American Airlines to meet with Japan Airlines and Japan Government today
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HK Express receives first A321 and awaits A320neo as Hong Kong's LCC rate grows to 10 percent
HK Express continues to work towards its goal of ending 2018 with 50 aircraft. HK Express will end 2016 with 18 aircraft, including its first A321s and A320neo. The A321s provide additional capacity per movement – important to bring costs down, but also to grow where traffic and slots (at Hong Kong and abroad) do not permit.
Asian LCCs are increasingly gravitating to larger aircraft to try to overcome insufficient infrastructure. Larger narrowbodies at LCCs gained wide awareness with AirAsia's A321 order, although many other LCCs will operate larger types before AirAsia receives its first A321. The A320neo brings additional range, besides the usual efficiency improvements.
HK Express plans to end 2017 with 32 aircraft. Even if sustainable markets can be found, this is rapid growth for an opaque slot system at Hong Kong International Airport. HK Express' continued growth will further boost the share of seats that LCCs operate at Hong Kong. LCCs account for 10% of capacity at Hong Kong in 2016 – up from 5% in 2012. The gains have mostly been earned due to HK Express. With as much success as HK Express claims, it might now be time for the LCC to open its books and present transparent financial reports.
United Airlines Part 1: New management declares ambitions to usher in a new competitive era
For years United Airlines has operated at a competitive disadvantage to its large US network peers. The challenges that United never seemed to overcome were largely self-inflicted, and ranged from widespread employee discontent to consistent revenue shortfalls.
Now United finally appears to be charting a course to level the competitive playing field with its large global US network competitors, to close the long-standing revenue gap it has held with its rivals. The elements of United’s plan to shore up revenues include bolstering connections at its hubs, improved revenue management, and product segmentation that entails a new basic economy fare structure whose restrictions are more stringent than those of its peers.
United’s revenue transformation will not occur overnight, but for the first time since its 2010 merger with Continental the company seems laser-focused on shrinking the competitive challenges that have hindered its performance. It projects billions in improvement – to pre-tax profits by 2020 – as a result of its doubling down on efforts to shore up revenue. Obviously the measure of United’s success lies in its execution and its ability to navigate competitive responses to its revenue-generating strategies.
This is part one of a two part series examining United’s strategies to compete more effectively with its peers on revenue and costs.