Patee Sarasin was the CEO of Thailand’s Nok Air from its launch in 2004 until late 2017. He was one of the founders behind Nok and NokScoot, a joint venture long haul low cost airline with Singapore Airlines subsidiary Scoot that launched in 2015. Mr Sarasin is now working to establish a new travel company that will not be an airline but will work closely with airlines. He plans to formally launch the new company in London in Jul-2018, at which time more details about the product and positioning will be announced. Mr Sarasin also gives his views on market conditions in Thailand’s highly competitive airline sector and the future for Nok and NokScoot.

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India's Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, via his official Twitter account, stated (16-Mar-2018) India's Civil Aviation Ministry has been monitoring prices on the impacted routes and that "there has not been a significant or abnormal increase in airfares". The Ministry noted that only 1%-2% of the total capacity has been impacted by the decision. "With 17 engines [14 aircraft] grounded due to safety considerations, imp to note that it is around 2 per cent of capacity. With two planes coming in every week, we expect supply-demand to be back in balance quickly. Fares have not seen any meaningful spike", Mr Sinha said. Along with the tweet, Mr Sinha posted a statement with an analysis of statistics about engines and aircraft grounded as well as flights cancelled. "1.5 to 2 per cent capacity growth is taking place every month. The capacity impact of this safety measure is expected to be mitigated in a few weeks", he noted. The number of engines grounded is 17 compared to 1174 engines in service and the ratio translates to 1.4%, as per the analysis. In terms of aircraft, Mr Sinha said 14 have been grounded compared to 582 under scheduled operations for a 2.4% ratio. He added that the total number of flights cancelled is 378 in the period from 15-Mar-208 to 21-Mar-2018, while departures planned during this period is 18,781. The "number of flights cancelled over the period/ total departures: 2 per cent", as per the analysis.

IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac, speaking at the 73rd International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations conference, said (16-Mar-2018) aviation is "being challenged by the digital revolution" and "nobody knows what opportunities it will bring". Mr de Juniac warned against an attitude of "complacency" in the view that the airline industry has "transformed itself sufficiently" through the restructurings that already have occurred. According to Mr de Juniac "constant innovation is crucial to survival" and the industry must be open to change not only at the corporate level, but also at the level of daily jobs and responsibilities. [more - original PR]

Spring Airlines Japan announced (16-Mar-2018) the appointment of Toshiyuki Kashihara as president and CEO, succeeding Hiroshi Ugai whom will be retiring, effective 30-Mar-2018. The appointment is subject to approval of the annual general meeting of shareholders on 30-Mar-2018. [more - original PR - English/Japanese]

Thai Airways reported (18-Mar-2018) the following traffic highlights for Feb-2018:

  • Passengers: 1.6 million, +0.9% year-on-year;
  • Passenger traffic (RPKs): +10.3%;
  • Passenger load factor: 81.7%, -2.3ppts;
    • Domestic: 90.2%, +4.0ppts;
    • Europe: 84.4%, -4.2ppts;
    • Australia: 80.8%, +1.6ppts;
    • Regional: 79.2%, -2.3ppts;
  • Cargo: 52,332 tons, +21.7%;
  • Cargo load factor: 76.5%, -0.3ppt. [more - original PR]

IATA noted (16-Mar-2018) periods in which global manufacturing firms have reported a lengthening in their supplier delivery times typically coincide with rising demand for air cargo. The relationship stems from the ability of airfreight to move goods quickly, allowing firms to recover some time in their production processes during busy periods. IATA reported a divergence between delivery times and airfreight demand in recent months and noted current bottlenecks in global supply chains are most acute in capital goods, which are less likely to be transported by air. As a result, although the general increase in supplier delivery times remains supportive of FTK growth, airfreight volumes would not be expected to grow at the double digit rate suggested by the delivery times indicator alone. IATA said while the upward trend in freight volumes has slowed somewhat as the inventory restocking cycle has waned, other indicators remain consistent with solid year on year FTK growth in 1H2018. The association continues to forecast 4.5% FTK growth in 2018, broadly in line with the five year average rate and "a robust outcome following the very strong performance in 2017". [more - original PR]

IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac, speaking at the 73rd International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations conference, stated (16-Mar-2018) airlines are financially "doing better than at any time in their history", with IATA forecasting USD38.4 billion in net industry profit for 2018, the fourth consecutive year in which earnings will exceed the cost of capital. Mr de Juniac noted about half of these profits will be generate in North America and costs are also rising, particularly for fuel, but also for labour. Mr de Juniac also reported the industry is forecast to earn a net margin of just 4.7%. [more - original PR]

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