Kurt Hofmann


Kurt Hofmann has been writing about the airline industry for nearly 15 years for a number of different media outlets in Europe. He appears frequently on Austrian television to discuss issues affecting commercial aviation. He joined ATW in 2004 and is a regular contributor to ATWOnline with a special focus on Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as well as Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Saudia reports strong Hajj flights season
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) is reporting a successful 2018 Hajj season as the SkyTeam alliance member plans to expand its religious and pilgrim business as the Saudi government continues to issue more visas.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary and LaudaMotion CEO Andreas Gruber.
LaudaMotion to double fleet next year 
LaudaMotion will double its Airbus fleet to 18 aircraft next year, the new Austrian carrier said a day after Irish LCC Ryanair completed a deal to buy 75% of the Austrian carrier from former formula 1 driver Niki Lauda.
Swiss regional SkyWork Airlines ceases operations
Swiss regional SkyWork Airlines ceased operations Aug. 29, after fleet renewal efforts failed to improve the business after seven years of operations.
From left: Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary and LaudaMotion CEO Andreas Gruber
O’Leary: Ryanair progresses on pilot union negotiations 
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said there is a lot going on with pilot union negotiations, and although the Irish LCC would like to reach deals as quickly as possible, it does not feel pressure to complete them this year.
Air Astana Airbus A320neo
Air Astana reports strong 1H traffic on 8% capacity increase
Air Astana carried more than 2 million passengers in the 2018 first half, up 10% year-over-year (YOY), as revenue rose 17% compared to the same six-month period in 2017.
Icelandair Boeing 757-200
Icelandair lowers full-year guidance again; CEO resigns
Icelandair president & CEO Björgólfur Jóhannsson resigned Aug. 27 as the group further lowered its EBITDA guidance for 2018 to $80-$100 million, down by about 50% since the beginning of the year.
Interview: IAG CEO Walsh talks LCCs and industry trends 
Willie Walsh is one of the most influential CEOs in the industry. The IAG Group continues to evolve and expand, with long-haul LCC Level its newest airline.
Iberia increases frequencies to six Latin American destinations
Spanish flag carrier Iberia is boosting services from its Madrid Barajas hub to six destinations in Latin America from Oct. 27.
Finnair Airbus A350-900
Finnair expands US services 
Finnair will launch 3X-weekly Helsinki (HEL)-Los Angeles (LAX) services from March 31, 2019.
Saudia Boeing 787-9
Saudia, Middle East Airlines expand codeshare 
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines (MEA) have expanded an existing bilateral codeshare agreement, which became effective Aug. 15.
Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-800
Royal Air Maroc, pilot union reach agreement to end dispute 
Royal Air Maroc (RAM) reportedly reached an agreement with the National Trade Union of Moroccan Pilots (AMPL) Aug. 14, ending a four-week dispute that caused 150 flight delays and cancellations during the peak holiday season.
Wizz Air A321
Wizz Air to expand Israel operations 
Central and Eastern European LCC Wizz Air plans to expand operations to Israel, where it has been one of the first LCCs in the country.
SWISS Boeing 777-300ER
SWISS joins US TSA Pre-Check 
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has approved Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) to participate in the agency’s expedited screening program, Pre-Check.
Lufthansa Cargo set to start marketing Brussels Airlines’ cargo space 
Lufthansa Cargo will begin marketing the cargo capacities of Lufthansa Group subsidiary Brussels Airlines from Sept. 1, joining Lufthansa (mainline), Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Sun Express.
AirBaltic Boeing 737-500
AirBaltic announces summer 2019 destinations 
Latvian flag carrier airBaltic has announced its first destinations for the 2019 summer season, which starts at the end of March.
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