Iata predicts 55% revenue drop as ‘sector’s outlook grows darker’

Airlines are paying out more in refunds globally than they have revenue despite most carriers substituting vouchers or rebooking

Alexandre de Juniac

options for cash refunds, according to airline-data analyst Skytra. Airbus-owned Skytra also

reported heavy fare discounts on remaining flights and future bookings, based on Iata data. Iata’s own latest analysis

suggested air passenger revenue this year will plunge by 55% on 2019, or by $314 billion. Director general Alexandre

de Juniac said: “The industry’s outlook grows darker by the day. Without urgent relief, many airlines will not survive.” Ten US carriers, including

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, agreed the terms of a $25 billion bailout by Washington last week.

We’ve settled 99% of Cook refund claims, says CAA

The CAA announced on Monday that it has settled 99% of Thomas Cook customer-refund claims as it confirmed the collapse last September cost a record £350 million in Atol repayments. The regulator said it had

processed about 340,000 claims and paid out “the largest amount ever by the Atol scheme”. However, claims for cancelled

holidays continue to arrive daily. The CAA confirmed claims

would remain open until September this year, but said: “We encourage anyone who has not yet opened a claim to do so as soon as possible.” CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said: “This was a major

operation that had to contend with huge complexity, incomplete data and fraudulent claims, and we acknowledge some cases took longer to process than we would have liked. “Nearly all claims have now been

paid and we appreciate the patience of former Thomas Cook customers as we tackled this immense task.” He added: “I would also like to

thank the dedicated teams we set up at the CAA to assist with this claims process. Their work during the UK’s largest-ever travel claims operation has been remarkable.”

Norwegian subsidiaries bankrupt Ian Taylor

Norwegian Air announced it was terminating the contracts of 4,700 pilots and cabin crew on Monday as it declared four of its Scandinavian subsidiaries bankrupt. The redundancies will affect more

than 40% of the carrier’s workforce, predominantly in Denmark and Sweden, with 1,571 pilots and 3,134 cabin crew affected. In a statement, Norwegian Air

said: “Despite the measures the company has taken to reduce costs, the board of these [four] companies is left with no choice but to apply for bankruptcy. “Almost all of Norwegian’s flight

operations have been cancelled while the costs for air crew remain.” The subsidiaries comprise pilot

services in Sweden and Denmark and cabin services and air resources in Denmark. Norwegian reported it had also

cancelled crew provision agreements with several jointly owned subsidiaries, affecting crew based in the UK, Spain, Finland, Sweden and the US. However, it said about 700 pilots and 1,300 cabin crew based in Norway, France and Italy remain unaffected. Chief executive Jacob Schram

said: “We have done everything we can to avoid making this last-resort decision and we have asked for government support in both Sweden and Denmark. I’m truly sorry for the consequences this will have for our colleagues.” Norwegian Air has pitched its

immediate survival on securing NOK3 billion (£240 million) in

state aid in Norway, for which it needs aircraft-leasing companies, bondholders and suppliers to agree a debt-for-equity swap and shareholders to accept dilution of their shares. The carrier has set a deadline

of May 4 to secure agreement at an extraordinary general meeting. However, a senior investment

analyst described it as “a last throw of the dice” by the carrier, which went into the Covid-19 crisis already in financial trouble. Norwegian Air began the year

with more than NOK58 billion (£4.8 billion) in debt which ballooned by NOK32 billion last year and acknowledged in February that credit-card acquirers continued to withhold payments. The analyst described the airline’s equity as “to all intents and purposes worthless”.

Norwegian Air axed 4,700 staff on Monday

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