BAA stated that London Heathrow Airport has “no long-term future as a major hub airport” (The Sunday Times, 01-May-2011). The airport operator believes it can maintain Heathrow’s position as the world’s busiest international airport for 15 years “at the very best”, before the government’s refusal to increase runway capacity will result in growth moving to the competing hubs of Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Madrid Barajas. London Heathrow fell to the fourth busiest airport in the world in 2010 from second in 2009, falling behind Beijing Capital and Chicago O'Hare.
BAA concedes: Heathrow is in decline
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Frontier markets its product differently from other US ULCCs, giving passengers the options to purchase product in a bundled form or a la carte, but it still maintains ultra low fares. However, Frontier couldn’t escape the pricing pressure that permeated the US market in 2016, joining the majority of the country’s airlines in posting distinct yield and unit revenue declines.
Obviously, despite the pricing pressure and changing dynamics in the US market, Frontier remains bullish on the opportunities for ULCCs in the market place, concluding that numerous markets exist for it to operate profitably with low fares.
During the past several years Frontier’s network focus has been somewhat murky. Now Frontier’s network strategy is targeting high fare, underserved routes. And like its rival Spirit, Frontier also singles out medium sized markets that offer some protection from larger competitors.
Virgin Atlantic: much has changed under CEO Kreeger, but it remains an enigma
A little more than four years since CEO Craig Kreeger took the helm at Virgin Atlantic: it has refocused its network even more strongly on routes across the Atlantic, replaced around one third of its fleet with new and more efficient aircraft, successfully developed a joint venture on UK-US routes with its 49% shareholder Delta Air Lines, and improved its focus on financial performance. It has also launched and then closed its UK domestic operation, Little Red.
The publication of Virgin Atlantic's 2016 annual report in late Mar-2017 demonstrated that its profitability is improving, but remains very slim in margin terms.
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