More cuts and retirements, Airbus and Boeing slash production outlook

The pandemic continues and airlines are suffering. But we’re still OK and keeping a stiff upper lip!

The avalanche of airlines closing down for weeks/months continues. The list yesterday came to 23 different airlines. The vast majority, from Austrian, Brussels, to Malta and Cabo Verde actually terminated their entire operations indefinitely.

In the United States the chaotic state by state approach to things may affect the public, but airlines are making severe cut backs across the country.

Delta made some of the biggest cuts and announced it was going to retire its oldest 767’s and the entire MD-88/90 fleet would be retired at a highly accelerated pace this year.

At the same Delta announced a suspension on all new aircraft deliveries and deferments are likely for everything on order.

United, JetBlue and others all made announcements about services and what they’re doing to keep people safe.

Starlux, the Taiwan startup that’s barely 6 weeks old has been forced to close down indefinitely.

Australia’s airlines are effectively shutting down international flights with Qantas laying up its aircraft, but also along with many airlines, taking the opportunity to bring their servicing up to date or accelerating it, ready for the future.

Airbus is facing a reduction of 50% in deliveries this year and warned it would need state aid to keep afloat past the end of May. In the US, Boeing made it clear it would need $60 billion to keep the aerospace industry going in the US. Boeing and it’s suppliers are pretty much the whole industry after all.

And the MAX saga is still going on, but the urgency has totally gone out of the situation. Airlines don’t want the aircraft that are grounded back, and they don’t want to take delivery of new ones Boeing has already built. Financially it’s a disaster for Boeing already drawing on nearly $14 billion of overdraft.

Heathrow at 0930GMT 19 March

Bizarrely Heathrow in London is still landing flights from around the world – and I’m told little is being done to test inbound passengers. Flights from China, Dubai and Qatar, all of which have existing/growing outbreaks turn up daily. Yesterday their was one from Iran. Finnair and SAS class it as one of the only routes they intend on operating. Meanwhile a daily A380 from Dubai arrives in BHX still.

Some of you have asked where I am right now, and it’s here in the U.K., out of the way in a very quiet Royal Leamington Spa, where panic buying is the past time of everyone else. Being an analytical type this trend was obvious in January so we stockpiled back then, I smile grimly but with a sense of I told you so, because nobody ever listens.

Wherever you are please, especially if you’re in the U.K., don’t be those people who go to coffee shops and gyms and pubs and restaurants and spread this thing further. Too many are ignoring the advice. We cannot have a normal life for the next three months at least. Don’t make it last longer.

Keep safe, keep well.