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CAPA News Briefs

CAPA publishes more than 1,000 global News Briefs every week, covering all aspects of the aviation and travel industry. It’s the most comprehensive source of market intelligence in the world, with around 50 per cent of content translated from non-English sources. The breadth of our coverage means you won’t need any other news sources to monitor competitors and stay informed about the latest developments in the wider aviation sector.

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Below is a sample of the latest news headlines.

Ryanair reported (20-May-2024) a profit after tax (PAT) of EUR1.9 billion for FY2024, ended 31-Mar-2024, compared to EUR1.4 billion in FY2023. The LCC handled 183.7 million passengers during FY2024, an increase of 9% year-on-year, despite Boeing aircraft delivery delays. Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary reported the carrier expects to grow traffic by 8% to approximately 200 million passengers in FY2025. Mr O'Leary stated that with EU short haul capacity constrained, summer 2024 demand is positive with "bookings trending ahead of last year". Mr O'Leary added: "While visibility is limited, and the outcome will be heavily dependent on close-in peak summer 2024 pricing, we remain cautiously optimistic that peak summer 2024 fares will be flat to modestly ahead of last summer... It is therefore too early to be able to provide sensible or accurate FY2025 PAT guidance". [more - original PR]

Frontier Airlines introduced (17-May-2024) changes to its product and customer service offerings, under 'The New Frontier' product. Details include:

  • Upfront pricing and options: New economy, premium and business options include benefits such as no change fees, baggage allowance and seat assignments;
  • No change fees: Zero change or cancellation fees for economy, premium and business customers;
  • Expanded customer benefits and support: Includes the extension of flight credit expiration to 12 months and enhanced live phone support;
  • 'For less' price guarantee: Customers who find a lower price elsewhere can receive 2500 FRONTIER Miles. [more - original PR]

Turkish Airlines announced (16-May-2024) plans to launch the TKCONNECT New Distribution Capability (NDC) platform from 01-Oct-2024. TKCONNECT will offer travel agencies a range of exclusive features and privileges, including differentiated ticket pricing, NDC only promotional fares, rich content supported with visuals and descriptions, enhanced and promoted ancillary services such as excess baggage, seat selection and special equipment. Starting from 01-Oct-2024, Turkish Airlines bookings made via GDSs will incur a distribution cost charge and the carrier's differentiated rich content products will only be available for TKCONNECT users. [more - original PR]

Portugal's Council of Ministers announced (14-May-2024) New Lisbon (Montijo) Airport will be constructed at Campo de Tiro de Alcochete. Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport will cease operations when the new airport is completed. The Portuguese Government decided to temporarily increase Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport's capacity to 45 movements per hour in response to growing demand, with the airport forecasting 39 million passengers in 2030 and over 100 million in 2050. The Council of Ministers also approved Luís de Camões Airport as the official name of New Lisbon Airport. The new airport will feature two runways with capacity for up to 95 movements per hour and the possibility of expanding to up to four runways. Construction of the first runway requires an investment of EUR3.2 billion, with completion scheduled in 2030. Construction of the second runway requires an investment of EUR2.9 billion and is scheduled for completion in 2031. [more - original PR]

easyJet announced (16-May-2024) plans to open a 10th UK base at London Southend Airport from Mar-2025. The carrier will base three A320neo aircraft at the airport and launch six new routes to Pisa, Gran Canaria, Dalaman, Antalya, Marrakech and Enfidha for summer 2025. Additional new routes will be announced in the coming weeks. The investment will create around 130 direct jobs for pilots and crew and additional indirect jobs. easyJet already serves Amsterdam, Geneva, Faro, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Paris CDG from Southend and has handled over seven million passengers from the airport since 2012. [more - original PR]

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) entered (15-May-2024) an agreement with KeyState Energy and CNX Resources to develop a USD1.5 billion plant for the production of hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The facility will be able to produce up to 68,000 metric tonnes of hydrogen or 70 million gallons of SAF p/a. CNX president and CEO Nick Deiuliis stated: "Our goal is to expand end use opportunities of our abundant, ultra low carbon intensity natural gas to drive further emission reductions, create good paying, local jobs, and enhance PIT's position as an innovative sustainable fuel hub". [more - original PR]

ECAir - Equatorial Congo Airlines, via its official Facebook account, announced (10-May-2024) plans to resume operations on 16-May-2024. The carrier's initial network will include Brazzaville, Pointe Noire and Ollombo. As previously reported by CAPA, the carrier's operations have been suspended since 2016.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) announced (15-May-2024) its consortium Gateway Development Alliance submitted a pre-conditional voluntary offer to acquire all shares in Malaysia Airports (MAHB) at an offer price of MYR11 (USD2.34) per share. The consortium is led by Khazanah Nasional through its wholly owned subsidiary UEM Group and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The consortium also includes a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and funds managed by GIP. As of 14-May-2024, the consortium and its parent companies in aggregate own 41.1% of MAHB's issued share capital. Further details include:

  • Upon completion of the offer, Khazanah would increase its ownership in MAHB from 33.2% to 40% and EPF would increase its ownership from 7.9% to 30%. Malaysian investors would therefore own 70% of MAHB. ADIA and GIP would hold the remaining 30%. Malaysia's Government would retain special share rights in MAHB;
  • The consortium aims to support MAHB to deliver "high priority" capital projects. It will also aim to improve passenger flows and expand the retail and food and beverage offering at MAHB's airports;
  • The consortium confirmed there are no plans for layoffs as a result of the offer and that existing employment rights will be safeguarded. There will also be no changes to the passenger service charge rates published by MAVCOM on 12-Mar-2024;
  • A formal offer for MAHB is subject to certain pre-conditions and, when made, will be subject to the consortium owning at least 90% of MAHB's issued share capital. If such conditions are met, it is expected that MAHB's shares would de-list from Bursa Malaysia upon completion of the offer, which is estimated to occur in 4Q2024. [more - original PR]

CAPA - Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled: 'Europe aviation pricing: Ryanair lowers fare outlook, but inflation persists', stated (15-May-2024) Ryanair's new expectation of a low single digit percentage increase brought the airline more in line with other LCCs' commentary on the outlook for yields in summer 2024. Passenger air travel price inflation data shows that EU fare increases have settled in the single digits for many months, after an extended period of double digits in the initial post-pandemic recovery. UK airfare inflation turned negative in Mar-2024, which is the most recent month for which figures are available. Nevertheless, prices in Mar-2024 were 57% higher in the UK and 45% higher in Europe, compared to Mar-2019. Given the strength of these increases, a more consistent weakening seems likely at some point. However, with supply chain induced capacity constraints enduring, it is still too early to call the end of positive inflation rates for air travel in Europe. [more - CAPA Analysis]

Singapore Airlines Group (SIA) reported (15-May-2024) demand for air travel remains "healthy" in Q1FY2024/25, supported by a strong pick up in forward bookings to North Asia and Southeast Asia. SIA stated passenger yields will likely continue to moderate due to increased capacity injection by airlines, especially in Asia Pacific. The group will monitor market conditions and adjust its network in line with demand patterns. Cargo demand strengthened towards the end of FY2023/24, supported by "healthy" e-commerce demand, resilient and growing segments such as perishables and concerts and a shift to airfreight by some shippers due to security concerns in the Red Sea region. The company added: "While yields have held above pre-pandemic levels in FY2024/25, there continues to be downward pressure as industry bellyhold capacity increases". The group will monitor key trade lanes to ensure the competitiveness of the cargo segment. [more - original PR]

Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan announced (14-May-2024) Kazakhstan became the first country in the Commonwealth of Independent States to sign an agreement with ICAO and join the Assistance, Capacity building and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (ACT-SAF) programme. ICAO will assist Kazakhstan in the development and participation in the activities of the ACT-SAF programme, including the exchange of best practices and relevant information, participation in training seminars and training sessions, technical assistance on issues related to SAF in national action plans and the implementation of specific SAF projects. [more - original PR]

Wellington Airport announced (14-May-2024) all pre-COVID-19 routes are now restored, with returned carriers operating at or above pre-pandemic capacity. Qantas Airways is now the airport's largest international airline, "well ahead" of any other airline by total seats and number of return flights. By the end of 2024, Qantas will operate 40% more seats than pre-COVID-19. The airport noted Fiji Airways continues to be "very popular", with 81% more seats flown than pre-pandemic. [more - original PR]