Analysis for North America
23-May-2013 11:00 PM
Excitement exuded by Allegiant Air a year ago over its then-impending service launch to Hawaii has been dampened by the realities of operating the market. Allegiant has admitted the dynamics have changed in the US-Hawaii market place since it opted to acquire Boeing 757s during 2009 to link its small market US destinations with Hawaii. Now the carrier is tempering its expectations for its expansion into Hawaii and reining in capacity as a means to bolster its performance from the US west coast to the Hawaiian islands.
Allegiant is likening its seasonal capacity management from the US to Hawaii to adjustments it regularly makes in its Florida markets to properly align its supply with demand. But it is unclear just how firm the airline’s commitment is to Hawaii as it has not assured that some routes undergoing a seasonal suspension will return, and has hinted its Hawaiian operations are likely to be smaller in scale than originally planned.
20-May-2013 8:40 PM
There are 103 A380s in service as of early May-2013. Emirates has 33 and Singapore Airlines has 19, so when assessing network scheduling, these two and their hubs predominate: of the 1,048 weekly A380 flights, 402 are from Emirates alone. Dubai and Singapore airport see the most A380 flights.
But there are some less predictable statistics. The airport to see the most A380 operators is Hong Kong followed by Paris and Los Angeles. The largest A380 destination that is not (yet) an A380-hub is London Heathrow. The UK and USA are the most common A380 destinations after Australia, Singapore and the UAE. Asia, not the Middle East, sees the most A380 flights; South America sees none. Guangzhou-Shanghai Pudong is the shortest A380 route at 1,202km while Los Angeles-Melbourne is the longest at 12,751km. Qantas and Lufthansa have the highest average sector length while Thai Airways is placing the most number of cycles – about two – on its aircraft per day. Qantas and Air France are placing the least (just over one).
17-May-2013 12:10 AM
Delta Air Lines’ scheme to return USD1 billion to shareholders during the next three years is the latest example of how the carrier is widening the competitive distance as its merger with Northwest Airlines is essentially done and dusted. The airline unveiled its plans for shareholder returns after months of prodding by investors that have watched Delta pare down its debt, keep capital spending costs in line and generate solid free cash flow.
At the same time the carrier has set new debt reduction targets, it hopes all its efforts to get its financial house in order will lay the groundwork to achieve investment grade status, something Delta admits it will not attain anytime in the near future.
Through its latest moves Delta is also attempting to prove that the newfound stability in the US airline business has staying power after a decade of bankruptcies and economic turmoil have forced airlines to undergo a major reset.
16-May-2013 9:42 PM
Weakness in long-haul markets from Brazil continued to pressure LATAM Airlines Group during 1Q2013 as competitive capacity increases triggered depressed loads and unit revenues in its international network. But LATAM’s efforts to restore strength in the Brazilian domestic market and the relative strength in the group’s Spanish speaking companies should help to offset some of the continuing pressure in LATAM’s international network.
The company’s attempts to bolster international service during the last year to offset some of the continuing weakness in the Brazilian domestic market have faltered somewhat due to competitive capacity increases by American and United in the US-Brazil market, and LATAM’s own expansion of supply in the market. The company’s overall capacity increase in its international markets during 1Q2013 was 12.3%.
15-May-2013 11:41 PM
Brazil’s second largest carrier Gol recorded mixed fortunes during 1Q2013 as its overall losses widened year-over-year but yields and unit revenues improved at what appears to be at the expense of load factor. After recording annual losses for the last two years Gol is hoping an aggressive capacity reduction in the Brazilian domestic market place and a significant reduction in its workforce will help the carrier slowly improve its fortunes.
But Gol faces challenges in achieving its turnaround as company management believes it is uncertain that Brazil will record 2.5% GDP growth in 2013 while inflation is rising. The carrier feels positive about its position heading into the slow season in South America, but the timing of a full recovery for the carrier seems far from uncertain.
15-May-2013 4:00 PM
SATA, the ambitious and successful airline based in the Azores chain of islands west of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean, is seeking a role amongst Europe’s establishment of smaller, niche carriers. Driving this, the airline’s entry into IATA’s billing settlement plan is a further step towards an expanded presence. SATA has built up a number of interlines and is looking to expand those and increase two-way codeshares.
Its focus is bringing tourists to the Azores and is therefore a niche long-haul operator but it still faces competition from European LCCs. It is hoping that a product unbundling will help it compete more effectively in short-haul markets while codeshares will increase long-haul traffic, which it may grow with additional widebodies or next-generation narrowbodies that can cross the Atlantic. It has favourable geography for connecting traffic in some markets and would like to increase this incremental revenue.
15-May-2013 3:52 PM
European airline margins have underperformed other regions for years. There are many reasons for this, but our analysis suggests that Europe’s relative lack of consolidation may be a significant one, since margins appear to be correlated with market concentration. Even after a number of significant deals over the past decade, the European market is less concentrated than North America, where consolidation has gone further, to the benefit of margins. Europe is also less concentrated than Asia-Pacific (analysed as its sub-regions), whose margins have consistently been the highest.
If consolidation brings structural benefits, are there still European deals that can make a difference? Europe has a long tail of small carriers, which are unlikely to have a significant impact, but comparison with North America points to the potential for further combinations among the top five. Nevertheless, there are hurdles to such deals, not least of which are the ongoing restructuring programmes at Europe’s Big Three and the incompatibility of LCC/FSC mergers, but some second tier groups could be targets.
15-May-2013 1:30 PM
CAPA has today issued a world first 1,000 page CAPA World Aviation Yearbook 2013. We are happy to provide the report, in 10 parts to allow easier management, for free download by industry leaders.
The 2013 Yearbook contains a global overview, with extensive summary data for the largest 50 aviation countries and detailed analysis of more than 70 leading airlines, covering all regions of the world.
Full data sets are included for each airline and region, covering fleets, orders, delivery dates, capacity by route/region and premium profiles, making the CAPA Yearbook an invaluable resource.