HOP! announced (26-Jun-2013) Airlinair, Brit Air and Regional held general meetings during which the airlines validated their new status and name changes, become a simplified joint stock company, governed by HOP!. The airlines are now becoming HOP!-AIRLINAIR, HOP!-BRIT AIR and HOP!-REGIONAL, to improve brand consistency. Under the new structure, the boards of directors will be replaced with executive councils, each of which will be chaired by HOP! CEO Lionel Guerin. Mr Guerin said the new structures will reduce costs and accelerate the decision making process. The airlines will focus on quality safety and punctuality. HOP! is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air France and operates 530 daily frequencies to 136 destinations with a fleet of 98 aircraft ranging from 48 seats to 100 seats. [more - original PR French]
HOP! carriers restructure into simplified joint stock company
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Air France-KLM: 1Q margin gain beats IAG & Lufthansa, but lack of 2016 target betrays low confidence
Air France-KLM narrowed its operating loss in 1Q2016 – mainly thanks to lower fuel prices, and also helped by lighter downward pressure on unit revenue than was felt by either IAG or Lufthansa. This probably reflects its tighter capacity management. Moreover, Air France-KLM's operating margin improvement from a year earlier was greater than both IAG's and Lufthansa's.
However, Air France-KLM's margin remained well below those of its rivals, both for the group as a whole and also for its LCC subsidiary Transavia in comparison with the LCC divisions of the other two. Emphasising the uncertain outlook for unit revenue (and echoing comments made by both IAG and Lufthansa in this respect), it does not expect its relative strength in 1Q to continue throughout the year.
Furthermore, Air France-KLM is still the only one of the three leading European legacy airline groups without a 2016 profit target. It rightly continues to prioritise capacity discipline, unit cost reduction and the lowering of net debt, while working to gain pilot union agreement to vital productivity improvements. However, as the global industry is enjoying cyclically high margins, Air France-KLM's reticence over profit guidance reveals its lack of confidence. The incoming CEO, Jean-Marc Janaillac, will need to rebuild this.
LCC Volotea Part 2: in a competitive space positioned between regional airlines and LCCs
Part 1 of CAPA's analysis of Spanish LCC Volotea highlighted its rapid growth, but noted that its load factor left room for improvement. The Spanish LCC flies almost two thirds of its seats in domestic Italy and France, but operates in a total of 12 countries and 66 airports across Europe. It concentrates on small and medium-sized airports, with Italy and France dominating its list of leading routes.
This second part of CAPA's report on Volotea looks at its generally favourable competitive position on its leading routes (it is the biggest airline on 15 of its top 20 routes). This positive competitive standing has been carried onto the majority of the 32 routes that Volotea has launched in the past year, although its low frequencies and very strong summer bias limit its appeal to business passengers and give it a leisure focus.
Volotea's average trip length sits between those of regional airlines and Europe's principal LCCs. This is evidenced by the fact that two of its most frequent competitors are Hop (Air France's regional airline) and Ryanair (Europe's leading LCC). Volotea's fleet strategy is now to replace its 125-seat Boeing 717s with 150-seat A319s. This will result in it butting up against LCCs more often.