Compiled by Willie Bodenstein
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AIR TRAFFIC RECOVERY IS FAST-APPROACHING PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS
ICAO's latest analyses reveal that air transport seat capacity and passenger totals globally have reached an estimated 80% of pre-pandemic levels, with passenger revenue at around 72% of its 2019 high point.
The number of air passengers carried from January to August of this year increased by an estimated 55% compared to the same period in 2021.
Aircraft flight departures increased by 28%, with overall seat capacity growing by 32% over the same period.
In terms of passenger revenues, and keeping yield and exchange rates at 2019 levels, there was an estimated 70% growth achieved for the first eight months of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021.
The number of passenger aircraft in service during the analysis period improved by 34% compared to the same period of last year, and mirrored overall traffic recovery in reaching 80% of pre-pandemic levels.
The number of cargo aircraft in service is 4% higher than its pre-pandemic benchmark, due largely to their use remaining robust throughout COVID-19 in support of medical, humanitarian and other critical global supply chains and increased consumer reliance on international e-commerce.
ICAO currently predicts that a majority of international route groups should fully recover to their pre-pandemic levels by either the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2023. Segments of East and North Asia could prove to be slower, with recovery there following later in 2023.
Later this month ICAO will be hosting 193 countries at its 41st Assembly, where new decisions will be forthcoming on key innovation and resilience objectives supporting the increased sustainability and digitalisation of 21st century air transport.
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HEART AEROSPACE UNVEILS NEW AIRPLANE DESIGN, CONFIRMS AIR CANADA AND SAAB AS NEW SHAREHOLDERS
Swedish electric airplane maker Heart Aerospace today unveiled significant design updates to its first electric aircraft and confirmed Air Canada, one of North America's largest airlines and Saab, the Swedish aerospace and defence company, as new minority shareholders.
The new airplane design, called the ES-30, is a regional electric airplane with a capacity of 30 passengers and it replaces the company's earlier 19-seat design, the ES-19. It is driven by electric motors powered by batteries, which allows the airplane to operate with zero emissions and low noise.
Air Canada and Saab have each invested USD 5 million in Heart Aerospace. In addition to its investment, Air Canada has also placed a purchase order for 30 ES-30 aircraft.
The ES-30 has a comfortable three-abreast flat-floor cabin seating and it features a galley and a lavatory. Cabin stowage and overhead bins will add to the large external baggage and cargo compartment and provide airlines with network flexibility.
The airplane will also include a reserve-hybrid configuration, consisting of two turbo generators powered by sustainable aviation fuel. The reserve-hybrid system is installed to secure reserve energy requirements without cannibalising battery range, and it can also be used during cruise on longer flights to complement the electrical power provided by the
This gives the airplane a fully electric range of 200 kilometres, an extended range of 400 kilometres with 30 passengers, and flexibility to fly up to 800 kilometres with 25 passengers, all-inclusive of typical airline reserves.
Previous orders for Heart Aerospace's ES-19 electric airplane, placed by United Airlines and Mesa Air Group for a total of 200 electric aircraft with an option for an additional 100 planes, are reconfirmed for the updated ES-30 design.
WINTER 2022-2023: AIR FRANCE TO SERVE 171 DESTINATIONS INCLUDING 5 NEW ROUTES FROM PARIS-CHARLES DE GAULLE
After a summer marked by strong demand for travel, Air France is continuing to reopen its global network. During the 2022-2023 winter season (November 2022 - March 2023), the airline will serve 171 destinations, including 86 long-haul and 85 short- and medium-haul. The company's entire fleet will be in operation and capacity levels across the network will be close to those of winter 2019.
The end of the year will see the launch of Air France's new long-haul cabins. The airline is pursuing its strategy of moving upmarket and is gradually installing a new Business seat which transforms into a real bed almost 2 metres long on 12 Boeing 777-300 ERs. A new sliding door makes it possible to completely privatise the seat area, preserving it from the rest of the cabin. The first flight will take place in the coming weeks to New York-JFK.
Long-haul: launch of Paris-Charles de Gaulle - Newark, resumption of Cape Town (South Africa) and Tokyo-Haneda (Japan). Air France is pursuing its proactive policy in terms of capacity in the most resilient geographical areas, including North America and Africa.
In North America and for the second winter in a row, Air France will operate a direct service between Pointe-ŗ-Pitre (Guadeloupe) and Montreal (Canada) from 22 October 2022 with two flights a week operated by Airbus A320 aircraft.
As the leading airline on the Paris-New York route, Air France will launch a daily non-stop service between its Paris-Charles de Gaulle hub and New York-Newark Liberty Airport (EWR), the second largest international airport serving New York and the surrounding area, on 12 December 2022. This daily flight operated by Boeing 777-200 ER marks the return of Air France to Newark, the airline's historic destination served directly until 2012. It will be in addition to the "Shuttle" service available between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and New York-John F. Kennedy (JFK) with 6 daily flights operated by Air France and 2 by its Skyteam partner Delta Air Lines.
Finally, the Paris-Charles de Gaulle - Dallas summer route will be extended for the winter season with 3 flights per week operated by B777-200 ER aircraft.
In Africa, Air France will resume its flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Cape Town (South Africa) on 30 October 2022, suspended since the beginning of the Covid crisis. Three weekly flights will be operated by Boeing 787-9 aircraft. In addition to Cape Town, Air France operates 7 weekly flights to Johannesburg in South Africa.
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ETHIOPIAN CROWNED WITH TWO PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS AT AIR CARGO NEWS AWARDS 2022
Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services, the largest air cargo network operator in Africa, has been crowned with 'Cargo Airline of The Year' and 'Best Cargo Arline - Africa' at the Air Cargo News Awards 2022. In a ceremony held in London on 16 September 2022, Ethiopian has been crowned with the two awards in the presence of cargo leaders from across the globe.
Global cargo players including freight forwarders, ground handlers, general and cargo sales agents cast their votes online, where the highest votes for 'The Cargo Airline of The Year' and 'Best Cargo Arline - Africa' titles went to Ethiopian. Ethiopian Cargo was a finalist in three categories.
Regarding the awards, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said " We are very proud of the vote of confidence of our global partners and customers, and I would like to thank them for their votes. We give high regard to our cargo operations and strive to provide our customers the best the industry has to offer and it is a great reward to know our efforts are appreciated. We will continue to be our customers' reliable cargo service provider with unparalleled service excellence."
Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, one of the major strategic business units within the Ethiopian Airlines Group, demonstrated remarkable performance, growing in excellence and customer service each year and it has been a globally acclaimed cargo player during the pandemic for transporting essential medical supplies and vaccines to all corners of the world with utmost efficiency. Ethiopian transported around 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine around the globe, converting its passenger aircraft to Freighter to strengthen its cargo operations.
Currently, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services cover more than 130 international destinations around the world with both belly hold capacity and 67 dedicated Freighter services.
JAZEERA AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES KD7.8 MILLION IN NET PROFIT IN FIRST HALF OF 2022
Jazeera Airways announced strong results with a net profit of KD7.8 million for the first half (H1) of 2022, compared to a net loss of KD11.7 million in the first half of 2021. Total revenue for the period reached KD77.6 million, up four times from the comparable period, while operating profit stood at KD9.8 million, up 187%.
These solid financial results were driven by active operations that saw the company carry its highest ever number of passengers in the second quarter of 817k bringing the total for H1 2022 to a record of 1.5 million passengers as travel activities gradually return to pre-pandemic levels. Correspondingly, load factor reached 74.0% for the first half of the year reflecting an increase of 19.3% over last year.
Jazeera Airways Chairman, Marwan Boodai commented on the results by saying: "Our forecasts and expectations for the first half of the year were very accurate as passengers' appetite to travel was met with a return of travel capacity at Kuwait International Airport since the second half of last year. Jazeera has placed itself well to reap the benefits of the new market dynamics and was able, through its constant communication with its passengers and its analysis of the market, to return stronger than before. We launched new tourist destinations and started services to high traffic ones and will continue our growth and progress throughout the coming quarters."
During H1 2019, the last full comparable period before COVID-19, Jazeera carried 1.1 million passengers and reported a net profit of KD6.2 million.
The board of the company recommended an interim cash dividend of KWD6.6 million or 30% of share capital, marking the first time in the history of the company to make an interim cash distribution, which reflects the strong cash position of Jazeera Airways and its positive views on recovery post the pandemic.
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EMIRATES EXPANDS FLIGHT SCHEDULE TO ALGERIA
Emirates will increase the frequency of its services to Algiers with the addition of a fifth weekly flight, effective 7 October. The newest service will complement Emirates' existing operations between Dubai and Algiers, currently running at four flights a week. The latest addition of services to the airline's schedule will provide additional connectivity for customers traveling to Dubai and onwards to Emirates' global network.
Emirates will utilise its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft between Algiers and Dubai, and the newest service will operate on Friday, in addition to the airline's flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Flight EK758 departs Algiers at 15:45hrs, arriving in Dubai at 01:05hrs the next day. EK757 departs Dubai at 08:45hrs, arriving in Algiers at 12:55hrs.
With the addition of the new flight, Emirates continues to be the only airline serving Algeria with private, enclosed First Class cabins, offering premium customers its industry-leading onboard experience with a line-up of elevated menus and refreshed amenities.
Travellers flying with Emirates can enjoy the best experience in the sky with an unmatched culinary experience, regionally inspired multi-course menus developed by a team of award-winning chefs complemented by a wide selection of premium beverages. Customers can sit back and relax with more than 5,000 channels of carefully curated global entertainment content featuring Arabic movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, games, audiobooks and more with ice, Emirates' award-winning inflight entertainment system.
In addition to carrying more passengers, Emirates' fifth weekly frequency between Dubai and Algeria will provide around 30-40 tonnes of cargo belly-hold capacity for businesses, further opening global trade lanes through enhanced import and export opportunities.
Emirates started operations to Algeria in 2013, and will be celebrating 10 years of serving the country early next year. The airline resumed services to Algeria in November 2021, and since then, has progressively built up the connectivity in response to growing customer demand and the easing of international travel
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OKTOBERFEST 2022 - LUFTHANSA CREW WITH NEW DIRNDL
Two days before the start of the Munich Oktoberfest, it's "take-off" again for the Lufthansa dirndl crew. Today, the Lufthansa flight attendants will take off simultaneously from Munich to Rio de Janeiro and San Diego. Boston and New York will follow on 26 September. This year's special feature: After five years, the flight attendants present themselves in a new, sustainably produced dirndl.
Also on numerous European and German routes from Munich dirndl crews has been a tradition for many years. Lufthansa's passenger service staff in Terminal 2 also greet passengers in traditional costume. Instead of the classic Lufthansa uniform, the ladies wear dirndls and the men wear lederhosen.
"We are delighted to continue the 16-year history of the dirndl flights and thus also welcome visitors to the Oktoberfest on the ground and on board with Bavarian flair," says Dr. Stefan Kreuzpaintner, CCO Lufthansa Airlines.
Jost Lammers, Chairman and CEO of Munich Airport adds: "In the coming weeks, Munich Airport will once again present itself as an attractive gateway to the Oktoberfest, and Lufthansa's dirndl crews will be part of that."
CHINA AIRLINES TO PURCHASE 16 NEW BOEING 787-9 PASSENGER AIRCRAFT FOR POST-PANDEMIC BOOM
China Airlines, the Taiwan-based carrier, announced the purchase of 16 Boeing 787-9 passenger aircraft fitted with the General Electric GEnx engine today (8/30). Deliveries are expected to commence in 2025 and the next-generation aircraft will become the mainstay of the medium-capacity wide-body fleet.
China Airlines had previously introduced the 777-300ER, A350-900 and A321neo. The new fleets have been dispatched on long-haul, medium-haul and regional routes as part of the overall network strategy. The next generation fleet is ready for the post-pandemic boom.
China Airlines embarked on its wide-body passenger aircraft replacement program in 2018 but evaluations were pushed back in 2020 due to COVID-19. With the pandemic easing and the revival of the global passenger market, the evaluation and introduction process resumed in September 2021. Outside consultants were brought in to provide input and a thorough study was conducted to select the optimal aircraft model to support business development.
The 787-9 passenger aircraft is Boeing's next generation flagship product, offering distinct advantages in terms of aircraft design, operational performance and product penetration. The next generation cabin design offers travellers a superior flying experience with adjustable cabin pressure and humidity providing greater comfort. The exceptional fuel efficiency of the 787-9 means fuel consumption and carbon emissions are approximately 20% lower than the previous model. This will not only greatly optimise the cost structure but also contribute to China Airlines' goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The operational flexibility of the Boeing 787-9 will simplify fleet dispatching and improve competitiveness. It will also facilitate the expansion of the network for medium to long-haul passenger traffic. The Boeing 787-9 has excellent cargo-carrying capacity as well and its belly hold can hold 36 containers. This gives it a clear advantage over other aircraft models, making it a valuable addition to China Airlines' cargo capacity.
China Airlines currently operates 86 passenger and cargo aircraft including the A350-900, 777-300ER, A330-300, 737-800, and A321neo. These include 65 passenger aircraft as well as twenty-one 747-400F/777F cargo aircraft. The A330-300 passenger aircraft will be phased out with the introduction of the new 787-9 aircraft in accordance with the fleet revitalisation plan. The order included options for eight more aircraft as well as conversion to the high-capacity 787-10 model. China Airlines will continue to manage its fleet size in response to developments in COVID-19 and the market. Corporate sustainability will be realised by providing travellers with superior passenger services and products. (2022/08/30)
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