Austrian Airlines for around 20 years after the Lauda takeover in 2001. OE-LAT made its last passenger flight on January 10, 2021. Over the next few weeks, the aircraft will undergo all the necessary preparations for handover, with the transfer flight of the jet to the U.S.A. scheduled for early March.

The two other B767s, OE-LAX and OE-LAW, are scheduled for phase-out by fall. Both long-haul aircraft will remain in service until then. With an average age of 28.5 years, the three B767s are among the oldest aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet.

By the beginning of 2022, a total of 28 aircraft will have left the fleet of Austria's home carrier: in addition to the three Boeing 767-300ERs mentioned above, 18 Dash turboprops and seven A319 jets will be phased out. Ten of the turboprops mentioned have already left the Austrian Airlines fleet, with the eight remaining to follow from the end of March. This means that the fleet will consist of around 60 aircraft by the beginning of 2022.

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Honeywell introduces next-generation Cabin Pressure Control and Monitoring System

Honeywell has introduced the next generation of its Cabin Pressure Control and Monitoring System with applications in both commercial and military aircraft. This new version of the system is all-electric, lighter-weight, and available now for business and regional aviation as well as tactical or military trainer-sized aircraft.

The Cabin Pressure Control and Monitoring System (CPCMS) helps maintain and monitor the air pressure inside an aircraft. It can be found onboard any aircraft that flies high enough to require air pressurization, including commercial and business jets as well as military aircraft. It regulates the air that is pumped into the cabin of an aircraft to maintain a safe and comfortable environment while flying at high altitudes. It also manages the rate of pressure change to avoid passenger discomfort during climb and descent.

Honeywell has won a contract with Piaggio Aerospace to provide the new CPCMS for its integration into the new P.180 Avanti Evo aircraft configuration, currently under development. The products will start delivery in the third quarter of 2021 and the first planes with the new system are expected to enter service in the first half of 2022.

Congo Airways signs firm order for two E195-E2 aircraft

Just six months after their first E2 order, Congo Airways has placed a firm order for two E195-E2 jets. This is in addition to their existing two aircraft order for the smaller E190-E2. The four aircraft deal has a total value of US$272 million at current list prices. This new firm order will be included in Embraer’s 2020 fourth quarter backlog.

The E195-E2 will be configured in a dual class 120 seat layout, 12 in business, 108 in economy. An additional 25% capacity when compared to the 96-seat configuration chosen by Congo Airways for its E190-E2s. The E2 deliveries are expected to begin in 2022 with Embraer and Congo Airways continuing to review the potential to anticipate the beginning of the deliveries. There are currently 206 Embraer aircraft operating in Africa with 56 airlines in 29 countries.

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Munich Airport passenger numbers decline to around 11.1 million

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have seen Munich Airport record its lowest traffic figures since it opened in 1992. Due to global travel restrictions, the passenger volume in Munich fell by around 37 million to a little more than eleven million, nearly 77% lower than the previous year’s figure. In the same period, the number of take-offs and landings dropped by more than 270,000 to around 147,000 – a fall of nearly 65%.

The cargo volume – including air freight and air mail handled – in Munich came to around 151,000 metric tons in 2020, more than halving compared with the previous year. A look at passenger numbers makes it clear that the global travel restrictions have had a drastic effect on traffic development at Munich Airport: At over six million, more passengers were counted in the pre-pandemic months of January and February than in the subsequent ten months. The approximately 90 airlines that regularly operate in Munich have massively reduced its flights in 2020 or even temporarily stopped them completely.

Express division of Deutsche Post DHL Group invests in additional eight Boeing 777 Freighters

DHL Express has placed an order with Boeing for an additional eight new Boeing 777 freighters. The investment marks a further step in DHL Express’ expansion of its intercontinental air network to meet customer demand in fast growing international express shipping markets. First deliveries are scheduled for 2022.

DHL Express has already taken delivery of the first ten new B777F aircraft as part of an original order of 14 aircraft made in 2018. These timely deliveries ensured that DHL could accommodate customer’s unprecedented demand during the peak shipping season last year.

Boeing’s 2020 World Air Cargo Forecast anticipates significant increase in demand for new and converted freighters with a fleet growth of more than 60% over the next 20 years. This reflects in the growing demand for cross border time definite shipments DHL Express is experiencing. For this reasons DHL Express and Boeing also agreed options and purchase rights for four additional planes.
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