Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne (Régional) is a French regional airline based at various airports across France, including Paris CDG, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, Marseille, Lyon and Nantes. It was formed out of the 2001 merger of three regional airlines of the Air France Group: Flandre Air, Proteus Airlines, and Regional Airlines. Air France has maintained its full ownership of Régional, which today operates to various destinations in France and Europe.
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The old regional airline, capacity-purchase model is well and truly broken and airlines must evolve to find a more profitable model, Dahlman Rose analyst Helane Becker said in her latest briefing in a harsh evaluation of the sector based on losses and current efforts to restructure.
Regionals have been evolving, expanding capacity purchase portfolios or acquiring branded operations such as Republic’s acquisition of Midwest and Frontier to form Frontier Airlines. Even so, that doesn’t seem enough simply because they are still so many aircraft in a vastly shrinking regional airline system.
With the second phase of growth in Indian aviation expected to come from Tier-II and Tier-III cities, almost all domestic airlines are looking to connect these smaller cities for expansion. The regional market is currently under-penetrated and demand is growing at nearly double the pace at the metros amid escalating disposable incomes and economic growth. Airports Authority of India (AAI) expects air traffic from non-metro airports to rise to 45% of total air traffic in India in the next few years, up from 30% at present.
To support this regional growth, greenfield airport development is occurring at Tier-II and Tier-III cities. There are currently 14 approved greenfield airports projects in India, 13 of which are in regional centres. The only exception is the much-delayed Navi Mumbai Airport. The Government has also launched a plan to develop an indigenous-manufactured aircraft to support continued expansion in this arena.
Air traffic growth softened in Jun-2011, under pressure from rising jet fuel prices and higher tax rates in some countries. However, the trend for passenger travel remains upwards, but at a slower pace than the post recession rebound, which was at an annual rate close to 10%, IATA noted.
Global premium travel rose 9.5% year-on-year in May-2011, but concern about slowing economic activity in key premium travel markets in North America and Europe, combined with a steady deterioration in business confidence, leave reason for caution. IATA has warned that the latest monthly growth may be exaggerating the underlying rate of growth and a significant fall-back to lower rates could bee seen in the Jun-2011 data.
The spectacular rebound in China’s airfreight demand of 2009 and 2010 has slowed notably in 2011. Chinese mainland airlines reported year-on-year declines in cargo volumes in May-2011, marking the second month of year-on-year reductions so far this year. The two reductions in 2011 follow a period of continuous cargo growth that commenced in Jun-2009, as the country’s manufacturing sector recovered at a cracking pace after the global financial downturn.
Tibet Airlines, Tibet’s first airline, on 20-Jun-2011 received its public air carrier's licence from CAAC, after receiving approval from the aviation authority in Mar-2010. Tibet Airlines will be the first and only airline based in Lhasa when it launches operations next month and will benefit from the booming Tibet market.
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