Here is our rolling report with short aviation news for the month of August 2022:
29 – Spanish airline Air Europa has signed an agreement with AerCap to lease ten Boeing MAX 8s plus five 787-9s. All aircraft will be delivered between 2024 and 2026. Air Europa says that the new aircraft will help it to meet its sustainability targets of reducing CO2 emissions. This would indicate that at least the MAX will replace some of the 21 737-800s that are currently in the fleet and of which fifteen are leased. At an average of 8.2 years, the -800s are still young aircraft. The Dreamliner fleet includes ten 787-8s and twelve 787-9s, which are all leased. Two -8s and -9s are actually subleased to Norse Atlantic. International Airlines Group said on August 16 that it has converted a €100 million loan for a twenty percent stake in the airline.
05 – airBaltic has a new wet-lease customer for the coming winter. The airline has signed an agreement with SWISS to wet-lease up to six Airbus A220-300s for the winter timetable, which will help SWISS to stabilize its schedule and ease pressure on its workforce. SWISS, which reported an operating profit for Q2 and HY1 on August 4, has been forced to reduce its workforce following the outbreak of the pandemic. It is now confronted with pent-up demand. The A220-300s aren’t news to SWISS, of course, which has been operating them as one of the first airlines when the type was still the Bombardier CS300. The airline has 21 of them. The agreement with airBaltic complements the existing partnership with Swiss airline Helvetic, which operates for SWISS with the Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2. The number of wet-leased aircraft was reduced in 2021. This summer, airBaltic has wet-leased five A220-300s to Eurowings, two to Eurowings Discover, and four to SAS. CEO Martin Gauss told AirInsight in March that his airline sees wet-leasing as a welcome source of revenues and doesn’t need all the aircraft it has in its fleet.
05 – Korean Air reported a KWR 4.5 billion net profit for HY1 compared to KWR 1.3 billion in the same period of 2021. The operating income was KWR 7.359 billion versus KWR 1.969 billion. Revenues grew to KWR 33.3 billion from KWR 19.5 billion, of which KWR 27.7 billion was coming from very strong cargo operations. In Q2, traffic to North America saw the strongest recovery, followed by domestic travel and those within Southeast Asia. Capacity in available seat kilometers totaled 7.7 million, up from 5.5 million in Q2 last year. The load factor improved to eighty percent from 32.5 percent last year. Korean Air’s operating expenses increased by 48 percent to KWR 26 billion, with fuel costs up by 105 percent to KWR 613.5 billion. The carrier expects higher oil prices and continued Covid infections to slow down its recovery. Capacity should gradually grow to fifty percent in September compared to 2019.
05 – The fifteen-day strike of its pilots has affected some 3.700 SAS flights and 380.000 passengers, the airline says in its July traffic update. Despite this, SAS carried 1.3 million or 23 percent more passengers year on year. The airline and pilot unions reached an agreement on July 19 that ended the strike, but on July 5, the airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York in order to continue its FORWARD restructuring plan.
04 – Lessor Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) reported a $-397.8 million loss for the first six months of 2022 compared to a $49 million net profit for the same period last year. The result is heavily impacted by a write-off on nineteen aircraft that were leased to customers in Russia and that have not been returned after DAE terminated contracts with them following the sanctions on Russia. DAE included a $576.5 million write-off in its HYQ results, slightly higher than the $537.9 million it reported in May. The lessor says it has no visibility if it will ever see these aircraft back. Revenues were $582.8 million compared to $613.4 million last year. During the period, DAE acquired 34 aircraft and sold 27. Of its portfolio, 98.7 percent is contracted with a cash collection rate of 103 percent.
03 – Etihad has confirmed its order for seven Airbus A350Fs, which was announced as a Letter of Intent in February at the Singapore Airshow. The new freighter, which is expected to be certified and enter service in 2025, will help the Abu Dhabi airline to expand its cargo business activities and benefit from the growth in air cargo. Etihad used to operate the A330-200F, but these aircraft have been phased out. The airline also signed a Flight Hour Services agreement for its entire A350 fleet, which includes the -900 and -1000.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.