Zambezi Airlines' Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) has reportedly been restored, however, its aircraft are not permitted to make scheduled services until it meets other financial and safety requirements (The Times of Zambia, 11-Jan-2012). Transport and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga stated the lifting of the suspension was procedural but a tribunal will have to determine whether the requirements were met during the suspension before the carrier can operate again. Zambezi Airlines was suspended from operations in early Nov-2011 (UK Zambians, 01-Nov-2011). According to OAG, the carrier was operating three Boeing 737-500 aircraft.
Zambezi Airlines' AOC restored
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American Airlines and Norwegian forge new partnerships for global reach: CAPA Americas Summit
American Airlines' recent pursuit of China Southern, and Norwegian’s partnership discussions with Ryanair, reflect the multiple changing dynamics that airlines operating across all business models must face as they maximise network connectivity to remain relevant and competitive. American had to drift outside oneworld to gain an important foothold in China, while Norwegian stresses that traditional airline partnership structures are not viable for its business model.
But despite American’s attention grabbing decision to take a small equity stake in China Southern, the agreement appears to be a one off event. American has no plans to join rival Delta in pursuing stakes in airlines around the world to attain network longevity. American's position is that its current and prospective joint venture agreements provide anchors in the most important global regions.
For Norwegian, a potential tie up with other low cost airlines allows the company to offer network breadth to the pool of passengers it intends to stimulate with new narrowbody service to the US, but without the frills and expense inherent in more complex airline partnerships.
Frontier and Spirit Airlines ramp up their fleets to support bullish views on passenger stimulation
ULCCs Frontier and Spirit hold orders for more than 150 Airbus narrowbodies to support the proliferation of the model across the US. Frontier’s fleet is projected to grow by 83% from YE2016 to 2021 – from 66 to 121 aircraft. Spirit’s current fleet forecast shows 46% growth from YE2017 to 2021 – from 108 aircraft to 158 aircraft.
Each airline is taking nuanced approaches to financial management of its fleet. Spirit has opted to purchase some aircraft off lease in order to enlarge its number of owned aircraft, while Frontier, which is just embarking on the process of accessing public markets, will use operating leases as its primary financing vehicle.
The planned growth by each airline reflects conclusions reached by Frontier and Spirit about the opportunities for the ULCC model in the US, despite changing market dynamics – namely a push by large US global network airlines to create pricing segments to compete more effectively with ULCCs. Despite the focus on price matching by larger airlines, Frontier and Spirit remain bullish on the opportunities for stimulation in the US market.