Monday, August 5th, 2019

Chaos looms at Heathrow as 170+ flights canceled – 30,000 passengers already affected

While British Airways, whose main hub is London Heathrow Airport, is fighting to stave off an impending pilots’ strike, the carrier has been hit by impending strike action by Unite, the trade union representing security officers, firefighters and engineers at London Heathrow Airport.

Approximately 2,500 workers will miss their shifts during strike action due to take place on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 August and the airport has canceled in excess of 170 flights, despite the fact that last-minute talks were being held with Unite late on Sunday. Negotiations aimed at averting the industrial action had been held under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas, the same mediator acting in the dispute between British Airways and its pilots represented by the union BALPA.

The airport dispute centers on a pay offer of 7.3% over a period of two-and-a-half years. While there is still uncertainty which flights have been canceled, approximately 30,000 passengers will be directly affected, or 7% of departures and arrivals, with the airport averaging 220,000 passengers and 1,300 flights each day. Wayne King, Unite’s regional officer, said: “Heathrow faces a compensation bill in the region of £4.6m from airlines if the planned strikes go ahead. Rather than provoking the disruption that strike action will cause, we would urge Heathrow airport to use this money for an improved pay offer that better reflects the hard work of the workers who keep the airport running safely and smoothly.”

Heathrow Airport confirmed that contingency plans had been activated to keep the airport open on both strike days. “We expect security queue times to be slightly longer than normal and advise passengers to check our website for detailed information on how to prepare for their flights and when to arrive at the airport,” a spokesman said.

TP Aerospace

Delta reports operating performance for July 2019

Delta Air Lines has reported operating performance for July 2019. The company carried 19.4 million customers across its broad global network, including 700,094 passengers flown in a single day on July 8.

Total system traffic for July 2019 increased 5.2%, while total system capacity increased 3.5% compared to the previous year. Total system load factor for the month was up 1.4 points to 90%.


Aergo Capital sells one Airbus A330-300 to EMP

Aergo Capital has completed the sale of one 2017 Vintage Airbus A330-300 aircraft bearing manufacturers serial number 1779, to EMP Aviation Ireland.

The aircraft remains subject to a long-term operating lease with South African Airways. Fred Browne, Chief Executive Officer of Aergo, commented: We are delighted to have worked with EMP on such a successful transaction. This sale could not have happened but for a great collaborative effort from all parties involved.”

GA Telesis

ST Engineering’s Aerospace arm crosses new milestone in aircraft interior and seats business with STC

ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector has reached a new milestone in its aircraft interior business by successfully attaining a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for a cabin interior modification and refurbishment programme that involves the installation of its in-house designed economy class seat, SPACElite I. The programme was carried out on an A320 aircraft for a Cambodian airline, and is the first time that ST Engineering has retrofitted a cabin using seats of its proprietary design.

At just under 11kg, SPACElite I is among the lightest in its class. Apart from helping airlines to save fuel and operating cost, SPACElite I also incorporates features – such as an innovative articulating seat pan that allows for large shin clearance and lumbar cushion using suspension fabric for back support – to provide maximum space and comfort for passengers. The design, won the G Mark stamp of approval by Japan’s prestigious Good Design Award in 2018 and is certified to EASA Technical Standard Order including the latest Head Injury criterion.

BOC Aviation signs purchase-leaseback agreement with Qatar Airways for three A350 aircraft

BOC Aviation has signed a purchase-and-leaseback agreement with Qatar Airways for three new Airbus A350 twin-aisle aircraft. The aircraft are powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines. The three transactions are expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.

“Our relationship with Qatar Airways dates back 20 years to 1999, and we are very pleased to partner with our largest customer once again to support their fleet and network expansion plans,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, BOC Aviation.

EU demands France recover €8.5 million in illegal aid from Ryanair

The EU’s antitrust enforcer has demanded that Ryanair return €8.5 million (US$9.5 million) paid to the low-cost carrier in the form of illegal aid granted to the carrier at Montpellier Airport.

The aid was paid by the French Promotion of Touristic Economic Flows (APFTE) between 2010 and 2017 to Ryanair and its subsidiary AMS for promoting Montpellier and its surrounding area on the carrier’s website.

The European commission began its investigation into the payments subsequent to a complaint lodged by a rival airline. Ryanair served the airport in the south of France until April 2019.


CAE to train over 700 new pilots for Southwest Airlines’ Destination 225° program

CAE has launched a cadet pilot training program where CAE will train more than 700 new professional pilots over the next 10 years for Southwest Airlines’ Destination 225° program at CAE’s aviation academy in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Destination 225° will support Southwest Airlines by developing world-class pilots who are ready to fly ‘The Southwest Way’,” said Alan Kasher, Southwest Airlines’ Vice President of Flight Operations. “We’re proud to partner with CAE in this comprehensive pilot development mission designed to make a pathway to becoming a Southwest Pilot an attainable goal for passionate, qualified individuals. CAE is an experienced, global leader in pilot training programs, and we look forward to working together for years to come.”

Since 2002, CAE has been providing training equipment to Southwest Airlines in Dallas, where it currently operates more than 15 CAE Boeing 737NG full-flight simulators (FFS) including CAE’s 7000XR Series and more than 20 CAE flight training devices including, the latest XR Series suite. All devices are equipped with CAE Tropos™ 6000XR visual system and the latest Boeing 737 MAX FFS is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019 at Southwest Airlines’ training facility in Dallas.

DOT grants antitrust immunity for Delta-Air France-KLM-Virgin Atlantic joint venture

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has tentatively approved a request by Delta Air Lines, Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic to launch an expanded joint venture for all services between the United States and Europe. 

The expanded joint venture would replace two previously approved arrangements in the U.S.-United Kingdom and U.S.-continental Europe markets.  If granted final approval, the new joint venture will offer consumers the same benefits from the prior joint ventures, such as increased capacity and frequent flyer cooperation, as well as new benefits such as more options on European flights.

Magellan Group

COMAC’s fourth C919 prototype completes first test flight

Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) has announced that its fourth prototype of the C919 narrow-body twin-engine passenger jet has successfully completed its first test flight.

The plane took off from Shanghai and lasted 1 hour 25 minutes. COMAC is looking to challenge Airbus and Boeing with its home-grown commercial jet. The company confirmed that its fifth and sixth prototypes are scheduled for their maiden test flights later on this year, while the third prototype first flew in December 2018. COMAC is hoping to obtain type certification by the end of 2020, but certain analysts consider this an optimistic target considering that the C919 has flown very few hours since its maiden flight in 2017.

By August 2018 there were 305 firm orders and options for a further 45, mainly from Chinese carriers, including Air China and China Eastern Airlines. COMAC is aiming to capture 20% of the global narrow-body market and a third of the Chinese market and anticipates sales of 2,000 units over the next 20 years.

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) presents results for 2nd quarter 2019

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) has presented Group consolidated results for second quarter and six months to June 30, 2019.

Second quarter operating profit was €960 million before exceptional items (2018 pro forma1: €900 million, 2018 statutory: €816 million), Passenger unit revenue for the quarter was up 3.1%, non-fuel unit costs before exceptional items for the quarter was up 1.6% and fuel unit costs for the quarter was up 12.4%.

Net foreign exchange operating profit impact for the quarter was favourable €8 million and operating profit before exceptional items for the half year was €1,095 million (2018 pro forma1: €1,240 million, 2018 statutory: €1,735 million), down 11.7%. The Group reported cash of €8,031 million at June 30, 2019, up €1,757 million compared to December 31, 2018 and net debt to EBITDA decreased by 0.3 to 0.9 times. Profit after tax before exceptional items was €806 million up 0.4% (down 42.8% on a statutory basis), and adjusted earnings per share was up 4.3% on a pro forma basis.


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