Mega-Trend 5: Meet the New Entrants

New airlines will cause more pain for incumbents. As incumbent airlines of whatever colour are weighed down by debt and high costs, conditions are perfect for new entry; money is cheap, there is a glut of skills, and of cheap aircraft; even airport slots are opening up.

The time is as right as it has ever been – but at a time when the incumbents can least afford it. Since the pandemic struck in early-2020, no less than 46 new airlines had started up in the 18 month to mid-2021; there were at least 36 more startup airlines in the throes of preparing to operate. These new entrants will be fundamentally low cost and mostly narrowbody.

While most of them are relatively small, many are well funded and more than sufficient to disrupt existing markets. Not surprisingly, lessors will again be important here, as start-ups prefer not to spend capital on buying aircraft – and a number of lessors have eyes specifically on this new opportunity. Narrowbodies will inevitably be prominent in the new wave.

ModeratorStrikitsa Consulting, Managing Director, Yolanta Strikitsa

  • Emerald Airlines, CEO, Conor McCarthy
  • Eurowings Discover, CEO, Wolfgang Raebiger
  • Flypop, CEO, Nino Singh Judge
  • Play, CEO, Birgir Jónsson

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