Delta bypasses federal loan option – pledges loyalty program to raise US$9 billion

©Delta Air Lines

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines (Delta) has announced it is to raise US$9.0 billion, up from a previous estimate of US$6.5 billion, through a series of bonds and loans which will be backed by its SkyMiles loyalty program. The carrier is currently burning through US$27 million on a daily basis and the capital is being raised to help it weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic, with estimates of a return to normal air travel not happening for several years. Having announced earlier this week that Delta would not be looking to take up a federal loan of US$4.6 billion under Read more

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“Culture of concealment” and “repeated and serious failures” led to 737 MAX crashes

©Boeing 737 MAX

US congressional investigators have released a 239-page report on the 737-MAX crashes where it identifies both Boeing Co (Boeing) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for “repeated and serious failures”, together with a culture of “concealment” instigated by Boeing to withhold important information from the FAA. The report identified Boeing’s sense of urgency to launch the 737MAX to compete with the Airbus A320. “Our report lays out disturbing revelations about how Boeing – under pressure to compete with Airbus and deliver profits for Wall Street – escaped scrutiny from the FAA, withheld critical information from pilots and ultimately put planes Read more

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Strong words over EU states’ travel policies from easyJet CEO

EasyJet’s Chief Executive, Johan Lundgren, has demanded European governments focus on developing coherent air travel policies as opposed to shielding national carriers as carriers struggle to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lundgren was quite blunt in his criticism of varying restrictions and quarantine measures which he felt had contributed to the slump in air travel because of “tremendous confusion.” He added that “There needs to be a common approach when it comes to the things that have to do with testing (and) quarantine,” Lundgren said during the event hosted by Brussels-based industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E). Read more

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Lima Airport signs US$450 million financing for airside development

Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima ©AirTeamImages

Lima Airport Partners (LAP), which has been part of the Fraport Group since 2001, has signed a US$450 million financing agreement for its airside development program at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru. KfW IPEX-Bank, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria – are providing the loan. LAP’s airside development is of strategic importance, both for Lima Airport, and also for Peru and South America. Lima Airport is a major and popular hub airport for the South American market. The airside development comprises a new 65-meter-high air traffic control (ATC) tower, a Read more

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Colombia’s Avianca Airlines blocked from receiving US$370 million emergency loan

Avianca ©AirTeamImages

A three-judge Cundinamarca Administrative court has blocked a loan from the Colombian government to stricken Avianca Airlines (Avianca) in response to a citizen’s lawsuit filed by Jonathan Ruiz Tobon. Avianca, which is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. Cundinamarca is a department and administrative suburb of Bogotá. Little is known about Tobon, who filed the lawsuit blocking the loan on the grounds it was a threat to public resources and as the current bankruptcy proceedings are taking place in a foreign court, this jeopardizes the likelihood of the loan being repaid. The lawsuit also looked to force Read more

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Singapore Airlines becomes latest carrier to shed staff over COVID-related financial woes

©Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has announced that it is to pare back staffing levels by approximately 20%, shedding 4,300 jobs as it struggles to deal with the drop in demand for air travel as a consequence of the COVID-109 pandemic. Taking into account voluntary departure schemes, standard attrition and a freeze on recruitment, the actual number of staff who will lose their jobs is expected to be nearer the 2,400 mark. However, the Far-Eastern carrier offered a note of optimism that passenger levels could well return to 50% of pre-pandemic levels by year end, even though it is currently operating at 8% Read more

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More safety problems found with 787 Dreamliner – 900 jets may need inspecting


Boeing has announced the likely delay in deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner after confirming that it has identified three production flaws. This could be a major problem for Boeing as it has pinned its hopes on the Dreamliner as a source of cash revenue to offset the financial crisis originally created by safety problems with the 737 MAX and which has been exacerbated by the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The massive drop in demand for air travel has seen many carriers either cancel or postpone deliveries of the MAX. This year alone, allowing for conversion of MAX orders Read more

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Luis Gallego officially takes over the helm at IAG

Luis Gallego

International Airlines Group (IAG) has confirmed that Luis Gallego, the former chairman of Iberia, one of the Group’s carriers, has officially taken over from Willie Walsh as Chief Executive, effective Tuesday September 8, immediately after the Group’s Annual General Meeting. Commenting on his new position, Gallego said: “It’s an honour to become IAG’s chief executive, following in Willie’s footsteps and building on all that he has achieved in the past nine years. This is a hugely difficult time for our industry. Not only do we face the immediate challenge of COVID, but we must ensure that IAG is strong and Read more

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Norwegian pins hope on second round of funding as passenger numbers drop 91%

Norwegian ©AirTeamImages

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian), Norway’s flag-carrying airline, posted passenger numbers for August 2020 which reveal a 91% drop compared to the same period last year, 313,316 as opposed to 3.5 million, respectively, while the majority of its fleet remains grounded. Currently the airline has plans to operate between 25 and 30 of its planes, leaving the remaining 100 parked up, as a direct consequence of the fall in demand for air travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in May, creditors and lessors took control of the airline in order to instigate a rescue package which amounted to some 3 Read more

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Embraer to cut workforce as it deals with pandemic and Boeing U-turn

© Embraer

Embraer has announced it is to shed approximately 900 jobs, approximately 4.5% of its current workforce in a restructuring move. The Brazilian planemaker is struggling to deal with the dual setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic and Boeing’s cancellation of its deal with the commercial aviation arm of the company. Deliveries of commercial jets have fallen by 75% compared to this time last year. Embraer is also facing controversy as public investigators begin to look into alleged coercing of staff to accept voluntary redundancy. According to Reuters news agency, the metalworkers union in Sao Jose dos Campos, where Embraer is based, Read more

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