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. 396 news briefs have been published for CAPA Members in the past 2 days.

Air France-KLM launched (24-May-2022) a capital increase with preferential subscription rights to existing shareholders, to raise EUR2.256 billion through the issuance of 1928 million new shares. The measures aim to strengthen the group's balance sheet and accelerate its repayment of French state aid. Key details include:

  • Around EUR1.7 billion to be allocated to the repayment of the COVID-19 recapitalisation aid, granted by the French State. The remainder will be used to reduce the group's debt;
  • The group confirmed its objective to reduce its net debt to EBITDA ratio, to reach between 2.0x and 2.5x by 2023;
  • The French State, holding a stake of 28.6%, plans to participate in the rights issue to keep its shareholding unchanged; 
  • The Dutch State plans to maintain its 9.3% stake, provided it receives the necessary approvals from the Dutch Parliament in time;
  • CMA CGM will become a new reference shareholder and exclusive strategic partner for the cargo business. CMA CGM will invest up to EUR400 million to acquire a stake of up to 9%. China Eastern Airlines (9.6%) and Delta Air Lines (5.8%) will participate on a cash neutral basis through the sale of part of their rights to CMA CGM, representing EUR110.7 million;
  • The rights issue will occur between 27-May-2022 and 09-Jun-2022 at EUR1.17 per share, or three shares per existing share. 

Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith stated as recovery continues the group wants "to be in a position to seize any opportunity in a changing aviation sector and to be able to accelerate our environmental commitments". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - KLM]

Qantas resumed (23-May-2022) Sydney-Queenstown, Sydney-Wellington, Melbourne-Christchurch, Melbourne-Wellington and Brisbane-Christchurch services. Qantas stated the inaugural services are "full", reflecting strong demand from Australians to travel to New Zealand. The carrier will also resume Melbourne-Queenstown and Brisbane-Queenstown services on 18-Jun-2022. The airline will operate up to 20 weekly frequencies from Australia to Queenstown and capacity is expected to reach 110% of pre-COVID levels by Jul-2022. The additional services restore Qantas' full pre-coronavirus trans Tasman network. Services to New Zealand are operated with a combination of Boeing 737-800 and A330 equipment. Qantas reported strong demand in both directions across the Tasman, with New Zealanders connecting across Qantas' domestic and international network, including to and from London, Singapore and Bali. [more - original PR]

UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reported (24-May-2022) the COVID-19 Omicron variant resulted in a slow start to 2022, causing flight cancellations and bans in key European markets. UK traffic reached 31.4 million passengers during 1Q2022, compared to 30.9 million in 4Q2021, and representing a decrease of 42% compared to 2019. Passenger levels increased despite aircraft movements decreasing from 315,202 in 4Q2021 to 292,764 in 1Q2022. UK CAA stated the increase in passenger numbers stemmed from an easing of travel restrictions from Feb-2022, leading to increased consumer confidence. Cargo decreased 11% from 2019 levels to 606,375 tonnes in 1Q2022, however the number of dedicated cargo flights increased 50% compared to 2019. UK CAA expects the "upward trajectory" to continue in 2Q2022, benefiting from holiday periods during the quarter and a continued easing of travel restrictions across key destinations. [more - original PR]

Jetstar Airways announced (24-May-2022) plans to resume operations between Japan and Australia, which have been suspended for more than two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The LCC plans to resume the following services with Boeing 787 aircraft:

Avianca and Easyfly announced (24-May-2022) plans to launch their codeshare agreement on 06-Jun-2022, encompassing the following routes in the first phase:

The agreement will be expanded in 2H2022. [more - original PR - Spanish]

CDB Aviation signed (24-May-2022) lease agreements with Avianca for two A330-300P2Fs and one A320neo. The carrier is expected to take delivery of an additional five A320neos from the lessor between 2022 and 2023. The agreements bring the total of CDB Aviation aircraft on lease to Avianca to eight. According to the CAPA Fleet Database, the airline's fleet comprises 113 aircraft, including 12 A320neos with 88 on order. [more - original PR]

Italy's CODACONS (Coordination of environmental protection associations and users and consumers rights) reported (22-May-2022) the cost of intra European tickets increased 91% in Apr-2022, compared to the corresponding period in 2021. CODACONS outlined fares for intercontinental services increased 35.7%, while domestic airfares have increased 15.2%. The association highlighted the growth in prices are affected by increased fuel prices and operating costs. [more - original PR - Italian]

Belgium's Federal Government lifted (23-May-2022) its COVID-19 face mask requirement and travel restrictions effective 23-May-2022. The face mask requirement will only remain mandatory in hospitals, surgeries and pharmacies. Non essential travel from outside the EU will no longer be banned, while COVID-19 testing on days one and seven after arrival, as well as quarantine measures are no longer mandatory. In addition, travellers are no longer required to provide a passenger locator form, or proof of a vaccination, recovery or test certificate. [more - original PR]

Korean Air reported (23-May-2022) it is proceeding with efforts to secure approval from antitrust authorities in Australia, China, Japan, the US, the UK and the EU to acquire a 63.88% stake in Asiana Airlines for KRW1.8 trillion (USD1.4 billion) and subsequently merge the two airlines. The airline noted it has invested approximately KRW35 billion (USD27.7 million) up to Mar-2022 on consulting and advisory fees to secure approval for the merger, and is working with three global law firms, eight local law firms in individual countries, three economic research firms and two political advisory firms. As previously reported by CAPA, the merger has already received approval from antitrust authorities in Turkey, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand. Korean Air stated antitrust authorities in the US, EU, UK and Australia require other airlines to launch services on select international routes operated by both airlines that are at risk of negative impact on competition following the merger, due to the two airlines representing a significant percentage of the market share. [more - original PR - Korean]

Barbados' Government announced (23-May-2022) plans to remove COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated travellers, effective 25-May-2022. [more - original PR]

Singapore Changi Airport announced (22-May-2022) operations in terminal 2 will resume on 29-May-2022, as part of a phased reopening. Key touchpoints including arrival immigration, baggage claim belts and contact gates at the southern wing of the terminal will be ready for flight operations. T2 will mainly host peak hour arrival flights of airlines operating in T3. The expanded T2 will also see a larger arrival immigration hall with more automated immigration lanes and special assistance lanes. When completed by 2024, the expansion works will raise the terminal's capacity by five million to 28 million passenger movements per year. [more - original PR]

Spain's Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism updated (21-May-2022) its COVID-19 travel restrictions, to make entry measures for third country travellers consistent with those for travellers from EU and Schengen countries. Effective 21-May-2022, all travellers will be able to enter Spain by providing at least one of the following certificates:

  • Ministry of Health accepted vaccination certificate;
  • Negative PCR or antigen test, taken within 72 or 24 hours prior to departure to Spain;
  • Authorised recovery certificate, valid for 180 days, issued at least 11 days after the confirmation of infection; 
  • Children under the age of 12 years are exempt from presenting any type of certificate. [more - original PR - Spanish]