Kumho Asiana Group, parent of Asiana Airlines and Air Busan, has reportedly met with leading creditors on ways to restructure debt at two of its 48 companies, Kumho Industrial and Kumho Tire (CNBC, 29-Dec-2009). As part of this, the company has also agreed to sell a controlling stake in Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co for KRW2.9 trillion (USD2.5 billion) to its main creditor, Korea Development Bank, while Asiana Airlines and Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co will also discuss ways of improving their finances with creditors (Bloomberg, 30-Dec-2009).
Asiana parent, Kumho Asiana Group, meets with creditors on debt restructure options
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Korea's Eastar Jet LCC joins U-FLY LCC alliance to strengthen position in China and Southeast Asia
Korean LCC Eastar Jet has become the fifth member of the U-FLY LCC Alliance, established in Jan-2016. Eastar Jet also becomes the first member not affiliated with the HNA Group or based in Greater China. Eastar Jet's membership comes after its larger competitor Jeju Air became a founding member of the competing LCC Value Alliance in May-2016.
For now both alliances are more like commercial partnerships, where new technology (Air Black Box, compatible with IATA's New Distribution Capability) enables the member airlines to cross-sell not just seats, but also the critical components of varied ancillary revenue. Both alliances have small costs – and thus low risk – while the U-FLY Alliance is unique in being a platform for the ever-expansive HNA Group to foster synergies among companies.
Although it is Korea's smallest major LCC, Eastar Jet has the largest LCC operation into mainland China. Eastar expects to benefit from potential cooperation through U-FLY; it will allow it to reach more inland and western Chinese points that are too far or thin for its network, but are where U-FLY's three mainland members are based.
S7 Airlines Part 1: Russia's #2 airline's main focus is domestic, with pockets of strength in Asia
S7 Airlines, together with its subsidiary Globus, achieved a 25% increase in passenger numbers in the first eight months of 2016. Passengers flying the S7 brand totalled 10.6 million in 2015, making it Russia's second biggest airline after Aeroflot (thanks also to the collapse last year of former number two Transaero). This first part of CAPA's report examines S7's current network. A second part will analyse its growth, fleet and financial track record.
Moscow Domodedovo is S7's biggest airport and its main hub for the domestic market, which accounts for around two thirds of its seat capacity. Domodedovo is also its hub for international routes to Europe (mainly Eastern and Central Europe). Although it is the biggest airline at this airport, on a city pair basis on many routes from Moscow there is significant competition from the market leader Aeroflot, whose main hub is Sheremetyevo.
However, S7 also has a noteworthy network to cities in Northeast and Southeast Asia from regional airports elsewhere in Russia, in particular Novosibirsk and Vladivostok. Competition on these Asian routes is much less severe: indeed, S7 is the only operator on the majority of its routes to NE/SE Asia and its position is further boosted by codeshares (including with Aeroflot).