Headlines Friday: LEVEL files for bankruptcy, Iberia, WIZZ, JetBlue, Qatar cancels MAX..

LEVEL Europe

LEVEL Europe, the Vienna based operating subsidiary of IAG’s Barcelona based LEVEL S.A., has filed for bankruptcy. The subsidiary operated primarily out of Vienna with a branch in Amsterdam, and was marketing and flying European flights to holiday destinations.

The company was legally under the name Anisec, and it’s typical of how big corporates hide losses and mildly risky ventures under separate companies while giving them an identity indistinguishable from a primary airline.

LEVEL SA and parent IAG are now able to walk away from the staff and any bookings with zero responsibilities, leaving it to credit card companies and government backed protection schemes to pick up any refunds or compensation under EU law. It’s this very type of behaviour – and IAG so far has been the worst for it – that has so hacked off the U.K. government and public over BA.

Vienna until Covid19, had been the burgeoning centre of a revitalised aviation market in the Central European city, prior to which it had become a backwater.

EasyJet moved some 80% of its U.K. fleet there prior to Brexit (but thats nominal registrations rather than operations), LEVEL moved in, and RyanAir bought LaudaMotion with big plans to boost operations around Europe with A321’s. Austrian Airlines rationalised it’s fleet and was gearing up to fight its competition.

Now LEVEL is gone, Lauda is effectively dead after RyanAir closed its base and cancelled its Airbus order, firing all of its staff who wouldn’t surrender to dreadful contracts and pay, Austrian is shrinking its fleet further and the airport is virtually deserted.


Iberia

Iberia has announced the withdrawal of its A340 fleet. All 14 A340-600’s will be retired by the end of 2020 and the replacement A350‘s have been rescheduled in agreement with Airbus.

The A346’s were to have held on until 2024 under the original plan but the pandemic has accelerated their retirement.


Wizz

Wizz has been accelerating its base opening schedule across Europe as part of its strategy to grab as much market share as it can while others sleep or slowly recover.

It was first back at Luton, first operating in Eastern Europe, and now has opened a base in St Petersburg, Russia and expanded in under-served Belgrade, capital of Serbia.


JetBlue

JetBlue is opening up at Newark, and extending its transcontinental Mint service business offering to the airport. 30 new routes, ranging from San Diego to Las Vegas will be deployed from New York area airports.


Qatar

Following yesterday’s announcements on deferments, Qatar has confirmed it has cancelled completely its order for 30 737-MAX aircraft.

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