Airlines, Airports and Airliners News 5 to 11 Oct 2020

By Willie Bodenstein


Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Ethiopian Airlines recently launched their 40th humanitarian delivery flight when the airline's new 787-9 Dreamliner departed Everett, Wash., carrying more than 20,000 pounds of humanitarian supplies. The shipment, including supplies for health care and family needs, will be distributed to hospitals, clinics and charities in the Addis Ababa region.

"Ethiopian Airlines has been deeply involved in transporting critical COVID-19 supplies to support communities during these difficult and challenging times," said Kagnew F. Asfaw, vice president ET Holidays & Digital Sales, Ethiopian Airlines. "Building on our history of collaboration in humanitarian flights, we are partnering with Boeing to bring home health care supplies. We would like to thank the Ethiopian community and several organizations in Seattle for their generosity and support for Ethiopian communities across the world during the global pandemic."

Humanitarian supplies on the flight were provided by three charitable partners in Seattle: Resolute Health Outreach (RHO), the Ethiopian National COVID-19 Response Task Force of Seattle and Embuaa Family. They contributed supplies ranging from face masks, wipes and sterile gloves to exam tables, bassinets, medicine and more.

"Over the past 10 years, RHO has donated 200 tons of medical equipment to Ethiopia," said Dr. Richard Solazzi, board chair at Resolute Health Outreach. "This would not be possible without the help and cooperation of Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing. We are grateful for their commitment to this humanitarian project."

The Ethiopian National COVID-19 Response Task Force is led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, in partnership with Ethiopian embassies and diaspora communities around the world. "After COVID-19 came to Ethiopia, the Ethiopian community in the U.S. decided we needed to do something," said Pastor Berhanu Waldemariam, chairman of the Seattle branch of the Ethiopian National COVID-19 Response Task Force. "We have collected these items and hospital equipment to help the Ethiopian government and people stay connected through partners such as Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing."

Some of the medical supplies, clothing and hygiene products will be provided to the Mary Joy Foundation, which helps women and youth access skills and training to rise out of poverty. "Even during the COVID-19 crisis, it amazes me that people never shy away from helping others in need," said Sister Zebider Zewdie, CEO of the Mary Joy Foundation. "This medical equipment will save countless lives and help people protect themselves from disease."

The Humanitarian Delivery Flight Program was launched in 1992 as a collaboration between Boeing and its customers to transport humanitarian supplies assistance around the world on newly delivered airplanes with otherwise empty cargo holds. To date, there have been over 200 humanitarian delivery flights. More than 1.6 million pounds of critical supplies have been delivered since the start of the program.


British Airways is increasing the number of destinations it serves with a larger timetable of flights for its customers. Long haul services will begin to Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Bahrain. Flights to winter sun favourite Grenada are scheduled to return on 14 October while flights to the Seychelles are scheduled to return on 16 October.

Lahore, a new addition to British Airways' route network, begins on 12 October while new Heathrow services to the Maldives and Barbados launch on 16 and 17 October respectively.

Looking at short haul, Brussels, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Gothenburg, Milan Linate, Stuttgart, Seville and Valencia return today. Bilbao, Kefalonia and Luxembourg return tomorrow and Lanzarote returns on Saturday. Later in the month, services will resume to destinations including, Gran Canaria, Billund, Bordeaux, Basel, Brindisi, Cologne, Malta, Salzburg, Vienna and Zagreb.

Flights start from just £24 each way to Europe. British Airways Holidays also has a series of tempting packages available; more details are at the end of the release.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways' Director of Network and Alliances, said: "We're glad to be returning to more destinations this month, connecting the UK with more and more countries around the world. With increases in both long and short haul services, there is a destination for anyone and with our enhanced safety measures, we hope this encourages people to start planning their next getaway."

As always, the operation of any flights is subject to international restrictions and government approval.

Customers can travel in absolute confidence knowing that safety is at the heart of British Airways' business. The airline has introduced a range of measures, which it requires customers and crew abide by.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that the airline industry will burn through $77 billion in cash during the second half of 2020 (almost $13 billion/month or $300,000 per minute), despite the restart of operations. The slow recovery in air travel will see the airline industry continuing to burn through cash at an average rate of $5 to $6 billion per month in 2021.

IATA called on governments to support the industry during the coming winter season with additional relief measures, including financial aid that does not add more debt to the industry's already-highly-indebted balance sheet. To date, governments around the world have provided $160 billion in support, including direct aid, wage subsidies, corporate tax relief and specific industry tax relief including fuel taxes.

"We are grateful for this support, which is aimed at ensuring that the air transport industry remains viable and ready to reconnect the economies and support millions of jobs in travel and tourism. But the crisis is deeper and longer than any of us could have imagined. And the initial support programs are running out. Today we must ring the alarm bell again. If these support programs are not replaced or extended, the consequences for an already hobbled industry will be dire," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.

"Historically, cash generated during the peak summer season helps to support airlines through the leaner winter months. Unfortunately, this year's disastrous spring and summer provided no cushion. In fact, airlines burned cash throughout the period. And with no timetable for governments to reopen borders without travel-killing quarantines, we cannot rely on a year-end holiday season bounce to provide a bit of extra cash to tide us over until the spring," said de Juniac.

IATA estimates that despite cutting costs just over 50% during the second quarter, the industry went through $51 billion in cash as revenues fell almost 80% compared to the year-ago period. The cash drain continued during the summer months, with airlines expected to go through an additional $77 billion of their cash during the second half of this year and a further $60-70 billion in 2021. The industry is not expected to turn cash positive until 2022.

Airlines have undertaken extensive self-help measures to cut costs. This includes parking thousands of aircraft, cutting routes and any non-critical expense and furloughing and laying off hundreds of thousands of experienced and dedicated employees.

Sector Wide Action Needed
"Government support for the entire sector is needed. The impact has spread across the entire travel value chain including our airport and air navigation infrastructure partners who are dependent on pre-crisis levels of traffic to sustain their operations. Rate hikes on system users to make up the gap would be the start of a vicious and unforgiving cycle of further cost pressures and downsizings. That will prolong the crisis for the 10% of global economic activity that is linked to travel and tourism," said de Juniac.

There will be little appetite among consumers for cost increases. In a recent IATA survey, some two thirds of travellers have already indicated that they will postpone travel until the overall economy or their personal financial situation stabilizes. "Increasing the cost of travel at this sensitive time will delay a return to travel and keep jobs at risk," said de Juniac.

According to the latest figures from the Air Transport Action Group, the severe downturn this year, combined with a slow recovery, threatens 4.8 million jobs across the entire aviation sector. Because each aviation job supports many more in the broader economy, the global impact is 46 million potential job losses and $1.8 trillion dollars of economic activity at risk.


Two Embraer E195s have commenced operations in Vietnam with Bamboo Airways, offering the first jet service to Con Dao from Hanoi, Vinh and Hai Phong. Con Dao Island and the surrounding National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty 1400km (760nm) from the capital Hanoi, off the southern coast of Vietnam. The popular tourist destination, featuring an archipelago of 16 islands, is currently only served by turboprop aircraft due to its short runway, light pavement and lack of fuel provision.

The Embraer E195s join Bamboo Airways' fleet on a wet-lease agreement with Denmark based Great Dane Airlines, adding to the growing number of E-Jet operators in the Asia Pacific region.

Bamboo Airways is the first to operate direct flights to Con Dao from three cities; the capital Hanoi, Hai Phong city in the North and Vinh city in the central area. There will be two flights a day on the Hanoi - Con Dao route and daily flights from Hai Phong and Vinh to Con Dao in the initial phase. Bamboo Airways are operating the aircraft in a comfortable single class configuration with 118 seats.

Embraer is the world's leading manufacturer of commercial aircraft up to 150 seats with more than 100 customers from all over the world. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged more than 1,800 orders and 1,600 aircraft have been delivered. Today, E-Jets are flying in the fleet of more than 80 customers in some 50 countries. The versatile 70 to 150-seat family is flying with low-cost airlines as well as with regional and mainline carriers.


Boeing [NYSE: BA] has released its annual forecast for the commercial and defence aerospace market, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Boeing's view of near-, medium- and long-term market dynamics. The 2020 Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) projects that the commercial aviation and services markets will continue to face significant challenges due to the pandemic, while global defence and government services markets remain more stable.

The BMO forecasts a total market value of $8.5 trillion over the next decade including demand for aerospace products and services. The forecast is down from $8.7 trillion a year ago due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines globally have begun to recover from a greater than 90% decline in passenger traffic and revenue early this year, but a full recovery will take years, according to the outlook.

The 2020 Boeing Market Outlook includes projected demand for 18,350 commercial airplanes in the next decade - 11% lower than the comparable 2019 forecast - valued at about $2.9 trillion. In the longer term, with key industry drivers expected to remain stable, the commercial fleet is forecasted to return to its growth trend, generating demand for more than 43,000 new airplanes in the 20-year forecast time period.

The BMO also projects a $2.6 trillion market opportunity for defence and space during the next decade. This spending projection reflects the ongoing importance of military aircraft, autonomous systems, satellites, spacecraft and other products to national and international defence. This demand continues to be global in nature with 40 percent of expenditures expected to originate outside of the United States.

While near-term commercial services demand is lower, the BMO forecasts a $3 trillion market opportunity for commercial and government services through 2029, with digital solutions emerging as a critical enabler as customers focus on leaner operations to adjust to future market demand. Life cycle services and support will help customers scale their operations to meet efficiency and cost objectives aligned to market recovery trends.

As the impact of the pandemic continues, Boeing is taking action to reshape its business operations to adapt to the new market reality and become more resilient for the long term. This business transformation includes every element of Boeing's enterprise, including infrastructure, overhead and organization, portfolio and investments, supply chain health and operational excellence.

Also released today, the 2020 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), an annual 20-year forecast addressing the market for commercial airplanes and services, projects an increase in the share of deliveries replacing older passenger aircraft that are being retired in an accelerated replacement cycle, especially in the first decade.

"Commercial aviation is facing historic challenges this year, significantly affecting near- and medium-term demand for airplanes and services," said Darren Hulst, vice president, Commercial Marketing. "Yet history has also proven air travel to be resilient time and again. The current disruption will inform airline fleet strategies long into the future, as airlines focus on building versatile fleets, networks and business model innovations that deliver the most capability and greatest efficiency at the lowest risk for sustainable growth."


Singapore Airlines (SIA) has become the launch airline for the digital version of the Star Alliance Connection Service. The Star Alliance Connection Service was introduced in 2017 to facilitate time critical flight connections between Star Alliance member airlines and, until now, has required dedicated staff support to assist affected passengers in transferring between flights.

The digital version of the Star Alliance Connection Service embeds in the participating member airline's mobile app, providing updated transfer information and intuitive navigational services through the customer's smartphone at major hub airports, without further intervention.

Information provided by the digital version includes the optimum route from the arrival to the departure gate, as well as distance and time needed to get there. In the case of critical connections, passengers receive a digital express connection card that allows expedited passage through certain checkpoints.

Star Alliance adopted the Airline Accelerator technology of Living Map, a UK-based digital location and mapping specialist, whose advanced indoor positioning product provides the foundation for each customized customer routing within the airport terminal.

This initial release focuses on London Heathrow Airport (LHR) Terminal 2. SIA passengers connecting to or from any other Star Alliance member airline in the terminal will have access to the airport maps via the SingaporeAir mobile app. Star Alliance plans to roll out the digital version of its Connection Service to more transfer-intensive airports for adoption by other member airlines in the future. Android users are experiencing this enhancement first, and the implementation for iOS users will take place subsequently.

SIA Executive Vice President Commercial, Mr Lee Lik Hsin, said: "Launching the Connection Service on the SingaporeAir mobile app, in partnership with Star Alliance, is part of our efforts to use digital technologies to provide a more seamless end-to-end journey to our customers. As the world's leading digital airline, we will continue to find innovative ways to enhance the experience for our customers and support their evolving needs."


United Airlines announced it plans to resume service on nearly 30 international routes in November, including flights to cities in Asia, Europe and South America. Additionally, the airline continues to strategically rebuild its domestic and international network by offering customers service to popular leisure destinations in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Central America and Mexico. Even with these additions, United's November schedule is still less than half of what it was this time last year. The airline plans to fly 44% of its schedule in November compared to 2019 and a 4-point increase compared to October 2020.

"For the month of November, we have adjusted our capacity to add flying for leisure travel to warm weather and beach destinations in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean, along with 'visiting friends and relatives' travel across the globe," said Patrick Quayle, United's vice president of International Network and Alliances. "We're also pleased to announce that beginning this weekend, customers can purchase tickets for United's new nonstop flights between Chicago and New Delhi, New York/Newark and Johannesburg and between San Francisco and Bangalore."

Domestically, United intends to fly 49% of its schedule compared to November 2019. Beginning this November, United plans to offer up to 16 daily, nonstop flights connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland and New York/LaGuardia to popular Florida destinations including Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa. In addition to United's new flights to Florida, the airline plans to add up to 14 daily flights on 12 routes to Boise, Idaho; Palm Springs, California and Bend, Oregon.

Internationally, United intends to fly 38% of its schedule compared to November 2019, which is a 6-point increase compared to October 2020. The airline intends to resume 29 international routes to cities in Asia, Europe and Latin America, including:

Resuming service between Denver and Frankfurt, three times weekly. Increasing service between Houston and Frankfurt to five times weekly. In September, United announced plans to expand its global route network with new, nonstop service between New York/Newark and Johannesburg, South Africa; between San Francisco and Bangalore, India and between Chicago and New Delhi, India.


Emirates has announced it will resume flights to Budapest (from 21 October), Bologna (1st November), Dusseldorf (1st November), Hamburg (1st November) and Lyon (4th November), expanding its European network to 31 destinations and offering customers around the world convenient connections via Dubai.

The addition of these five destinations takes Emirates' global network to 99 destinations, as the airline continues to gradually meet travel demand, while always prioritising the health and safety of its customers, crew and communities.

Flights to/from Budapest and Lyon will operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays while flights to/from Bologna, Dusseldorf and Hamburg will operate twice a week on Fridays and Sundays.

All flights to the five cities will be operated by the Boeing 777- 300ER, providing robust cargo capacity on each flight. Tickets can be booked on, the Emirates App, Emirates sales offices, via travel agents as well as online travel agents.

Customers can stop over or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors.

Destination Dubai: From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai is one of the most popular global destinations. In 2019, the city welcomed 16.7 million visitors and hosted over hundreds of global meetings and exhibitions, as well as sports and entertainment events. Dubai was one of the world's first cities to obtain Safe?Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) - which endorses?Dubai's comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and?safety.

Flexibility and assurance: Emirates' booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket for travel on or before 31 March 2021,?can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options, if they have to change their travel plans. Customers have options to change their travel dates, extend their ticket validity for 2 years, or convert their ticket into a travel voucher to use against any future flight-related purchase for themselves or their family and friends.


The renewed global increase in COVID-19 infections has led Austrian Airlines to adapt its winter flight schedule. Within the context of an in-house event, the Austrian Airlines Executive Board informed airline employees today about current developments and plans for the 2020/21 winter season. Production (flight offering) in the winter flight schedule will not equal 50 percent of the previous year's offering on average as originally intended, but only an average of 30 percent of the prior-year level as a result of the many travel restrictions which have been imposed.

The liquidity situation of the airline is good and above target. Nevertheless, as CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech explains: "In the past few weeks it became increasingly clear that we would have to dress more warmly this winter than we thought. The new entry restrictions on the part of Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and many other countries have made it necessary for us to make adjustments to our offering. We are prepared for this." He compares the current situation faced by Austrian Airlines with a ship. "Our objective is to manoeuvre our company through this 'storm' based on our combined efforts. We do not know how long this storm will last. For this reason, we have to make ourselves weatherproof and reduce the monthly outflow of funds as much as possible", the Austrian Airlines CEO adds.

Austrian Airlines will offer flights to about 60 destinations in the upcoming winter flight schedule, which is valid from the end of October 2020 to the end of March 2021. This represents about 20 flight destinations less than in the previous year. At the same time, many destinations will be served but with substantially reduced frequencies. In addition to operating long-haul flights to Newark, Chicago, Washington and Bangkok, Austrian Airlines first resumed its flight service to Shanghai last week. Starting in the middle of December, it is planned to operate flights to traditional holiday destinations such as Cape Town, Mauritius and the Maldives. These destinations will be served twice per week, subject to extended entry restrictions.

As challenging as the current situation is for Austrian Airlines in terms of actually operating flights, the liquidity of Austria's red-white-red flag carrier remains above target thanks to stringent cost discipline. The last tranche of the loan amounting to EUR 100 million is expected to be transferred to Austrian Airlines shortly. In addition to a total of EUR 300 million in loans, the national airline also received EUR 150 million in emergency aid from the Austrian government and an injection of EUR 150 million in fresh equity capital from the Lufthansa Group, which owns the company. On average, the liquidity of the company declines by about EUR 40 million per month. For this reason, Austrian Airlines is striving to cut costs even more. "These efforts include expanding short-time work in the company, thus adjusting it to the reduction in production,", explains Andreas Otto, who took over the position of CFO in addition to his work as CCO. "We are equipped to handle a second wave of the coronavirus thanks to our good liquidity situation, but next summer will be decisive. If we can get a grip on the coronavirus by then, land will be in sight again. Many passengers will also have a corresponding need to catch up with respect to travelling", management board member Andreas Otto predicts


In October 2020, Latvian airline airBaltic marks the 25th anniversary of the company. Considering the experience gained over the years and current situation, airBaltic honours this milestone by introducing revised company vision, mission and core values which were found in a survey among customers, colleagues, opinion leaders and partners.

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: "Even in times like these, it is important to reflect on our work over the years and see how we have developed. That is the reason why we are now introducing revised mission, values and vison with strong commitment for the future. We are thankful to our employees, passengers and partners for being with us together on this journey for 25 years."

"We are here to stay in order to fulfil our mission to ensure essential connectivity between the Baltic states and the world with a significant economic contribution. In addition, our revised vision sees airBaltic becoming a sustainable carrier in the EU aviation market, while maintaining a continuous growth path and innovative improvement of passenger experience, catalysing Baltic states development as the Europe's business centre and travel hub," adds Martin Gauss.

The revised three core values of airBaltic are:

We deliver - we are strongly committed to deliver top-notch quality in all areas of our operations. We make sure that travel is safe, punctual and smooth for our customers. We are a reliable partner for everyone we cooperate with. By connecting people and places we bring benefit to the whole society.

We care - we love what we do and our passion for aviation inspires others. We build long-lasting relationships with our passengers, anticipating their needs and offering the best service possible. Sustainability is at the core of all the ways we work - how we do business, how we interact with people, how we care about environment, introducing green practices wherever we can.

We grow - we see challenges as opportunities to develop. We innovate, improve and move forward in order to be ahead of the industry. We are a team of the best professionals in the field who are persistently working to stay on top. We believe in the balance of thinking fast and smart - true leaders are flexible visionaries and take clear decisions to adapt to change and create a better future.

October is the anniversary month the Latvian airline airBaltic as on October 1, 1995 the airline launched commercial operations and had its first flight from Riga to Stockholm with the aircraft SAAB 340.

airBaltic (Air Baltic Corporation AS) is one of the most punctual airlines in the world connecting the Baltic region with over 60 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and the CIS. airBaltic is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. Its primary shareholder is the Latvian state, which holds 96.14% of the stock, while Lars Thuesen holds 3.86% through his fully-owned Aircraft Leasing 1 SIA. airBaltic operates 23 Airbus A220-300 aircraft. airBaltic has received numerous international awards for excellence and innovative services. In 2017, the airline received the CAPA Regional Airline of the Year award, while in 2018 and 2019, airBaltic received the ATW Airline Industry Achievement Award as the Market Leader of the Year. In addition, in 2019 airBaltic received Sector Leadership Award by Airline Business.


The national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has opened a special cargo flight from Makassar to Singapore as a part of the Company's effort to support the development of cargo flight network accessibility for leading export commodities in Eastern Indonesia.

This special cargo flight officially kicked off on Monday (5/10) and will be available once a week by using regular aircraft Airbus A330-300 with its carrying capacity of up to 40 tons for each flight. This flight departs from Sultan Hasanuddin Airport, Makassar at 4 pm local time and will arrive in Singapore at 6.40 pm local time.

CEO & President of Garuda Indonesia, Irfan Setiaputra explained that "We are hoping by this air cargo connectivity development which emphasises on the flight hub in eastern Indonesia will strengthen the competitiveness of national export commodities in eastern Indonesia, especially through the direct flight accessibility to Singapore as one of the biggest importers in Southeast Asia".

Makassar, as the flight hub in eastern Indonesia, is located within a strategic area where it uses the centre point of the commodity cargo delivery network. It is connected by direct flights towards several regions in eastern Indonesia as the leading national export commodities such as Ambon, Kendari, Sorong, and Manado.

"Certainly, by this flight network optimization, the direct export from eastern Indonesia will be more competitive and promising in the future", said Irfan.

On the other hand, the Governor of South Sulawesi, Nurdin Abdullah stated that "On behalf of the South Sulawesi citizen, we appreciate Garuda Indonesia that finally opens the Makassar - Singapore route, specifically for its cargo flight activity. This movement is a stepping stone for South Sulawesi to increase the potential export of its agricultural products, especially the maritime products.

"Furthermore, by its direct flight linking Makassar to Singapore, we hope it will increase the competitiveness of our fresh products and other leading commodities from South Sulawesi. Hopefully, all exporters in South Sulawesi can take the advantage of this service, so that the export quality will improve significantly in the future, said Nurdin Abdullah.

As this service is in line with our efforts to optimize the cargo market as well as to support the competitiveness of national leading commodities, Garuda Indonesia previously launched a special cargo flight linking Manado - Narita. From now on, Garuda Indonesia will keep developing the accessibility of its cargo flight network to various potential importing countries for Indonesia maritime commodities like China, Hong Kong, or any other domestic and international routes.


The company offers its Clients more flexibility by extending the Reserve with Confidence promotion until 30 November. From this Thursday and until Saturday, TAP will cover travel costs for children flying with families to and from Europe. For each adult ticket purchased, the Portuguese Airline will cover the cost of a flight for one child up to and including 11 years of age.

The offer is available for flights between 23 October 2020 and 15 March 2021, except for the period between 16 December 2020 and 7 January 2021, enabling clients to take advantage of the coming months to discover new European destinations with their families.

The discount will only be applied to tickets purchased online on the TAP website,, when the promotion code is entered: KIDS on flights to and from Europe, with exception of domestic flights. Taxes on each child's ticket are not included in the company's offer.

To ensure more flexibility and peace of mind for its clients, TAP has extended its Reserve with Confidence campaign for two more months, which allows bookings made by 30 November, with a travel date between 30 November 2020 and 15 March 2021, to be changed free of charge. Tickets issued as part of this offer for families and their children over the coming days will also benefit from free changes. The Reserve with Confidence promotion does not include flights between 15 December 2020 and 15 January 2021.

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