Roundup: UK, A380F, ElAl, Alitalia, Avianca, United, Emirates, Lufthansa Group

UK imposes aviation 14 day quarantine

It’s been a mixed bag of positive and negative news for airlines this weekend, many are re-shaping their futures based on a whole bag of “if not this then that” statements form various governments.

British Airlines were reeling Sunday night from the notification that there will be a 14 day enforced quarantine for anyone arriving by air to the UK.

As many observers were quick to point out, isn’t it a bit late that for that now? But the record around the world is that foreigners arriving in areas that had reduced Covid-19 infection rates, have been responsible for new outbreaks, China, South Korea and Germany have all evidenced it as has Russia – there its believed to have made things worse.

British Airlines are basically seeing no point in even operating, and those airlines that had or were just about to resume flying to the UK (AF, KLM, and Lufthansa Group, as well as Wizz) are now waiting for the date this starts, likely this Wednesday.

IAG’s Willy Walsh, was stunned, saying it put IAG as a whole, especially BA in a difficult position. They had hoped to fly to and from the UK by July, now that seems impossible. The only airline unaffected will be Aer Lingus, as for long standing historical reasons the UK and Ireland always treat each other differently.

Avianca files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, slashes fleet

Avianca is to shut its Peruvian operation and cut its fleet in every other market in South America. The airline filed for the equivalent of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on May 10th. The ailrine is expecting to see its demand stabilise at just 20-30% of its pre-Covid levels. The 156 aircraft fleet is already being reduced. Fourteen aircraft, including 2 787-8’s, 2 A333’s, 7 A320’s, 2 A321’s, 2 A319’s from Avianca, Avianca Ecuador and Taca, are all on their way back to lessors.

Other leases are being dropped and aircraft leases renegotiated.

ElAl to get Israeli bailout

ElAl was offered some kind of bailout deal, but with some strings attached according to the airline. It had asked for credit facilities but was turned down. Quite what the strings were the airline hasn’t said yet but promises to publish when it understands their implications.

AlItaia – which alliance now?

The Italian Government, which re-nationalised and now fully owns the deeply troubled Alitalia Group, is wondering which, if any alliance, it should commit to once it begins operations again, hopefully by July.

€3 billion of tax payers money is being invested in a legally new company, meaning its out of SkyTeam, and open to offers. The airline is expecting to be about 60% of its former size, and will employ as many of its former employees as is viable.

Emirates – profits down 28%, long haul out of crisis expected

With horrible figures (for Emirates), the airline expects it to take 18-21 months to recover from the current crisis. They admitted a long, slow haul out of a deep hole. The airline has secured cash and credit lines to see through most of the next few months.

Emirates are expecting things to recover quicker than most. Latest analytical research is trailing 2026 before a return to 2019 flight levels. Many airlines think 2023 is optimistic.

Lufthansa A380 Freighter?

Don’t over excite yourself, its simply Lufthansa Technik are said to be working on a single A380 frame for a customer and it isn’t a full cargo conversion. Its basically a safe and viable passenger interior removal for temporary cargo use, several conversion specialists and Airbus are working on A350 and A330 temporary conversions.

United – maybe not so much

United Airlines is probably the most badly hit of the US Big Three. Not long ago they were lauding their staff and paying them bonuses (when they weren’t hauling passengers out of aircraft and smashing their teeth in, or killing their pets in the cargo hold).

Having secured $5 billion in payroll support back in April, the airline is looking into the crystal ball and forecasting that it isn’t going to need the staff it has now in such numbers. However it can’t fire anyone on furlough under the CARES Act until after September.

Unions are fuming and the airline looks set for another rough period of labour relations. Quite what they expected I don’t know. There’s no way when the money runs out the airlines will need as many people as they have now.

The airline also got in a storm over a flight that went hideously un-socially distanced. Images from a crowded cross-country United flight sparked outcry. More than 25 medical professionals found themselves on a jam-packed flight from Newark to San Francisco, despite assurance from United that social distancing measures would be in place. A doctor on the flight said the rows of people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder did not align with an email he received from United before Saturday’s flight saying that middle seats would be left open.

Lufthansa Group

The European combine is intending to get 80 aircraft flying in June around Europe – Swiss, Eurowings, Brussels, Edelweiss, Austrian and of course Lufthansa will start to restore their networks with frequencies to major destinations. Except the UK it would now seem.

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