Lufthansa Cargo denied reports it is considering plans to retire all 19 of its MD-11 cargo aircraft (Reuters, 18-Sep-09). The carrier however has removed three aircraft from service and plans to remove one additional aircraft on 01-Oct-09. Lufthansa forecasts an operating loss for its cargo business in 2009.
Lufthansa Cargo denies plans to ground 19 freight aircraft
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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.
Global Fleet Outlook: Deliveries peak, as order highs decline.
Airlines are set to add more new aircraft than ever before in 2017. After years of record ordering and building backlogs, aircraft manufacturers are making good on their promises to ramp up production. The industry is enjoying record levels of growth and profitability; with solid passenger market fundamentals, and both airlines and leasing companies having access to ready liquidity, cheap debt and plentiful equity capital, making financing fleet orders easier than at any time before the global financial crisis.