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

Finland's Government announced (29-Sep-2022) it will restrict entry for Russian tourists effective 30-Sep-2022, in order to stop all tourism and related transits from Russia. The Government stated: "The Russian mobilisation and rapidly increasing volume of tourists arriving in Finland and transiting via Finland endanger Finland's international position and international relations". The resolution applies to both tourism into Finland and transits to other countries and will remain in force "until further notice". [more - original PR]

WestJet announced (29-Sep-2022) a purchase order for 42 Boeing 737 MAX 10s, with options for an additional 22 aircraft. The 230 seat aircraft offers a range of 3100 nautical miles. WestJet CEO Alexis Von Hoensbroech stated: "The 737 MAX 10 will be a game changer, with one of the lowest costs per seat among mid-range aircraft. This will foster our low-cost positioning and affordability for Canadians. In addition, with its lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions, the MAX 10 will further improve the environmental footprint of our fleet". The carrier currently has over 15 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet. [more - original PR]

Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) reached (28-Sep-2022) an agreement to acquire Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management for EUR2.25 billion. Following the close of the transaction, WFS will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SATS and the WFS management team will continue to lead the business. Through initiatives that will include cross-selling, network expansion and deeper e-commerce cargo partnerships, the combined entity is expected to capture meaningful run rate EBITDA synergies in excess of SGD100 million (USD69.6 million). The parties stated that with over 200 cargo and ground handling stations in over 20 countries, the combined company is expected to be the "largest global air cargo handler". The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and SATS shareholder approval and is expected to close by 31-Mar-2023. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

Virgin Atlantic Airways announced (27-Sep-2022) plans to join SkyTeam in 1Q2023, becoming the alliance's first and only UK member airline and enhancing its transatlantic network and services connecting to London Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport. Virgin's entry into the alliance builds on its transatlantic JV partnership with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM. SkyTeam CEO Kristin Colvile stated: "Virgin Atlantic will benefit from increased opportunities to expand its global network through partnerships and synergies [and] customers will have more ways to earn and burn miles while enjoying the service for which Virgin Atlantic is renowned". [more - original PR]

Canada's Government released (27-Sep-2022) its Aviation Climate Action Plan, an initiative which:

  • Presents a vision of net zero emissions by 2050 for the Canadian aviation sector;
  • Sets a "purposefully ambitious" goal of 10% for the use of sustainable aviation fuel by 2030;
  • Includes key pathways and actions that the government and the aviation industry intend to work on to improve efficiency and reduce pollution from aviation activities.

The plan will undergo a series of updates from 2024, which will include reassessing long term projections, strengthening short term commitments, setting interim targets and ensuring continued alignment with Canada's climate commitments. [more - original PR]

Norse Atlantic Airways announced (27-Sep-2022) the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) granted the carrier an air operator certificate (AOC) and operating licence, enabling it to begin direct flights from the UK. The carrier plans to operate between London Gatwick Airport and several US destinations, subject to further regulatory approvals, in particular serving routes that are currently "unserved by direct flights or lacking sufficient capacity". CEO Bjorn Tore Larsen said the carrier will employ local pilots and cabin crew at its London Gatwick base and has established "close working relationships" with the British Airline Pilots' Association, the Unite cabin crew union and the US Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. Mr Larsen added: "We look forward to ramping up our operations between London and the US ready for our summer 2023 schedule". [more - original PR]

ACI EUROPE joined (27-Sep-2022) the European Commission's Alliance for Zero-Emission Aviation, a voluntary initiative bringing aviation stakeholders together to prepare Europe for hydrogen and electric flight. As previously reported by CAPA, the alliance was launched in Jun-2022 and aims to address issues including fuel and infrastructure requirements of hydrogen and electric aircraft at airports, sourcing of renewable fuels and electricity, standardisation and certification, practices for operators and air traffic management. A dedicated ACI EUROPE task force comprising Aena, Aeroporti di Roma, Brussels Airport, daa, Geneva Airport, Groupe ADP, Munich Airport, Royal Schiphol Group, SEA Milan Airports and Swedavia will drive the airport industry contribution to the alliance under the supervision of the association's Environmental Strategy Committee. ACI EUROPE director general Olivier Jankovec said: "Supporting the development and deployment of alternative propulsion technologies is a natural continuation of our work to limit the industry's impact on the climate", adding: "Airport infrastructure projects are developed to last decades, so it is of fundamental importance that the development of hydrogen and electric powered aircraft technologies goes hand-in-hand with the adaptation and development of the necessary airport infrastructure". [more - original PR]

UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) reported (26-Sep-2022) international tourist arrivals "almost tripled" in the first seven months of 2022, increasing 172% year-on-year to 474 million and recovering to 60% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 207 million international tourists were recorded in Jun-2022 and Jul-2022 combined, more than twice the number recorded in Jun/Jul-2021. These months represent 44% of the total arrivals recorded in the first seven months of 2022. Europe welcomed 309 million of these arrivals, 65% of the total. UNWTO stated the "steady" recovery reflects "strong" pent up demand and easing restrictions, with no COVID-19 travel restrictions in 86 countries as of 19-Sep-2022. UNWTO secretary general Zurab Pololikashvili stated: "Tourism continues to recover steadily, yet several challenges remain, from geopolitical to economic. The sector is bringing back hope and opportunity for people everywhere". Mr Pololikashvili added: "Now is also the time to rethink tourism, where it is going and how it impacts people and planet". [more - original PR]

British Airways and Qatar Airways completed (26-Sep-2022) the last phase in the expansion of their partnership, stating they now offer "connectivity between more countries than any other airline joint business". The airlines added 42 countries to their shared network, including Italy, Maldives, Norway, Singapore and Sweden, expanding access between destinations in Europe and the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The expansion will enable connecting journeys on single tickets through Doha and London, bringing the number of destinations served by the two airlines to 185 across more than 60 countries. Customers can engage with both airlines' loyalty programmes, earning and spending the common Avios currency. Cooperation on "a small number of routes" remains subject to pending regulatory clearances. [more - original PR - British Airways] [more - original PR - Qatar Airways]

Qantas Group appointed (26-Sep-2022) Stephanie Tully as Jetstar CEO. Ms Tully joined the Qantas Group 2004 and has worked across operational, commercial, marketing and customer loyalty functions in progressively more senior roles. She has been a group executive and chief customer officer since 2019. As a result of this appointment, Markus Svensson will be promoted to chief customer officer and become a member of the group executive committee reporting to the group CEO. Mr Svensson is currently executive manager of network, revenue management and alliances. Ms Tully and Mr Svensson will commence transitioning to their new roles shortly, ahead of a formal handover in Nov-2022. Current Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans will leave the role by the end of 2022. [more - original PR]

Nigeria's Ministry of Aviation selected (22-Sep-2022) an Ethiopian Airlines led consortium as the preferred bidder for shares in Nigeria Air. Under the public private partnership model, Ethiopian Airlines will own 49% of the carrier, with the Nigerian Sovereign Fund owning 46% and the Federal Government owning 5%. A contract for three 166 seat (16 business and 150 economy) Boeing 737-800s has been finalised with Ethiopian Airlines. The government aims to finish procedures including due diligence, contract negotiation and issuance of a compliance certificate by mid Nov-2022, with a view to launching the carrier by the end of 2022. The airline is expected to launch operations with Lagos-Abuja service. [more - original PR]

US' Department of Transportation (DoT) and Department of Energy (DoE) released (23-Sep-2022) the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Grand Challenge Roadmap, outlining the US Government's strategy to scale SAF production nationwide. The plan details actions to promote technological innovation to produce SAF, reduce emissions, enable the achievement of domestic climate goals and position the US as a global leader in the emerging SAF market. The roadmap aims to achieve the goals of the SAF Grand Challenge signed in 2021, which consists of three major goals:

  • Achieve a minimum of a 50% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuel;
  • Produce three billion gallons of SAF annually by 2030;
  • Supply sufficient SAF to meet 100% of domestic aviation fuel demand by 2050.

The roadmap was produced by DoE in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, DoT and US FAA. [more - original PR]