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.
In the week commencing 02-Aug-2021, Spain is the biggest aviation market in Europe ranked by scheduled seat capacity. It has the number one international market and the number three domestic market (behind Russia and Turkey, so it has the biggest domestic market in Western Europe).
Before the pandemic Spain was number three in Europe overall, behind the UK and Germany.
Spain is at 70% of 2019 capacity in the week commencing 02-Aug-2021, more than any other leading Western European nation and ahead of the Europe-wide rate of 65%. The recovery in passenger traffic is lagging behind capacity (as for Europe as a whole), but the gap may be closing in Spain.
The top three airlines in Spain – Ryanair, Vueling and Iberia – have retained their pre-crisis rankings and increased their combined seat share from 42.5% to 50.6%. Ryanair has a 22.1% share versus 16.7% for Vueling and 11.8% for Iberia, but IAG as a group has 30.3%. IAG’s acquisition of Air Europa would take this to 35.0%.
A resurgence in COVID-19 case rates in Spain has raised concerns of tighter travel restrictions, but good vaccination progress should mitigate this.
TO READ ON, VISIT: Spain now Europe’s biggest aviation market. Ryanair grows share to 22%
Now that Canada has eased some of what were the most stringent travel restrictions in place worldwide, the country’s largest airline, Air Canada, can start the process of emerging from a period of hibernation that has lasted more than a year.
Although it will take Air Canada some time to catch up to the recovery cycles of its US peers, trends are finally moving in the right direction as leisure travel continues to gain momentum and business demand is beginning to show some signs of life.
Armed with a new level of certainty, Air Canada can now enter a new proactive phase, rather than being suspended in an indefinite state of limbo.
And with more concrete insight into demand, the airline can now determine whether it will tap billions in loans from the Canadian government.
TO READ ON, VISIT: Lifting of COVID travel restrictions wakes Air Canada from slumber
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic quarterly capacity plans filed by European airlines with OAG have fallen appreciably as each quarter has unfolded.
For 3Q2021, the peak summer quarter, capacity as a percentage of 2019 was projected at 72% at the start of the quarter and is now scheduled to be 67%.
However, 3Q capacity projections derived from filed schedules for the leading Western European airline groups are now consistent with recent guidance given by them to stock markets. This suggests that the previous sliding outlook trend may be stabilising.
Meanwhile, Europe’s total seat numbers are 34.7% below 2019 levels in the week commencing 2-Aug-2021, which is another new high for the pandemic period and keeping Europe in third place. The Middle East, where seat capacity is down by 45.9% versus 2019, remains at the bottom. This week, Asia Pacific is down by 39.6%, Africa by 37.6%, Latin America by 27.9%, and North America by 22.1%.
The two ultra LCCs Wizz Air and Ryanair are showing greater ambition in restoring capacity, helped by low fares, strong balance sheets and a flexible market entry culture.
TO READ ON, VISIT: European aviation capacity: Wizzair and Ryanair lead recovery
Talking at the CAPA Live on 9-Jun-2021, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes spoke with CAPA’s chairman emeritus Peter Harbison. Some of his key quotes included: “Prior to COVID I began to see the e-commerce revolution, and I started building a separate company and I wanted to keep more of the share, more of the upside”; “When COVID hit we accelerated these plans as e-commerce was driven to another level”; “I want to be part of the whole logistics chain…I’m working with shipping companies and trains, so we can provide an integrated solution”; “Why can’t we do to cargo what we did to passengers? I.e. eliminate the middleman, etc.”
The Cape Verde islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the West Coast of Africa, need a competent air service to keep them connected, as there is no obvious high-speed transport alternative.
The main airline that provides that service has also been tasked with international flights for far-flung expatriates, building international business and tourism, and offering a mid Atlantic hub where it was possible, almost as a sideshow.
Latterly the airline that specialises in exactly that in the North Atlantic, Icelandair, was recruited to oversee the future development of the Cape Verdean airline, but that arrangement seems to have floundered, with the government seeking to regain its shareholding, at least temporarily.
At least the Transport and Tourism Minister has been quick to step in. On the back of a recent consultant’s report he has committed to improving the domestic air hub at the island of Sal, utilising PSO route support where necessary, and to use that as a springboard to beefing up an international hub.
There is some potential for that to happen at Sal, which is well situated for several international travel flows, but it has been the intention of numerous previous administrations (including the construction of a new airport for that purpose) and endless studies over the years. The time for action is now.
TO READ ON, VISIT: Cape Verde committed to building Sal hub; no mention of new airport
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: Air Canada lists 2020 sustainability highlights; Ryanair launches carbon calculator; Seoul Incheon Airport to commission second hydrogen filling station in Jul-2021; Bangalore Airport achieves 100% water positivity; CENTRELINE project completes initial research on the Propulsive Fuselage Concept.
TO READ ON, VISIT: SPECIAL REPORTS: Aviation Sustainability and the Environment