V Australia announced (17-Aug-09) plans to launch services from Melbourne to Johannesburg, Los Angeles and Phuket and from Brisbane to Phuket. Connecting flights will be available from other key Australian ports to both Johannesburg and Phuket. The carrier also confirmed it has lodged an application with the International Air Services Commission for permission and slots to operate flights between Australia and Fiji. [more]
V Australia to launch services to Johannesburg and Phuket, add MEL-LAX
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Avianca airline group: bracing for changing Colombian market as Latin America starts to recover
Latin American airline group Avianca Holdings is welcoming continued improving trends in the region, which started to emerge in 2Q2016 and appear to be gaining strength in 2H2016. The company’s yield decreases slowed year-on-year in 3Q2016 to the single digits, and Avianca posted a rise in yields sequentially from 2Q2016 to 3Q2016.
Avianca’s optimism rests on robust load factors, particularly on long haul routes from its largest market – Colombia –to the US and Europe. Demand is also picking up in South America as travellers adjust to the effects of currency depreciation that, while improving, have become a mainstay in many markets in the region. Avianca’s booking trends for Nov-2016 and Dec-2016 indicate that positive momentum is continuing into 4Q2016.
The company faces changing dynamics in its largest market Colombia in late 2016 when Copa Airlines shifts its business model in the country to a low cost operation in order to compete more effectively. Avianca seems unconcerned about Copa’s change in strategy, citing its strong position in Colombia despite increased competition arising in the country’s domestic market during the last few years.
Colombia’s market should undergo further changes in 2017 when LATAM Airlines Group begins instituting a new pricing model in its domestic markets, including in Colombia.
Logic dictates approval of Alaska-Virgin America merger; anti-trust hawks loom large
A pushback in the closing date of the merger of Alaska Air Group and Virgin America – to allow the US government more time for its review of the transaction – created some jitters among investors about the eventual approval of the tie-up, evidenced by a drop in Virgin America’s stock price, which had soared after the deal was tabled in Apr-2016.
Despite the extra time regulators are taking to review the merger, a full-blown rejection of the deal is unlikely given the drastically smaller scope created by Alaska and Virgin America. Indeed, the combined airline creates a more viable entity to compete with the mega-carriers created by previous mergers; not a threat to consumer choice.
Close scrutiny by US regulators was always expected, as are some form of concessions in order for the agreement to ultimately gain the government’s approval. The form those concessions could take has spurred significant speculation from slot divestitures to the relinquishment of gates. Perhaps the key for Alaska is ensuring that the composition of those concessions does not compromise the economics of the transaction.