Qatar renegotiates Airbus deliveries while negotiations with Boeing remain ongoing

©Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker has confirmed that the flag-carrying Gulf airline has successfully postponed delivery of Airbus jets it has on order with the world’s largest planemaker. The deal is yet another consequence of the downturn in demand for air travel owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have the ability to bring forward the deliveries if there is a rebound in air travel,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said of the Airbus deal at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit. However, he has failed to reach a similar agreement with America’s Boeing. “As far as Boeing is concerned, we Read more

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Turkish Airlines Pilots agree to 50% pay cut

©Turkish Airlines

To cope with the financial devastation caused to airlines by the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has helped broker a deal between trade unions and Turkish Airlines pilots, together with additional workers, that will see wages cut for the coming year by up to 50%. The Hava-Is union represents approximately 75% of the 30,000 Turkish Airlines employees. In the second quarter of the year the flag-carrying airline posted a US$303 million loss, with passenger numbers declining by 61%. Unlike most carriers, worldwide, Turkish Airlines has not looked to the government for a financial bailout or massive job cuts. Read more

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IATA releases data for global air freight markets in July, showing stable air cargo demand

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets in July showing air cargo demand is stable but at lower levels than 2019. While there is some month-to-month improvement, it is at a slower pace than some of the traditional leading indicators would suggest. This is due to the capacity constraint from the loss of available belly cargo space as passenger aircraft remain parked.   Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell by 13.5% in July (-15.5% for international operations) compared to the previous year. That is a modest improvement from the 16.6% year-on-year Read more

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Boeing woes mount as eight 787 Dreamliners grounded over structural defects creating risk of failure

Singapore Airlines is one of the affected carriers by the latest grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliners ©AirTeamImages

Boeing has been forced to ground eight of its 787 Dreamliner jets after the discovery of two manufacturing flaws which could severely compromise the structural integrity of the aircraft. The problems in question relate to the composite barrel sections at the rear of the 787. These sections are melded together at the South Carolina Boeing plant, which has previously suffered lapses in quality, including the 2015 case where Boeing was fined US$12 million. “We are taking the appropriate steps to resolve these issues and prevent them from happening again,” Boeing said by email. The company said it has “fully briefed” Read more

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EASA to begin flight tests on September 7 for the updated Boeing 737 MAX

©Boeing 737 MAX

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has announced that it is to begin flight tests on the updated Boeing 737 MAX in Vancouver, Canada, on September 7. The move comes two months after both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had completed certification flight tests. According to the EASA, “While Boeing still has some final actions to close off, EASA judges the overall maturity of the re-design process is now sufficient to proceed to flight tests.” The European agency has worked closely with Boeing and the FAA, but progress in getting the troubled aircraft back in the sky Read more

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Vertical Aerospace unveils designs for pioneering ‘flying taxis’

©Vertical Aerospace's ‘flying taxi’ VA-1X

Vertical Aerospace, the Bristol-based company pioneering affordable electric aviation, has announced plans for a revolutionary ‘flying taxi’, the VA-1X. Capable of carrying up to five people (four passengers and a pilot), the VA-1X is set to be the world’s first certified winged all-electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and is on course to start commercial flights in 2024. Build will begin shortly, with manufacturing taking place in the U.K. VA-1X will boast cruise speeds of 150 mph with a useable range of up to 100 miles, meaning passengers could travel from London to Brighton in approximately half an hour, Read more

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American Airlines to shed 19,000 jobs and Delta furlough 1,900 pilots in October

American Airlines has announced that unless there is further governmental aid provided, when the current government stimulus runs out at the end of September, it will be foced to shed 19,000 of its March 140,000-strong workforce. By the end of October, taking into account voluntary exits and retirments, staffing levels at American Airlines will shrink to around 100,000, an overall drop of 40,000 jobs. ‘In short, American’s team will have at least 40,000 fewer people working October 1 than we had when we entered this pandemic,’ Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a memo reported by Read more

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Gulfstream’s latest service center opens at Palm Beach International Airport

Gulfstream, Jet Aviation Palm Beach, Fl.

Gulfstream Aerospace (Gulfstream) has announced that its new company-owned service center in Palm Beach, Florida, is now open. The center is being shared with Jet Aviation, both of whom will have their own hangars but who will share office space. “Gulfstream has had a presence in Palm Beach for almost 20 years with the capability to accommodate all Gulfstream models,” said Derek Zimmerman, president, Gulfstream Customer Support. “We are excited to open a state-of-the-art facility that will offer world-class service to a greater number of Gulfstream aircraft simultaneously. The Palm Beach service center is well-positioned to support customers in domestic Read more

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Qantas posts massive AU$1.964 billion annual loss as virus now hits domestic Australian travel

©Qantas

Qantas has posted a full-year net loss of AU$1.964 billion for the financial year ended June 30. One of its largest ever losses, this one has been driven by impairment charges and restructuring costs intended to shore up the company during the pandemic. Alan Joyce, Qantas CE, confirmed that the carrier was operating among the worst conditions ever encountered and that there needs to be a national framework established for domestic flights. He was in full agreement with the necessity for the shut down of the State of Victoria, but failed to see the benefit of shutting down travel between Read more

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Boeing to extend voluntary redundancy package

©Boeing

Having previously announced a target of a 10% in its 160,000-strong workforce, Boeing has announced that it is looking to extend its voluntary redundancy package, though unusually it has not put a ceiling on the number of additional employees it is looking to shed. This second round of cuts is not restricted solely to the commercial airplanes and services sector, but will include corporate functions according to current CEO, Dave Calhoun. “Unfortunately, layoffs are a hard but necessary step to align to our new reality, preserve liquidity and position ourselves for the eventual return to growth,” Calhoun said in the Read more

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