Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Hurricane Zeta travel alert from American Airlines


American Airlines continues to monitor Hurricane Zeta, which is expected to make landfall tonight on the U.S. Gulf Coast as a Category 1 or 2 storm, hitting several communities the airline serves, including airports in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. The safety of customers and team members are the airline’s number one priority, and the team will remain in contact with those impacted by this devastating storm.

American has issued a travel alert for nine coastal airports, allowing customers whose travel plans are impacted by Hurricane Zeta to rebook without change fees. Customers can reschedule their travel on aa.com or by contacting Reservations at 800-433-7300 in the U.S. or Canada. If a customer chooses not to fly to/from an airport covered by the current waiver, American will waive change fees for future travel. Customers are also encouraged to check the status of their flight on aa.com.

If an American flight has been canceled or excessively delayed, customers may cancel their itinerary and request a refund by visiting our website. Customers who booked through a travel agent should contact their travel agency directly.

In order to assist customers who have chosen to evacuate via air, American added reduced, last-minute fares for the cities coastal cities that are expected to be impacted by this storm.





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Finnair picks Airpro and Aviator Finland as ground handlers at Helsinki Airport


Finnair has reached an agreement with Airpro and Aviator Finland on ground handling services at Helsinki Airport. In the future, the new partners will operate Finnair’s ramp services such as luggage handling at Helsinki Airport. Finnair’s current partner Swissport Finland has terminated their ground handling contract with Finnair as of March 31, 2021. 

“The new partnerships will bring us the flexibility that we need as we gradually increase flying. It is estimated that it takes commercial aviation 2-3 years to recover from the covid-19 pandemic’s impacts.” says Jukka Glader, VP Ground Operations at Finnair. 

“We are extremely thrilled to begin cooperation with Finnair at Helsinki Airport in addition to the regional airports. Finnair is already an important customer and partner for us, and I believe that this cooperation will build a good path for both of us toward the post-pandemic world.” says Janne Hattula, Managing Director, Airpro.  

“Operational flexibility is a key success factor in today’s market situation. Our partnership with Finnair is based on close co-operation to anticipate future changes which is the basis for efficient operations. It is great to be able to be Finnair’s partner as they again start to increase flying.” says Jukka-Pekka Kujala, Managing Director, Aviator Finland.  

Finnair’s customer services at the check-in, departure gates and arrival services at Helsinki Airport will continue to be operated by Finnair’s own customer service personnel.  





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JetBlue to start Service to Georgetown, Guyana on 11th December


One of the most respected budget carriers in the U.S. JetBlue has announced a revised launch timeline for new nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Georgetown, Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO). Flights will initially operate up to four times weekly on JetBlue’s new Airbus A321neo aircraft beginning December 11, 2020, with seats available for purchase starting today.

“JetBlue is a leading airline in Latin America and the Caribbean and we remain committed to expanding our route map to Guyana as demand returns and border restrictions ease across the region,” said Andrea Lusso, vice president route planning. “Guyana service introduces a diverse and underserved destination to the JetBlue route map and a very important one for New York City. Our nonstop service will benefit a variety of travellers – especially those visiting friends and relatives – and provide our industry-leading experience to travellers this holiday season.”

Canadian airline WestJet is all set to open flagship lounge at Calgary International Airport on November 2nd


Boasting more than 9,300 square feet of premium space with panoramic views and Canadian-inspired details, the WestJet Elevation Lounge blends contemporary design with refined mountain living inspired by Canada's diverse landscape. The flagship space was designed in collaboration with global architecture and design firm Gensler to carefully consider the needs and safety of guests and frequent travellers. 

"The opening of the WestJet Elevation Lounge is a pivotal moment for our business and demonstrates our commitment to delivering world-class experiences both on the ground and in the air," said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. "It was only fitting to open this flagship space within our home hub in Calgary. The lounge will provide our top-tier WestJet Rewards members and business cabin travellers with a safe and comfortable place to rest, rejuvenate and work when visiting YYC."

Working in partnership with The Calgary Airport Authority, the Elevation Lounge will open to the public on November 2, 2020 and is conveniently located at Concourse B of the Domestic Terminal and is accessible to guests departing from Concourses A, B and C, as well as Concourse D of the International Terminal (when accessed from security checkpoint B or C).

"The WestJet Elevation Lounge is a global first and we are excited and proud that YYC Calgary International Airport is its home. WestJet is YYC's biggest airline—by seats, by departures and by destinations served. Having the flagship WestJet Elevation Lounge here in Calgary means our mutual guests will have a new premium travel experience with great local amenities at the highest health and safety standards," said Rob Palmer, Vice President of Commercial, Strategy & Chief Financial Officer, The Calgary Airport Authority.

Airlines Unable to Cut Costs Deep Enough to Save Jobs


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) presented new analysis showing that the airline industry cannot slash costs sufficiently to neutralize severe cash burn to avoid bankruptcies and preserve jobs in 2021. IATA reiterated its call for government relief measures to sustain airlines financially and avoid massive employment terminations. IATA also called for pre-flight COVID-19 testing to open borders and enable travel without quarantine.

Total industry revenues in 2021 are expected to be down 46% compared to the 2019 figure of $838 billion. The previous analysis was for 2021 revenues to be down around 29% compared to 2019. This was based on expectations for a demand recovery commencing in the fourth quarter of 2020. Recovery has been delayed however, owing to new COVID-19 outbreaks, and government mandated travel restrictions including border closings and quarantine measures. IATA expects full year 2020 traffic to be down 66% compared to 2019, with December demand down 68%. 

Experts Agree – Airline Cleaning and Safety Measures Combat the Spread of COVID-19

For months, American Airlines has cared for customers through the airline’s Clean Commitment, a multi-faceted approach including face-covering requirements, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures and partnerships with leading health and safety institutions for guidance on health matters.

Passengers can continue to enjoy air travel with peace of mind, thanks to a study issued today by Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health that found that a robust, multi-layered strategy can effectively reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during air travel. The study also found that the universal use of face coverings is the most essential part of a comprehensive set of measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission while traveling by air. The study also noted that to-date, the CDC has not confirmed a single case of viral transmission on a U.S. plane.

US budget airline JetBlue releases its latest results.....



JetBlue Airways Corporation has reported its results for the third quarter of 2020 this week which shows a GAAP pre-tax loss of ($578) million in the third quarter of 2020, compared to a pre-tax income of $254 million in the third quarter of 2019. Excluding one-time items, adjusted pre-tax loss of ($690) million in the third quarter of 2020 versus adjusted pre-tax income of $239 million in the third quarter of 2019.
 

Operational Highlights from the Third Quarter

Third quarter 2020 revenue declined 76% year over year as a result of the impact of COVID-19. The decline is better than our initial planning assumption for the quarter of 80%, as a result improving leisure and visiting friends and relatives (“VFR”) travel trends throughout the quarter.

Reduced third quarter 2020 capacity by 58% year over year compared to an initial planning assumption of a decrease of at least 45%, as a result of actions taken to manage cash burn and protect liquidity.

Operating expenses declined 45% year over year. Excluding special items, adjusted operating expenses(1) declined 39% year over year. We successfully reduced our third quarter expenses by taking capacity actions to reduce variable costs and reducing fixed costs by adjusting work schedules and eliminating discretionary spend.
Balance Sheet and Liquidity

First A321P2F enters into service with Qantas for Australia Post


Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the joint venture created by Airbus and ST Engineering has achieved key milestones in the A321 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion programme with the delivery and entry-into-service on 2th October of the first converted aircraft to Qantas. This new P2F version is being leased by aircraft asset manager Vallair to Qantas, to operate services on behalf of Australia Post. Last month, following its flight tests, the newly completed aircraft had been delivered by EFW to Vallair.

These milestones mark the completion and ‘birth’ of the world’s first A321 converted freighter. EFW had received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the A321P2F from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in February this year, and the Validation STC from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in July. Operator-specific enhancements were subsequently incorporated into the freighter and certified prior to its delivery from EFW to Vallair.

Harvard study: Flying presents lower risk of COVID-19 than grocery shopping, dining out

A new gate-to-gate study by scientists from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health is the most comprehensive research to date to conclude that the layered approach U.S. airlines, including Delta, have taken to protect customers and employees from COVID-19 means the risk of exposure during air travel is very low.

To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not confirmed a single case of COVID-19 transmission on a U.S. aeroplane.

Delta boarding

“The risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard aircraft [is] below that of other routine activities during the pandemic, such as grocery shopping or eating out,” the Harvard researchers concluded. “Implementing these layered risk mitigation strategies…requires passenger and airline compliance [but] will help to ensure that air travel is as safe or substantially safer than the routine activities people undertake during these times.”

The report concludes that the universal use of face masks, diligent cleaning protocols and advanced ventilation and filtration systems offer significant protection against COVID-19, lowering the risk of transmission on an aircraft to minimal levels. 

airBaltic kicks off winter schedule


The winter schedule of Latvian airline airBaltic is now in force and during this season, the carrier plans to connect Riga with 40 destinations across its network, offering flights to major European business hubs and a small selection of leisure and skiing destinations.

The planned winter schedule includes such skiing destinations as Kittila, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Zurich, Geneva, Milan and Verona among others.

In addition, if the epidemiological situation will enable such flights, the airline will connect Riga with a selection of sunny leisure destinations such as Larnaca or Rome.

Currently airBaltic performs direct flights from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius to various European business hubs and popular leisure destinations. A complete schedule of airBaltic flights can be found on the company's homepage at www.airbaltic.com.

The Ecuadorian Air Force takes delivery of their first two H145s


Airbus Helicopters has delivered two H145s to the Ecuadorian Air Force, the first military customer in South America for this multi-purpose twin-engine helicopter. A total of six H145s will be delivered over the next year. The H145 helicopters, known as “Cobra” in the Ecuadorian Air Force, will be assigned to the 22nd Combat Wing in Guayaquil. The contract includes training for 12 pilots and 15 technicians, as part of an in-country operational training programme.

"We are very happy to have new advanced technology equipment to help face our country’s operational challenges, where high-performance helicopters are needed to fly in the Andes at up to 6,000 metres (20,000 feet), in the jungle or on the coast," said Colonel Franck Cevallos, commander of the 22nd Wing of the Ecuadorian Air Force. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Titan Airways take delivery of a new Airbus A321-200neo

Photo Tobias Gudat


Aircraft leasing firm Air Lease Corporation has delivered one new Airbus A321-200neo LR aircraft on long-term lease to Titan Airways in the United Kingdom. The long-range jet features CFM International LEAP-1A33 engines and is the first of two A321-200neo LRs confirmed to deliver to the British carrier from ALC’s order book with Airbus.  The second A321-200neo LR aircraft is scheduled to deliver to Titan Airways in Spring 2021.

“ALC is delighted to announce this new A321-200neo LR delivery to Titan Airways today,” said Lauren Kervick, Director of Marketing of Air Lease Corporation.  “As the first A321neo LR to deliver to Titan Airways, this ALC aircraft will provide significant performance enhancements and operational advantages to the airline’s expanding commercial business.” 










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Wizz Air to expand Romanian operations



The European budget carrier Wizz Air, has announced the expansion of its Romanian operations, adding one new Airbus A320 aircraft to the Cluj-Napoca base. This will enable the start of  3 new routes from Cluj-Napoca to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden,Hamburg and Cologne in Germany and increase of frequencies on 9 existing routes from Cluj-Napoca to Eindhoven, Barcelona El Prat, Brussels Charleroi, Larnaca, London Luton, Madrid, Milan Bergamo, Paris Beauvais, Rome Ciampino.

The further development of Wizz Air’s offering from Cluj-Napoca underpins the airline’s long term commitment to bring ever more affordable and greener travel opportunities to its Romanian travellers. Wizz Air started flying to Cluj-Napoca in 2007. The airline has carried almost 2 million passengers to and from that city in 2019. The aircraft allocation will create 36 new direct jobs. With this investment Wizz Air will contribute to economic development and create hundreds of new jobs in the local job market. With today announced routes Wizz Air offers now 34 routes to 13 countries from Cluj-Napoca.