- Passenger numbers: 3.4 million, -1.0% year-on-year;
- Domestic: 2.6 million, +1.2%;
- International: 760,102, -8.0%;
- Cargo volume: 35,064 tonnes, -13.5%;
- Aircraft movements: 33,289, -2.0%.
San Francisco Airport reports 8% fall in Jun-2009 international pax
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US DOT rejects Qantas-American Airlines joint venture under pressure of unchecked consolidation
After complaints about airlines amassing power through joint ventures to the detriment of consumers, the US DOT appears to be exerting greater and more conservative scrutiny on partnerships. DOT has rejected a proposed JV between American Airlines and Qantas. After DOT declined their request for a much longer response time American and Qantas withdrew their application, submitted in Jun-2015.
At a top level the JV does seem to raise concern: combined, Qantas and American would hold 59% of the US-Australia market. Yet almost all of that – 53% – is from Qantas; American adds only 6ppt.
DOT rejects the notion that such larger market share can possibly be in the interest of consumers. Yet it appears to overlook the benefit American might bring in exchange for incremental market share gains. Nor is it clear if this combination is more anti-competitive than some JVs where two airlines, each with a small- or medium-sized position, combine and become multiples larger. Qantas' 53% market share was earned through quality and smart loyalty programme development while competitors lagged.
Qantas will continue growth in North America, its most successful international market, but American Airlines' growth is uncertain and it may re-evaluate a supposedly planned Los Angeles-Melbourne 787 service.
Philippine Airlines Part 3: more USA growth planned, as A350s arrive and partnerships are pursued
Philippine Airlines (PAL) is seeking to improve its position in the North American market by boosting capacity and partnering with a US airline. PAL has been able to increase its presence in the US since the FAA upgraded the Philippines to a Category 1 safety rating in 2014, enabling PAL to increase capacity, launch new routes and pursue codeshares with US airlines.
PAL launched services from Cebu to Los Angeles in Mar-2016 and in the coming weeks is planning to add capacity on Manila-Los Angeles – one of its largest and most profitable international routes – using a newly delivered 777-300ER. PAL may also add capacity to San Francisco in 2017 and is planning to use its new A350-900 fleet to launch nonstop flights to New York, and potentially Chicago, in 2018.
PAL also has begun searching for a US partner to help it feed an expanded US operation. Securing a US partner is key to supporting further growth and further boosting its share of the Philippines-US market as competition intensifies.