British Airways seeks high court injunction to stop threatened August pilots’ strike

©British Airways

British Airways (BA) is seeking a high court injunction to stop a potential pilots’ strike with a hearing due in the high court on Tuesday morning. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has rejected a pay offer for BA pilots of 11.5% set over three years, despite Unite and GMB trade unions acting for BA in other roles recommending its acceptance. 93% of the carrier’s 4,000 pilots voted in favor of strike action which has been penciled in to commence August 7, peak summer holiday period for travelers. Legally, BALPA must give BA at least two weeks’ notice of any Read more

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BA and Lufthansa cancel flights to Cairo, Egypt

©British Airways

British Airways announced on Saturday that it was canceling all flights to Cairo with immediate effect for a period of seven days “as a precaution to allow for further assessment.” The U.K.’s Foreign Office has warned travelers to Egypt that “There’s a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation. Additional security measures are in place for flights departing from Egypt to the U.K.” Though no further and more specific reasons were given for the flight cancelations, Lufthansa, which operates flights from Cairo to Munich and Frankfurt, said it was also suspending flights until Sunday, citing “an unclear security situation”. On Friday, Read more

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easyJet Q2 2019 results in line with expectations

©easyJet

easyJet has released its financial results for the first financial half to 31 March 2019.  Passenger numbers increased by 4.9 million while capacity increased by 14.5% principally due to annualizing of new operations in Berlin. Load factor decreased by 1.0 percentage points to 90.1% mainly as a result of building loads in Berlin in the first quarter. Total revenue increased by 7.3% to £2,343 million (H1 2018: £2,183 million). Total revenue per seat decreased by 6.3% to £50.71 (H1 2018: £54.10), with a decrease of 7.4% at constant currency. Headline cost per seat increased by 3.9% to £56.66 (H1 2018: Read more

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IATA urges European governments and ANSPs to make improvements to air traffic management

© IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on European governments and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to make urgent improvements to European air traffic management. The priority should be to cut carbon emissions and address the unnecessary costs and flight delays suffered by passengers from inefficient airspace routes and bottlenecks.  According to Eurocontrol, in June more than 210,000 flights, 20% of the total, were delayed. The average delay time was 17 minutes. The vast majority of the delays are from a lack of air traffic control capacity, driven by inadequate staffing, inflexible rostering, and an inability to react to disruptive Read more

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Ryanair’s growth plans for 2020 halved due to 737 MAX delays

©Ryanair

Low-cost Irish carrier Ryanair has announced it is halving its growth plans for 2020 as a consequence of the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX jet. As one of Boeings largest customers, Ryanair was anticipating having 58 of the single-aisle jets delivered and operational by summer next year. However, in a statement by company CEO Michael O’Leary, Ryanair anticipates that deliveries of the jet, grounded since March after a second fatal air crash, would be unlikely to recommence before December. As the carrier can only process five to six new aircraft per month and does not accept deliveries during the Read more

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Pegasus Universal Aerospace names Robbie Irons as CEO

Robbie Irons

South Africa’s Pegasus Universal Aerospace, pioneer of the Vertical Business Jet (VBJ®) Pegasus One, has named Robbie Irons as its Chief Executive Officer. In this new role, he will help lead product development and lend strategic support to Founder and Chairman Dr Reza Mia as the business seeks to secure investment.  Robbie Irons brings decades of solid international aviation experience to the Johannesburg, SA-based start-up, spanning senior roles previously with ExecuJet in Lanseria in both business development and aircraft sales.  He took responsibility for the firm’s aircraft sales activity in Africa in 2009.  “As general aviation evolves, I am excited Read more

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American Airlines follows United’s lead – 737 MAX flights now axed from both schedules through to November

©AirTeamImages

Having previously cut the Boeing 737 MAX from its schedule until September 3, United Airlines (United) announced on Friday it has now removed the grounded jet from its operational schedule up until November 3, a month longer than several other North American carriers whose fleets include the troubled jet. “United has gone to great lengths to minimize the impact on our customers’ travel plans,” the airline commented. “We’ve used spare aircraft and other creative solutions to help our customers, who had been scheduled to travel on one of our MAX aircraft, get where they are going.” When the grounding first Read more

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China’s Fosun considers US$940 million bailout of ailing Thomas Cook

Condor flying for Thomas Cook ©

Having announced back in June that China’s Fosun Travel Group, part of Fosun International Ltd. (Fosun), had expressed an interest in acquiring the U.K.’s Thomas Cook Group Plc. (Thomas Cook), the world’s oldest travel agency, it has now been confirmed that Fosun, a drugs-to-insurance conglomerate owned by billionaire entrepreneur Guo Guangchang may consider providing the debt-strapped business a £750 million (US$940 million) bailout. While Thomas Cook’s bond rallied with the news, its share price fell. The deal will see shares diluted as the deal will involve swapping debt for equity and the issuing of new shares, while Thomas Cook will Read more

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Airbus set to become world’s biggest planemaker as Boeing deliveries slump by 37%

©Airbus

The combination of Airbus deliveries increasing 28% for the first half of 2019 and Boeing deliveries falling 38% for the same period will likely see Airbus take over the crown of the world’s biggest plane maker by the end of the year, reversing the trend of the past eight years. Boeings reversal of fortune rests predominantly on the grounding of the 737 MAX jet after the fatal Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes with the likelihood that any further deliveries will not take place until December. According to Reuters news agency, for the first six months of the year Airbus Read more

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Virgin Galactic to go public after merger with SCH

VSS Unity Rockets to space on historic first spaceflight ©Virgin Galactic

In a move that will bring in substantial investment at an optimum time, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is to merge with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp (SCH), a special purpose acquisitions company. SCH will hold a 49% stake in the company while Virgin Galactic will retain a 51% stake and the new company plans a stock market listing for the end of the year, making it the first space tourism company to turn to public markets for funding. The company is expected to have a pro forma enterprise value of US$1.5 billion and the majority of investment capital raised Read more

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