Vueling confirmed (13-Nov-2013) plans to base seven new A320s at Barcelona El Prat Airport, bringing its total to 50 aircraft at its main hub, serving 117 destinations. The carrier confirmed 14 new routes for the summer 2014 season, with destinations including Bastia, Krakow, Donetsk, Kharkov, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Porto, Warsaw, Jerez, Leipzig, Dakar, Budapest and Belgrade, as well as an unspecified destination in Tunisia. Vueling said it would focus its efforts on expanding German services throughout 2014, increasing Spain-Germany seats by 30% year-on-year to 1.5 million in 2014. In the former USSR, Vueling extended its Moscow and Saint Petersburg services from seasonal to year-round due to "good results", and plans to offer an additional 700,000 seats to the region in summer 2014 with the new Russian and Ukrainian services. Vueling plans a 48% year-on-year increase in seats to Africa to 300,000 in 2014, with the Tunisian and Senegalese routes complementing existing services to Algeria, Gambia and Morocco. [more - original PR]
Vueling confirms plans to base seven more aircraft at Barcelona in 2014, and new summer routes
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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.
Wizz Air: city pair overlap with Ryanair on one third of seats. Opportunities for both; CASK crucial
Wizz Air and Ryanair are Europe's two lowest cost airlines, and most profitable airlines by operating margin. Together with Pegasus they form a small group of European ultra-LCCs. Unlike Pegasus, whose business concentrates on Turkey-Europe and domestic Turkey, both Wizz Air and Ryanair have bases in several countries.
However, while Ryanair is Europe's largest airline by seats, with a pan-European network and 84 bases, Wizz Air focuses on the niche between Central/Eastern Europe and Western Europe. All of Wizz Air's 25 bases are in Central/Eastern Europe, where it is the largest airline and Ryanair is number two. This superiority in CEE is based on Wizz Air's greater share of capacity in most of the larger country markets in the region (but not Poland), while in fact Ryanair is bigger in more (mainly smaller) countries.
In Jul-2016 Wizz Air faces Ryanair competition on 14% of its city pairs, covering 30% of its seats. Moreover, Ryanair is expanding rapidly in CEE, with five new bases this winter, increasing this overlap to around one third of Wizz Air's capacity. For Ryanair, the overlap represents a higher proportion of its CEE capacity, but only a very small share of its total seat numbers.