mandag 26. oktober 2020

 

Coronakrise for luftfarten:

Varsler global kollaps

- Det verste har ikke kommet.

Nicolai Eriksen

Publisert 

Toppsjef etter toppsjef har det siste halve året gått ut og slått full alarm om den verste krisa som har rammet luftfarten siden andre verdenskrig.

Coronapandemien har effektivt lammet flybransjen. Ferske anslag tyder på at flybransjen vil blø 2,7 millioner kroner hvert eneste minutt gjennom årets seks siste måneder.

Skal man tro sjefen for flygiganten Qatar Airways, har luftfarten så vidt sett starten på krisa.

- Det verste har ikke kommet for noen av flyselskapene, sier Akbar Al Baker, administrerende direktør i flyselskapet, til CNBC.


Han anslår at flybransjen vil ligge nede med brukket rygg i flere år.

- Det kommer snart flere krisepakker i Europa, og det kommer til å bli flere kollapser over hele verden. Jeg tror at den andre bølgen (med smitte, red.anm.) er enda mer alvorlig enn den første, fortsetter han.

Så langt har Qatar Airways meldt om et rekordtap på over 17 milliarder kroner for regnskapsåret 2019-2020.

- Jeg må bare si at våre tap kommer til å fortsette. Hvert eneste flyselskap i verden vil fortsette å tape penger, fordi det ikke finnes passasjerer å frakte, sier Al Baker.


Norske krisetall

Så seint som fredag morgen presenterte Avinor nye krisetall for norsk luftfart.

Tallene viste at drøyt 1,5 millioner passasjerer reiste til eller fra Avinors lufthavner i september. Det er en nedgang på hele 69,6 prosent sammenliknet med i fjor.

- Tallene fra september viser at flytrafikken fremdeles er sterkt preget av coronapandemien, og dette er noe vi forventer at vil vare gjennom vinteren, sier Gaute Skallerud Riise, direktør for trafikkutvikling i Avinor.

GRÜNDER: Erik G. Braathen (64) annonserte at han sammen med et team med bakgrunn fra norsk luftfart starter et nytt, norsk flyselskap. Video: Madeleine Liereng / Dagbladet TV

For innenlandsflyginger var passasjertallene på 54 prosent, mens den internasjonale passasjertrafikken hadde stupt med hele 91 prosent.

- Utenlandstrafikken er hardest rammet, noe vi har sett under hele coronaperioden. Dette henger sammen med smittesituasjonen og reiserestriksjonene, sier Riise.

Hittil i år er det samlede fallet i flytrafikken i Norge på 50 prosent innenlands og 74 prosent utenlands.

Og bildet er stort sett likt over hele verden.

Blør penger

Den internasjonale luftfartsorganisasjonen IATA anslår at luftfartsindustrien vil brenne av 711 milliarder kroner i cash i løpet av siste halvår i 2020.

- Krisa er større og varer lenger enn noen av oss kunne ha forestilt oss, og de første krisepakkene er i ferd med å løpe ut. Nå må vi slå alarm igjen, sier IATA-sjef Alexandre de Juniac, som legger til:

- Dersom disse krisepakkene ikke blir erstattet eller utvidet, vil konsekvensene for en allerede lammet industri være alvorlige.

Videre anslår IATA at bransjen vil blø mellom 46 og 55 milliarder kroner hver eneste måned neste år, som følge av den pågående coronakrisa.⚙

- Historisk sett bidrar kontanter generert i høysesongen om sommeren til å holde flyselskapene gående gjennom vinteren. Dessverre ga ikke årets katastrofale vår og sommer noen hvilepute, fortsetter de Juniac.

Det er også høyst usikkert hvor lenge krisa vil fortsette.

Så langt i år har hele 43 kommersielle flyselskap gått konkurs, ifølge ferske tall fra analyseselskapet Cirium.

- Uten støtte og innblanding fra myndighetene, ville vi sett et konkursras i krisas seks første måneder. I stedet har vi hatt et overkommelig antall konkurser og veldig få kollapser, sier flyanalytiker Brendan Sobie ved Sobie Aviation ifølge CNBC.

MAX - American med "calm, soothing voices" om flyet - AVweb

 

American Pilots To Reassure Passengers Before MAX Flights

3






It’s not often that passengers hear from the captain days before their flight but American Airlines is employing those calm, soothing voices to ease the reintroduction of the Boeing 737 MAX. As we recently reported, American plans to resume MAX flights starting Dec. 29, assuming all the regulatory approvals are in place. Its plan to gain customer approval for the re-launch is to offer customer tours of the aircraft and to have pilots answer phone and video calls from jittery pax. “They’re the ones that … really have the credibility to explain the Max,” Alison Taylor, American’s chief customer officer, told an online “town hall” meeting with employees in mid-October. CNBC had a look at the discussions held in that meeting.

It’s not clear who gets to tour the planes and how the chats with cockpit crew will work but the union representing the pilots wants it done respectfully, with the 346 people killed in two crashes of the MAX prior to it being grounded in early 2019 in mind. “There are 346 reasons to be respectful and not have a PR campaign,” Dennis Tajer, 737 captain and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, told the network. “When the Max is fixed, fully vetted and we’ve been robustly trained, then it will be time to just go fly the jet.”

It’s also not clear when the green light for revenue flights will be flashed. American thinks that will be in mid-November but the FAA is not saying, according to CNBC. “The FAA continues to follow a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the aircraft to service,” the agency told CNBC. But American COO David Seymour told employees that’s not far off. “We are seeing that finish line approach us and I think it’s a real finish line,” he said.

Kvinner fra Australia mer enn grundig sjekket ved ankomst Doha - Australian Aviation


DOHA AIRPORT FORCES GENITAL EXAM ON AUSTRALIAN WOMEN

written by Adam Thorn October 26, 2020
Qatar Airways Airbus A380 A7-APE at Sydney Airport. (Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways Airbus A380 A7-APE at Sydney Airport. (Qatar Airways)

Qatari authorities forced 13 Australian women to remove their underwear for a genital examination at Doha’s Hamad International Airport against their consent, according to reports.

The invasive procedure was apparently carried out because staff found a premature baby abandoned in a bathroom.

In response, the Australian government has said it has formally registered “serious concerns” with Qatari authorities over the incident that witnesses said subsequently left women in tears.

The story, broken by Seven News and confirmed by The Sydney Morning Herald, alleges that the women were on board flight QR908 from Doha to Sydney on 2 October before being asked to leave the plane to be detained.

The ABC spoke to a witness on the flight, Wolfgang Babeck, who said passengers were waiting on the tarmac for several hours before all women were told to disembark.

“I thought the more vulnerable persons are being taken out and I was wondering what will happen now, are they looking for someone, are they searching the plane?” Dr Babeck told RN Breakfast.

“Then some security people came onboard and looking [to see] whether passengers had been hiding on the plane.“When the women came back, many of them or probably all of them were upset — one of them was in tears, a younger woman. People couldn’t believe what had happened.”

The Australian women then had the ordeal of having to complete two-week hotel quarantine after the plane landed in Sydney, but were provided with “medical and psychological support” by NSW Health.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement, “The Australian government is aware of concerning reports regarding the treatment of female passengers, including Australian citizens, at Doha (Hamad) airport in Qatar.

“We have formally registered our serious concerns regarding the incident with Qatari authorities and have been assured that detailed and transparent information on the event will be provided soon.”

Hamad Airport said in a statement released to the ABC that the premature baby was safe and receiving care, but that the mother hasn’t been located.

“At this time, the newborn infant remains unidentified, but is safe under the professional care of medical and social workers,” the statement said.

“Medical professionals expressed concern to officials about the health and welfare of a mother who had just given birth and requested she be located prior to departing [the airport].”

That state of Qatar effectively owns both Hamad Airport and the flag carrier, Qatar Airways.

In June, Australian Aviation reported how Qatar Airways’ share of passengers travelling to and from Australia leapt from just 3 per cent to 44.5 per cent in April.

The jump meant the carrier, owned by the namesake state, was by far the biggest in terms of passengers carried – with previous number one Qantas slumping from 17.9 per cent to just 2.9 per cent.

The airline, which is owned by the state of Qatar, has made much of its decision to keep flying during the pandemic, launching a huge PR offensive using the slogan ‘Taking You Home’.

Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said, “While many airlines suspended operations, we continued to maintain a robust schedule and network. Our commitment to the travel market is clear, Qatar Airways is the airline passengers and trade partners can rely on now and in the future.”

MAX - Boeingkunder trekker sine bestillinger - World of Aviation

 



MORE BAD NEWS FOR BOEING AS MAJOR CUSTOMERS PULL MAX ORDERS

written by Hannah Dowling October 26, 2020

737 MAX Family in flight (Boeing)

Boeing is facing even more woes, as two major airline customers, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have both deferred and cancelled upcoming orders on its embattled 737 MAX jet.

American has announced the deferral of 18 MAX jets that were scheduled for delivery in 2021 and 2022. The airline has tentatively said it will now take the aircraft over 2023 and 2024.

Chief financial officer for American Derek Kerr said there would need to be a “substantial improvement in the demand environment” to justify taking delivery of any of the jets prior to 2023.

Southwest Airlines, the largest MAX customer, has also said it may further restructure its order, after recently agreeing with Boeing to take delivery of no more than 48 aircraft through to December 2021.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said both the delivery schedule and the price of the airline’s order are to be negotiated.

“In this world that we’re living in, we’re talking to them about everything. I’m not happy that the MAX has been delayed for now getting close to two years and we still don’t know when we’ll have it in service,” Kelly said. 

“We’re looking at the pricing in a whole new environment and obviously we need certainty around the MAX, period.”

American has stuck by its intentions to reintroduce the MAX to commercial service in December on its Miami to New York route, pending the imminent regulatory approval for the jet to return to the skies.

However, Southwest does not share the same optimism. 

In light of the logistical challenges involved with re-introducing planes that have been grounded for over 18 months, Southwest doesn’t anticipate it will return its MAX jets to service until at least the second quarter of 2021.

In another blow to Boeing, Kelly has also recently been quoted saying the airline may reconsider its historical position as being an all-Boeing carrier, and a future order of the smaller Airbus A220 model may be in the works.

When asked about the matter, Kelly said, “The only thing I would willingly admit is if there were ever a scenario to make a change in aircraft type it would be now. We’re not desperate to grow the airline and we may not be for a long time.”

Both Boeing and European rival Airbus have suffered an unprecedented number of order deferrals and cancellations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent plummet in demand for international travel.

However, the 737 MAX’s prolonged grounding, following two fatal crashes of the aircraft that killed 187 people in total, have made Boeing that much more vulnerable, according to Bloomberg.

Over 1,000 737 MAX aircraft alone have been removed from Boeing’s backlog so far this year, due to outright cancellations or delayed deliveries that are unlikely to be filled.

Currently, there are 3,357 MAX jets on order, however future cancellations could see this number drop.

According to Bloomberg, Boeing’s debt load has jumped to US$61 billion thanks to its pandemic fundraising efforts, up from US$28.5 billion at the start of the year.

The 737 MAX is due to return to commercial service within weeks, with both the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency stating regulatory approvals are due to be confirmed in November.

søndag 25. oktober 2020

Delta bannlyser anti-maske passasjerer - CNN

 


Washington (CNN Business)

In a new memo, Delta Air Lines says it has banned more than 400 people from flying for not following the airline's mask policy.

"As of this week, we've added 460 people to our no-fly list for refusing to comply with our mask requirement," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a message to employees.
In August, the airline said it had banned roughly 270 passengers since the outset of the pandemic. Delta (DAL) began requiring that passengers wear masks on flights on May 4. All major airlines now mandate that passengers wear masks in the absence of any new regulations from the federal government.
    Airlines in June agreed to ban passengers from future flights for refusing to wear masks. But the airlines are not sharing information with one another about the passengers they have banned. So, for example, a passenger banned on Delta can still book a flight on American (AAL) and vice versa.
    The airlines have defended the get-tough policy as important to protect the health and safety of both passengers and crew members.
    Earlier this month, the CDC said in new guidance that travel "increases your chances of getting and spreading" coronavirus. "CDC strongly recommends appropriate masks be worn by all passengers and by all personnel operating the conveyance while on public conveyances," the guidance said.

    Cathayflygerne med kniven mot strupen - Australian Aviation

     


    CATHAY PILOTS GIVEN ULTIMATUM: ACCEPT MAJOR CUTS TO PAY, BENEFITS OR LEAVE

    written by Hannah Dowling October 22, 2020

    Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER B-KPH flying over Hong Kong. (Aero Icarus/Wikimedia Commons)

    Cathay Pacific Group has taken aim at its pilots contracts in an effort to cut costs, reportedly offering flight crew an ultimatum to either accept major cuts to their pay and benefits, or leave the company.

    Pilots are said to have one week to decide whether to sign up to new contracts that are far cheaper than their existing deal, in some cases by up to 60 per cent when accounting for salary and benefits, or be terminated, with no access to redundancy payouts.

    It comes after the company announced it would be cutting 5,900 jobs, 600 of which are pilots, with the majority of those coming from the demise of Cathay Dragon. Around 50 pilots from Cathay Pacific have been made redundant.

    The company said it adopted a “last in, first out” approach in choosing who will be made redundant, meaning junior staff were first on the firing line.

    Those who were not made redundant are now being provided with new contracts that bring their remuneration “in line” with overseas competitors, and redundancy will be off the table for those who do not agree to these new terms.

    Chris Beebe, general secretary of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association (HKAOA), said the union had not been made aware of these new conditions prior to them being offered to staff, however is still willing to engage with Cathay.

    “It’s disappointing that the points were excluded from any significant discussions leading to these decisions. We view this as an opportunity to make this the beginning of additional discussions in terms of working through the issues confronting the company and the pilots,” he said.

    “Pilots do have certain rights and entitlements under existing contracts that we expect Cathay to honour, and we will defend the contract. We would also hope Cathay is willing to work with us on [helping] any pilots that might be affected to transition to whatever their next step may be,” he added.

    The changes made to remuneration and allowances would standardise terms and conditions across the board for the first time, a feat that airline managers have attempted to achieve for years in order to cut down allowance costs.

    Notably, the new contracts also remove the “last in, first out” policy, which could see older and more experienced, and thus expensive, pilots in the firing line in the future.

    The airline has said that under the new agreements, pilots would be offered a two-year transitional period including some housing and education allowances, however staff only have one week to accept these terms.

    Pilots who sign the new agreement after 4 November will only see a one-year transitional period.

    Pay adjustments under the new contracts are due to kick in from the beginning of next year.

    “We understand this transition will have an impact on our pilots and their families, and to mitigate this, the company will protect current salary, allowances and benefits,” Cathay said in a memo to pilots.

    According to the South China Morning Post, pilots who joined the airline from 2018 onwards currently receive a yearly basic salary of HK$376,608 for an entry-level second officer, HK$577,500 for an entry-level first officer and “up to” HK$1.2 million (US$155,000), under a contract known as COS18, which is similar to packages offered by Singapore Airlines.

    In contrast, those who signed a contract known as COS08 in 2008 received HK$488,964 for second officers, HK$975,504 for first officers and up to HK$2.1 million for top-level captains.

    Cathay’s most-experienced pilots, those who signed contracts from 1999 to 2007, receive bumper housing allowances of up to HK$1.2 million per annum and stipends to help with school fees. COS08 pilots and COS18 pilots receive yearly maximum housing packages of HK$480,000 and HK$396,000, respectively.

    According to the airline’s annual report last year, a total of 3,360 pilots received in the millions of dollars per annum. 

    For example, 94 pilots took home a yearly payment of HK$4 million to HK$4.5 million, 248 took home between HK$3.5 million and HK$4 million, while 437 received HK$3 million to HK$3.5 million.

    Trening på motorbortfall tok liv - Australia - Australian Aviation

     


    SIMULATED ENGINE FAILURE BEHIND FATAL ANGEL 44 CRASH

    written by Adam Thorn October 22, 2020

    Accident site showing the take-off direction, initial impact point and fuselage resting position (ATSB)

    An ATSB investigation has revealed a botched simulated engine failure was behind an Angel 44 utility aircraft crashing into a cornfield and killing two onboard.

    The report said neither the pilot, William Scott-Bloxam, 73, nor instructor, Geoff Burry, 63, had any recent experience in the aircraft, which was likely a contributing factor in the incident in far north Queensland on 14 December 2019.

    In particular, the ATSB found the instructor was “likely unfamiliar” with the long time necessary for the landing gear and flaps to retract and that there was also no evidence of a complete engine power loss.

    The twin piston-engined Angel 44, VH-IAZ, took off from Mareeba Airport at 11am, after which witnesses reported hearing one of the engines hesitating and backfiring, accompanied by a sooty smoke trail from the right engine.

    The aircraft operated in the training area until returning to the airport circuit area at 11:12am. Witnesses observed the aircraft touch down on the runway, accelerate and take off again.

    After take-off, the aircraft climbed to about 100-150 feet above ground level before entering a right descending turn.

    The aircraft was airborne for about 20 seconds before witnesses observed it rolling rapidly to the right and crashing into a cornfield 475 metres north of the runway.

    The pilots sustained fatal injuries and the aircraft was destroyed.

    “The ATSB found that shortly after take-off, the flight instructor very likely conducted a simulated failure of the right engine on a warm, humid day at a high aerodrome elevation in a configuration in which the aircraft was unable to maintain altitude with one engine inoperative,” said ATSB director transport safety Dr Stuart Godley.

    “Power was not immediately restored to the right engine to discontinue the exercise and the pilots were unable to maintain altitude or heading, particularly with the aircraft banked towards the inoperative engine.

    “The pilots did not reduce power and land ahead, as required by the aircraft’s flight manual, resulting in a loss of directional control and the aircraft rolling to the right. The loss of control occurred at a height too low to recover and the aircraft impacted terrain in a cornfield 475 metres north of the runway.”

    The ATSB found that neither the pilot nor the instructor had any recent experience in the aircraft, which had not been flown regularly for more than two years.

    In addition, the pilot had not flown for three years before the accident, which likely resulted in a “decay of skills” at managing tasks such as an engine failure after take-off, while the instructor had limited experience in multi-engine aeroplanes with retractable landing gear, and had only once before flown the Angel 44 aircraft, several years earlier.

    As a consequence, the investigation concluded that the instructor was likely unfamiliar with the time necessary for the landing gear and flaps to retract – approximately 14 seconds, significantly longer than other aircraft the instructor had flown – and the associated detrimental effect that extended flaps and landing gear had on the aircraft’s single-engine climb performance.

    “In light twin-engine aeroplanes, loss of power on one engine shortly after take-off poses a high risk due to low height above ground, low airspeed and generally limited single-engine climb performance,” Dr Godley said.

    “When conducting simulated engine failures, it is essential that pilots understand the risks and ensure effective controls are in place to prevent the simulation turning into a loss of control at low level, where recovery will probably not be possible.

    “Attempting to continue flight with one engine inoperative in a multi-engine aeroplane when directional control cannot be maintained, carries a high risk of an accident and fatal injuries.”

    Dr Godley also said the ATSB found no evidence of a complete power loss, with both engines producing power at the time of impact, and with the ‘splutter’ heard by witnesses consistent with simulation of an engine failure by rapidly retarding the throttle.

    Nonetheless, investigators established that two of the fuel injectors in the right engine showed evidence of partial blockage by corrosion particles. That would have resulted in the over-fuelling of the other injectors and the engine running overly rich, backfiring, and reducing the maximum power available.

    In the two years the aircraft had not been flown, its engines had not been preserved in accordance with the manufacturer’s procedures, the investigation notes.

    “If an aircraft is not flown regularly, the airframe and engine/s need to be preserved in accordance with the manufacturer’s procedures,” Dr Godley noted.