Posted: February 23, 2015 Filed under: Airline & Route News, Cardiff Airport, European & World Tourism, European Aviation News, Holidays, Passenger Advice, Tour Operator News, UK Aviation News, Uncategorized, World Aviation News | Tags: Airline, Thomas Cook Group
23 February 2015 at 08.16 GMT
Thomas Cook Group has played down speculation that it is seeking to sell its airline business as part of a cost-saving plan.
However, Europe’s second largest travel group may consider joint ventures to improve the performance of its aircraft fleet.
The company was responding to a Sunday Times report which claimed that Cook had sounded out a number of potential buyers over the last few months including rival carriers and private equity investors.
No deal has yet been reached and no talks are currently under way, the newspaper said.
The company was quoted as saying it was pleased with the development of its airline operations.
“We see it as an important part of our business and a support of our profitable growth strategy. Of course, we are always open for opportunities,” it said.
Cook said it would consider linking up with other airlines, according to the report.
One possibility is a tie-up with its rival Monarch, which was rescued last autumn by investment firm Greybull Capital the newspaper suggested. Monarch’s previous management is understood to have studied plans to combine the two but the idea was shelved.
Other private equity players were reportedly exploring how to consolidate tour operators’ air fleets to make savings in the face of competition from low-cost online ventures and budget airlines.
Cook said earlier this month that it remained on course to grow this year despite tough trading conditions in Europe.
A Cook spokesman told the Times: “We are very pleased with the development of our airlines and the integration our four airlines have achieved so far. We have also invested in the refurbishment of the cabins of our long-haul fleet and we have added long-haul aircraft to our Condor fleet in Germany and the UK.”
While emphasising the airline’s importance to the group, it said: “Of course we are always open for opportunities which might include partnering with other partners or airlines.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly
Posted: February 9, 2015 Filed under: Airline & Route News, European Aviation News, UK Aviation News, Welsh Aviation News, World Aviation News | Tags: Airline, Demand, Emerging Markets, Global, IATA, Passengers, rise
By Phil Davies,
Global airline passenger demand rose 5.9% last year with record carryings of 3.3 billion compared to 2013, latest Iata figures show.
The performance was above the 10-year average growth rate of 5.6% and the 5.2% growth seen in 2013.
Capacity rose 5.6% last year, with the result that load factor climbed 0.2 percentage points to 79.7%.
More than half of the growth in passenger travel occurred on airlines in emerging markets including Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
A pick-up in Chinese domestic travel, which expanded by about 11% in 2014, helped drive the growth in recent months.
Iata director general and chief executive Tony Tyler said: “With a 5.9% expansion of demand, the industry out-performed the 10-year average growth rate.
“Carriers in the Middle East posted double-digit growth while results in Africa were barely above previous-year levels.
“Overall, a record 3.3 billion passengers boarded aircraft last year – some 170 million more than in 2013.”
But he added: “While it is clear that people will continue to travel in growing numbers, there have been signs in recent months that softening business confidence is translating into a levelling off of international travel demand.
“In the aftermath of the Greek elections and the intensifying debate on how to deliver a dynamic economic program for Europe, we must not forget the power of air connectivity to create growth.
“Governments can kick-start economic development by reducing the passenger taxes that depress demand for air transport, costing jobs and prosperity.
“There are some positive signs. The Scottish government is promising to cut its air passenger duty by 50%. And Austria’s air transport levy is being evaluated as part of comprehensive tax reforms. Scrapping the Austrian levy alone could create some 3,300 jobs.
“That should help convince politicians in these countries to move from considering reductions to delivering results.
High taxes, onerous regulation and infrastructure limitations make Europe a tough place to run an airline.
“A continent-wide commitment to address these issues so that aviation can play its critical role as an economic catalyst would be a powerful signal that Europe’s politicians really do mean business,” said Tyler.
Sourced by Travel Weekly
Posted: March 18, 2014 Filed under: Aircraft Engineering/Manufacturing | Tags: Airline, Engineering, Maintenance, Manufacturing, Orders, unprecedented levels
Airline orders are at ‘unprecedented levels’ with low cost carriers expanding their fleet more than others.
In Europe, EasyJet, Ryanair and Norwegian Air Shuttle have placed orders in the past two years totalling hundreds of aircraft, extending to 2021 for fulfilment, reports the Financial Times.
Airlines have managed their seat capacity carefully to counter any downward pressure on ticket prices, KPMG said in a report, but the number of new aircraft due to come into service means there will be greater competition between airlines.
“Airlines around the globe are replacing their fleet at unprecedented levels,” said James Stamp, global head of aviation at KPMG.
“Much of the order activity by legacy airlines is driven by the desire to cut operating costs. With fuel costs continuing to be at record levels and a new aircraft generation on the market which is up to 20 per cent more fuel efficient, this trend should not come as a surprise.”
Airbus and Boeing have record levels of aircraft on order – at the end of last year Airbus had unfulfilled orders for 5,559 aircraft and Boeing had 5,080.
Low-cost carriers have continued to outperform other airlines in terms of share price, the research also found.
Sourced by Travelmole
Posted: January 24, 2014 Filed under: Airline & Route News | Tags: Airline, Expectations, Profit, Strong
By Phil Davies
Airline profit expectations remain strong and in line with levels seen since April 2013, a poll of carrier financial chiefs shows.The quarterly Iata survey indicates confidence that air transport volumes will continue to grow over the next 12 months.
The results of the January survey show that a majority of respondents expect to see improvements in profitability.
“The positive outlook has been broadly stable since the April 2013 survey, and in January 2014 over 70% of respondents were expecting profits to improve over the coming 12 months,” Iata said.
A majority (72%) of respondents expect passenger travel to expand over the year ahead, but at a slightly slower pace than the last survey in October (83%).
Airlines took on more staff in the last quarter of 2013, consistent with an improvement in financial performance. This trend is expected to continue in the year ahead.
Sourced from Travel Weekly
Posted: November 14, 2013 Filed under: European Aviation News, UK Aviation News, Welsh Aviation News, World Aviation News | Tags: Airline, Continue, Growth, International, Middle East, Outpace, Rest of World, Traffic
By Phil Davies
International airline traffic growth in the Middle East will continue to outpace the rest of the world, according to the latest forecast from Boeing.The region will need 2,610 new aircraft worth $550 billion over the next 20 years.
A third of that demand – 900 aircraft – will be replacements but 66% is expected to be driven by rapid fleet expansion in the region, the manufacturer says.
Long-range, twin-aisle aircraft, such as the 777 and 787 Dreamliner, will continue to dominate order books in the Gulf region, reflecting the global network priorities and emerging alliances and partnerships of the region’s carriers.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes marketing vice president Randy Tinseth said: “The Gulf region benefits from a unique geographic position that enables one-stop connectivity between Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia.
“Additionally, over the last decade, we’ve seen a rise in low-cost carriers that have benefitted from a large youthful population, large migrant workforce and trends toward market liberalisation.”
Twin-aisle aircraft will account for more than half of the region’s new deliveries over the next two decades against 24% globally.
Single-aisle aircraft will make up 47% of regional deliveries through to 2032, while large aircraft will account for 10% of forecast demand.
Globally, Boeing has forecast a long-term demand for 35,280 new aircraft, valued at $4.8 trillion. These new aircraft will replace older, less efficient types.
Sourced from Travel Weekly
Posted: August 12, 2013 Filed under: Airline & Route News | Tags: Aeroflot, AFL, Airline, low-cost, SU
By Phil Davies
Aeroflot is taking serious steps to launch the country’s first sustainable budget carrier.The airline, which still controls 40% of the Russian aviation market, is hoping from 2014 to launch its first budget routes from Moscow to Saint Petersburg and to cities in the south of Russia from next year.
The new Aeroflot subsidiary, whose name has yet to be unveiled, plans to eventually serve international destinations including Kiev, Yerevan, Istanbul and Barcelona with a fleet that will comprise 40 aircraft starting with Boeing 737s, according to the daily newspaper Vedomosti.
The budget Aeroflot would likely be based at Domodedovo in the south of Moscow as opposed the airline’s main hub at Sheremetyevo airport, the AFP news agency reported.
Russia’s third biggest airline, UTair, is also planning to set up its own low-cost carrier, pointing to a clear market demand.
“People consider more and more that their time is precious and they are going to want less and less to spend two or three days to get anywhere,” chief executive Andrei Martirossov toldVedomosti.
But setting up a budget airline is still dependent on changes to Russia’s aviation regulations which are stricter than in Europe.
Russian law also forbids the hiring of foreign pilots, a major problem in a country whose aviation boom had led to a pilot shortage and consequent high salaries.
Aeroflot chief executive Vitaly Saveliev called it a “paradox” that Russian authorities have allowed Wizz Air and easyJet to fly into the country but has not levelled the regulatory playing field so Russian companies can use the same business model.
“As long as the law does not change, absolutely nothing is going to fly. We are not going to take the risk,” he said. “Aeroflot is not going to invest $100 million in a project which is not going to make us money.”
The Russian authorities appear to have understood the necessity of acting after president Vladimir Putin gave his agreement in principle to the creation of a low-cost airline last October. But changes have been slow to come, according to the AFP report.
Sourced from Travel Weekly