Welcome to Morning Call for August 16, 2021, and the Top Aviation News Stories for today.  You can also search our Archives for older news stories by date.  

AirInsight US Airline Index

Traffic has taken a downturn in August that parallels a downturn in 2019 quite well, in looking at the two graphs. Could this indicate a stalled recovery, with business traffic not yet returning to fill the gap?  The key unknown remains to what degree business traffic will recover, and what percentage of business travel will be replaced by desktop video conferencing.  While we don’t know the answer, there are some informal clues we’ve taken from conversations with our contacts in an informal survey.  First, there is new hesitation to resume travel with the Delta variant increasing.  Second, some feel that over the long term, periodic in person visits with video conference updates in between, rather than multiple visits, make sense in some situation, perhaps 10-20% of total travel.

While 1 in 5 to 1 in 10 trips sounds minor, this would be a major hit to airline income and profitability given the higher yields from business travelers, with impacts on fares for leisure travel as well.  Stay tuned as we continue to monitor key trends and gather additional data, but our outlook for the 3rd quarter has changed from matching 2019 levels to falling somewhat short, continuing the current flat to declining traffic growth in the near term until the Delta variant dissipates, as all flu viruses eventually do. The question is now whether this will be in 2021 or 2022.

Commercial Aviation

  • Boeing’s Starliner launch is delayed, again, possibly until next year – NY Times
  • Embraer returns to profit, unveils new turboprop plans – Reuters
  • Boeing is Broken.  How it can win the future- and boost its stock by 35% – Barrons
  • Airbus freighter plans gather pace as UPS, DHL eye new planes – BNN

Business Aviation

  • Embraer’s electric EMB-203 Ipanema makes maiden flight – Flight Global
  • Embraer sees record bizjet sales in second quarter – AIN
  • Rolls Royce’s Pearl 15 reaches 100th mark – AIN

Airlines

  • Aeroflot CEO said that its too early to talk about the end of air transportation crisis – Russian Aviation
  • WestJet dealing with staffing shortage, asks for patience from passengers – CityNews
  • European Airlines Look To U.S. Reopening For Further Recovery Momentum – AvWeek
  • Qatar Airways always on lookout for key partnerships in Africa, SA – News24

Urban Air Mobility

  • Transcend Air taps Kaman to make high-speed VTOL – AIN

Social Media

  • A brief history of Ryanair’s first ever flight – Airways

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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