Latest updates from CAPA HQ
CAPA is pleased to announce that entries are now open for nominations for the 13th annual CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence.
CAPA presents two sets of Award for Excellence, each with eight award categories.
(i) the Global industry: Winners for the global awards will be announced at a Gala Dinner to be held in Amsterdam on 27-Oct-2016 as part of CAPA’s World Aviation Summit;
(ii) Asia Pacific: Winners for the Asia Pacific awards will be announced at a Gala Dinner to be held in Singapore on 15-Nov-2016 as part of CAPA’s Asia Aviation Summit.
Targeting a 3Q2016 launch, all-you-can-fly start-up Airly wants to “remove the hideousness of flying.” But the domestic travel experience in Australia is among the best in the world, and Airly's use of secondary airports - notably at Sydney Bankstown, some 45 to 60 minutes from the CBD - and primarily turboprop aircraft rapidly eats away at the time savings.
The Tigerair Australia adventure has rarely gone smoothly, but it has finally lost its teeth. Indeed it may cease to exist in the coming months with a possible rebranding. Originally part of the Singapore-based Tiger Airways Holdings, the carrier had bumpy beginnings culminating in the honour of being the first Australian airline to be grounded by CASA. Now fully-owned by Virgin Australia, to call Tiger stagnant in 2016 would under-represent a carrier flying less domestic ASKs than it was two years ago but with a larger fleet.
With another month of +10% international passenger growth Sydney Airport has continued to shine with 1.2 million international passengers passing through in Apr-2016. Since 2002, Sydney has grown international traffic by 54% and made significant efficiency gains as it works toward a capacity goal of 75m passenger p/a. But there is a limit - a cap of 80 movements per hour. According to most recent schedules filed with OAG, Sydney Airport is already close - at 78 movements - in the hour between 08:00 to 08:59, though the practical execution of the cap is slightly more complex than this number suggests.
During 2016, Virgin Australia plans to remove 19 aircraft from its group fleet as part of an ongoing consolidation. According to the CAPA Fleet Database, the total fleet stands at 127 aircraft at 24-May-2016 as compared to 142 a year previously. Note: four aircraft are yet to leave the fleet this year. For the purposes of this analysis, three Boeing 737-800s provided to Tigerair Australia on ACMI lease are excluded from Virgin’s numbers. The comparison includes only Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.
After being quiet for so long, Japan is moving quickly. Seat capacity between Australia and Japan has increased by 35.6% to be the largest international growth market for Australia so far in 2016. The increase can be attributed to Qantas’ expansion of its Japanese operations with the addition of Brisbane-Tokyo Narita, while ANA returned to Sydney from Haneda in late 2015.
Fleet renewal is the question Rex wishes it didn’t have to answer. As Australia’s largest independent regional airline, Rex operates to 58 ports – primarily in the east, though with a small operation in Western Australia – and holds a monopoly on around 75% of its routes. Rex’s average fleet age stands at 22.2 years, although the airline itself is just 15. Rex maintains it can operate a Saab 340 fleet to around 2035, or until each frame is about 40 to 45. Indeed, it may be able to. It has a huge spares inventory from operators who have dropped their Saab fleets, but maintenance costs will eventually make the aircraft uneconomic to operate. Worldwide, no Saab older than 32 is still in service.
The corporate market has focussed increasingly on safety and security of travellers in recent years. This is a combination of simple corporate responsibility concerns in the wake of legal liability lawsuits and a real increase in risk of traveling through different regions - or even through previously "safe" areas.
Recent terror attacks have heightened the duty of care focus across the board. It is no surprise that this issue was central at the recent CAPA/ACTE Southeast Asia Corporate Travel Innovation Summit held in Singapore.
This article, written for CAPA by business journalist Allan Leibowitz, highlights some of the views on this topic, on LCC usage by corporates, distribution changes, FFPs and more.