JetBlue to defer delivery of 16 Embraer jets
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Southwest Airlines:domestic changes, continued international expansion, as overall 2017 growth slows
Southwest Airlines plans lower system capacity growth in 2017. The company joins other US airlines working feverishly to return to positive unit revenue as oil prices and labour costs are forecast to rise for most of the country’s airlines.
Even as Southwest’s capacity increases are projected to fall year-on-year in 2017 the airline is broadening its international reach with the debut of new flights from Fort Lauderdale, and is making moves in its domestic network.
This includes its decision to launch service from Cincinnati, a market that has attracted significant low cost service during the past two to three years as its hub status for Delta has diminished. Southwest’s service entry at Cincinnati comes at the cost of flights from Akron and Dayton, which is not surprising, given Cincinnati’s potential to garner higher revenue.
Although Southwest cited some positive trends at the end of 2016, it struck a cautious tone about the operating environment in the US, noting that while yields were improving, the revenue environment remains challenging. US airlines, including Southwest, are being closely watched after declaring they will return to positive unit revenue in 1H2017.
Thai Airways Outlook Part 3: new five-year plan to result in more orders, potentially faster growth
The Thai Airways Group is determining a growth rate and assessing its aircraft needs for the medium to long term as part of a new five-year plan. The new plan should be completed by mid-2017 and may result in new narrowbody and widebody aircraft orders by the end of 2017.
Thai Airways is at an important juncture with its fleet as it has only 12 outstanding aircraft orders, all of which will be delivered in 2017 and 2018. The group currently does not have any commitments for additional narrowbody aircraft, which are needed to continue pursuing regional international growth at its full service subsidiary Thai Smile in line with its current multi-brand strategy.
New widebody aircraft are also required for growth and replacements, starting with its ageing 747-400 fleet. The group’s widebody passenger fleet will increase from 72 to 77 aircraft by the end of 2017, partially offsetting recent reductions in the fleet.