Aviation News

As June draws to a close, what are the stories dominating the aviation sector? Here we explore the stories that are raising eyebrows.

Israeli Financial Support

El-Al, which flies under the Israeli flag, has sought changes to a proposed funding mechanism. The troubled airline needs financial support to survive and insist that the government has not rejected their proposition as such.

El-Al’s proposal was an attempt to renegotiate a $400 million loan. The ministry countered with a reduced loan offer of $250 million and a request that the airline raises the remaining funds through a share offer. The Israeli ministry had proposed that the government buy any outstanding shares that were not taken up by investors. This measure could potentially give the government a 60% share of the airline and so send it into state ownership.

The ministry has not rejected any offer as yet, though they accept there is a need to address difficulties that the airline has with the counteroffer of the share package. The two parties continue the discussion and it is likely to influence the relationship with many airlines and their national governments in the next few months.

The golden age has passed

The airline sector was already under pressure with the rise of environmental concerns. Although passenger numbers before the virus were ever-increasing, the aviation sector was going to struggle to meet its carbon zero targets. Therefore, the chances of a severe recession, whether there was a pandemic or not, was likely.

The COVID-19 pandemic will result in forecast losses of $100 billion in the coming financial year. These losses are truly massive – and unprecedented. Anyone that claims they can truly predict the consequences is likely deluded.

There is talk of the consequences, of course. There are possibilities for mergers and acquisitions, as well as outright bankruptcy. It is highly likely that there will be many routes that go out of service. Therefore, there is a glut of new aircraft, storage and scrappage with no option for financial return or a return to production rates in the near future.

The airlines that might survive seems to be a matter of cash flow, agility in the marketplace and luck. However, until the chaos of the current climate calms down, it is hard to predict who these airlines might be.

Emirates bucks the trend

While many airlines are grounding planes and stopping routes, Emirates has resumed flights to ten more cities across June and July. By the end of July, the number of destinations they will serve will rise to 40.

Emirates has benefitted from the easing of travel restrictions from the Dubai government. This has enabled them to restore much more of their network than most. Flights to Sri Lanka began on the 20th June and service to Pakistan from 24th June. Only outbound passengers will be carried on these new services.

Emirates claim that the success in delivering services is thanks to the careful way that the government has handled the pandemic. It has allowed the airline to make moves that others are unable to make because of the situation in their home nations.

Legal matters continue no matter

Seemingly legal proceedings are resilient to times of upheaval. The law continues to be written no matter the global situation. The recent ruling from the European Court will be a relief to stressed EU airlines. The ruling says they can avoid paying delay compensation to passengers as a result of disruption from an unruly passenger.

Instances of disruptive passengers in the EU increased by 34% in 2018 – and in 2019 a passenger delayed a flight every three hours with their poor behaviour. Reasons for the delay include excessive alcohol, tampering with the toilet smoke alarms, threats to the crew, noncompliance with the crew and many more. It is not surprising that airlines needed support from regulation to prevent undue claims against their performance. However, there are clear signs that more needs to be done to promote good etiquette on flights for passengers.

Who should benefit from bailouts?

There are many who worry that government bailouts to airlines are a way of saving the rich and not those who really need the support. The rise in concern came when individuals such as Richard Branson were requesting financial support from the British government.

Donnachdh McCarthy called the support to the super-rich owners as “an unconscionable injustice that not only is our generation trashing the climate, but we are also landing future generations with huge financial debts to pay for the destruction.”

This is a strong opinion, but one founded in the damage done by carbon omissions to the planet. It also recognises that the billions to keep the same industry from going under.  However, there are alternative points to address. The aviation sector is an important jigsaw piece in the UK economy overall. Therefore, the success of airlines is directly linked to the health of all our pockets. While we might think it a good idea that the airlines have come down to earth with a crash due to the pandemic, it is difficult to palate the consequences if they are allowed to go under.

However, attitude to flying was already on the downturn. In a survey completed in Europe, people had already decided to reduce time in an aeroplane due to the worsening environmental conditions. 72% of those polled said they would support a carbon-tax and 62% suggested a complete ban on short-distance flights.

Aviation in June: A round-up

Corona Virus Disease of 2019, or COVID-19, has changed everything about our world in 2020. What started out as a news story in China has shaped a new reality across the globe. As the primary carrier of humans around the world, the airline industry has been significantly impacted. It has all but stopped passenger traffic, as well as impacting air cargo demand, airport workforce and any sort of revenue and cash flow. In short, it is a disaster that keeps on coming.

Here we have gathered all the latest updates from airports around the world. The news here should help you to build an understanding of the health of the sector and guide where you might travel in the coming months.

Vancouver International Airport

The airport has announced a new passenger confidence programme called YVR TAKEcare. The idea of this program is to support passengers as they travel through the airport during the time of COVID-19. Much of the damage done to airlines is yet to happen. While air travel is forced to stop because of government mandate, the airline sector can hope to get bailouts. However, when business resumes as “normal” consumer confidence will be the major barrier to future success in the sector. Therefore, this program by Vancouver International Airport could prove essential.

Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport faces the reality of being in a burgeoning US hotspot for the virus. The number of infections was rising daily in June in California to the point that news outlets were predicting new lockdown measures. The airport is working to increase customer confidence and offer the convenience of PPE for all who travel through the airport.

If you travel through the Southern Californian airport you will find self-service kiosks providing face covers, disposable gloves, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitiser. This is the first airport in California to add these PPE kiosks as a way of safeguarding passengers, and it also continues to deep clean the facilities daily.

Airport Authority Honk Kong

THE AAHK has announced a relief package to be implemented for the local airport community, as the territory continues to be challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also reducing or waiving various fees for those in the aviation industry. This scheme started in March but hey have now extended it into August 2020.

Gatwick Airport

The news out of the UK is challenging for the aviation industry. The government has imposed a two-week quarantine for anyone flying into the country, which is sure to have a continued devastating impact on the ability of airports like Gatwick to function. Although there are talks about air bridges with other countries, the UK government is shying away from risks after experiencing some of the worst mortality numbers in the world.

Gatwick recently announced some good news though. Norwegian Airlines will resume flights from the airport from the 1st July. Gatwick have promised to put extensive measures in place to protect everyone on board, in line with guidance from national organisations.

London Heathrow Airport

Heathrow, like Gatwick, will feel the threat of government regulation. However, despite this, the airport announced that it has donated more than 5000 FFP3 face masks to the NHS, which brings the total number of masks donated to 16000. The healthcare workers at Hillingdon Hospital have been grateful for this essential PPE. The airport is also stepping in to help local schools. The organisation has given more than 70 laptops to local primary schools, bought with money donated from the Executive Team at the airport. Reaching out across the community in this way by being part of the humanity of the aviation sector when it too is struggling. It is also exceptional customer outreach that will position the airport as essential to the UK.

Frankfurt Airport

In May 2020, Frankfurt Airport recorded just over 270,000 passengers. This number represents a decline of 95.6% on numbers from the same month in 2019. The first five months of 2020 showed a decline of nearly 60% in footfall through this major international hub. The trend for declining numbers is, of course, a result of travel restrictions and plummeting demand through to fears of the virus. However, the traffic figures out of Frankfurt also showed that cargo volumes are beginning to stabilise and continue to pass through the airport.

Emirates

Emirates have benefitted from the astonishing amount of intervention by the governments of the UAE.  Such is the state of affairs in the middle east that Fly Emirates is looking to fly to some 30 cities from the 15th June. The flights will pass through cities in Europe, Australasia, the Far East and North America. These flights represent a significant return to business after the airline drastically reduced services earlier this year.

Denver International Airport

The authorities at Denver International Airport reported a sight for sore eyes on the 17th June as the first international arrival touched down after 75 days. The service between Denver and Guadalajara will now fly two days a week for those who need to travel for essential commitments. Although there is no holiday travel passing through, this resumption of air travel across international borders is a relief to the executives at Denver.

What does all this suggest?

The news from around the world of aviation in June seems to suggest cautious optimism. While the numbers are still devastating, there seems to be the greenest of green shoots emerging to offer hope. Airports seem to be adapting and developing schemes that will support passenger confidence. The airlines are looking to find routes back to taking to the air and getting the flow of cash back into their businesses.

Are you looking for a career in Aviation?

If you want to work in aviation, you will want to undertake one of the top courses.  The UK offers some of the best university courses in the world and provides exciting routes into becoming a pilot, aerospace engineer or aviation management. Not only is a career that promises travel but also opportunities for progression and a comfortable salary.

Here we explore the top ten aviation courses available in the UK and suggest why you would want to consider this option for your future.  You don’t have to rely on our opinion, these recommendations come from the Air Charter Service, a trusted expert in the sector.

University of Leeds

Based in the north of England, the University of Leeds is a top-rated higher education institution. The three-year Aviation Technology with Pilot Studies is a bachelor’s degree that focuses on flight training and the design of aircraft. There are many modules to cover, including looking at the current issues facing the sector, such as environmental concerns and the innovation of the latest technologies. As well as classroom-based learning, students will experience 10-hours of flight training and Civil Aviation ground exams. As a student, you will work towards your Private Pilot’s Licence.

The University of the West of England

Commonly known as UWE, this university is situated to the north of Bristol. Bristol is a hub of the aviation industry in the UK and a great place to undertake your studies. The opportunities for on the job experience are high in this region. The university offers a four-year undergraduate course, as well as post-graduate studies in Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies.

The institution claims that these courses have been designed for aerospace engineers and begins students on a journey to becoming a technical specialist in the sector. If you choose this university, you will study modules in manufacturing processes, thermodynamics, and exploration of the innovation of materials used in aerospace engineering. You will be given the opportunity to design, build and test your aircraft prototypes, as well as take a work placement year.

Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University is based in beautiful countryside at the heart of the UK. The course offered by this university is perfect for those who want to work as engineers, pilots, or managers in aviation. The course focuses on Aeronautical Engineering course and there is an emphasis on flight deck design. Students will use CAD software to study fly-by-wire computer and propulsion systems.

As with Bristol, you will be given the option of taking an additional year of work experience, which is the best practice when dealing with such a practical and ever-evolving sector. You will also be given the opportunity to undertake a practical flight element, with training in a glider and in simulators.

Brunel University London

You would hope that a university named after the eminent engineer Brunel would offer an exceptional engineering program. Indeed, there is a stellar range of courses in aviation, including a four-year Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies up to master’s degree. The fourth year of this course is devoted to work experience, which is aided by the close ties that the university enjoys with Heathrow Airport. Students are given the opportunity to experience work in commercial and private aircraft companies. There are also modules in aeronautics, thermofluids and aircraft design.

University of Hertfordshire

You can take a three-year Aerospace Technology with Pilot Studies course at Hertfordshire. There is an emphasis on computer-aided engineering in this course, with students developing skills in 3D modelling, computer-aided analysis, manufacture, and simulation. For those aspiring to pilot a plane, there is also a chance to use flight simulators. In the second half of the course, there is also a chance to train at a flight centre and work towards a pilot’s licence. There is a pilot training scholarship available for top-performing students to use after graduation.

University of Nottingham

There are courses for both graduate and post-graduates at Nottingham University. The places on this course are competitive as the institution is renowned for its world-leading facilities, with the best laboratories and access to some of the best guest lecturers from the global aerospace sector. If you want to be an aviation engineer, this is the pre-eminent course, with modules in electric aircraft, propulsion systems and aerospace manufacturing.

Kingston University London

When you are hoping to work in a global industry it makes sense to train in a university that is in one of the world’s greatest capital cities. Kingston University is in the heart of London and offers an Aviation Operations with Commercial Pilot Training degree course. Do you want to be an airline pilot? This is the degree that you should take. The course offers 15 months of integrated flight training and you will gain your frozen Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). You will also access a lot of the technical theory, as well as enjoy a year of work experience in the sector.

University of Sheffield

You will choose Sheffield if you want to go into aviation engineering. You will specialise through your time on your course, choosing an area of study that interests you most. You can undertake modules in project management, structural materials and flight instrumentation, to name a few. More exciting, the university has links with Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron, which offers you the opportunity to undertake flight instruction as part of the course.

University of Salford

Based in Manchester, arguably one of the UK’s most dynamic cities, you can qualify with an Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies degree. However, the focus here is on solving complex aircraft engineering tasks. The practical modules seek to apply the theory of maths and science in engineering problems. You will also enjoy 45 hours of flight training and get the opportunity to achieve your Private Pilot’s Licence.

University of Liverpool

If you really want to become a specialist in the sector, then Liverpool is the best base for your studies. You can study Aerospace Engineering up to PhD level. Like Nottingham, Liverpool is renowned for its cutting-edge laboratories.