United Airlines operated its first 787 service, Houston Intercontinental-Chicago O’Hare, on 04-Nov-2012 (dailytech.com, 05-Nov-2012). The service departed Houston Intercontinental at 7:20 local time arriving in Chicago O’Hare 10 minutes ahead of schedule. United CEO Jeff Smisek said, "I want to thank my co-workers who worked so carefully and professionally to get United certified to operate the Dreamliner. Many people from across the company put in a lot of work to help us induct and prepare to operate the 787, and I'm proud to share this important day with all of them."
United operates first 787 service
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Aeromexico: slightly higher 2017 capacity growth as confidence of Delta JV approval remains high
Mexico’s largest airline, Aeromexico, plans slightly higher capacity growth in 2016, mostly driven by added frequencies to its long haul markets in Asia and Europe. Its preliminary guidance shows an ASK increase in the low single digits versus 8% growth in 2016. Similarly to 2016, much of Aeromexico’s capacity should be deployed to international markets as the airline sheds three Boeing 777 widebodies and adds five 787-9s to its fleet.
Aeromexico and Delta continue to believe US regulators will approve their immunised cross-border joint venture by YE2016, and are planning to increase their combined daily flights between the two countries by 43% during the next two years. The joint venture is a major pillar of Aeromexico’s transborder strategy going forward as Delta prepares to exert more influence over Aeromexico’s strategy. Some of Aeromexico’s and Delta’s rivals are lobbying for the two airlines to relinquish more slots at Mexico City Juarez, which could become a factor in the government’s final decision.
In the near term Aeromexico’s outlook is relatively stable, despite continuing challenges from the depreciation of Mexico’s currency. The airline’s revenue generation for the 9M ending Sep-2016 was favourable, driven by increases in yields and load factors.
NOTE: This report was prepared before the DoT issued its decision in the Aeromexico-Delta joint venture
LATAM Airlines Group: encouraging signs emerge in Latin America - but caution prevails
LATAM Airlines Group is forecasting higher system capacity growth in 2017, but also slightly higher margins as a slow economic recovery in Latin America sets in. The company has significantly cut its domestic capacity in Brazil during the past couple of years, but decreases for 2017 are less intense as LATAM balances rightsizing capacity with maintaining a certain level of market share.
Despite the tough conditions in Latin America that persisted throughout much of 2016 LATAM continued building its network utility for the long term, launching several new flights from its hub in Lima and new long haul service to Johannesburg. The company’s international expansion continues into 2017 with new long haul flights to Melbourne, as well as additional intra Latin America service.
One big strategy shift LATAM is beginning to undertake in 2017 is the launch of a new pricing structure to compete more effectively with low cost airlines operating in the region. Key to successfully executing that strategy is keeping its cost in line, in order to adapt its pricing models to new competitive realities within the Latin American market.