Aviation News Daily (24.03.2020)
Today, I am posting the article a little earlier. Any news from later on the 24th will be covered in tomorrow’s article.
Norwegian Begins To Receive Government Rescue Package
Norwegian Air Shuttle has managed to buy itself some time after successfully unlocking the first slice of a government aid package designed to help keep the airline in business during the rough times with the global economy. The indebted low-cost carrier is together with other airlines in fight for survival during the Coronavirus pandemic spreading all over the world. Norwegian has laid-off 90% of its staff. Norwegian was promised a 300 Million Norwegian Krone ($275 million) by the Norwegian government and has received 10% of it.
ANA Temporarily Grounds Their Airbus A380 Fleet
The Japanese carrier ANA has announced that it’s temporarily suspending flights with its fleet of A380 aircraft. ANA owns 3 Airbus A380 aircraft, 2 of which had scheduled flights to Honolulu. However, grounding the aircraft was an action ANA was forced to take as Hawaiian Authorities have decided to put all arrivals in a 14-day quarantine starting from Thursday.
Kenya Airways Offers Free Tickets From New York
Travelers around the world continue to face challenges and barriers as governments close their borders and airlines cancel their flights. In fact, Kenya Airways has had to suspend 70% of their routes and will soon stop all international operations. Thus, for its final flight departing from New York JFK to Nairobi, the airline is offering complimentary tickets for Kenyan citizens who are in financial need, but need to get to their homeland. The flight will be operated tomorrow (25.03.2020) with a 787 Dreamliner registered as 5Y-KZH.
The Story Of Kenya Airways
For over forty years, Kenya Airways has steadily built a reputations as one of the best-known African airlines. In recent years, the airline has been overshadowed by local juggernaut Ethiopian Airlines. But Kenya Airways has a devoted fanbase who’ve supported the airlines through good and bad times.
The full story of the airline
Kenya Airways established from the remains of East African Airways
Kenya Airways was set up in 1977 from the remains of East African Airways. Since then, the airline has been based at Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi. From the start, Kenya Airways flew a mix of domestic and international flights. In 1977, two Boeing 707-321s began flying the Nairobi – Frankfurt – London route. They leased these two planes from British Midland. Locally, the airline was using a Douglas DC-9-52 and several Fokker F27-200s.
The airline flourished over the next few years. By 1980, Kenya Airways was flying five Boeings and had significantly expanded its range of international destinations. Most of these destinations were in Africa, but Kenya Airways was also stretching its wings as far as Mumbai and Zurich.
Kenya Airways ordered Boeing 787-8s back in 2006.
In the mid-1980s, Kenya Airways began bringing in A310s. These were a mixture of A310-200s and A310-300s. They leased most of these aircraft and over the remaining 1980s, there was a bit of aircraft shuffling as planes went back and forth to lessors.
Privatization dominated the 1990s at Kenya Airways
In 1990, a Boeing 757-200 came into the fleet. A pair of 737-200s followed it in 1991. But privatization of the airline dominated the 1990s. The opinion in Kenya was that the airline would do better if they privatized it. The process took a few years to get off the ground, but Kenya Airways was publicly floated in 1996. In a deal, KLM took a 26% holding, the Kenyan government took a 23% holding, and the remaining 51% was publicly available.
The process went remarkably well. The airline continued to steadily grow. The airline’s first real hiccup came when an A310-200 crashed off the Ivory Coast. The crash wasn’t fatal for Kenya Airways. The airline plowed on. It brought more Boeing 737s into the fleet, and in 2006 ordered six Boeing 787-8s.
Over ambition earlier last decade cost Kenya Airways dearly.
In 2012, KLM and the Kenyan government effectively traded positions. The government became the majority stockholder with a 29.8% stake. With a new driver at the wheel, Kenya Airways increased its rate of expansion, initiating Project Mawingu . The aim was to add 24 destinations by 2021, including in the Americas and Australia. New 787-8s and 777s would help facilitate this.
Over-ambition cost Kenya Airways
Alas, like many an over-ambitious expansion, the move cost Kenya Airways. The airline began losing money in the mid-2010s. Project Mawingu, fuel hedging and back seat driving from KLM were key reasons for this.
Kenya Airways came close to insolvency. Whether or not KLM was at fault to the extent cited, the outcome was its stake in Kenya Airways was reduced to 7.8% while the Kenyan government’s stake increased to 48.9%. Local investors, including bankers, took another 38.1%. The bankers got a cut of the pie after pitching in with a USD$225 million loan to prop up the airline.
In the last couple of years, the focus has been on restoring Kenya Airways to profitability. But, rather than reduce operations, management had elected to expand, adding new destinations, new aircraft, and projecting a more upmarket image.
In recent weeks, whatever direction Kenya Airways was heading in has altered. The airline has just suspended all international flights and the CEO and staff are taking a pay cut to help the airline survive.
As with airlines everywhere, this will be a tough year for Kenya Airways .
The whole story was copied from SimpleFlying’s website
EasyJet Founder Says Biggest Airbus Order Is Airline’s Biggest Threat
EasyJet’s founder and largest shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has stated that UK’s low-cost airline needs to cancel orders for new Airbus aircraft. Stelios, who founded the airline based in London Luton in 1995 added that the airline needs to plan for around a hundred aircraft less than what it operates now. As a reminder, the airline placed an order for 12 A320neos in November, valued over $1 Billion. If the airline continues to operate all their aircraft, they could lose massive amounts of money and potentially go bankrupt due to the global crisis.
Delhi Airport Has Already Run Out Of Plane Parking Spaces
As airlines across India ground their planes in compliance with the government’s order to stop air travel across the country completely, Delhi Airport is facing a problem. As it’s the busiest airport in India, airlines usually fight over landing slots and gate space. But now they’re fighting over something else: places to park their planes in a long-term plan. That includes a runway. Delhi Airport has reported that there are 200 free spaces to park planes, but there are above three times more aircraft in the national fleet across 11 airlines, the free places are not as many now.
South African Airways Seeks More Time For Turn Around
Struggling South African Airways has asked the government for more time to turn the airline around. This is the third extension, and is reportedly asked for due to the new challenging market conditions that have wrecked the industry. The airline can currently fly only domestic flights, namely Johannesburg to Cape Town.
Etihad and Emirates Ban Non-Citizens From Entering The Country And Cancel All Flights
Earlier yesterday (23.03.2020), the United Arab Emirates announced its plans to suspend all passenger flights in and out of the country, a topic I covered yesterday. Now, Etihad has confirmed that, effective immediately, the majority of passengers who aren’t UAE citizens will not be allowed to land in Abu Dhabi at all.
Emirates has also responded, grounding all flights effective immediately. The only aircraft of both airlines which are going to be allowed to commence a journey are the ones outside of the country. After that, they’re going to be grounded from the 25th of March for two weeks.
Ryanair Expects To Remain Grounded Until June
European low-cost airline Ryanair has announced that it does not expect to operate any flights at all during April and May this year. In a tweet, the airline said that their decision will depend on government advice, but that it will offer its planes to all EU governments to use in repatriation missions. The groundings also apply to the airlines subsidiaries: Laudamotion, Buzz, Malta Air.
British Airways Franchise Comair To Suspend All Services
On Tuesday, South African British Airways franchise carrier Comair announced it’d be suspending all of their services. The halting of operations will begin on Thursday and last until the 19th of April. It includes all flights under the airline’s own low-cost kulula.com brand.
Australia Takes Steps To Stop Citizens Flying Overseas
The federal government of Australia has confirmed that from Wednesday, it will be taking extra steps to ensure international travel is at minimum. Currently, there are still a small number of people who continue to ignore the recommended restrictions and are traveling overseas for non-essential purposes, but just for the hobby.
Bamboo Airways Set To Fly First Boeing 787 European Flight Tomorrow
Ambitious Vietnamese stratup Bamboo is gearing up to launch its first flight to Europe, despite the Coronavirus situation. However, this is not a traditional flight. Instead, Bamboo Airways will fly a Boeing 787-9 from Hanoi to Prague on March 25th to return EU citizens to Europe and deliver medical aid to Prague.
Virgin Atlantic Operates Its First Ever Cargo Flight
Virgin Atlantic is keeping some aircraft airborne in order to keep the global supply chain moving. The move follows a number of other airlines as the global aviation crisis continues to exist. The flight, performed on Saturday, was the airline’s first-ever solely cargo flight. The aircraft operating the flight was a 787-9 registered as G-VSPY.
Where Are Virgin Atlantic’s Grounded Aircraft Parked?
Yesterday, I covered a news article on where British Airways is storing their grounded aircraft, so let’s take a look at some more airlines.
Virgin Atlantic has been deeply affected by the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic in the aviation history. As a long-haul operator, travel bans have meant that many aircraft need to be grounded. However, how many aircraft have been grounded and where are they stored?
Around a quarter of the airline’s aircraft are still remaining airborne for the time being. That is around 12 out of 45 aircraft.
- 1x Airbus A330-300; 9 grounded
- 3x Airbus A350-1000; 1 grounded
- 2x Boeing 747-400; 5 grounded
- 6x Boeing 787-9; 11 grounded (2 were grounded long before the global crisis)
Most of the aircraft are stored in the two London airports the airline operates at, with 18 at Heathrow and 5 at Gatwick.
Air Greenland’s Epic Eight Hour Dash 8 Flight
If you’ve ever fancied flying on a turboprop for a long time, then you’re gonna like this flight from Air Greenland. In a bid to maintain connectivity with the European continent, the airline has established an air bridge between Nuuk in Greenland and Copenhagen in Denmark to be flown once every few days. The flight, which takes about a total of 7 hours is operated by a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop, which explains the time length. The route is planned to see flights, despite the airline’s statement that they’d suspend their operations, a topic I covered yesterday.
Will Mexico Bail Out Airlines In Crisis?
Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said yesterday that the county will not bail out any company during the global economy crisis. Although the president didn’t mention airlines, they should still be worried by the statement, as he claimed that the bailouts during the crisis will be for poor people exclusively.
Europe Hit Harder By Coronavirus Than Asia, IATA Claims
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, IATA published an updated analysis for the revenue impact across the global air transport industry due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Owing to the severity of global air travel restrictions and the following recession, IATA now estimates that airlines stand to lose up to $252 billion. And Europe turns out to have taken the biggest hit of all.
KLM Flight Attendant Sings Emotional Goodbye Song To Cheering Passengers
Times are incredibly bleak and grim all around the world. This is very much the case for workers in the aviation industry, as many of them will be laid-off In the coming days and weeks as airlines suspend flights. Today a video surfaced on Twitter of a KLM flight attendant singing for her passengers – a beautiful demonstration of humanity in these tough times. Here is the video if anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKeGwdH4Lok&feature=emb_logo
Slovenia Is Selling 1734 Adria Airways Uniforms
Adria Airways uniforms are about to be put on sale in Slovenia. This is being done by the administrators, as part of the process of selling all assets of this former Slovenian national airline, which declared bankruptcy in September. All interested parties must submit a 5000 Euro ($5300) deposit in order to participate. The starting price for all 1734 uniforms has been set to roughly 50 000 Euros ($53 000). The submission of bids ends on April 14th.
The Boeing TTBW – The Future Of Passenger Planes?
The Boeing Transonic Truss-Braced Wing airlines is looking to rewrite the rulebook on how planes are designed. Originally convinced in 2010, the design is in its fourth phase of testing and evaluation. If all goes to plan, Boeing predicts we could see planes like this taking to the skies as soon as 2030 – 2035. The wingspan of this concept plane if 170 ft (51m), which is big, but not as big as the A350’s wingspan – 212.4 ft (64.75m). However, this is not a widebody aircraft.
Delta’s LAX Hangar Suffers Accidental Foam Discharge
An unusual incident occurred at Delta’s new hangar at Los Angeles International Airport. Earlier this week, there was an accidental foam discharge. This caused the whole hangar and the ground outside to be covered in foam. Reports claim that a plane backed into the hangar and likely hit a trigger for the fire suppression system, which caused the wild mess.
11 Air Traffic Control Facilities Affected By The Coronavirus In the US
The Coronavirus has forced 11 US ATC centers to temporarily close following staff members testing positive for the virus. Regions significantly affected include New York and Chicago, both cities with major airports. More ATC centers closed are the ones in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Tetoboro and Newark and JFK in New York.
That’s all for today!
All news stories are from SimpleFlying’s website. Any critiques, tips, opinions, comment and advice is awaited, respected and appreciated!