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

Qantas Airways announced (19-Jul-2024) plans to install customisable cabin lighting on Project Sunrise ultra-long-haul flights to help minimise jetlag and "improve customer wellbeing". The design is a result of testing in Airbus' Customer Definition Centre in Hamburg, where representatives from Qantas, Airbus and University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and Caon Design Office created and tested hundreds of lighting patterns and sequences in an A350 cabin mockup. The trial produced 12 lighting scenes specifically for the Project Sunrise flights, including 'awake', 'sunrise' and 'sunset. The main cabin will have 'Welcome and Farewell' lighting scenes for boarding and disembarking, as well as tailored scenes for taxi, take off and landing, and sleep. The six enclosed First Suites will offer a fully customisable lighting sequence for their environment, enabling passengers to choose the time zone they want to be on for the duration of the flight. Qantas added it will be the "first airline in the world" to offer a purpose built Wellbeing Zone, located between the premium economy and economy cabins. The zone will feature sculpted wall panels and integrated stretch handles, a guided on screen exercise programme, hydration station and refreshments. [more - original PR]

Icelandair reported (17-Jul-2024) its leasing operation "continues to perform well", with five aircraft now in full operation at its largest leasing customer Air Niugini, increased by two aircraft compared to 2023. As previously reported by CAPA, a third aircraft was added to the VIP passenger fleet earlier in 2024, to meet high demand. Preparation has begun for a leasing project on the South Pole in winter 2024/25, with regular flights between the south of Chile and the South Pole. The carrier stated a "strong emphasis is now on increasing leasing projects over the winter that compensate for the seasonality of Icelandair's route network". [more - original PR]

Lufthansa Group, via its official Twitter account, announced (17-Jul-2024) it operated its first scheduled service to the US with new Allegris seating on 17-Jul-2024. The service was operated using A350 (D-AIXU) equipment.

Alaska Airlines announced (17-Jul-2024) plans to expand first and premium class seating with the addition of 1.3 million premium seats p/a to the mainline fleet. The carrier will commence the roll out of additional first and premium class seats across more than 200 aircraft from Sep-2024. Details as follows:

  • Boeing 737-800:
    • First class: Increase from 12 to 16 seats;
    • Premium class: Unchanged with 30 seats;
    • Aircraft being retrofitted: 59;
    • Timing: Conversions will begin in early 2025 and will be completed by summer 2026;
  • 737-900ER:
    • First class: Unchanged with 16 seats;
    • Premium class: Increase from 24 to 30 seats;
    • Aircraft being retrofitted: 79;
    • Timing: Conversions will begin in autumn 2025 and will be completed by summer 2026;
  • 737 MAX 9:
    • First class: Unchanged with 16 seats;
    • Premium class: Increase from 24 to 30 seats;
    • Aircraft being retrofitted: 80;
    • Timing: Conversions will begin in spring 2025 and will be completed by summer 2025;

Alaska Airlines also retrofitted its regional fleet in 2024, adding 400,000 premium class seats to Embraer E175 aircraft. [more - original PR]

Thai AirAsia X announced (17-Jul-2024) plans to suspend Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Sydney service from 01-Aug-2024 to 30-Nov-2024 as part of a fleet management and operation hub movement. The LCC will resume the service in Dec-2024. [more - original PR]

Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, in a filing to the US Department of Transportation (DoT) applied (16-Jul-2024) for approval of the de facto transfer of Hawaiian's international route authorisations to Alaska Airlines upon the acquisition of Hawaiian Holdings by Alaska Air Group. The companies also applied for re-issuance of both carriers' international route authorities in the name of Alaska and/or Hawaiian. [more - original PR]

African Airlines Association (AFRAA) announced (11-Jul-2024) Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe plan to introduce a single tourist visa allowing entry to all five countries for a "short period", modelled on the Schengen visa. Zambia and Zimbabwe have commenced implementation with the UniVisa, allowing entry to both countries and short stays in Botswana. [more - original PR]

Delta Air Lines and Riyadh Air signed (09-Jul-2024) a strategic cooperation MoU to expand connectivity and travel options between the US and Saudi Arabia. The carriers envision a "long term relationship, subject to regulatory approvals". This will include interline and codeshare connectivity, as well as a partnership encompassing loyalty, customer experience, digital transformation. The partnership will also extend to broader aviation services including MRO services, ground handling and training. The airlines also intend to explore an immunised JV to further expand the partnership and allow collaboration on network planning and growth in the region. The collaboration will open new destinations in Saudi Arabia and beyond for Delta customers, including a future direct service between the US and Riyadh. [more - original PR]

European Commission (EC) opened (08-Jul-2024) an in depth investigation to assess whether a German recapitalisation measure of EUR6 billion in favour of Deutsche Lufthansa AG is in line with EU state aid rules. The measure was initially approved by the EC on 25-Jun-2020 under the state aid COVID-19 temporary framework, but was annulled by the General Court on 10-May-2023, which considered the measure did not meet several of the conditions set out in the framework. The aid measure comprised an equity component of EUR306 million and two hybrid instrument components, comprising Silent Participation I of EUR4.7 billion with features of a non-convertible equity instrument and Silent Participation II EUR1 billion with features of a convertible debt instrument. The EC's investigation will focus on the following:

  • The eligibility of Lufthansa for the aid;
  • The need for a 'step-up' or similar mechanism to incentivise the exit of the state from the capital;
  • The price of the shares at the time of a potential conversion of Silent Participation II into equity;
  • The existence of significant market power at airports other than Frankfurt and Munich, at least at Düsseldorf and Vienna airports;
  • Certain aspects of the structural commitments imposed on Lufthansa. [more - original PR]

CAPA - Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled: 'Aircraft Interiors - industry development summary: May/Jun-2024', reported (08-Jul-2024) the following industry highlights:

Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines (SIA) received (05-Jul-2024) approval from the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore for their commercial JV agreement. The airlines can now commence commercial activities, including operating joint revenue sharing flights between Singapore and Indonesia. Garuda and SIA are also permitted to coordinate schedules and explore joint sales and marketing initiatives. The carriers codeshare on services from Singapore to Bali, Jakarta, Medan and Surabaya and on long haul routes between Singapore and Johannesburg, London Heathrow and Mumbai. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

American Airlines announced (02-Jul-2024) members can now purchase WiFi sessions using AAdvantage miles on select aircraft. Additionally, select AAdvantage status members will be able to redeem miles for Flagship First Dining access later in 2024. The carrier also introduced a new amenity kit and bedding programme on eligible routes. [more - original PR]