American Airlines uses COVID-19 disruption to retire vintage 737s and other jets

American Airlines Boeing 757-200 ©AirTeamImages

Having announced two weeks ago that it was to retire 34 Boeing 757s and 17 Boeing 767s, American Airlines has announced that with the dramatic downturn in world travel, it will now be retiring 76 Boeing 737s that the carrier acquired between 1999 and 2001. In addition, it will also be retiring nine Airbus and 20 Embraer E190s according to Reuters news agency. There is also the distinct possibility that a number of its 50-seat regional jets will also be retired. American Airlines sees this as an opportune moment to retire an additional number of jets with a view to Read more

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Virgin Atlantic and easyJet cabin staff to work in U.K. Nightingale COVID-19 hospitals

On the day that easyJet announced it has grounded all its aircraft, the U.K. government has announced that it will be inviting furloughed staff from both Virgin Atlantic and easyJet to take up non-clinical positions in five National Health Service (NHS) “field” or “Nightingale Hospitals” to be located throughout the U.K. including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff. The NHS Nightingale Hospitals are named in memory of Florence Nightingale, one of the very first female nurses who worked tirelessly among wounded soldiers in field hospitals during the Crimea War of 1853-1856 and who is seen as the founder of modern Read more

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Singapore Airlines rescued with US$13 billion funding package

©Singapore Airlines

The future of Singapore Airlines (SIA) amidst the COVID-19 outbreak looks assured with a successful rescue package being put in place, headed by state investor Temasek Holdings, amounting to SG$19 billion. The figure represents the largest aid package to date for any airline struggling with the dramatic decrease in air travel. The package comprises SG$5.3 billion in equity and up to SG$9.7 billion in convertible note portions, all of which will be underwritten by Temasek, which owns a 55% stake in SIA. According to Reuters news agency, SIA has also secured a SG$4.0 billion bridging loan from Singapore’s biggest lender, Read more

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Airbus adapts wing production amid COVID-19 outbreak

©Airbus Bremen

While securing business continuity, Airbus, the world’s largest planemaker, has been taking stringent measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its workforce during the current COVID-19 outbreak. On Monday, March 23, production resumed in Spain and France after four-day break for deep cleaning and re-evaluation of the situation, while operations in the U.K., U.S., and Germany continued at normal production rates. Having reviewed completed stock levels and assessed them against demand from the Final Assembly Line, the company has chosen to pare back on wing production at its plants in both the U.K. and Germany, a situation that will Read more

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FACC scraps dividend and reassess Croatia plans

FACC, owned by China’s Aviation Industry Corporation, is rapidly reassessing its €33 million (US$36 million) project to build an automated, digitized production complex in Croatia. In addition, the company has opted not to pay a dividend for last year. The situation has come about through the aviation industry’s reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak and, as a result, the company will also be reducing the working hours of many of its employees from April 6 for the next three months.  FACC is responsible for the manufacture of plane parts, predominantly wings, tail assemblies and fuselages as well as engines and cabin Read more

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Airbus to recommence production after four-day shut down, but at a slower pace

Airbus plants in France and Spain are to “partially resume” production after a four-day intermission while the overall effects of the COVID-19 were assessed in relation to working practices within the company, and to allow for deep cleaning of production lines. However, the work will be at a much slower rate and production practices have had to be altered to be compliant with “distancing” advice and regulations. The Airbus plants are responsible for producing parts critical to the operating procedures at other Airbus factories, including those in the U.K., Germany, China and the U.S. France’s CGT union was critical of Read more

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Boeing suspends dividends and CEO waives salary as planemaker seeks government loan

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Boeing has confirmed that to assist with its request for government aid to aid both itself and other manufacturers in the aerospace supply chain, it will suspend paying any dividends, the company CEO will forego his salary, and the current embargo on share buybacks will remain in place, indefinitely. Like many companies in the aerospace sector, Boeing has been badly hit by the widespread economic effect of the COVD-19 outbreak and government aid will be critical to the survival of many. Boeing has been especially hard hit as it has been dealing with the fallout from the grounding of the Read more

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Slump in share values threatens Boeing-Embraer deal

The coronavirus crisis has seen share values in the aerospace sector tumble drastically, and a combination of cash problems at Boeing and a huge drop in Embraer’s share value has left the 2017 deal for Boeing to acquire an 80% stake in the commercial arm of the Brazilian planemaker on a knife edge. The situation has not been helped by the fact that while Brazil’s anti-trust watchdog dismissed prosecutor’s objections to the deal, it has yet to win approval from the European Union. On Wednesday of this week, shares in Embraer fell 14%, giving it a market value in the Read more

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Boeing backs US Government’s offer of US$60 billion in aid for aerospace sector

With the devastating impact the coronavirus outbreak is having on the aerospace industry, Boeing, the world’s second-largest planemaker, has thrown its weight behind the governments financial support for the aerospace sector to the tune of US$60 billion. The financial lifeline may prove especially beneficial to Boeing which has been struggling, financially, since the grounding of the 737 MAX jet after two fatal crashes. “We appreciate the support of the president and the administration for the 2.5 million jobs and 17,000 suppliers that Boeing relies on to remain the number one U.S. exporter, and we look forward to working with the Read more

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Italian government looking to step in and rescue long-bankrupt Alitalia

Alitalia ©AirTeamImages

In a surprise move at a time when all travel to and from Italy has been banned, the Italian government has announced it is looking to re-nationalize Alitalia, the airline which filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and which, while still operating, has been losing an estimated €2 million per month. Since Alitalia went into administration, the Italian government is rumored to have courted investors including the state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato, infrastructure group Atlantia, European carriers EasyJet, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Wizz Air, Air France-KLM, and the U.S. legacy carrier Delta Airlines, none of which showed any interest. Currently the carrier Read more

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