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Two leaders of the aircraft leasing business, Air Lease Corporation’s Executive Chairman of the Board, Steven Udvar-Hazy, and BOC Aviation’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Martin, joined CAPA’s Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit in Seville earlier this month to give their perspectives on the outlook for the fast growing sector. In an absorbing session, when asked what they look for in an airline business model, Mr Udvar-Hazy said, “there are literally dozens of different factors that we consider when making these decisions”, including the credit structure, management talent and capital structure of the business, as well as the competitive landscape, network, long term strategy and break-even point.
The CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit is the only strategy event dedicated to the new frontier of low cost travel: long haul. New aircraft technologies, evolving passenger preferences and stable fuel prices are pushing LCCs (and restructuring full service airlines) to consider new growth opportunities. High fare long haul markets are ripe for disruption and airports/destinations are aggressively courting new routes. New city pairs are emerging, and secondary airports are featuring regularly in the long haul low cost networks. But it’s not just fuel efficient widebody equipment that’s changing the game – the new long haul narrowbodies are opening up vast new opportunities for airlines – and they’ll be entering the fleets of airlines around the world in large numbers in the coming years. The implications are profound, touching the entire travel value chain from airports to accommodation, ground transportation, distribution/payment and technology – and even corporate travel.
- The role of low cost long haul subsidiaries in full service carrier groups
- The viability of independent low cost long haul carriers vs those that belong to large LCC groupings
- The LCCs’ evolving relationships with airports
- Low cost long haul to short haul connectivity
- Virtual interlining, and the role of new-generation equipment in enabling the growth of the model – including the impact of long haul narrowbodies on traditional high fare markets
3D SeatMapVR allows passengers, like never before, to know the seat they are booking, through an immersive 3D 360º view from their specific position during the booking process. It has already been recognised having won a Crystal Cabin Award in the Visionary Concepts category, and the technology has already been introduced by Emirates Airline.
FlyPOP’s business model is predicated on the fact that the South Asian diaspora in the UK (and North America) are underserved by the global aviation industry. Despite the significant VFR demand in flying non-stop to major tier two cities in South Asia, most cannot be reached directly. The start-up airline plans to put an end to this and disrupt the industry by putting the passenger first.
TroopTravel aims to take the complexity out of organising meetings. The award-winning platform uses big data and machine learning to connect thousands of data points to find the best location for meetings based on individual requirements, comparing flight and hotel cost, visa requirements and CO2 impact in the process.
The Butterfly Flexible Seating Solution is a flatbed suite that is instantly transformable into two reclining seats, giving operators the flexibility to respond to demand fluctuations and adapt to market differences on a flight by flight basis.
David Doctor, VP strategy & marketing, airlines, Amadeus, highlights how the travel technology specialist is already active within the Low Cost Long Haul space and working to help airlines on their digitalisation journey to stay relevant in both today’s and tomorrow’s emerging marketplace.
Ching Kiat Lim, managing director, air hub development, Changi Airport Group, highlights how the Low Cost Long Haul sector could help the airport secure service to some of its strongest unserved markets.
Paul Byrne, senior vice president, flynas, highlights how religious travel habits into Saudi Arabia could help form the backbone of a successful Low Cost Long Haul operation for the carrier based around a fleet of up to 300-seat aircraft serving markets such as Indonesia, Morocco and others.
Vinod Kannan, chief commercial officer, Scoot Tigerair, highlights how one of the pioneers of the Low Cost Long Haul model operates; how new aircraft are driving economic and operational benefits; the important feeder role Tigerair now plays; being part of a bigger airlines group and the positives and negatives it can bring; and the increasingly important role of technology.