EADS announced a delay for the A350 XWB programme, pushing delivery of the first aircraft from late 2013 into 1H2014. According to wire reports, initial assembly has been delayed by three months, to 1Q2012. EADS stated the delay would cost it EUR200 million, mostly attributed to payments to customers for the delay. The manufacturer is giving the A350 programme “our highest management attention” according to CEO, Louis Gallois. No reasons were given for the delivery delay. Qatar Airways is the launch customer for the A350, with 80 on order.
EADS: Up to six month delay for A350 programme
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Copa Airlines: branching out with its new LCC Wingo to regain lost ground in Colombia
After years of fading into the backdrop of Colombia’s aviation market, Copa Airlines is making a bold move to make itself more competitive in the market place. Copa is reigniting competition after the company’s subsidiary Copa Colombia decided to cede domestic market share to other airlines a few years ago, in order to focus largely on international routes.
Copa’s weapon of choice is the creation of a new low cost airline Wingo, operated as a unit of Copa Colombia with a targeted market debut in Dec-2016. Wingo is designed as a lower frills point-to-point airline, operating four Boeing 737s in a single-class 142-seat configuration. It is a shift in strategy for the Copa Group, which operates a full service model leveraging traffic flows over its hub at Panama City Tocumen international airport.
Wingo is also adding service to Panama City’s Pacific international airport, (Panama City Pacifico), which results in Copa’s business units then operating to the city’s two airports. Copa’s commitment to serve Panama’s secondary airport reflects its new strategy to become more competitive in Colombia’s aviation market, and create a defensive shield against further LCC encroachment in the future.
Hawaiian Airlines: cost creep casts a slight shadow over a favourable PRASM performance
Hawaiian Airlines’ geography has been a boon for the airline throughout 2016 as the company’s unit revenue performance has outpaced that of its peers. Hawaiian has benefitted from immunity to the lack of pricing traction in many domestic markets on the US mainland, and rational capacity deployment on is largest North American routes.
The company expects to continue posting a unit revenue outperformance for the remainder of 2016, driven by still favourable capacity trends in its markets. Hawaiian’s own capacity growth is expected to fall between 3% and 4% for 2016, and remain in the low- to mid- single-digit range for the foreseeable future.
Although Hawaiian continues to outperform the industry in unit revenue, the company is facing inflated unit costs in 2016 driven by several factors, including increased compensation and technology investments. The airline is also in the middle of pilot negotiations, and has acknowledged additional cost headwinds once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.