easyJet, Asiana, ditching MAX…

easyJet posts huge loss

Anglo-European LCC easyJet posted a truly horrendous loss, above many forecasters expectations, at £1.27 billion (US$1.55), its first in 25 years of operations.

The company has never made a real loss in the past, though its profits have wavered.

The airline grounded its fleet for 11 weeks in Lockdown One, and persistent travel restrictions have prevented it from really getting to grips with consistent income.

The airline expects to operate just 20% of its normal schedules over the winter and is doing everything it can to keep costs down, but like it or not it’s daily cash burn is well above where it ideally needs to be.

Unlike the long haul airlines which are surviving in many respects on a buoyant cargo market, short haul operators just don’t have that option.

The news that at least two vaccines are now offering up to 95% efficiency and will be rolled out in the coming months, is a shot in the arm for airlines too, who are finally looking at a huge boom in air travel late summer 2021 as vaccinations are expected by then, to have rolled out to large numbers of the population.

easyJet thinks that it has enough money to get through the coming months, having raised £3 billion in debt, and it’s the only UK airline the government agreed to assist with a £600m loan.

easyJet has slashed jobs and said it was even flying aircraft more slowly to save fuel and costs!

As with everything at present, the future of the global aviation industry is utterly dependent on a successful vaccine and high uptake by the public, despite the utter nonsense being spouted by anti-vaccine groups and their hysterical conspiracy theories and propaganda.

Asiana effectively sold to Korean Air

As I said last week, Asiana, South Korea’s second airline, has been sold to Hanjin Group who own Korean Air, for US$1.6 billion.

Hanjin’s plan is to merge the airlines but its come at a cost, with the company having to sell shares next year to raise the money to pay for the purchase.

The whole thing is effectively being masterminded by the South Korean Government who see the aviation sector as critical – their only land border to the north is with the North Korean’s with whom they’re still, technically at war and have been since 1950.

The whole project is designed to stabilise the aviation sector and provide a major boost to the airlines come the eventual turnaround in late 2021-2022, putting them on a strong footing to resume operations. It’s uncertain however, what will come of the 16 A380’s the joint company will now own.

It seems for now the pair will operate as a separate brand, but that doesn’t look like the best way long term. The general trend seems to be that Asiana will eventually become part of Korean Air.

Ditch MAX…

Boeing has already started, though unofficially. Now the airlines are thinking it might be best to do the same thing. No not cancellations, but the name.

The MAX and Boeing have become globally known and public perception of the aircraft is still ultra-negative. With recertification likely this week, airlines are looking for Boeing to officially drop the name, so that they can all just slide in the more ubiquitous and forgettable 737-7, -8, -9 or -10 and even -200 monikers. Average passengers have no idea what the numbers mean and don’t spend much time finding out.

The benefit to the airlines is it will be much easier to operate the aircraft and they’ll have far fewer people refuse to fly on them, if they have no idea what they’re flying on.

It’s all highly cynical of course, but they know its true. Attach a name to something and it’s easy to remember – everyone seems to know what a Dreamliner is but hardly anyone outside of aviation fans, can tell you a Dreamliner is a 787.