The crisis deepens for Airlines fighting COVID-19: South African Airways Nears Collapse With Plan to Fire All Staff. The state-owned airline has offered severance deals to all 4,700 staff from the end of this month after administrators concluded that a successful turnaround is now unlikely, according to a proposal to eight labor groups seen by Bloomberg News.
SAA has relied on bailouts and state-guaranteed debt agreements for years, having last made a profit in 2011, and was put into a form of bankruptcy protection in December.
The airline has had at least nine chief executive officers in the past decade, hampering attempts at a turnaround.
In Australia, Virgin Australia is expected to go into administration, it would be the biggest airline collapse in Australia since Ansett. However, Administration doesn’t necessarily mean the end for Virgin Australia. Potential buyers could use the process to get rid of bits of the airline they don’t like and shed some of its $4.8bn debt mountain.
Closer to home, Ministers call in PwC for Loganair funding talks. The government has drafted in advisers to help decide the terms of a state bailout for Loganair, the regional airline, as the aviation industry reels from the coronavirus pandemic.
Loganair, which typically operates more than 200 daily flights, has slashed its schedule by more than half as a result of the pandemic. It was expected to be one of the major beneficiaries of the collapse of Flybe, Europe’s largest regional carrier, which ceased trading last month.
Virgin Atlantic is told to re-submit their £500m state aid bid. The government was left unimpressed with an initial funding bid, the Financial Times reported.
The airline had not done enough to show it had explored other options to bolster cash before asking for state aid, according to the newspaper which cited one person familiar with the matter.
Virgin Atlantic, which is is 51% owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and 49% by Delta Air Lines, last month requested emergency financial help in addition to the coronavirus package made available to all British companies. Virgin Atlantic has not commented on the report.
All British Airways flights from Gatwick and London City Airport have been suspended while Heathrow Airport closed one of its two runways earlier this month. BA continues to operate cargo and some repatriation flights.
And Finally, Hawaiian Airlines is using the downtime of its aircraft to upgrade its fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft with additional ventilation tubes to better optimize the temperature and air circulation inside the plane. The airline started these modifications to some aircraft earlier this month.