Each week, CAPA – Centre for Aviation, produces informative, thought provoking and detailed market analysis of the aviation industry. With supporting data included in every analysis, CAPA provides unrivalled and unparalleled intelligence. Here’s some of the reports published over the past week.
Although all of Malaysia’s airlines are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those that rely most heavily on distant international markets are predictably faring the worst. They are also likely to be the slowest to recover when international travel resumes in the post-COVID environment.
In recognition of their predicament, two locally based carriers that fly widebody aircraft on medium to long haul routes are scrambling to restructure their finances and business strategies. They need to do this in order to survive until international traffic resumes, and also to remain viable in what could be a subdued market for years.
Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia X have very different business models – one a legacy full service airline and the other a low cost carrier – but they share some of the same challenges.
Solving these issues could actually make both airlines more sustainable in the long term than they were before the pandemic. As they say, never let a good crisis go to waste…
TO READ ON, VISIT: Malaysia’s long haul airlines pursue restructuring deals to survive
The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) expects Europe’s airline seat capacity to fall more heavily in 1Q2021 than in 4Q2020. Moreover, it forecasts capacity declines in Europe by more than world averages in both 1Q2021 and 2Q2021.
This outlook is supported by schedules data from OAG combined with CAPA Fleet Database seat configurations. Europe’s capacity in the week commencing 18-Jan-2021 is down by 73.5% from 2019 levels, a much bigger fall than other world regions. Middle East capacity is down by 57.3%, Africa by 49.9%, North America by 47.3%, Latin America by 40.3%, and Asia Pacific by 40.1%.
Europe’s capacity decline has widened from 70.9% last week. For Jan-2021 as a whole, current schedules indicate a slide to -70%, from -68% in Dec-2020.
The slide may not stop there. IATA reported deteriorating global forward bookings in 1Q2021 from 4Q2020, based on data at the start of the quarter. The UK’s recent banning of South/Central America travel and suspension of all travel corridors will add to downward pressure on European airlines schedules and the capacity outlook.
TO READ ON, VISIT: European aviation: winter capacity slide to get worse
Qatar Airways has continued to add destinations during the pandemic and will continue to do so.
The airline has invested heavily in technology and was one of the first airports to use UV robots and the latest technology to sanitise aircraft.
Qatar Airways continues to work on developing partnerships. They are now working closely with American Airlines, JetBlue and Air Canada and will look to look to widen partnerships across the globe.
The airline believes business traffic will return, although maybe not before 2024, depending on the current circumstances of the pandemic.
Talking at the CAPA Live on 13-Jan-2021, Qatar Airways’ Group CEO H.E. Akbar Al Baker spoke with CAPA’s chairman emeritus Peter Harbison. Some of the key highlights can be found below.
TO READ ON, VISIT: CAPA Live Transcripts: Qatar Airways’ tech investment, expands partnerships
Suvarnabhumi Airport gained an unwanted notoriety after it opened, 15 years ago this year, at full capacity. That necessitated the reintroduction of Don Mueang airport into the Bangkok system and Don Mueang is still there, handling much of the budget airline traffic that really should be at the newer airport.
At long last, various schemes have come together that by 2024 will collectively permit Suvarnabhumi to offer considerably expanded capacity by way of additional terminal space and a new runway, and to challenge the likes of Singapore’s Changi Airport as a regional hub.
But there remains work to be done on the traffic mix and charging procedures.
TO READ ON, VISIT: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport’s USD2 billion expansion
The consensus is that if a big new hub airport can be financed and constructed, it can serve a major city far better than can any number of existing smaller ones. That was the philosophy in Mexico for two decades regarding a new capital city airport, and popular resistance was eventually overcome to build one.
Then along came a new President (Andrés Manuel López Obrador), AMLO as he is known, who quickly binned the project by way of an unusual referendum in favour of social spending, while authorising the conversion of a military base to be one of three airports that would collectively serve the capital.
Now all three will be managed by the operator of the existing gateway airport, but there does not as yet seem to be a coherent scheme for the way that they will interface with each other.
TO READ ON, VISIT: Mexico City’s airports come under centralised control
This regular weekly CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. This week’s issue includes: Boeing to ensure all aircraft can use 100% sustainable aviation fuel by 2030; KLM renames corporate biofuel programme to underline sustainability, enhance international awareness; Lufthansa Group appoints new head of corporate responsibility; Bordeaux Airport to invest EUR43m in operational continuity and environment from 2021 to 2023; EUROCONTROL: CO2 emissions from flights down almost 57% in 2020.
TO READ ON, VISIT: SPECIAL REPORTS: Aviation Sustainability and the Environment