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被国内市场约束的海南航空

Analysis

 CAPA的最新系列报告“航司未来规划“中指出通过分析关键航空公司的远期运力和班次计划以及机队利用率趋势,航空市场,至少是国内市场,已有些许复苏的早期迹象。海南航空作为中国第四大航空公司,将与中国国航,中国东方航空和中国南方航空一同列为这一新系列的报导分析对象,旨在为瞬息万变的航空公司战略部署提供独到的解析。

海航头条:

·        国内市场:海南航空正在经历间断式的市场复苏,就国内运力来说,短期内(2020年4月)是中国四大航空公司中最保守谨慎的,同时,海航对于五一劳动节假期期间的运力部署是四大航中最不乐观的。 

·        国际市场:对比两周前提交的预期计划,海航至少减半了其预期的国际座位数量,由于近期大量的中国海外务工人员和留学生的回流导致了COVID-19境外输入病例的激增,中国民航总局对此作出了新的限制(五个一政策),新规定下本土以及国外航空公司将大幅度削减在华的国际航线及数量。海航的国际市场运力也下降了96%,并且会至少维持这种“新常态”直至2020年4月。

Summary

  • Domestic: Hainan Airlines has experienced a choppy domestic ‘recovery’ and is the most cautious near term (April) of the four largest Chinese airlines in terms of capacity planning and the most pessimistic in terms of capacity deployment plans for the May Labor Day holiday period onwards.

  • International: Hainan Airlines more than halved its expectations for international seat capacity production, compared to schedule plans filed just a fortnight ago. COVID-19 cases have jumped with returning Chinese workers and students, resulting in new restrictions that will dramatically pare back the international networks of Chinese airlines and foreign carriers to China. Hainan Airlines’ 96% drop in international capacity is the ‘new normal’ for at least the next month (Apr-2020).

In this new CAPA series, ‘Airline Future Plans’, reviews the forward capacity/schedule plans and fleet utilisation trends of key airlines that have shown some early signs of recovery, at least in their domestic markets. Privately owned Hainan Airlines, the fourth largest airline in China, joins coverage on Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines in this new series, which aims to provide insights into the fast-changing airline strategy. 

Report sources: CAPA Fleet Database. OAG
Insights are drawn from the latest weekly flight schedules filed with OAG with aircraft configuration data applied from the CAPA Fleet Database, to produce the Schedule Analysis tools. https://centreforaviation.com/data/fleet

For other airlines in this series please see:

COVID-19 recovery: Air China files May holiday sched at 2019 levels

COVID-19 Recovery: China Eastern Airlines regains lost ground

COVID-19 recovery: China Southern Airlines' intensive recovery effort

 

Hainan Airlines' slower recovery than the three majors in domestic seat capacity 

Like its main rivals, Hainan Airlines’ domestic airline capacity levels bottomed out in mid-February, according to CAPA Membership Schedule Analysis data, but the struggling carrier has not replaced capacity as readily as its competitors. 

海南航空每周国内总座位数量(百万)

The graph above plots the forward capacity based on consecutive weekly changes in forward filings of schedules with OAG.

This provides a rare insight into airline planning, with massive weekly changes reflecting the highly volatile environment airlines are working in.  The purple dotted line shows Hainan’s plans from three weeks ago, the orange line was from two weeks ago, the blue is last week’s expectation, and the green line is showing this week’s plan. 

From a high at the end of Jan-2020 of just under 3.5 million seats, Hainan Airlines’ domestic production plummeted

  • Hainan Airlines’ domestic seat volume collapsed to a low of just 95,000 seats for the w/c 17-Feb-2020, until the CAAC stepped in and mandated, with measures of support, flying operations.

  • The following week saw an increase before a bigger reapplication of capacity, back up to 307,000 seats for the w/c 02-Mar-20. The following week saw a drop back to 244,000 seats and then another rise to a new high of 402,000 seats w/c 23-Mar-20.

  • Filings for w/c 23-Mar-2020 originally forecast a continuation of this increase in seats, to around 714,000 per week and then stabilisation for most of Apr-2020. However, subsequent schedules filed for w/c 30-Mar-2020 and then through 06-Apr-2020 show a continuing decrease down to 297,000. A small kick is then forecast for the end of Apr-2020 with a rise to 438,000 for w/c 27-Apr-2020 but then a big drop back down to 179,000 from the beginning of May-2020.  

  • Schedules filed from May-2020 onwards are showing a continuation of this low of around 179,000 seats.

International seat capacity near zero, and staying there

Hainan Airlines more than halved its expectations for international seat capacity production, compared to plans filed just a fortnight ago. COVID-19 cases have jumped with returning Chinese workers and students, resulting in new restrictions that will dramatically pare back the international networks of Chinese airlines and foreign carriers to China.

Hainan Airlines’ 96% drop in international capacity is the ‘new normal’ for at least the next month (Apr-2020).

海南航空每周国际总座位数量(百万);计划大幅度增加

Hainan Airlines international key points:

  • Hainan Airlines’ international seat capacity dropped -96% in early Feb-2020, bottoming out during w/c 17-Feb-2020 at 4,000 seats per week from a high of just over 100,000 seats.

  • Schedule filings for the w/c 16-Mar-2020 predicted an optimistic rise back up to around 80,000 seats - and remaining there through April and May, but those hopes have faded.

  • The latest available schedule filings w/c 13-Apr-2020 now show a drop back to a new low of between 580 and 1100 seats until 27-Apr-20 when a small increase to 8,500 is forecast, rising to a new plateau of 38,000 seats from 04-May-2020, a -68% drop year-on-year. This level is then forecast to remain until the end of Jun-2020 before it is forecast to rise up to 81,000 seats from Jul-2020, which is 51% below 2019 levels. 

Hainan Airlines, via its official Weibo account, announced in late March that its international network from 29-Mar-2020 until 02-May-2020 would comprise of just two routes, served once per week, as follows:

  • Beijing Capital-Toronto;

  • Beijing Capital-Brussels.

The carrier is therefore virtually wholly reliant on the domestic market to see it through the coming few months.

Hainan Airlines’ inactive fleet swells 

Hainan Airlines’ inactive fleet is currently the highest among China’s four major airlines at above 60%. More widebody aircraft have been grounded, reflecting the virtual shut-down of its international network till early May-2020. 

海南航空停飞机队(占总机队的百分比):2020年1月至3月

 

海南航空现有机队数量: 截至2020年4月13日

海南航空机队的订单与交付:2020-2025年

Appendix 1. Who is Hainan Airlines?

As with the other Chinese airline groups, Hainan Airlines has a complex web, sometimes interlocking, of subsidiaries and partial ownerships, as outlined below. For most purposes, unlike the big three, its ownership and directive controls are independent of government.

Its main owners are Hainan Airlines Group and HNA Technology Group, which between them control almost 80%. Grand China Air and George Soros' American Aviation LDC hold another 24.6%. The Soros group at one time held 25% of the airline, on the back of a USD25 million investment, in the latter years of the 20th century at a time when Hainan Airlines was a fledgling.

Its intimate relationship with the Hainan government and the government's tourism goals was highlighted when on 10-Mar-2020 the airline committed to launch more than 40 international services by 2022, in support of Hainan Province's goal to open 100 international services and attract two million inbound tourists in the next three to five years.