Aviation, Brexit and COVID19 (ABC) 2

IMG_1482Collaboration is essential especially when action needs to be taken fast.  Seeing members of the aerospace industries coming together to scale up the production of medical ventilators is heartening.  It’s important to use all our expertise to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those on the Coronavirus front line.

There are credible experts predicting that the forced shutdown will permanently reshape the aviation industry.  Already the early retirement of large aircraft is taking place at several international airlines[1][2].  For example, most Boeing 747-400s are more than 20 years old and airlines are replacing them with more fuel-efficient modern types.

The coronavirus pandemic means airlines are drastically reducing their passenger flights.  It’s likely this will cause a spate of order cancellations as costs are being cut.  Hitting not only aircraft manufactures but maintenance, repair and overhaul providers too.

EasyJet is reported to be parking its 344 aircraft with an aim to removes significant cost.  In the months it takes to contain the COVID19 virus the aviation industry will struggle to avoid permanent damage.  It’s appealing to Governments for the waiving of air traffic control and regulatory charges for the whole of the year[3].

On Brexit, polls now show that most people in the UK want the Government to seek an extension to the transition period to focus on coronavirus recovery.  Many experts believe there’s no prospect of Britain striking a Brexit trade deal with the EU without an extension to the transition period.  So far, UK Ministers have simply refused to consider this common-sense approach.  It has been said that the outcome of the first Brexit Joint Committee[4], held this week, was like watching two people looking down different ends of a telescope.

In other news, British Airways has suspended its operations at London Gatwick Airport[5].  In addition, the airport has announced that on 1 April it will close its North Terminal.  That sobering for me, having last travelled through the North Terminal on 20 March.

[1] https://www.traveller.com.au/qantas-boeing-747-jumbo-jet-retirement-coronavirus-groundings-may-hasten-the-end-for-iconic-plane-h1n03y

[2] https://www.ifn.news/posts/klm-to-retire-last-boeing-747-in-april/

[3] https://news.sky.com/story/airlines-call-on-government-to-underwrite-industry-charges-11963586

[4] https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership/eu-uk-withdrawal-agreement/meetings-eu-uk-joint-committee-under-withdrawal-agreement_en

[5] https://www.flightglobal.com/airlines/british-airways-suspends-flights-from-gatwick/137641.article

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