Lufthansa, Brussels, Play, Flybe, BA 744’s, American, Delta

Play

Icelandic startup Play, which had prepared to start just as Covid19 leapt on to the world stage, is getting ready again.

With plans to operate a single A321 to start with to destinations as varied as London Stanstead, Tenerife South, Paris and Copenhagen, it seems keen on getting started.

Play’s managers are mostly ex-WOW. You can take that as a good thing if you think they learnt anything – or a bad thing if as experience shows, with airlines like Norwegian, that they didn’t. Fingers crossed!


Flybe

Dead and gone or about to make a comeback?

Cyrus Capital, one of the investors with Virgin Atlantic that couldn’t save the old Flybe, largely seen as the first victim of the Covid pandemic, is said to be ready to bring the airline back.

They have been working with the administrators and while Logan Air has taken some of Flybe’s old routes, there’s more than enough to make it viable.

Cyrus don’t say much, like most of these finance companies they are quite secretive, but they have admitted they’re doing something. Will it mean Flybe comes back? let’s hope so!


Lufthansait’s this or insolvency”

With the largest shareholder now in meetings with the German Government, Lufthansa’s future is in the balance. Hans Herman Thielman, the billionaire who controls some 16% of the shares and carries huge influence with other shareholders, wants a deal that gives the government far less control than the current proposals.

He wants the KFW, the state investment bank to provide the bailout, and the government to stay out of the airline. The government sees it differently.

The airline is saying that if there is no deal, it will have no choice but to enter insolvency, which will almost certainly trigger government aid one way or another. Germany just isn’t going to let it’s strategically vital airline go under.


Brussels Airlines

Rumour is rife that Lufthansa Group is prepared to let the airline either go under into insolvency or sell it off, seeing it as a drain on resources and unlikely to be profitable at anything like the pace it needs to be under current circumstances. The Group just hasn’t got the money to prop it up any more.

It’s been a rough ride over the past five years for what now amounts to being Belgium’s national carrier. Aborted ideas as to what to do with Brussels, including at one time absorbing it into Eurowings, have left it in limbo, ever quite knowing what might happen next.


All gone and not coming back – the end of the 757 will be missed by many

American

American is to raise $3 billion to carry it through the current situation, largely through selling a combination of debts, convertible bonds, promissory notes and shares. Most of the money will come from the convertible bonds which will be repaid in 2025.

This just shows how much money there is in the financial system at present- as much as $3 trillion (that’s three thousand billions), is said to be sloshing about and explains why so many airlines have access to cash. Back in 2008 there was no money which is why so many went under.


Goodbye 777

Delta

Delta has decided to withdraw its 777’s by the end of the Northern Summer in October, rather than leave them until years end.

The airline is committed to the A359 and says they’re nearly 50% cheaper to run on long haul flights.


British Airways Negus 747 Aircraft Taken: 21st March 2019 Picture by: Stuart Bailey

BA ready to end 747 operations

This could be the end of the line for BA’s 747 fleet. On Saturday a tweet indicated that pilots and cabin crew due to be trained on 744 operations have been told the programme is suspended indefinitely, and there were strong hints that it was unlikely to return any time soon.

In a way this is no big surprise. 744’s have no capital cost left in them and the fleet was due to be whittled down to 18, then slowly phased out to 2024. However the operational and maintenance costs on 744’s are twice that of the 787-10’s arriving in service and passenger numbers just don’t justify the size.

By the time the aircraft have been stored, then brought back out so close to the end of life phase, there is little point in the costs.

It seems that after nearly half a century the world’s largest 744 fleet – it reached 58 at peak, may already have quietly slipped away.

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