- International Civil Aviation Organisation Secretary General Dr Fang Liuhas says regional cooperation will be critical to air transport recovery post COVID-19. “For your recoveries to be truly successful, your goal should be to assure not only your State’s local recovery, but also the recoveries of your neighbours and their neighbours,” Dr Liuhas told the Pacific Islands Directors General of Civil Aviation meeting. She cautioned countries against going-it-alone, noting that “if a common set of goals is not established among all the stakeholders being negatively impacted by COVID-19, the strength we normally derive from our diversity could quickly devolve into unhelpful duplication and inefficiencies.”
- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts airlines to lose $84.3 billion in 2020, with a net profit margin of -20 per cent. Revenues will fall 50%, down to $419 billion from the $838 billion seen in 2019. Next year, losses are expected to be cut to $15.8 billion as revenues rise to $598 billion. “Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation,” IATA says.
- The future of Cook Islands government subsidies for Air New Zealand are under scrutiny reports the Cook Islands News. The government “underwrites” Air New Zealand’s return flights to Rarotonga at the cost of US$7.7 million annually. Since the COVID-19 shutdown these payments have been suspended. The original arrangement was to be in place until 2022. Flights to Los Angeles and Sydney are also part of the deal.
- Real Tonga Airlines is on the brink of bankruptcy says Tonga’s finance minister, Tevita Lavermaau. The airline owes lease fees for two aircraft provided by China to service domestic routes, as well as landing fees to the government. Minister Lavemaau claims the airline has been operating at a loss since it was established seven years ago. Owner Tevita Palu has asked for more support, telling Matangi Tonga that the government’s declaration that it would set up another airline is “ridiculous”.
- Air Kiribati has resumed domestic flights, but using only its Twin Otter aircraft. The airline says all islands will be serviced by this flight.
For more transport news, get the June edition of Islands Business.