Indigo Partners issued (06-Nov-2013) a further statement on the status of the company's pending acquisition of Frontier Airlines from Republic Airways Holdings. The company stated: "Indigo Partners has informed Republic Airways that its planned acquisition of Frontier Airlines will move forward. Major conditions, including agreements with FAPAInvest and Barclaycard are satisfied, as are other commercial and business arrangements. An agreement has not been reached with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA); however, Indigo has informed Republic that it will waive that condition. The transaction is expected to be finalized later this month, subject to receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions." Indigo Partners managing partner William Franke added: "We are pleased about the progress we have made to resolve major issues and move this acquisition toward closing. We look forward to completing the transaction and continuing to extend Frontier’s reach and service as a leading, nationwide ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC)." [more - original PR]
Indigo Partners: Acquisition of Frontier Airllines expected to close in late Nov-2013
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Indigo Partners assesses ultra-low cost airline (ULCC) investment opportunities in Southeast Asia
US airline investment firm Indigo Partners is assessing new low cost airline investment opportunities in Asia with a focus on the ultra-LCC or ULCC model. Indigo has not had an investment in Asia since selling its stake in Singapore-based Tigerair five years ago, but currently has large stakes in LCCs based in Europe and North America.
Indigo believes there could be room for a ULCC in the Southeast Asian market despite already intense competition and a huge LCC order book, because the LCCs now operating in this region are not true to the LCC model. Several Southeast Asian LCCs, including Tigerair, are owned by full service airline groups, leading to a dilution of the typical LCC model.
India is also a market of interest for Indigo. However, the firm is not interested in North Asia at this point, despite that region's much lower LCC penetration rate. Australia is also not of interest as it is already mature.
US airlines Part 2: LCCs and ULCCs face the same cost overhang as their larger rivals
US low cost carriers and ULCCs observed many of the same trends in the country’s marketplace at the end of 2016 as their large global network rivals – namely, that weak pricing trends in the domestic market were improving. Each airline has its own nuanced view of that general operating environment, but they feel encouraged by what they hope is an inflection point in pricing that will lay the groundwork for a return to positive unit revenue.
Those lower cost and ultra-low cost airlines also face similar challenges to their larger counterparts – cost pressure from new labour contracts and rising oil prices. And like their larger rivals, most of the lower cost US airlines are plotting lower capacity growth in 2017 as a means to improve their respective revenue performances.
For now, pricing improvement that began in late 3Q2016 and a bump in demand after the US presidential election are sustaining the cautious optimism expressed by US airlines as 2017 gets under way. But no US airline is ready to declare that pricing traction in the country’s domestic market is on a sustained upswing.
This is Part 2 of two reports examining the outlook for US airlines in 2017.