Headlines: China Airlines rebrand, KLM, Qantas, Delta, United, Cathay Pacific, Ethiopian

KLM

KLM announced a return to China after a five month suspension, with routes starting up to Shanghai. However Chinese authorities are demanding all arriving passengers for all international airlines, have an official documented negative Covid19 test to enter the country.

KLM also confirmed that the last three 744M’s, which had been withdrawn and then re-entered service for PPE shipments, will be withdrawn by the end of September.


Qantas

Qantas sent the last 747-400 on its way yesterday, VH-OEJ flew a Kangaroo tail pattern then headed, loaded with belly cargo for LAX. She’ll then fly on to a breakers in the desert.

The flight ends 50 years of flying. Qantas once held the distinction of being the only all 747 airline.


Delta

Delta announced it is going to keep middle aisle seating blanked off at least until the end of September, as the Covid19 pandemic worsens to a point many consider is out of control in the US. It’s also expanding compulsory mask wearing to check in and procedures and gates at airports, not just on board.


United

United announced a relatively small compared to others, but still huge loss of $1.6 billion in the last quarter.

The airline has made it clear that its idea of the new normal is 50% of its 2019 operations all the way through 2021.

United joined Delta in expanding compulsory mask wearing to airport check in and gates.


Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific has reached agreement with Airbus over its aircraft deferments. It won’t be taking any new units for the next two years. All A350’s will be deferred until 2023 along with the A321neos for Cathay Dragon.

The airline is in advanced negotiations with Boeing to defer its 777-9 order by between two and three years. The consequences for Boeing are profound as the type is already unlikely to be delivered to its launch customers until early 2022.


Ethiopian

An Ethiopian Cargo 777F sent Shanghai Airport into emergency mode as it burst into flames on stand, and is likely to be a write-off. Initial reports suggest but nobody has confirmed, that a cargo of lithium batteries may have played a part. If so it comes as ICAO is talking of further measures to regulate their shipment, which is still not considered ideal.


China Airlines

The Taiwanese parliament voted overwhelmingly to rename China Airlines, pushing to establish a more decisive separate identity to the communist Beijing Government owned Air China.

The move comes after China’s security laws were imposed on Hong Kong ending free speech and any pretence of autonomy. Taiwan is claimed by the communist government. Recent military exercises by China to intimidate Taiwan, and their response in a mock counter-invasion exercise has raised tensions. The airline rename is a highly visible response sure to annoy Beijing.

It will likely result in a complete rebrand of the airline in 2021. The 1:400 model makers will jump on that one!