Bahrain Air plans to finalise the purchase of three Airbus aircraft this year, and has cancelled plans to order a fourth, due to the global financial downturn (Reuters, 14-Sep-09). The carrier currently operates eight A320/A319 aircraft.
Bahrain Air to finalise purchase of three Airbus aircraft this year
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Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew: "Something very wrong in the (Asian) long haul market"
Peter Bellew spent a decade at Ryanair before joining Malaysia Airlines in late 2015, initially as COO before being promoted to CEO in mid 2016. Mr Bellew held a wide range of positions during his tenure at Ryanair – including in operations, training, sales and marketing – providing ample exposure to Michael O’Leary’s unique approach to running an airline.
The new Malaysia Airlines strategy being implemented by Mr Bellew is decidedly non LCC. In recent months the government owned airline has reinforced its premium position, invested in its full service product, resisted unbundling, and pursued closer relationships with travel agents. However, Mr Bellew’s approach with supplier negotiations and media seems at times Ryanair-esque.
Mr Bellew has been extremely blunt in media interviews, public speeches and private meetings. He is not shy to talk about industry weaknesses and challenges – as well as opportunities to secure additional aircraft at bargain basement prices.
Alaska Air Group ups merger synergy targets as the margins for 2017 compress
Alaska Air Group has revised projected synergies from its merger with Virgin America upwards in both costs and revenue as it leverages the power of a larger network with a broader footprint in California, and uses the combined fleet to maximise profitability on transcontinental routes by placing higher gauge aircraft in those markets.
The existing Airbus narrowbodies operated by Virgin America will remain in the combined airline’s fleet for the foreseeable future. As a result, those aircraft are being reconfigured to offer standard interiors, including Alaska’s first class seat.
Similarly to Virgin America prior to the merger, Alaska has decided that a lie flat seat offering does not fit into its strategy in the contested US transcontinental market. In fact, choosing not to develop a lie flat product could put Alaska in a more favourable position when an (inevitable) economic down cycle occurs.
Despite the more favourable synergy estimates, Alaska will face some margin pressure due to Virgin America’s overall lower margin business. However, even though its margins are likely to drop in 2017, Alaska is stressing that its pretax margin performance will best the industry average.