Norwegian dents Airbus orders, Thai’s major cutbacks, Lufthansa Group plans continued fleet reductions, SAA Corruption

Norwegians mass cancellations dent Airbus order book

It isn’t just Boeing thats been loosing a mass of orders from the once much lauded Norwegian Group. Overall last month Airbus lost orders for 2 A350-900, 59 A320neo and 30 A321neo. No less than 88 of those were from Norwegian, who ordered 100 A320neo family back in June 2012. That piut them at a net defecit of 81 aircraft.

The company took on a new order for 10 A320neo and a single A332 for conversion to MRTT. Airbus delivered 53 aircraft in January-February 2021, 2 A350’s, 1 A 330, 45 A320 family and 5 A220 family.

Thai cuts deep

The airline has already savaged its staffing numbers and now plans on a further reduction of 2,000, taking the total to 13,000 by the start of the financial year in 2025. It’s already reduced that from 28,000 to 19,500 with 4,500 already on notice. They are going as far as looking at another 6,000 that may leave before the end of this year, depending on outsourcing and airport sourcing contracts.

The fleet is to be slashed from 103 aircraft to 86 by 2025 and from 12 operating types to just 5. The airline has been trying – and so far failed – to get rid of its 10 747’s and recoded a loss of US $4.66 billion. The airline also confirmed it was not looking to replace some 25 older aircraft with new ones by mid decade.

Lufthansa Group: Massive losses, major rethink still ongoing

A few days ago all of Lufthansa’s airlines, Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels, admitted to horrific losses pretty much in line with expectations. The only bright side was Lufthansa Cargo who actually made money, but even the were quick to remind everyone cargo is a fickle business on a good day.

The airline group overall said its able to deploy 70% of its fleet relatively quickly. It’s aim is to get back to 90% of pre-covid levels but doesn’t expect that to happen until 2025.

150 airliners have been permanently axed, including the 747-400 and A380 fleets, along with the A343 and A346.

In terms of future aircraft, 177 firm orders and 102 options are currently outstanding. In 2021, 12 aircraft – one Airbus A220 and 11 of the Airbus A320neo family, will be delivered to the Lufthansa Group. Starting by 2022, Boeing will deliver the 787 Dreamliner to the company Then a year later, additional Airbus A350 aircraft and its first Boeing 777-9 are scheduled to join Lufthansa’s Group fleet. The group also highlighted the fact that by no later than 2025, the number of different cockpit types in the long-haul fleet will go from fourteen to eight.

Based on the later statement that will mean 777-9, 787, A350, A330, 747-8i, 777-200/300 and A343’s. It is expected however that the remaining A343’s and the 748i’s will be on the way out by then or soon after.

the group also said it was combing through all of the airlines looking for business units that could be sold off and weren’t a part of core airline operations. It’s already offloading its LSG Skychefs business and is likely to sell of its training and IT support businesses.

Prosecutors say that South African Airlines is riddled with corruption

I feel I should say ‘tell us something we didn’t already know’. Maladministration, unlawful use of public funds, the awarding of contracts to family and business associates to name a few.

One of the scandals involved a significant number of A320 leases that resulted in a set of bizarre transactions effectively netting somebody a several million dollar profit over the lifetime of the agreement which ran from 2012. Banks and the Chinese were involved in a complex web of sale and leaseback arrangements. The airline lost over US$38 million it shouldn’t have because of the process.

Overall investigators believe they can recover around US$50 million from various parties over improper contracts, which range from maintenance scams to contracts awarded by employees related to recipients.

South African Airways has been under bankruptcy protection since December 2019. The airline, which has not seen a profitable year since 2011 and received more than US$2 billion in bailout money from the government, has not flown since March 2020. The company plans to fly again in May 2021, starting by operating domestic and regional flights. International flights are suspended until at least October 30, 2021.