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1339m x 61m
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Air New Zealand
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Operated by the Dublin Airport Authority, Dublin Airport is the busiest airport in Ireland and the major international gateway to Ireland. Hosting regional and international passenger and cargo services for over 30 airlines, Dublin Airport is a hub for airlines including Aer Lingus, CityJet, Monarch Airlines, Ryanair, Thomson Airways and Aer Arann (Aer Lingus Regional).
Location of Dublin Airport, Ireland
Ground Handlers servicing Dublin Airport
1,139 total articles
58 total articles
WestJet dips a toe in the trans-Atlantic market with Dublin service; any prospective partners there?
WestJet’s decision to use St John’s as a launching pad for a conservative experiment in assessing the potential for trans-Atlantic service is not a huge threat to Air Canada yet. But it does put WestJet’s larger rival on notice that even as Air Canada’s fortunes look to be improving, WestJet does not have any intention of leaving any potential sources of revenue on the table, including trans-Atlantic routes where it can effectively deploy its Boeing 737 narrowbodies.
In some ways WestJet’s move is not surprising given that the carrier has previously hinted at international market expansion beyond the transborder and Caribbean and Latin American markets it serves. But as the carrier has previously stressed, any move into a widebody aircraft operation is at least five years off as its immediate focus is on ensuring the successful launch of its regional carrier Encore and continuing to optimise its network.
The carrier is, however, opting to engage in an exercise to learn more about the trans-Atlantic market while juggling the addition of several new elements to its business – Encore, new fare bundles centred on a premium economy product and its continuous quest to expand its business passenger base. It also helps make potential European partners aware that there is another Canadian airline bidding for expansion.
Aer Lingus saw operating profit growth in 3Q2013, after a fall in the 1H result. Nevertheless, ongoing yield weakness on short-haul led it to reiterate guidance for lower profits in FY2013 versus FY2012.
The airline's rapid Atlantic capacity expansion has met with some success, but has also provoked a dispute with cabin crew union IMPACT. Assuming this can be resolved and that wet-lease partner ASL proves to be a successful operator, its long-haul niche looks like being a source of growth.
The bigger challenge is on short-haul, where ultra-LCC rival Ryanair is pushing out lower fares in large quantities. It seems that the battle between the two is intensifying just as Ryanair is being directed to sell its 30% stake in Aer Lingus.
Air Canada’s low-cost carrier Rouge is ratcheting up service to leisure destinations in Europe during the 2014 summer high season, which should prove a definitive test for the carrier’s theory that a low cost operation on routes producing softer yields is the correct equation to turn profits.
The growth and operation of Air Canada Rouge to a possible fleet of 50 aircraft is a strategic pillar of the company’s efforts to cut its unit costs by 15% – quite a formidable goal. Similar to Rouge’s initial roll-out of service from Toronto to Athens, Edinburgh and Venice and from Montreal to Athens, most of Rouge’s planned route expansion during 2014 is into markets that have been served by Air Transat during the high season. With just a few months of operations under its belt, no clear-cut conclusions can be made about Rouge’s future or the total effects on Air Transat, but Air Canada appears to be throwing down the competitive gauntlet, noting that it is now in a much better position to compete on those routes.
Those who attended Aer Lingus’ investor day in London in Sep-2011 will recall the drama of Christoph Mueller’s physical response to Ryanair’s CFO Howard Millar’s questioning on a number of topics. The Aer Lingus CEO stood to face Mr Millar as he spoke, fixed him in the eye and slowly moved towards him until the two were almost brow to brow.
This confrontation serves as a metaphor for the relationship between Aer Lingus and its largest shareholder. The irresistible force meets the immovable object.
Now the UK’s competition authorities have ordered Ryanair to sell its 30% stake, because its holding “had led or may be expected to lead to a substantial lessening of competition between the airlines … between Great Britain and Ireland”. Ryanair’s three bids for Aer Lingus were opposed by Aer Lingus, its employees, the Irish Government and the European Commission and consumed significant management time and effort. Rather than pursue it further, perhaps now it should cut its losses and concentrate on what it does best: beating competitors in the market place.
In early Jul-2013, Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller declared that the carrier was “back to growth mode” (Financial Times, 4-Jul-2013), driven by Atlantic expansion. After 13% capacity growth on the Atlantic in 2013, Aer Lingus is planning a remarkable 24% growth in 2014. An important element of this growth involves attracting transfer traffic originating in the UK regions away from London Heathrow, building on Dublin’s geographic position and growing North American connectivity.
There are to be new routes from Dublin to San Francisco and Toronto and increased frequencies from Shannon to New York and Boston. A significant part of the new capacity will be operated under wet-lease by ASL Aviation Group. An important proportion of Aer Lingus’ regional feed from the UK into Dublin is also operated by a third party (Aer Arann) and Aer Lingus itself operates short-haul flights for Virgin Atlantic.
With these moves Aer Lingus appears to be testing and developing the concept of a virtual airline.
As American and US Airways move to close their merger in Jul-2013 and set out on a complex integration process, speculation over the status of the nine hubs comprising the backbone of the combined network was revived after a report from a US government watchdog questioned Philadelphia’s role in the combined network. Similar queries have also arisen over the status of Phoenix once integration is complete.
The network optimisation that occurs during a merger integration inevitably results in some service cuts and eliminations as unprofitable flights are culled. Southwest has been weeding out AirTran’s unviable routes for the last year (notably, without a huge amount of criticism) as it attempts to complete integration of the two carriers.
While it is natural to assume some hubs might lose prominence in the combined American-US Airways network, the reality is that during the last few years all the major American carriers have undergone network overhauls that resulted in concentrating flying at their hub strongholds, leveraging strength where they have a commanding presence. US Airways and American have notably embraced that strategy, evidenced by US Airways placing 99% of its flying at its Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington National hubs while American continually touts its cornerstone strategy that entails building its network around Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.
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