- Passenger numbers: 1.6 million, +7.8% year-on-year;
- Cargo volume: 20,559 tonnes, +1.6%;
- Aircraft movements: 12,487, +5.2%.
Xiamen Airport pax up 8%, cargo up 2% in Jul-2012
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Arab Air Carriers show that not all are created equal, but the rest of the world can learn from them
At the CAPA World Aviation Summit in Amsterdam in Nov-2013, one of the recurring themes was the success of Middle East airlines. Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), gave his thoughts on the development of Arab airlines, their success and the lessons to be learned.
Building on their geographical location, supportive government policies and relative political stability, some AACO carriers – notably Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – have developed business models combining cost efficiency, high growth and a premium service. Of course, this formula has not been replicated everywhere in the region and it is a little misleading to talk about Arab carriers as a homogeneous group.
Nevertheless, other participants in the aviation sector, whether operator or government and whether in the Arab world or elsewhere, could learn some useful lessons from the success of the Gulf Three in particular.
KLM looks to grow partnerships in Asia, which are becoming larger targets than North America's
Partnerships and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are intertwined: KLM and Northwest Airlines first joined forces in 1989 when KLM acquired a 20% holding in the US carrier, then the two pioneered the industry's first modern joint venture in 1997, subsequently been imitated not just by trans-Atlantic peers but by airlines across the world. Partnerships today are even more prevalent and critical for KLM. The trans-Atlantic deal has expanded and KLM has a JV with Kenya Airways, among others.
But it is Asia where KLM's breadth of partnerships is most evident and also where there are expansion opportunities, as KLM COO and Deputy CEO Pieter Elbers told CAPA at its recent World Aviation Summit in Amsterdam.
The launch of European flights by China's Sichuan and Xiamen Airlines could see KLM form a deeper partnership, adding to its existing relationships with China Eastern and JV partner China Southern. KLM's historical relationship with Malaysia Airlines has continued despite MAS joining oneworld in 2013, and KLM has also added one-time foe Etihad Airways as a partner. KLM would like a partner in Japan, its second-largest Asian market, and ideally hitch on Air France's relationship with JAL. Mr Elbers describes a stable if limited relationship with SkyTeam heavyweight Korean Air. The growth in partnerships comes as Asia widens its lead over North America as KLM's largest long-haul market.