Avianova reportedly stated it expects to return to profit in 2012 although it is facing challenges at present as its key investor seeks to sell its stake and it is facing a lack of funds to support fleet expansion (St Petersburg Times, 13-Jul-2011). Despite this, Alf Group's investment arm A1 Investment Company has reportedly decided to sell its 51% stake in the LCC in late 2010, according to former MD of the investment group, Dmitry Chernyak (Vedomosti/Moscow Times/Moscow News, 07-Jul-2011). The LCC has reportedly been up for sale for several months, and has been offered to Aeroflot. Aeroflot, however, decided not to acquire the stake. A1 is reportedly seeking USD70 million for the Avianova stake. A1 and Indigo Partners have reportedly invested USD65 million in the airline, which requires a further investment of USD30 million-40 million. Due to a lack of funds, the carrier has reportedly cancelled plans to expand its fleet of six A320s to 10, resulting in a reduction in passenger levels and market share for the carrier.
Avianova facing short-term challenges despite expectation of profit
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SunExpress: "Lufthansa's biggest strategic project"
The Turkish leisure airline SunExpress and its German subsidiary SunExpress Germany have historically had a fairly low profile, certainly among European air travellers. Nevertheless, their combined total of 7.9 million passengers puts SunExpress in the top 20 European airline groups in 2016, ahead of Brussels Airlines.
Jointly owned by Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, SunExpress and its German counterpart brought about a consolidated result that fell into loss in 2016 as passenger numbers and revenue both declined. When the observer scratches beneath the surface of the headline figures, a picture of significant strategic change at SunExpress Germany starts to emerge.
The larger Turkish SunExpress has maintained its focus on Turkey-Germany routes, whereas SunExpress Germany has abandoned this country pair. It has instead developed leisure routes from Germany to elsewhere in Europe and in North Africa, in spite of not having an obvious competitive advantage in those markets. Within these new market areas, SunExpress Germany has undergone substantial changes in its route portfolio. Lufthansa wetleases capacity from SunExpress Germany for its Eurowings low cost operation and this may help to make some sense of these outwardly random network changes.
LOT Polish Airlines: new LA service highlights value of long haul; short haul heat from LCCs remains
On 3-Apr-2017 LOT launched its longest direct service, between Warsaw and Los Angeles, deploying Boeing 787-8 aircraft. Los Angeles is LOT’s fourth North American destination and its first regular service to any US west coast destination. It is also the only direct flight anywhere between Central Europe and the US west coast. Warsaw-Newark and Krakow-Chicago route launches will follow later in summer 2017.
As it is with its other long haul routes, which also include three Asian destinations, LOT is aiming the new LA service not only at O&D traffic from Warsaw, but also squarely at passengers travelling to Southern California from across the Central European region. LOT is the only significant long haul operator in the region and the only one serving Los Angeles. Its Warsaw Chopin hub is the only airport between Vienna and Moscow with more than 1,000 long haul flights per year.
On short/medium haul, competition from LCCs Ryanair and Wizz Air is intense. Both have more seat capacity in Poland than LOT, whose new unbundled fare structure reflects the need to adopt some of their tactics. Long haul, where there is far less competition for LOT, is set to remain its strategic growth priority.