European Commission announced (26-Jan-2023) the EU rules establishing a dedicated airspace for drones (U-space) entered into force on 26-Jan-2023. The U-space creates conditions for both drones and manned aircraft to operate safely and will allow the industry to continue scaling up the market for the drone sector and services. The commission noted the new rules will support more complex and longer distance operations, in particular in low level and densely operated airspace and when out of sight of the remote pilot. The next steps will involve member states designating their U-space areas and service providers as well as work on information exchange and navigation performance standards. [more - original PR]
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Below is a sample of the latest news headlines. 218 news briefs have been published for CAPA Members in the past 2 days.
Wizz Air Group CEO József Váradi provided (26-Jan-2023) the following outlook:
- Continued cost management is driving ex-fuel CASK towards earlier guidance. Wizz Air caught up with peers in terms of systematic jet fuel hedging impact through FY2024. Ex-fuel CASK is expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels in FY2024;
- Continued evidence of a solid fare environment as average fares are trading above 2019 and 2022 levels. Mr Váradi added booking volumes are ahead of 2022 levels towards the end of Jan-2023. Mr Váradi said: "We remain optimistic and maintain our RASK guidance for H2 F23 at mid-single digits above the same period in 2019";
- On track to operate 35% higher capacity compared to H2FY2020. For H1FY2024, the planned ASK growth is 30% compared to 2023 and 65% compared to 2019. As with the Q3FY2023, the company expects slightly more ASK contribution from longer routes connecting locations in the Middle East and Near East, as this region continues to attract a higher volume of passengers;
- Load factors improving. The load factor gap is expected to continue to close compared to 2019 in the coming quarters as recent network investments start to mature;
- Overall net loss expected in FY2023, however profitability is forecast for FY2024, subject to no adverse pandemic or geopolitical events. [more - original PR]
Bonza placed (27-Jan-2023) its services on sale and launched its airfare list. Customers are able to book on 15 routes to 12 destinations as part of a phased rollout. Bonza chief commercial officer Carly Povey stated: "We're committed to low cost fares which will in turn, stimulate new markets for Australia's domestic tourism industry". [more - original PR]
AlphaStruxure announced (26-Jan-2023) an agreement to design, construct and operate integrated microgrid infrastructure at the New Terminal One (NTO) facility at New York John F Kennedy International Airport. The 11.3 megawatt microgrid will provide NTO with sustainable, locally generated and cost-predictable energy and is expected to deliver immediate greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 38% compared to grid-sourced energy. The project will feature the largest rooftop solar array in New York City and on any airport terminal in the US, with all available and viable rooftop areas being used for the project. When complete, NTO will be the first airport transit hub in the New York region that can function independently of the power grid. [more - original PR]
Bonza announced (12-Jan-2023) it has been granted its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). The airline is now finalising its preparations to go on sale with its first wave of flights out of the airline's home base on the Sunshine Coast. Bonza has been working collaboratively with the regulator as it works towards connecting communities by gradually introducing its initial route map of 17 destinations and 27 routes, 93% of which are not currently served by any other airline and 96% of which currently have no LCC. [more - original PR]
Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, via its official website, announced (04-Jan-2023) member states agreed on a coordinated precautionary approach in response to COVID-19 developments in China, covering the following:
- Recommendation for all passengers on services to and from China to wear a medical mask, or FFP2/N95/KN95 respirators;
- Advice to be issued to travellers coming from or destined for China, as well as to aircraft and airport personnel, regarding personal hygiene and health measures;
- Member states are strongly encouraged to introduce a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to be taken by passengers departing China to member states, within 48 hours prior to departure;
- Member states are encouraged to complement these measures with:
- Random testing of passengers arriving from China upon arrival, and the sequencing of all positive results;
- Testing and sequencing of wastewater from airports with international flights and aircraft arriving from China;
- Continued promotion of vaccine sharing and the uptake of vaccines, including booster doses, particularly among vulnerable groups.
Member states will assess the situation and review the introduced measures by mid Jan-2023.
EUROCONTROL stated (31-Dec-2022) it expects European air traffic to reach 92% of 2019 levels in 2023, before reaching full recovery in 2025. The organisation expects that 2023 will be "the most challenging year of the last decade", highlighting in particular that minimising summer delays will be "an immense task for all actors". In addition, airspace issues due to the Ukraine war, new aircraft deliveries, possible industrial action, system changes and the progressive reopening of Asian markets are expected to ask "real questions of the system". EUROCONTROL added the pace of change will also need to accelerate if aviation is to remain on track to meet sustainability targets, noting that despite new initiatives being launched in 2022 further investment and stronger incentives are required. [more - original PR]
Spain's Ministry of Health introduced (31-Dec-2022) mandatory COVID-19 testing for passengers arriving in Spain from China. In addition, all travellers on flights from China will be required to provide an EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) or equivalent from 03-Jan-2023. The measures will be in place until 15-Feb-2023. [more - original PR - Spanish]
Hong Kong's Government announced (28-Dec-2022) pre-departure COVID-19 testing arrangements for inbound travellers will be standardised and all nucleic acid testing requirements after arrival will be lifted, effective 29-Dec-2022. Inbound passengers are advised to conduct daily rapid antigen tests until day five after their arrival at Hong Kong. [more - original PR]