CAPA News Briefs

CAPA publishes more than 400 global News Briefs every weekday, covering all aspects of the aviation and travel industry. It’s the most comprehensive source of market intelligence in the world, with around 50 per cent of content translated from non-English sources. The breadth of our coverage means you won’t need any other news sources to monitor competitors and stay informed about the latest developments in the wider aviation sector.

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Below is a sample of the latest news headlines. 246 news briefs have been published for CAPA Members in the past 2 days.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) CEO Charlie Cornish stated (22-May-2020) "For as long as it lasts, a blanket quarantine policy will be a brick wall to the recovery of the UK aviation and tourism industries, with huge consequences for UK jobs and GDP". Mr Cornish stated the government needs to "work quickly to create a smart and targeted approach that recognises that many countries are already low risk", referring to the possibility of opening travel between the UK and low risk countries. He added: "Government has to take a risk based approach to quarantine arrangements to enable air travel to restart". [more - original PR]

Kazakhstan's Civil Aviation Committee, via its official Facebook account, announced (22-May-2020) all airports will reopen for scheduled domestic services by 25-May-2020. The following Atyrau services are scheduled to resume from 25-May-2020:

Additional biosecurity measures including use of personal protection equipment, social distancing, temperature checks and disinfection will be applied at airports and on aircraft.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa announced (24-May-2020) the country's coronavirus pandemic alert level will be lowered from Level 4 to Level 3, effective 01-Jun-2020, marking "a significant shift in our approach to the pandemic". Mr Ramaphosa said the switch to Level 3 "will result in the opening up of the economy and the removal of a number of restrictions on the movement of people". Domestic air travel will remain prohibited as a "high-risk" economic activity. Domestic travel for business will be phased in, with dates to be announced. [more - original PR]

UK's Government announced (22-May-2020) the following biosecurity measures to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infections, effective 08-Jun-2020:

  • Self isolation on arrival for 14 days, and could be contacted regularly during this time to ensure compliance;
  • Anyone failing to comply with mandatory conditions may receive a GBP1000 fixed penalty notice in England, or potential prosecution and unlimited fines. The fine may increase if the risk of infection from abroad increases. The Devolved Administrations will set out their own enforcement approaches;
  • Border Force will undertake checks at the border and may refuse entry to any non-British citizen who refuses to comply with these regulations and isn't resident in the UK. Failure to complete the form is also punishable by a GBP100 fixed penalty notice. Public health authorities will conduct random checks in England to ensure compliance with self-isolation requirements. Removal from the country would be considered as a last resort for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with these public health measures.

Changes will be subject to review every three weeks, to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and remain effective and necessary. The government will continue to look at further options moving forward, including travel bubbles. [more - original PR]

Malaysia Airports announced (22-May-2020) COVID-19 "severely affected" its declining traffic performance across most airports in 1Q2020. The group's network of airports handled 25.5 million passengers in 1Q2020, a 23.9% year-on-year decrease. Kuala Lumpur International Airport recorded a 29.3% reduction with 10.7 million passengers during the period while other airports in Malaysia recorded an aggregate decline of 25.0% to 7.7 million passengers. [more - original PR]

India's Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), via its official Twitter account, stated (25-May-2020) limited domestic passenger services will resume in all states in India on 25-May-2020, with the exception of Andhra Pradesh, where services will resume on 26-May-2020 and West Bengal, where services will resume on 28-May-2020 (ANI News/Times of India/Indian Express, 25-May-2020). MoCA reported Tamil Nadu's Government will limit the number of arriving frequencies to Chennai International Airport to a maximum of 25 per day, but will not limit the number of departing services and "For other airports in Tamil Nadu, flights would operate like other parts of the country".

Air Canada announced (22-May-2020) it abridged its selling schedule for summer 2020 to 97 destinations, down from 220 in 2019. Within Canada, the schedule will increase from 34 routes in May-2020 to 58 routes in Jun-2020, with more routes to be added in Aug-2020 and Sep-2020. The carrier also updated its schedule until the end of Jul-2020 with resumption of some services to the US, Caribbean, South America, Europe and Pacific markets. The carrier will continue to operate from its major hubs to key global destinations in Jun-2020. [more - original PR]

Icelandair stated (22-May-2020) it is preparing for an efficient "ramp-up" when market conditions recover and opportunities arise. Details include:

  • Further actions to secure competitiveness:
    • Negotiate union agreements with pilots, cabin crew and mechanics as well as renegotiate contracts with key suppliers;
    • Adjust fleet plan to capture opportunities;
    • Obtain liquidity support from lenders, aircraft lessors and key vendors;
  • Methods to ensure the carrier is prepared to 'ramp-up' quickly:
    • Powerful sales network and distribution channels ensuring fast reach to key markets;
    • Adaptable hub and spoke route network to meet differently timed demand;
    • Strong and flexible infrastructure;
    • Experience dealing with high fluctuations in the business. [more - original PR]

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack stated (24-May-2020) Virgin Australia's administration process is "going well", with the government "taking our advice from Nicholas Moore who's working with Deloitte". Mr McCormack said: "We want to see Virgin come out of this in whatever which way, shape or form. But we need, want, require and desire two commercially viable airlines". He added the government is confident "we can have that and so we just have to let the process take its course". [more - original PR]

Peach announced (22-May-2020) plans to resume operations on all domestic services from 19-Jun-2020 and issued prevention measures against coronavirus. The LCC, which currently has suspended 13 of its 22 domestic services due to the coronavirus pandemic, plans to resume Okinawa Naha-Fukuoka service on 01-Jun-2020 and the remaining 12 services on 19-Jun-2020. The total number of domestic frequencies to be operated in Jun-2020 will be 984 on 22 routes while the total number of frequencies to be suspended in Jun-2020 will be 2000 on 22 routes. [more - original PR]

Poland's Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Marcin Horala announced (22-May-2020) 14 Polish airports will receive coronavirus related state funding valued at PLN142.2 million (EUR31.5 million) in the next 12 months. "We hope that thanks to the new support instrument, Polish airports will be able to return to their original growth path", Mr Horała continued. Warsaw Chopin, Krakow, Gdansk, Katowice, Wroclaw, Warsaw Modlin, Poznan, Rzeszow, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Lublin, Lodz, Olsztyn and Zielona Gora airports are among the airports eligible for funding. [more - original PR - Polish]

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran reduced (22-May-2020) the airline's executive team from nine to six people, as the airline adapts to a much smaller scale due to coronavirus. Details include:

  • Chief strategy networks and alliances offier Nick Judd will depart the airline on 31-May-2020;
  • Chief air operations and people safety officer John Whittaker will depart on 31-Jul-2020;
  • Chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod will step away from the airline full time on 31-May-2020 and provide advisory support to the CEO and board during the business transformation phase.

Mr Foran said the portfolios of the three departing executives will be absorbed by the remaining members of the executive team. [more - original PR]