Fleets and Aircraft
- CAPA Analysis
- Fleet Search
- Aircraft Operating Data
- Fleet Orders
- Fleet Deliveries
- Worldwide Fleets
- Aircraft Route Finder
Canadian start-up carrier Canada Jetlines believes a “dive to the middle” by the country’s two largest carriers Air Canada and WestJet has created an opportunity for the pure-play ultra low-cost business model to manifest itself in Canada as fares continue to climb.
The new carrier’s thesis is it can stimulate traffic by offering lower fares to passengers that would otherwise travel by car and adopt the ultra low-cost carrier strategy of extreme unbundling – charging for nearly every aspect of travel outside of a seat. It is a strategy that has worked for Spirit Airlines in the larger US market.
It is not a certainty the ULCC model can be easily replicated in Canada; but if Canada Jetlines does ultimately become airborne perhaps the carrier to feel most of the heat is WestJet, an airline that is moving up market, but still has significant dependence on cost-conscious leisure travellers.
Asia’s largest airline, China Southern Airlines, is entering the home stretch of an ambitious strategy to boost its international network and shift reliance away from its domestic market. The largest of China’s major carriers, China Southern sees its 2014 launch to Frankfurt and New York as capping off a network that has grown rapidly in Australia, as well as adding London.
International RPKs comprised 20% of China Southern’s network in 2013 for the first time, up from 14% in 2010. International revenue has lagged, comprising 17% of 2013’s passenger revenue, up from 13% in 2010. This is not entirely a success story. Its A380s do not have enough markets to reach. Sustainability lags, and China Southern’s growth has often created over-capacity.
This is recognised by Chairman Si Xianmin, who has pledged to bed down markets and add more partnerships, including outside of its SkyTeam alliance, following a deal with Qantas. But China Southern’s eyes are still very much on long term success and not immediate results. As Mr Si said, “If you want to look into the future, look to the long-term.”
Cathay Pacific's planned four-weekly Hong Kong-Manchester service, due to start in Dec-2014, will see it bring service to Hong Kong's largest un-served long-haul destination. Cathay will seek to claw back gains made by Emirates, which carried an estimated 38% of Hong Kong-Manchester traffic in 2013, according to OAG Traffic Analyser. Manchester is Emirates' largest destination from Hong Kong after London. 19% of the HKG-Manchester market transited London from either a British Airways or Cathay long-haul flight to a BA domestic flight, while 5-9% of the market travelled with each Air France, Finnair, KLM and Qatar. Cathay's service will be Manchester's first non-stop flight to East Asia; Singapore Airlines' daily flight is via Munich.
The new route is about much more than Hong Kong origin traffic. Cathay will be able to tap the Australia-Manchester market, also currently held by Emirates, as well as a number of other destinations. The new move comes as Cathay seeks to re-balance its network, which in recent times has tilted towards short-haul, where Cathay is facing extreme competition. A top-up 777-300ER order in Dec-2013 should see Cathay continue long-haul growth.
Zurich and Munich are the next largest European destinations not served by Cathay from Hong Kong, while in North America Cathay's service to Newark means it serves all seven of Hong Kong's largest markets, leaving Seattle and Boston. However these markets are smaller so it is uncertain whether Cathay will find them sufficiently attractive.
All Nippon Airways' order for 70 aircraft – 20 777Xs, six 777-300ERs, 14 787-9s and 30 A320neo/A321neos – is part of a calibrated strategy to shift its focus to the faster growing international markets as Japan's domestic environment remains slow. In 2015 the previously all-domestic ANA expects to have more international than domestic capacity for the first time in its history. Japan Airlines has historically been larger in the international market while ANA was dominant domestically. ANA's more bullish long-haul growth with the 777X, larger than the 777-300ERs it is replacing, contrasts to JAL's 2013 decision to replace its 777-300ERs with smaller A350-1000s.
In ANA's order there is considerable replacement of existing aircraft; over two-thirds of the order will be used for replacement. But there will be international, and particularly long-haul, growth as ANA capitalises on Japan being a more attractive destination with a weaker yen, as well as Japan's advantageous geography for North America-Asia traffic flows. International is to drive growth at ANA. These objectives are helped by ANA's joint-venture partners who should benefit from ANA having a larger international role, although the trade off may be yield pressure.
The embargo on aircraft and parts exports to Iran has left the Iranian airlines saddled with not only some of the oldest fleets in the Middle East, but in the world - a contributing factor to the dreadful safety record of the country's aviation system over the past 20 years.
While Iran has attempted to kick start its own commercial aviation manufacturing industry and has also sourced aircraft from Russia and Ukraine, its efforts to acquire Western-made aircraft and replacement parts have largely been frustrated, thanks to the effects of sanctions imposed by many countries.
But as a result of Iran's agreement in Nov-2013 to suspend nuclear activities, several countries including the US and France and Germany have agreed to a temporary 6 month suspension of restrictions on sale of spare parts for aircraft and engines, in order to help improve safety levels. The window for sales began in Jan-2014. Boeing and General Electric are reportedly among manufacturers who have applied to use the opportunity to provide spare parts.
Latin American powerhouse LATAM Airlines Group recorded losses for 4Q2013 and FY2013 driven in part by continuing currency fluctuations in Brazil and other markets in Latin America.
Brazil’s currency devaluation has dogged LATAM for much the past year even as the company has taken steps to minimise its balance sheet exposure to the weak BRL, and by YE2013 it had reduced its risk by half compared to the year prior.
LATAM’s ongoing efforts to minimise risks posed by varying exchange rates and a fleet overhaul are creating some flux for the carrier throughout 2014; but the company assures it is meeting its overall synergy goals estimated by the merger of LAN and TAM, and remains committed to balance sheet improvement.