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Week 41

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Orient Aviation Daily Digest: Former Jetstar boss, Jayne Hrdlicka, confirmed as new Virgin Australia CEO

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October 15th 2020

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October 15, 2020

  • Administrators for Virgin Australia (VA), Deloitte, today named former senior Qantas group executive and Jetstar boss, Jayne Hrdlicka, as the airline's new CEO. Read More » The administrators informed the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that current VA group CEO, Paul Scurrah, would step down in early November once the deed of company arrangements (DOCA) process was completed and Bain Capital took ownership of the airline group.

    Scurrah, who has been VA group CEO since March 2019, said he made the decision to resign after long discussions with his family and wished Hrdlicka well. "The time feels right and I know the business will be in good hands," Scurrah said. "Jayne has strong aviation credentials. She is very focused on seeing the business succeed and I wish Virgin Australia well under her leadership."
  • Japan Airlines' (JAL) monthly traffic report showed it flew 1.24 million passengers across its domestic network in September, up 20.3% from 1.03 million in August. It was JAL's fourth consecutive month-on-month improvement in domestic passenger numbers. The September domestic passenger load factor of 59.7% was the highest since February,
  • China Southern Airlines (CSA) recorded year-on-year domestic passenger expansion in September for the first time in calendar 2020. . The airline's monthly traffic statement said it flew 11.1 million passengers on domestic flights in September, up 2.5% from 10.8 million 12 months ago. The figures also were 8.5% higher than the 10.3 million domestic passengers transported by the carrier group in August. "With the gradual stabilisation of the domestic pandemic control situation, domestic’s civil aviation is showing a steady recovery and development trend," CSA said yesterday in a filing to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) was set to secure 400 billion yen (US$3.8 billion) in additional liquidity through a subordinated loan facility with five banks, local media reported yesterday. The funding would comprise 130 billion yen from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp and the government-backed Development Bank of Japan, as well as 60 billion yen from Mizuho Bank, 50 billion yen from MUFG Bank and 30 billion yen from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. The deals were expected to be signed by the end of October, the reports said.
  • Emirates Airline president, Sir Tim Clark, said yesterday he expected air travel to rebound more strongly from the coronavirus pandemic than current predictions. “The pandemic is a glitch," Sir Tim told a CAPA – Centre for Aviation virtual conference. "We’ve had many of those in the past – perhaps not as significant and severe as this one for our industry, but nevertheless it’s a glitch. We will come through it and pick up again."
  • Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) said yesterday Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) handled 494,000 domestic passengers in September, down 64.8% from 1.4 million a year earlier. . Despite the year-on-year decline, the September figure was 18.8% higher than the 416,000 domestic passengers passing through KLIA's terminals in August. International passenger numbers at KLIA were down 97.5% in September, at 86,000, compared with a year earlier. "The international sector remained weak due to the international border restrictions," MAHB said in a statement.
  • Auckland Airport said today passengers travelling to Australia as part of the trans-Tasman bubble due to open tomorrow should feel confident about the protections put in place to ensure their health and safety. The airport said in addition to frequent anti-viral cleaning throughout the terminal, Auckland Airport was trialing ultraviolet light technology on escalator handrails, antimicrobial shields on elevator buttons and thermal-imaging cameras to detect passengers with high temperatures. Those flying internationally from Auckland, including passengers departing to Australia under the new quarantine-free arrangements, were processed in a separate area of the terminal from transit passengers.
  • The governments of Hong Kong and Singapore today announced they had reached an in-principle agreement to establish anair travel bubble at a yet-to-be-confirmed future date. Under the rules of the air travel bubble, announced in a joint-statement this afternoon, there would be no restrictions on travel purpose, travellers would need to have a negative result from a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction test and would not be subject to quarantine or stay-home notice requirements or a controlled itinerary. Finally, travellers would have to fly on dedicated flights that would not carry any transit passengers.

    Hong Kong secretary for commerce and economic development, Edward Yau, said he had "every confidence" the air travel bubble would come to fruition very soon. "This is a milestone in our efforts to resume normalcy while fighting against the long-drawn battle of COVID-19," Yau said in the statement. Singapore minister for transport, Ong Ye Kung, said both Singapore and Hong Kong had low incidence of COVID-19 cases and had put in place robust mechanisms to manage and control the disease. "It is a safe, careful but significant step forward to revive air travel, and provide a model for future collaboration with other parts of the world," Ong said.

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