Eurowings plans

Lufthansa Group’s Eurowings operation is to standardise on the A320, with Brussels Airlines set for closer alignment with network carriers rather than integration into Eurowings.
Wout Goossens

The Lufthansa Group has announced a series of measures to turn around its loss-making subsidiary Eurowings. The Group is to focus Eurowings entirely on short-haul point-topoint operations.

At its recent Capital Markets Day in Frankfurt, the group announced Eurowings will now operate under a single air operators’ certificate (AOC) in Germany and standardise its fleet on the Airbus A320 family.

The carrier will drop the long-haul markets it has served with Airbus A330s, with the eight aircraft used for these markets to be transferred to other operators in the Lufthansa Group.

In a presentation at the Capital Markets Day, Eurowings Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Dirks noted Eurowings’ increased size in recent years, but said the expansion has increased costs, so it has been decided to focus operations around the A320 on four core markets in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Hamburg where, he noted, there are higher returns thanks to the amount of premium traffic passing through them.

Dirks said reducing to a single AOC in Germany (Eurowings’ expansion in recent years resulted in four separate AOCs operating under the Eurowings banner) and standardising on A320s (with turboprops leaving the fleet, as well as the long-haul A330s) will enable the carrier to reduce costs and increase productivity of aircraft and crews.

Eurowings’ remaining aircraft will receive more seats (upgauging, to use the unlovely industry word), Dirks revealing the average seat count will increase from 149 to 167 by 2022. The aircraft will also be worked harder, block hours increasing to 3,300 flying hours per aircraft per year by the same date. A new maintenance concept, to be introduced in Q4 this year, is also intended to reduce costs.

It had been planned to integrate fellow Lufthansa Group unit Brussels Airlines into Eurowings but this process will be discontinued, and Brussels Airlines will stand alone and instead be more closely aligned with the group’s network airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian. A turnaround plan for Brussels Airlines will be announced in Q3, the group said.

Separately, the Lufthansa Group said it would seek to introduce “innovations in sales and distribution” to grow revenues in the network airlines (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian) by 3% by 2022. This will involve a “continuous 1–2% annual reduction of unit costs,” the group said. Mark Broadbent

Retro Lufthansa 747-8

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8I D-ABYT (c/n 37844) taxiing at Frankfurt, showing its retrojet livery worn by the German carrier in the 1970s. Read more about widebody airliners including the 747-8I elsewhere in this issue.
Richard Vandervoord

A340-600 awaits scrapping

Airbus A340-642X 2-AGCC (msn 266) at Kemble Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire on June 29, 2019. The aircraft flew into there on June 12 for parting out by Air Salvage International. This jet was only built in 2006 and was previously A7-AGC with Qatar Airways, who withdrew it from use in April 2019.
Ian Simpson

Colourful Skyvan

The Shorts SC7 Skyvan is used extensively as a platform for parachute jumps. This example, OE-FDI (c/n SH1932), is operated by the Czech company Pink Aviation in a very distinctive paint scheme and is pictured at Zweibrücken, Germany in June 2019.
Richard Vandervoord

INNUMBERS

AIRBUS

DEHAVILLAND

ATR

BOEING

EMBRAER

MITSUBISHI

VIKING AIR

INBRIEF

A380 operates in Madagascar

Airbus A380 9H-MIP (msn 6) operated by Portuguese leasing specialist Hi Fly was chartered by Air Madagascar to operate flights on June 30 and July 1. The aircraft filled in capacity on routes from Antananarivo Ivato International Airport to Paris CDG after one of Air Madagascar’s A340s had to undergo unexpected maintenance. Hi Fly has now provided the A380 for several airlines since taking on the A380 in mid-2018, including Air Austral, Norwegian and Thomas Cook. Mark Broadbent

MA700 turboprop assembly

Chinese manufacturer AVIC has completed the first forward fuselage section of the initial MA700 turboprop airliner (MA stands for ‘Modern Ark’), after earlier announcing it had completed the main fuselage and nose sections. Wing assembly is also underway. To date, AVIC says the MA700 has 285 orders from 11 operators. The aircraft, to be powered by Pratt and Whitney turboprops, is being designed for short-range regional operations on routes within 432 nautical miles (800km). AVIC had planned the MA700’s rollout and first flight this year and service entry in 2022. Mark Broadbent

MC-21 tests

Irkut has announced the European Aviation Safety Agency has completed the second phase of the MC-21-300. During the certification tests EASA evaluated the behaviour of MC-21-300 aircraft in various modes at altitudes up to 12,000m. The flights were performed with a large and low take-off weight, Irkut said, with tests of aircraft behaviour at minimum handling speeds on take-off and landing also carried out, including a simulated engine failure. Mark Broadbent

Sabena Technics secures 787 work

Spanish airline Air Europa has contracted Sabena Technics to perform base maintenance operations on two of its Boeing 787-8. Sabena technics has been providing Air Europa with airframe solutions for its fleet of A330s for the past two years. Later this year, the French maintenance, repair and overhaul specialist will perform nose-to-tail C-checks on the two Dreamliners at its Bordeaux facility. Mark Broadbent

Asia-Pacific cooperation

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysia Airways are set to pursue closer commercial ties. A memorandum of understanding released in late June said the two airline groups will explore what they call “a wide-ranging strategic partnership” to extend existing codeshare agreements on flights between Singapore and Malaysia, enhance frequentflyer programmes more closely cooperate on cargo and MRO services. A statement said: “A formal agreement is intended to be finalised in the coming months.” The tie-up will also include SIA’s Scoot subsidiary and Firefly, the sister carrier of Malaysia Airlines. Mark Broadbent