The Blue Swan Start-up Airline Report

14 August, 2017

This report is a monthly digest on all things regarding start-up airlines. We endeavour to provide a concise overview of key and relevant stories within the start-up sphere. Our coverage is based on empirical research and the effortless monitoring of movements within the aviation industry.

The following is a list of key launches for the month of Jul-2017:

  • Sundair launched on 01-Jul-2017;
  • Azur Air Germany launched on 03-Jul-2017;
  • Wataniya Airways relaunched on 11-Jul-2017;
  • easyJet Europe launched on 20-Jul-2017, and;
  • jetSMART launched on 25-Jul-2017.

Quite a bit of start-up news appeared during the month, with the following surmising all of the July's start-up activity:

  • Buta Airways will operate Baku-Antalya service daily from 08-Sep-2017 with Embraer 190 aircraft;
  • TUI Group is considering plans to restart JV efforts with airberlin and Etihad Airways by increasing its role in the process. TUI Group is currently assessing its options for a majority stake or full ownership of the proposed leisure carrier. Previous plans for a JV ended when Etihad Airways withdrew from negotiations, aimed at improving TUIfly's profitability and combining airberlin's NIKI subsidiary;
  • SAS EVP and COO Lars Sandahl Sørensen said staff for SAS Ireland will be "ready to start" on 02-Nov-2017;
  • South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport assistant director Oh Young-seok stated Gangwon-based Fly Yangyang and North Chungcheong-based Aero-K have started the process of obtaining a licence from the government, and if all goes well, "they may earn the rights to enter the LCC market as early as the end of August;
  • FlyYangYang filed job applications and applied for trademark rights at the Korean Intellectual Property Office ahead of its planned launch in Mar-2018. The carrier is hoping to receive a licence by Sep-2017 and has already employed some pilots;
  • Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew said the airline will apply for a licence for its proposed new A380 charter airline in 3Q2017 and the carrier may be operational in one year;
  • WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky stated the carrier now plans to launch a ULCC subsidiary in summer 2018, after initially planning to launch the ULCC in late 2017. WestJet aims to obtain an AOC for the ULCC by 1Q2018, and release flight schedules and fares by Jun-2018.
  • Ryanair announced plans to launch Ryanair Sun services in summer 2018 with an initial fleet of five aircraft. The Poland based charter carrier will operate with a Polish air operator certificate and plans to increase its fleet to more than 15 dedicated aircraft by summer 2019.
  • Germania Group announced its Bulgarian ACMI subsidiary, Bulgarian Eagle, received its air operators certification. The carrier will launch service with one 150 seat A319 based at London Gatwick Airport. The first aircraft, bearing the Germania livery, will initially operate on Germania routes.
  • Air France introduces 'Joon' on 20-Jul-2017, after it received backing from Air France pilots. Medium haul services are scheduled for launch in Autumn 2017, followed by long haul in 2018. More details to be released in Sep-2017. Joon will launch its first services in summer 2018 to include Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon and Porto;
  • Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich stated the establishment of a second LCC in Russia is being discussed commercially and not at the government level. Pobeda is the sole operating LCC in Russia.

Another relevant piece of news during Jul-2017 is the merger of Tigerair and Scoot. Tiger Airways Holdings became a subsidiary of the Singapore Airlines Group in Dec-2014 after the airline group increased its stake in the company from 40% to 56%. Singapore Airlines acquired the remaining shares in Tiger Airways Holdings in Mar-2016 with plans of merging Scoot into Tiger Airways Holdings. Scoot and Tigerair completed the integration on 25-Jul-2017. The combined airline operates A320 and Boeing 787 aircraft under a common AOC , utilising the Scoot brand and TR flight code.