Air Astana awarded (11-Sep-09) Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd a heavy maintenance support contract at London Luton Airport. The agreement, commencing this month, covers two B767 C Checks and an engine change, building on previous work undertaken by Monarch for Air Astana in the UK. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. [more]
Air Astana awards Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd heavy maintenance support contract
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London airports and a new runway: Heathrow the business champion but the biggest growth is elsewhere
As the British government approaches a final decision on the construction of an additional runway in southeast England it is pertinent to look at how passenger traffic is developing at the two main airports that are in contention – Heathrow and Gatwick, and at the next two largest London area airports, Stansted and Luton.
While Luton stepped back from the runway debate (its ‘proposal’ was submitted by a third party), the management at Stansted Airport (M.A.G), having been knocked back by the Airport Commission’s report, has found renewed vigour as the scope of the objections to both Heathrow and Gatwick expansion became clear. Indeed, the suggestion that the government might decide to let airports compete, rather than itself funnel resources into one location, has inspired M.A.G. to revisit its own ambitions for Stansted.
That is assuming of course that a decision is ever reached, as, unbelievably, it has been postponed yet again while the Prime Minister, Mrs May, ensures that a Cabinet transport sub-committee that is known to be divided on the issue has a good debate about it. Then, having made a recommendation, MPs - also divided - will have another year to argue over it and - perhaps - fail to reach a consensus.
Air Astana Part 2: Kazakhstan flag carrier to accelerate expansion, adopt single hub, pursue IPO
Kazakhstan’s Air Astana is planning to accelerate expansion as part of a new 10-year business plan. The airline could potentially double in size over the next 10 years, driven by growth in transit traffic.
Under the new business plan Air Astana will likely focus on adding new destinations in China and South Asia while growing capacity to most of its existing destinations. A switch from a dual to single hub strategy will also help support an increase in transit traffic, which is expected to account for 30% of total traffic compared with approximately 10% currently.
Transit traffic will unlock a new growth phase for Air Astana, which has experienced a significant slowdown in growth over the last three years. However pursuing rapid expansion and more transit traffic can be risky, leading to more intense competition and requiring significant investment. An IPO, which is back in the pipeline after several years of delays, would help fund the expansion – assuming that investors are not scared away by the risk associated with competing against larger network airlines.