Photo of the Day: Eurowings thanks its employees with a special logo jet

Eurowings is thanking its employees for weathering the “COVID storm” that has severely impacted air travel around the world, especially leisure travel in Europe.

The pictured Airbus A320 D-AIZS has been rolled out of the paint shop at Southend with the extra titles (German on the left side, English on the right side) of “Fuelled by the World’s Greatest Team”, in recognition and appreciation for their work in 2020 regarding COVID.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton.

Own a piece of Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines has made this announcement:

Malaysia Airlines fans can now enjoy the much-missed inflight cabin experience and get hold of its premium inflight products via the airline’s flagship e-retail store, Temptations. Exclusive signature items such as pyjamas set, amenity kit and duvet, that were only available to its premium passengers onboard are now available for sale with the convenience of delivery right to customers’ doorstep.

The airline’s exclusive Business Suite amenity kit which is made in partnership with London-based handcrafted luxury leather goods brand, Aspinal of London contains the impressive array of travel essentials such as PAYOT’s skin and body range which includes the Lip Balm and the luxe Hand and Body Lotion, specially designed to pamper customers throughout their journey. The iconic amenity kit is now available on sale for only RM99.

The dual-tone Business Class duvet, which is selling at RM110, is made from a blend of cotton and polyester featuring the airline’s iconic Wau Bulan, making it a perfect snuggle buddy as customers dream of their next travels with Malaysia Airlines. Meanwhile, the airline’s premium and comfortable limited-edition Business Suite Pyjamas Set is available for purchase from the convenience of your own home for only RM119. With your comfort in mind, the set comes with a zip-up top, pants, eye mask, as well as socks and slippers thoughtfully packed in a reusable tote bag.

Temptations, the airline’s flagship e-retail store, offers customers the flexibility to shop for their favourite MH merchandise and duty-free items conveniently at their fingertips right from the comfort of their homes. With the ease of delivery to all corners around the world, it makes it so convenient for anyone to get their hands of these highly sought-after exclusive merchandises.

Following the overwhelming response to Malaysia Airlines’ signature salted peanuts recently, this latest initiative offers customers a taste of the premium Malaysian Hospitality inflight experience especially to those who miss flying with the airline.

Group Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer of Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Lau Yin May, said, “We are delighted to offer our exclusive Malaysia Airlines’ Business Suite and Business Class merchandises online in the pursuit of bringing the Malaysian Hospitality experience closer to our customers. Everyone from all walks of life who miss flying with us will now have a chance to re-create their flying experience with our best cabin merchandises at home. Rest assured that these items are all new and ready stocks. We hope that by making these signature items available, our customers can reminisce their happy memories of flying with us as we look forward to welcoming them onboard for their Fly Malaysia experience again soon.”

Malaysia Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Malaysia Airlines aircraft slide show:

SAS reports a further 20% decline in passengers in February

Scandinavian Airlines issued this traffic statement for February:

SAS Traffic figures – February 2021

Continued strict travel restrictions in February led to a further reduction of the traffic program and fewer passengers.

Through February, 225,000 passengers flew with SAS, a decrease of 20% compared with January this year and down some 89% year-on-year. SAS continued to adapt capacity (ASK) to lower demand and, compared with January, ASK declined 16%, which was almost 81% lower than last year.

“The travel restrictions continue to put pressure on demand, which has resulted in further adjustment of offered destinations and departures in February. Strong demand for cargo services has enabled SAS to maintain parts of its intercontinental production, though this has resulted in a low overall passenger load factor of 26%. However, the load factor for our Scandinavian and European operations has stabilized at around 40% and even increased 4 percentage points for the month compared with January,” says Rickard Gustafson, CEO of SAS.

SAS scheduled traffic Feb21 Change1 Nov20- Feb21 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 673 -79.7% 3 421 -75.7%
RPK (Mill.) 173 -91.9% 978 -89.7%
Passenger load factor 25.8% -39.3 p u 28.6% -39.1 p u
No. of passengers (000) 225 -88.7% 1 223 -84.9%
Geographical development, schedule Feb21           vs.          Feb20 Nov20- Feb21    vs.   Nov19-Feb20
RPK ASK RPK ASK
Intercontinental -97.6% -72.7% -96.6% -78.9%
Europe/Intrascandinavia -95.2% -91.4% -91.8% -85.2%
Domestic -77.1% -65.2% -71.2% -47.7%
SAS charter traffic Feb21 Change1 Nov20- Feb21 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 6 -97.0% 26 -96.2%
RPK (Mill.) 2 -98.7% 10 -98.4%
Load factor 38.5% -52.9 p u 38.2% -53.9 p u
No. of passengers (000) 1 -99.1% 3 -98.7%
SAS total traffic (scheduled and charter) Feb21 Change1 Nov20- Feb21 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 678 -80.6% 3 447 -76.6%
RPK (Mill.) 176 -92.4% 988 -90.3%
Load factor 25.9% -40.6 p u 28,7% -40.1 p u
No. of passengers (000) 225 -89.0% 1 226 -85.3%

1 Change compared to same period last year. p u = percentage units

Preliminary yield and PASK Feb21 Nominal change FX adjusted change
Yield, SEK 1.37 36.7% 44.5%
PASK, SEK 0.35 -46.0% -43.0%
Feb21
Punctuality (arrival 15 min) 78.1%
Regularity 99.5%
Change in total COemissions, rolling 12 months -79.3
Change in COemissions per available seat kilometer -8.8%
Carbon offsetting of passenger related emissions 44%

Definitions:

RPK – Revenue passenger kilometers
ASK – Available seat kilometers
Load factor – RPK/ASK
Yield – Passenger revenues/RPK (scheduled)
PASK – Passenger revenues/ASK (scheduled)
Change in COemissions per available seat kilometers – SAS passenger related carbon emissions divided with total available seat kilometers (incl. non-revenue and EuroBonus), rolling 12 months
Carbon offsetting of passenger related emissions – Share of SAS passenger related carbon emissions compensated by SAS (EuroBonus members, youth tickets and SAS’ staff travel)

From fiscal year 2020 we report change in CO2 emissions in total and per Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) to align with our overall goal to reduce our total CO2 emissions by 25% by 2025, compared to 2005.

SAS aircraft photo gallery:

SAS aircraft slide show:

 

Lufthansa Cargo posts record earnings

Lufthansa Cargo issued this financial statement:

Lufthansa Cargo achieved the best result in its 26-year history in the 2020 financial year. Revenue rose by 11 percent to 2.76 billion euros, while adjusted EBIT amounted to 772 million euros (previous year: 1 million euros). This corresponds to a margin of 28 percent (previous year: 0 percent). A total of 6.5 billion freight ton kilometers (-27 percent) were sold last year. Average load factor improved by 7.8 percentage points to 69.1 percent, while cargo capacity shrank by 36 percent.

“We are pleased to close what was probably the most challenging year in our company’s history with a record result. It is also a record in terms of the commitment and flexibility of our workforce – and we are proud of the outstanding cooperation with our long-standing partners and customers. This success enables very decisive investments in our future. We want to make airfreight sustainably better and further strengthen our home base in Frankfurt. That is why we will gradually modernize our cargo center in the coming years and continue to drive forward digitalization along the entire transport chain,” said Dorothea von Boxberg, Chairperson of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Cargo.

“This year, we will add another highly efficient Boeing 777F aircraft to our freighter fleet. In doing so, we will also secure jobs in the cockpit and in other areas,” von Boxberg announced. In addition to the belly hold capacities of Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and SunExpress, the cargo airline will thus provide its customers with the capacity of fourteen modern wide-body freighters in the future. The aircraft is scheduled to arrive in Frankfurt by fall 2021 and will be stationed there. The twin-engine Boeing 777F is considered the most efficient freighter in its class.

“Now that we are optimally positioned with one of the world’s most modern freighter fleets, we will work with our customers to drive forward the regular use of sustainable fuels,” von Boxberg said. In November 2020, Lufthansa Cargo had already become the world’s first cargo airline to operate a rotation fully compensated with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

Lufthansa Cargo initially started the financial year with cautious expectations. Influenced by a noticeable cooling of the airfreight market, the cargo airline had already launched a structural cost-cutting program in the previous year, which also contributed to the current result.

In an extremely challenging environment for the entire aviation industry, the Lufthansa Group’s logistics subsidiary succeeded in maintaining its global connections with cargo aircraft at all times. The cargo airline countered the pandemic-related, continuous changes in entry regulations for crews, for example, with extremely flexible network planning. In order to compensate, at least in part, for the loss of bellyhold loading capacities largely associated with passenger traffic, Lufthansa Cargo, together with the Group airlines Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings, made hundreds of flights with passenger aircraft available to its customers solely for the transport of goods (so-called “preighters”).

Lufthansa Cargo aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa Cargo aircraft slide show:

Etihad Airways accelerates transformation plan to mitigate impact of pandemic

Etihad Airways issued this statement:

Etihad Airways accelerates transformation plan to mitigate impact of pandemic
  • 4.2 million passengers carried in 2020 with seat load factor of 52.9%
  • Network capacity reduced by 64% to 37.5 billion ASKs in wake of pandemic
  • Industry-leading Etihad Wellness program developed to safeguard travelers
  • First airline in the world with 100% of operating flight crew vaccinated

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways has announced its financial and operating results for 2020, recording a 76% fall in passengers carried throughout the year (4.2 million, compared to 17.5 million in 2019) as a result of lower demand and reduced flight capacity caused by the unparalleled global downturn in commercial aviation.

As a consequence of the COVID pandemic and ensuing flight and travel restrictions, total passenger capacity was reduced by 64% in 2020 to 37.5 billion Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs), down from 104 billion in 2019, with the seat load factor declining to 52.9%, 25.8 percentage points lower compared to 2019 (2019: 78.7%).

The airline recorded US $1.2 billion passenger revenues in 2020, down by 74% from US $4.8 billion in 2019, due to fewer scheduled services and drastically fewer people traveling. A contributing factor to this was the total suspension of passenger services into and out of the UAE from end of March until early June 2020 to limit the spread of COVID, in line with a UAE government mandate. More than 80% of total passengers carried in 2020 were flown during the first three months of the year, demonstrating the precipitous drop in demand as the global crisis deepened over the course of the year.

The airline’s cargo operation, on the contrary, recorded an extremely strong performance, with a 66% increase in revenue from US $0.7 billion in 2019 to US $1.2 billion in 2020, driven by huge demand for medical supplies such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and pharmaceuticals, paired with limited global airfreight capacity. Cargo yield saw an improvement of 77%.

Operating costs meanwhile decreased by 39% year-on-year, from US $5.4 billion in 2019 to US $3.3 billion in 2020, due to a combination of reduced capacity and volume-related expenses, as well as a focus on cost containment initiatives. Overheads reduced by 25% to US $0.8 billion (2019: US $1.0 billion) in this timeframe, despite their fixed nature, owing to cash and liquidity management initiatives during the crisis, while the finance cost reduced by 23% through an ongoing focus on balance sheet restructuring.

Overall, this resulted in a core operating loss of US $1.70 billion (2019: US $0.80 billion) in 2020, with the EBITDA turning to negative US $0.65 billion (2019: positive US $0.45 billion).

Prior to the pandemic, Etihad was ahead of transformation targets set in 2017, having registered a 55% cumulative improvement in core results by end-of-year 2019. This momentum continued into the start of 2020, with a record first quarter (Q1) that showed year-on-year improvement of 34%. The airline is continuing to target a complete turnaround by 2023, having accelerated its transformation plans and restructured the organization during the pandemic into a leaner and more agile business.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “COVID shook the very foundation of the aviation industry, but thanks to our dedicated people and the support of our shareholder, Etihad stood firm and is ready to play a key role as the world returns to flying. While nobody could have predicted how 2020 would unfold, our focus on optimizing core business fundamentals over the past three years put Etihad in good stead to respond decisively to the global crisis. We have taken bold action to protect our people and our guests, develop an industry-leading health and hygiene program, and restructure our business to better position us for recovery. As the world’s first airline to vaccinate all our operating pilots and cabin crew against COVID, we are ready to welcome back travelers to experience best-in-class travel with Etihad Airways.”

Adam Boukadida, Chief Financial Officer, said: “We started the year on a firm footing by surpassing our transformation targets for Q1 and were looking forward to a strong performance for the year ahead – and then the pandemic took hold. As passenger revenues nosedived, we took immediate action to secure Etihad’s long-term financial health, with a wide range of measures to mitigate the impact of Covid on our business. Despite significant pressures on our cashflow, we maintained liquidity by focusing on cost control, maximising cargo revenue, enhancing our charter capabilities and raising innovative credit facilities such as the world’s-first sustainability-linked transition sukuk. This was supported by Etihad retaining an A with a ‘stable outlook’ credit rating by Fitch, making it one of a handful of airlines to maintain a pre-Covid rating.”

Summary of 2020 results:

2020 2019
Passenger revenue (US$ billion) 1.2 4.8
Cargo revenue (US$ billion) 1.2 0.70
Operating revenue (US$ billion) 2.7 5.6
EBITDA (US$ billion) (0.65) 0.45
Core operating result (US$ billion) (1.7) (0.8)
Total passengers (million) 4.2 17.5
Available seat kilometres (billion) 37.5 104.0
Seat load factor (%) 52.9 78.7
Number of aircraft 103 101
Cargo tonnage (leg tonnes ‘000) 575.7 635.0

 

 

Highlights of 2020

Putting health and wellbeing first

In 2020, Etihad established Etihad Wellness, an industry-leading program to ensure wellbeing at every stage of the customer journey and provide greater peace of mind when traveling.

  • A key service differentiator for the airline, Etihad Wellness is championed by specially-trained Wellness Ambassadors who are available 24/7 to provide essential travel health information and care pre-flight through a webchat on etihad.com, at the airport, and on board.
  • Etihad Wellness maintains the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene at every customer touchpoint, with aircraft deep cleaning and sanitization after every flight and complimentary wellness kits for every guest, among many other measures.
  • To reinforce the effectiveness of Etihad Wellness, the airline is providing global COVID insurance with every ticket, so passengers are covered when they are away from home.
  • As a further commitment to safety, Etihad is the only airline in the world to require 100% of passengers to show a negative PCR test result before departure and on arrival in Abu Dhabi. This safety measure was introduced in August 2020.

"Greenliner"

Above Copyright Photo: Etihad Airways Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner A6-BMH (msn 60765) (Greenliner) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 952960.

Leading the way for sustainability

In 2020, despite the challenges of COVID, Etihad continued to pave the way for more environmentally friendly travel by implementing key sustainability initiatives.

  • In January 2020, the airline welcomed a unique, green-themed Boeing 787 into the fleet as the flagship aircraft of its Greenliner program. As part of a partnership with Boeing, the aircraft serves as a flying testbed for sustainable practices such as highly optimized route profiles to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
  • Under the Greenliner program, Etihad partnered with industry leaders Boeing, NASA and Safran on the 2020 ecoDemonstrator program. This saw an Etihad Boeing 787 aircraft test initiatives to enhance safety and reduce CO2 emissions and noise, including two innovative wellness technologies to combat COVID – a handheld ultraviolet light disinfecting system and an antimicrobial coating to prevent growth of bacteria on tray tables, armrests and other surfaces.
  • In January 2020, Etihad announced an ambitious target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050, with an additional goal of halving 2019 net emission levels by 2035. The company’s environmental targets will be achieved through a combination of internal initiatives and collaboration with industry partners to harness technology and innovation for operational efficiencies and the development of sustainable aviation fuels, supported by carbon offsetting.
  • In a global first for sustainable financing, Etihad became the first airline in the world to issue a sustainability-linked transition sukuk in October 2020, raising US$ 600 million. The deal is linked to Etihad’s carbon reduction targets, with the funds going towards investments in more energy-efficient aircraft and research and development into sustainable aviation fuel.
  • In another first, Etihad announced the launch of the Middle East’s first aircraft carbon offset program in December 2020 by committing to purchase carbon offsets to completely neutralize CO2 emissions of its flagship Greenliner aircraft for a full year of operations in 2021. The carbon credits are linked to Tanzanian forestry project Makame Savannah.

Mr Douglas added: “While dealing with the reality of the pandemic, Etihad has continued to lead the field in the development of more sustainable flying. Despite the present challenges, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room. The future of flying has to be sustainable for our planet and we need to take responsible climate action today to meet our obligations for the future.”

Taking care of the Etihad family

The airline continued to do everything possible to support employees while having to restructure its business to cope with the pandemic.

  • In September 2020, Etihad was able to offer early enrollment to frontline staff, including pilots and cabin crew, into the UAE’s national vaccination program. Etihad’s percentage of vaccinated staff has continued to grow through an internal drive to increase awareness and understanding of the vaccine.
  • The airline was one of the first companies in the UAE to offer staff the option of receiving the vaccination in the workplace after its aeromedical centre became an approved vaccination clinic.
  • More than 75% of the airline’s total UAE-based workforce has now received the vaccine, with Etihad becoming the first airline in the world to have 100% of its operating flight crew vaccinated. This milestone was reached in February 2021.
  • Due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic and curtailed capacity, the airline was forced to rationalize its manpower and make redundancies across several areas of the business.
  • The airline’s total workforce stood at 13,587 employees by the end of 2020, down by 33% from 20,369 the year before. In order to minimize job losses as much as possible, the airline introduced temporary company-wide salary reductions ranging from 25% for non-managerial roles to 50% for management and executives.

A modern fleet built around the Dreamliner

Etihad took delivery of two new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2020, bringing the total fleet count to 103 aircraft, with an average age of only 6.2 years. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner continues to be the backbone of the Etihad global fleet – one of the youngest and most efficient in the world.

  • With 39 Dreamliners in total, Etihad is one of the world’s largest operators of this highly efficient aircraft type.
  • The airline’s operations in 2020 have focused on B787-9 and B787-10 flying due to the aircraft’s range, efficiency and belly-hold cargo payload capability, while part of the remaining fleet has been parked due to reduced passenger operations.

Connecting travelers through Abu Dhabi

Etihad is continuing to gradually resume services and grow its global network as international borders reopen, in line with entry and health regulations set by UAE authorities and those at the end destination.

  • For the majority of 2020, point-to-point travel to and from Abu Dhabi was restricted to citizens and residents, but as a result of the UAE’s rigorous testing and safety precautions, Abu Dhabi reopened to tourists from a permitted ‘green list’ of countries on 24 December 2020.
  • At the end of 2020, the airline operated to 50 passenger and seven cargo destinations from Abu Dhabi, representing approximately 35% of its pre-COVID capacity.
  • June 2020 saw Air Arabia Abu Dhabi start operations as the first low cost carrier (LCC) based out of Abu Dhabi. A joint venture between Etihad and Air Arabia, the carrier closed the year serving eight markets, increasing Abu Dhabi’s air connectivity, diversifying the travel offering to and from the UAE capital, and complementing the Etihad passenger network.
  • Following the historic normalization of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel in 2020, Etihad announced daily year-round scheduled services set to commence between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi in March 2021.

Supporting the world through COVID-19

At the onset of the pandemic, Etihad began operating special humanitarian charters to bring much-needed medical supplies and equipment including respirators, PPE, and more recently vaccines to impacted countries.

  • The airline operated 183 such charters, ferrying more than 2,500 tonnes of essential cargo to 129 countries, with destinations including Asunción (Paraguay), Havana (Cuba), St. Kitts and Nevis (Caribbean Islands) and Lima (Peru) to name just a few.
  • In November 2020, Etihad joined the Hope Consortium, an Abu Dhabi-led coalition formed to facilitate the distribution of COVID vaccines across the world, with a complete end-to-end supply chain solution covering demand planning, sourcing and world-class facilities for transporting temperature sensitive cargo at ultra-cold conditions up to -80⁰.
  • The vaccines are being distributed by Etihad, the first carrier in the Middle East to receive IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics. By year-end 2020, Etihad had transported more than five million vaccine doses as part of the consortium.

Picking up industry awards:

Etihad continued to gain recognition for its leading product and service proposition throughout the year.

  • In recognition of the airline’s focus on customer wellbeing, Etihad was officially rated a Five-Star Global Airline by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) in December 2020 and awarded the Diamond status by APEX for Health Safety in January 2021.
  • Etihad received two accolades at Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2020, including ‘Best Economy Class’ for enhancing its Economy travel experience to provide greater control, choice and personalization, and ‘Best Frequent Flyer Program’ for its Etihad Guest loyalty program, which was transformed to provide greater member benefits.
  • Etihad was presented with three awards at Aviation Business Awards 2020; ‘Environmental Initiative of the Year’, for Etihad’s industry-leading commitment to driving the sustainability agenda, ‘Training Provider of the Year’ for Etihad Aviation Training and Pride of Aviation’ for demonstrating outstanding steadfastness in the face of an unprecedented industry crisis.
  • Etihad Cargo was named Best Cargo Airline – Middle East by leading airfreight industry magazine, Air Cargo Week, for the major role it played in keeping key trade lanes connected and delivering aid around the world in 2020.

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show:

China Eastern Airlines officially signs a purchase contract for five C919 aircraft

COMAC has issued this statement:

As the world’s first launch customer of the China-made trunk liner C919, China Eastern Airlines officially signed a purchase contract of C919 aircraft with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) in Shanghai on March 1, 2021.

Five C919 aircraft would be introduced in the first batch, and China Eastern Airlines would become the world’s first airline to operate C919 aircraft. This is an important step for China Eastern Airlines in the introduction and commercial operation of the China-made trunk liner as a pioneer after the successful establishment of One Two Three Airlines (OTT Airlines) to operate China-made ARJ21 aircraft and in the first year to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan.

C919 aircraft is a large jet aircraft independently developed by China and owns independent intellectual property right. The aircraft has completed its maiden flight at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on May 5th, 2017. Since the beginning of the development of C919 aircraft, China Eastern Airlines has been striving to become a facilitator of the improvement and optimization of China-made civil aircraft, an explorer of commercial operation mode and a pioneer of market operation. China Eastern Airlines has signed a launch customer agreement and a Letter of Intent for purchasing C919 aircraft with COMAC in 2010; signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement with COMAC in November 2016 during the 11th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, becoming the world’s first user of C919 aircraft; signed an ARJ21-700 Aircraft Sales Agreement with COMAC in Beijing in August 2019; taken the lead among large state-owned backbone air transport enterprises to set up the first airline specialized in the operation of China-made civil aircraft, i.e., OTT Airlines, in February 2020 during the most severe period of the epidemic of COVID-19, and officially put the China-made ARJ21 aircraft into operation.

China Eastern Airlines has been deeply involved in the design and development of C919 aircraft, trained and provided the first C919 flight crew to fly a jet as a companion during the maiden flight of C919 aircraft, and provided suggestions from the perspectives of customer use and maintenance. Relying on the industrial chain partnership and the geographical advantage of being both in Shanghai, China Eastern Airlines and COMAC have constantly promoted cooperation and innovation on the industrial chain, and jointly explored new practices in the commercial operation of C919 aircraft.

Wizz Air announces a new base at Palermo, the 4th base in Italy

Wizz Air has announced its 42 base in Palermo. The airline will base 2 Airbus A321 aircraft at Palermo airport in June 2021. Along with the establishment of the 4th Wizz Air base in Italy,

Wizz Air announced 7 new services from Palermo and 4 other domestic Italian services from Bologna, Brindisi, Pisa, Milan Malpensa and Catania from June 2021.

Wizz Air’s history in Italy dates back to 2004 when the first departed from Bergamo to Katowice.

The airline has carried 41 million passengers to and from Italy in the past 17 years. As part of Wizz Air’s expansion, the airline continues to increase its operations in Italy with domestic and international flights.

The 2 Airbus A321 aircraft will support the operations of eleven new routes connecting the following 10 cities: Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (Euroairport), Bologna, London Luton, Milan Malpensa, Pisa, Torino, Treviso, Verona, Brindisi, Cagliari.

WIZZ AIR’S NEW ROUTES FROM PALERMO

ROUTE DAYS FARES FROM** STARTS
PALERMO – BOLOGNA Daily 9.99 EUR 1 June 2021
PALERMO – BASEL Tuesday, Saturday 24.99 EUR 1 June 2021
PALERMO – VERONA Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 9.99 EUR 1 June 2021
PALERMO – LONDON LUTON Monday, Wednesday, Friday 14.99 EUR 2 June 2021
PALERMO – PISA Daily 9.99 EUR 1 June 2021
PALERMO – TORINO Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 9.99 EUR 1 June 2021
PALERMO – TREVISO Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday 9.99 EUR 2 June 2021

WIZZ AIR’S ADDITIONAL NEW ROUTES FROM ITALY

ROUTE DAYS FARES FROM** STARTS
BOLOGNA – BRINDISI Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 9.99 EUR 2 June 2021
PISA – BRINDISI Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 9.99 EUR 1 June 2021
MILAN MALPENSA – CAGLIARI Daily 9.99 EUR 1 June 2021
CATANIA – PISA Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday 9.99 EUR 2 June 2021

 

* One-way price, including administration fee. One carry-on bag (max: 40x30x20cm) is included. Trolley bag and each piece of checked-in baggage is subject to additional fees. The price applies only to bookings made on wizzair.com and the WIZZ mobile app. Number of seats at indicated prices are limited.

** ACI suggests creation of 750 on-site jobs for every 1 million carried passengers per year

Photo of the Day: JAL-Japan Airlines Boeing 767-346 ER JA622J (msn 37549) (JAL Dream Express Fantasia 80) ITM (Akira Uekawa)

2020 "JAL Dream Express Fantasia 80" livery

“JAL DREAM EXPRESS FANTASIA 80” is JAL’s special livery to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Disney’s “Fantasia” movie.

The logo jet entered service on November18, 2020.

Copyright Photo: JAL-Japan Airlines Boeing 767-346 ER JA622J (msn 37549) (JAL Dream Express Fantasia 80) ITM (Akira Uekawa). Image: 953052.

Alaska to add 4 new routes from California to Montana this summer

Alaska Airlines today announced four new routes between California and Montana for the summer, increasing total jet service to seven nonstop routes between the two states.

The newest “Sun and Fun” additions will connect Los Angeles and San Diego with Kalispell, Montana, and connect San Diego and San Francisco with Bozeman, Montana. The Los Angeles and San Diego flights start May 20, and the San Francisco flight starts June 17. They’ll operate through Sept. 7.

This added summer flying builds on year-round service on three nonstop routes that connect San Diego with Missoula, Montana, and connect Los Angeles with Bozeman and Missoula.

The new routes will be served by the Embraer 175 jet, a jet aircraft with only window and aisle seating – no middle seats. On all the new routes, guests will enjoy award-winning service in a three-class cabin that includes First Class and Premium Class; Most Free Movies in the Sky with hundreds of movies and TV shows available for viewing on personal devices; free texting on most flights; and Wi-Fi connectivity for purchase.

Kalispell’s Glacier Park International Airport is in northwest Montana’s Flathead Valley, which encompasses the gateway to Glacier National Park, Whitefish Mountain Resort and Flathead Lake — the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River.

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is the definition of “Big Sky Country” and about 90 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. Surrounded by mountains and rivers, Bozeman offers fishermen and hikers an abundance of options. Fly fish for trout on the GallatinYellowstone, and Missouri Rivers. Follow Highway 191 for views of snow-capped mountains in Gallatin Canyon.

Global reach: With the oneworld alliance and Alaska’s Global Partners, Alaska’s guests can connect at gateway airports on the West Coast – such as Los Angeles and San Francisco – to fly to more than 900 destinations around the world. Flyers can also earn and redeem miles with the airline’s highly-acclaimed Mileage Plan program.

Alaska Airlines serves six cities in Montana: Billings, BozemanGreat FallsHelenaKalispell and Missoula.

Alaska Airlines serves 15 cities in California: Burbank, FresnoLos AngelesMontereyOakland, OntarioOrange CountyPalm SpringsSacramentoSan DiegoSan FranciscoSan JoseSan Luis ObispoSanta Barbara and Sonoma.

IATA: From Bad to Worse: January Passenger Demand Falls Further

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that passenger traffic fell in January 2021, both compared to pre-COVID levels (January 2019) and compared to the immediate month prior (December 2020).

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to January 2019 which followed a normal demand pattern.

  • Total demand in January 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 72.0% compared to January 2019. That was worse than the 69.7% year-over-year decline recorded in December 2020.
  • Total domestic demand was down 47.4% versus pre-crisis (January 2019) levels. In December it was down 42.9% on the previous year. This weakening is largely driven by stricter domestic travel controls in China over the Lunar New Year holiday period.
  • International passenger demand in January was 85.6% below January 2019, a further drop compared to the 85.3% year-to-year decline recorded in December.

“2021 is starting off worse than 2020 ended and that is saying a lot. Even as vaccination programs gather pace, new COVID variants are leading governments to increase travel restrictions. The uncertainty around how long these restrictions will last also has an impact on future travel. Forward bookings in February this year for the Northern Hemisphere summer travel season were 78% below levels in February 2019,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

JANUARY 2021 (%CHG. VS 2019) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100.0%
-72.0%
-58.7%
-25.7%
54.1%
Africa
1.9%
-63.9%
-53.0%
-16.4%
54.4%
Asia Pacific
38.6%
-71.5%
-59.0%
-24.8%
56.6%
Europe
23.7%
-77.4%
-68.7%
-22.4%
57.6%
Latin America
5.7%
-58.0%
-49.5%
-13.9%
68.5%
Middle East
7.4%
-80.7%
-65.8%
-32.4%
42.2%
North America
22.7%
-67.5%
-46.5%
-31.2%
48.4%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2020    2) Change in load factor vs. the same month in 2019    3) Load Factor Level

International Passenger Markets

Asia-Pacific airlines’ January traffic plummeted 94.6% compared to the 2019 period, virtually unchanged from the 94.4% decline registered for December 2020 compared to a year ago. The region continued to suffer from the steepest traffic declines for a seventh consecutive month. Capacity dropped 86.5% and load factor sank 49.4 percentage points to 32.6%, by far the lowest among regions.

European carriers had an 83.2% decline in traffic in January versus January 2019, worsened from an 82.6% decline in December compared to the same month in 2019. Capacity sank 73.6% and load factor fell by 29.2 percentage points to 51.4%.

Middle Eastern airlines saw demand plunge 82.3% in January compared to January 2019, which was broadly unchanged from an 82.6% demand drop in December versus a year ago. Capacity fell 67.6%, and load factor declined 33.9 percentage points to 40.8%.

North American carriers’ January traffic fell 79.0% compared to the 2019 period, up slightly from a 79.5% decline in December year to year. Capacity sagged 60.5%, and load factor dropped 37.8 percentage points to 42.9%.

Latin American airlines experienced a 78.5% demand drop in January, compared to the same month in 2019, worsened from a 76.2% decline in December year-to-year. January capacity was 67.9% down compared to January 2019 and load factor dropped 27.2 percentage points to 55.3%, highest among the regions for a fourth consecutive month.

African airlines’ traffic dropped 66.1% in January, which was a modest improvement compared to a 68.8% decline recorded in December versus a year ago. January capacity contracted 54.2% versus January 2019, and load factor fell 18.4 percentage points to 52.3%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

JANUARY 2021 (%CHG. VS 2019) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic
54.3%
-47.4%
-30.5%
-19.3%
60.1%
Dom. Australia
0.7%
-81.6%
-77.8%
-13.3%
64.8%
Dom. Brazil
1.6%
-31.4%
-29.4%
-2.4%
81.6%
Dom. China P.R.
19.9%
-33.9%
-15.1%
-18.2%
64.0%
Dom India
2.1%
-37.6%
-22.5%
-16.8%
69.3%
Dom. Japan
1.5%
-71.3%
-39.9%
-35.0%
31.9%
Dom. Russian Fed.
3.4%
5.5%
-0.7%
4.7%
80.1%
Dom. US
16.6%
-60.3%
-37.8%
-28.7%
50.5%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2020    2) Change in load factor vs. the same month in 2019    3) Load Factor Level

China’s domestic traffic was down 33.9% in January compared to January 2019, dramatically worsened compared to the 8.5% year-over-year decline in December. The fall was owing to stricter traffic controls ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday period amid several localized COVID-19 outbreaks.

Russia’s domestic traffic, by contrast, rose 5.5% compared to January 2019, a turnaround from the 12.0% year-to-year decline in December versus the same month in 2019. It was driven by a fall in COVID-19 cases since a peak late in December and by national holidays in the first week of the month.

The Bottom Line

“To say that 2021 has not gotten off to a good start is an understatement. Financial prospects for the year are worsening as governments tighten travel restrictions. We now expect the industry to burn through $75-$95 billion in cash this year, rather than turning cash positive in the fourth quarter, as previously thought. This is not something that the industry will be able to endure without additional relief measures from governments.

Increased testing capability and vaccine distribution are the keys for governments to unlock economic activity, including travel. It is critical that governments build and share their restart plans along with the benchmarks that will guide them. This will enable the industry to be prepared to energize the recovery without any unnecessary delay,” said de Juniac.

Global standards to securely record test and vaccination data in formats that will be internationally recognized are urgently needed. “These will be critical to restarting international travel if governments continue to require verified testing or vaccination data. IATA will soon launch the IATA Travel Pass to help travelers and governments manage digital health credentials. But the full benefit of IATA Travel Pass cannot be realized until governments agree the standards for the information they want,” said de Juniac.