This Week’s Featured Link
Emirates’ Tim Clark: Coronavirus is a black swan event for the airline industry – The National
I’m a sucker for a CEO interview that actually has substance. Here’s a good interview with the (probably still) outgoing head of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark.
Two for the Road
Alitalia suspends its last long-haul flight – Reuters
Alitalia isn’t flying long-haul for the rest of this month, and that’s probably sensible… but don’t worry, the unions are here to disagree. I know you’re shocked. At least some things never change.
Queen of the skies: The Boeing 747 is playing a hero’s role during Covid-19 crisis – CNN
Let’s end on a happy note. The ole’ 747, quickly falling out of a favor as a passenger carrier, has been asked to do what it does best… haul a whole lot of cargo. This article doesn’t even mention that KLM pressed its 747s back into service in order to move goods in from China. This airplane may not carry passengers for all that long, but it could haul cargo forever. It’s yet another testament to the engineers that designed this beauty.
If you look at that JetBlue photo quickly, they almost look like 747s the way they are lined up. Maybe it’s just my allergies, though, LOL.
The Tim Clark interview was very interesting, but one section struck me… “My view is basically two-fold. One, it wouldn’t surprise me if this virus disappeared completely by the end of summer. But if it doesn’t, then the pursuit of the vaccine is the only way we are going to be able to deal with it when it comes to international travel, and to some extent hospitality and other kinds of transport,” Mr Clark said.
Notice how he tries to play both sides while hedging his bets in the process.
“My own view, my gut feel is telling me that by the summer of next year we could be well on our way to mass global inoculation … and therefore things will change. If that happens all this business about spacing on aeroplanes, on buses, trains and restaurants and hotels goes away,” he added. “In the meantime of course, as long as this is going on, and if it’s another year then we are going to have to live with the agonies as far as air transport is concerned … with countries … taking down lockdown procedures.”
He’s correct here, but again notice how he hedges his bets as he comments.
The Andy’s Travel Blog entry is incredible — thanks for the share. Its also incredibly sad as you think of all the people that both work in the planes and their work depends on the planes. . . .I’m glad someone is documenting this piece of history.
The Middle East 3 business model was already showing cracks but it is completely broken now.
Clark admits the A380 is done – and yet EK was and is the largest operator and still has them on order. Your balance sheet is torn to shred when you know that your most commonly used aircraft isn’t viable for years – if ever again.
Add in that the ME3 lived off of picking off spill traffic from other airlines – esp. between Europe and Asia – and the ME3 will be hard-pressed to fill planes as every airline focuses on regaining every passenger it had plus what it could have carried.
Given that Turkish just moved to a brand new airport and had been equally aggressive in expanding while Etihad was not viable on its own but still exists because of inter-emirate competition and Qatar still manages to convince its government to heavily subsidize them, the Middle East airline situation does not look good at all.
Clark built Emirates with lots of government help which won’t be there now and with a business model that no longer exists.
It will be interesting to see what swan song he can pull off but it is doubtful that EK will be anything close to what it once was.
Alitalia…the gift that keeps on giving
For those interested in following A queen of the skies, follow Fly With Eva from Holland (yay!) based in HK, a who flies THE queen of the skies as a CX B747/8F FO . On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flywitheva/. Her own website/blog: https://flywitheva.com/
Andy’s photos are just fabulous. I thought I saw everything with pictures of all those 911-flights diverted to and parked at Newfoundland and other Canadian airports, but Andy’s photos are far more stunning. These pictures have to find a spot on our US news outlets.
But, a question. Why can’t we find things to do with these aircraft in the short-, and probably long-term? Surely, there must be loads of consultants, operating under a name as “__________ Solutions” to suggest ways these planes can be used to do something other than just sit and look purty. Get those planes running, serving communities, States, the country, the globe, whatever.
And the runways, has there ever been a better time to strike a massive infrastructure and jobs initiative to fix and improve our county’s airport runways? What FAA’s reports seem to show, a lot of airport runways are closed currently, for repairs, I guess, I’m not sure. Why not make all of this a huge national project while we wait for the times to improve?
Jay – What are you going to do with them? There is no demand.