Analysis for Global
Disruption, data and duty of care were the major topics as Australia’s corporate travel leaders met in Sydney at the CAPA Asia Pacific Corporate Travel Innovation Summit 2015.
The Summit, which attracted around 150 senior travel managers, heard predictions for the near- and long term future of travel as well as supplier and buyer insights into current challenges and opportunities.
There was a strong expectation that the disruptive technologies like Uber and Airbnb will continue to challenge current travel management practices, forcing all levels of the supply chain to adapt.
With its 2Q2015 results, IAG took another step towards achieving its longer term financial targets. Its 2Q operating profit grew by 39% year on year and its rolling 12M return on invested capital increased by 0.7ppts. Both revenue and operating costs were inflated by currency movements, with a net positive impact. Nevertheless, adjusting for foreign exchange, IAG cut unit cost at a faster rate than the drop in unit revenue.
At the level of the operating airlines, both BA and Iberia enjoyed improved operating profits. Vueling remains the most profitable airline in the group, but the Spanish LCC's result dipped slightly. Its business is highly seasonal and 3Q should be its strongest quarter, so it still has a chance to end the year with better figures.
IAG's results for the quarter were again stronger than those of its major European legacy airline group rivals Lufthansa and Air France-KLM. Its growing confidence is reflected in its decision to exercise options with Airbus for additional narrowbody and widebody aircraft, including up to five A330-200 growth aircraft for Iberia.
Over 700 industry professionals and government officials will attend CAPA's Third Australia Pacific Aviation Summit in Sydney from 3-5 August. The Summit is shaping to be the biggest aviation and travel event ever held in the region. The three day event includes full days for an Airport Innovation Summit and a Corporate Travel Innovation Summit, as well as two days dedicated to a high level review of the key aviation events in the region, involving many of the key industry leaders.
Many industry CEOs will be taking part, including Alan Joyce (Qantas), Christoph Mueller (Malaysia Airlines), Mark Dunkerley (Hawaiian), Jayne Hrdlicka (Jetstar), Sean Donohue (DFW International Airport) and Patee Sarasin (NOK Air). Lim Ching Kiat (Changi Airport Group), Li Dongliang (China Southern Airlines), Levent Konukcu (Turkish Airlines) and Chu Viet Cuong (Vietjet) and are also among the approximately 100 speakers/panellists.
More than 120 airline delegates are already signed to come, from 40+ airlines, along with 20+ major airports. For the Corporate travel Summit, over 120 Corporate Travel Buyers will be present.
In total, over 700 industry experts, from across Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific and beyond are heading to Sydney for what promises to be the biggest event of its kind ever held in the region.
Taipei Taoyuan, the largest airport in Taiwan, grew 11.1% in 2014 to handle 35.8 million passengers, making it the 16th largest airport in Asia Pacific and bigger than Tokyo Narita, Mumbai and Manila. Taoyuan was also Asia Pacific's fastest growing major airport outside of mainland China. Taoyuan achieved this despite construction works that took a runway out of service. Full operations are expected to resume in early 2016 and will ease existing congestion as well as open up more slots for growth. Taiwan recorded a 23.6% increase in inbound visitors in 2014.
1H2015 traffic grew at a slower 7%. EVA Air, the second-largest carrier in Taiwan, is leading growth ahead of China Airlines. Japan is the largest growing market with nearly an additional 1,000 seats a day in 2015. The USA is also a large growth market as EVA undertakes long-haul expansion. Taoyuan in 2014 gained two new local airlines, both LCCs: Tigerair Taiwan and V Air. This gain is partially offset by reductions at TransAsia following a series of incidents. A special one-off A380 flight from Emirates brought the aircraft to Taoyuan, which has invested to support the type. But perhaps China Southern is a more likely regular operator. Next Taoyuan will see growth from cross-Strait transit passengers and a new terminal three.
At the Paris Airshow, Wizz Air signed a MoU with Airbus for the purchase of 110 Airbus A321neo aircraft, with deliveries to start in 2019, and uncommitted purchase rights over an additional 90 A321neo aircraft. The order is subject to a final purchase agreement and approval by the shareholders of Wizz Air, which listed on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year.
Such approval is typically forthcoming and the new aircraft should provide significant unit cost improvements. Nevertheless, Wizz Air's order is very large compared with its size today and follows large orders for narrow body aircraft in recent years for other leading European LCCs, including Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian and Vueling (the latter as part of an IAG group order).
Norwegian has admitted that it may not be able to use all of its planned aircraft and Wizz Air's order now provides an opportunity to review the data on the number, and types, of narrow bodies on order in Europe. Narrowbody deliveries to Europe look set to rise, at a time of rising global deliveries. Success is not guaranteed for all. Meanwhile the expanding role of LCCs in both leisure and business markets continues to undermine the positions of legacy airlines on short haul routes.
CAPA is pleased to announce our flagship World Aviation Summit, to be hosted by Finavia in Helsinki on 7/8 October 2015. Host airline, Finnair, will be conducting a VIP flight for Summit delegates and guests on 6 October with a brand new Airbus A350 which will be inducted into the fleet just days prior to the event.
The World Aviation Summit will also feature a gala dinner on 7 October for the 2015 CAPA Awards for Excellence, for which nominations will be accepted through 9 July 2015.
This year's Summit will address the essential issues facing the global commercial aviation industry: Open skies, Subsidies, Ownership, Alliances, Distribution, Productivity – and delivering for the consumer.
United’s decision to drop its premium transcontinental service from New York JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco reflects a significant shift in the product proposition in those markets during the last few years, and more broadly, is a reflection of a trend spurred by consolidation of the large US airlines leveraging strength at their largest hubs. In this case, United aims to capitalise its dominance at Newark rather than flight a losing battle at an airport where it has little concentration.
All the airlines in the New York transcontinental market with the exception of Virgin America have overhauled their product offering to cater to the important business passenger base on those routes. JetBlue has arguably been a market disruptor, both through its high quality Mint premium offering and its added capacity on those routes.
The shift is underpinned by a proposed slot swap between United and Delta at JFK and Newark, which is subject to regulatory approval by a government that could view the swap negatively, and insist that other airlines should gain slots to preserve competition.
Brazil’s fourth largest airline Avianca Brazil marks a milestone in Jul-2015 when it formally joins the Star Alliance. With Avianca Brazil finally entering Star the alliance will be able to fill some of the void left by TAM, which jumped to oneworld in 2014 as a result of its 2012 merger with LAN.
But Star has also been courting Brazil’s third largest airline Azul, whose chairman David Neeleman recently prevailed with his partners in acquiring TAP Portugal, a Star member which is also the largest carrier in the Brazil-Europe market. For now Azul does not seem interested in joining a global alliance and is instead focusing on concluding codeshare discussions with JetBlue and United. But eventually Azul could reconsider and give Star two Brazilian members.
Although Brazil is presently enduring economic weakness, Star’s pursuit of two airlines to fill the gap created by TAM’s exodus shows the long-term strategic value of the country, which is by the largest in Latin America. Star clearly sees a need for two Brazilians members in order to fully restore its presence in the Brazilian market.
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