Headlines: LATAM, Qantas, Norwegian, A380, Qatar

Norwegian

I may have said this a few weeks ago; Norwegian’s management simply couldn’t stick to its plan to hibernate the airline and reorganise it while it was doing so. They told those people they just drained millions of Krone and Euros from to prop up the business what they wanted to hear. Now, they can’t bring themselves to follow their own plan.

You might be joyous at the return of Norwegian to Gatwick now rather than when it said they would return in March next year. They just have to jump on the band wagon and risk it all for the sake of some unprofitable flights based on a small increase in demand. They had a plan, they promised to implement it. It was a good, solid, financial idea.

Gatwick of course can’t wait, but what’s good for Gatwick isn’t necessarily good for Norwegian, and you can tell it hasn’t been thought through. Its a publicity grabbing typical Norwegian type of action, and makes its chances of genuine revolutionary reorganisation and survival substantially less likely.

Already a major pricing war is brewing between easyJet, Wizz and Ryan Air for travellers around Europe and the UK. The last thing any of them need is more competition and the last thing Norwegian needs is a price war it can’t win, or afford to loose. Why couldn’t they just have followed the plan?


LATAM Argentina

LATAM announced that its operation in Argentina has been closed down ‘indefinitely’ both for cargo and passenger operations.

The airline said:  “this is a result of current market conditions, exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulty of building structural agreements with local industry actors, which has made it impossible to foresee a viable and sustainable long-term project”.

That’s PR speak for nobody ants to know and we can’t make any money. LATAM as a while is technically under bankruptcy protection through Chapter 11.

The airline will end flights to and from twelve domestic destinations, while cargo routes and international destinations in the US, Brazil, Chile and Peru will continue to be served by other LATAM carriers once travel restrictions are lifted.

Its really bad news for Argentina, which is a huge country about the size of Spain, the UK, Ireland, Portugal & France rolled into one, with poor roads, few railways and a vast area, Patagonia with few communications. Norwegian actually established a subsidiary there to operate domestic flights but it failed and was sold off to JetSmart late in 2019.


QANTAS

Having now ended 744 operations completely, the airline announced that its long haul operations would remain shut down until the start of the usually busy Northern Winter/Southern Summer season at the end of October 2020.

In the meantime it will serve only domestic flights and New Zealand. It’s A380’s could be laid up for as long as two years, and it’s not ruling out ever deploying them again.


Airbus

This is something I’ve actually witnessed myself back in 2010, the journey of an A380 fuselage through Levignac in southern France on their way to Toulouse and the final assembly line of the A380.

The final unit drove through the village last night, which for the past 15 years has witnessed over 300 of these journeys, many publicised on line attracting hundreds of visitors in the dead of night, especially during the summer months.

Ironically the unit was destined fro Emirates, but they’re said to be wanting only three almost complete aircraft and the last five of eight left, of which this is one, it no longer wants.

The question is will it actually ever be fully assembled and will it ever fly?


Qatar

Qatar has announced it is deferring all new deliveries until, at the very earliest 2022 through to 2025. Its also negotiated the rights to terminate any orders it can no longer justify.

One of the first aircraft to be impacted will be the MAX, 30 of which were supposed to be delivered later this year. It’s also unlikely to take delivery of any 777-9’s before 2024, when it plans to phase out its A380’s.

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