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Covid-19: Airlines seek emergency aid as coronavirus brings industry to near-halt

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Matta: Mavcom should protect consumers, not allow airlines to dictate terms of refund

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) has criticised Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) for allowing airlines leeway to refuse giving consumers refund during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the commission should instead ought to ensure consumers, including travel agents acting on behalf of their clients, obtain their due refunds without delay or offer equitable solutions acceptable to ticket holders.


“Mavcom’s function is also to provide a mechanism for protection of consumers. The least it can do is to accept this extraordinary challenge and provide a timeline plus a mechanism for refunds and provide options and solutions both to airlines and consumers,” Tan said in a statement.

“By allowing airlines to dictate terms at its commercial discretion especially during this time of crisis is poor supervision and governance.

More: https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/04/14/matta-mavcom-should-protect-consumers-not-allow-airlines-to-dictate-terms-o/1856669

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UK's Heathrow Airport sees passenger numbers down 90% in April

LONDON (Reuters) - Heathrow Airport, traditionally the busiest in Europe, forecast that passenger numbers would plunge by more than 90% in April, as coronavirus restrictions stop most people from traveling.

The remaining 10%, or around 680,000 people, still using Heathrow this month will be either Britons returning home after being stuck abroad or foreign citizens repatriating, as well as medical experts traveling to help with the crisis.

More: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-heathrow-fin/uks-heathrow-airport-sees-passenger-numbers-down-90-in-april-idUSKCN21W0KO

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ABOUT 80 THOUSAND PEOPLE FOLLOWED ONLINE THE AN-225 MRIYA’S APPROACH TO WARSAW CHOPIN AIRPORT

AN-225 Mriya carried a cargo of medical suppliers of a record volume to fight the global pandemic of COVID-19

On April 14, 2020, AN-225 carried a cargo of of medical suppliers of a record volume from China to Warsaw, Poland, taking part in fight against the global pandemic of COVID-19. On April 13, the Mriya loaded with about 100 t of medicines, reagents for laboratory tests, medical masks and other protective means with a total volume of about 1000 cubic meters departured from Tiānjīn, China. A cargo of such volume was not carried in aircraft compartment ever before in the history of global aviation. After the loading, the world’s biggest aircraft flew to Warsaw with internal landing at Almaty airport, Kazakhstan, for refueling and the crew rest. This flight ordered by Chapman Freeborn Airchartering Ltd (Great Britain) became the first for the AN-225 after maintenance and modernization performed by ANTONOV COMPANY. The Mriya was fitted with a new power plant control system, LCD devices of the engine control made in Ukraine, new lightning LED equipment with better characteristics of ebergy saving and realibility. In such a way, the AN-225 joined to missions of AN-124-100 Ruslans of Antonov Airlines’s fleet performing charter flights on transportation of humanitarian and medical cargoes necessary to fight the COVID-19. From the end of March till present, Antonov Airlines’ aircraft transported over 1400 t of cargoes from China to different countries of Europe, America and the Near East.

More: https://www.antonov.com/en/article/za-posadkoyu-an-225-mriji-v-aeroportu-shopena-v-varshavi-sposterigali-onlayn-blizko-80-tisyach-lyudey

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Malaysia Airlines is deploying A380 to rescue remaining students who are stuck in Egypt. Flight on 19th April 2020, Sunday. Departure Time:  14 00. May all our fellow Malaysians arrive home sfely.

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A380 and 747 hardest hit as stored fleet soars past 14,000 airliners

Latest storage data from Cirium reveals that just 2% of the A380s and less than 10% of Boeing 747s are currently flying

The latest airliner storage data from Cirium reveals that just 2% of the Airbus A380 and under 10% of the Boeing 747 passenger fleets are currently flying, amid the mass groundings implemented by airlines across the globe.

Cirium fleets data shows that as of 15 April the total number of Airbus and Boeing passenger aircraft in operation with airlines stood at 7,635, as the inactive fleet ballooned up to almost 14,400 aircraft. Of current types, the data reveals that the smallest active fleet, as a proportion of the overall count, is the A380, with just four of the 239 aircraft with airlines operational – or 1.7%.

According to Cirium, airlines still operating A380s as of mid-April were China Southern Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways.

Full report: https://www.flightglobal.com/fleets/a380-and-747-hardest-hit-as-stored-fleet-soars-past-14000-airliners/137909.article

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AirAsia announces resumption of domestic flights

AirAsia is set to resume its scheduled domestic flights commencing with Malaysia on 29 April 2020, followed by Thailand (1 May 2020), the Philippines (1 May 2020), India (4 May 2020) and Indonesia (7 May 2020), subject to approval from the authorities. 

The resumption of services will initially be for key selected domestic routes, which will increase gradually to include international destinations around the network, once the situation improves and governments lift borders and travel restrictions. 

More: https://newsroom.airasia.com/news/2020/4/17/airasia-announces-resumption-of-domestic-flights

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AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines merger an option as COVID-19 hits industry - minister

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Merging money-losing state carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) with budget airline AirAsia Group Bhd (AIRA.KL) is one of the options to “save” them as the COVID-19 crisis batters the industry, Malaysia’s second-most senior minister told Reuters on Friday.

More: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-malaysia-airlines/exclusive-airasia-malaysia-airlines-merger-an-option-as-covid-19-hits-industry-minister-idUSKBN21Z15S

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Virgin Australia preparing to enter voluntary administration: Report

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/virgin-australia-preparing-voluntary-administration-covid-19-12658720

https://australianaviation.com.au/2020/04/virgin-to-enter-administration-imminently-reports/

Debt: AUD 5 bIllion

Seeking AUD 1.4 billion bailout

Virgin Australia Holdings collectively has 10,620 staff, including all subsidiaries Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional.

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Four staffing units of Norwegian Air file for bankruptcy

OSLO (Reuters) - Four Swedish and Danish subsidiaries of Norwegian Air (NWC.OL) have filed for bankruptcy due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis which has grounded most of the company’s fleet, the budget carrier said on Monday.

See: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-norwegianair-idUSKBN2221I1

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The same day as Virgin Australia battles for survival, her sister company Virgin Atlantic is also fighting for survival. Sir Richard Branson is now offering his private island Necker Island as collateral in order to secure bailout from both Australia and UK governments.

Richard Branson offers his island as collateral as Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia face collapse

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/20/business/virgin-australia-richard-branson/index.html

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Airbus puts six jets made for AirAsia up for sale as crisis deepens

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA) has put six jets made for one of its largest customers up for sale after giving up on Malaysia’s AirAsia (AIRA.KL) taking delivery of them, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-airbus-airasia-exc/exclusive-airbus-puts-six-jets-made-for-airasia-up-for-sale-as-crisis-deepens-idUSKBN2221R2

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GE Capital Aviation Services cancels orders for 69 737 Max

Aircraft lessor GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has terminated orders for 69 Boeing 737 Max, further reducing Boeing’s Max backlog amid a downturn that has hammered airlines and the global aerospace industry.

See: https://www.flightglobal.com/fleets/ge-capital-aviation-services-cancels-orders-for-69-737-max/137948.article

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Austrian to halve 767 fleet and remove all A319s

https://www.flightglobal.com/fleets/austrian-to-halve-767-fleet-and-remove-all-a319s/138012.article

  • To remove three oldest out of six B763ER: OE-LAT, OE-LAW and OE-LAX
  • To remove all seven A319 and De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 as per earlier scheduled by 2021.
  • Aiming to retain as many of its 7,000 personnel as possible.

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Very sad to see such news - the beginning of the end has started for many small airlines that don't have deep pockets.

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SIA’s fund-raising plan is ‘gold standard’: Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs deems Singapore Airline’s plans to raise up to S$15 billion ($10 million) the “gold standard” among coronavirus-related rescue packages for airlines.

“We view that as really the gold standard for the packages that have been put in place,” Nicola Dondi, managing director at Goldman Sachs (Asia), said at a webinar hosted by Airline Economics on 17 April, discussing the impact of Covid-19 on the Asian aviation market.

The plan is backed by SIA’s largest shareholder Temasek Holdings and Dondi says: “It’s a comprehensive package. It’s very large in quantum. It gives Singapore Airlines a lot of additional liquidity and it’s obviously led by a blue-chip shareholder that was already a shareholder in Singapore Airlines, who has shown further commitment to the company.”

SIA’s shareholders will vote at the end of this month on an issuance of S$5.3 billion in equity and S$3.5 billion in 10-year mandatory convertible bonds. The plan also offers SIA the option to issue S$6.2 billion through additional tranches over subsequent months.

Temasek, a government-owned investment company, has said it will vote in favour of the measure.

In addition to the equity and convertible bond offering, SIA also signed for a S$4 billlion bridge loan with Singapore’s DBS Bank, to support the company’s “near-term liquidity requirements”.

More: https://www.flightglobal.com/airlines/sias-fund-raising-plan-is-gold-standard-goldman-sachs/138028.article

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BANGKOK -- Thai Airways International, a listed state-owned enterprise, is dangerously close to becoming the world's first national flag carrier to go bust amid the coronavirus pandemic, with only days left to maneuver out of its latest financial straits.

Down to its last 10 billion baht ($307 million), according to local reports, which is enough to pay its employees for one month, the airline is in talks with the Thai government regarding a bailout.

To tide itself over during the emergency, the carrier has requested that the government approve a 70 billion-baht bridge loan, with the Finance Ministry as a guarantor, ministry sources told the Nikkei Asian Review.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Transportation/Thai-Airways-on-financial-brink-as-government-debates-rescue

 

 

Edited by KK Lee

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Cabo Verde Airlines on the brink of bankruptcy

https://www.preferente.com/noticias-de-transportes/noticias-de-aerolineas/iata-suspende-a-cabo-verde-airlines-del-bsp-299512.html

Cabo Verde Airlines, the airline of Cape Verde is reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy after having been suspended by IATA's booking systems. Even prior to the COVID-19, the airline, backed by Icelandair parent company, has strings of misfortune. Despite having new fleet, new banding and new destinations (quickly cut back), the tourism numbers just vaporised.

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Lufthansa in financing talks after disclosing Q1 loss of €1.2bn

Lufthansa Group is in talks with the home governments of its various airlines over financing support after revealing it expects to post a €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) adjusted EBIT loss for the first quarter of 2020 with deeper losses to follow in the second quarter.

In a trading update Lufthansa Group says preliminary results show its first quarter revenues were down 18% to €6.4 billion - and fell by almost half to €1.4 billion in March, as the coronavirus spread through Europe.

More: https://www.flightglobal.com/strategy/lufthansa-in-financing-talks-after-disclosing-q1-loss-of-12bn/138047.article

 

Garuda outlines measures to ride out coronavirus pandemic

Garuda Indonesia has outlined the measures undertaken in light of uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In response to a stock exchange query made on 16 April, the airline says it has begun negotiations with lessors to delay payment on leased aircraft and to extend their lease periods.

It will renegotiate with external parties on its obligations that are due, while seeking financing support or loans from financial institutions.

The airline has embarked on a cost-efficiency programme to reduce its expenses by 15-20%, and is seeking some form of government support.

It has also “optimised” the number of flights it operates and the capacity deployed, by operating cargo-only and repatriation flights, closing unprofitable routes, delaying the delivery of four Airbus A330-900neos planned for this year. It also plans to grow its international hubs of Amsterdam and Japan by taking advantage of interline services with other carriers.

More: https://www.flightglobal.com/airlines/garuda-outlines-measures-to-ride-out-coronavirus-pandemic/138054.article

Edited by flee

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IATA urges Malaysia to support airlines to survive COVID-19 impact

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24  -- Malaysia is among the priority countries in Asia Pacific that need to take action to support local airlines to survive the COVID-19 pandemic as the impact on the industry worsens, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

See: https://www.bernama.com/en/business/news.php?id=1835359

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Air France-KLM Nears Bailout With Improved Guarantees: Sources

PARIS/FRANKFURT — Air France-KLM is moving towards a 10 billion euro ($10.9 billion) government-backed rescue deal, sources said, after France agreed to higher guarantees on loans designed to tide the airline group through the coronavirus crisis.

Paris is ready to vouch for 90% or more of the bank loans to Air France, rather than the 70% initially offered, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The increased guarantees were first reported by La Tribune on Wednesday.

More: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/22/business/22reuters-health-coronavirus-air-france-klm.html

 

Edited by flee

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