Airbus Survival – “Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury gave a dramatic warning to employees that heralds potentially deeper production cuts than initially planned. ‘The survival of Airbus is in question if we don’t act now,’ he wrote in a letter to staff sent on April 24. Airbus was ‘bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed,’ Faury said. ‘We must now act urgently to reduce our cash-out, restore our financial balance and, ultimately, to regain control of our destiny,'” Aviation Week reports.
Airlines Recovery – “The planemaker Airbus has warned that the aviation industry could take as long as five years to recover to the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic, as customers such as British Airways try to secure their survival by cutting thousands of jobs. The Airbus chief executive, Guillaume Faury, warned on Wednesday that it could take ‘three to five years’ for passengers to be as willing to fly as before the crisis,” The Guardian/Skift reports.
AirAsia – “AirAsia intends to take no new aircraft deliveries in 2020 and is relooking Airbus order, the carrier revealed on April 29, 2020. Two of the company’s carriers, AirAsia Malaysia and AirAsia X Malaysia, together have orders for 480 planes left unfilled with the European manufacturer. ‘We do not intend to take any new aircraft deliveries this year with the target to end 2020 with 242 aircraft, a net reduction of 1 aircraft from last year,’ Executive Chairman of AirAsia Group, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said in the company’s statement. ‘We are relooking at our orderbook with Airbus,'” Aerotime reports.
Air Cargo – “The International Air Transport Association (Iata) warned of an “immediate and severe” shortage in global air cargo capacity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Global air cargo demand fell 15.2 per cent in March, compared to the same month last year, while capacity shrank by nearly a quarter, Iata said in a statement on Wednesday. The coronavirus crisis has idled passenger planes, leading to a nearly 44 per cent cut in the belly hold capacity that carried air cargo. ‘At present, we don’t have enough capacity to meet the remaining demand for air cargo,’ Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general, said. ‘The gap must be addressed quickly because vital supplies must get to where they are needed most,'” The National reports.
Air India – “In light of current circumstances, the government of India has extended the deadline for bids for Air India. The new date, June 30th, gives potential bidders two more months to submit an offer for the state-run carrier. The government’s decision hardly comes as a surprise considering the current conditions. However, this could be the first of many extensions as companies and airlines deal with heavy financial losses. Many potential bidders for the airline, such as the Tata Group (majority owners of Vistara and AirAsia India) and Hinduja Group, will likely wait for their financial situations to improve before such a purchase,” Simple Flying reports.
South African Airways – “South African Airways seems to have reached the end of the line. Despite clinging on to life for the past few months, the airline is now just days away from either being wound down slowly or liquidated quickly, depending on the actions of its 4,700 employees. This would make way for a new national carrier, one which it is hoped will provide jobs for the many who are set to lose out with the closure of SAA,” Simple Flying reports.
Thailand Rescue – “Eight Thai carriers have sought a soft loan of around Bt25 billion ($771 million) from the Thai government, according to a 24 April Reuters report that cites a Thai AirAsia executive. Tassapon Bijleveld, the executive chairman of Thai AirAsia and its parent company Asia Aviation, added that the carriers seeking the loan are Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, NokScoot, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Thai Lion Air, Thai VietJet Air, and Thai Smile,” Cirium/Flight Global reports
BA Job Cuts – “British Airways (BA) today launched a consultation process likely to result in 12,000 layoffs among its 42,000 staff. The move was confirmed in a statement issued by the UK carrier’s parent group, IAG, which also owns Spain’s Iberia and Ireland’s Aer Lingus. The airline has requested talks with trade unions and it is unclear, for now, how many of the company’s approximately 4,500 pilots and 16,000 cabin crew might lose their jobs. Pilots union BALPA said it intends to oppose the proposed layoffs,” AIN reports.
UAE/Aviation – “The UAE airlines will lose $6.8 billion (Dh25 billion) in revenues due to the impact of impact of coronavirus, putting 378,678 jobs at risk, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) latest data released on Thursday. The figures are higher than IATA’s previous forecast released three weeks ago when it predicted $5.36 billion revenue loss and 287,863 jobs at stake in the UAE,” Khaleej Times reports.
RwandAir – “RwandAir has resumed cargo flights to Guangzhou, China, as the airline embarks on a recovery path following suspension of passenger flights in March to stop the spread of Covid-19. The airline has been operating cargo flights only to Brussels and London at least once a week using its A330 jets, and had suspended cargo flights to China in February,” The East African reports.
Middle East Aviation – “’Urgent’ help is needed to help airlines across the Middle East and North Africa, where many are ‘struggling to survive’ amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Muhammad Al Bakri, the regional vice president of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). On Thursday, IATA said that MENA airlines could lose $24 billion worth of passenger revenue compared to 2019 – approximately $5 billion more than it had forecast at the beginning of April,” Arabian Business reports.
Abu Dhabi Aviation – “Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, which will be the emirate’s second low-cost airline, plans to start operations by the fourth quarter this year, foreseeing no delays on its plans. The company said its strong cash position as well as a UK government-backed loan meant the group remained in a healthy position despite challenges faced by the industry after the COVID-19 pandemic brought travel to a complete halt,” Gulf News reports.
Etihad Airways – “Etihad has suspended all online sales for flights before June 16, the airline announced on Wednesday. Bookings are currently only being accepted for flights that are scheduled to depart after that date, although these bookings are subject to change,” Arabian Business reports.
Egypt/Aviation – “Egypt’s Nile Air on Sunday urged the government to buy stakes in private airline companies to help them survive the crisis caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. The North African country grounded flights on March 19 until further notice among a raft of measures to slow the spread of the respiratory disease. Private airlines appealed to the government last month to intervene to halt their losses,” Reuters/Ahram Online reports.
Singapore Airlines – “The worsening environment for aviation amid the Covid-19 pandemic has made it very difficult for airlines to tap debt capital markets, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has said, in explanation of the need for its proposed $15 billion debt and equity capital raising. It was responding to questions from the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), or Sias, in a Singapore Exchange statement on Friday evening, ahead of the April 30 extraordinary general meeting (EGM), when shareholders are to vote on the move,” Singapore Straits-Times reports.
Indonesia/Aviation – “In an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Indonesian authorities will prohibit both international and domestic air travel from tomorrow through to June 1st. Largely an Islamic country, this move coincides with the start of Ramadan – a time when Muslims travel to their hometowns,” SimpleFlying reports.
Thailand/Aviation – “Suvarnabhumi airport is set to resume its services on Friday when airlines restart flights following a month-long suspension over Covid-19 fears, airport general manager Suthirawat Suwanawat said. Wg Cdr Suthirawat said the number of foreign travellers had fallen considerably since the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand banned all international flights from landing in Thailand at the start of this month,” Bangkok Post reports.
Lion Air – “Thai Lion Air is reducing its workforce again amid the freezing of its business due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The airline informed its staff in a statement last week that almost 120 employees with less than a year’s experience would be let go on the understanding that they would be the first priority for recruitment in the future if business returns to normal,” Bangkok Post reports.
Etihad/Air Arabia – “Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the new joint venture between Etihad Airways and Air Arabia, secured its air operating licence, making it the UAE’s fifth national airline once it begins service from the capital. The new discount carrier, which was expected to start operations in the second quarter of 2020, is working with the UAE’s civil aviation regulator to finalise its launch date once market conditions improve and skies re-open, it said in a statement on Thursday,” The National reports.
Middle East Aviation Losses – “Air traffic in the Middle East and North Africa is set to plummet by more than half this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a global aviation body said on Thursday,” AFP/Jordan Times reports.
India/Aviation – “Airlines in India are likely to suffer a revenue loss of 11.2 billion dollars this year leading to 2.9 million jobs at risk as passenger demand falls by 47 per cent due to COVID-19 crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Friday. The latest estimates from IATA indicate a worsening of the country impact from coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions in the Asia Pacific region,” Business Standard reports.