Global depression in aviation sector looms, as mega airlines cancel aircraft orders

•Reduce fleet size by 50 per cent, urge staff above 56 to retire

It may not be an understatement that global depression looms as the dreaded coronavirus continues to ravage through the world tearing down hundreds of thousands of lives and the different sectors of global economy.

The most hardest hit of the different economic sectors has become aviation with the airlines becoming the sacrificial lamb as seen in the total shutdown of the business since the outbreak of the pandemic.

To say the pandemic has started taking its negative toll on global airline business is no longer news as stronger and big time mega carriers of this world are already bowing to the unbearable consequences of the scourge.

Caught in the post COVID-19 economic mess, Virgin Atlantic, one of the strongest British flag carriers has been reported to have fired more than 3,000 workers including 600 PNT.

The big British Airways is not left out of the economic crisis as it has already grounded 34 planes with an instruction to all staff above 58 years to retire. While IAG (British Airways’ parent company) has abandoned the takeover of Air Europa (and will pay €40 million compensation for that). BA’s partner, Iberia has also grounded 56 planes.

Finnair had since returned 12 planes to the manufacturer and laid off 2,400 workers as the low cost carrier, Ryanair has grounded 113 planes and planned to get rid of 900 pilots for the moment with additional 450 more in the coming months.

The rich United Arab Emirates based airlines are also not left out of the economic disaster created by COVID-19 as Etihad according to reports has cancelled 18 order for A350, grounded 10 A380s and 10 Boeing 787 planes with so far 720 redundancies declared.

Emirates, another UAE-based airline has grounded 38 A380 aircraft, cancelled all orders for Boeing 777 x 150 aircraft, the largest order for this type even as it advised all employees over 56 years to retire.

While the German national carrier, Lufthansa has planned to ground 72 aircraft in two installments, American Delta Air Lines is partially out even though they are airlines with government shares.

Norwegian completely stops its long-haul activity. All its 787s have been returned to the lessors. SAS has returned 14 planes and fires 520 pilots.The Scandinavian states are studying a plan to liquidate Norwegian and SAS to rebuild a new company from their ashes.

Brussels Airline has reduced its fleet by 50% (and associated redundancies) just as Wizzair has returned 32 A320s and laid off 1,200 people, including 200 pilots, with another wave of 430 layoffs planned in the coming months. Remaining employees will see their wages reduced by 30%

The aircraft manufacturing companies have also been hit by the negative impact of coronavirus as over 60 new aircraft are presently stored at Airbus with no buyers in sight following cancellations of many orders earlier placed by airlines including 18 A350s.


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