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Boeing is a leading manufacturer of commercial and military aircraft, rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 170,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries.
Boeing is organised into two business units: Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Supporting these units is Boeing Capital Corporation, the Shared Services Group and Boeing Engineering, Operations & Technology.
Boeing’s main commercial products are the B737, B747, B767 and B777 families of aircraft and the Boeing Business Jet. New product development efforts are focused on the B787 Dreamliner, 737Max, 777X and the B747-8. The company has nearly 12,000 commercial jetliners in service worldwide, which is roughly 75% of the world fleet.
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Brazilian airline Gol continues to face all the same challenges in 2015 that have plagued the airline during the last two to three years – a weak Brazilian economy, currency devaluation and soft corporate demand.
The company during that time has taken steps to improve its fundamentals including restructuring debt and improving its leverage ratios. Now it has gained approval from shareholders for a new corporate structure to allow the airline to possibly expand foreign ownership, which could create some advantages over the long term.
But in the short term Gol admits that the overall macroeconomic environment was even more challenging at the start of 2015 as corporate demand has fallen-off amidst a still-weak Brazilian economy.
Even after achieving investment grade status in 2014 – becoming only the second US airline to reach that milestone – Alaska Air Group’s valuation still trails its competitors, many of which do not have the financial stability that Alaska has enjoyed for years.
It appears current investor trepidation centres on Alaska’s ultimate fate after Delta has aggressively built up Seattle during the last couple of years, adding significant competitive capacity in Alaska’s largest hub. Despite Alaska’s confidence that it will survive and thrive after Delta’s encroachment, investors seem to be taking a wait-and-see attitude with respect to the new competitive dynamics in Seattle.
In the short term, Alaska is still facing unit revenue headwinds both from its own capacity growth and competitive capacity expansion in Seattle, which may be fuelling the cautious approach investors are taking towards the company.
Oman Air is pursuing ambitious fleet expansion and simplification as part of a plan to double its fleet and add more than 25 new destinations over the next six years. The flag carrier has decided to phase out ATR turboprops and Embraer regional jets as it seeks to operate two or – at most – three aircraft types.
Oman Air plans to operate 25 widebody aircraft by the end of 2020 compared to 10 A330s currently and only seven A330s six months ago. It is now committed to acquiring eight 787s and is considering ordering more 787s and A330neos.
Oman Air's narrowbody fleet ended 2014 with 19 737NGs. It is adding six 737-800/900ERs in 2015 and recently committed to acquiring 20 additional 737s for delivery from 2017.
Pressures from depreciating currency and general macroeconomic weakness that LATAM Airlines Group faced throughout 2014 show no signs of abating in 2015 as the economies in some of its largest markets remain on shaky ground.
But despite those challenges, LATAM does see some opportunities to strengthen its network in 2015, reflected in its unchanged capacity forecast of 2% to 4% expansion with flat growth in the Brazilian domestic market. Even with its sustained capacity discipline in Brazil, LATAM is making a new push from Brasilia in 2015 to leverage smaller regional markets that could help improve its overall performance in Brazil’s domestic market.
LATAM also plans to grow its long-haul international capacity as some North American and European airlines have slowed capacity growth, which is a positive development for LATAM as it continues working to mitigate some of the weakness within South America.
Milwaukee Airport anticipates bright spots in 2015; longer term growth prospects need some nurturing
Similar to other medium-sized airports, traffic patterns at General Mitchell International Airport serving Milwaukee reflect the service reductions those airports have endured in the post-consolidated US environment.
But some positive developments are occurring at Mitchell. The airport’s largest airlines Southwest and Delta are adding new service in 2015 and Alaska Airlines becomes a new airline serving Mitchell when it launches flights to its Seattle hub in 2H2015.
Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport may not reach the passenger levels it enjoyed before the onset of the latest period of consolidation in the US marketplace, but the additional service is obviously a welcome development for an airport determining its role in the market place with a handful of airlines controlling the majority of traffic.
Pressure from having to pull capacity from Venezuela and overall economic weakness in many regions within Latin America pressured Copa Airlines’ financial results for 2014; but the airline still delivered a respectable 19.8% operating margin for the year and posted a decrease in unit costs.
Many of the elements that dragged down Copa’s financial results in CY2014 remain intact – continued pressure on yields by moving a significant amount of capacity from Venezuela and weakened economies in Latin America. The airline has not made any adjustments to its projected 7% capacity growth for CY2015, but its expansion of supply is at a lower rate than 2014, and most of the growth stems from network changes Copa undertook in CY2014.
Although Copa’s yield and unit revenue challenges will persist in the near future, overall the company remains in good financial shape to withstand the macroeconomic pressures weakening its results.