LARA editor Glenn Sands embraces a move into the commercial aviation industry in his first Editor’s comment and provides a summary of the latest happenings across the low-fare airline and regional aviation industry.

A change is as good as a rest they say, and a welcome change for me is a move into the field of commercial aviation journalism here at HMG Aerospace. Having been immersed within aviation defence publishing for more than 20 years, I watched the rise of the low-fare and regional airlines carefully from the sidelines. Reporting on shows such as Paris and Farnborough demonstrated the global shift in aircraft orders from the military to the commercial sector has been evident. I observed those reporting on the happenings within the airline world rush from one media briefing to the next, while as a defence journalist the focus was somewhat limited to what was mainly happening in the US.

LARA has already set the standard in terms of its coverage of the low-fare and regional aviation sector and as the new editor I certainly plan to continue this. Perhaps with some minor tweaks to the look of the pages, making it easier for the reader to source the information they need quicker. Change is certainly a theme now with a host of moves taking place within the industry.

Several companies have also been welcoming changes and plans for growth, the Latvian airline, airBaltic, for example, has announced plans to end its Boeing 737 fleet operations a year earlier than planned.

The airline hopes to minimise complexity with a fleet of only Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with Martin Gauss, chief executive officer of airBaltic, calling it the “aircraft of our future.”

Meanwhile, the regional airline flybe has welcomed a new start, as it confirmed its sale to Connect Airways has been completed. The airline confirmed the successful completion of the sale to the consortium made up of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital, with a statement on Twitter reading that the sale “secures an exciting future for our customers and employees as we continue to provide vital regional connectivity in the UK and beyond.”

Also preparing for growth, Lufthansa Technik has announced plans to establish a new site for the repair and overhaul of aircraft engine parts. The company has acquired property in the Hungarian city of Miskolc for the new fully owned subsidiary, dubbed ‘Lufthansa Technik Miskolc’, with construction planned to begin in 2021.

Don’t forget it’s LARA’s 35th anniversary this year and the event will be marked with a commemorative April/May issue and the launch of our first ever LARA Global event in May. The two-day conference will bring together leaders from airlines, industry, suppliers, airports, airframe and engine manufacturers to discuss the challenges facing the industry, and what changes may need to be implemented in the future to survive and thrive. So, change – certainly does seem to be the theme at present.

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the LARA e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

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