Lufthansa saved, U.K. A332, Qantas…


Lufthansa has accepted the government bailout after just 39% of shareholders registered for the emergency meeting and just 2% of them voted against.

Hans Herman Thiele, the billionaire who had enough votes to derail the bailout, changed his mind. Apparently moved by thousands of furloughed Lufthansa staff turning up outside his home and company factories to protest.

Lufthansa had paid staff early in case the airline had to declare what would have been the biggest bankruptcy in German history, taking with it Swiss, Eurowings, Brussels, Austrian, Air Dolomiti, Cargo, AeroLogic and a raft of support services from IT to catering and maintenance all around the world.

U.K. Government gets an official livery

The Voyager MRTT has been fitted out inside with business class seating for Government use for several years, but was always painted in drab RAF grey.

The public – actually the newspapers – have always decried the expense of such aircraft, used for official government and Royal Family use.

Boris Johnson however has finally done what I and many others have always thought should have been from the first. They’ve given it a proper U.K. flag waving livery.

Almost every government has such an aircraft, Germany has three A359’s the first of which has already been delivered. France has operated an A332 for years. The cost of the paint job was £900,000 but it was done as part of routine servicing and communications and security upgrades on the aircraft, which in time of need can revert to being a tanker for the RAF.

Quite why there is always such opposition to such things in the U.K. is this this antiquated feeling of the money could have been spent on something else. Like what? It would have been spent painting it grey again so why not represent the country with pride, rather than looking like we hitched a ride on a smelly tanker! The interior is a 52 seat business class layout but is not especially luxurious.


More details on Qantas plans for the next few months came out yesterday, including the loss of 6,000 jobs.

The airline doesn’t expect to return to long haul flying until July 2021. New Zealand will be the main international destination and later on some local “bubble” destinations such as Singapore and Fiji may be viable before then.

However if a viable vaccine becomes available the airline sees a quick resumption of operations.

The airline also has no intention of bringing back its A380 fleet until 2023 and they’ll now remain in long term storage. The fleet will be moved to California and stored in the Mojave desert.

One thing that hasn’t gone away is Project Sunrise. Qantas see that as a top priority when long haul returns, and still plan to fly non stop to Heathrow and JFK.

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