​Ryanair to close Frankfurt base
January 10, 2022
Ryanair intends to shut its base in Frankfurt International and redistribute the five aircraft allocated there to airports that have cut their landing fees amid the pandemic. The low-cost carrier currently operates 13 routes across Europe from the German hub, mostly Mediterranean leisure routes. "We are disappointed to announce the closure of our Frankfurt am Main base at the end of March 2022, but we have no alternative in response to a decision from the airport to increase its airport fees, despite the collapse in traffic caused by the Covid-19 pandemic," says Ryanair commercial director Jason McGuinness. The airline argues that amid the industry crisis "airports must incentivise traffic recovery". All of Ryanair's Frankfurt-based pilots and cabin crew have been notified of the base closure and can secure alternative positions within the network. "While Ryanair continues to invest in Germany (as evidenced by a $200m investment in a new two-aircraft Nuremberg base), the German government continues to protect legacy carriers, such as Lufthansa, who have soaked up €9bn in state aid, rather than introduce non-discriminatory traffic recovery schemes open to all airlines," the budget operator complains. It plans to increase its services across Europe in summer 2022, backed by deliveries of 65 new Boeing 737 Max jets. With many competitors having reduced their fleets and capacity because of Covid-19, the airline asserts that there are a "multitude" of airports seeking to capture growth.

Avianca rejects pair of A321’s
January 10, 2022
Colombian flag carrier Avianca is rejecting two Airbus A321’s as part of its US Chapter 11 restructuring process. Court documents filed on 6 January show that the airline rejected MSNs 6511 and 6767 on 15 December. Avianca had on 1 December filed a schedule of aircraft leases to be assumed on condition that definitive documentation and approval orders were met. The Latin American operator rejected the two aircraft when the deadline to agree terms was reached on 15 December. Data shows that the two aircraft form part of Avianca's 2015-2 EETC portfolio. DAE Capital is listed as the servicer of the aircraft, while court documents show that Wells Fargo is the trustee. Avianca completed the financing of 11 aircraft in 2015 via two issuances under an enhanced aviation investment vehicle (EAIV) private EETC structure. That structure was created by Burnham Sterling, which was mandated as lead arranger and sole bookrunner in the deals.

LATAM Airlines Brazil begins flying its 787 internationally
January 07, 2022
LATAM Airlines Brazil has conducted a first international service with its Boeing 787-9, flying the twinjet to Spanish capital Madrid from Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport. From 23 February, the aircraft (registered PS-LAA) will also be deployed on the route connecting Guarulhos and New York JFK, the airline says. It has been operating this 787-9, equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, on domestic routes since October, and says it is the first Brazilian airline to operate the type in the country. LATAM Airlines Brazil adds: "In all, up to four Boeing 787-9 aircraft from the LATAM Group fleet in Chile will arrive in Brazil to be crewed by Brazilian pilots and flight attendants, in yet another strong commitment by the company to the recovery of the air sector in the country."


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