All the latest original video content from CAPA, featuring interviews, presentations and debates with aviation industry leaders.
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.
Air Black Box co-founder and group head of product Timothy O’Neil Dunne discusses how the technology company has evolved over the last two years. The U-Fly and Value alliances selected in 2016 ABB’s Air Connection Engine, which enables LCCs to connect and interline without the traditional complexities or cost. However, U-Fly Alliance members have not yet implemented the product and implementation by Value Alliance members has been slower than initially expected, leading to limited cross-bookings. Mr O’Neil-Dunne talks about the challenges encountered and the future opportunities, particularly at the Value Alliance as it starts to focus more on interline connections.
Allegiant Air VP fleet planning and corporate finance Robert Neal discusses the phase out late this year of the MD-80, which has been the backbone of Allegiant’s fleet for more than a decade. Allegiant plans to add 10 A319s and 20 A320s in 2018 as it phases out its last 37 MD-80s. While the total fleet is declining by seven aircraft, Allegiant continues to expand due to higher utilisation and the need for fewer spares as it transitions to an all A320 family fleet. The airline has no intentions of adding A321s or A321neoLRs, which would provide Allegiant the range to operate across the Atlantic. Mr Neal talks about why Allegiant plans to stick with A319s/A320s and the possibility of expanding into the international market with flights to nearby Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) CEO Joe Leader talks about how LCCs in the US are at the forefront of passenger experience innovation. APEX sees opportunities for similar innovation at LCCs in Southeast Asia, which are generally behind in areas such as providing Internet connectivity. Mr Leader also talks about the fast expanding long haul low cost sector, where passenger experience is particularly important.
Embraer VP Asia Pacific Cesar Pereira discusses the outlook and market opportunities in Asia for smaller jets of up to 150 seats. The new E2-190 was in Asia for the first time in Feb-2018 for the Singapore Airshow, where feedback from potential customers was positive. Embraer recently secured certification from the FAA, EASA and Brazil’s ANAC for the E2-190, paving the way for delivery of the first aircraft to Norway’s Wideroe in Apr-2018.
flyadeal CEO Con Korfiatis discusses the LCC’s expansion since it commenced operations in Sep-2017 and the expansion plans for the remainder of this year. flyadeal currently serves six domestic destinations in Saudi Arabia with a fleet of five A320s. flyadeal plans to add three more aircraft over the next three months, fulfilling its initial commitment with leasing companies for eight new A320ceos. Mr Korfiatis expects flyadeal to make a decision by Jun-2018 on an RFP with Airbus and Boeing for 30 firm aircraft plus 20 options. flyadeal aims to add two to four aircraft in 2H2018 and add eight to 10 aircraft in 2019. These aircraft could be sourced from the order it places by Jun-2018 or separately. flyadeal’s network will grow by another two domestic destinations over the next few months and international flights will begin in 2Q2018 or 3Q2018 following delivery of the eighth or ninth aircraft. flyadeal is now evaluating five or six international destinations – but will start with two – and is also evaluating airports in Saudi Arabia for a potential second base after Jeddah.
Cebu Pacific chief operations advisor Rick Howell discusses the upcoming launch of Melbourne and how Cebu Pacific has succeeded with long haul flights to Australia while the Middle East has struggled. Cebu Pacific cut back its long-haul network in 2017 from five to two destinations, Melbourne and Dubai, as three unprofitable routes to the Middle East were suspended. Mr Howell also discusses plans for Cebu Pacific’s future fleet of A321ceos and A321neos and the growing role of cargo. Cebu Pacific plans to receive seven A321ceos in 2018 and expects to receive the first of 32 A321neos late this year. Cebu Pacific has opted for a palletised underfloor for all its A321s.
HK Express Commercial Director Jonathan Hutt discusses the airline’s new commercial plan, interline strategy and opportunities for growing the network. The airline is looking at serving potential secondary airports in Japan, where HK Express already has nine destinations that account for 60% of its total traffic. HK Express’ initial interline to Phuket with Hong Kong Airlines has been successful, leading the partnership to be expanded to more HK Express destinations in Southeast Asia. HK Express also has begun interlining with Delta Air Lines and will soon begin interlining with Virgin Australia. A new partnership with Dohop will facilitate more interline partnerships.
Uriel Aviation Holdings Vice Chairman Andrew Cowen discusses Uriel’s portfolio and opportunities for growth. Uriel’s loyalty programme, Reward-U, has grown quickly since it was established in 2015 and now has 1.2 million members. On average 20% of HK Express passengers are now paying for their flights partially or fully with their points. Uriel intends to bring in a new strategic investor or investors for Reward-U, helping expand the programme to Chinese partners including members of the U-Fly Alliance. Mr Cowen said three new airlines have signed up to join U-Fly which will should be announced shortly.
Vanilla Air Senior EVP Mioka Yamamuro discusses the airline’s expansion plans for 2018 and expected benefits of its membership in Value Alliance. Vanilla Air is taking an additional A320, its 15th, later this month and launching service from Fukuoka to Taipei, its fourth Japan-Taiwan route. Value Alliance has generated some bookings, particularly passengers transferring from Value Alliance international to Vanilla domestic flights at Tokyo Narita, but volumes have so far been low. Ms Yamamuro expects higher interline volume as the Value Alliance website is relaunched and members start promoting their offline destinations.