- The EU has agreed to give airlines 7 months post-Brexit on March 29th to resolve their ownership issues, and bring them into compliance with EU rules that say only 49% of an EU airline can be operated and owned by a “third party country” owner. The UK becomes a third party and the threat to IAG’s ownership of Vueling, Iberia, Level and Aer Lingus is that they can’t operate if the rules aren’t observed.
- The EU is taking a hard line on the definitions as well – feeling that other airlines from the US and Middle East have also been taking advantage. It’s not just about ownership, but actual day to day effective control of the airline. They have to show they are not unduly influenced by their minority 49% owners.
- In a slightly odd move that seems to be linked to the above Air Italy has suddenly cancelled plans to fly Milan-Miami. The US Big 3 had objected and claim the airline, 49% owned by Qatar Airways, was being unduly influenced.
- Turkmenistan Airways has been banned from flying into the EU. It’s never had a major incident but its aircraft are ancient and don’t meet EU standards. One of its 757’s is 27 years old. The airline flies into BHX – and over my house quite often, where it serves as a primary low-cost flight to Ashgabat then transfers to Amritsar in India, serving the significant Sikh community. There have been worries that it’s using a 737-800 which is virtually at maximum range on the flight. Flights to Frankfurt & Heathrow have also been terminated. Some 5,000 people are believed to have return tickets to Europe and are now stuck in Ashgabat and India.
- ANA has said that the 788 that lost both engines on reverse thrust during a landing procedure, doesn’t have an engine fault, and the engines were not the cause of the problem. They haven’t however, said what caused it.
- ATR says the rest of the aircraft due to be flown to Iran before sanctions came in again last December, have now found new owners. Five ATR-72-600’s were rushed to Iran just a day before sanctions were imposed, the rest have now been re-sold.