Monthly Archives: May 2020

Lufthansa agrees to the German stabilization package and loss of slots

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

At its meeting on May 30, the Lufthansa Executive Board decided to accept the commitments offered by Germany to the EU Commission for the stabilization package negotiated with the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The scope of the conditions required in the EU Commission’s view has been reduced in comparison with initial indications. Lufthansa will therefore be obliged to transfer to one competitor each at the Frankfurt and Munich airports up to 24 take-off and landing rights (slots), i.e. three take-off and three landing rights per aircraft and day, for the stationing of up to four aircraft. For one and a half years, this option is only available to new competitors at the Frankfurt and Munich airports. If no new competitor makes use of this option, it will be extended to existing competitors at the respective airports.

The slots will be allocated in a bidding process. The slots can only be taken over by a European competitor that has not itself received any substantial state recapitalization as a result of the corona pandemic.

The Supervisory Board must approve the stabilization package negotiated with the WSF, including the commitments to the EU Commission. Subsequent to the Supervisory Board’s decision, the company intends to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting in the near future to obtain shareholder approval for the WSF stabilization measures.

Lufthansa aircraft photo gallery:

Iberia to resume short and medium haul routes on July 1

  • Iberia Group airlines will initially supply 21% of seat capacity on short- and medium-haul routes, which will rise to 35% as restrictions are lifted.
  • To some 40 destinations in Spain and Europe in July and to 53 in August
  • The airline is prepared to resume long-haul flights as soon as conditions allow, and travel restrictions are lifted.
  • In June, Iberia is maintaining a minimum level of air connectivity similar to that of May connecting Madrid with some Spanish destinations in addition to London and Paris
  • All tickets purchased from now until 30 June for flights taking place until 31 December can be changed once without penalty.
  • Customers holding vouchers from previous flights may now use them for their summer vacations.

Starting on July 1, 2020, Iberia will gradually resume its short- and medium-haul flight program, with change flexibility for all customers.

The airline is also prepared to resume long-haul flights as soon as conditions allow and quarantine and travel restrictions are lifted in the countries served by Iberia.

In June, Iberia is maintaining a minimum level of air connectivity similar to that of May connecting Madrid with the Spanish Islands (Canary Islands and the Balearic), Barcelona, Bilbao, Asturias, Vigo, La Coruña, London and Paris.

In July and August Iberia, Iberia Express, and Iberia Regional will fly to at least 40 and 53 destinations, respectively, with a total of at least 194 return flights per week scheduled in July, and 359 in August.

This amounts to just 21% of normal seat supply on the short- and medium-haul network, which may rise to 35% as demand increases.

In mainland Spain, services will be resumed to Alicante, Almeria, Asturias, Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada, Jerez, La Coruña, Malaga, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Santander, Santiago, Seville, Valencia, and Vigo. The Iberia Group will also fly to Tenerife Norte, Tenerife Sur, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and La Palma in the Canary Islands, and to Majorca, Menorca, and Ibiza in the Balearics.

Iberia will also resume European flights in July to Athens, Brussels, Dubrovnik, Geneva, Lisbon, London, Milan, Munich, Oporto, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Venice, and Zurich, as well as to Dakar in Senegal in Africa; and in August will add Berlin, Bologna, Copenhagen, Dublin, Faro, Frankfurt, Lyon, Manchester, Marseilles, Prague, Santorini and Toulouse, as well as Marraquesh in Marocco.

Iberia aircraft photo gallery:

Transavia to add two new destinations

Transavia (Netherlands) expands its flight schedule with two additional destinations: Alicante in Spain and Porto in Portugal. These destinations will be added from June 10 to destinations that will be flown again from June 4: Spain: Malaga, Greece: Athens and Portugal: Lisbon and Faro.

We will investigate per week whether and which additional destinations and which flights can be added in the near future. All new flights and destinations are published on the website every Wednesday afternoon.

Transavia takes various additional measures to make flying as safe and healthy as possible, such as extra cleaning of the aircraft and the reduction of mutual contact. As of June 4, passengers and crew will be wearing face and mouth protection on all flights, further reducing the already low risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Heraklion, Thessaloniki

The slow start-up of our flights also includes the continuous adjustment of the flight schedule based on recent developments. This requires some of the flexibility of our passengers (restrictions are continuously relaxed or tightened) and also the agility of Transavia. Passengers now hear about two weeks before their flight continues. It is possible that flights may have to be canceled due to changes in the restrictions of a country. For us, this means that we will still cancel the flights that we would operate on June 4-17 from Thessaloniki and Heraklion until June 17. Last weekend it was announced that only flights to Athens may be flown. Depending on the relaxation of the measures, we will check weekly whether flying at both airports is possible again. We strive to provide our passengers with clarity as soon as possible before this summer, as there is more insight into the various country restrictions.

Extension cancellation of other flights until June 17

When choosing the destinations, Transavia looked at the current restrictions and their development in the countries where Transavia flies. Portugal, Greece and Spain offer good prospects for this in the short term. This means that flights to other Transavia destinations have been canceled until June 17. To provide clarity about their flight, all passengers will receive a message about whether or not their flight will be canceled.

Hard restrictions in Portugal have been lifted. From June 4, we will start slowly again several flights to and from Faro and Lisbon and from June 10 also to Porto.
Spain currently has a travel advice to make necessary travel only and the country is currently asking travelers to inquire for two weeks upon arrival. Some of our travelers can go to Spain despite these restrictions, for example for family visits, a house or a business reason. The entry ban for “unnecessary travel” applies in Spain until June 15. Transavia wants to offer these passengers the opportunity to travel and therefore start a number of flights to Malaga and Alicante. Based on our experiences, we will see whether we will fly to more destinations in Spain in the coming period.

Greece has an entry ban for the Dutch until 31 May. Additional measures such as quarantine will apply to Greece until 30 June. For these reasons, all Transavia passengers are advised to only undertake necessary journeys. We do fly to Athens because this airport is released for air traffic.

From Transavia on social media:

Throwback to April 1970, when the second Boeing 707 was added to our fleet! The airplane in the photo is named after Dutch Princess Irene. The model who poses in front of the plane, is dressed in the Transavia uniform, which was designed by George Pisa and was worn until 1973.

This is our Peter Pan airplane! The plane is part of Peter Pan Vakantieclub which organizes holidays for children with a chronical disease for 23 years, because they can’t “just” go easily on a holiday.​

Did you know that the name Peter Pan is from the fairytale character Peter Pan who flies to Neverland with children and makes their wishes come true? With these holidays the Peter Pan Vakantieclub tries to create such a place, where it’s not about the disease, but about having fun together.

Transavia (Netherlands) aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa Group significantly extends June schedule

Airbus A330-300
  • Over 2,000 weekly frequencies to connections to more than 130 destinations worldwide
  • Lufthansa: 34 additional destinations from Munich, 20 from Frankfurt in the flight program
  • Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Air Dolomiti resume flight operations

The airlines in the Lufthansa Group are significantly expanding their services in the second half of June compared with the previous weeks. As in the first half of June, the focus will be on summer tourist destinations. The aim is to make as many destinations as possible accessible for holidaymakers and business travelers and thus expand the European and intercontinental network for holidaymakers and business travelers.

Starting from June15, 2020 Lufthansa alone will be resuming around 20 German and European destinations from Frankfurt and as many as 34 from Munich, thus supplementing the airline’s flight schedule, which has been growing steadily for a few weeks. These include attractive holiday destinations as Dubrovnik, Faro, Venice, Ibiza and Malaga from Frankfurt. Additionally, Porto, Split, Cyprus, Biarritz and Agadir and many more from Munich. Furthermore the weekly accessibility of already existing and highly demanded destinations, such as Mallorca or Sylt, will be increased. As a result, Lufthansa’s flight schedule will grow from around 500 to almost 900 weekly connections at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs during the course of June. 

The Lufthansa Group airlines are thus responding to the growing interest of customers in air travel as travel restrictions and entry rules in various countries have gradually ben relaxed. This includes the German government’s planned lifting of travel advisories and restrictions for more than 31 European countries.

With 2,000 weekly connections to more than 130 destinations worldwide, the variety of travel opportunities available to all Lufthansa Group travelers will be greatly extended with immediate effect, subject to any travel restrictions. The additional flights for the second half of June will be implemented in the booking systems today, 28 May, and are thus bookable. All destinations can be booked on or on the websites of the respective Group carriers.

In addition, 34 long-haul destinations are now also available again in the Lufthansa Group airlines’ flight schedules. In total the airlines now offer around 112 weekly connections to destinations outside Europe.

Lufthansa’s additional long-haul return flights from Frankfurt in detail: Cairo (Egypt), Beijing, Shanghai (both in China) and San Jose (Costa Rica).

Lufthansa’s additional long-haul return flights from Munich in detail: San Francisco (USA), Delhi (India), Montreal (Canada) and Seoul (South Korea).

The flight schedules of the Lufthansa Group’s airlines are closely coordinated, enabling reliable connectivity to European and intercontinental destinations via the hubs.

On June 15, 2020, Austrian Airlines aircraft will resume regular flights after a break of almost 90 days. Subject to new official restrictions, the airline will thus take off to 37 destinations in the first two weeks of the new start.

Swiss plans to increase its services to Italy, and will resume services from Zurich to Brindisi, Florence, Naples, Palermo, Rome and other destinations in the second half of the month. From Geneva, Swiss passengers will again be able to fly to Faro and Nice, among other destinations.  Swiss will continue to serve some ten long-haul destinations.

Eurowings will be substantially expanding its timetable from June onwards, adding 40 new European destinations to its schedule. The fleet will be doubled to up to 20 Airbus aircraft by the end of June. One focus of the expansion of the flight schedule is on connections to Europe’s most popular sunny islands Palma de Mallorca, Sylt and Heringsdorf as well as holiday destinations such as Greece and Croatia.

From June 15, 2020, Brussels Airlines will resume flight operations and offer a route network of 59 destinations between June and August.

In accordance with the entry regulations of the respective countries, Edelweiss will continuously expand its flight offerings in the coming weeks. By the end of June, it is currently planned to operate 171 flights to 36 holiday destinations. It is also planned to operate the first long-haul flights on a regular basis again.

Air Dolomiti has already announced the resumption of flight operations with new domestic connections. The Group airline will be operating its first flights from Florence to Catania and Palermo from 5 June and from June 19 to Bari and Cagliari.

Important note: When planning their trip, customers should observe the current entry and quarantine regulations of the respective destinations. Throughout the entire journey, restrictions may apply due to stricter hygiene and security regulations, for example, longer waiting times at airport security checkpoints. The catering services on board will also remain restricted until further notice.

Furthermore, passengers are still requested to have a mouth-nose-to-mouth to wear the cover on board during the entire voyage.

Wizz Air announces new routes from Milan Malpensa and Larnaca

Wizz Air is aggressively expanding in Italy, especially in the Milan area which was hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

From July Wizz Air will operate from Milan to Athens, Ibiza, Santorini, Menorca, London, Porto and many more places.

Wizz Air also also announced new routes from Larnaca, Cyprus to Athens, Thessaloniki, Dortmund, Memmingen, Karlsruhe and many more.

Wizz Air to add new routes from London Luton

Wizz Air on July 20, 2020 is adding new routes from London Luton to Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.

In other news, Wizz Air has also announced that it will prolong the period of suspension for several routes to and from Romania following the extension of existing travel restrictions announced by the Romanian authorities. As a result, the flights to Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The United Kingdom and The Netherlands remain suspended until June 16, 2020 inclusive.

Southwest extends extends its schedule through January 4, 2021

Southwest Airlines today extended its published flight schedule—from October 31, 2020, through January 4, 2021—bringing travelers in key Southwest cities additional flights and new routes during a period that includes additional leisure travel for the autumn and winter holidays.

“We’re rounding out our plan for this unprecedented year with our business travelers in mind with a fourth quarter schedule that brings them new routes across the country. We’re also offering more flights for all of our Customers in places such as Denver, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Phoenix,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer. “We anticipate business travelers will hit the road with a heightened focus on costs, so we’re pairing unmatched schedules with our value and Hospitality to welcome them back, whenever they’re ready to travel.”

New for the Fall and Winter
As Southwest looks toward the end of 2020, the carrier is adding a more robust schedule for business travelers with more frequencies and more nonstop flight options from Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, and Nashville.

More Reach from Long Beach
Effective Nov. 1, 2020, Southwest will add roundtrip service nonstop betweenLong Beach and Phoenix three times daily, as well as once daily nonstop service between Long Beach and Austin.

Music City to Orange County
Effective Nov. 2, 2020, Southwest will add new nonstop service once a day (except Sundays) between Nashvilleand Orange County/Santa Ana, Calif.

The carrier also will offer nonstop service between Ontario, Calif.and Houston (Hobby) once a day (except Saturdays), beginning Nov. 1, 2020.

New Routes for Atlanta and Denver Customers
Effective Dec. 17, 2020, Southwest will add several new nonstop links between cities across the nation:

  • Phoenix and Memphis, Tenn. – Once daily
  • Denver and Birmingham, Ala. – Once daily
  • Denver and Wichita, Kan. – Once daily
  • Denver and Little Rock, Ark. – Once daily
  • Atlanta and Oklahoma City – Three roundtrips daily, reestablishing nonstop service previously offered in 2016
  • Atlanta and Omaha, Neb. – Three roundtrips daily
  • Atlanta and Louisville, Ky. – Three roundtrips daily, reestablishing nonstop service previously offered in 2014

International Schedule Update

Southwest continues to monitor conditions in 14 international destinations on the carrier’s network map and update operational plans. The carrier currently plans to resume service to Mexico and the Caribbean via Cancun, San Josedel Cabo/Los Cabos, Havana, Montego Bay, and Nassau on July 1, 2020, subject to change. Service to the carrier’s other international destinations will resume pending the easing of government restrictions.

Steamboat Springs Update
Southwest continues working to publish schedule details for the carrier’s intended service for Steamboat Springs, Colo., through Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN).

Southwest Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

KLM trials sustainable taxiing

KLM on May 27 started taking part in a trial at Schiphol to test sustainable ways to taxi aircraft. The trial is being carried out with a Taxibot. This is a hybrid towing vehicle which, unlike the normal pushback trucks, is licenced to tow full aircraft to near the start of the runway, without the aircraft having to start its engines. This is expected to reduce fuel consumption during taxiing by 50% to 85%. Schiphol Airport has made the Taxibot available to KLM, Transavia and Corendon to enable them to carry out joint research into more sustainable ways to taxi.

During the test, an empty KLM Boeing 737 was towed to the runway by the Taxibot. “It’s important to find out how far we can cut CO2 emissions by using the Taxibot,” explained KLM’s project manager, Jeroen Jaartsveld. “We’d also like to know how long it takes to taxi with the Taxibot, what effect this has on aircraft engine maintenance, and how we might introduce sustainable taxiing with Taxibots on a large scale into Schiphol’s daily operations.”

Fly Responsibly

KLM’s sustainability initiative, Fly Responsibly, launched last year, included a commitment to reducing carbon emissions caused by taxiing. This will contribute to KLM’s ambition to cut its fleet’s total carbon emissions by 15% compared to 2005.

Lufthansa Supervisory Board postpones decision on convocation of General Meeting

At its meeting on May 27, the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG discussed the acceptance of the stabilization package offered by the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) of the Federal Republic of Germany, including the necessary convocation of a General Meeting.

The Supervisory Board has taken note of the conditions currently indicated by the EU Commission. They would lead to a weakening of the hub function at Lufthansa’s home airports in Frankfurt and Munich. The resulting economic impact on the company and on the planned repayment of the stabilization measures, as well as possible alternative scenarios, must be analyzed intensively.

Against this background, the Supervisory Board was unable to approve the stabilization package in connection with the EU conditions. However, the Supervisory Board continues to regard WSF stabilization measures as the only viable alternative for maintaining solvency.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG will not convene an Extraordinary General Meeting for the implementation of the stabilization measures for the time being.

Infographic: Ryanair Can Survive Ten Times Longer than Lufthansa Without State Aid

  • Ryanair can remain solvent for 99 weeks without state aid
  • Lufthansa’s liquidity will only cover 10 weeks
  • Ryanair market value 194% higher
  • Higher demand for Lufthansa stocks

While Ryanair’s liquidity is sufficient to cover costs for another 99 weeks, Lufthansa is facing insolvency in 10 weeks without state subsidies. This is shown in a new infographic from

In March this year, Ryanair reduced its flight schedule by 97%. The Lufthansa Group in turn cut 94% of its flights. Despite similar conditions in dealing with the corona crisis, there remains a huge gap between the two largest European airlines, as can be seen in the infographics.

In terms of market capitalization, Ryanair’s market value of 12.1 billion euros exceeds that of Lufthansa by 194%. The German airline’s shareholders have recently been left hanging. In review, the price of Lufthansa shares fell by 50.4% this year, while Ryanair’s market capitalisation climbed by 12.1% over the same period.

Nevertheless, shares in the Lufthansa Group are enjoying greater popularity these days. This is illustrated in the analysis of Google search queries. The Google trend score in the last week of May was 74, while the score for Ryanair shares wallowed at 37. A value of 100 stands for the largest possible relative search volume.

“The evidence seems to suggest that Ryanair is far more likely to survive the corona crisis relatively unscathed,” according to cryptoscene analyst Raphael Lulay. “The fact that Lufthansa investments are more attractive to the majority of German investors may seem surprising in light of this. However, it may also be that political tailwind is giving shareholders, and thus also the crane, a boost”.

The full story with the infographic, facts and more statistics:

Lufthansa aircraft photo gallery:


Boeing resumes 737 MAX production

Boeing has resumed production of the 737 MAX at the company’s Renton, Washington factory. The 737 program began building airplanes at a low rate as it implements more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality.

“We’ve been on a continuous journey to evolve our production system and make it even stronger,” said Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 program. “These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX.”

During the temporary suspension of production that began in January, mechanics and engineers collaborated to refine and standardize work packages in each position of the factory. New kitting processes will also ensure that employees have everything they need at their fingertips to build the airplane.

“The steps we’ve taken in the factory will help drive our goal of 100 percent quality for our customers while supporting our ongoing commitment to workplace safety,” said Scott Stocker, vice president of 737 Manufacturing.

The 737 program will gradually ramp up production this year.

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. MAXs in storage at Victorville, CA.