UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) initialled three Air Services Agreements (ASA) and signed three MOUs with Burkina Faso, Guatemala and Vanuatu. The objective of the MOUs is to strengthen co-operation in air services between UAE and the signed entities, and to facilitate air services by the designated carriers of the UAE, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia, RAK Airways and flydubai with the airlines of the signed states in due course. The state parties also agreed on the principles of governing operations of agreed services, exercise of fifth freedom traffic rights and on avoidance of double taxation. [more]
UAE GCAA initials three air services agreements with Latin America and Africa
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flydubai outlook improves, with reduced losses and faster rebound despite global uncertainty
As airlines worry about having passed their peaks and entering a downturn, flydubai, the LCC owned by the Dubai government, is on an upwards trajectory. This is very welcome after flydubai's sudden and sharp 1H2015 loss occurred as most other airlines were in party mode, buoyed by low fuel prices. flydubai significantly narrowed its 1H2016 loss despite double-digit growth. With the industry worrying about its health, flydubai appears to have caught the cold early and rebounded from it. An improvement in load factor, uplift in business traffic (19%) and reduction in expenses may show greater efficiency that can be maintained – the silver lining to the financial upset.
flydubai's 1H2016 loss narrowed to USD24.5 million from 1H2015's USD40 million, despite a 14.9% increase in flights. Losses per passenger decreased about nine percentage points faster. Unlike its bigger sister Emirates, also owned by the Dubai government but run separately, flydubai is primarily a point-to-point operator - so it depends on the health of Dubai.
Aeroflot 6th freedom Part 2: China service is a strength for a SkyTeam member excluded from JVs
Part 1 of this report on Aeroflot's connecting sixth freedom traffic noted that Aeroflot is the 13th largest carrier of passengers between Western Europe and Northeast Asia, whereas Finnair – whose "Nordic Shortcut" strategy is well-known – is slightly larger and is the 10th largest operator. After Emirates, Aeroflot is the largest airline flying passengers between the regions but is not based in either of them; all the other operators are Western European or Northeast Asian airlines.
This second and final part examines Aeroflot's growing connecting market in depth. Of the airline's connecting Western Europe-Northeast Asian passengers, 54% are travelling to/from mainland China. This correlates with the share of Aeroflot capacity allocated to China. Among Finnair, Turkish and the Gulf 3 "superconnectors", Aeroflot has the fewest destinations in Northeast Asia. Yet its frequency in prime Chinese cities is unmatched. Aeroflot has the benefit of good aeropolitical relations with China while benefitting from other airlines being restricted over Chinese airspace. This may appear to be a short term advantage that will reduce as competition grows.
Yet a review of the city pairs where Aeroflot is the strongest on transfer traffic indicates growth opportunities as more markets are incorporated into JVs and complacency settles in. This may increase already tense relations between Aeroflot and its SkyTeam partners. Pursuing stronger transfer traffic will be a delicate decision for Aeroflot management.