Analysis for Europe/MEA
A firm commitment to add Airbus A321neo jets into its fleet from summer 2018 will see easyJet become the latest global low-cost carrier commit to the new generation airliner as it continues to migrate to larger capacity aircraft. The airline has switched an order for 30 smaller A320neo aircraft to the larger variant as part of a contract that has also allowed delivered flexibility of future aircraft arrivals.
Air France hopes its new low-cost business will enable it to better compete in attracting a new market of passengers in the millennial’s segment, an area it believes it will be able to carve out its own business proposition without cannibalising its own operations at its Charles De Gaulle Airport hub in Paris.
In the winter 2016/2017 schedule the Turkish Airlines (THY) Group implemented an unprecedented year-on-year cut in capacity. According to data from OAG, its total seat numbers were 4.7% lower than in the previous winter schedule. In ASK terms, Turkish Airlines reported a 6.1% year-on-year cut for the winter months (November 2016 to March 2017).
The IAG European airline group believes it is in a strong enough position to start delivering personalised flight and fare offers to its customers thanks to the wealth of data it has collected on over 50 million individual people that flew with its owned airlines last year.
The world’s airlines are facing an increasing threat from Google Flight Search, and the technology giant’s monopoly position across multiple markets which could change the face of travel forever more. “Google Flight Search is bad for the airline industry and bad for travel distribution," says Bobby Healy, chief technology officer at Dublin-based CarTrawler, speaking at this week’s CAPA Airline Leader Summit in the Republic of Ireland city, suggesting that its power could “wipe out” review and metasearch sites, according to CarTrawler’s Bobby Healy.
A growth in connectivity in and out of the Canary Islands, mainly driven by expansion of low-cost carriers, is helping boost foreign visitor arrivals into the likes of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Lanzarote and Tenerife. After what was seen as a strong first quarter where arrivals grew 6.7% year-on-year (+7.5% in January, +6.5% in February and +6.1% in March), foreign visitors grew a massive 18.8% year-on-year in April, with rises across all of the popular holiday islands.
It is now just over five years since Malév Hungarian Airlines closed its doors as the economic crisis prevalent in Europe at that time, combined with the volatility in the price of fuel, made the environment one of the toughest in aviation history.
Can smaller capacity regional airliners be the solution to Malta’s connectivity challenges, and to balance out schedules due to seasonal peaks and troughs? ‘Regional Connectivity and Second Tier Operators’ was the main theme of the sixth edition of the BOV Aviation Outlook held at Bank of Valletta’s head office in Santa Venera and featuring the most influential players in the Maltese aviation industry. The conference was hosted by Bank of Valletta CEO Mario Mallia. Hon Joe Mizzi, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure was also present.
Asian carrier Scoot faces some critical decisions in the coming months as the Singapore Airlines LCC subsidiary begins long haul operations. The carrier recently took delivery of its first Boeing 787 configured for long haul flights and is about to take its second long haul configured aircraft, followed by two more in the current fiscal year. But, it has currently only announced just a single long haul destination.
UK airport operator Highlands & Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) is an excellent example of the essential role hub airport connectivity plays in supporting regional airports and developing economic trade. It controls a plethora of small airports across Northern Scotland, its largest being in Inverness, the most northerly city in the United Kingdom and the main gateway to the highlands region in Northern Scotland.