US aircraft manufacturer, Boeing has reported a net loss of USD$561 million for the first quarter of 2021, a sixth consecutive quarterly loss for the company. Like the majority of the aviation industry, Boeing has had to deal with a predominantly weakened demand market for passenger aircraft due to the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside a couple of lingering production and manufacturing issues.
Revenue from Boeing’s commercial aircraft division fell from USD$5.59 billion in 2020 to USD$4.27 billion although deliveries for new planes rose to 77 from 50. The Chief Executive of Boeing, Dave Calhoun stated that “the recovery is gaining traction,” referring to markets such as the United States, but still believes that it will be a couple of years for the global industry to return to peak 2019 traffic levels.
In addition to the weakened market for jet airliners from the pandemic, Boeing’s quarterly losses have also been affected by the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft once again. According to the CEO of Boeing, it had to pause some deliveries of the 737 MAX because of electrical issues on some of the planes. Roughly 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are said to be affected by this new grounding. According to Boeing, the supposed solution is apparently taking longer to fix, which means numerous operators might not be able to use the 737 MAX aircraft ahead of the busy summer travel season. However, the 737 MAX isn’t the only plane that Boeing has had production quality issues with.
In March, Boeing resumed deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft, after reporting production flaws last year. Internal reports from within the company had disclosed information that many of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft built at Boeing’s facility in Charleston, South Carolina, were simply not built as well as the 787s in Seattle. The company also agreed to pay the Federal Aviation Administration US$1.21 million to settle two cases which allege that managers at the company’s South Carolina plant “exerted undue press or interfered with the work of FAA designees.”
One notable airline, Qatar Airways, has instructed Boeing that it will only accept 787s from Boeing’s Seattle facility and does not want any aircraft delivered that have been produced at its facility in South Carolina. Meanwhile, overall aircraft orders have remained painfully slow and even borderline non-existent with long-haul international travel still down sharply as a result of the pandemic.
The company stated that it still expects to deliver the majority of its stored 787 aircraft to airlines by the end of 2021. Meanwhile, other airlines have decided to re-negotiate terms with Boeing, with some taking the option to delay deliveries of new aircraft for a couple of years until travel returns to normal levels at a time when new aircraft can be utilized fully.
United and Southwest Airlines both struck new deals for updated aircraft deliveries to expand their fleets and prepare for growth. While in March 2021, Boeing’s new aircraft orders outpaced cancellations for the first time since 2019. The aircraft manufacturer also plans to ramp up production of the 737 MAX and plans to produce 31 aircraft a month in early 2022 and will hopefully be able to deliver its first 777X wide-body jet in late 2023.
Boeing cited that vaccinations and infection rates, US-China diplomatic relations and the remaining 737 MAX regulatory approvals, which still includes China are among the biggest risks to driving demand up for aircraft orders. The company also reported an overall negative cash flow of USD$3.68 billion for Q1 of 2021, which is less than that Q1 of 2020, which was USD$4.73 billion. Boeing ended the first quarter with $63.6 billion in total debt, which remains unchanged from the previous quarter.
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Avelo Airlines adds new routes to Grand Junction and Medford
Avelo Airlines commenced service on May 9 between Los Angeles and Western Colorado.
Avelo will serve Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) and Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) .
Flight XP115 departs BUR at 4:20 p.m., arriving GJT at 7:15 p.m. local time; flight XP116 departs GJT at 7:55 p.m., arriving BUR at 9:00 p.m. local time*. The flight will be available four days per week on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The route will be served by 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
On the same day, the new carrier commenced service to Medford, Oregon.
Avelo will fly nonstop between Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR) and Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, flight XP111 departs BUR at 4:20 p.m., arriving MFR at 6:10 p.m. local time; flight XP112 departs MFR at 6:50 p.m., arriving BUR at 8:50 p.m. local time. On Sunday, flight XP111 departs BUR at 11:10 a.m. arriving MFR at 1:00 p.m. local time; flight XP112 departs MFR at 1:40 p.m., arriving BUR at 3:40 p.m.
British Airways adds flights to holiday destinations
British Airways made this announcement:
Following the announcement that Britons are likely to be able to get a summer holiday this year after all, British Airways has added new services to holiday destinations for June and July onwards, saying the new services are in response to overwhelming interest from its customers.
The 26 additional weekly frequencies will include destinations across Greece, the Canary Islands and Turkey to popular holiday hot spots including Corfu, Kos, Paphos, Rhodes, Lanzarote, Tenerife and Bodrum.
Photo: Rhodes, Greece. British Airways.
The newly established flights to Greece and the Canary Islands will be available to book from Tuesday, May 11, 2021 for travel between June 21, 2021 and September 5, 2021 over the peak summer period. Bodrum in Turkey will also be available to fly to from July 18, 2021.
British Airways is currently flying to 27 short-haul destinations, including 112 holiday hotspots for the peak of the summer period.
Additional Summer 2021 Frequencies added:
- Heathrow – Lanzarote (ACE) +1pw, frequency growth from 5pw to 6pw
- Heathrow – Bodrum (BJV) +2pw, frequency growth from 1pw to 3pw
- Heathrow – Corfu (CFU) +3pw, frequency growth from 14pw to 17pw
- Heathrow – Chania (CHQ) +3pw, frequency growth from 6pw to 9pw
- Heathrow – Kefalonia (EFL) +2pw, frequency growth from 3pw to 5pw
- Heathrow – Heraklion (HER) +1pw, frequency growth from 9pw to 10pw
- Heathrow – Kos (KGS) + 2pw, frequency growth from 4pw to 6pw
- Heathrow – Kalamata (KLX) +2pw, frequency growth from 3pw to 5pw
- Heathrow – Paphos (PFO) +1pw, frequency growth from 7pw to 8pw
- Heathrow – Preveza (PVK) +2pw, frequency growth from 4pw to 6pw
- Heathrow – Rhodes (RHO) +2pw, frequency growth from 5pw to 7pw
- Heathrow – Thessaloniki (SKG) +3pw, frequency growth from 9pw to 12pw
- Heathrow – Tenerife (TFS) + 2pw, frequency growth from 13pw to 15pw
Voyager acquires majority control of XO Markets
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Voyager Space has completed the purchase of a majority interest in commercial space holding company XO Markets.
Revealed in December 2020, the transaction also includes XO Markets subsidiary Nanoracks. It involves the infusion of significant growth capital into the business.
The financial details of the deal remain undisclosed.
Nanoracks provides low-cost, high-quality solutions required for satellite deployment, along with basic and educational research in over 30 countries.
The company has already launched more than 1,000 projects to the International Space Station, as well as the Bishop Airlock on the SpaceX CRS-21 mission on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
Nanoracks is also working on its long-term Space Outpost Program for private space platforms.
Voyager chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor said: “In the last year, the space industry has undergone a rapid evolution with demand for commercial space services reaching record highs.
“Innovative companies like Nanoracks are continuing to drive this transformation forward with first-of-their-kind technologies like the Bishop Airlock.
“We look forward to working with Jeffrey and his team as Nanoracks continues to push the envelope of what’s possible in the years to come while benefiting from the full support of our integrated model.”
Last month, Voyager completed the acquisition of The Launch Company, which specialises in the development of the systems, hardware, and processes to accelerate NewSpace companies to orbit.
In line with the NewSpace mission, Voyager recently inducted former Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine to chair its advisory board.
Jazeera Airways Sees A Smaller Loss Than Last Year Despite COVID
On May 10th, Jazeera Airways released its earnings figures for the first quarter of 2021. With the ongoing health crisis and tight travel restrictions imposed by the Kuwait government, the airline is still facing losses. However, when compared to the first quarter of 2020, the airline experienced a smaller loss. This was achieved by trimming the airline’s workforce and operations, as well as the absence of a total ban, as was experienced in Kuwait the year prior.
First-quarter earnings for 2021
Announcing its figures yesterday, Jazeera Airways posted an operating revenue of KD8.1 million ($26.92 million).
When matching up operational revenue with operational expenses, the airline registered a net loss of KD5.2 million ($17.28 million). While not an insignificant figure, it does represent an improvement of 14% from the first quarter of 2020- which saw a net loss of KD6.0 million ($19.94 million).
One big change from a year ago was the difference in travel restrictions and the airline’s ability to adapt. In March of 2020, with the health crisis just emerging, most airlines were caught off-guard. The Kuwaiti government imposed a complete ban on all commercial traffic, allowing only cargo operations and specially arranged repatriation services. This time around, Jazeera Airways has had the chance to right-size its workforce and its operations.
Additionally, Kuwait now has a slightly less restrictive flight policy. Rather than a blanket ban on all traffic, commercial flights from 35 countries are suspended at Kuwait International Airport. Since February 7th, 2021, the government has also imposed an arrival capacity of 1,000 Kuwaiti nationals per day.
Passenger traffic numbers
The airline reports that the number of passengers flown during the quarter reached 104,116- which is down from 496,484 during the same period in 2020. This is due to ongoing restrictions at Kuwait International Airport (KWI).
The airline’s load factor was 58.4%, while its yield increased by 105.2% to KD74.9 ($249).
Jazeera Airways’ chairman credits some of its passenger traffic to connecting flights, as well as new destinations (with more on the way):
“While restrictions continued at Kuwait International Airport during the quarter, Jazeera focused on connecting flights, targeting underserved segments of passengers within its network, which accounted for 28% of total passengers. The airline also launched two new destinations and acquired six new traffic rights as it prepares to launch new routes in the summer season. Overall, Jazeera acquired the largest market share at KWI during the month of March despite limited capacity.” -Marwan Boodai, Jazeera Airways Chairman
Positive news during the first quarter
Indeed, the airline has had some positive news during the quarter. It launched two new routes to Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “These routes serve a resilient demand for travel by expatriates in the region,” the airline states.
During the period, the airline also took delivery of its sixth Airbus A320neo aircraft. In total, four A320neos will be delivered over the course of 2021.
The airline expects restrictions at Kuwait International Airport to be lifted over the remainder of the year – particularly as vaccination rates improve.
The airline’s chairman concludes by saying that Jazeera is in a strong financial position with an experienced team. “The airline has a solid portfolio of travel rights, an efficient fleet, and a network that connects passengers from point to point,” he adds.
Have you flown with Jazeera Airways yet? Share your experience by leaving a comment.
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