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Based at London Luton Airport, with its busiest base at London Gatwick Airport, easyJet was founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The carrier has experienced rapid growth since its establishment in 1995, having expanded due to a combination of acquisitions and base openings triggered by consumer demand for low-cost air travel. Using a fleet of Airbus and Boeing narrow-body aircraft, easyJet operates an extensive network throughout Europe as well as to northern Africa and Israel supported by over 15 hubs spread throughout Europe.
Location of easyJet main hub (London Gatwick Airport)
easyJet share price
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider easyJet fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
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easyJet: Portugal's ground handling situation an "anomaly" and its "greatest concern" in the country
177 total articles
easyJet’s 1H2013 pre-tax result improved by GBP51 million to a loss of GBP61 million. This puts it comfortably on course to achieve the current consensus forecast for record pre-tax profits of GBP410 million in FY2013. It may also be on another collision course with founder and largest shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou over aircraft orders.
CEO Carolyn McCall believes easyJet can take further market share from non-LCCs on point-to-point routes. At its top 20 existing airports, where easyJet has 46 million seats (a share of 22%), she puts this potential additional market at 86 million seats. This analysis appears to pave the way for a large aircraft order after easyJet completes a review of its future fleet strategy later this year, although it insists that no decision has yet been taken.
This would not please Sir Stelios who said: “Good things happen to airlines that don’t order more aircraft.” Under Ms McCall's guidance easyJet's share price has more than doubled over the past year and not just because it didn't grow. It may be time for Sir Stelios to let go.
Following Luis Gallego’s promotion in Mar-2013 from CEO of Iberia Express to be CEO of Iberia, changes to Iberia’s management structure had been anticipated. On 10-May-2012, Iberia announced changes aimed at better implementing its Transformation Plan and restoring competitiveness and profitability to the carrier. While it is often worth taking a new hammer to crack an old nut, IAG has simultaneously been squirreling away some tastier new ones.
Based on comments at CAPA’s Airlines in Transition conference by Willie Walsh, CEO of Iberia’s parent IAG, that Iberia Express has ex fuel unit costs 40% lower than Iberia’s, we estimate that its CASK is similar to those of easyJet and Vueling. Mr Walsh also said that it is better to restructure what you have than to start something new. However, given fierce resistance to change at Iberia, he has given himself a good deal more leverage by establishing Iberia Express and also by taking over Vueling. Iberia Express has even helped the group to grow its passenger share in Madrid this year.
European airline margins have underperformed other regions for years. There are many reasons for this, but our analysis suggests that Europe’s relative lack of consolidation may be a significant one, since margins appear to be correlated with market concentration. Even after a number of significant deals over the past decade, the European market is less concentrated than North America, where consolidation has gone further, to the benefit of margins. Europe is also less concentrated than Asia-Pacific (analysed as its sub-regions), whose margins have consistently been the highest.
If consolidation brings structural benefits, are there still European deals that can make a difference? Europe has a long tail of small carriers, which are unlikely to have a significant impact, but comparison with North America points to the potential for further combinations among the top five. Nevertheless, there are hurdles to such deals, not least of which are the ongoing restructuring programmes at Europe’s Big Three and the incompatibility of LCC/FSC mergers, but some second tier groups could be targets.
It’s a familiar story as we approach the next five-year regulatory period for airport charges at London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports starting from Apr-2014. The airports seek big price increases, while the airlines want them cut and the Civil Aviation Authority (the regulator) tries to make proposals in the middle that displease both sides. A CAA-commissioned study shows that all three airports have significantly increased their realised airport charge yield over the past decade and are above the averages of their comparator airport baskets.
The CAA’s initial proposals were met on 30-Apr-2013 with immediate howls of displeasure from airline chiefs describing the proposed Gatwick price increases as “completely unjustifiable, totally unacceptable”, referring to Stansted’s “absolute pricing power” and calling Heathrow “over-priced, over-rewarded and inefficient”. For their part, the airports complained about “heavy handed regulation”, fearing that the proposals “will put passenger service at risk by not attracting the necessary investment”.
easyJet is hitting a strategic sweet spot as it cautiously moves away from a stripped-down LCC model to a hybrid that caters to business passengers. Not only does easyJet have a low cost base that it says it uses to encourage business people to do the "right thing" for their company and book orange, but 22 bases across Europe give it frequency and timing advantages that competitors cannot match. Entering key business routes, such as London-Moscow and Milan Linate-Rome Fiumicino, further add to appeal – and profit, which increased 28% for the year to Sep-2012.
But easyJet is putting the brakes on hybridisation. Commercial director Cath Lynn, speaking on the sidelines at CAPA's Airlines in Transition conference in Dublin, said easyJet is not interested in pursuing other hybrid LCC activities like connecting flights, having a loyalty programme or vast array of ancillaries for sale during the booking process. In 2013 easyJet will be looking to grow in the UK, France and Italy in particular.
Germany is Europe’s number two aviation market (after the UK) by seats. However, although Ryanair is Germany’s third largest carrier, its share of seats there is only about 6%. It has a 14% share of capacity across all its markets and a significantly higher share in other major countries such as Italy, Spain and the UK. This under-representation in Germany may be about to change.
Although high charges at the main hubs and a well-organised main competitor have hindered Ryanair’s growth in Germany, it has shown at bases such as Duesseldorf Weeze and Frankfurt Hahn that it can build a dominant position.
Now, just as that competitor is focusing inwardly on its own restructuring, Ryanair is opening 47 routes from Germany in 2013, including three new airports. Looking further ahead, it has declared that it is in talks with 20 German airports with a view to adding five or six to its route network. We assess Ryanair’s current position and prospects in Germany, including consideration of which airports might attract it.
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