Germany's Munich Airport reported (14-Jan-2013) a 2% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers to a new record of 38.4 million in 2012. The airport also reported its highest utlisation rate since the airport opened in 1992, with load factor increasing by 1 ppt to 74.5% as airlines deploy larger aircraft. The airport attributed the growth in passenger traffic to above-average gains in the European traffic segment. Services between Munich and continental destinations increased 3% to 23 million passengers. Munich Airport operator FMG CEO Michael Kerkloh said the airport once again "exceeded the Germany-wide average for traffic growth". Amid the Europe-wide economic and financial crisis, Munich Airport reported a 4.4% decline in airfreight and mail to 290,301 tons. Aircraft movements at the airport fell 2.9% to 398,039, with the airport unable to offer "additional connections at high-demand periods nor allow new airlines to set up operations here. That means that the demand from airlines and their passengers can now no longer be met", according to Mr Kerkloh. [more - original PR]
Munich Airport handles record 38.4 million pax in 2012, unable to meet new demand
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The better news is that, with shareholder Etihad's support, airberlin has sufficient liquidity to continue, and it has a restructuring plan with a new CEO. If the story of losses, Etihad support, restructuring and a new CEO sounds familiar, it is because it is. Airberlin has been through this almost as many times as Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day.
Crucially, though, the latest restructuring does seem genuinely radical. As new CEO Thomas Winkelmann has said, airberlin used to be a "Jack of all trades", but master of none. Past restructurings made it a Jack of fewer trades, but never fully resolved this lack of focus. The current plan brings it focus as a network airline – scaling down, and largely exiting from leisure. There is still much execution to be done, and competitive conditions are unlikely to ameliorate, but Mr Winkelmann may have a better chance than his predecessors.
Lufthansa: mainline pilot deal, growing Ryanair threat at Frankfurt; Eurowings vital to both.
The Lufthansa Group's juggling act continues to impress with the sheer number of balls that it has sought to keep in the air over the past year.
Striving for labour productivity improvements in its mainline operations, while also attempting to minimise industrial unrest; expanding its Eurowings low cost brand through organic growth, while also integrating the acquisition of Brussels Airlines and the wet lease of aircraft from airberlin; facing the growing threat of Ryanair's entry into its biggest hub at Frankfurt, while seeking to maintain a good relationship with the airport's owner Fraport; keeping positive momentum in its financial performance after earning more than its cost of capital in 2014-2016, while the global cycle may have reached a peak.
In the same week as reporting solid, if unspectacular, financial results for 2016, Lufthansa has achieved a break through agreement with its pilots over pay and conditions. As a strategic tool, Eurowings helped it to reach this agreement, but the LCC subsidiary now needs to become financially successful.
Later in Mar-2017, Ryanair will start its first four Frankfurt routes, to which it will add 20 more next winter. Eurowings will need to be part of Lufthansa's response to this growing competitive threat.