Munich Airport announced its T2 will receive a EUR650 million (USD844 million) expansion (World Interior Design Network, 03-Jan-2010). The expansion will be jointly undertaken by Munich Airport and Lufthansa and is expected to increase annual capacity at the terminal to 25 million passengers. The expansion will see the construction of a new satellite building and 52 additional gates. The terminal is expected to be completed by 2015.
Munich Airport to undergo USD844m expansion
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Lufthansa Group-Singapore Airlines JV Part 3: JV to support expanded Singapore-Europe capacity
The new Lufthansa Group and Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group joint venture open up opportunities for additional capacity from Singapore to Germany and Switzerland. Lufthansa is confident the improved connectivity beyond Singapore which comes with the JV will help support higher traffic and capacity levels while SIA will benefit from improved connectivity beyond its three German and Swiss gateways.
The two airline groups recently already added over 1,100 weekly one-way seats from Singapore to Germany and Switzerland, representing expansion of 8%, ahead of the formal start of the JV. The expansion included the launch of flights by SIA to Dusseldorf, a route that likely would not have been viable without the JV, and the up-gauging of flights to Singapore by Swiss from A340s to 777-300ERs.
Both airline groups are now considering further capacity increases as well as new routes. Lufthansa is looking at using its new A350 fleet to resume Singapore-Munich, which would supplement its daily Singapore-Frankfurt A380 service and give the group 21 weekly frequencies and nearly 8,000 weekly one-way seats under the JV compared to 31 frequencies and nearly 10,000 weekly seats for SIA.
Chinese long haul secondary city air routes: BA's Chengdu exit does not reflect the broader market
The fastest long haul airline growth is not occurring with Gulf airlines but rather, with services to and from secondary Chinese cities. It is not a secret that local incentives and subsidies, generally common in any market, are especially large in price and duration for secondary Chinese cities. An airline might expect over a third of revenues to be subsidised. This drastically alters the business case in a low-margin industry, hence the proliferation of secondary city services. This extreme dependence on subsidies raises the question of how long governments are willing to issue generous subsidies, and how many routes can be sustainable without them.
British Airways' decision to exit its only secondary Chinese route to Chengdu, in Jan-2017, might suggest the music is ending and the secondary long haul bubble is popping. There is added colour given the recent UK-China air service agreement expansion, and Brexit/British pound depreciation overhangs.
BA's exit does confirm market fundamentals: secondary city yields are low, and some routes are ahead of their time. Yet a number of factors unique to British Airways suggest caution in concluding that BA's Chengdu exit could foreshadow other withdrawals.