US Department of Transportation (DoT) issued (27-Nov-2020) a final rule that codifies the terms 'unfair' and 'deceptive', for when the DoT utilises its authority to prohibit unfair or deceptive practices by airlines or ticket agents. According to the final rule, a practice is defined as 'unfair' if it causes or is likely to cause substantial injury, which is not reasonably avoidable, and the harm is not outweighed by benefits to consumers or competition. A practice is defined as 'deceptive' if it is likely to mislead a consumer, acting reasonably under the circumstances, with respect to a material matter. The rule is expected to benefit the public and regulated entities by providing greater transparency and predictability, and also codifies the practice of providing airlines and ticketing agents with the opportunity to provide relevant evidence prior to the DoT taking any action on an allegedly unfair or deceptive practice. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]
Join APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader in a one-on-one discussion with APEX VP / Air Canada’s Director of Brand Experience Anton Vidgen as they explore how the airline worked to create a peer-reviewed study COVID-19 likelihood from air travel in only two weeks.
EgyptAir, via its official Twitter account, announced (27-Nov-2020) the activation of its codeshare agreement with Air Cairo. The carriers are looking to establish a network that will provide services to popular local and international destinations. The agreement will include the ability for EgyptAir passengers to travel directly from Sharm El Sheikh to Naples and Bari on Air Cairo from late Dec-2020, with more destinations to be added in the future.
Qantas Airways notified (30-Nov-2020) approximately 2000 employees that it will move to outsource ground handling operations at 10 airports across Australia. In Aug-2020, the airline announced its reasons for needing to restructure its ground handling operations, and commenced a review of external bids from specialist ground handlers and in-house bids from employees and their representatives. The bids were required to meet the following objectives:
- Reducing the overall cost of ground handling operations, as Qantas anticipated it could save approximately AUD100 million (USD74 million) p/a based on pre-coronavirus levels of operations, through the use of third party providers;
- Avoiding large spending on ground handling equipment such as aircraft tugs and baggage loaders, approximately AUD80 million (USD59.2 million) over five years;
- Better matching ground handling services, and their cost, with fluctuating levels of demand.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) submitted a bid on behalf of employees in accordance with terms in the enterprise agreement. Teams from some individual airports submitted local proposals. Qantas stated no bids met the objectives. A number of external bidders, some of whom already provide the services at 55 airports across Australia, met all of the objectives, including reducing annual costs by approximately AUD103 million (USD76.3 million). Preferred bidders are being notified on 30-Nov-2020, and subject to consultation and finalising contract terms, transition is intended to occur in 1Q2021. Affected employees will be entitled to a redundancy package and given support to transition to new jobs outside the business. [more - original PR]
Air Canada concluded (27-Nov-2020) a collective agreement amendment with its pilots, represented by the Air Canada Pilots Association, for contractual changes to enable the airline to competitively operate dedicated cargo aircraft. The carrier is finalising plans to convert several of its owned Boeing 767-300ER aircraft to freighters. The aircraft were recently retired from passenger service. The airline operates up to 100 international cargo services per week using modified passenger aircraft. [more - original PR]
ICAO reported (26-Nov-2020) all implementation elements for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) are now complete and "everything is prepared for the start of its pilot phase in 2021". ICAO also approved the organisations which are now eligible to certify the sustainability and life cycle emissions values of CORSIA eligible fuels. [more - original PR]
IATA reported (27-Nov-2020) the following from its latest industry forecast:
- COVID-19 vaccines will be deployed in 2H2021;
- There will still be vaccine production and distribution challenges and recovery of air travel demand will "take time and be uneven" between emerging and developed markets;
- IATA anticipates airline cash burn until 2022, projecting a further USD75 billion of cash to be burned between 4Q2020 and mid 2021;
- Availability of the vaccine will allow travel demand to rebound only in 2H2020;
- There is a possibility of turning cash positive at aggregate level only in 4Q2021;
- Government support or progress on the use of testing to accelerate market opening will be "critical" for the survival of airlines in many regions over the next six to nine months. [more - original PR]
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