Air India proposes 787 services to Birmingham, Sydney, Melbourne, Rome, Milan and Moscow
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Air Canada's outlook lifted by slowing domestic capacity as it works to maximise fleet flexibility
Air Canada believes that changes it is making to business strategy – aircraft densification and the expansion of its low cost subsidiary, rouge – are positioning the airline to weather uncertain economic conditions in Canada and in other geographical regions.
A decline in industry domestic capacity later in 2016 should benefit Air Canada and rival WestJet, but Air Canada’s yields will continue to decline because certain components of its strategy blueprint – longer stage length and a higher proportion of leisure travellers – dictate a decrease in yields.
Although Air Canada has ceased offering capacity guidance, most of its planned expansion of supply in 2016 is pegged for international markets as it works to craft a global network that rivals that of its large North American peers. Perhaps to reassure investors that it is prepared to act rationally if conditions suddenly worsen, Air Canada is stressing the flexibility it retains to adjust its fleet and redeploy capacity from underperforming markets to other regions of its network.
After the White Paper. Time for the US major airlines and Gulf carriers to kiss and make up
Although US global network airlines American and Delta have recently revived rhetoric in the Big 3 versus the Gulf 3 imbroglio that remained a mainstay in industry discourse throughout 2015, the efforts by American, Delta and United to stymie growth by Emirates, Etihad and Qatar can be deemed anything but a success. More than anything their march against the Gulf airlines has raised serious questions about the future of liberalisation in the global airline industry, and, arguably, damaged the US’ stature as the global leader in trumpeting open skies pacts.
By-products of the Big 3’s subsidy claims include a splintering among US airlines as jetBlue, Hawaiian and others united to form a fierce opposition in the subsidy argument, claiming that the efforts by the Big 3 would jeopardise the more than 100 open skies agreements that the US has forged worldwide. Those Big 3 airlines responded with the counterargument that the immunised joint ventures created by American, Delta and United with their alliance partners had resulted in higher fares and less consumer choice, and they requested the US government to review the passenger benefits of those tie-ups. As the two opposing sides squared off, Delta chose to leave the major US airline lobbying group 'Airlines For America'; almost consequently, the application by Norwegian Air Shuttle to launch low cost trans-Atlantic flights endured a years-long limbo, a delay driven in parallel with the Gulf debate.
The US government is making no promises over when it will render a decision to hold talks with the UAE and Qatar on their specific open skies policies, and the upcoming presidential election adds a huge element of uncertainty to the process. But a recent decision to grant Norwegian approval for its new service suggests that the government may avoid slipping into an outdated protectionist mindset.