We are now in the final month of the 2010s and for the United Kingdom the year will be remembered for the political challenges it has faced. Brexit deadlines have twice been missed further clouding an already uncertain economic environment and now this week a general election could be one of the most significant ever in the country.
For the travel sector this underlying climate has been challenging and the collapse of Thomas Cook and rebirth as a digital business has, in particular, hit many airports up and down the country hard. This has followed just a couple of years after the failure of Monarch Airlines rocked the UK market.
The 12-Dec-2019 general election will determine the political direction of the country for the next five years. A recent CAPA report (‘Aviation and tourism in the UK General Election: largely ignored’) describes it as “probably the most important election since the one in Jul-1945 immediately after the end of World War 2” with the referendum vote to leave the European Union from Jun-2016 and the opposition to it that has arisen in the Houses of Parliament since is “at the heart of the election”.
Britain’s transport future will be determined by this election and the government that arises out of it. According to VisitBritain data, visitor arrivals into the UK have recovered across the first eight months of 2019, up +0.9% year-on-year, after declining -3.3% last year. But, what trends have them been in terms of capacity and the UK’s connectivity?
Analysis by The Blue Swan Daily of OAG schedule data shows seat supply from the UK will be up +1.3% for the full year, based on preliminary data and barring any further significant failures or impacts over the last couple of weeks of the year.
The performance though has been impacted by events of the past couple of months, notably the collapse of Thomas Cook Airlines. Departure capacity was up +2.2% year-on-year in 1Q 2019, growing to +2.5% in 2Q, before slipping to +1.7% in 3Q and slipping into negative territory in 4Q at an expected -1.6%, based on our analysis.
Our QUESTION OF THE WEEK is... As the British public go to the polls this week, and with Brexit still delivering economic uncertainty, which airports in the country have seen the largest capacity growth during a challenging 2019?
JOIN IN THE FUN: Send your answers to: The Blue Swan Daily Content Team
We will be revealing the answers after the seasonal holidays, when we will be setting another question.
Our previous question asked… US airlines are ‘bumping’ more passengers than last year, but who have been the worst offenders across the first nine months of 2019?
Latest data from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) highlights that in America rates of involuntary denied boarding have been on the increase year-on-year in 2019, however, performance levels did recover a little in the third quarter.
But, who worst offenders? According to the US DOT's Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) for the analysis period these were:
Envoy Airlines with 1.48 involuntary deplanements per 10,000 passengers, PSA Airlines (0.98) and Mesa Airlines (0.85). American Airlines was ranked lowest of the US majors (0.66), while Allegiant Air (0.55), Frontier Airlines (0.36), Republic Airways (0.33), Southwest Airlines (0.24), Skywest Airlines (0.22) and Alaska Airlines (0.15) making up the ‘top’ 10.