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Aeroflot is the national airline of Russia with its main base at Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport. Formerly wholly-state owned, the airline has been partially privatised and continues to be the dominant carrier in the country, accounting for about 20% of the Russian passenger market. The Russian Government continues to hold 51.17% of the airline's equity. Legal entities and individuals own the rest. Aeroflot operates an extensive network of domestic services within Russia, as well as international services to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. Aeroflot is Russia’s largest air carrier; it accounts for over 42% of international scheduled and 13.7% of domestic traffic in Russia (with its subsidiaries, around 20%). Aeroflot is a member of SkyTeam.
Aeroflot has been a leading voice behind consolidation in the Russian airline industry, and has supported the Government's plan to address the fragmentation of the airline industry that has been a central feature since the fall of the Soviet Union. Aeroflot has taken over management control of four Russian airlines including Rossiya, Orenair, Vladivostok Avia and SAT Airlines.
Location of Aeroflot main hub (Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport)
Aeroflot share price
1,434 total articles
48 total articles
Etihad's announcement that it was buying 33.3% of Switzerland-based Darwin Airline was made on the first day of the Dubai Airshow and was easily lost in the fury of orders announced that day.
Darwin only flies aircraft with 50 seats, less than the number of premium seats that will be on many of the 350-plus widebody aircraft Gulf carriers ordered at the airshow. But the announcement is significant, and three reasons stand out.
First, for Etihad the carrier will "connect the dots" in Europe for itself and partners, linking hubs but also tertiary cities, which have largely been passed over by Gulf carriers. Many of these cities are served by the Lufthansa Group. This gives rise to the second significant impact: on Europe's legacy carriers. Gulf carriers changed their long-haul business while European LCCs decimated short-haul. Regional traffic was always typically a burden, and will come under further pressure following Etihad's announcement. Third is that Darwin Airline will re-brand as "Etihad Regional", and Etihad openly states Darwin is only the first carrier to use this new brand. As the industry still digests Etihad's partnership and equity strategy, Etihad promises to change another component of aviation – and raise the stakes in the liberalisation of the industry, especially by stamping its name on a European carrier.
Etihad has launched services to Ho Chi Minh, becoming only the tenth non-Asian airline serving Vietnam. Abu Dhabi is now one of only seven destinations outside Asia-Pacific that are served non-stop from Vietnam.
Vietnam remains an under-served long-haul market with huge potential. But Gulf carriers have been quick to recognise the opportunities in Vietnam and are now among Vietnam’s largest international carriers.
Etihad follows rival Emirates, which launched services to Ho Chi Minh in Jun-2012. Qatar began serving Ho Chi Minh in 2009 and added Hanoi in late 2010. It is now Vietnam’s third largest foreign carrier.
Alitalia had another bad start to the year. Its 1H2013 net loss, reported on 26-Sep-2013, was EUR93 million worse than the same period last year and it faces the real prospect of running out of funds before the year end.
Only eight months after requesting an emergency loan from shareholders, its Board will seek a EUR100 million capital increase at a shareholders’ meeting on 14-Oct-2013. 25% owner Air France-KLM has signalled opposition to this plan and this sum may not even be sufficient beyond the short term.
Alitalia’s 2013-2016 industrial plan, announced only in Jul-2013, aims for breakeven at the net profit level in 2015. This will not be worth the paper it’s written on if Alitalia does not manage to raise survival funds quickly. The Italian government, although not a shareholder, is reported to be talking to Italian banks about additional loan finance. If Alitalia’s short term needs can be met, this could give vital breathing space for a long term solution to be found, possibly involving new shareholders. But more "last chances" cannot be anticipated.
The Aeroflot Group is the leading airline group in the Russian Federation by some distance. Its airlines have strong market positions at its hubs across the country, which extends from Europe to within a short distance of China, Korea and Japan. The group has been profitable for over twenty years and its passenger traffic is growing at double digit rates.
Its market position has benefited from a government “national champion” policy, through the 2011 acquisition of a number of state-owned regional carriers. Nevertheless, its 2012 profits were diluted by losses in the newly acquired subsidiaries.
In an attempt to address this, its two carriers in Russia’s Far East are to be merged. Moreover, the major European country with the lowest LCC penetration looks as if it may soon have its very own no-frills airline after Aeroflot’s recent announcement that it plans to establish a new LCC subsidiary.
Russian regional airline RusLine is pursuing significant expansion in summer 2013, including the launch of five routes from Chelyabinsk Airport.
The fast-growing regional operator is Russia’s 16th largest domestic carrier with about 9,500 weekly domestic seats and about a 1% share of the Russian domestic market, according to CAPA and Innovata data. It is based at Moscow Domodedovo Airport, where it is currently the 10th largest domestic carrier.
But RusLine’s capacity will nearly double over the next couple of months as it launches several routes, including from Chelyabinsk and a new base at Voronezh, and adds capacity in several existing markets. The carrier plans to offer almost 20,000 weekly domestic seats in the Russian domestic market in Jul-2013, giving it almost a 2% share.
The lure for an airline to grow beyond its home market by targeting sixth freedom traffic is as old as the jet age: bygone Icelandic carrier Loftleidir ruffled feathers in the 1950s by carrying far more passengers than its local population while KLM in 1957 listed on the New York Stock Exchange, partially to quell nationalist fears it was taking too many passengers from the US.
Efforts to focus on sixth freedom traffic come and go: KLM has remained (upwards of 80% of its passengers transit its Schiphol hub) while Emirates has sprung up (now as the third largest carrier in the world). And, as Chinese and other north Asian airlines expand their roles, now carriers like Aeroflot are making new pushes into sixth freedom traffic.
Aeroflot's Moscow hub has strikingly similar geography to Helsinki, where Finnair is betting its future on sixth freedom traffic, while claiming a network that can rival those in Europe and the Middle East.
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