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Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Latest Global Airline And Aviation News

Published on Oct 5 2021 11:41 AM in General Industry tagged: Lufthansa / IATA / Boeing / Qantas / Delta Air Lines / International Air Transport Association / Avolon / Air New Zealand / Airbus / Genesis

Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Latest Global Airline And Aviation News

Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of the latest airline and aviation news from around the world.

White House Pushes U.S. Airlines To Mandate Vaccines For Staff By Dec. 8

The White House is pressing major U.S. airlines to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees by Dec. 8 - the deadline for federal contractors to do so - and is showing no signs of pushing back the date, four sources told Reuters on Friday October 1.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients spoke to the chief executives of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines on Thursday to ensure they were working expeditiously to develop and enforce vaccine requirements ahead of that deadline, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Large U.S. airlines have a number of federal contracts. President Joe Biden signed an executive order last month requiring federal contractors to mandate shots for employees, with the White House last week setting the Dec. 8 deadline for completing the vaccinations.

American Airlines on Friday evening said more than 100,000 U.S.-based employees will need to get vaccinated, but did not specify a compliance date. It added that employees will be able to seek religious or health exemptions to vaccination.

"While we are still working through the details of the federal requirements, it is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not be able to work at American Airlines," Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a memo. "We realise this federal mandate may be difficult, but it is what is required of our company, and we will comply."

Some airline officials had asked the White House to push back the requirements, signed by Biden last month, until after the busy holiday travel season.

Zients urged the airlines "to act sooner than later to ensure as smooth of an implementation process as possible," one source said, and made clear the White House does not intend to relax the deadline. Zients also urged them to look at the United Airlines vaccine requirement that was announced in August.

The three airlines separately confirmed the calls took place but declined to discuss the specifics. Zients did not respond to a request for comment on the calls, first reported by Reuters.

"Employers should act now to protect their workforce," Zients told a press briefing on Friday October 1, without directly discussing airlines. "More and more companies are stepping up to make vaccine requirements the standard across all sectors."

The Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) is among the federal contracts for major U.S. carriers. The reserve fleet was activated in August in support of the Pentagon, as airlines helped ferry people who have been evacuated from Afghanistan.

Biden's administration notified carriers on Thursday it will seek a modification of CRAF contracts to require vaccinations of airline employees, sources told Reuters. Other government agencies are also expected to seek amendments to contracts with airlines.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents 14,000 pilots who fly for American Airlines, last week said that "mandatory vaccinations could result in labor shortages and create serious operational problems for American Airlines and its peers." Some employees of various U.S. businesses have quit rather than comply with vaccine mandates.

Two smaller airlines said earlier on Friday they would comply with the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. JetBlue Airways said it had "communicated this vaccine requirement to our crew members."

Alaska Airlines said it would comply with the federal contractor vaccine requirements, saying it believes it and other major U.S.  airlines are covered by the executive order.

Alaska Airlines said it "means all of our employees, including  certain  contractors and vendors, will be required to be fully vaccinated, or be approved for a reasonable accommodation such as medical conditions or religious beliefs that prevent them from being vaccinated."

It added: "The date by which employees must be fully vaccinated has not been confirmed by the government, but it could be as early at Dec. 8."

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, which provides guidance to U.S. agencies on contracts and procurement, issued a memorandum https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/FAR-Council-Guidance-on-Agency-Issuance-of-Deviations-to-Implement-EO-14042.pdf on Thursday on incorporating a clause into their solicitations and contracts on vaccines. It is expected to issue guidance on exemptions on Oct. 8, sources said.

Separately, the Labor Department will issue an emergency order covering more than 80 million private-sector employees to require either regular COVID-19 testing or vaccines. That order is expected this month.

Delta said on Friday October 1 that 84% of its employees are vaccinated and it continues "to evaluate the administration's plan." Southwest said it "continues to strongly encourage employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine."

United Airlines said 99.5% of its U.S.-based employees have been vaccinated, excluding those who have sought an exemption. The carrier said only 320 U.S.-based staff are not in compliance with its vaccination policy.

United, which in August became the first U.S. carrier to require vaccinations for all domestic employees, had asked staff to provide proof of vaccination by Monday October 4 or face termination.

Qantas Launches Contest To Replace Small Jets - Sources

antas Airways is in talks with several planem akers over plans to renew its main narrowbody and regional airliner fleets and is expected to formalise the negotiations with a tender announcement within days, industry sources said.

The Australian carrier is studying the Airbus A220 and Brazilian Embraer's E2 to replace a regional fleet of 20 Boeing 717s and 18 Fokker 100s, they added.

Boeing's 737 MAX 7, the smallest member of its best-selling single-aisle family, is also seen as a contender.

In the busiest part of the market, Airbus and Boeing are competing head to head as Qantas also seeks to replace Boeing 737-800s, the oldest of which are nearly 20 years old.

The combined moves could lead to staggered purchases of as many as 100 jets including options, the sources said.

In Boston, where airline executives were gathering for an industry meeting, Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce declined to comment ahead of a virtual news briefing scheduled for Monday. Planemakers Airbus, Boeing and Embraer also declined to comment.

Talks over the influential airline's business have been under way for months, but Qantas is expected to set out its requirements publicly within days as it and other airlines eye potential bargains for jets in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

"We've said for some time that the renewal of our domestic narrowbody fleet is on our agenda," a Qantas spokesperson said.

"It's a long-term proposition and when we have any material updates to provide, we will.”

Qantas had initially planned to place an order in 2020 but that was delayed by the pandemic. Chief Financial Officer Vanessa Hudson said in February a tender would be launched this year.

Qantas budget arm Jetstar has 109 A320neo family planes on order, but the start of deliveries has been postponed until at least July 2022 due to the impact of the pandemic.

In a separate contest dubbed 'Project Sunrise,' Qantas selected Airbus over Boeing for jets capable of staging the world's longest commercial flights from Sydney to London, but the plans were delayed by the pandemic.

Joyce said in August that order for A350-family jets would not be revisited until international borders reopened.

Australia said on Friday October 1 that it would begin a staged opening of international borders next month but only vaccinated citizens and permanent residents would be included and they would be required to quarantine at home for seven days on arrival.

The country has not set a date for opening borders to foreigners.

Lufthansa CEO Concerned About China's COVID Travel Restrictions

Lufthansa is very concerned about coronavirus travel and border restrictions in China hurting the German air carrier's recovery, its Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said on Sunday October 3.

China sharply reduced transport links with other countries as the coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, spread around the world.

Visitors to mainland China, regardless of nationality, face tough requirements prior to travel including multiple medical tests and stringent quarantine rules upon entry.

Airlines, both Chinese and non-Chinese, also face the risk of their flight routes being suspended temporarily if a certain number of infected passengers are detected on arrival in China.

"We are not only slowing down our recovery at Lufthansa, which is also my concern, we are slowing down the recovery of the economic relations between China and Germany," Spohr told reporters on the sidelines of a conference of airlines group IATA in Boston.

U.S. Aerospace Firms Commit To Net Zero Emissions By 2050 - Sources

U.S. aerospace manufacturers are poised to strengthen a climate target by pledging to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, echoing a commitment to be discussed by global airlines on Monday, according to industry sources and a document seen by Reuters.

The U.S. Aerospace Industries Association will commit on Monday to work with airlines and governments to achieve the target, joining a growing aviation industry consensus that also includes airports, according to the sources.

AIA was not immediately available for comment.

Global airlines are expected to vote on a similar proposal at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Boston on Monday October 4.

A broader aviation industry lobby, the Air Transport Action Group, is also expected to sign up later this week.

The target replaces a previous goal of halving net emissions by 2050 from 2005 levels, which was intended to mirror the Paris climate agreement to limit global temperature increases this century to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

A U.N. report this year said there was now a 40% chance that global temperatures would temporarily reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in the next five years.

Environmental groups say the emerging net-zero 2050 target does not go far enough and must be enforced by government action. Aviation accounts for some 3% of global emissions.

"Aviation won't get to net zero by 2050 unless it accepts binding climate laws set at national level," said Andrew Murphy, aviation director at Brussels-based Transport & Environment.

The commitment includes commercial aviation manufacturers such as planemaker Boeing Co and suppliers Honeywell International and Spirit AeroSystems.

European planemaker Airbus has already said it would back the 2050 target.

Boeing referred questions on the goal to AIA and ATAG.

To help meet the new target, manufacturers have pledged to expand their investments in a new generation of technology for more efficient planes, such as hybrid jet engines expected to enter service during the next decade, the sources said.

Airlines, airports and aerospace manufacturers are pressing for government support for increasing production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) needed to reach the targets.

Lufthansa Adds Four New Airbus A350s To Its Fleet

Lufthansa said on Sunday October 3 that it has agreed to lease four new Airbus A350-900 long-haul passenger jets, taking on newer planes left without homes as airlines restructure their balance sheets amid the coronavirus crisis.

Airplanes are currently available at low lease rates as carriers review their portfolios, industry sources say.

Chief Executive Carsten Spohr announced the move by the German flag carrier on the sidelines of an airlines conference dominated by debate over emissions and heavy industry losses due to the pandemic.

"Fleet modernization, in my view, is one pillar to cope with the sustainability challenges," Spohr told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of airlines group IATA.

The aircraft were originally earmarked for Philippine Airlines, which has been restructuring its fleet, and will be available early next year, a person familiar with the deal said.

Their arrival will speed up the replacement of less fuel-efficient Airbus A340-600 and Boeing 747-400 jets, Lufthansa said, with 30% fewer emissions per plane.

Lufthansa said the four new planes will take its A350 fleet to 21 aircraft.

Spohr also said he was concerned that a slow reopening of borders in China amid strict coronavirus travel restrictions was hurting the German air carrier's recovery.

"We are not only slowing down our recovery at Lufthansa, which is also my concern, we are slowing down the recovery of the economic relations between China and Germany," he said.

China sharply reduced transport links with other countries as the coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, spread around the world.

Visitors to mainland China, regardless of nationality, face tough requirements prior to travel including multiple medical tests and stringent quarantine rules upon entry.

Airlines, both Chinese and non-Chinese, also face the risk of their flight routes being suspended temporarily if a certain number of infected passengers are detected on arrival in China.

Airlines To Accelerate Climate Pledge At Industry Talks

Global airlines are set to step up plans to tackle climate change as they face mounting pressure from regulators and environmental groups over the impact of billions of extra passengers expected to take to the skies in coming decades.

The International Air Transport Association, which groups 290 airlines including major state carriers, will vote on Monday on a proposal to reach "net zero" carbon emissions by 2050, a move designed to bolster adherence to the 2015 Paris agreement.

That will accelerate a 12-year-old pledge to halve emissions from 2005 levels by 2050 and involve tackling an extra 300 million tonnes or so of carbon through measures such as bio-based sustainable aviation fuels or new hybrid-electric technology.

Barring surprises, the proposal from IATA - which has already been adopted by the oneworld alliance of carriers - is expected to be backed at a meeting being held in Boston and online as air travel remains disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis.

"I think it is a realistic target and I think it's essential that we achieve it," Peter Ingram, chief executive of Hawaiian Airlines, which already has such a goal, told Reuters.

However, the proposal could draw opposition from Chinese and other airlines, reflecting political differences over the environment ahead of broader climate talks, delegates said.

Countries agreed under the Paris Agreement to limit the rise in global temperatures from pre-industrial levels to 2 degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees. To do that, scientists say the world needs to cut emissions to net zero by 2050.

More than 130 countries have set or are considering a target of reducing emissions to net zero by mid-century, the United Nations says. Last month, China said it aimed to be "carbon neutral" by 2060.

Carbon neutral refers to a policy of not increasing carbon emissions and of achieving carbon reduction through schemes such as offsets, which transfer the reduction to other industries.

"Net zero" carbon means making changes to reduce carbon emissions to the lowest amount, and offsetting as a last resort.

Environmental groups say the priority should be to ensure that carbon stops reaching the atmosphere in the first place.

Airlines' pledges are being mirrored by manufacturers as aviation attempts to forge a common front, though planemakers differ on the priorities for reaching the net-zero goal, with Airbus placing a higher public focus on hydrogen.

Action is needed from "the whole industry, including manufacturers, including air traffic control, including airports, and including the energy industry," Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr told reporters.

Airlines are also seeking government support to kickstart commercially viable production of sustainable aviation fuels, which are expected to bear the brunt of the industry's decarbonisation efforts, at least on long trips.

Wrestling with the industry's worst ever financial crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, airlines are also expected to update their projections of losses.

Airlines See Sharply Lower Losses In 2022; Recovery In Sight

Global airlines on Monday October 4 projected a sharp reduction in industry losses next year as a multi-speed recovery from the coronavirus crisis gets under way, but revised up the financial toll inflicted by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

The International Air Transport Association, the industry's main trade body, predicted that net losses at airlines would narrow to $11.6 billion in 2022 from $51.8 billion this year.

The losses for 2021 were revised up from $47.7 billion estimated in April. IATA also revised up losses for 2020 to $137.7 billion from $126.4 billion estimated earlier.

While airlines across all regions are expected to perform better, those in North America are forecast to return to profit next year.

"We are past the deepest point of the crisis," IATA Director General Willie Walsh told the group's annual meeting. "While serious issues remain, the path to recovery is coming into view."

Yet, IATA urged governments to keep wage support measures and slot wavers in place until international traffic recovers.

It expects international travel demand to double next year and reach 44% of the 2019 levels. However, the vaccination rate as well as the lifting of government-imposed border restrictions will determine the pace of recovery.

"People...are being held back from international travel by restrictions, uncertainty and complexity," said Walsh.

As governments are viewing inoculations as a way out of the health crisis, Walsh said vaccines need to be made available to anybody who wants them.

Domestic travel demand is estimated to reach 93% of the pre-pandemic level in 2022 - an improvement of 20 percentage points from this year.

Total passenger numbers are expected to increase to 3.4 billion next year from 2.3 billion in 2021, IATA estimates, but will be below 4.5 billion in 2019.

Passenger revenue in 2022 is expected to jump about 67% year-on-year to $378 billion. Air cargo is forecast to remain a bright spot, with demand seen rising 13.2% above the 2019 levels, IATA said.

Delta Air Says Bookings Have Bottomed Out; Business Improving

Delta Air Lines said that its ticket sales had stabilized and started to improve, putting it on course to deliver third-quarter revenue within its original forecast range.

"For Delta, they bottomed out in the later part of August and the first part of September," Chief Executive Ed Bastian told reporters on Sunday October 3 on the sidelines of a meeting of airlines group IATA. "Business traffic is growing back in the U.S."

In July, the company had forecast a 30%-35% drop in third-quarter adjusted revenue versus 2019 levels. Last month, the airline said quarterly revenue would be at the lower end of the forecast after a resurgence in COVID-19.

A Delta official on Monday October 4 said that there has been no update to the outlook the company provided last month.

The airline is due to report results for the quarter through September on Oct. 13.

Bastian said domestic travel bookings are expected to surpass 2019 levels next year.

Later, the airline said it would boost its capacity at Boston by more than 20% next summer over the 2019 peak, by adding five new routes including two international destinations.

The company is also seeing a surge in demand for trans-Atlantic flights after the White House's decision late last month to reopen the country to fully vaccinated travelers from around the world.

Trans-Atlantic flights accounted for 11% to 17% of 2019 passenger revenues for the big three air carriers - American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta.

Bastian said that Delta's staff vaccination rate had risen to 84%, driven in part by the company's decision to impose a $200 monthly health insurance surcharge for those who had not been vaccinated. He said he expects the rate to surpass 90% by Nov. 1.

Delta, however, is the only major U.S. airline that has still not mandated coronavirus vaccines for employees despite the pressure from the White House.

Bastian said that the company has not decided whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccines.

"We're obviously studying it," he said, referring to President Joe Biden's executive order (EO) requiring federal contractors to mandate vaccinations.

"I'm not sure how far you need to go in order to be in compliance with the EO," the CEO said.

The White House is pressing major U.S. airlines to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees by Dec. 8 - the deadline for federal contractors. Large U.S. airlines have a number of federal contracts.

Airlines Deepen Climate Goal Despite Chinese Opposition

Global airlines agreed on Monday October 4 to step up plans to tackle climate change as they face mounting pressure from regulators and environmental groups over the impact of billions of extra passengers expected to take to the skies in coming decades.

The International Air Transport Association, which groups 290 airlines, including dozens of state carriers, committed to "net zero" carbon emissions by 2050 in a move that ties the sector's climate action to the 2015 Paris accord for the first time.

It also accelerates a 12-year-old pledge to halve emissions from 2005 levels by 2050 and involves tackling an extra 300 million tonnes of carbon through measures such as bio-based sustainable aviation fuels or hybrid-electric technology.

But the moves sparked a backlash from Chinese airlines, mirroring differences between Beijing and the West over environmental policy weeks ahead of new global talks in Glasgow.

China Eastern, one of China's "big-three" state carriers and the world's fourth-largest domestic operator, said airlines should recognize specific challenges for developing countries - a thorny and recurring issue in global climate negotiations.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh acknowledged the goal would be "an additional challenge at a very difficult time," but appealed for unity.

"For aviation, net zero is a bold, audacious commitment. But it is also a necessity," he told IATA's annual meeting.

Airlines adopted the target as their leaders gathered for the first time since the COVID-19 crisis, which is piling up an estimated $200 billion of losses between 2020 and 2022.

IATA projected a drop in industry losses next year to $11.6 billion from a steeper-than-expected $51.8 billion loss in 2021.

China briefly overtook the United States as the world's largest domestic aviation market during the pandemic and is expected to regain the top spot by the end of this decade.

Under the Paris accord, countries agreed to limit the rise in global temperatures from pre-industrial levels to 2 degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees. To do that, scientists say the world needs to cut emissions to net zero by 2050.

More than 130 countries have set or are considering a target of reducing emissions to net zero by mid-century, the United Nations says. China aims to be "carbon neutral" by 2060.

"Carbon neutral" involves achieving reductions partly through measures such as offset schemes, transferring reductions to other industries, which critics say delays effective action.

"Net zero" carbon means reducing emissions and offsetting as a last resort. The aviation industry says it must use offsets heavily at first, pending progress on new fuels and technology.

Environmental groups have attacked the reliance on a global industry offset scheme and say the priority should be to ensure that carbon stops reaching the atmosphere in the first place.

In total, aviation industry pledges would involve removing or compensating for 21.2 gigatons of emissions over the next 30 years at an expected total cost of $1.6 trillion.

"Big announcements mean nothing if they’re not backed by credible policy," said Jo Dardenne, aviation manager at Brussels-based T&E.

Airline leaders say they have been under pressure to strengthen targets to keep a seat at the table amid what scientists describe as growing risks posed by climate change.

Air travel accounts for about 3% of global emissions.

"There is a change in society going on and airlines are a reflection of their societies," KLM Chief Executive Pieter Elbers said.

Manufacturers immediately matched the airline pledges as aviation seeks a common front, though planemakers differ on the priorities for reaching the goals, with Airbus placing a higher focus on hydrogen despite skepticism from Boeing.

The meeting also exposed friction between airlines and governments over ageing air traffic systems, which airlines say cause delays and blunt efforts to tackle emissions.

Other disputes resurfaced as Walsh - a former British Airways CEO with a reputation as a bruiser in dealing with unions and suppliers - tore into high airport charges, including what he called London's "off the charts" Heathrow.

Qantas Plans Major Narrowbody And Widebody Plane Orders In 2022

Qantas Airways Ltd expects to order more than 100 narrowbody and regional planes next year as well as widebodies capable of the world's longest commercial flights from Sydney to London, its chief executive said.

Qantas plans to select the preferred supplier to replace its ageing fleet of 75 Boeing Co 737-800s and 20 717s in December, CEO Alan Joyce said in a virtual press briefing on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meeting in Boston.

"It is only once in a generation you go through a major fleet renewal like this," he told reporters. "This is a really strategic decision for our future."

The orders would be worth billions of dollars and provide a boost to aircraft manufacturers that cut production during the pandemic at a time when many airlines, including Qantas, postponed deliveries due to lower demand.

Qantas will place a firm order for the planes by mid-2022, with deliveries expected from late 2023 to 2034, Joyce added.

The options under consideration include the Boeing 737 MAX, Airbus SE A320neo family, the A220 and Embraer SA's E-Jet E2 family, Qantas said, confirming an earlier Reuters report.

The airline said the new planes would reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions by approximately 15% and it would also work with the manufacturers on accelerating the use of sustainable aviation fuel in a bid to meet a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Qantas is also looking to add to its long-haul fleet as it begins to recover from the pandemic. The airline last year postponed plans to order up to 12 Airbus A350 jets capable of Sydney-London and Sydney-New York flights, but Joyce said the widebody order is back on the agenda.

"We're hoping in early 2022 we can make a call on it," he said. "So the decision could happen at the same time (as the domestic fleet) or maybe even slightly ahead,"

The ultra-long haul flights could start in 2024 or 2025, he added.

Qantas also has an existing order for 109 A320neo family, which it said will mainly be used to replace budget arm Jetstar's fleet of A320 aircraft.

The first plane from that order is due to be delivered in the second half of 2022, with the remainder to be received by the end of the decade, it said in a statement.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

Air New Zealand To Require Passengers On International To Be Vaccinated

As reported by The Irish Independent, Air New Zealand has said that it will require passengers on its international flights to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from February 1.

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran reportedly said in a statement, "Being vaccinated against Covid-19 is the new reality of international travel - many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors."

Foran reportedly said, "As with anything, there will be some that disagree. However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community."

In September, Qantas reportedly also said that it will require all passengers on international flights to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Avolon Intent On Becoming Major Player In Global Air Cargo Market

As reportedly by The Irish Times, aircraft lessor Avolon has said that it is intent on becoming a major player in the global air cargo market, a sector in which revenues are forecast to reach $150 billion (€129 billion) this year.

Avolon chief executive Domhnal Slattery reportedly said that the company is focused on "capitalising on the unparalleled growth in e-commerce" by agreeing a deal to convert passenger aircraft to carry more cargo.

Avolon has reportedly signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for its Airbus A330-3000 freight conversion programme, which is a reportedly deal sees Avolon taking 30 conversion slots from 2025 to 2028.

Avolon reportedly owns over 200 A330 aircraft.

Avolon reportedly said that the conversion programme increased cargo volume capacity with up to 27 main deck pallet positions and will lead to a better loading performance.

Slattery reportedly said, "Air cargo traffic is expected to double over the next 20 years. This agreement signals Avolon’s intention to be a leading player in that expansion. We believe the IAI A330-300 P2F will be the wide body freighter of choice this decade and beyond, replacing retiring aircraft and providing the volume capacity required to meet market needs."

Slattery reportedly added, "In partnering with IAI, we have identified the most efficient operator in the freight conversion market, guaranteeing more cargo pallet capacity and, crucially, faster turnaround times, in a market where every inch and second count."

The new deal reportedly comes weeks after Avolon announced the first deals for its VA-X4 electric vertical take-off and landing (Evtol) aircraft.

Meanwhile, Dublin-based Genesis has reportedly entered into an agreement with Boeing to convert two 737-800 aircraft into freighters, the first of which will be reportedly ready to enter service in the spring of 2022, and the second is reportedly scheduled to start operations a year later.

Additionally, Avolon reportedly confirmed that it has increased its revolving credit facility by $1.1 billion to $4.3 billion and extended the repayment to 2026 from 2024.

Avolon reportedly also repaid approximately $650 million of secured debt during the third quarter.

Avolon reportedly owned or managed 585 aircraft, with total orders for a further 246, at the end of September.

Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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