Compiled by Willie Bodenstein
PLETTENBERG BAY AIRPORT IS DOWNGRADED BY THE SACAA RESULTING IN THE SUSPENSION OF ALL COMMERCIAL FLIGHT SERVICES
CemAir announces, with regret, the suspension of all its flights into Plettenberg Bay with immediate effect. This affects both the Johannesburg and the Cape Town services. The suspension results from the downgrading of Plettenberg Bay Airport to below the minimum category required for our flights to operate into the airport.
The records show that the reason for suspension is the ongoing failure of the airport to address outstanding issues from SACAA (South African Civil Aviation Authority) inspections, some several years old. Although written undertakings with specified timeframes were provided to the SACAA to address shortcomings, these undertakings were not met.
Bitou Municipality had both a statutory and contractual obligation to correct the issues. However, this has not been done so and at the time of writing, has made no commitment to address the issues.
It is unclear why the SACAA's decision, although based on long outstanding issues was made with almost no notice. Although CemAir has on numerous occasions offered to assist with the resolution of issues as well as the management of the airport and provision of essential training for airport and firefighting staff, the majority of these offers or proposals were ignored and went unanswered by the Bitou Municipality.
Passengers with tickets already booked on our Plettenberg Bay service will be reaccommodated on our flights from George Airport. In addition, we will be introducing a George to Cape Town service to accommodate customers on this routing.
We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause our customers. Unfortunately, as an airline, we rely on the infrastructure of the country in order for us to provide our service. When this infrastructure is not maintained, Government needs to be held accountable.
CemAir's service to Plettenberg Bay was launched in 2014 and we have operated a few thousand flights into the airport carrying in excess of 90,000 passengers over the 7 years. The service created jobs directly and indirectly and contributed to the growth of the town.
DUBAI BASED EMIRATES TO FLY BOTH REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DELEGATES TO AFRICAN ENERGY WEEK IN CAPE TOWN
The United Arab Emirates' (UAE) largest airline, Emirates, has announced that it will resume its flights to South Africa after several months of inactivity due to travel restrictions. The move comes in accordance with the UAE's easing of travel regarding 12 countries and is expected to accelerate travel and tourism for South Africa.
In addition to flight resumption, Emirates has announced that the airline will increase flights to South Africa from daily to 11 weekly services, as well as increase interconnection to both Durban and Cape Town. By reopening services to South Africa and offering discounted fares for those coming to African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town in November, the airline is reaffirming that events can take place in Africa in 2021.
The fact that a Dubai-based airline is supporting AEW 2021 in Cape Town only further emphasizes that abandoning the continent for conference venues in Dubai is not the solution. With the resumption of fights and discounted offers for AEW 2021 delegates, Emirates is demonstrating a commitment to Africa. Emirates will comprise the premier mode of transport for AEW 2021, bringing delegates from all over the world to Africa's premier energy event on the 9th-12th of November in Cape Town. The airline is particularly valuable, not only for AEW 2021 but for South Africa as a whole, as it connects the country with the world, in which resumed travel is expected to bring in a significant number of tourists and business travellers to Africa as the world reopens after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are excited to boost our services in South Africa, and have already increased flights to Johannesburg from daily to 11 weekly fights, including four linked flights with Durban, as well as Cape Town with three weekly services," stated Emirates on their LinkedIn page.
The service resumption to Africa and discounted offers speak to the calibre of AEW 2021 as Africa's premier energy event. The event has already seen a significant number of written confirmations being made by top African Ministers, private and public sector executives and both national and international oil companies (IOC) worldwide. Notably, written Ministerial confirmations have been made by the Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Niger, South Sudan, Uganda, Namibia, Senegal, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana and South Africa. Additionally, written confirmations have been made by Germany, Russia, Alberta, the United States, as well as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and African Petroleum Producers Organization. By providing delegates with world-class transportation to AEW 2021 in November, Emirates reaffirms its commitment to both African people and African business.
"Emirates resuming their flights to South Africa will be critical for Africa's tourism and business industries and will significantly contribute to a COVID-19 recovery. By providing delegates coming to Cape Town with a world-class form of transport and offering discounted fares as well, the airline will be a major contributor to the success of African Energy Week in Cape Town. Africa will host this deal making event and we will sign a lot of deals in 2021 and Emirates is emphasizing this. We will remain committed to the energy sector and are excited to host delegates from all over the world, all thanks to Emirates," stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
KENYA AIRWAYS RELEASES FY 2020 RESULTS
National carrier Kenya Airways PLC (KQ) has released its full year financial results for the financial year ended 31 December 2020. The year 2020 marked the worst year in the history of aviation with airline passenger traffic reducing to levels last seen in 1999 resulting in 21 years of airline passenger traffic growth being wiped out in just one year.
The Group's total revenue during the period reduced by 59 % to Kshs. 52,805 million. This was as a result of reduced flight capacity caused by the unparalleled global downturn in commercial aviation.
During the year, the airline operated a few repatriation flights and ramped up its cargo operations. This was greatly contributed by the shutdown of the scheduled network operations from April-August 2020 following the Kenya Government directive to suspend all scheduled passenger services into and out of the country in a bid to curb the spread of the Corona virus.
The group saw a decline of 39% in total operating costs, mainly driven by the reduced operations for the year. Of the total operating costs, direct operating costs declined by 62% whereas fixed costs declined by 3.1%. Based on the above revenue and cost dynamics, the group recorded an Operating Loss Margin of 51% representing 50 points below the same period last year.
Kenya Airways Board Chairman Michael Joseph says, "The year 2020 was an extremely challenging for the airline due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely impacted the aviation industry. While nobody could have predicted the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, its continued prevalence globally and the fact that the industry projects demand to remain at levels lower than 2019, Kenya Airways emphasises its commitment to an efficient network, improvement of service quality and delivery. We have taken bold measures to protect our people and our guests as we restructure our business to position for recovery.
Despite the challenges in the first half of the year in review, KQ continued to reunite families mounting to over 30 special repatriation flights to more than 16 destinations across the world. KQ cargo also played a vital role in delivering critical supplies such as medical equipment, personal protective equipment and food supplies. In addition, Kenya Airways stepped in to support the Kenyan exporters flying on average 6 flights to Europe to carry flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables weekly, accounting for over 800 metric tonnes of cargo a week and a total of 22,451 metric tonnes through the period.
FRONTIER AIRLINES ANNOUNCES EMPLOYEE VACCINE POLICY EFFECTIVE OCT. 1
Frontier Airlines (NASDAQ: ULCC), a leader in health measures throughout the pandemic, has announced a policy for all direct employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 1, 2021. The latest action comes as COVID-19 cases - specifically of the Delta variant - have rapidly increased throughout the U.S.
"As we continue to watch the rapid increase of new COVID-19 cases across the United States caused by the Delta variant, I am concerned for the well-being of our team members, their families and friends," said Barry Biffle, president and CEO, Frontier Airlines. "Safety is of the utmost importance at Frontier and we need to take every step possible for us to keep our teams safe, protect the operation and protect our passengers. The time has come to do what we can to help put an end to COVID-19."
Frontier employees that choose not to or are unable to get vaccinated will be asked to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a regular basis. Frontier recognizes the value its union leaders provide and invites them to work with airline leadership to establish testing protocols that work for employees, their health and the overall safety of the workforce.
Frontier has been at the forefront of health safety throughout the pandemic and implemented an employee mask requirement in April 2020, followed by a requirement that all passengers wear masks less than a month later. Additionally, in early 2020, the airline enhanced onboard cleaning utilizing fogging technology and added a health acknowledgement affirming customers understand COVID-19 protocols and have not been recently exposed to the virus or experienced known symptoms. A vaccination policy is a clear next step for the airline as it remains committed to the health and safety of all passengers and crew members.
"The good news is that the vast majority of our employees have already taken this important step and have gotten vaccinated," Biffle added. "I hope the step we've announced will further increase the percentage of our workforce that's fully vaccinated."
BUDAPEST AIRPORT MORE THAN HALF A MILLION PASSENGERS IN JULY
The second quarter began at Budapest Airport with a significant increase in passenger traffic; Ferenc Liszt International Airport handled 538 074 passengers in July, nearly as much as during the first six months of the year combined. During the period from January to June, 604 000 passengers passed through the airport; the July traffic figure, the passenger number during this single summer month, amounted to 89% of this.
The dynamic increase in passenger traffic is shown by the fact that the July figure of more than half a million is twice as much as the number recorded in June, as traffic recovery reached 34% of the volume recorded in July during the record-breaking year of 2019.
The increase in passenger traffic is also reflected in the daily passenger numbers. While in the first third of the year, there were 2-3000 passengers per day, in June the average daily number of passengers at Budapest Airport was close to 10 000 and by July it rose to 18 000.
The dynamic recovery in passenger numbers is also strongly supported by the continued easing of travel restrictions, the increase in the level of vaccination coverage and the introduction of the standardized EU immunity certificate in July. The greater predictability in air travel is also reflected in the schedule available from Budapest, with airlines continuously increasing the frequency of existing flights in response to demand and new destinations being added to the list of available routes. Ryanair recently announced a new destination in Ireland, Shannon, which will be available from Budapest in the winter schedule, from 1 November. Travelers currently have a choice of 100 destinations, which could grow to 120 in the coming months.
European cities and holiday destinations remained the most popular in the hottest month of the summer, with the Greek islands and Spain popular alongside Turkish resorts, but Dubai and European cities also featured in the top list.
Just as in the previous months, cargo traffic has remained steadily strong; the monthly cargo volume handled by the BUD Cargo City exceeded 15 000 tons in July, which is more than 40% greater than in the same month of the previous year. Total cargo volume thus surpassed 100 000 tons during the first seven months of the year and 160 000 tons during the period from July 2020 to July 2021.
DUBLIN AIRPORT PASSENGER NUMBERS DOWN 81% IN JULY ?
Almost 658,000 passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in July, an 81% drop when compared to pre-COVID19 levels. Passenger volumes to and from continental Europe fell by 76% as almost 462,000 passengers travelling to European destinations last month.
UK traffic declined by 87% when compared to pre COVID levels as almost 118,000 passengers travelled to and from Britain in July.
Passenger volumes to and from North America decreased by 87%, as almost 63,000 passengers travelled on transatlantic routes in July.
Other international passenger traffic to the Middle East fell by 86%, as more than 15,300 passengers travelled during the month. The number of passengers on domestic routes decreased by 95%, as over 500 passengers travelled this route sector last month.
Almost 1.7 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport in the first seven months of this year, representing 91% decrease when compared to pre COVID levels.
EMBRAER COMMITS TO CARBON NEUTRAL OPERATIONS BY 2040
Embraer, as part of its commitment to building a sustainable future, has announced ambitious new ESG targets, including a commitment to carbon neutral operations by 2040. The company developed social responsibilities and environmental goals, which include offering an inclusive workplace for all employees and launching a zero-emission vehicle, all of which are integrated into the company's corporate sustainability plan. The ESG goals are focused on helping to move both the company and the aviation industry forward.
"At Embraer, we recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and we are fully committed to a more sustainable future. We are stepping up our efforts to minimize our carbon footprint by remaining dedicated to innovating solutions that have a broader impact for our customers, our local communities and our aircraft," says Francisco Gomes Neto, President and CEO of Embraer. "ESG is at the heart of Embraer's purpose and that´s why we´ve included ESG as one of the pillars in our strategic plan 'Fit for Growth', aligning business strategy with social responsibility and environmental practices."
To achieve the aviation industry´s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Embraer will develop a range of products, services and disruptive sustainable technologies, such as electrification, hybrid, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and other innovative energy alternatives. The company will also be offsetting any residual emissions that cannot be reduced through efficiency projects, available alternative energy or advancing technology.
Aligned with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the company will:
- Carbon Neutral operations by 2040 (Scope 1+2):
o 50% reduction in net carbon emissions by 2040 from a 2018 baseline
o 100% energy from renewable sources by 2030
o Begin using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by 2021
o Carbon neutral growth from 2022 (2021 baseline)
- Net Zero Aviation Emissions by 2050 (Scope 3) will be achieved by:
o Developing products, services and disruptive sustainable technologies such as electrification, hybrid, SAF and other innovative energy alternatives
o Working together with suppliers to make our current aircraft compatible with the use of 100% SAF
o Actively working with the supply chain to expand the global SAF production scale
o Continuously improving the efficiency of our current portfolio
o Launch zero-emission eVTOL aircraft by 2026
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