UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond stated he offered military assistance to BAA to assist in clearing snow from London Heathrow in Dec-2010, but was rejected by CEO Colin Matthews, who reportedly said he did not want "unskilled labour" (Telegraph/Daily Mail, 14-Mar-2011). Mr Matthews said the government’s offer had come "too late" as by the time the offer was made the problem had been solved. Mr Hammond said the severe winter weather had cost the UK economy around GBP1.5 billion. BAA maintained they required equipment to clear the runways, taxiways and aprons rather than "muscle".
Heathrow rejected government offers to help clear snow: reports
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Aeromexico: slightly higher 2017 capacity growth as confidence of Delta JV approval remains high
Mexico’s largest airline, Aeromexico, plans slightly higher capacity growth in 2016, mostly driven by added frequencies to its long haul markets in Asia and Europe. Its preliminary guidance shows an ASK increase in the low single digits versus 8% growth in 2016. Similarly to 2016, much of Aeromexico’s capacity should be deployed to international markets as the airline sheds three Boeing 777 widebodies and adds five 787-9s to its fleet.
Aeromexico and Delta continue to believe US regulators will approve their immunised cross-border joint venture by YE2016, and are planning to increase their combined daily flights between the two countries by 43% during the next two years. The joint venture is a major pillar of Aeromexico’s transborder strategy going forward as Delta prepares to exert more influence over Aeromexico’s strategy. Some of Aeromexico’s and Delta’s rivals are lobbying for the two airlines to relinquish more slots at Mexico City Juarez, which could become a factor in the government’s final decision.
In the near term Aeromexico’s outlook is relatively stable, despite continuing challenges from the depreciation of Mexico’s currency. The airline’s revenue generation for the 9M ending Sep-2016 was favourable, driven by increases in yields and load factors.
NOTE: This report was prepared before the DoT issued its decision in the Aeromexico-Delta joint venture
China-UK air service agreement permits growth as Chinese airlines constrained in most other markets
An agreement between China and the UK to more than double their air service agreement is good timing for both sides. Chinese airlines are finding an imbalance: they are taking delivery of widebody aircraft and more Chinese airlines are flying long haul but traffic rights to major markets – the US, Canada, Germany and France – are becoming depleted. Negotiations to add traffic rights have not succeeded, typically due to the foreign side being concerned about accessing Chinese slots or Russian overflight rights.
The agreement with the UK to expand the number of weekly passenger flights from each side from 40 to 100 reflects considerable pragmatism on the part of the UK: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are not growing in China, and China is a large growth opportunity. The UK has lagged on Chinese tourism. It was only in 2015 that China became the UK's largest inbound market.