Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas, via the company's official Spotify account, stated (28-Sep-2020) he believes more people and employers will "feel more comfortable with people working from home" post COVID-19, though not "quite the profound shift that some spectators suggest". He expects there will also be "sizeable changes" as regards real estate, as companies realise the potential to "downsize" their real estate footprint and avoid paying a premium. Mr Douglas continued by acknowledging that business travel for meetings, such as a three day trip for a three hour meeting, will be impacted by companies' ability to use technology such as Teams and Zoom. He observed there is "nothing better than doing the deal [business] in a very interpersonal way where there's a social aspect", but noted there will "almost certainly" be "some impact on the way in which business travel used to operate".
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Below is a sample of the latest news headlines. 583 news briefs have been published for CAPA Members in the past 2 days.
Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas, via the company's official Spotify account, stated (28-Sep-2020) the carrier "established four specific projects" prior to grounding its fleet in Mar-2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Project Restart" was the first project, which is a "very structured programme" that enables the carrier to "put our aircraft back into the sky", as it is "a lot more difficult restarting an airline than parking one down". The second project was "Project Cabin", which was an opportunity to "undertake what has been the biggest and costliest maintenance exercise in the history of Etihad". He explained: "We went about the interiors of our cabins in a way which was almost obsessive when it comes to detail". The third project was focused "around cargo", whereby the carrier created a "mini network" with its Boeing 787s to offer humanitarian aid. The final project was entitled "Project Vision", through which the carrier sought to forecast "what would the travelling public want more of as a fundamental requirement post COVID". He noted the carrier has since "redesigned our product, such that it is contactless from a physical point of view", and offers "almost surgical standards of hygiene".
Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport announced (30-Sep-2020) RUB14,774 million (EUR162.2 million) was invested under the concession agreement as at 30-Jun-2020. The investment includes RUB8 billion (EUR87.8 million) in borrowings. Most of the funds were used for the development of airfield infrastructure. The concession agreement was signed by Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency and JSC Sheremetyevo International Airport (JSC SIA) on 25-Dec-2018. The implementation of the 49 year concession agreement commenced in 2019, with JSC SIA to invest RUB71.4 billion (EUR783.8 million) under the agreement. [more - original PR - Russian] [more - original PR - Russian - II]
Australian Airports Association (AAA) welcomed (28-Sep-2020) the extension of the Australia government's Domestic Aviation Network Support (DANS) programme and Regional Airline Network Support (RANS) programme, however urged for additional support to "our struggling airports". AAA CEO James Goodwin said: "In many regional communities, aircraft are often the only public transport system available to residents" and without the assistance, "regional aviation networks would be in danger of becoming commercially unviable for airlines which could result in higher airfares or a complete loss of flights at the local airport". Mr Goodwin said: "Airports have been good corporate citizens during this pandemic, staying open and in many cases reducing or waiving landing fees for airlines despite losing AUD320 million (USD229.6 million) a month in revenue" and noted more than 70% of staff located at regional airports "have been placed on reduced hours, been re-deployed or made redundant". Mr Goodwin called on Australia's Government to "use the Budget to support the costs of essential, government-mandated services such as international and domestic security screening, airfield security and extra COVID-19 cleaning". [more - original PR]
US Department of State announced (30-Sep-2020) the US Government and Bangladesh's Government signed an Open Skies air transport agreement on 30-Sep-2020. The agreement includes provisions for "unrestricted capacity and frequency of services, open route rights, a liberal charter regime, and open codesharing opportunities" and "entered into force upon signing". The State Department stated the agreement will enable airlines from both countries to "provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air services to travellers and shippers, promoting tourism and commerce" and "represents a step forward for the liberalisation of civil aviation in the Indo-Pacific". [more - original PR]
Airports Council International (ACI) director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said (30-Sep-2020) airports and the rest of aviation industry stakeholders need the "support of appropriate regulation and government policies to facilitate a green recovery and push for real change". Mr de Olivera said that the "recovery of the aviation industry will be a key driver of the global economic recovery" and to ensure that the sector can "continue to provide the economic and social benefits, it is crucial that we pursue a green recovery and lay the foundation for a prosperous and sustainable industry for the long term". [more - original PR]
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced (30-Sep-2020) plans to lift border restrictions for citizens from Vietnam and Australia, excluding Victoria, from 08-Oct-2020. Visitors travelling from either country can apply for an air travel pass for entry into Singapore on or after 08-Oct-2020. Applicants must have remained in the respective countries for the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry and will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport. [more - original PR]
LOT Polish Airlines reported (30-Sep-2020) the following financial highlights for 2019:
- Sales revenue: PLN7370 million (EUR1.6 billion), +19.1%;
- EBITDA: PLN142.6 million (EUR31.5 million);
- EBIT: PLN91.9 million (EUR20.3 million);
- Profit from core operations: PLN113.8 million (EUR25.1 million);
- Passengers: 10 million. [more - original PR - Polish]
India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), via its official Twitter account, announced (01-Oct-2020) it extended its prohibition on scheduled international passenger services to and from India until 31-Oct-2020, rather than until 30-Sep-2020. As previously reported by CAPA, scheduled international passenger services to and from India have been prohibited since 25-Mar-2020. The DGCA stated the prohibition "shall not apply to international all cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA" and noted "international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis".