News Roundup: Norwegian, RyanAir, easyJet, ABC, SAS

RyanAir

RyanAir is to reduce capacity through to October by 20% because demand just hasn’t met expectations.

Most of the reduction will be in frequency reductions rather than route closures in most cases. It hasn’t helped that the UK government and others have been imposing short-notice quarantines as spikes occur in various places around Europe.

However the UK is looking to try out two-test airport screening. If the first and second test show you negative for Covid-19 then you won’t have to quarantine. Others may well follow if it works. However it takes 7 hours sitting at an airport while the tests are carried out. Its either that or 14 days isolation.

easyJet

easyJet raised US$771 (£608) million over the course of the week by selling off a significant number of aircraft it owned and leasing them back. The 23 aircraft sale brings the total amount raised by the airline to £2.8 billion.

Meanwhile the airline has closed its bases at Stanstead, Newcastle and Southend, disappointing many and leaving Southend Airport owners Stobart Aviation, warning of imminent job cuts.

ABC

AirBridgeCargo, part of the Volga Dnepr Group, have taken delivery of their first 777F. Another is on order.

Meanwhile in China, ATRAN, the Chinese arm of Volga-Dnepr is deploying another 737-800BCF and a 737-800SF to increase its mid-range Sino-Russian transport routes.

Norwegian

Norwegian got a bit of a shock yesterday when The Swedish governments agency that offers credit and financial support declined to do so, saying the airlines submission occurred at a time when it is still not considered financially stable enough to be worth investing in.

While some of this is based on bureaucratic technicalities, there’s more than a hint of real concern about it. Norwegian said it was going to hibernate until well into next year. That was the plan they sold to their investors. As I said, I didn’t think they had the balls to do it, and they haven’t. Now they have to start to pay the price.

SAS

By November SAS hopes to have its refinancing package ready and its future secure. It’s recapitalisation worth $1.64 billion, is crucial to the airlines survival, and while it will almost certainly complete, the airline is going to look very different. Cuts to fleet, personnel and bases seem inevitable. There’s also been some vocal opposition to the refinancing – as almost all such things seem to run up against – some think the airline should be allowed to suffer the commercial consequences of years of poor management and bad business decisions.