CAPA News Briefs

CAPA publishes more than 400 global News Briefs every weekday, 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. 373 news briefs have been published for CAPA Members in the past 2 days.

UNWTO reported (11-Dec-2019) mixed results among the largest spending tourism source markets over the first nine months of 2019:

  • US (+6% year-on-year) led growth in international tourism expenditure in absolute terms, supported by a strong USD;
  • China, the world's top source market, saw outbound trips increase by 14% in 1H2019, though expenditure fell 4% compared to 9M2018;
  • India and some European markets also performed strongly, though global growth was more uneven than in 2018;
  • France (+10%) reported the strongest increase among the world's top ten outbound markets, reflecting surging demand for international travel for the second consecutive year. Spain (+10%), Italy (+9%) and the Netherlands (+7%) also posted robust growth, followed by the UK (+3%) and Russia (+2%);
  • Some large emerging markets such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Argentina reported declines in tourism spending this period, reflecting recent and ongoing economic uncertainty. [more - original PR]

Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT), via its official website, announced (12-Dec-2019) it will suspend all operations from 13-Dec-2019, citing "long term operating loss and difficult financing situation". The carrier's sudden cessation is expected to affect 3400 passengers (CNA, 12-Dec-2019). The airline also faces legal action from the government because it did not notify authorities 60 days prior of any redundancy plans. This is the second time FAT has suspended operations after its operating permit was suspended in 2008 by the Taiwan Civil Aeronautics Administration in 2008 due to bankruptcy proceedings.

IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said (11-Dec-2019) it is important that the ICAO Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is "successful and not compromised by a patchwork of competing taxes and charges". Mr de Juniac also said there is a need to get governments to focus on driving the technology and policy solutions that will make flying sustainable, concentrating on sustainable aviation fuels in the immediate term. He added that people are adjusting their personal habits to manage their individual carbon footprints and it is "our duty as an industry to ensure that they have the facts needed to make the right choices on air travel". [more - original PR]

CAAC reported the following for Chinese airlines (Carnoc.com, 12-Dec-2019):

  • Nov-2019:
    • Passengers: 53.1 million, +6.0% year-on-year;
      • Domestic: 47.2 million, +4.7%;
      • International: 5.9 million, +17.3%;
    • Passenger load factor: 81.5%;
    • Cargo: 700,000 tonnes, +5.7%;
      • Domestic: 476,000 tonnes, +7.3%;
      • International: 223,000 tonnes, +2.3%;
    • Aircraft utilisation: 9.2 hours per day, stable;
  • 11 months ended Nov-2019:
    • Passengers: 610 million, +8.1%;
    • Cargo: 6.8 million tonnes, +1.5%.

CAAC announced (10-Dec-2019) the 2020 subsidy scheme for small and medium airports, totalling CNY1560 million (USD222.2 million) to 174 airports, including 163 civil aviation airports and 11 general airports. CAAC allocated CNY1518 million (USD216.2 million) subsidy to 168 airports in 2019. The following airports will receive the highest subsidy in 2020:

GRU Airport Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport reported (12-Dec-2019) the following traffic highlights for Nov-2019:

  • Passengers: 3.6 million, +0.8% year-on-year;
    • Domestic: 2.5 million, +4.6%;
    • International: 1.1 million, -6.8%;
  • Aircraft movements: 24,261, +5.3%;

Qantas Airways deferred (13-Dec-2019) its final Project Sunrise decision until Mar-2020. Details include:

  • Qantas has selected A350-1000 equipment as the preferred aircraft if Project Sunrise proceeds, using Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and an additional fuel tank. No orders have been placed. Qantas will work with Airbus to prepare contract terms for up to 12 aircraft ahead of a final decision by the Qantas Board;
  • Discussions with the Australian and International Pilots Association are continuing and aimed at closing the last remaining gap in the business case;
  • Design of the customer experience for flights up to 21 hours continues, including new cabins across first class, business, premium economy and economy, with a dedicated stretching space for economy passengers as well as potential for re-designing onboard service to shift passengers to their destination timezone. [more - original PR]

Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) executive chairman Nungsari Ahmad Radhi reported (12-Dec-2019) the commission is "disappointed" by a decision from Malaysia's Ministry of Transport to merge it with the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM). Mr Nungsari stated: "I will work with the commissioners to put into effect a proper transition for the staff, and upon doing that, we will hand over all statutory roles and responsibilities to MoT". He added: "They can then affect their decision. In the meantime, we will continue to perform our role as stated in the Act". [more - original PR]

China Airlines reported (12-Dec-2019) the following traffic highlights for Nov-2019:

  • Operating revenue*: TWD11,835 million (USD388.2 million), -8.1% year-on-year; 
    • Passenger: TWD7179 million (USD235.5 million), -1.9%;
    • Cargo: TWD4080 million (USD133.8 million), -18.9%;
  • Passengers: 1.3 million, -0.5%;
  • Passenger load factor: 81.5%, +1.7ppts;
  • Passenger yield: TWD2.04 (USD  cents), -6.0%;
  • Cargo traffic (FTKs): -4.8%;
  • Cargo load factor: 68.8%, -2.0ppts;
  • Cargo yield: TWD8.20 (USD 26.9 cents), -14.8%. [more - original PR]

*Based on the conversion rate at TWD1 = USD0.0328

US Department of Transportation (DoT) granted (12-Dec-2019) Vietnam Airlines and Delta Air Lines permission to codeshare on scheduled services between the US and Vietnam for two years. As previously reported by CAPA, the carriers signed an agreement to expand their cooperation from Oct-2019. [more - original PR]

Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific entered (12-Dec-2019) an agreement for Cathay Pacific to operate Hong Kong-Auckland service for Air New Zealand's summer schedule. The agreement allows for capacity flexibility on Air New Zealand international operations due to Boeing 787-9 Rolls-Royce issues. Cathay Pacific will operate three class A350-900 equipment on the route from 06-Jan-2020 to 19-Jan-2020 and three class Boeing 777-300 equipment from 01-Feb-2020 to 28-Mar-2020. [more - original PR]

Apollo Global Management, Athene Holding and GE Capital announced (12-Dec-2019) the closure of their previously announced transaction for Apollo and Athene to purchase PK AirFinance, an aviation lending business, from GECAS. In connection with this transaction, Apollo has acquired the PK AirFinance aircraft lending platform and Athene has acquired PK AirFinance's existing portfolio of loans. Details of the transaction include:

  • All of the USD3.6 billion of PK AirFinance financing receivables that were held for sale in 2Q2019 are being sold in the transaction, at a premium to book value;
  • Deal close represents receipt by GE of more than 90% of agreed transaction proceeds;
  • The transfer of the remaining portion of the business is deferred pending certain regulatory and other conditions and is expected to be completed in 1H2020. [more - original PR]