CAPA News Briefs

CAPA publishes more than 1,000 global News Briefs every week, covering all aspects of the aviation and travel industry. It’s the most comprehensive source of market intelligence in the world, with around 50 per cent of content translated from non-English sources. The breadth of our coverage means you won’t need any other news sources to monitor competitors and stay informed about the latest developments in the wider aviation sector.

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Below is a sample of the latest news headlines. 32 news briefs have been published for CAPA Members in the past 2 days.

Lufthansa Group reached (25-May-2023) an agreement with Italy's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to acquire a minority stake in Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways). Lufthansa will obtain a 41% stake in ITA through a EUR325 million capital increase, with the option to enable a potential acquisition of all remaining shares at a later date. The purchase price for the remaining shares would be based on the business development of ITA. MEF has also committed a EUR250 million capital increase in ITA as part of the agreement. Finalisation of the agreement is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and is expected to be completed shortly. ITA will become the fifth network carrier in Lufthansa Group's multi-brand and multi-hub system, acting as a standalone airline with its own management and brand identity.  Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr stated: "Today's agreement... is good news for Italian consumers and for Europe, because a stronger ITA will invigorate competition in the Italian market. As a young company with a modern fleet, and with its efficient and expanding hub in Rome, ITA is a perfect fit for Lufthansa Group". [more - original PR]

France's Minister for Transport Clément Beaune announced (23-May-2023) the publication of a decree on 23-May-2023 banning domestic air services on routes where there is alternative travel of less than 2.5 hours by train. The decree is effective immediately and prohibits air links between Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon and Paris Orly. Mr Beaune said the "world first" measure supports the government's policy to encourage alternative modes of transport and is an "essential step" in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [more - original PR - French]

Philippine Airlines announced (19-May-2023) all international services will operate from Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, effective 16-Jun-2023. Domestic services will operate to and from Terminal 2. [more - original PR]

WestJet Group announced (18-May-2023) it has commenced flight cancellations in preparation for potential labour action from WestJet and Swoop pilots. The group said the decision to cancel flights comes as it remains in a "stalemate" with the Air Line Pilots Association. WestJet Group said it will park the majority of its Boeing 737 and 787 fleet in a "measured, phased and safe approach". WestJet Encore, WestJet Link and limited 737 flights will continue to operate during this time. [more - original PR]

Qantas Airways announced (19-May-2023) plans to enter a wet lease agreement with Finnair. Under the arrangement, Finnair A330 aircraft will operate selected Qantas flights between Sydney and Singapore from late Oct-2023 and all flights between Sydney and Bangkok from late Mar-2024. For the first two-and-a-half years of the agreement, flights will be operated by Finnair pilots and cabin crew, with customers continuing to receive Qantas' inflight food and beverage service, amenities, inflight entertainment and baggage allowance. From late 2025, two Finnair A330s will be dry leased, operating for up to three years with Qantas pilots and cabin crew. [more - original PR - AIPA] [more - original PR - Qantas Airways] [more - original PR - Finnair]

Italy's Filt-Cgil, Fit-Cisl, Uiltrasporti and Ugl Trasporto Aereo unions rescheduled (18-May-2023) planned strike action by ground handling staff at the country's major airports from 19-May-2023 until 04-Jun-2023. The rescheduling is due the necessity for transportation given flooding in the Emilia Romagna region. [more - original PR - Italian]

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall welcomed (17-May-2023) the launch of Nexus Airlines, stating the airline will bring competition to regional WA and connect "international, interstate and local visitors from Perth to tourism experiences in and across the north". Mr Hall said: "Nexus Airlines routes, such as Broome to Kununurra and onto Darwin, will create new tourism itineraries for international and domestic visitors who want to see regional WA but don't have the holiday time for long distance road trips." He added the airline will "provide reliable visitor access for Kimberley tourism operators". [more - original PR]

Air Canada and flydubai announced (17-May-2023) a new partnership to expand the footprint between Canada and the Middle East, East Africa, Indian Subcontinent and southern Asia. Nine flydubai routes will be included in the codeshare agreement, including services from Dubai to Bahrain, Colombo, Dammam, Jeddah, Karachi, Madinah and Muscat, pending final regulatory approval. The carriers will also interline on services to more than 60 flydubai destinations in the Middle East, East Africa and southern Asia, including Kathmandu, Djibouti and Maldives. The airlines plan on further improving the connection process in Dubai and are working toward introducing expanded features and benefits for their loyalty programme members. [more - original PR]

17-May-2023 3:35 PM

Qatar Airways receives one A350

Qatar Airways took delivery of one A350-1000 aircraft (A7-ANT, MSN 430) on 12-May-2023, according to the CAPA Fleet Database. The carrier's fleet includes 20 A350-1000s in service and 22 aircraft on order.

SITA reported (16-May-2023) the following highlights from its 2023 Baggage IT Insights report:

  • The number of mishandled bags increased 75% year-on-year to 7.6 bags per thousand passengers in 2022. SITA stated the shortage of skilled staff, resumption of international travel and congestion at airports has made it challenging to manage bags, particularly during peak travel periods. SITA added that the increase in mishandling is forcing the industry to focus on digitalisation and automation, prioritising technology investments that deliver greater automation and self service;
  • The proportion of bags delayed at transfer increased 1pp to 42%. The increase was attributed to the resurgence of international and long haul travel, leading to loading errors and greater transfer mishandling rates. Failure to load bags accounted for 18% of mishandled bags, down 3%. Loading errors more than doubled to account for 9% of delayed bags, stemming from operational strains on baggage systems;
  • Delayed bags accounted for 80% of mishandled bags in 2022. The proportion of lost and stolen bags increased to 7% and the proportion of damaged and pilfered bags decreased to 13%;
  • 57% of airlines provide their staff with mobile access to real time baggage status information. The figure is expected to increase to 84% by 2025. 25% of airlines offer real time baggage status information directly to passengers and 67% plan to do so by 2025.

SITA CEO David Lavorel commented: "As an industry, we need to work hard to ensure passengers are once again confident to check in their bags". [more - original PR]

Jetstar Airways announced (16-May-2023) check-in and bag drop will close 40 minutes before departure for Australia and New Zealand domestic flights and 60 minutes prior to departure for flights departing from an international terminal, effective 23-Mar-2023. The boarding gate will now close 20 minutes before departure for domestic and international flights. Jetstar COO Matt Franzi stated: "We know our performance hasn't been up to scratch and we are working hard to boost punctuality and reliability". Mr Franzi added the LCC will also recruit more airport staff, cabin crew and engineering team members. [more - original PR]

Singapore Airlines Group reached (16-May-2023) an agreement with Boeing to adjust its aircraft order book. This includes swapping three Boeing 787-9s for three 787-10s and cancelling eight 737 MAX 8s. SIA stated the adjustments are in line with the group's long term fleet renewal strategy, and support its projected operational requirements. Following these adjustments, the group currently has 100 aircraft in its order book. [more - original PR]