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Monday, July 24th, 2021

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IATA slams EU slot decision as “out of touch with reality”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has condemned the latest announcement form the European Commission (EC) which has set the winter slot threshold at 50%, claiming that the EC is totally “out of touch with reality”. IATA has immediately argued that the EC has ignored not just advice, but also evidence that has been presented to it by EU member states and the airline industry itself which had presented a strong case for a much lower slot use threshold.  

IATA reckons that international travel will recover to 34% of its pre-pandemic level by the end of 2021. Winter demand is always traditionally below that of summer demand. Worse still, current demand for long-haul flight stands at just 20%. Finally, while more people are now vaccinated against the coronavirus, there is still a great deal of hesitancy and changing of travel rules and regulations from various governments, making it virtually impossible for airlines to operate at optimum levels. The announcement from the EC means that from November 2021 through to April 2022, airlines must now use a minimum of 50% of their currently held slots, or lose them. To compound the issue, the EC has suspended the “force majeure” rule which suspends the slot rule in the event of exceptional pandemic-related circumstances.

“Once again the Commission has shown they are out of touch with reality. The airline industry is still facing the worst crisis in its history. The Commission had an open goal to use the slots regulation to promote a sustainable recovery for airlines, but they missed. Instead, they have shown contempt for the industry, and for the many member states that repeatedly urged a more flexible solution, by stubbornly pursuing a policy that is contrary to all the evidence presented to them,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

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Collins Aerospace to install suite of ARINC airport solutions at Philippines’ Clark International Airport

Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga, Philippines, has selected a suite of Collins Aerospace ARINC airport solutions to help provide a seamless passenger experience for the increased number of travelers expected to pass through the airport following its 2021 expansion.

CRK selected a suite of ARINC passenger processing and airport operation solutions to move passenger flow through its new Terminal Two while helping to keep airport data optimized and secure.

“Clark International Airport was looking for a vendor to support the airport’s expansion plans with three key areas of consideration — timeline for delivery, technical capabilities, and a dedicated and experienced local support team,” said Kit Su Lee, Asia-Pacific Regional Head of Operations for Collins Aerospace’s Information Management Services business. “We were able to build a custom package for the airport that not only meets that criteria but will also create a more enjoyable travel experience for customers and improve CRK’s capacity and efficiency.”

Wright International and Flair Airlines announce maintenance partnership

Wright International, a subsidiary of FL Technics, and Flair Airlines has announced the start of a partnership, covering line maintenance services for the fleet of 13 Boeing B737 MAX 8 aircraft at Toronto Pearson Airport and the region of Waterloo International Airport. The services will include transit and overnight services as well as A checks in dedicated hangar space.

This is an important milestone for both companies, securing long-term partnership in a strategic expansion plan and ensuring rapid development of operations in North America. The contract represents the mutual approach and values of both companies, with a focus on efficiency and quality.

Flair currently operates in 20 Canadian cities and is expanding to the U.S. market this fall. Such ambitious growth requires dependable and efficient line maintenance support and Wright International is leveraging necessary own- as well as group’s expertise in servicing airline carriers worldwide.

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Ryanair posts first quarter net loss of €273 million

COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc on Ryanair's business during the first quarter of 2021, with most Easter flights cancelled and a slower than expected easing of EU Govt. travel restrictions into May and June.  Significant uncertainty around travel green lists (particularly in the U.K.) and extreme Govt. caution in Ireland meant that first-quarter bookings were close-in and at low fares.  The July 1, rollout of EU Digital COVID Certificates (DCC) and the scrapping of quarantine for vaccinated arrivals to the U.K. from mid-July has seen a surge in bookings over recent weeks.  Pricing remains below pre COVID-19 levels.

First quarter scheduled revenue increased 91% to €192 million due to a rise in traffic from 0.5 million to 8.1million (at a 73% load factor). While traffic recovered significantly (compared to the prior year's first quarter), the cancellation of Easter traffic and the delayed relaxation of Govt. travel restrictions across the EU into May and June required significant price stimulation. Ancillary revenue performed well, generating approx. €22 per passenger, as more guests choose priority boarding and reserved seating. As a result, total revenue increased by almost 200% to over €370 million. Ryanair reported first-quarter net loss of €273 million, compared to €185 million in the first quarter of 2020.

A sevenfold increase in sectors saw operating costs increase 116% to €675 million, driven primarily by variable costs such as fuel, airport and handling and route charges. The Group’s fuel requirements are just under 60% hedged for FY22 at US$565 per metric ton and approx. 35% hedged for FY23 at US$600. Carbon credits are fully hedged for FY22 and approx. 35% hedged for FY23 at under €24 per EUA (compared to forward rates of over €50).

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Eurowings Discover inaugural flight takes off

Lufthansa Group's newest airline Eurowings Discover left Frankfurt Airport on July 24, departing on its inaugural flight (4Y134). Operated by an Airbus 330-200 aircraft, passengers traveled from Frankfurt to Mombasa and, after a stopover of about one hour, continued onward to Zanzibar.

The Lufthansa Group's new leisure airline has been granted its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by the German Federal Aviation Authority on June 16 this year and will be commencing flight operations this summer as planned under the airline’s own flight code “4Y”.

The aircraft has a total of 270 seats, 22 of which are in Business Class (lie-flat seats). Over the next few months, all Eurowings Discover aircraft will gradually become equipped with up to 31 Premium Economy Class seats. 

In addition to the sunny destinations Mombasa and Zanzibar, Eurowings Discover will be flying to Punta Cana from August 9 and to Windhoek from August 10. On September 30, the airline will start operating from Frankfurt to Las Vegas and from October 1 to the dream island of Mauritius. Bridgetown (November 1), Cancún (November 1), Varadero (November 2) and Montego Bay (November 3) will also be added in the winter flight schedule.

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Aero Controls completes re-certification of AS9100D Quality Management System

Aero Controls have completed the recertification of its AS9100D quality management system – requirements for aviation, space and defense organizations certification utilizing Det Norske Veritas Certification. The adoption of AS9100D has been a key commitment to continuous quality improvement for all levels of employees and management within Aero Controls in our continuing support of our aerospace and defense customers.

The AS9100 quality management system is based on the widely used ISO 9001 standard, with additional requirements that are specific to the aerospace and defense industry. AS9100D, the latest revision of the standard, incorporates the entire ISO 9001:2015 requirements and adds numerous requirements for the aviation, space, and defense industries, including direct senior management involvement, requirements related to quality, safety, counterfeit parts prevention, risk management, and on-time delivery.
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