CAPA News Briefs

CAPA publishes more than 1,000 global News Briefs every week, covering all aspects of the aviation and travel industry. It’s the most comprehensive source of market intelligence in the world, with around 50 per cent of content translated from non-English sources. The breadth of our coverage means you won’t need any other news sources to monitor competitors and stay informed about the latest developments in the wider aviation sector.

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Below is a sample of the latest news headlines. 236 news briefs have been published for CAPA Members in the past 2 days.

US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved (14-Jun-2023) the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (HR 3935), a bill to reauthorise the US FAA and aviation safety and infrastructure programmes through to Sep-2028. The bipartisan legislation was approved by a unanimous vote. Committee chairman Sam Graves stated the bill is "critical to America's global leadership in aviation, to our economy and millions of jobs, and to making the entire system safer and more efficient for all users and the travelling public". As previously reported by CAPA, the bill aims to improve FAA efficiency and operations by making organisational structure changes, grow the aviation workforce, uphold safety standards and invest in airport infrastructure. [more - original PR]

Air New Zealand and New Zealand's Government announced (16-Jun-2023) plans to invest over NZD2 million (USD1.2 million) in studies to consider the feasibility of producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Aotearoa. The commitment includes NZD1.5 million (USD935,175) from Air New Zealand and NZD765,000 (USD476,939) from the government. A working group is progressing proposals from LanzaJet and Fulcrum BioEnergy, with the next phase to evaluate the technical, economic, supply chain and environmental feasibility of establishing and operating a SAF production facility in New Zealand. Air New Zealand chief sustainability officer Kiri Hannifin said: "Globally, SAF is in very high demand but limited supply. Commercially producing SAF in New Zealand would not only help lower the country's emissions while creating jobs, regional economic development, and Māori and Iwi investment opportunities, but also provide energy security and energy independence which is something New Zealand doesn't have". New Zealand Tourism Minister Peeni Henare said: "Sustainable aviation fuel currently represents the most viable option for reducing carbon emissions from aviation... A domestic sustainable aviation fuel industry would build tourism and aviation sector resilience and also bring flow-on economic benefits like job creation". The second stage of the SAF feasibility work will continue to early 2024. [more - original PR - Air New Zealand] [more - original PR - New Zealand Government] [more - original PR - LanzaJet]

ICAO announced (14-Jun-2023) the certification of first nine batches of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The batches account for 1542 tonnes of CO2 emission reductions, representing a reduction of 75% to 84% compared to conventional aviation fuels. The batches were certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification and Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials. The certification process is based on the application of the standards set forth in the convention on International Civil Aviation's Annex 16, Environmental Protection, Volume IV. The batches were produced by ECOCHEM in China, Neste in the Netherlands and World Energy in the US. [more - original PR]

United Airlines and Eve Air Mobility announced (14-Jun-2023) plans to launch commuter flights in San Francisco using Eve's electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, expected to enter service in 2026. The companies will work with local and state authorities as well as infrastructure, energy and technology providers to build San Francisco's advanced air mobility (AAM) ecosystem. United and Eve will also collaborate to identify origin and destination areas for the future eVTOL route network. Eve Air Mobility co-CEO Andre Stein stated: "The Bay Area is perfect for eVTOL flights given its size, traffic, focus on sustainability, innovation and commitment to add other options for mobility". United previously announced a USD15 million investment in Eve and a conditional agreement for up to 400 eVTOL aircraft. [more - original PR]

Volaris announced (14-Jun-2023) a USD50 million investment agreement alongside Indigo Partners, GenZero, Cleanhill Partners, Frontier Airlines and Wizz Air to accelerate the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through the CleanJoule startup. CleanJoule will use the investment to develop its technology for producing SAF from agricultural waste and organic residues. As part of the consortium's investment, Volaris, Frontier Airlines and Wizz Air agreed to acquire 90 million gallons of SAF, with Volaris to receive 30 million gallons. Volaris president and CEO Enrique Beltranena said: "The development of sustainable fuel has made significant progress but still faces challenges, such as achieving competitive and cost-effective production volumes, especially for airlines operating under the low-cost model. That is why joining this investment is crucial to ensure the viability of our model and the sustainability of our business". [more - original PR]

Airbus reported (14-Jun-2023) the following highlights from its global market forecast for 2023 to 2042:

  • Passenger traffic demand is forecast grow at a 3.6% compound annual growth rate over the next 20 years;
  • Airbus forecast demand for 40,850 new passenger and freighter aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years, of which 32,630 will be narrowbody and 8220 widebody;
  • Freighter demand is expected to reach 2510 aircraft over the next 20 years, with around 920 being newly built. Express air cargo growth will outpace general air cargo. The world freighter fleet in service will reach 3230 aircraft by 2042;
  • Only 25% of the passenger in-service fleet are latest generation aircraft;
  • Forecast deliveries by region: 
    • North America: 6970, 17% widebody and 83% narrowbody;
    • Europe and CIS: 7970, 20% widebody and 80% narrowbody;
    • Latin America: 2390, 8% widebody and 92% narrowbody;
    • Africa: 1180, 25% widebody and 75% narrowbody;
    • Middle East: 3420, 47% widebody and 53% narrowbody;
    • China: 9440, 15% widebody and 85% narrowbody;
    • Asia Pacific (excluding China): 9480, 21% widebody and 79% narrowbody. 

Airbus forecast China and India will power growth, further shifting aviation's 'centre of gravity' toward Asia. Airbus expects the pace of fleet renewal towards the most fuel efficient aircraft will likely accelerate. Around 17,170 older, less fuel efficient aircraft will be replaced by newer fuel efficient aircraft. Airbus noted the demand to replace older aircraft is likely to increase to achieve the industry's sustainability ambitions and commitments. [more - original PR]

BRA - Braathens Regional Airlines presented (14-Jun-2023) a vision to transform Stockholm Bromma Airport into Europe's first pure advanced air mobility (AAM) hub with only electric aircraft, drones and eVTOL operations after 2038. The carrier envisages the new hub would enable Stockholm to create a 'Smart City', with the possibility of building approximately 23,000 new homes on parts of the current airport area. BRA has produced the following two concepts that describe the future vision:

  • Braathens Shuttle: A concept to connect the Stockholm region based on eVTOLs for passengers and cargo drones operating between airports and vertiports;
  • Bromma Park 2038: Urban planning for a new neighbourhood and Smart City combined with Europe's first purely electric airport that includes a new vertiport for drone traffic.

BRA chairman Per G Braathen stated the carrier is looking forward to working with politicians and other stakeholders to deliver the world's first net zero airport as soon as technology allows. [more - original PR - Swedish]

Istanbul Airport handled (13-Jun-2023) 1684 aircraft movements on 11-Jun-2023, the highest daily figure ever recorded by a European airport. The result reflected a major increase in traffic due to football fans returning after attending the 2023 Champions League Final in Istanbul. The previous record was set when Frankfurt Airport handled 1624 aircraft movements on 11-Sep-2019. [more - original PR] 

Avolon published (13-Jun-2023) its World Fleet Forecast, projecting trends in the commercial passenger aviation fleet to 2042. Details include:

  • The global passenger fleet will almost double by 2042, growing 94% to 46,880 aircraft;
  • Over USD4 trillion will be required to finance new deliveries, which will provide a major role for aircraft lessors;
  • Regions with the biggest increase in travel by 2042 will be India (4.4%), China (3.7%), Asia (5%) and Latin America (4.9%). Mature markets including North America (2%) and Europe (3.1%) will continue to grow, although at a more moderate rate;
  • 44,300 new aircraft will be delivered over the period and 21,600 aircraft will exit the passenger fleet through decommissioning at the end of their economic life or freighter conversion;
  • Growth of the narrowbody fleet (112%) will outpace widebody fleet growth (97%) as new narrowbody aircraft are able to accommodate more passengers and trans continental flight distances. Regional jets (11%) and turboprop (36%) growth will be more modest;
  • The global fleet will have transitioned to largely (95%) new technology fuel efficient aircraft by the end of the forecast period;
  • Airbus is expected to maintain its market position in the narrowbody segment, accounting for 58% of the global narrowbody fleet in 2042, compared to 53% currently;
  • Boeing will maintain its 59% share of the widebody segment, with the resumption of 787 deliveries a key driver;
  • Supply constraints currently being experienced will continue into the second half of the 2020s, increasing the value of booked production slots and aircraft that have already been delivered. Airlines that have not secured sufficient capacity will rely on lessors for new and used aircraft. [more - original PR]

US Senate Commerce Committee introduced (12-Jun-2023) a bipartisan, five year US FAA reauthorisation bill aiming to increase runway safety and prohibit airlines from charging families to sit together. The bill is expected to achieve the following:

  • Authorise over USD107 billion in appropriations for the FAA for FY2024 to FY2028, including USD67.5 billion to fund key safety programmes;
  • Modernise the national airspace system and lead global aviation innovation by requiring the FAA to complete the last stage of its NextGen programme by 31-Dec-2025, upgrading the national airspace system with new software and infrastructure and enabling the transition from legacy systems;
  • Improve aviation safety by requiring the FAA to deploy the latest airport surface detection equipment and technologies, increasing runway safety, as well as fit all applicable aircraft with new cockpit voice and flight data recorders capable of recording 25 hours of data;
  • Mandate the FAA to establish a new system and requirements to track high altitude balloons following a number of recent US airspace intrusions;
  • Grow the aviation workforce and create jobs to meet demand by strengthening the aviation pipeline, increasing recruitment efforts and addressing air traffic controller shortages;
  • Strengthen the essential air service programme to provide expanded air travel service to ensure rural communities remain connected to the rest of the country;
  • Modernise airport infrastructure by increasing Airport Improvement Program funding levels until 2028 from USD3.35 billion to USD4 billion;
  • Improve consumer protections and standards by introducing new refund regulations, authorising the Department of Transportation Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, prohibiting airlines from charging families to sit together and improving aircraft accessibility;
  • Continue aviation technology research and development.

Senator Maria Cantwell stated the act "will help get the air travel system soaring again by improving safety and service". [more - original PR]

US Senators Jon Ossoff and Lindsey Graham introduced (09-Jun-2023) the Hydrogen Aviation Development Act, legislation which would make hydrogen energy expenses eligible under federal aviation grant programmes to advance the development of hydrogen as a source of alternative fuel for the aviation industry. The lawmakers also introduced the Hydrogen Aviation Strategy Act, legislation which would commission a new joint study between the US FAA and the US Department of Energy to:

  • Establish hydrogen aviation policies and goals;
  • Study the potential benefits of hydrogen aviation;
  • Establish a new advisory committee with NASA, aerospace industry representatives, aviation suppliers, hydrogen producers, airlines and other participants to advise federal agencies.

The bills are supported by Delta Air Lines, LanzaJet, Universal Hydrogen, ZeroAvia, Georgia Tech, Hyundai and The Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association. [more - original PR]

ACI Asia-Pacific released (12-Jun-2023) a study on airfare trends in the region, in collaboration with Flare Aviation Consulting. The study examined approximately 36,000 routes in the top 10 aviation markets in Asia Pacific, revealing an "alarming" increase in international airfares of up to 50%, compared to pre-pandemic levels. Domestic airfares increased by less than 10%. Details include:

  • Markets that recorded the highest airfare increases were India (41%), the United Arab Emirates (34%), Singapore (30%) and Australia (23%);
  • Despite a progressive increase in traffic, domestic airfares continued to increase in several markets in 1Q2023, including India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan. Airfares decreased marginally on international routes;
  • Fuel prices and inflation were responsible for a "significant" portion of the airfare increases. Fuel prices increased by 76% in 2022, compared to 2019. Airlines' costs increased as the Consumer Price Index recorded an average 10% increase over the same period;
  • ACI Asia-Pacific claimed: "Airlines are capitalising on low competition and pent up demand to increase profits and recover losses incurred during the pandemic, while airports continue to provide enhanced services to passengers despite incurring heavy operational and capital expenditures".

ACI Asia-Pacific director general Stefano Baronci stated: "These excessive airfares threaten the industry's long term recovery and may have a far reaching influence on the associated industry by reducing demand for air travel". Mr Baronci said: "Airlines should exercise fair pricing that supports recovery and safeguards consumers' interests". He added: "A supply-demand imbalance should not be exploited by airlines at the expense of customers by restricting the capacity, especially international one which is a key driver of social and economic growth and a major source of revenues for the airport sector". [more - original PR]