South Korea's Incheon International Airport Corp aviation marketing director Yuh Tae Soo said the company is interested in London Stansted if available for sale, according to Bloomberg and Business Times reports. "We lost out on Edinburgh, but we'd be interested in Stansted and we have a bid team that's watching the situation. We're looking at opportunities in Europe, Southeast Asia and around the world," he said. BAA CEO Colin Matthews has said he is still hopeful of retaining London Stansted in an appeal against a forced sale, and that the company has taken no steps towards a disposal.
Incheon International Airport interested in London Stansted
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Korean LCCs: fleet surpasses 100 aircraft but market faces growth constraints; China the latest
Korea's LCC sector ended 2016 with 103 aircraft – the first time the collective fleet had crossed the 100 mark for what, until recently, was Northeast Asia's most dynamic market. Korea has six LCCs, with Jeju Air regaining a strong lead as the largest LCC. Half of Korea's LCC fleet has been added in the last three years. It is Northeast Asia's largest LCC market after China and, surprisingly, well ahead of Japan.
But overall Northeast Asia's LCC sector is pale in comparison to Southeast Asia, whose LCCs operate 74% more aircraft. Lion Air alone has more aircraft than all of Korea, while the AirAsia Group has more than all of China. Only three of East Asia's ten largest LCCs are in Northeast Asia.
And it is unclear how much further Korea's LCCs can grow in the short term. They have mostly flown domestically, and slots are now constrained. International opportunities are also challenging, and further complicated by the Jan-2017 decision of China to reject charter applications during the popular – and very profitable – Chinese New Year. Korea's LCCs needed liberalisation, not antagonism.
Global Airport Development Conference report: Trump, Brexit, pipelines and PPPs. Part 2
This report on the Global Airport Development Conference held in Lisbon on 29-Nov to 01-Dec-2016 covers the proceedings of Day 2 of the event.