NewsRoundup: AA, BA, Wizz, Fedex, Lufthansa, AirBaltic

American Airlines Boeing 787-8

American Airlines abandons small cities

With the CARES Act support running out, and still low demand as the United States Covid pandemic continues to run riot, heading towards 200,000 deaths and nearing 5.5 million infections, American Airlines has cut 15 US domestic cities from its network for the foreseeable future.

The airports involved are: Del Rio, Texas (DRT); Dubuque, Iowa (DBQ); Florence, S.C (FLO); Greenville, N.C (PVG); Huntingdon, W. Va, (HTS); Joplin, Mo (JLN); Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, MI (AZO); Lake Charles, La, (LCH); New Haven, Con, (HVN); New Windsor, NY, (SWF); Roswell, NM; (ROW); Sioux City, Iowa (SUX); Springfield, Ill, (SPI); Stillwater, Ok, (SWO) and Williamsport, Pa (IPT).

With the US Congress on recess and Republicans unwilling to repeat the previous support bills, it may be months before airlines can afford to return to these small but important regional airports.

Wizz Air

With the wreckage of airlines big and small laying everywhere, Gatwick abandoned by BA and Virgin Atlantic, at least for the next year or more, Wizz has taken the decision to expand.

Having now decided to open a base at Gatwick, using an A321. It’s expanded operations on easyJet’s doorstep in Luton, and expanded to Doncaster-Sheffield.

Astonishingly, Wizz is now the fourth largest airline operating in the United Kingdom, and it seems set to expand further into the West of Europe from its traditional east European bases, pushing up against the big players of easyJet and RyanAir.

It’s a sign of the times and a sign the old order is never going to be the same again.

Lübeck Air

Lübeck Air started operations on August 17 between the city of Lübeck in the north of Germany (near Hamburg) to Munich twice a day using the pictured ATR 72 SE-MDB of Alsie Express.

You have to give them credit, starting an airline, even a virtual one, when things are bad is a courageous when you simply have no idea what the future might be. Best wishes to everyone involved!


Lufthansa has agreed a wide ranging deal with cabin crew staff and pilots unions to minimise redundancies and create a structure of reduced pay, hours and bonus payments, delays to pay rises and a plethora of other changes, including reduced pension contributions and privileges.

The whole agreement is designed to keep as many people on the payroll as possible, and it’s quite the most extraordinary industrial relations agreement ever reached in aviation. Compare this to the way British Airways has behaved and its a devastating contrast.

There has been great hostility at times and some crucifying strike action in the past, but this time the unity of purpose to keep the airline flying, workers in jobs, and pilots flying.

Everyone seems willing to take pay reductions, limited working time and offered goodwill and flexibility to drag the airline out of its current plight.

In return, Lufthansa has made promises to ensure it puts its current and former crew first when new opportunities arise and to do what it can to pick up everyone as quickly as it can afford to.

Again compare it to BA, whose attitude is fire them all and sort it out later.

British Airways to retire last 777-200’s

BA has decided to retire the last three of its early model 777-200’s.

G-ZZZC was flown off back in January for scrap in St Athan, S Wales, yesterday G-ZZZA was flown there to and will also be broken up. The ZZZ was chosen because it looked like 777, and G-ZZZC was one of the very first delivered by Boeing. The aircraft had flown 100,357 flights in her 25 year career.

The last of the three, G-ZZZB is due to be flown to St Athan in the next few weeks.

BA had planned on keeping its 777-200ER’s until they were 30 years old. 24 are currently stored, with 20 mostly operating cargo flights.

FedEx 767 emergency landing

The main gear failed to extend and lock on landing at LAX on Wednesday, resulting in and belly landing, one pilot was slightly injured. N146FE was delivered new in 2017.

Luftwaffe gets first German Government A359

The German Government took delivery of the first non-commercial and first Government specific A350 yesterday. One of three destined for the country.

After a set of deeply embarrassing issues with break downs on the old A300 and A340’s, one of which broke down with German Chancellor Angela Merckel on her way to the G20 in Brazil, making her 24 hours late. Another broke down on take off from Spain.

The aircraft are fitted with an executive conference room, secure communications and seating for staff, ministers and a bedroom for longer range operations.

Alafco also ordered the 737MAX

Airlines defer more aircraft

Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Air Baltic have all made arrangements to defer more aircraft.

Virgin Atlantic have deferred A350’s until 2023-24 and the A330neos until 2024-26. Air Baltic have rescheduled their A220 deliveries for two more this year and then no more for a year, when three more will be delivered. The aim is to take the remainder of 30 by 2024.

Airlines aren’t the only ones, leasing company Alafco, based in Kuwait is said to have rescheduled almost all of its A320neo order as ist customer airlines can’t afford to take them.

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