News that the Irish Government is considering support for “some” international air routes which sounds comforting, but the plan unlocks a possible minefield. One question would be, does it comply with EU state aid.Other governments have lent airlines cash, secured deficits, or even accepted equity, but not pledged support for distinctive passages. Then we have the question of which routes the Government should back? Tánaiste Leo Varadkar had said that he was more worried about the future of some significant long-haul routes. He felt that numerous shorter services, specifically those between here and London, could rebound quickly.Does this now mean that the Irish Government are thinking that the aid could be selective? If so this sounds a lot like our government instead of telling people not to fly to red countries instead, they will be telling airlines where it would like them to fly, should they want support.If they are to limit any available aid to long-haul flights were does that leave the short-haul Airlines? Sourcehttps://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/state-subsidies-for-some-international-air-a-routes-potential-minefield-1.4372795
Micheál Martin has vowed strategic support will be provided for airports and airlines once the EU 'traffic light' travel system for the Covid-19 pandemic is operational.The Taoiseach acknowledged serious concerns from both Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan over the impact the ongoing virus crisis was having on key regional airports such as Cork, Shannon and Ireland West-Knock.Airports have seen passenger numbers slashed by up to 95pc and the number of routes halved.Both Aer Lingus and Ryanair have warned they face closing their winter hubs at Cork and Shannon such is the scale of the crisis facing the global aviation sector.Ireland West-Knock said its passenger numbers would drop back this year to levels not seen since 2001 and warned urgent support by the Government was needed.The Taoiseach dismissed any suggestion the Government would allow strategic regional connectivity to be lost."Firstly, I will say that Covid-19 has been devastating for the travel industry and the aviation sector," he said."There is no doubt about that. Irrespective of regulations and guidance, people have not been travelling at all in the same numbers as they were last year or in the pre-Covid era."The Government has to help and support the aviation sector. There has been engagement between the ministers and the sector. We are conscious of that - we are a country that trades globally. We need international connectivity both in terms of indigenous companies and multinationals."Our companies export a lot and connectivity is key."However, Mr Martin said the Government must wait until EU member states know precisely what was possible in terms of aviation support measures."We are positively engaging with the European Commission's proposed 'traffic light' system in terms of travel and that, hopefully by mid-October, [...]
21 April 2020: Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (ASX: VAH) (Virgin Australia Group or Group) has entered voluntary administration to recapitalise the business and help ensure it emerges in a stronger financial position on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis. The Group’s Board of Directors has appointed Vaughan Strawbridge, John Greig, Sal Algeri and Richard Hughes of Deloitte as voluntary administrators of the company and a number of its subsidiaries. Velocity Frequent Flyer, while owned by the Group, is a separate company and is not in administration. The decision comes as the Group has continued to seek financial assistance from several parties, including State and Federal Governments, to help it through the unprecedented crisis, however, is yet to secure the required support. Virgin Australia will continue to operate its scheduled international and domestic flights which are helping to transport essential workers, maintain important freight corridors, and return Australians home. The administrators will be supported by the Group’s current management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Paul Scurrah, and will work closely with team members, suppliers, and partners throughout the process. Administrator, Vaughan Strawbridge, said: “Our intention is to undertake a process to restructure and re-finance the business and bring it out of administration as soon as possible. “We are committed to working with Paul and the Virgin Australia team and are progressing well on some immediate steps. We have commenced a process of seeking interest from parties for participation in the recapitalisation of the business and its future, and there have been several expressions of interest so far,” said Mr Strawbridge. Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer, Paul Scurrah, said: “Our decision today is about securing the future of the Virgin Australia Group and emerging [...]
Gulf carrier says it is the first to conduct rapid blood tests Wed, Apr 15, 2020, 15:30 Emirates has started testing passengers for COVID-19 before flying out of Dubai, in an effort to contain the spread of the pandemic. Passengers on Wednesday’s flight to Tunisia underwent a blood test before departing Dubai, according to the statement sent by the airline. Results were available within 10 minutes. The Gulf carrier said it was the first to conduct the rapid blood tests. It plans to extend the procedure to other flights, according to chief operating officer Adel Al Redha. The move will provide immediate confirmation for passengers travelling to countries that require Covid-19 test certificates, he said. Self-service Etihad Airways, another major airline in the United Arab Emirates, plans to deploy new touchless self-service devices at its hub airport in Abu Dhabi to identify travellers with medical conditions, including the early stages of coronavirus. The tests may offer one way to get travellers back in the air with some measure of peace-of-mind. Airlines across the globe have had to halt flights and ground their fleets due to restrictions and a lack of demand while countries try to contain the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/emirates-using-10-minute-covid-19-blood-test-before-passengers-depart-1.4229627
The United Kingdom will leave the EASA, European Union Authority for aviation safety after the Brexit transition period. The UK transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed. Mr Shapps stated the UK membership of EASA - the body responsible for certification of the airworthiness of their planes - would end on 31 December 2020. In an online artical from BBC (source below) the owners of British Airways said the Civil Aviation Authority lacked world-class knowledge and could not be ready in time. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51783580 This could now potentially mean that Aviation products and designs would need to be certified more than once. The European Union Authority aviation safety is responsible for certifying commercial aircraft for service across the EU. When the UK ends its membership of EASA, it could now need to certify aircraft separately.
Air France-KLM figures showing traffic on Asia-Pacific routes down a quarter in February provide the first clear passenger data illustrating the impact on European carriers of the coronavirus outbreak. The Franco-Dutch firm is the first of the big three European carriers groups to disclose February traffic data, the first full month in which routes to mainland China in particular were impacted by the outbreak. Air France and KLM in late January began suspending flights to China, where between them they serve Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Wuhan and Xiamen. Air France-KLM passenger traffic was down 24.7% on Asia routes in February compared with the same month in 2019. The fall in traffic far outstripped the group’s reduction in capacity in this sector by 15.8% - resulting in an almost 10 point fall in load factor on its Asian routes to 80.9%. While traffic increased across most of the rest of its long-haul network, its overall long-haul passenger traffic was down 1.4%. February figures also provide the first indication of the impact on short-haul traffic, as the outbreak in northern Italy started to impact demand during the month. Short-haul passenger traffic was down 1.8%. Again this outpaced efforts to trim capacity. The group’s short-haul capacity was increased fractionally in February, leading to a nearly two point fall in load factors in this sector. Overall group Air France-KLM traffic fell 1.4% on capacity increased 1.9%. As a result group load factor was fell almost three points to 83.6%. The drop in traffic is even larger than the monthly figures suggest, as February data includes an extra day of the same month in 2018 because 2020 is a leap year. ”The following months will be more impacted given the [...]
Planes diverted as huge winds hit Ireland https://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/1249138/Dublin-Airport-latest-storm-jorge-chaos-winds-Ireland DUBLIN Airport has been a victim to Storm Jorge with brutal winds of up to 90mph seeing a vast number of flights forced to divert. One British Airways flight was shown on airline trackers to have made it from Heathrow to Dublin only to have to return to the London airport after two failed landings. Another flight from Ryanair was seen circling in the Irish Sea a number of times before seemingly giving up heading to Scotland. An Aer Lingus A320 was seen on charts looping Dublin three times before heading to England. Dublin Airport tweeted at 2.30pm: “Strong gusty winds may cause delays to the flight schedule this afternoon @DublinAirport. “Please check latest flight information with your airline before travelling to the airport. One responded: “Sitting on the runway for over an hour now. The app says we’ve departed for Gran Canaria. Storm Jorge is causing travel chaos across Ireland with flooding, heavy rain and gusts hitting 100mph. Rain has been falling as sleet or snow in places, especially in the midlands and north for a spell. It will make driving conditions very dangerous. The showers will be mix of rain, hail and sleet according to Met Eireann. The strongest wind in the world today hit Ireland on the west coast at 102mph. ESB Networks says there are around 1,000 homes, farms and businesses without power mainly on the west coast of Ireland. Source: https://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/1249138/Dublin-Airport-latest-storm-jorge-chaos-winds-Ireland Source feature Image : https://www.newstalk.com/news/warnings-place-storm-jorge-hits-ireland-975379
The airline was originally founded in 2004 as Amira Air, they provided charter flights for executive travel, serving European and international destinations. In 2016, Niki Lauda took over Amira Air and renamed the company Laudamotion. Over the next 3-years, Laudamotion partnered with other airlines Condor, Eurowings and Ryanair. In January 2019, Ryanair revealed that it completed the purchase of 100% of Laudamotion from NL Holdings in late December 2018. It also revealed further fleet expansion plans, with 25 aircraft by end of 2019 and 30 by summer 2020. Although Ryanair operates only Boeing aircraft, Laudamotion’s fleet will remain exclusively Airbus. During a press conference in March 2019, Laudamotion announced plans to purchase at least 100 (50+50 options) Airbus A321neo for future expansions. In 2018, the airline changed its brand name from Laudamotion to just Lauda and they also partnered with Flightbuddy for their IROPS and disruption communications needs. Lauda like their parent company "Ryanair" needed an elegant automated solution to generate the large numbers of personalised communications through SMS and email channels during disruptions. Flightbuddy addressed this requirement and delivered delay SMS messages to passengers in multiple languages, this is the core of the Flightbuddy platform. With many years of experience in proactive customer contact, Flightbuddy has evolved the SMS platform to what we see deployed with Lauda, Ryanair, Frontier and Volaris.
Like all businesses, airlines strive to organise and create the correct operational environment to maximise commercial success. Disruptions and in particular unplanned disruptions, without exception, impact negatively on this goal. Once a disruption occurs, be it foreseen such as an ATC strike or suddenly in the case of weather or a tech issue, an airline immediately goes into damage limitation mode. Firstly, by making sure where possible, those operations and the serving of passengers not directly affected continues as planned and secondly by dealing with and limiting the effects of the disruption. Weather is the number one reason for delays As with any business, an airline can’t justify having vast resources on standby just in case. So when disruptions occur, a combination of technology, tried and tested procedures, hard work, stretching of already committed resources and imagination are the traditional methods employed to handle them, whether these are man-made, technical or weather-related. These methods look at disruption management from an economic and technical perspective. At Flightbuddy™ we believe that there is another element that needs to be looked at as well – this is the “psychology” of the disruption. By this, we mean, how a cancellation or a delay is perceived by passengers and staff. This needs to be factored into the overall efficient management of the situation. We look at how disruptions are perceived by both staff and passengers and what we learn helps guide us in terms of the technology we deploy and the capability we build into our platform. We combine technology, sound economics and psychology in order to address each disruption challenge swiftly, cost-effectively and with the best outcome in mind. The key to this approach lies in “information” and how [...]
When planning any type of trip family holiday the most unfortunate start to this trip is a delayed flight which can cause the loss of the first day. It also causes knock-on effects concerning transit arrangements. European Commission Regulation 261/2004 is a regulation establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of flight cancellations, or long delays of flights and went into effect on 17 February 2005 replacing EEC No 295/91. The compensation amount is not dependent on your ticket price but of the distance, you have travelled to the destination of your flight. Which means you are covered when your flight departs from an airport in an EU country, you are also covered when your flight's destination is an EU country where that flight is operated by an EU based airline. For example, if you’re travelling on a flight from Dublin International airport to New York return, you would be covered for both the outbound and inbound flight. It's not just EU countries that have this right of care to their passengers, other countries have also similar rules and regulations to their passenger, the most recent changes to passenger rights came into effect in Canada.