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China's Lucky Air hopes for greater fortune with LCC model. 70 aircraft and widebodies by 2020

27-Mar-2015 9:00 AM

'Luck' may be in its name but Chinese carrier Lucky Air is not leaving its future entirely to fate. The Kunming-based carrier is expected to transition to the low-cost model, following the Chinese government's rapid rise in LCC interest.

With a southwestern base and route network concentrated on secondary cities, fare premiums are hard to attain. Lucky Air hopes to differentiate itself in China's often dated and monotonous airline branding, and so has introduced a new logo, becoming the latest HNA-affiliated airline to re-brand.

Lucky Air is one of two Chinese carriers granted international traffic rights at Kunming and there is the prospect for further international growth, mostly to South and Southeast Asia. If it is to be serious about addressing costs, Lucky Air will need to look at its fleet, a mix of 737s and A320s. Its 26 aircraft fleet could grow to 70 by 2020, including possibly widebody aircraft within three years, the carrier announced at the Routes Asia forum in Kunming.

LATAM Airlines Group sticks to 2015 capacity targets as Latin America's economy remains shaky

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AirAsia X CEO Update

Malaysia AirAsia (MAA) and sister long-haul LCC Malaysia AirAsia X (MAAX) are shrinking their fleets in 2015 while adopting a new capacity and pricing strategy. Both carriers are trying to restore yields, which plummeted in late 2013 and 2014 due to intense competition and overcapacity in the Malaysian market.

MAA is still adding some capacity by improving aircraft utilisation levels. But passenger numbers will likely remain flat as the focus on yields results in a reduction in load factor.

Meanwhile MAAX has cut capacity across its scheduled network as part of a restructuring aimed at restoring profitability. MAAX was highly unprofitable in 2014 while MAA was the only profitable airline in Malaysia. MAA was also the only profitable airline among the eight carriers in the AirAsia/AirAsia X portfolio.

This is the second in a two-part series of reports on the Malaysian market and the outlook for 2015. The first report focused on flag carrierMalaysia Airlines (MAS), including its upcoming restructuring, and the recent reduction in overall passenger numbers in Malaysia. The report will focus on AirAsia and AirAsia X.
See related report: Malaysia aviation outlook Part 1: growth slows but competition is still intense as MAS restructures

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