Quite what the UK government sees as a priority in aviation now seems rather obvious. It will favour UK based airlines except for Virgin Atlantic whom it seems to have taken umbrage at. Perhaps because it treated its staff as well it could, or it because Sir Richard Branson lives in the Caribbean, but his airline still pays millions in taxes anyway. The government says its because the company is privately owned and doesn’t list its publicly traded debt. Something of a weakling excuse if you ask me.
easyJet received another huge bailout, £1.4 billion (US$ 1.884 billion), again underwritten by the UK Government under the Export Development Credit Guarantee system. That’s on top of the £600m it had around 7 months ago, never mind the nearly £1.2 billion it already raised privately.
One can only hope that the airline has made commitments to the UK that it will not move its HQ from Luton to Vienna, which still remains on the cards, as the vast amount of its business is European point to point – when things eventually return to normal. By all accounts shareholders cannot now get any dividends until the sum is paid off.
By all accounts it doesn’t actually need the money and is just padding its already substantial reserves, while it still takes delivery of newer aircraft and invests in technology to make its maintenance and passenger experience more efficient.
Despite 2020 appearing to be a hellish year, Airbus managed to actually deliver a 566 aircraft. Admittedly the total was down 34%, but bearing in mind the circumstances of last year, which are still worsening, especially in the US where the pandemic is just mind-blowingly out of control, its quite a substantial success.
Airbus also managed to accrue 383 new orders, 268 of them net new orders after cancellations were taken into account. The A320 Family won 296 new orders including 37 A321XLR. In the wide body segment, Airbus won 23 new orders including two A330s and 21 A350s. After 115 cancellations by the end of 2020, Airbus’ backlog stood at 7,184 aircraft.
HiFly A380 looses its livery
Many people who collect Aviationtags/Planetags were hoping that when the aircraft is cut up for scrap in the coming year, the livery would still be on it, providing some really interesting tags.
Sadly as part of its return to owners Dr Peters Leasing requirements, the livery, which was mostly an overlay, has been removed and the body is now plain white base coat.
Conviassa gets another A340-200
The illegal Venezuelan Government of dictator Nicolas Maduro, still starving its people and devoid of almost all medical supplies and basic foods, has added another A342 to the state owned airline. The aircraft are used for flying backwards and forwards to Moscow and Havana, Cuba, amongst others, as well as Iran. These are the only countries actively supporting the corrupt government, which depends on supplies form those countries for the armed forces who keep the Maduro going. Its one of those less than savoury moments when civil aviation is used for political ends in a way we could all do without.
The aircraft is nearly 24 years old and was taken from private airline Avior. Conviassa is hoping to persuade Spain, Portugal and Italy to accept flights, though wether they do or not in light of the political situation in the country, has yet to be seen.
Worldfly to begin operations in late March
The Spanish airline plans to take off in the spring of 2021 to destinations such as Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Cancún, Mexico and Havana, Cuba. The first aircraft, the pictured Airbus A330-343 EC-LXR (msn 1097), has been painted at Dublin, Ireland by IAC.
The airline is stepping into a very cramped market in Spain, largely dominated by IAG who still have LEVEL based in Barcelona, have just purchased AirEuropa, and fully own Iberia, both based in Madrid. There first aircraft was in fact, operated previously by AirEuropa.
EGO Airways to start up on 28th March
With the demise of so much competition in Italy, the uncertainty around the ‘new’ Alitalia, the loss of Air Italy and the reversion to mostly easyJet and RyanAir to replace them, rather haphazardly, left a wide open space for a new venture.
Italian geography is heavily dependent on aviation. Rail lines north/south are virtually non existent and roads are generally poor and expensive for long routes. Substantial islands like Sardinia and Sicily also have potentially lucrative markets.