Hong Kong Airlines gets financial lifeline
December 05, 2019
Two days after it was handed an ultimatum by Hong Kong authorities, Hong Kong Airlines (HKA) received temporary reprieve — in the form of a cash injection plan. The embattled carrier, facing the possibility of being wound up, says in a statement that the plan was drawn up "following urgent consultations". It did not specify how much cash will be injected, or where the funds will come from. The sudden injection of funds comes as Hong Kong's Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) laid down two new licensing requirements for the airline. The carrier must, by a certain deadline, ensure that cash is injected, and also be able to raise and maintain its cash and cash equivalents. ATLA, which has the power to revoke a carrier's operating licence, said on 2 December that it will stipulate what the limit will be, but did not provide any details. With plans put in place to inject fresh funds, HKA says it will now pay outstanding salary to its staff by 5 December. “Our services will gradually resume to normal as soon as the funds arrive,” it adds. HKA has been the subject of close regulatory scrutiny recently, as a result of its dire financial situation. Just a week earlier, ATLA noted that HKA’s financial position has "deteriorated rapidly", such that it was hampered in its ability to fulfil its obligations as an employer to pay the salaries. The carrier undertook multiple rounds of capacity cuts in recent weeks — in early November, it said it was slashing capacity by 6% as its financial problems mounted. HKA suspended Los Angeles then, and adjusted frequencies to nine other points in its network, including Osaka, Okinawa, Tokyo and Bangkok. HKA later withdrew completely from the North American market, axing Vancouver from its network. The airline also suspended Tianjin and Ho Chi Minh City, and said it will be focusing on "priority routes".

Source: FlightGlobal

Italian ministers agree urgent loan for troubled Alitalia
December 04, 2019
Italy's government has approved a €400 million ($443 million) loan to troubled flag-carrier Alitalia, to provide funding while a strategy for the airline's future is decided. The Italian council of ministers met on 2 November to discuss "urgent measures" to ensure the continuity of Alitalia and Cityliner services. It states that the loan is intended to allow for the completion of a corporate transfer by 31 May 2020. The loan will fund "non-deferrable management needs" for the airline and the execution – by Alitalia's commissioners – of strategic initiatives to make the company's structure more efficient, it adds. Government steps to preserve Alitalia's operations follow the failure to secure a buyer for the airline. Both Alitalia and regional division Cityliner remain in extraordinary administration. Rail firm FS Italiane had been attempting to secure agreement from potential consortium partners – including major airlines – to acquire SkyTeam alliance member Alitalia, but during November it stated that the conditions to formalise a bid had not been reached. Alitalia's unions have been pressing the government for a long-term solution, perhaps involving nationalisation of the carrier.

Source: FlightGlobal

Condor restores bird logo as it separates from Thomas Cook
December 04, 2019
German leisure carrier Condor has reverted to a previous corporate logo for its fleet, distancing the airline from its collapsed former parent Thomas Cook Group. Condor has unveiled the scheme on a Boeing 767-300ER (D-ABUF) and says all the aircraft in its fleet – including the Boeing 757s and Airbus A320 family – will carry the new livery. The airline already had an arm's-length branding relationship with Thomas Cook Group, after an unpopular attempt to rebrand the carrier was abandoned in favour of the strong Condor name. Condor's new scheme restores the arrowhead-style bird logo on the fin and the 767's winglets, in place of the Thomas Cook 'heart' design. The aircraft operated its first service in the revised livery to Cancun on 30 November. Chief executive Ralf Teckentrup says the change had to be made for trademark reasons, although the rest of the fuselage and tail design remains the same. Condor has unveiled a new summer 2020 schedule as part of its separation and establishment as a standalone airline. The long-haul schedule includes twice-weekly services from Frankfurt to the Canadian city of Edmonton from June. Condor, which will operate to over 30 long-haul destinations from Frankfurt, will also serve several cities from Munich including Cancun, Halifax, Punta Cana and Seattle.

Source: FlightGlobal


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