Bangkok Airways to freeze aircraft orders until 2011
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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.
Southeast Asia LCC fleet expansion to reaccelerate in 2017 after rare single digit growth in 2016
Southeast Asia’s low cost airline fleet grew by only 7% in 2016, representing the slowest growth in several years. The region’s two main groups, AirAsia and Lion, both slowed their growth significantly, with AirAsia slightly reducing its Southeast Asian fleet in 2016.
Southeast Asian LCCs ended 2016 with a fleet of 623 aircraft – up a modest 41 aircraft compared to the beginning of the year. The same group of 21 airlines added 67 aircraft in 2015 and 61 aircraft in 2014.
Several airlines responded to overcapacity, which peaked in 2014 following a period of overzealous capacity expansion, by deferring aircraft deliveries. Overcapacity continues to persist in several Southeast Asian markets, but some LCCs are reaccelerating expansion in 2017. Given the sector’s huge order book it is likely 2016 will represent the low point in Southeast Asian LCC fleet growth.