HiFly A380 cargo, Airbus order/delivery crash, El Al, United, MAX cancellations

HiFly A380

HiFly have begun using their A380 for cargo operations.

The move comes as the United States heads into a level of pandemic not seen in any other country, and PPE is back in the headlines as supplies reach crisis levels. Meanwhile the US Administration shows no leadership and face mask use is widely resisted – although airlines are being exceptionally tough and have already removed passengers who take them off after boarding.

The A380 has had a number of seats removed to allow more to be stored on board. The scale of the space only becomes evident when you see the photos of the interior. Only economy seats have been removed as the former Singapore Airlines aircraft still has its first and business class.

A380 belly space

El Al

After failing to come to an arrangement with creditors and banks, facing imminent bankruptcy, the Israeli Government has temporarily re-nationalised the airline, taking it into state control. The move is to safeguard the airline which is seen as a national strategic asset, and the government plans, eventually, to return it to private ownership.

Airbus orders collapse deliveries at record low

Airbus hasn’t taken a single order for a new aircraft in the last three months and deliveries have reached a low not seen since 2004.

Staff staged an ’empty chair’ walk out yesterday, leaving their offices and walking to the edge of the main runway at Toulouse, as a protest over a swingeing round of redundancies.

Airbus and Boeing have both been suffering chronic order droughts and delivery delays, production cuts, deferments and been forced into laying off thousands of staff.

Virgin Atlantic A350-1000

F-WWXL in Airbus test colours, she’s now G-VDOT for Virgin Atlantic

Meanwhile Virgin Atlantic is unable to defer a delivery of one of its A350-1000’s, having scored it at a huge discount most of the advance payments for it had already been made. Its actually MSN071, built in 2016 (reg F-WWXL) and was the second prototype test aircraft of the type, flying over 160 test flights. She’s now registered as G-VDOT (after Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz) and named Ruby Slipper. Delivery is imminent.

It’s not the first time Virgin Atlantic have taken a test aircraft, having A343 G-VHOL which was the second test aircraft of that type. they’ve always been quick to snap up discounted aircraft. Many of the 744’s were from cancelled AlItalia orders for example.

Avolon Cancels more of its MAX order

Leasing company Avolon has cancelled its order for another 27 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the 2020-2022 time frame. it’s already cancelled 75 MAX aircraft in the first quarter of this year, making its total cancellations 102.


United has warned its staff to expect continued or resumed furloughs for up to 36,000 staff.

Having reviewed its position, the company is looking at laying off up to half of its staff and has sent 60 day notifications to them as required by Federal Law.

American and Delta are not far behind, but none want to jump too soon, as air travel returns painfully slowly to normal.

US Domestic travel is rising quickly, but long haul is almost dead at present, showing little signs of recovery as nobody wants US travellers as Covid19 ravages the country. Other countries don’t want outbreaks caused by potentially contaminated incoming travellers from such a high risk environment.

UK changes quarantine, but no help for airlines or airports

UK authorities changed the quarantine rules to allow overseas travel and travellers, listing 59 countries that were considered low risk, even though some of them won’t accept UK travellers on a no-quarantine basis.

Meanwhile, a sign that the Governments vast salary support programs have drained it of whatever money it could safely spend – the UK borrowed more in June than in all of 2019 combined – the aviation sector got nothing in the emergency budget yesterday. No tax reductions, no credits, no help. They weren’t the only ones who got little or nothing.