The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the Euro area increased 0.4% in Apr-2011 to 109.0 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5% decrease in Mar-2011 and a 0.7% increase in Feb-2011. The Conference Board stated the increase signals volatility and a cooling down in the pace of growth in the near term rather than a downturn in economic activity. The continuing European debt crisis and recurring uncertainty about its resolution are reminders of the fragility of the economic outlook for the Euro area, particularly in the second half of the year. [more]
Euro area economic recovery remains fragile
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Europe's big five airline groups embrace disruption via digital innovation; some more than others
Many of Europe's leading airline groups are acknowledging the importance of establishing dedicated incubator and/or accelerator programmes to innovate in digital technology. On 24-Apr-2017 IAG announced that it had invested in two new technology companies – Esplorio and Vchain Tech. These are the first two investments under its Hangar 51 accelerator programme in partnership with L Marks, an innovation specialist and early stage investor.
IAG's investments followed easyJet's announcement earlier this year that its partnership with the incubator Founders Factory had selected two travel startups for its accelerator programme. The Lufthansa Group established its Innovation Hub in 2014 and started a new partnership with Californian startup investor ‘Plug and Play’ in 2016. While these three groups chose external partners, Ryanair has its inhouse Labs team, set up in 2014. Air France-KLM is alone among Europe's big five airline groups in not having a distinct and dedicated digital incubator/accelerator programme, but it has recognised digital's strategic importance.
Much of the airlines' rhetoric concerning these developments suggests that they are trying to associate themselves with the forces of disruption, but this will take more than rhetoric. CAPA has argued previously that the airline industry has been slow to prepare for disruption, but some are at least making a start.