Analysis for Europe/MEA
Wizz Air celebrated its 13th birthday on May 19, 2017 a period during which it has grown to be the biggest airline in Central & Eastern Europe (excluding Russia and Turkey), with a compound average growth rate in ASKs of 24%, and in passenger numbers of 23%, over the past ten years. In summer 2017, and across its financial year to March 2018, Wizz Air is accelerating its growth rate. It has 26 new routes and 117 new destinations this summer, while this month (June 2017) it open its first aircraft base in Western Europe at London Luton.
Air India is targeting the Scandinavian market for growth as it introduces not one, but two new routes into the region during the second-half of 2017. The airline has confirmed it will launch flights from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to both Copenhagen and Stockholm as it seeks to take advantage of growing trade between Scandinavia and India.
In most parts of the world, the tourism forecast for this Summer is hot, hot, hot, reports ForwardKeys, which predicts future patterns by analysing 16 million booking transactions a day. The company reports that global long-haul air travel bookings for June, July and August are 6.4% ahead of where they were at the same time last year.
Low-cost carrier Norwegian is to expand its transatlantic network with the addition of long-haul flights from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. The airline will base a single Boeing 787-9 at Fiumicino from November 2017 to introduce flights to Newark and Los Angeles, adding a second aircraft from February 2018 to grow frequencies and add a link to Oakland, serving the San Francisco Bay market.
From a terrorist cyber hack to a simple inadvertent removal of a plug from a socket, whatever caused the IT failure that left British Airways’ fleet of aircraft grounded for most of the weekend is a lesson learned, not just for the airline, but for the industry as a whole, especially considering the important role technology provides in the day to day needs of the aviation system.
Over the last couple of months Indian carrier SpiceJet has been formulating a plan to grow into the medium- and long-haul markets with the introduction of its first widebodied aircraft. With other airlines in its homeland already planning similar moves, the carrier is reportedly now close to formalising a leasing deal for two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners to enter the market as early as this winter to gain a competitive advantage.
Now in the tenth year of Airbus A380 operations, it is clear that the aircraft has not been the commercial success that Airbus hoped, although you certainly will not be hearing any executive of the company stating this publicly. Maybe the aircraft arrived in the marketplace at the wrong time. Perhaps the SuperJumbo’s time has yet to come with infrastructure congestion sure to be a topic discussed with greater regularity in the coming years. What is sure is the aircraft will always remain a niche option, but that exclusivity may just open the door to new markets for the type.
A new joint venture has been established between Chinese and Russian aircraft manufacturers with the goal of creating a new 280-seat widebody aircraft. But the question is… will anyone outside of those two countries actually order it?
I am sure there are numerous questions that will be raised by any company board looking to enter into a partnership with Ryanair, but the budget carrier has seemingly overcome a childhood with a blatant disregard for authority and is now showing the maturity of adulthood. The language has changed, the model has changed and its ‘Always Getting Better’ programme has propelled it into new markets and introduced significant new revenue streams.
In a twist on the way tourism boards promote their places, Sweden has this week listed the entire country on Airbnb, the online marketplace and hospitality service. In almost nine years, the room letting website has become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to holiday accommodation and this latest tie-up with VisitSweden has captured the world’s attention.