HiFly, JetBlue, RyanAir, United

JetBlue

JetBlue posted a US$754m loss yesterday, for the second quarter of 2020.

The sum is huge for an airline that is relatively small, but the company has plenty of credit available at present, and there’s talk of another huge $32 billion bail out under the next stimulus package for the airline industry.

United

United broke the bad news to one of its two remaining partners yesterday, that it will only be dealing with one of them in future.

The question now hanging over them is which one will United drop?

ExpressJet and CommutAir both operate hub-spoke and spoke to spoke flights on mostly Embraer E145 50 seat aircraft. United owns a minority stake in both airlines.

ExpressJet is the larger of the two and its that airlines pilots that leaked the information. It has 95 aircraft and CommutAir has 37. ExpressJet pilots tend to be older, more experienced – and more expensive – that those at its rival.

The two airlines fly under the unified brand of United Express, and in 2019 flew 1.7 million plus flights carrying 172 million passengers.

What is most likely to happen is that one will be closed down, sell its more viable aircraft to the other, while the survivor shrinks its older fleet down.

The problem for many smaller towns with barely viable airports in the US, will be even more loss of aviation connectivity.

Last year United launched a partnership programme with the pair to recruit pilots, with a shortage looming – now there’s a chronic surplus. Ironically the shortage-surplus forecast shows that by the time 2024 comes around and the industry has presumably recovered, many of those pilots won’t come back unless well rewarded, and another even more drastic shortage of pilots will loom.

American Airlines has also issued furlough notices to PSA and Envoy for around 3,000 staff.

The airlines are pressuring congress for the next bailout, or they say 60,000 jobs will be lost permanently come October.

The core of the problem is Covid19. Until the Trump Administration deals with reality and the science, and until states and Americans generally see that only dramatic behaviour changes will cut the pandemic down, its never going to go away. Until it does, no business, no airline and daily life can go back to the old ‘normal’.

RyanAir

While pledging its love of the MAX RyanAir is doing what it always does.

Boeing is coming under pressure from the low cost carrier to slash its prices for the aircraft the airline hasn’t received yet, but are due this year.

The implicit threat is they don’t need them right now and if Boeing wants the money well it had better offer a better deal, or RyanAir will plead poverty.

It seems to be doing that anyway across Europe, threatening closure of more Spanish bases, then refusing to refund customers whose flights they have cancelled for weeks and weeks at a time.

On top of that the airline has said its carrying on flying to Spain, despite the UK Government effectively saying the country is a no-go again with a new 14 day quarantine for returnees. Its told customers it won’t cancel their flights, so if they don’t go they loose their money.

You have to wonder why anyone uses this airline – its almost a gamble as to wether or not you’ll get to fly or get your money back.

HiFly & SpiceJet

Good news for HiFly as SpiceJet of India starts wet leasing its latest A339neo. The airline is operating repatriation flights from Amsterdam to India on charter and then plans on using it to London Gatwick in the medium term for low cost scheduled services. If they prove viable it will acquire its own aircraft.