Weekly review #43 - April 8th

Picture of Vincent Lambercy
Posted by Vincent Lambercy

It's that time of the year when annual results are published. But life is quite different at the moment. And, while there's an encouraging report in the form of FREQUENTIS announcing they're in good shape to cope with COVID-19 due to their long-term growth strategy - other reports are less exciting. 

The numbers from 2019 were full of promise and progress. 2020 so far has seen DFS record traffic volume in Germany at 87.4 percent below that of last year and Isavia laying off employees. 

Turning our attention to recovery, Think Airport Account Director, Steve Leighton, breakdowns a variety of positive responses to the crisis, and Airport Performance insight magazine discusses modern ATC solutions that can help turn the tide once numbers rise again (which we strongly believe they will!). 

ANSP news

  • Skyguide's annual report overview - In 2019, Skyguide again delivered a good operating performance in the management of Europe's most complex airspace. Skyguide handled 96.7 per cent (previous year: 96.5 per cent) of all its flights without any air navigation services-related delays. Operating revenues declined in 2019 due to reduced fees and lower compensation for activities in delegated airspace. The net result is slightly negative.
  • Irish Aviation Authorities and other oceanic ANSPs allow flexibility over the Atlantic during COVID-19 crisis - The Irish Aviation Authority and its colleagues in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have agreed to accommodate aircraft, without the full Data Link Mandate (DLM) technology, to fly efficiently across the North Atlantic. This development is designed to facilitate critical air cargo supplies at this time, including foods, medicines and other emergency supplies.
  • DFS records good results and reacts to massive decline in air traffic - In the business year 2019, DFS, the German air navigation service provider, was able to increase its revenues and Group earnings, despite a slight decrease in traffic demand and an increasingly difficult external environment. In 2019, 3.334 million controlled flights were recorded in German airspace, 0.4 percent fewer than in the previous year. As a result of the corona crisis, traffic in the first quarter of 2020 decreased dramatically. At the end of March, the traffic volume in Germany was 84.7 percent below that of the previous year.
  • NAV CANADA reports February traffic figures - NAV CANADA announced today its traffic figures for the month of February 2020 as measured in weighted charging units for en-route, terminal and oceanic air navigation services, in comparison to the last fiscal year.
  • Training of air traffic controllers continues digitally at Austro Control - The training of air traffic controllers at Austro Control continues in spite of the ongoing Corona-Crisis. This information is currently only available in German.

Airports news

  • ISAVIA´S response to the effects of COVID-19 - Isavia has started laying off employees in response to the enormous effects that the spread of COVID-19 has had on the volume of tourists coming to Iceland. The majority of the layoffs will be at Keflavík Airport, where it is clear that there will be a decrease in traffic for an undetermined period. Considerable efforts are made to focus on making the company ready to advance again when the effects of COVID-19 begin to decrease.
  • Positive results from the 2019 operations of Isavia - Despite the considerable decrease in the number of tourists last year, the results of the Isavia group were positive by ISK 1.2bn after taxes, a decrease of around ISK 3.1bn from the year before. The year’s income decreased by approximately ISK 3.3bn, which is a decrease of around 8%. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to approximately ISK 9.2bn at the end of 2019.

Market news

  • FREQUENTIS financial results for 2019 - FREQUENTIS continues to grow. The company is in good shape to cope with the effects of COVID-19.
  • BAE Systems Warton upgrades their Micro Nav BEST ATC radar simulator - Micro Nav recently supported BAE Systems, Warton, UK with an upgrade to their existing ATC radar simulator. The ATC work done at BAE Systems, Warton is a unique mix of civil, military and test flying. The upgrade consisted of a complete hardware refresh and an upgrade to the latest version of the BEST ATC simulation software.

Context information

  • to70 blog on post-corona virus in aviation - This article addresses pre-arrival screening, airport slots management and the roles of airlines and airports in a post-corona world
  • Data science view of the impact of COVID-19 on aviation - In this post, we will extract some insights by visualising data. We have studied the evolution of aircraft operations during the last month to measure how COVID-19 has impacted the industry from a data science perspective.
  • Economic analysis shows COVID-19 is an existential threat to airport business - Economic analysis by Airports Council International (ACI) World has found that, at a global level, the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to wipe out two-fifths of passenger traffic and almost half of revenues for airports in 2020.
  • Air Cargo Demand Slumps in February as COVID-19 Takes Hold - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released February 2020 data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in cargo tonne kilometres (CTKs*), decreased by 1.4% compared to the same period in 2019. Adjusting the comparison for the impact of the Lunar New Year, which fell in February in 2019, and the leap year in 2020, which meant an additional day of activity, seasonally-adjusted demand was down 9.1% month-on-month in February.
  • Passenger Demand Plunges on COVID-19 Travel Restrictions - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic data for February 2020 showing that demand fell 14.1% compared to February 2019. This was the steepest decline in traffic since 9.11 and reflected collapsing domestic travel in China and sharply falling international demand to/from and within the Asia-Pacific region. February capacity fell 8.7% as airlines scrambled to trim capacity in line with plunging traffic, and load factor fell 4.8 percentage points to 75.9%.
  • Middle East and Africa Airlines Revenue Losses Mount - Urgent Government Support Required - The International Air Transport Association strengthened its call for urgent action from governments in Africa and the Middle East to provide financial relief to airlines as the latest IATA scenario for potential revenue loss by carriers in Africa and the Middle East reached US$23 billion (US$19 billion in the Middle East and US$4 billion in Africa). This translates into a drop of industry revenues of 32% for Africa and 39% for the Middle East for 2020 as compared to 2019.
  • CANSO: Air traffic management industry is committed to keeping skies open - The air traffic management (ATM) industry is committed to offering critical air navigation services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes enabling the safe passage of vital repatriation and cargo flights through global airspace and delivery of medical support worldwide.

Research and innovation

  • Think research on airport ATM modernisation - Airport Performance Insight magazine has published an article written by Think ATM Consultant, Maribel Tomás Rocha and Account Director, Paul Ravenhill on their approach to integrating new airport ATC solutions.
  • Possible recovery scenarios for UK airports after the COVID-19 crisis - Think Airport Account Director, Steve Leighton, has been looking at the different recovery scenarios for airports in relation to the potential outcomes of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The recovery solutions are not going to come without some challenges but he provides a breakdown of possible scenarios and responses for each in a bid to help senior leaders in the UK airport industry make the necessary preparations for when the time comes.



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