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SAA denies reports that it will split into 3

South African Airways has released a statement denying reports that it will be splitting into 3 separate entities. A spokesperson said the airline’s CE, Vuyani Jarana, was misinterpreted by media, and was just talking about how the operating model at the company will be changed, rather than indicating that the business as a whole will face restructuring. “We are not looking at a situation of breaking up the airline,” he said. “SAA as an airline remains, but the manner in which it conducts business will be aimed at bringing in more business and create accountability in terms of operations,” he continued. News reports Monday morning had said that the airline will be splitting into 3 separate entities, responsible for handling their domestic, regional, and international flight routes.
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Delta, EasyJet consider up to US$452M Alitalia stake

Delta Air Lines and EasyJet may invest as much as E400m (US$452m) total in the latest attempt to revamp struggling Alitalia, according to people familiar with an initial draft of the plan. Investors in a group led by rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato SpA are evaluating the financial needs of the “new Alitalia” that would emerge after the second bankruptcy process in a decade, said the people, who asked not to be named. Under consideration: a capital injection by investors totalling about E1b, the people said. The plan will be discussed with Delta and EasyJet this week and could be finalised by the end of February, they said. At the core of the proposal is setting up a new company following the bankruptcy process that started in 2017. The new Alitalia would retain assets from the previous carrier, but debt wouldn’t be carried over.
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SriLankan Airlines posts US$135m net loss amid rising fuel costs

SriLankan Airlines recorded a net loss of US$135m between April and December 2018 despite a significant improvement in its overall performance over the 9-month period. Notable improvements were recorded in deployment of capacity, passenger and cargo revenue, market yield and unit cost. "The Year 2018 was a challenging year for the airline due to the adverse impact of rising global fuel prices, rapid depreciation of local and regional currencies and political instability. However, the airline showed great resilience by executing effective strategies to curb the impact of such adverse external environmental factors," the carrier said. During this period, SriLankan’s net traffic revenue from core airline operations increased to $746m with year-on-year growth of 8%.
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Flybmi won't be the last airline failure, say analysts

Flybmi's announcement that it had collapsed summed up the airline industry's woes: fuel costs, green taxes, Brexit uncertainty, falling passenger numbers. It might have added fierce competition. Several European airlines have folded or hit financial trouble during the past 2 years. Monarch collapsed in Oct 2017, while Germania filed for insolvency earlier this month. Air Berlin and Alitalia went bust, although the latter was propped up by the Italian govt. Primera, Cobalt, Azurair Germany, Small Planet Airlines and SkyWork also all succumbed to the market turbulence sweeping across the sector. Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary warned this month that the industry would see more bankruptcies. "There are simply too many seats and not enough people," said Travel expert Simon Calder.
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US blocks North Korea efforts to improve civil aviation: report

The US has reportedly blocked an effort by North Korea to allow commercial air travel within its airspace at a United Nations agency. Sources said that the Trump administration pressured the ICAO to drop plans with North Korea to open a new air route that would travel through both North Korean and South Korean airspace. According to the sources, the effort was seen as the beginning steps of a potential effort by North Korea to revive the country's commercial airline industry, which has been stymied by ICAO regulations that direct planes to avoid North Korea due to the threat of unscheduled weapons tests. One source said that the purpose of the Trump administration's move was to block North Korea from reaping rewards of closer ties with the West until it took concrete action to dissolve its nuclear weapons program.
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Air NZ exploring gender options for 'non-binary' passengers

As US airlines move to add more gender options for "non-binary" travellers booking tickets, Air NZ has announced it is also working on similar plans. The airline said it was "currently exploring how we can introduce non-binary gender options across our various digital environments." It's a move in line with airlines in the US, who are on track to add new gender options for "non-binary" people, who identify outside of male or female options. Currently when booking online with Air NZ, gender is not a required field, but only male and female are listed as options. Passengers are required to include a title on their bookings, most of which are gendered. A spokeswoman for the airline said "diversity and inclusion" were "hugely important" to the organisation and they hoped to implement similar measures as the US airlines.
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Union demands American Airlines investigate ‘sexist’ video portraying flight attendants

The American Airlines Flight Attendant Union has demanded an investigation into a video that was posted on Twitter that reportedly showed people portrayed as flight attendants “promoting sex appeal as an attraction to (American Airlines) most prominent and lucrative passengers.” A spokesperson for the airline company said the skit was not at a company sanctioned event and didn’t happen on company property. “This cannot be happening in today’s environment,” said APFA National president Lori Bassani. “We will not tolerate our profession being objectified in a sexist manner. We want the facts about the Company’s involvement and we want answers.” The group wants to know if management was involved, where the skit was performed, and why American Airlines’ logo was used, among several other questions.
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Flybe investor Andrew Tinkler brands airline sale ‘an insult’

The sale of ailing UK regional airline Flybe for 1p a share was “an insult to the aviation industry”, according to the company’s second-biggest investor. Andrew Tinkler, who has not previously spoken about why he in January bought a 12% stake in Flybe, said he was motivated to do so after a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, the Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital swooped with their ultra-low GBP2.2m bid. “Since buying those shares, a lot of people have contacted me and do think there’s a lot of value in that business,” said Tinkler, who has supported an effort to eject the airline’s chairman and to investigate the sale. Hosking said accepting the offer made by the 3-group consortium, which will be called Connect Airways, had been “very cavalier with people’s investments”.
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Airline from Slovenia might take SSJ-100 aircraft from CityJet

A preliminary agreement has been reached with an airline from Slovenia on the transfer of Sukhoi Superjet-100 aircraft from Irish airline CityJet, Russian minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said Monday. "The aircraft, which will be withdrawn from the CityJet, will remain in Europe, there is already a preliminary agreement with an airline from Slovenia," he said. Earlier, it was reported that CityJet, the only European operator of the Russian aircraft, had returned SSJ-100 to the lessor. Brussels Airlines, for which flights were carried out by CityJet aircraft, refused to use them due to lack of spare parts. The aircraft can be transferred to Adria. At the end of November last year it was reported that Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and Adria Airways signed an agreement of intent to acquire 15 SSJ-100 aircraft.
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FAA probes Southwest Airlines over baggage weight discrepancies

Federal air-safety regulators are investigating Southwest Airlines for widespread failures to accurately track the combined weight of checked bags loaded into each of its jets, according to govt officials and internal agency documents. The FAA’s yearlong civil probe, the documents show, found systemic and significant mistakes with employee calculations and luggage-loading practices, resulting in potential discrepancies when pilots compute take-off weights. The inaccuracies ranged from a few dozen pounds to more than 1,000 pounds in excess of what the paperwork indicated, sparking disputes between the company and some agency inspectors about potential safety consequences. An FAA spokesman said the agency has ordered “a comprehensive solution to the methods and processes used” by the airline.
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