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235 total articles
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Competition in the Indonesia-Singapore market will intensify in 3Q2013 with Singapore Airlines (SIA) adding capacity while its regional subsidiary SilkAir and low-cost affiliate Tiger Airways each launch services to two new Indonesian destinations. Garuda Indonesia, Tiger affiliate Mandala Airlines and Jetstar are all planning to follow SIA, SilkAir and Tiger in adding capacity in the dynamic Indonesia-Singapore market.
The surge in capacity is in part made possible by a newly expanded bilateral agreement between the two countries. Slot constraints, however, threaten to impede growth for some carriers operating in the market and make it difficult to use newly awarded traffic rights. For example, Indonesia AirAsia has already been set back by slot constraints at Changi Airport in attempts to launch three new routes to Singapore.
The Singapore-India market is poised for a modest increase in capacity, driven by further expansion from the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group made possible by the recent signing of an expanded bilateral between the two countries.
The updated air services agreement only increases the previous capacity allotment for Singapore-based carriers by 10%. But SIA will take whatever it can get as Singapore-India is an important and generally under-served market. Incremental increases are typical with the India-Singapore bilateral, which has been updated several times in recent years, although Singapore would prefer a much bigger and broader agreement.
SIA along with full-service subsidiary SilkAir and low-cost carrier affiliate Tiger Airways already account for over 70% of capacity between India and Singapore. Indian carriers do not require a revised bilateral as they were using less than 40% of the prior allotment. Indian carriers over the last year have seen their share of the market decrease and may see their share drop further by the end of 2013 as the SIA Group again boosts capacity to India.
Passenger growth at Singapore is slowing significantly, making it very unlikely Changi will expand in 2013 its current streak of three consecutive years of double-digit expansion. Growth in the low to mid single digits will provide some breathing space for authorities to tackle increasing congestion problems. But Singapore authorities should still accelerate airport expansion, particularly the opening of a third runway, because the current congestion has already become an impediment to growth.
In the latest blow to Changi, AirAsia has decided to close its Singapore base. Shifting back to Malaysia the group’s small contingent of Singapore-based crews will have a very slight impact on total passenger figures at Changi. But it signals the challenges Changi faces as its LCC growth figures start to slow down while other airports in the region continue to record rapid increases.
The AirAsia decision follows Qantas moving its transit hub for European services from Singapore to Dubai, leading to a reduction in total Changi capacity of more than 2%.
With Lufthansa looking to revamp services to India and Southeast Asia, which can be unprofitable, CAPA in part 1 of this report looked at Lufthansa's disadvantaged cost base to European, Asian and Middle Eastern peers as well as the carrier's challenge in maintaining an effective presence in Asia.
Part 2 considers the necessity of amassing scale for whatever Lufthansa does: whether that is to launch its own long-haul low-cost carrier or enter a partnership with an existing LCC. Lufthansa may be worried about the number of destinations Middle East network carriers serve, but a local LCC will have a far wider network.
This presents a partnership opportunity for Lufthansa – and any airline – but also a threat in that Lufthansa's competitors have realised the strength and opportunity of Asia's LCCs.
This is the second part of a report looking at the Indonesia-Singapore market and the impact of the recently expanded bilateral between the two countries. The first part looked at the Jakarta-Singapore route, which accounts for 55% of Indonesia-Singapore capacity and has not seen growth in recent years due to bilateral restrictions.
The other 13 routes currently connecting Singapore and Indonesia have not generally been constrained by the bilateral. But there are huge opportunities to expand capacity on these smaller routes, driven by Indonesia’s rapidly growing economy and Changi’s position as the leading international hub for secondary cities in nearby Indonesia.
Leading LCC groups – including AirAsia, Lion and Tiger – as well as full-service carriers, led by Singapore Airlines regional subsidiary SilkAir, are likely to launch new routes connecting Indonesia with Singapore as well as add capacity in existing markets.
Jakarta-Singapore, one of the world’s largest routes, will see a major surge of additional capacity in 2013 as a newly expanded bilateral between Indonesia and Singapore is implemented. Singapore-based low-cost carrier Tiger Airways and its new Indonesian affiliate Mandala Airlines will be the biggest beneficiary as the Tiger Group currently only has a paltry 5% share of capacity in the Jakarta-Singapore market. Tiger and Mandala are each preparing to add several daily flights on the route, supplementing Tiger’s current schedule of only two daily flights.
Other LCCs – including Indonesia AirAsia, Lion Air and Jetstar Asia – will also benefit from the new bilateral while full-service carriers are likely to see their market share drop, including market leader Singapore Airlines (SIA). AirAsia and Lion will be keen to add Jakarta-Singapore flights to maintain their leading shares of LCC capacity in the market as Tiger/Mandala attempt to quickly match or surpass their existing thicker schedules. AirAsia and Lion each currently operate six daily flights on the route.
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