The airline industry has plenty of disruption still to come and desperately needs restructuring, a high level virtual conference heard this week.
In his introduction to the 2020 Aviation Summit, CAPA Centre of Aviation chairman emeritus, Peter Harbison, said that the industry has seen about a 60% drop in passenger numbers globally during the crisis.
Despite QF’s ultra-long haul flights, dubbed Project Sunrise, currently being shelved, Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce predicts that when borders open it will be the type of service to resonate even more with passengers.
‘There is likely to be a stronger business case for flights like Sydney / Melbourne to London or New York, without the necessity to stop anywhere on the way.’
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is appealing to all travellers to wear face covering during the travel journey for the safety of all passengers and crew during COVID-19.
Wearing face coverings is a key recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) guidance for safe operations during the pandemic, as developed jointly with the World Health Organization and governments.
Singapore Airlines is increasing scheduled passenger services to Christchurch and Auckland.
From 10 September 2020, Singapore to Christchurch will increase to two times weekly, with an additional flight operated on Thursday; then from 6 October 2020, Singapore to Christchurch will operate three times weekly with the third flight operating on Tuesday. The re-instatement of these
The risk of catching Covid-19 while travelling by air should not be compared with travelling on a public bus, according Justin Tighe-Umbers, co-chair of the New Zealand Aviation Coalition (NZAC).
'Every time we go into Alert Level 2 or higher, two thirds of the domestic network gets taken out,' Tighe-Umbers says. 'That's the knock on effect of having to keep 30% to 50% of seats empty depending on the aircraft type. The problem lies with the Ministry of Health's requirement for physical distancing on aircraft under Level 2.
'That requirement reduces the number of flights as airlines respond. In simple terms, it means not as many ticket paying passengers are covering the cost of each flight. Airlines can not be expected to fly where they can't cover costs.'
He says measures like hygiene protocols, aircrew wearing protective equipment, restrictive food and beverage services, limiting the use of toilets to certain areas of the aircraft and the mandatory use of face masks by passengers all help prevent transmission.
'Modern aircraft are also one of the most controlled environments that people could experience. Air is exchanged with fresh air from outside every two or three minutes on most aircraft. That is 20 to 30 times more frequently than most office buildings.'
Tighe-Umbers says while the government obviously recognises people want to travel regionally and there are economic benefits from that, it also needs to recognise physical distancing on aircraft imposes heavy costs.
Social distancing broad brush 'won't work'
Air Chathams is warning that the government announcement on the requirement to social distance passengers will ultimately make air travel more expensive, particularly on smaller regional aircraft, whilst piling 'more commercial pain' on airlines already hurting after emerging from the first lockdown.
'It is impossible for government to administer a broad brush requirement to socially distance and believe it will be effective on a multitude of different aircraft types, especially when separation of passengers during boarding and deplaning at many regional ports can not be achieved,' says Air Chathams chief operating officer, Duane Emeny.
Malaysia Airlines retains its confidence in the New Zealand market’s medium to long term future, despite the challenging times the travel industry finds itself in, says Giles Gilbert, the airline’s regional manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Gilbert points out that Malaysia Airlines actually increased its sales force by two in the Auckland office in February and those staff remain with the airline, although it has obviously been difficult for them to get
Despite a significant percentage of the population fearing that they have a high chance of catching Covid-19 if they fly, and media coverage that often seems to promote this fear, actual evidence and recorded instances appear to indicate the opposite.
The Covid crisis could have a ‘very long shadow’ when it comes to flying and travel in general, according to global research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). ‘Passengers are telling us that it will take time before they return to their old travel habits,’ says Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
Qantas has released a three-year strategy to guide recovery and return to growth in the changed market.
The airline says around 100 aircraft will be grounded for up to 12 months, some for longer. There will also be job losses and extended stand downs to manage a long period of reduced flying, especially internationally.
Singapore Airlines will resume scheduled passenger services to Auckland and Christchurch as part of its minimum connectivity network.
The re-instatement of twice-weekly services to Auckland and once-weekly services to Christchurch from Tuesday 9 June, will mark the first scheduled passenger flights to the cities since SQ ceased operations in March following the closure of New Zealand and Singapore’s borders due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
While many airlines in the world are facing tough times ahead and may not survive, the next few months could be a good time for start ups, according to a UK based aviation expert.
Air Chathams is slowly relaunching scheduled flights from its Auckland Airport base to Whakatane, Whanganui and the Kapiti Coast commencing 24 May.
Airline management have been working with the district councils to agree on a way forward that allows the airline, which has suffered a 90% drop off in revenue during Covid-19, a lower risk way to reinstate flights while demand and confidence to travel by air returns to the domestic network.
Air New Zealand will be ‘easier and simpler’ for trade to deal with as it works towards stimulating the market, first domestically and then beyond these shores, the airline’s chief revenue officer Cam Wallace said in a webinar this week.
‘Contracts will be user friendly and easier to understand,’ he says.
Sounds Air will be flying WLG-WSZ, WLG-BHE and WLG-NSN from tomorrow. WLG to TUO will start Monday 18 May, as will a BHE-CHC service. The company says a new reduced schedule has been loaded, with longer turn-around times to aid increased cleaning measures between flights. The airline will be actively monitoring seat capacity and adding flights as required.
Qatar Airways intends to operate to 80 destinations by the end of June, including 33 in Asia Pacific – but conspicuous by its absence on a just released list is Auckland.
Destinations that do make the list include Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Though enquiries to the airline last night did not receive a definite answer, trade sources indicate it may be late October before QR returns to AKL.
Domestic airline capacity in China is beginning to recover, with over 30% of its domestic capacity returning in the last two months, according to new analysis from Cirium.
Data from the travel and analytics company shows that domestic capacity has recovered from a peak year-on-year drop of 71% on 24 February 2020 to down just 33% on 22 April 2020.
Airlines are sitting in ‘pause’ mode and at this time virtually all of the carriers previously servicing this market have indicated they are keen to be back when practically possible, participants in the Tourism Temperature webinar this week heard.
Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director, Board of Airline Representatives NZ (BARNZ) says flights are ‘sitting in the international slot coordination schedule’ but carriers are waiting to see how border restrictions and other plans develop.
The first of several flights Air New Zealand is operating for the German Government to repatriate stranded German nationals left Auckland International Airport on Friday afternoon. Flight NZ1960's Boeing 777-300 departed Auckland at 4.30pm for Frankfurt via Vancouver, arriving at Frankfurt am Main Airport early morning on Saturday 4 April.
A team of Air New Zealand employees put themselves forward to fly this mission. Four pilots and 12 cabin crew operated Auckland-Vancouver, where a full replacement crew to continued to Frankfurt.
A LATAM aircraft chartered by Chimu Adventures has landed in Sydney carrying 136 Australians and eight New Zealanders. The flight, that originated in Montevideo in Uruguay, landed at 6.30am local time. The Kiwis are transiting directly onto a flight from Sydney to Auckland departing at midday today and they are expected to arrive in Auckland at 5pm this afternoon.
Greg Foran, chief executive officer of Air New Zealand, has reiterated that the airline expects to be at least 30% smaller in a year’s time than it is today and will need to reduce the size of the workforce by up to 3500 roles.
Auckland Airport’s Operations Centre team is keeping the airport running smoothly in the face of COVID-19 by bringing in staff from other departments who have the right experience, and by splitting into three groups separated by drop-down dividers.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reacted to the Court of Appeal’s decision to block Heathrow expansion on the grounds of incompatibility with the Paris Climate Agreement.
Air New Zealand has unveiled a new lie-flat prototype sleep product for economy class travellers. The Economy Skynest is the result of three years of Air New Zealand research and development, with the input of more than 200 customers at its Hangar 22 innovation centre in Auckland. The airline has filed patent and trademark applications for the Economy Skynest which provides six full length lie-flat sleep pods.
The ‘terrible circumstances’ leading to the suspension of flights in and out of China has meant more marketing dollars for the new American Airlines flight between Christchurch and Los Angeles, a Canterbury audience heard late last week.
American Airlines last night treated Christchurch trade partners and colleagues to an all-American classic car convoy as it gears up to fly non-stop between the South Island and the USA.
Agents who sell a Singapore Airlines ticket and book a Singapore Stopover Holiday in the same itinerary will be into win return Premium Economy Class flights for two to Singapore, with accommodation and Singapore Explorer Plus passes.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says just released global passenger traffic data for October 2019 shows that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) climbed 3.4% compared to the same period a year ago.
One of the most popular multi-supplier travel trade road shows in New Zealand has announced its dates, venues and participants for 2020.
Air New Zealand will launch a non-stop service between Auckland and New York using its 787-9 Dreamliner in October 2020. But it will come at a cost to NZ's daily Los Angeles-London service which will cease from October 2020.
NZ's acting chief executive officer Jeff McDowall says while it’s hard to farewell such an iconic route, the airline must remain focused on markets with the greatest opportunity for long-term profitable growth.
Air New Zealand and other legacy airlines are increasingly looking at 'micro-segmentation' in their cabins and taking price sensitive customers more seriously, says Air New Zealand's chief revenue officer, Cam Wallace.
Speaking at today's CAPA NZ Aviation and Corporate Travel Summit, Wallace pointed out that when the airline introduces its new Economy Stretch option it will have five distinct products aimed at specific market segments (along with Business Premium, Premium Economy, Skycouch and standard economy).
LATAM Airlines Group has unveiled the first image of its Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge-inspired aircraft, following the recent opening of Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Air Chathams is already aiming for a second service to Norfolk Island following the launch of its weekly flight on Friday.
‘Historic data from when other airlines operated the route (including Air New Zealand) indicates that is very possible,’ says Air Chathams general manager Duane Emeny who draws parallels with the airline’s Chatham Island services.‘We have been
Air Canada’s sales from this market, in advance of the coming direct service between Auckland and Vancouver mid December, have already exceeded expectations, says the airline’s general manager Australia and New Zealand Vic Naughton.
Air Tahiti Nui will soon be advertising for three new roles, following the announcement late last week that the carrier will take on the full, solus management of its New Zealand and Australian distribution, sales and marketing activities later this year.