IATA sounded a red alert to airlines yesterday, saying that they’re simply not taking the drastic actions they need to, in order to ride out the COVID pandemic.
With The Trump Administration in the United States in abject denial there’s even a pandemic, despite soaring case numbers and a rapidly rising death toll touching 230,000 people – almost 77 times the deaths in the 9-11 attacks. Add to that France and Germany entering almost full lockdowns for the whole of November, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and the U.K. are not far off the same thing, IATA is saying either governments need to step in now and support the airlines or many will simply collapse.
IATA is warning that with winter holidays, Christmas and New Year travel likely curtailed, the European ski season a virtual no-go, airlines are facing a near zero income winter.
The fear is that people will resist booking holidays for the summer, uncertain as to if and when a vaccine will be available or even if it’s sufficiently efficacious to rely on. Fear that a vaccine will be only 50% reliable at best (ideally 70-90% is what’s needed), it may not prove the solution quickly enough, or be available to enough people.
If that’s the case IATA warns up to 1.5 million direct airline jobs are vulnerable with another 3.5 million in support industries.
Airlines are just not making the sacrifices necessary. Norwegian is a prime example, telling investors it would place itself in complete hibernation to ride out the storm until late 2021, then doing the exact opposite.
Others continue to fly low numbers of passengers at a loss rather than cut services to save cash, somehow fearing they might loose out. The warning is clear, accept reality and deal with it now, or face having nothing to come back to in a few months time, especially as the Northern summer returns next March.
If an example of the depressed market was needed, yesterday KLM sent 12 more 737’s into long term storage at Groningen.
Boeing warns of massive cuts
Boeing has warned that up to 30,000 more jobs are on the line as production remains at an all time low this century, and deliveries of new aircraft remain minimal to non-existent.
With production of the 777-9, which should be ramping up, on a deliberate slow, as airlines push back deliveries, the end of the 748F line approaching, the shuttering of 787 production on the West Coast, the company’s deliveries are very low. Even the resumption of MAX production will result in a trickle of deliveries, some airlines are resisting taking even the ones built but not delivered.
The comparison with Airbus is striking. Despite them having many problems, A321’s are still being delivered and this past week Qatar took delivery of three A350-1000’s.
Titan’s new A321LR
Titan Airways is about to take its new A321LR, the first of two.
The airline specialises generally in private contracts and short term wet lease operations, but the two aircraft are going to be operated for Seattle based TCS World Travel. They operate luxury international holiday programmes, where customers can in effect, book for example, world tours flying in luxury aircraft.
Acro Aircraft Seating provide the seating and offer custom-made black leather seats crafted in Italy. The seating in the two new A321LRs is highly customizable and can be configured in three different arrangements:
*A single-class layout with 202 seats
*A two-class layout with 16 premium seats and 168 standard seats
*An all-business configuration with 52 fully lie-flat seats.
Titan plans on converting fully to Airbus and is retiring its 757-200’s.