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Week 37

Daily Digest

Orient Aviation Daily Digest: Japan Airlines expands domestic network as several prefectures lift travel restrictions

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September 17th 2020

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September 17, 2020

  • Japan Airlines (JAL) said yesterday demand had gradually increased on its domestic network as several prefectures had lifted restrictions on travel and COVID-19 cases across the country continued to fall. JAL is operating a reduced schedule, but would "closely monitor demand on each route and implement temporary measures, including extra flights and larger aircraft on specific routes", the airline said. The flag carrier will reduce domestic flights by 34% in October compared with pre-COVID-19 levels.

    The oneworld alliance member also will add a third flight each week between Tokyo Narita and Dalian in China until September 30. The third JL829/820 rotation is scheduled for Fridays, adding to existing services on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Read More »
  • Turboprop manufacturer, ATR, said overnight its purpose-built 72-600F freighter successfully completed its maiden flight as part of the aircraft's flight test program. During the two-hour flight, which took off from Saint-Martin in France at 1000 local time on Wednesday, the crew tested the aircraft’s flight envelope and flight performance, ATR said in a statement. FedEx is the launch customer for the 72-600F. It has firm orders for 30 of the type and options for another 20.  
  • Indian airlines carried 2.83 million passengers on their domestic networks in August, figures from the country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation show. While this was down 76% from 11.79 million domestic air travellers in August 2019, the numbers are a 34.4% month-on-month improvement from 2.11 million travellers recorded in July. IndiGo had the largest market share at 59.4%, followed by SpiceJet (13.8%) and state-owned Air India (9.8%).
  • Thailand’s government has moved a step closer to opening its international border to foreign travellers with the approval of a plan to issue visas to long-stay visitors from low-risk countries, local media has reported. Individuals heading to Thailand on these special tourist visas must arrive in the country on chartered flights and complete 14-day quarantine at an approved facility. The Tourism Authority of Thailand estimates the special tourist visa will bring in 14,400 visitors a year to the country.
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman, Rod Sims, said today the country's three major airlines, Qantas, Regional Express and Virgin Australia, will submit monthly data on flight capacity, passenger numbers and revenue for each domestic route as part of the monitoring of the domestic airline sector. A report will be published quarterly. “COVID-19 has created some of the most difficult market conditions in Australian aviation history. It is critical that when the industry starts scaling up domestic flying, any potential damage to competition is identified quickly and acted on,” Sims said in a statement. In June, the Australian government directed the ACCC to monitor the airlines amid difficult market conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The ACCC released its first Airline Competition in Australia report today, which outlined the impact of COVID-19 on the sector to date.   
  • International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) secretary general, Fang Liu, has told an industry gathering organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that while the aviation sector has been hit hard by COVID-19, it was "using this opportunity to build back better and more sustainably, either by fleet renewal with greener aircraft or the leveraging of the latest innovations for improving passenger health and security screening to make air travel much more resilient to future pandemic events". Dr Liu said ICAO figures showed passenger numbers had fallen by 1.8 billion, or 69%, in the January-to-August period, which translated into losses of between $350 billion to $400 billion.

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