Lao People's Democratic Republic
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Also known as Laos, Lao People's Democratic Republic is located in southeast Asia and bordered by Burma, Thailand and Vietnam. The main international airports are Wattay International Airport (VTE) and Luang Prabang International Airport (LPG) with Pakse International Airport (PKZ) also having a few international flights. The national airline of Lao People's Democratic Republic is Lao Airlines, wholly owned by the Government of Laos. Other airlines that service the country are Bangkok Airways, Vietnam Airlines, AirAsia, Thai Airways International and China Eastern Airlines. The Department of Civil Aviation of Laos is the government body responsible for regulating and overseeing the aviation industry in the country.
Airports in Lao People's Democratic Republic
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In this second part of our global airport privatisation wrap for 2013, along with CAPA's 2014 outlook, we review activity in Africa, the Middle East, Russia/West Asia, India, China and the rest of Asia. Part One of this report reviewed the situation in Europe, North America and Latin America.
The information presented here is drawn from CAPA's unique Global Airport Investors Database, which is just one component of the new CAPA Airports Data Suite.
2013 was a year when the number of deals at best remained stable, but the number of participants in investment continued to grow, despite some ‘retirements’.
Southeast Asia airline market sees more rapid growth & high international low-cost penetration rates
Southeast Asia continues to post some of the highest growth rates in the global aviation industry, driven primarily by expansion in the region’s booming low-cost sector.
LCCs now account for over 50% of capacity in Southeast Asia’s four largest domestic markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Even more impressively, LCCs have been able to rapidly claim about a 50% share in the intra-Southeast Asia international market.
But there has also been growth in 2013 at nearly all of the region’s flag carriers. A large portion of this growth has been on regional routes as full-service operators have been able to join the LCCs in taking advantage of the generally favourable economic conditions in Southeast Asia.
Thai Airways' regional unit Thai Smile is planning major expansion in 4Q2013 including four new international destinations, three of which will be new to the group’s network. The carrier is also increasing capacity on three of its four current international routes but recently dropped three international routes, highlighting some early mistakes in its network.
Thai Smile remains primarily a domestic carrier. It will continue to allocate nearly 80% of its capacity to the domestic market as it adds two domestic routes and expands on several of its seven existing domestic routes.
The expansion is made possible as Thai Smile takes six aircraft over the next five months, doubling the size of its fleet to 12 A320s. Four of the aircraft will be delivered in 4Q2013 with two more to come in early 2014.
The Laos aviation market, which has quietly more than doubled in size over the last 15 months, is poised for more rapid growth in 2013 as both of the country’s small carriers continue to expand their fleets and networks.
Government-owned Lao Airlines, which added two A320s in 4Q2011 and a third A320 in 4Q2012, plans to take a fourth A320 and add two ATR 72-600s in 2013. Meanwhile, privately-owned start-up Lao Central Airlines plans to add three Sukhoi Superjet 100s in 2013, with the first aircraft due to be delivered in the coming weeks, to supplement its fleet of two Boeing 737-400s.
Laos is also starting to attract increasing interest from foreign carriers as the relatively unpopulated and rural Southeast Asian country gradually emerges as a popular tourist destination. The upcoming opening of a new terminal at the historical town of Luang Prabang, where the runway was recently extended to accommodate jets, is expected to attract several international carriers. Only two foreign carriers now serve Luang Prabang and only six foreign carriers serve Laos overall, accounting for slightly less than 50% of the country’s total international capacity.
Laos is poised for unprecedented change as flag carrier Laos Airlines prepares to launch new international routes and up-gauge several existing routes following delivery of two new A320s. As a result, total capacity at Lao Airlines will almost double in 4Q2011 and capacity in the entire Lao market will surge by 50%. For most countries the impact from two additional narrowbodies would be just a drop in the bucket, but for the smallest market in ASEAN and the region’s smallest flag carrier there are huge ramifications.
Asian aviation is growing strongly, with airlines expanding their seating capacity by 7.4% this month, well ahead of the global 6% increase, according to Innovata. The Indian Subcontinent is leading the Asian charge, while China is surprisingly down in 18th place in terms of Asian growth rates, with just a 5.2% increase in seats (domestic and international) this month.