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Location of Chengdu Airport, China
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877 total articles
47 total articles
The China-US market continues to grow, as expected, but the segment is showing acceleration in the way that growth is occurring. China Eastern plans to launch Nanjing-Los Angeles service, its first trans-Pacific route from a city outside its Shanghai hub. Hainan will launch a new Beijing-San Jose service, consistent with its secondary city focus, but thicken Beijing-Boston and Beijing-Seattle services with flights to those US cities from Shanghai. Hainan Airlines becomes the first (by two weeks) Chinese carrier to serve a US point from multiple Chinese cities. US airlines already serve Chinese points from multiple US cities.
And Delta Air Lines, normally conservative with long-haul growth, has brought forward a Los Angeles-Shanghai service in its five-year plan to a Jul-2015 start date. Not only is Delta accelerating growth, it is doing so on the most competitive US-China route; it becomes the fourth airline on the city-pair after America, China Eastern and United. Delta attributes its growth to the visa liberalisation between China and the US, which Delta says was a surprise.
Xiamen Airlines will be China's sixth airline to fly long-haul when it commences Xiamen-Amsterdam service as early as Jul-2015 using its new fleet of 787 Dreamliners. By the end of 2015, Xiamen Airlines expects to launch a four times weekly Xiamen-Sydney service. There could be later expansion to the US, but the longer flight length will be challenging.
Meanwhile, Sichuan Airlines is China's other new airline to fly long-haul. Services to Vancouver, Melbourne and Sydney will be followed by four times a week charter service Chengdu-Moscow with an A330.
Long-haul is a much smaller component of traffic than domestic flights for China's airlines, and this is especially true at secondary airlines like Xiamen and Sichuan, which have limited long-haul plans. No other Chinese airline already has or publicly intends to have widebody aircraft, but another long-haul Chinese carrier cannot be far away.
United Airlines continues a trajectory of improved fundamentals as changes undertaken in 2014 to shore up revenue that include re-banking and seasonal adjustments reach a full scale in 2015.
The airline sustained profitability for 4Q2014 and CY2014, and plans to keep its capacity growth at rates less than GDP despite the sharp decline in oil prices that has continued into 2015. Similar to rival Delta, United plans to use any extra cash generated from lower energy costs to accelerate balance sheet delivery and increase shareholder returns.
After enjoying a solid performance in its domestic entity throughout much of 2014, United observed some softness in the US domestic market near the end of 4Q2014 that is lingering into the beginning of 2015. The slowing US demand and several other factors are driving projected flat unit revenue growth for United in 1Q2015, but capacity discipline along with a favourable cost performance should help blunt some of the anticipated revenue pressure.
United Airlines has made solid progress in 2H2014 in closing the gap in certain financial metrics with its peers, driven in part by several network changes that, in theory, should continue to lift the airline’s revenue performance in 2015.
The big unknown for United as 2014 comes to a close is if 2015 will be the year that its performance rises to the level of its peers on a sustained basis. After failing to meet similar declarations in the past United has understandably shied away from declaring 2015 as the target year for its turnaround.
But as the company continues to improve network utility, keep costs in check and cut debt while improving its balance sheet, United should look back on 2015 as a year of progress as it works to finally achieve the long awaited full merger benefits with Continental.
United Airlines continues its efforts to close the gap with peers after posting solid 3Q2014 results
United Airlines admits there is still much work ahead to close the gap with its large network airline peers in key metrics such as margin performance. But efforts United has undertaken to improve its revenue performance showed promise in 3Q2014 as it out-performed its peers in passenger unit revenue growth.
Even as it faces some unit revenue headwinds in 4Q2014, United believes it will sustain profitability during the last quarter of 2014 as the US domestic market remains robust.
Similar to rival Delta, United could grow its capacity to upwards of 2% in 2015, which may cause some concern among investors. But United stresses that much of the growth stems from aircraft up-gauging, improved utilisation and increasing density of certain aircraft.
Delta Air Lines has slightly adjusted its passenger unit revenue targets for 3Q2014 triggered by oversupply in some of its markets, unrest in the Middle East and the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
The airline has previously warned of tougher year-on-year comparisons in 3Q2014 after recording 7% unit revenue growth in 3Q2013. But despite the challenges that have cropped up during the last few months, Delta still predicts a strong performance in the quarter with double digit operating margin expansion and solid cost containment as demand in the US domestic market remains strong.
As it prepares to make trans-Atlantic capacity adjustments for the US winter time period in conjunction with its SkyTeam alliance partners, Delta is also making changes in it Pacific network by down-gauging Boeing 747s it operates to Tokyo and replacing them with smaller and more efficient aircraft.