- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Cargo Analysis
- Route Maps
- Fast Fact Report
- Airline Status
- IATA Code
- ICAO Code
- Main hub
- Kunming Changshui International Airport
- Business model
- Low Cost Carrier
- Domestic | International
- Airline Group
- Part of Hainan Airlines Group (HNA)
- Frequent Flyer Programme
- Fortune Wings Club
- U-FLY Alliance
- Joined Alliance
- Association Membership
Lucky Air is a Chinese LCC based in Kunming, Yunnan. Founded in 2004, the carrier operates domestic service with narrowbody equipment from its main base at Kunming Changshui International Airport. Lucky Air officially transformed into a LCC in Mar-2016, becoming the first Yunnan-based LCC. The carrier is part of the Hainan Airlines Group.
Location of Lucky Air main hub (Kunming Changshui International Airport)
Hainan Airlines share price
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Lucky Air fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
15 total articles
"A truly remarkable lineup of airlines"; over 50 executives at CAPA's Airline Fleet & Finance Summit
CAPA’s Airline Fleet & Finance Summit will be attended by "A truly remarkable lineup of airlines" from all continents of the globe, represented by their senior finance officers.
First time attendees at the event include Air Tahiti, euroAtlantic Airways, Pakistan International Airlines, Saudia, TAAG and start-up flymojo.
They are joined by AirAsia's Group Head of Strategy, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer of Asia Aviation Capital Limited, the Vice President, Fleet & Corporate Finance of Allegiant, Cebu Pacific's Director, Corporate Finance & Investor Relations, China Eastern's General Manager of CEA International Financial Leasing Corporation Limited, KLM's Director Group Treasury, Malaysia Airlines' Group CEO, Finnair's CFO, IndiGo's Director - Aircraft Acquisition and Financing and many others.
Together with 15 stand-alone presentations from airline CFO/treasury/finance heads outlining their fleet and financing plans + over 50 airline representatives attending the unique CAPA Fleet Marketplace – the CAPA Airline Fleet & Finance Summit (2/3-Mar, Singapore) at Capella Sentosa is not to be missed.
Korean LCC Eastar Jet has become the fifth member of the U-FLY LCC Alliance, established in Jan-2016. Eastar Jet also becomes the first member not affiliated with the HNA Group or based in Greater China. Eastar Jet's membership comes after its larger competitor Jeju Air became a founding member of the competing LCC Value Alliance in May-2016.
For now both alliances are more like commercial partnerships, where new technology (Air Black Box, compatible with IATA's New Distribution Capability) enables the member airlines to cross-sell not just seats, but also the critical components of varied ancillary revenue. Both alliances have small costs – and thus low risk – while the U-FLY Alliance is unique in being a platform for the ever-expansive HNA Group to foster synergies among companies.
Although it is Korea's smallest major LCC, Eastar Jet has the largest LCC operation into mainland China. Eastar expects to benefit from potential cooperation through U-FLY; it will allow it to reach more inland and western Chinese points that are too far or thin for its network, but are where U-FLY's three mainland members are based.
Growth in Chinese aviation is now well evident in the number of Chinese operators of widebody aircraft. In early 2012 only five Chinese airlines operated widebody aircraft. The Jun-2016 delivery of an A330 to Tibet Airlines increased the number of widebody operators to 10, and by the end of the decade there will be – if all plans are followed through – at least 17 Chinese airlines operating widebody aircraft. This potentially sets up the market for more widebody and long haul airlines within China than in the rest of Northeast and Southeast Asia.
At the Farnborough Airshow Donghai Airlines and Ruili Airlines sought to acquire 787-9s, while Lucky Air will also take 787-9s and become China's first long haul LCC. Shenzhen Airlines will take A330s, while Juneyao, Okay Airways and Shandong Airlines are also considering the type.
There are also possible new entrants like Qingdao Airlines, whose shareholder Nanshan Group now owns Virgin Australia. Widebodies at Donghai, Ruili, Juneyao or others would mean a widebody operation from an airline not affiliated with one of China's four airline groups: Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Hainan Airlines. The smallest of these, Hainan Airlines, operates more widebodies than all the secondary and tertiary airlines combined.
Lucky Air to be China's first long haul LCC, to Europe/N America in 2016; China international up 29%
There are debates about impacts from China's "new normal" of slower growth. Yet from an aviation perspective, it so far remains evident that aviation is not as impacted – despite the typical correlation between traffic growth and GDP. Chinese traffic is heavily leisure-oriented; China's middle class is growing; thirst for international travel is expanding; visa liberalisation continues to improve and foreign countries (and their airports) are embracing of Chinese visitors. All these factors make travel easier, and the Chinese government is encouraging – sometimes by force – for its airlines to "go out".
The first four months of 2016 experienced a smaller growth rate of 29% compared with 4M2015's 40% increase, but the net addition of passengers in 2016 so far is larger than in 2015. The international market is becoming more crowded with new operators.
The latest will be Lucky Air – the Kunming-based LCC division of the HNA Group and U-FLY Alliance. Lucky intends to deploy 787-9s to Europe and North America by the end of 2016.
Asia’s LCC sector is further evolving by embracing partnerships and a new loose form of alliances. The newly established Value Alliance and the smaller China-based U-FLY Alliance – launched in early 2016 using the same technology platform – represent a new competitive response to Asia’s leading LCC groups.
Partnerships are critical for unlocking a new phase of growth in the relatively crowded and increasingly competitive Asian market. This is particularly important for independent LCCs that are outside the region’s three major groups – AirAsia, Jetstar and Lion. Value and U-FLY members combined account for approximately 19% of LCC capacity in Asia Pacific; this compares with 16% for AirAsia/AirAsia X, 11% for Lion and 9% for Jetstar.
Of the 53 LCCs based in Asia Pacific, nine are members of the Value Alliance and four are members of U-FLY. AirAsia/AirAsia X has eight affiliates or subsidiaries with a ninth to be launched by the end of 2016. The Lion Group consists of three LCCs and includes Asia’s second largest (along with two full service airlines), while the Jetstar Group has four subsidiaries or affiliates.
China's HNA Group was expansive even before the deals it has made over the past year, where it acquired stakes in various companies including Brazilian airline Azul, the lessor Avolon, the ground handler Swissport and the ride-sharing service Uber. The group became wider but still fragmented, with the companies hardly stitching together to deliver synergies, or at least to avoid competitive overlap.
That will start to change with four HNA airlines forming the world's first LCC alliance, the U-FLY alliance. They operated 67 aircraft at the end of 2015 and project a fleet exceeding 218 by the end of 2020.
U-FLY will be beneficial for HNA. The airlines – HK Express and three from mainland China: Lucky Air, Urumqi Air and West Air – will work together for revenue and cost synergies. In the long term this cooperative action will hopefully spread across the HNA group and integrate it more effectively. The alliance's objective is to "build U-FLY to span the globe, similarly to existing full service airline alliances", and it reflects the ambition and high aspirations that often characterise Chinese aviation. The existing global alliances have attractions that are structurally different to passengers and prospective airline members. U-FLY is likely to provide some cohesion to various HNA LCC brands. Other LCC groups – AirAsia, Jetstar, Viva and FastJet – already benefit from the power of a single brand structure.