Sólyom Hungarian Airways’ initial routes were revealed with the airline planning to serve Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris and Stockholm from Budapest. The airline, according to reports from Vilaggazdasag, Budapest Business Journal and AIRportal.hu, expects to take delivery of its first aircraft on 18-Aug-2013, with ticket sales to launch around the same time. The airline expects to take delivery of five more aircraft by the end of Sep-2013. Sólyom's call sign will be "English" Hungary's Capitol Consulting Group (CCG) stated the airline's CEO József Vágó's estimates of the airline's operations are nearly impossible to achieve and predicted the airline would rapidly accumulate "massive losses" ahead of potentially collapsing in 2017. As previously reported by CAPA, the airline plans to replace Malev Hungarian Airlines which suspended operations in early 2012 and plans to operate six aircraft by the end of Sep-2013. The airline plans to expand its fleet to 25 aircraft by the end of 2014 and 50 by the end of 2017, including 10 widebody aircraft.
Sólyom Hungarian Airways’ initial routes revealed
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Europe's aviation strike spike could signal a cyclical peak - with downturn to follow
One swallow does not make a spring and nor does a rash of aviation strike news guarantee a turning point for the aviation industry. But the signs are ominous. In the month of Jun-2016 (to 20-Jun-2016), there have been 136 articles on CAPA's website mentioning the word 'strike'. This compares with 81 for the first 20 days of Jun-2015. For 2016 so far (1-Jan-2016 to 20-Jun-2016), the 's' word has occurred in 594 articles – about 20% more than in the same period in each of the past two years. If this rate continues, 2016 could be the biggest year for strike-related articles since before the global financial crisis.
The vast majority of the Jun-2016 articles – 80% – relate to Europe. A significant source is air traffic control disputes, particularly French ATC. There have also been strikes and/or strike threats involving airport workers and ground handlers. Among European airlines, Air France has generated the most coverage for its ongoing dispute with its pilots, and it may also face a cabin crew strike. Lufthansa has not yet faced a strike by its employees this year, but has not yet reached new agreements with pilots or cabin crew after industrial action last year.
History tells us that labour's demands grow as profits rise. The apparent increase in industrial action this year could be a signal of an approaching peak in the airline profit cycle. There are other causes of unrest, such as impending French labour legislation, but the correlation reflects some history.
easyJet's winter profits are falling in spite of cost control and lower fuel prices
EasyJet has let slip that winter profits are falling, in spite of fuel price reductions. For the first time, its trading update for Oct-2015 to Dec-2015 (1Q of its financial year FY2016) gives a cost per seat figure, in addition to the usual revenue per seat. Europe's second largest LCC did not announce a 1Q pre-tax profit figure, but it can be calculated from the other reported data that it dropped 25% year on year.
This was due to revenue per seat falling more than cost per seat. The weakness in unit revenue was the result of terrorist activity affecting demand in Sharm El Sheikh and Paris in Nov-2015. EasyJet actually performed better than expected on costs, but weak unit revenue has become a trend in recent quarters and is set to continue in 2Q.
Of course, the airline makes all its money in the summer, and so - large percentage changes in the small winter profits do not say much about the full year. EasyJet still expects a higher pre-tax profit this year, but the strong double digit earnings growth of recent years is becoming harder to repeat.