News roundup: Boeing, BA, AF-KLM, Lufthansa, Airbus, EU, US, United…

It’s Tuesday and it’s day 16 of the U.K. lockdown, Heathrow yesterday looked like it was empty.

The A380 in the image above was just about finished at BA’s maintenance site and about to leave for Chateauroux in France with five others. (G-XLEA, G-XLEC, G-XLEF, G-XLEI, G-XLEJ and G-XLEL, are now mothballed).

Boeing and Airbus have now stopped all production across the US. Boeing shut down Seattle area plants late last week and has now shuttered production at Charleston too. Airbus has closed its US facility.

Lufthansa has started a mass airlift of its citizens from New Zealand, using 5 A380’s and 5 748i’s to bring everyone home to Germany.

AF-KLM are apparently on the point of asking the French & Dutch Governments for a bailout, said to be €6 billion.

US cabin crew unions are calling for an end to all remaining leisure travel, both on grounds of protecting their own staff and customers. Airlines are still flying routes with as little as one passenger.

Cabin crew wait for a single passenger on a flight to New Orleans from Miami late last week

United have finally joined the mileage awards preservation family and offered their customers extensions on their validity to 2022 in some circumstances.

Airlines like BA and many others have already done so, Finnair was the first.

In overly positive sounding PR filled glibness, Norwegian effectively polished the turd of its appallingly bad March figures, but on the brighter side, they’re not going to be as bad as the next two months! The airline has been promised financial backing from a set of Norwegian banks. Even then, it’s going to have a hard time coming back out of this crisis.

In bad news for airlines across Europe and North America, they’ve been told they must issue refunds if people ask for them. It’s actually a legal requirement anyway, but both sides of the Atlantic have been fighting it.

The problem is that refunds drain airline cash, and most don’t have much to make millions in refunds. They’ve been arguing that they should at least for this crisis, just have to offer a voucher/credit note, or an open ticket, or rebook the customer, thus conserving precious cash. The FAA and the EU have both said no.

Stay safe, stay indoors, KEEP YOUR DISTANCE