Sunday, 9 May 2021

Schiphol the first major airport to switch to CT scans

Electronics and liquids can stay in bags

The opening of the new security filter on the mezzanine floor of Departures 1 means that all departure and transfer filters at Schiphol are now fitted with CT scans. This is a significant step forward in terms of service for travellers and safety at Schiphol.

A lot of work has been done over the past few years to replace the X-ray machines at the various security filters, with the first test being carried out back in 2015. Departures 1 has been renovated and is now fully operational and ready for summer 2021, with 21 security lanes equipped with CT scans. 

SAS carried nearly 320,000 passengers during April

In April, nearly 320,000 passengers flew with SAS, an increase of about 2% compared with March. While traffic and demand remain far below normal levels, they improved substantially compared with April last year when traffic was essentially at a standstill at the start of the pandemic. SAS is continuing to efficiently adapt its production to prevailing demand, which was reflected in an unchanged load factor compared with March.

“We have noted that willingness to book strongly correlates with vaccination levels and the relaxation of travel restrictions and that customers are continuing to book at short notice. There is undoubtedly a considerable pent-up need to travel, which we hope to meet as we are now approaching the important summer season. In the coming summer, SAS is flying to 100 destinations, which provides us with good preconditions to meet our customers’ travel needs,” says Karl Sandlund, Acting CEO of SAS.

Saab Receives Order for Future Development Support of Gripen

Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, to provide future development support for Gripen from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022. The total order value is SEK 998 million.

The order is an extension of an existing contract and enables the future development of Gripen for the Swedish Air Force and other Gripen users around the world. The contract includes the operating and support of test aircraft and advanced tools such as testing rigs and simulators. Test aircraft together with these advanced tools are used in the verification and validation of Gripen C/D and Gripen E fighter systems as Saab develops future new capabilities or enhancements. 

“Gripen is designed for continuous upgrades to take on and defeat new combat challenges – a design approach that we have already proven many times. To enable continued development in Gripen it is required that we have advanced tools in place that are easy to manage, quick to implement and affordable to sustain. This order invests in achieving all of these objectives so that Gripen will always be in the forefront, both for today and the future,” said Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area, Aeronautics.

The main part of the order concerns operations at Saab’s facilities in Sweden, in the towns of Linköping, Gothenburg, Järfälla, Arboga and Växjö. 

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London Gatwick Airport releases is quarterly information package to secured creditors – March 2021

London Gatwick Airport has released its quarterly information package to secured creditors this week which details how the airport believes traffic over the 6-months to end September 2021 is expected to be materially impacted by restrictions to travel as a result of Covid-19. Traffic forecasts have been set at around 8% of 2019 levels for Q2 2021 at which point passengers start to progressively build back to 50% of 2019 levels for Q3. This takes account BA’s recent decision to consolidate its short-haul flying programme at Heathrow until October 2021.

Cathay Pacific Cargo delivers medical supplies for India’s healthcare emergency......more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian and medical supplies to India

 In the face of a grave medical crisis, Cathay Pacific Cargo is flying vital relief shipments to India and it stands ready to do more.

Although passenger flights have been suspended between Hong Kong and India, in the past few weeks Cathay Pacific Cargo has been operating freighters and cargo-only passenger flights, delivering to date more than 100 tonnes of much-needed humanitarian and medical supplies to some of India’s major centres.

These include shipments of specialised oxygen generators, oxygen concentrators and ventilators to Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. In addition, there has been a sharp increase in volumes for shipments of oxygen, surgical masks, sanitiser, personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals and vaccines over the past few weeks.

Manchester Airports Group boss slates UK Government over opening up air travel

On Friday the UK Government announced a restart to international travel by lifting the ban from 17th May. Rather than welcoming the news that it would no longer be illegal to travel overseas for leisure purposes, the boss of the Manchester Airports Group - which owns East Midlands, Manchester and London Stansted airports, continued to attack the government.

Charlie Cornish said it was disappointing that "so few countries on the initial green list." of safe countries to visit and moaned that Grant Shapps the Transport Secretary "does not allow for a broader restart of international travel." 

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Powering purpose-driven goals to be a catalyst for change - Delta releases its environmental, social and governance report for 2020

The launch of Delta’s inaugural ESG report is a pivotal moment in the company’s commitment to being purpose-driven and highlights its intention to be a catalyst for global change, from its Board of Directors to its front-line employees. As a company that connects people with opportunity, Delta recognizes its role in growing empathy, respect and care for the planet and the people within it.

“Over the past year, we have taken on bold commitments to be a driver of change for diversity, equity & inclusion and environmental sustainability, within our industry and beyond,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s Chief Marketing & Communications Officer. “Neither of these come with an easy solution and will take time and resources to drive real impact, which is why we must be transparent about the progress we make.”

The 2020 ESG Report is a snapshot of Delta’s environmental, social and governance progress covering the period from January 1 to December 31 and takes a detailed look at important areas like health and safety, climate change, and human capital management, including diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as the governance framework we have in place with respect to each of them. The report was informed by the reporting standards of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, and future iterations of the report will continue to build on ESG content and analysis.

AerSale hits $58.4 million revenue in first quarter 2021.

AerSale Corporation has reported its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021, which demonstrated the aviation specialists had overall revenues of $58.4 million.   This includes $13.8 million of flight equipment sales consisting of one B737-800 airframe and two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines sold to three different freighter operators, and one Pratt & Whitney PW4000 sold for parts. 

AerSale serves airlines operating large jets manufactured by Boeing, Airbus and McDonnell Douglas and is dedicated to providing integrated aftermarket services and products designed to help aircraft owners and operators to realize significant savings in the operation, maintenance and monetization of their aircraft, engines, and components. 

Revenue performance continued to improve during the period, with near capacity MRO maintenance schedules, at capacity storage facilities, and contributions from select engine sales. Offsetting this strength was softer demand for USM parts from the continued effect of COVID-19 on AerSale’s commercial customers and the conclusion of three B747 lease programs that contributed to the prior-year results.

Nearly 81,000 passengers flew with Finnair in April.

In April, the Helsinki based carrier Finnair flew 80,900 passengers, 403.6% more than in April 2020. The number of passengers in April 2021 was 6.3% less than in March 2021 and the ongoing impact of the pandemic continued to be felt with exceptionally strict travel restrictions imposed by several countries, still affected all passenger traffic figures. It was visible especially in the North Atlantic and Asian figures. The overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) increased in April by 253.3% year-on-year but decreased by 2.6% month-on-month. Finnair operated 67 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average which was 123.3% more than in April 2020 but 8.1% less than in March 2021. The differences between capacity figures compared to April 2020 are explained by the longer average stage length of operated flights and by the larger gauge of operated aircraft. Finnair's traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) increased by 291.1% year-on-year and by 4.6% month-on-month. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased by 2.6% points to 26.4% year-on-year and by 1.8% points month-on-month.

New Zealand Air Force - Airbus NH90 helicopter works hard on all fronts and excels on all operational commitments

Intensive helicopter use: the NH90 enables the Royal New Zealand Air Force to meet a wide range of operational commitments......

The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) retired its fleet of UH-1H Iroquois in 2015 and now operates NH90s. The RNZAF was looking for a very versatile helicopter and that is exactly what it found with the TTH variant of the NH90. The eight aircraft purchased are being used today by No. 3 Squadron based in Ōhakea, on North Island. They are few in number, but their versatility enables them to handle a wide range of missions: from traditional military operations to support for different government agencies, including search and rescue as well as maritime operations, in the latter case with the NH90 embarked on the New Zealand Navy’s multi-role vessel, HMNZS Canterbury.

“No. 3 Squadron is quite unique in the range of roles it undertakes with one unit and one helicopter type,” says Air Commodore Shaun Sexton, Air Component Commander of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. “Therefore, broad utility and suitability for a wide range of environments was important. The RNZAF has found that the large NH90 cabin is suitable for its troop lift and cargo-carrying requirements and that the rear ramp can be useful in these roles. The full de-icing capability is useful when flying under instrument conditions during the New Zealand winter. The NH90 range and endurance, with its capacity to carry additional tanks both inside and outside the cabin, is also appreciated for its long-range over-water transit or when operating in remote regions without easy access to fuel. We have found the power and controllability advantageous when operating in New Zealand’s mountains, which can be very turbulent.”

Hong Kong celebrates the return contemporary art fair

Art Basel is officially scheduled to take place from 21 to 23 May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). More than 100 galleries from Asia, Europe and the Americas have confirmed their participation (Photo courtesy to Art Basel)

When event venues shut down globally during the pandemic, people flocked online in record numbers to satisfy their deep craving for art and culture. As the world cautiously looks to resume international travel and bring back events, it is fitting that art is a driving force to make this happen, with Hong Kong paving the way in the hope of safely staging large-scale events again.

In May, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) rolled out the ‘Arts in Hong Kong’ campaign to promote a series of major events, in both physical and digital format, organised by fair organisers and cultural institutions around town. It ensures that audiences can reconnect with art and the vitality of Hong Kong, whether here in person or abroad.

New nonstop service from New York-JFK to Dubrovnik will launch July 2 says Delta Air Lines

The American mega-carrier Delta Air Lines has confirmed it will be operating its first-ever service to Croatia this summer when it launches flights to Dubrovnik Airport in July.

The airline will operate a direct nonstop service from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Croatia’s Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) from 2nd July with the service running four times each week.

Croatia welcomes all travellers who are fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test or proof of recent COVID-19 recovery. The nation is among Europe’s most popular tourist getaways, offering rich history, stunning landscapes and plenty of outdoor excursions. 

“Customers are at the centre of everything we do, including where we fly, and the addition of a new outdoor-friendly destination is another sign of the surge in demand we’re seeing,” said Joe Esposito, S.V.P. – Network Planning. “More countries are easing restrictions for vaccinated travellers, and we’re ready to help reconnect people to their lives and loved ones.” 

Subscription changes

Very soon the team at Air101 will be moving our email feed subscription list from Feedburner to another supplier as Feedburner will cease to operate an emailing option for RSS feed subscriptions.  There will be no changes to the security of your email address, which we will never share, sell or disclose (unless compelled to by a judge in a UK court) but you'll be able to have more control of how often you get emails plus you'll notice it will look a lot better.....  

Air Canada reports operating losses of $1.049 billion in Q1 of 2021

The leading Canadian international airline,  Air Canada released its latest operating results for the first quarter of this year which proudly claimed the carrier only recorded earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of negative of $763 million.

The airline's operating revenues amounted to $729 million, a decline of $2.993 billion or 80 per cent from the first quarter of 2020.  Operating loss of $1.049 billion compared to an operating loss of $433 million in the same period last year. 

As the airline burns through cash at a rate of around $14 million a day, Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada said: "The persistence of COVID-19 and its resurgence in Canada are weighing heavily on the Canadian airline industry, as reflected in Air Canada's first-quarter results. Still, through the hard work and dedication of our employees, we are operating a limited schedule for necessary travel and to ship essential cargo. I thank our employees for their professionalism and assure them, as well as our investors and all stakeholders, that better times lie ahead for our airline," said 

"During the quarter, Air Canada's cash burn rate progressively improved, albeit moderately given the ongoing impact of the pandemic on advance ticket sales. Air Canada had almost $6.6 billion in liquidity at the quarter's end and we subsequently finalized a financial package with the Government of Canada (primarily comprised of repayable loans) to provide access of up to $5.9 billion more in liquidity. Beyond serving as a layer of insurance, this makes available, if required, the resources necessary to rebuild and compete in the post-pandemic world.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Revenue up 50% for IAG Cargo.............

Results represent an increase of 50 per cent on the same time in 2020 at constant currency.
Strong demand from automotive and e-commerce drives revenue increase.
Photo British Airways

Today IAG Cargo, the cargo arm of International Airlines Group (IAG) reports its Q1 financial results with cargo markets still impacted by the pandemic.

Revenues of €350 million were achieved from January 1 to 31 March 2021; an increase of 50 per cent at constant currency versus the same period last year. Overall yield for the quarter was also up 106 per cent at constant currency versus last year, while sold tonnes were down 20.9 per cent.

Following the continued reduction in passenger bellyhold air freight supply due to COVID-19, IAG Cargo reported another strong quarter. Working with the Group’s airlines, IAG Cargo continued to support customers with charter services and a scheduled cargo-only programme. Charter services supported the automotive and manufacturing sectors as supply chain disruption and increased demand resulted in a need for airfreight capacity. Charters also proved to be a popular solution for e-commerce customers as consumers continue to favour online shopping.

SWISS offers new private medical travel companion service

SWISS is further expanding its range of special assistance services for its customers. Under a new partnership with Medical Travel Companions, SWISS guests with special needs can now benefit from a personal companion and medical assistance service before, during or after their flight for a fee.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has teamed up with Medical Travel Companions to offer a new private concierge and assistance service for travellers with particular needs. The new option, which is available with immediate effect, offers a selection of individualized service packages which the SWISS customer can book along with their flight to meet their specific special requirements.

The new service will provide the traveller with a qualified companion such as a nurse, a paramedic or a physician, depending on the package chosen. The companion assigned will not only provide assistance in case of  medical needs: they will also support the traveller on request for desired services before, during and after their flight – in the present times, for example, by accompanying them to a PCR test.

“We are constantly seeking to develop further innovative products and services that will make our customers’ air travel an even better experience,” explains SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “And with this latest partnership, we can now offer our guests with particular needs additional support throughout the travel chain.”

The new service aims at a broad target group such as families with young children, senior citizens and passengers with reduced mobility or medical issues who need assistance during their journey or are seeking more travel autonomy on their trip. The fees for a medical travel companion depend on the services requested and range from around CHF 450 to CHF 2,900. Further details on the offer can be viewed on

Together with the Lufthansa Group airlines Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa, SWISS belongs to one of the only western airlines to offer this service.

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UK's Green list of countries and territories - from 17 May

UK Green list of countries and territories - from 17 May

Green listGreen watchlist - moves from or to amber or red list
AustraliaWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
BruneiWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
Falkland IslandsWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
Faroe IslandsWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
GibraltarWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
IcelandWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
Israel and JerusalemWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
New ZealandWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)Will move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
SingaporeWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
South Georgia and South Sandwich IslandsWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.
St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaWill move to green from the amber list at 4am, 17 May. If you arrive in England before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.

More information and guide

Two new summer routes from Gulf Air..... say hello to Santorini and Mykonos

The national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain - Gulf Air, has announced the addition of two new summer destinations to its global network.  The popular boutique airline will fly to Santorini from 2nd June and Mykonos from 3rd June.

Both Santorini and Mykonos will be served by the airline’s new Airbus A320neo with two weekly flights each until the end of September. The seasonal summer routes to the Greek islands will boost the airline’s network with popular boutique seaside destinations that are favourite to many tourists and families in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the region especially as demand for travel grows gradually towards the summer holidays with travel restrictions easing off in Europe.

Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Captain Waleed AlAlawi said: “We’ve researched and studied various destinations to add to our seasonal summer network and we’re excited to reveal Santorini and Mykonos as the new boutique additions. Reviewing potentials and listening to our customers’ feedback, we are confident that both Greek islands will provide the perfect experience for honeymooners, friends and families to spend their holidays. We will be flying to both these destinations for the first time in the history of Gulf Air and we will be the only airline in the region flying to Santorini.”

More job losses on the way at SWISS as airline restructures and reduces in size

There are more job losses on the way at the Zurich based SWISS as it undergoes a restructuring and reduction in size as a result of the pandemic.  The Lufthansa Group airline has announced a period of mass change is upon it as it looks to shore up the carrier and cut losses which will see the fleet be reduced by about 15%.

The airline is also shedding even more staff as a complete restructuring of the company now seems unavoidable.  SWISS says its fleet will be downsized from its 2019 extent by a projected 15%.  The airline will retire all Airbus A320 family aircraft, its medium-haul fleet will be reduced from 69 to 59 aircraft. With its long-haul fleet SWISS plans to reduce its fleet from 31 to 26 aircraft, by withdrawing five of its long-haul Airbuses.

UK Government says International leisure travel from England no longer illegal from 17 May 2021 but strict border control measures will remain in place.

Government confirms traffic light list ahead of cautious return to international travel

The UK's Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has today - Friday 7th May 2021 confirmed that international travel can safely start to reopen from 17th May, allowing people to go on foreign holidays to green list countries.

The ‘Stay in the UK’ regulation will lift on 17 May, meaning leisure travel from England will no longer be illegal. However, speaking at a No10 press conference this afternoon, the Transport Secretary outlined how strict border control measures will remain in place as international travel gradually resumes. Different levels of restriction will be applied to individuals returning to England from countries based on the traffic light system set out by the Global Travel Taskforce.

People are being guided on where they can safely visit without needing to quarantine on return to England – starting with the additions of Portugal including the Azores and Madeira, Israel and Jerusalem and Singapore among others to the ‘green list’. They will still need to take a pre-departure test up to 72 hours before their return travel, and a single PCR test on or before day 2 of arrival into England – this can be booked in the same way as is in place now, through private test providers.

  • UK government confirms international travel can gradually resume from 17 May, as 12 countries and territories are added to the ‘green list’
  • strict rules on testing and quarantine will remain in place to protect public health and our vaccination programme, while people should not travel to ‘amber’ and ‘red’ countries for leisure
  • International travel will be different as passengers are warned to expect additional checks and longer queues at the border

Air Lease Corporation took delivery of 10 aircraft during the first quarter, representing approximately $602 million.....First Quarter 2021 Results Released

The global aircraft leasing giant, Air Lease Corporation has released its latest results for the first quarter of 2021 showing a massive movement in operations and aircraft deliveries.  The company took delivery of 10 aircraft during the first three months of the year, ending 31st March, which represents approximately $602 million in aircraft investments. 

As of March 31, 2021, ALC owned 342 aircraft in its operating lease portfolio with a net book value of $20.8 billion, the average age of the aircraft was just 4.3 years and a weighted average lease term remaining of 6.9 years.  

ALC's total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2021 decreased by 7.1% to $474.8 million compared to last year. Despite the continued growth of the fleet, the revenues decreased in the first three months of 2021 compared to the first three months of 2020 as a result of the full quarter impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, which only partially impacted the first three months of 2020 when the pandemic was still in its early stages. 

John L. Plueger, Chief Executive Officer and President said: "We continued helping our customers through a difficult winter season in Q4 and Q1 and we are hopeful that the worst of the global pandemic is behind us. The world’s airlines need much more time for financial recovery, yet fleet renewal remains a top priority and we are heavily involved in this process. For Q1, we exceeded our aircraft investment expectations, and our operating cash flow increased modestly relative to last year’s pre-pandemic first quarter. We see accelerating domestic traffic recovery in multiple geographic regions, with expectations of improvement over the remainder of 2021 in regions still heavily impacted,"

Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of the Board commented: “Lease placements from our forward orderbook are tracking well, as airlines recognize that re-fleeting with the most environmentally friendly and fuel efficient aircraft is key to their long term prosperity and future. Lease financing is increasingly critical to airline fleet restructuring, and ALC's focus on new aircraft places us at the leading-edge of industry demand. We believe the recovery in the US and China are harbingers of what will occur globally as travel restrictions are relaxed and vaccines are more widely distributed,”

Financial Highlights



Three Months Ended
March 31,








$ change


% change















Income before taxes













Net income available to common stockholders













Adjusted net income before income taxes(1)













Diluted earnings per share













Adjusted diluted earnings per share before income taxes(1)













Cash flows from operations













Financial Ratios



Three Months Ended
March 31,








Pre-tax profit margin






Adjusted pre-tax profit margin(1)






Pre-tax return on common equity (trailing twelve months)






Adjusted pre-tax return on common equity(1) (trailing twelve months)








Adjusted net income before income taxes, adjusted diluted earnings per share before income taxes, adjusted pre-tax profit margin and adjusted pre-tax return on common equity have been adjusted to exclude the effects of certain non-cash items, one-time or non-recurring items, that are not expected to continue in the future and certain other items. See note 1 under the Consolidated Statements of Income included in this earnings release for a discussion of the non-GAAP measures and a reconciliation to their most comparable GAAP financial measures.

Flight Equipment Portfolio

ALC's owned fleet grew by 1.9% to a net book value of $20.8 billion as of March 31, 2021 compared to $20.4 billion as of December 31, 2020. As of March 31, 2021, the fleet was comprised of 342 aircraft in the operating lease portfolio, with a weighted-average age and a weighted-average remaining lease term of 4.3 years and 6.9 years, respectively, and 83 managed aircraft. As of March 31, 2021, ALC had a globally diversified customer base of 113 airlines in 59 countries.

During the quarter ended March 31, 2021, it took delivery of 10 aircraft from its order book. Approximately 73% of the net book value of its fleet were leased to flag carriers or airlines that have some form of governmental ownership.

ALC and airlines around the world have continued to experience delivery delays from Boeing and Airbus and have been impacted by ongoing manufacturer delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delays related to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, temporary suspension of Boeing 787 deliveries, and pre-pandemic Airbus delays that remain ongoing. These delays and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have also impacted passenger growth and airline profitability and the firm expects this to continue. As a result of continued manufacturing delays and the impact of COVID-19, ALC's aircraft delivery schedule could continue to be subject to material changes and delivery delays could potentially extend well into 2022 and beyond.

he following table summarizes the key portfolio metrics of our fleet as of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020:



March 31, 2021


December 31, 2020


Aggregate fleet net book value



20.8 billion



20.4 billion


Weighted-average fleet age(1)



4.3 years



4.1 years


Weighted-average remaining lease term(1)



6.9 years



6.9 years










Owned fleet








Managed fleet








Aircraft on order








Aircraft purchase options(2)
























Current fleet contracted rentals



13.4 billion



13.6 billion


Committed fleet rentals



13.4 billion



13.2 billion


Total committed rentals



26.8 billion



26.8 billion




Weighted-average fleet age and remaining lease term calculated based on net book value of our operating lease portfolio.



As of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, we had options to acquire up to 25 Airbus A220 aircraft.

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