BLOG: Live from Seville – insights from the CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit

Welcome to live coverage from The Blue Swan Daily of the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit in Seville, the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.

The Summit is the only strategy event dedicated to the new frontier of low cost travel: long haul. New aircraft technologies, evolving passenger preferences and stable fuel prices are pushing LCCs (and restructuring full service airlines) to consider new growth opportunities. High fare long haul markets are ripe for disruption and airports/destinations are aggressively courting new routes. New city pairs are emerging, and secondary airports are featuring regularly in the long haul low cost networks.


AGENDA – View the full CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit agenda.

LIVE STREAM – CAPA – Centre for Aviation are pleased to offer a free live stream of the Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit. Visit centreforaviation.com during the event hours for access.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION! Follow the CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit  on Twitter and if you have any comments on the topics being explored at the Summit then join the debate: #CAPASummit.


Friday 5th October 2018

14:00 – CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit… DONE!

A big thank you from all of the CAPA – Centre for Aviation team to everyone who attend the CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit 2018 as all the sponsors that made the event possible. We hope you enjoyed all the insightful discussions whether in attendance in Seville, via our live stream or from following the blog. Look out on CAPA TV in the coming weeks for our exclusive interviews from the event with the likes of Vincent Hodder, CEO of LEVEL, Duncan Bureau, president of Air Canada Rouge and Robert Martin, managing director and CEO of BOC Aviation.


Friday 5th October 2018

13:45 -A big thank you to all our event partners


Friday 5th October 2018

13:15 – Did you know there are more bridges in Hamburg than Venice and Amsterdam put together?

You can find out for yourself and discover the German city when it hosts the 2019 CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit next October.


Friday 5th October 2018

12:45 – Up now… can low cost long haul airlines cater to corporate and business travellers?

As business customers and corporate buyers increasingly seek value for money, especially for short-haul travel, and a new generation blends work and leisure when travelling, the distinction between travelling for business or personal reasons has become less relevant. This has provided LCCs with the opportunity to compete for ‘corporate’ business that may previously have not been considered a real revenue opportunity.


Friday 5th October 2018

11:55 – Up now… Generating non-ticket revenue streams – leveraging retailing and ancillary initiatives

LCCs are constantly looking at finessing their retailing and merchandising strategies – whether it’s during the booking phase, pre-flight or onboard, with relevant, timely offers that are easily accessible (preferably via mobile) and easy to pay for. This is especially important in today’s digitalised environment, where onboard connectivity is virtually a must have and almost as critical for the traveller as getting to the destination.


Friday 5th October 2018

11:20 – Time for a quick break

Lots of interesting insights this morning into the Low Cost Long Haul model and what it will take for the emerging niche to really take-off. It’s time for a short networking break, kindly hosted by Mercado Lonja Del Barranco.


Friday 5th October 2018

11:10 – What’s on the menu?


Friday 5th October 2018

10:30 – Up now… adapting marketing and distribution strategies for long haul customers

It is questionable whether LCCs can continue to adhere to simple, low cost distribution methods, given the inevitable complexity that low cost long haul generates. At the very least, a more flexible approach to marketing and distribution is required and LCCs are responding and adapting to the (often different) needs of long haul customers, where price for example, doesn’t hold as much sway in promoting brand stickiness.


Friday 5th October 2018

10:10 – CAPA members have access to Summit insights

If you have a CAPA membership you will be able to access news briefs from the Low Cost Long Haul discussions.  Here’s just some of the material already uploaded…

  • Low cost long haul carriers ‘absolutely’ need short haul feed: IAG
  • Halifax Airport Authority CCO sees ‘real potential’ with new narrowbodies in trans Atlantic market
  • Airports should be doing ‘much more’ in technology: easyJet regional director
  • Airline profitability very high, but some still not profitable despite good conditions: DVB Bank
  • Airline owned leasing companies cannot compete with major lessors: ALC executive chairman
  • Stansted CCO: ‘We’re going through a massive revolution in the airline industry’

If you are not a member, find out how you can also get a front row seat to global aviation news, analysis and data as it happens, with access to a comprehensive suite of tools that can be customised to your needs.


Friday 5th October 2018

09:50 – How do we define Low Cost Long Haul?

Professor Rigas Doganis shares his thoughts on what parameters should define Low Cost Long Haul. He believes it represents a service requiring flight crew to stop-over at destination, which means a one-way sector of 5.5 hours or more or return block time of over 11-12  hours. This equates to one-way sector distances of over 4,000km.


Friday 5th October 2018

09:45 – Up now… LCCs working as part of a full service/low cost group: secrets for success

The majority of low cost long haul airlines operate either as part of a larger low cost group or they are subsidiaries of full service carriers. Indeed the number of successful independent low cost long haul operators is rare; currently there is only one independent airline in the newly launched French Bee, while another start up, US based World Airways, is in the works.

But independent long haul LCCs have historically struggled because they have lacked short haul feed from a sister airline, adding merit to the argument that long haul LCCs work better if they are part of an LCC group with short haul connectivity.

Meanwhile in an attempt to combat growing LCC competition, many full service carriers have wisely avoided unsustainable price matching (although tiered fare products are a popular tactic amongst the US majors) and launched their own LCCs. Yet embedding a low cost culture within a legacy environment poses its own set of challenges, especially where services and systems are shared.

A constant threat is that the subsidiary cannibalises the principal’s mainline traffic. But the success of Qantas’ Jetstar, launched more than a decade ago, shows that if executed correctly, low cost subsidiaries can generate remarkable synergies for both parent and child carrier.


Friday 5th October 2018

09:40 – Who flies Air Canada Rouge?

Some interesting insights from Duncan Bureau on the Air Canada Rouge passenger…

  • Higher propensity of females – Rouge: 50% female vs 48% male; Mainline: 45% female vs 49% male
  • More polarised demographic – over index in under 18 and 55+ compared to mainline
  • Lower percentage of  Elite 35K Altitude flyers – 12% (Rouge) vs 23% (mainline)
  • Higher number of customers per PNR – 2.2 (Rouge) vs 1.9 (mainline)
  • Rouge  customers  book  earlier  than  mainline – 68 days (Rouge) vs 54 (mainline)


Friday 5th October 2018

09:35 – Air Canada Rouge ‘the defibrillator for Air Canada’


Friday 5th October 2018

09:25 – Air Canada Rouge – the airline within an airline

“Nowadays you can’t create a new airline by just painting aircraft in a new colour or introducing a new name. You have to have real substantial cost benefits, and that is what we have achieved with Rouge,” explains Duncan Bureau, president of Air Canada Rouge. The airline launched in July 2013 with just three aircraft and now has over 50 (53). “We have tried to do something different,” says Mr Bureau. “We send all our flight attendants to Disney for additional training. We wanted to create a very different culture. We have a young customer-centric workforce.”


Friday 5th October 2018

09:15 – Up now… Air Canada Rouge: Creating a Global Champion

In his keynote address, Duncan Bureau, president of Air Canada Rouge, outlines how the leisure/LCC brand has added 40 new markets to the Air Canada network since its launch around five years ago.


Friday 5th October 2018

09:00 – CAPA’s Jonathan Wober takes the reigns for today’s agenda

CAPA’s executive chairman is taking a back seat today and CAPA’s chief financial analyst, Jonathan Wober, is taking charge for this half day of discussions.


Friday 5th October 2018

08:30 – Make sure you join the debate and share your views via #CAPASummit


Friday 5th October 2018

08:00 – Visit our ‘Aviation and Travel Innovators’ in the networking area

The networking area is open. We have some special exhibitors in Seville who  were especially selected for ‘Innovation Showcases’ at the event. These comprise Butterfly Flexible Seating Solutions, 3D SeatMap VR from Renacen, UK airline start-up FlyPOP, Fusion and TroopTravel.


Friday 5th October 2018

07:00 – Buenos días! The Sun is shining… of course it is… it is Seville after all!

Good morning from the Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento in Seville where things are currently quiet ahead of today’s 9am start of the formal agenda which kicks-off with a keynote address from Duncan Bureau, president, Air Canada Rouge.


Thursday 4th October 2018

23:00 – That’s it for day one! See you tomorrow as we approach more Low Cost Long Haul talking points

What a packed day for insights. From learning the LEVEL vision from its recently appointed CEO, to heavyweights in the aircraft leasing providing information on how they approach aircraft orders, placements and redeployment, there has been an array of information. There’s more to come tomorrow with a keynote address from Air Canada Rouge president, Duncan Bureau, on creating a global champion and panel talks on LCCs working as part of a full service/low cost group: secrets for success; adapting marketing and distribution strategies for long haul customers; generating non-ticket revenue streams – Leveraging retailing and ancillary initiatives; and can low cost long haul airlines cater to corporate and business travellers?

Sleep well and see you all in the morning. The networking area opens at 8am and the formal agenda commences from 9am.


Thursday 4th October 2018

21:00 – Pictures from the pre-dinner tour of the stunning Real Alcázar

The Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace in Seville, Spain, built for the Christian king Peter of Castile. It was built by Castilian Christians on the site of an Abbadid Muslim residential fortress destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville. Although some elements of other civilisations remains. The palace, a preeminent example of Mudéjar architecture in the Iberian Peninsula, is renowned as one of the most beautiful. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as their official residence in Seville, and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe, and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the adjoining Seville Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.


Thursday 4th October 2018

17:15 – The end of discussions… but networking will continue at dinner reception

A busy day’s programme comes to an end with people in high spirits with the networking area still packed with delegates talking about insights from the day’s insights. Discussions will continue at tonight’s dinner reception, hosted by the City of Seville and Turespana and taking place at the stunning Real Alcázar.

Look out for images from tonight’s event later this evening.


Thursday 4th October 2018

17:00 – join the debate – via #CAPASummit


Thursday 4th October 2018

16:45 – Up now… The evolving airport-airline relationship: What do airports and LCCs need from each other?

Whilst geographic position plays a large part in an airline’s decision whether or not to fly to a particular destination, the airport also holds an influential role in the decision making process. LCCs and low cost long haul LCCs in particular have unique requirements compared with their FSC counterparts; so it follows that those airports that are able to offer the right facilities and services for their airline customers stand to gain. But additionally, there is huge untapped potential for airports to share data and co-operate commercially with airlines for mutual benefit; this could prove a key factor in attracting and retaining carriers assessing the viability of a new route.


Thursday 4th October 2018

16:30 – LCC operations are an important part of Aena’s network

Aena airline customer relations and airport marketing, Ignacio Biosca highlights the role of LCC operations at its airports and says it “welcomes the development of Long Haul Low Cost and is prepared to optimise its development”.


Thursday 4th October 2018

16:15 – Up now… Spanish airports  in the spotlight

Aena airline customer relations and airport marketing, Ignacio Biosca, delivers some insights into Spain’s airport market, where Aena manages 46 airports and two heliports. However, its reach spreads to also include airports in the UK (london Luton), Colombia (Cali and Cartagena), Jamaica (Montego Bay) and twelve in Mexico. This means Aena is “the number one airport operator in the world in passenger terms,” he says.


Thursday 4th October 2018

15:40 – Steve Udvar-Hazy: “Credit cards are holding back funds from smaller carriers”

Air Lease Corporation executive chairman, Steven Udvar-Hazy, says smaller airlines are facing a “huge cash flow challenge”. He says that credit card providers are holding back funds from smaller operators and start-ups. “The airline may sell a ticket purchase by credit card, but it does not have access to that cash until the service is performed. Sometimes until well after the flight has operated,” he explains.


Thursday 4th October 2018

15:30 – Robert Martin: “Over 300 airlines have collapsed since 2000”

BOC Aviation managing director and CEO Robert Martin says that 301 airlines have failed since the start of the decade, but most of these were operators that were unable to reach a level of critical mass. “Around 90% didn’t hit the point of critical mass,” he explains.

 


Thursday 4th October 2018

15:20 – Air Lease Corporation boss outlines minimum risk for aircraft purchases 

Air Lease Corporation is one of the industry’s biggest lessors and its executive chairman, Steven Udvar-Hazy one of the most respected leaders in the industry. He highlights the minimum requirements the company requires before investing in new aircraft types or sub types. For short haul equipment that is a minimum of 50 or 60 customers, falling to 30 or 40 for widebodies. “We need a large customer base so if anything goes wrong we can redeploy the asset,” he explains.


Thursday 4th October 2018

15:00 – Up now… financing and funding growth: managing risk with large aircraft orders

LCCs, as the newer players in the industry, are competing to meet future growth needs. They can scarcely afford to stand still if they are to assert themselves in the long term – especially as newer models enter. The need to plan for fleet expansion and replacement, as well as making decisions on leasing and purchasing. For larger LCC groups, one notable strategy to offset the risk inherent in large forward orders has been to establish a leasing capability, to absorb any excess capacity as new aircraft are delivered.


Thursday 4th October 2018

14:50 – Legacy carriers with business traffic flows could lead with long-range single-aisle operations

We talk a lot about the value of next generation single-aisle for LCCs, but PlaneConsult managing director Conor McCarthy says we have to remember these aircraft are available to legacy airlines too. He highlights how Aer Lingus plans to use its Airbus A321neoLRs on the trans-Atlantic market, but also to deploy the aircraft on European routes to boost utilisation away from those flows. “They can make money with the aircraft on both short and long haul,” he says.

This view has been supported this morning with the announcement from Air Canada that it will commence a four times weekly seasonal Montreal – Bordeaux link between 15-Jun-2019 and 15-Sep-2019 using a Boeing 737MAX-8.


Thursday 4th October 2018

14:40 – Awaiting the A321neoLR, but who’s going to be first to fly? 

During the networking breaks we have been speaking to delegates about what the biggest opportunity is for Low Cost Long Haul and most believe the Airbus A321neoLR could change route development strategies. Yves Renard, principal – market intelligence and consulting says the great thing about the aircraft is its commonality and limited risk. “It’s just another A321,” he explains. “You take out the tanks and you are back with an A321.”

However, this week’s collapse of Primera Air means the manufacturer is now looking for a launch operator of the variant. Here’s some insight from The Blue Swan Daily


Thursday 4th October 2018

14:30 – Which platform is best for Low Cost Long Haul – Airbus versus Boeing

A very polite debate between Airbus and Boeing representatives on what aircraft work best on Low Cost Long Haul. Airbus has the A330 and A321neoLR, says Yves Renard, principal – market intelligence and consulting, while Boeing’s senior managing director – marketing Darren Hulst says the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family “ticks all the boxes” and offers the lowest operating cost and most flexibility. They both agree that the long-range single-aisle segment could be the key growth area.


Thursday 4th October 2018

14:20 – Aircraft, engines and operations – enabling new generations of LCLH services

Change is now in the wind as low cost long haul operators continue to capitalise on the capabilities of new narrowbody aircraft and increasing liberalisation to stimulate competition on markets traditionally dominated by the full service carriers. As a prime example, LCCs, led by Norwegian, have been encroaching on the tightly controlled trans-Atlantic route over the past five years. Their presence continues to grow here and elsewhere, thanks to the development of new, more cost efficient aircraft types such as the 787, and narrowbodies such as the Boeing 737 MAX and A321neo. The better fuel efficiency of the MAX and the A321neo and, in particular, the additional range of the A321neoLR enable new smaller city pairs that are not big enough to sustain widebody operations to become economically viable. Legacy airlines are also taking advantage of new narrowbody equipment to open up or defend existing routes.


Thursday 4th October 2018

13:20 – It’s time for lunch… but lots more to come this afternoon

Today’s lunch break and networking is being hosted by Sevilla Futbol Club, Spain’s oldest sporting club solely devoted to football. Europa League winners in 2014, 2015 and 2016, we wish them every success in this year’s campaign, which continues in the Russian city of Krasnodar tonight.


Thursday 4th October 2018

13:00 – Up now… as the mobile travel marketplace evolves what are the lessons for long haul low cost airlines

Talk of Skyscanner leads us nicely into the next keynote presentation from the company’s senior director, commercial, Hugh Aitken. On the North Atlantic market over the past 12 months he says the company has had 230 million searches, 14 million redirects, supporting 8.75 million passengers and worth USD3.4 billion in ticket value. He says: “Be the disruptor, not the disrupted.”


Thursday 4th October 2018

12:50 – What is the number one low cost brand in the world? It may not be who you think!

Air Black Box co founder Timothy O’Neil-Dunne says that the number one Low Cost brand in the world is not an airline but Skyscanner. “It’s where people now go to book low cost travel,” he says. “That is where they go first!”

Here’s some further quotes from the third panel session at the CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit…

“You do need to have a really strong point-to-point market to also make connections work. It is why Norwegian Air and WestJet are here at Gatwick. We invested in Gatwick Connects. It doesn’t solve all things, but it provides a protected itinerary.”
London Gatwick Airport, Head of Airline Relations, Stephen King

“In the LCC sector it can be more complex to offer connections to full service carriers. There’s a lot of work involved getting the policies and technology aligned.”
Scoot Tigerair, CCO, Vinod Kannan

“Customers are like water, they will find their own way of getting there.”
Air Black Box, Co Founder, Timothy O’Neil-Dunne


Thursday 4th October 2018

12:40 – join the debate – via #CAPASummit


Thursday 4th October 2018

12:30 – Is there any value in establishing LCC alliances when LCCs could form their own interlines and codeshares instead?

Is there any value in establishing LCC alliances when LCCs could form their own interlines and codeshares instead? Are there any significant cost and revenue benefits in forming a grouping? “It depends,” says Scoot Tigerair, CCO, Vinod Kannan. “In our position we are supposed to work with Singapore Airlines whether we like it or not!”


Thursday 4th October 2018

12:20 – Up now… don’t beat them, join them: LCC alliances, long haul and short haul LCC and LCC-FSC partnerships

As full service airline groups rapidly expand into the long haul low cost sector, questions on whether to include LCC subsidiaries in intercontinental JVs naturally emerge. Including an LCC subsidiary in a JV is still rare, but becoming more common. For example, Air Canada LCC subsidiary rouge and IAG’s new long haul low cost subsidiary LEVEL are now included under their respective transatlantic JVs. Asia-Pacific JVs are yet to include any LCCs, although the addition of Scoot to the Lufthansa-Singapore Airlines JV is in the works, which would simplify the Singapore flag’s current separate partnerships with both Lufthansa and Scoot.

While joining a parent’s existing JV seems like a natural strategic evolution for low cost subsidiaries, independent LCCs need to consider other options if they want to expand their market presence, whether that be forming codeshares with fellow LCCs or with full service carriers, or as famously demonstrated in 2016 by the Value and U-Fly alliances, forging their own groupings to sell joint itineraries and generate cross-bookings.

Meanwhile, other creative regulatory solutions exist. In Asia, the cross border JV model has allowed the region’s major LCC groups – AirAsia, Jetstar, Lion Air, and to a lesser extent VietJet – to accommodate foreign ownership restrictions by taking branded minority stakes in local airlines. Similar strategies are being pursued in the Middle East with Air Arabia, in Latin America, through the Viva group and in Africa with fastjet/Fly540.

With an array of different partnership mechanisms available, airlines need to consider whether they are prepared to create additional complexity and cost before embarking on this road.


Thursday 4th October 2018

12:10 – Low Cost Carriers are here… but flying is still glamorous

Following the Low Cost revolution we often talk about the day that flying was glamorous and for the wealthy few. Well, easyJet regional director Javier Gandara says it remains glamorous but that group has shrunk into a smaller niche that “fly around the world on private jets or in the luxurious suites of legacy airlines”.


Thursday 4th October 2018

12:00 – “To build proper connectivity it is about a simple product for the customer”

He may now be chief commercial officer at London Stansted Airport, but Aboudy Nasser has a LCC airline background so understands how this market works from both sides. To build proper connectivity, he says it is about a simple product for the customer whether that is short to long haul, long haul to short haul or short haul to short haul.

Here’s some other quotes from the discussion…

“It is down to distribution. It is how airlines go out and sell to market. It is easier in the short haul area, but much harder in the long haul as you are selling into markets a long way away.”
London Stansted Airport, CCO, Aboudy Nasser

“Norwegian Air proves it [Low Cost Long Haul] works, but we need to make it easier and simple for passengers and airports have a major role to play in supporting that.”
Norwegian Air, EVP Strategic Development, Tore Østby

“We are trying to connect the unconnected. It makes sense to have a third party platform that sits on top of the airlines.”
Kiwi.com, CEO, Oliver Dlouhy

“Instead of waiting for the perfect product – that could be five years ahead – we are already seeing an uptake into people using LCC connections.”
easyJet, Regional Director, Javier Gandara

“We are going through a massive distraction in the airline industry and its mainly due to technology and demographics. Flying has now become a commodity.”
London Stansted Airport, CCO, Aboudy Nasser


Thursday 4th October 2018

11:30 – Up now… networking long haul operations: combining with short haul partners at each end

Low Cost Long Haul operators are establishing partnerships with short haul low cost airlines as a means of expanding their network breadth and supporting their growth aspirations, as recently demonstrated by Norwegian’s tie up with easyJet.

For long haul operators, connecting traffic is critical in scaling sustainably, especially as very few long haul destinations generate enough demand to justify year round capacity, while their partners benefit from additional traffic growth in short haul markets.

Legacy carriers, who have long ceded competitive ground to short haul LCCs, could see history repeating itself as long haul-short haul LCC partnerships gain more momentum and disrupt full service carriers’ long haul networks.


Thursday 4th October 2018

11:00 – Time for a quick break

Lots of interesting insights this morning into the Low Cost Long Haul model and what it will take for the emerging niche to really take-off. It’s time for a short networking break, kindly hosted by CarTrawler.


Thursday 4th October 2018

10:50 – Up now… A quick CAPA membership plug

Today, the global aviation and travel industry is undergoing significant and rapid change. Keeping up with these changes is getting harder every day. In a turbulent world, repeating the same thing we’ve done before is a guarantee for disaster. That’s where CAPA – Centre for Aviation is there to help!

CAPA provides access to the resources people need to stay connected and up to date fast. Its four key pillars, our news, analysis, data and events, give customers the confidence and connections they need to make informed, strategic decisions.


Thursday 4th October 2018

10:40 – Low Cost Long Haul with narrowbodies? New aircraft do change the landscape

It’s nothing new as airlines have been flying long sector flights with single-aisle airliners, but the modern generation types like the A320neo Family, particularly the A321neoLR, and the Boeing 737MAX certainly open new opportunities. IAG’s head of strategy and development, Alistair Hartley, believes the aircraft could help push out utilisation, something that is not as easy with widebodies. “Narrowbodies add an extra level of utilisation. Alongside a six hour medium or long haul sector they could be easily used on short haul flights too,” he says.


Thursday 4th October 2018

10:30 – Feed seems to be key ingredient to Low Cost Long Haul model

The executives on the first panel discussion agree that feed is important to success in the Low Cost Long Haul market and that operations with a wider airline group probably have the best chance of success.

Here’s some soundbytes from the panellists…

“The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been pushed as the aircraft for Low Cost Long Haul.”
SMBC Aviation Capital, Head of Strategic and Market Analysis, Shane Matthews 

“If you asked me ten years ago I would have said Low Cost Long Haul has no chance. Now, I am thinking differently.”
flyadeal, CEO, Con Korfiatis

 “It depends where fuel is at. That is critical. As fuel goes high you could reach a tipping point in the sector.”
IAG, Head of Strategy and Development, Alistair Hartley

“It is not only new airlines today, the used aircraft market is prolific… if you are in the right position and these meet your growth plans old or new are equally of value.”
Avolon, Head of Strategy, Dick Forsberg


Thursday 4th October 2018

10:20 – Local media grab some words from the Mayor of Seville at the CAPA booth

There was a lot of media attention around the Mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas at the CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Summit this morning.


Thursday 4th October 2018

10:10 – Join the debate – via #CAPASummit


Thursday 4th October 2018

10:05 – Up now… can the full service carrier and low cost long haul model exist in the market side by side?

While LCCs are still a relatively young force they have massively disrupted air travel and the way all airlines now think about serving the public. With a nimble strategy offering point to point connectivity, industry innovations, ancillary focused activities and modern digitalisation and technological practices, they have become the new ‘normal’ in the industry, causing major headaches for the full service carriers on short haul markets. Whether low cost carriers will create a similar transformative effect in the long haul sector remains to be seen.

No less than 19 LCCs have launched widebody services in the last six years, while further disruption is on the cards in the long haul narrowbody space. The new generation single aisle Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo aircraft families have brought long, thin routes into the realm of operational and financial viability for LCCs, in turn stimulating new traffic between secondary city pairs and allowing passengers to bypass traditional hubs. Yet the low cost long haul model doesn’t have the same inherent cost advantages as the short haul model, which potentially narrows the cost gap between LCCs and FSCs, and growth has come at the expense of profits for many LHLCCs.

The prospects for independent low cost long haul carriers aren’t particularly promising either; it’s rare for secondary point to point markets to be large enough to operate sustainably without additional feed. Still, low cost long haul airline growth shows no signs of abating. As the average passenger profile moves towards the price sensitive end of the spectrum, outstripping growth in premium markets, it becomes harder for higher cost airlines to sustain previous expansion rates without deploying radical strategies to address the low cost long haul onslaught.


Thursday 4th October 2018

10:00 -“We need to build a model for the future and don’t infect it with the viruses of the past”

Vincent Hodder delivered an insightful view on LEVEL’s plans in his keynote presentation. Low Cost Carriers had a big challenge in changing mindsets when they first disrupted the industry and the LEVEL CEO believes that it will be the same with Low Cost Long Haul as “we break down the walls”. He highlighted that LEVEL still has a long way to go to deliver on its aspirations, but says: “We need to build a model for the future and don’t infect it with the viruses of the past.”


Thursday 4th October 2018

09:55 – LEVEL: “We are building a new business model for aviation”

“We are building the customer centric, technologically enabled, airline business model of the future,” says Vincent Hodder, CEO of LEVEL in his keynote address at the CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit. He says, the brand has a “unique organisational structure” as “LEVEL sits between production units and customer” that “breaks traditional ‘vertically integrated’ model. He cites the examples of its Spanish operation, flown with a sub-contractor/ third party (Iberia) providing capacity to agreed parameters and standards; its French flights flown by a directly held subsidiary (OpenSkies) with AOC holding entities owned by AMC; and its new Austrian operation flown as a franchisee with brand, technology and commercial model franchised to the operating carrier.


Thursday 4th October 2018

09:50 – “We are at the very beginning of the journey” of Low Cost Long Haul, says LEVEL CEO

In the long haul sector it is “not just about the cost” as in the short haul sector, acknowledges Vincent Hodder, CEO of LEVEL. “You have to get people to choose you and offer something different to the rest of the industry.”


Thursday 4th October 2018

09:40 – “Its is Low Cost Long Haul or Long Haul Low Cost?”

Just three weeks into his role as CEO of IAG’s LEVEL brand, Vincent Hodder highlights that is a question that needs to be answered and standardised as we move forward. He says:  “We are now past the point of debate and it is now part of the industry and set to grow at a significant rate”.


Thursday 4th October 2018

09:30 – CAPA’s Outlook for the growth and development of Low Cost Long Haul Carriers

CAPA – Centre for Aviation , executive chairman, Peter Harbison shares CAPA’s outlook on the growth and development of Low Cost Long Haul Carriers. “The long haul LCC model is an inevitable fixture in modern aviation. It is no longer an issue to be argued – although defining it is complex and mostly unnecessary,” he explains.


Thursday 4th October 2018

09:20 – Join the debate – via #CAPASummit


Thursday 4th October 2018

09:10 – But first… a welcome from our hosts…

“For Seville to host [this summit] is an honour, a challenge and an enormous pride.”
Juan Espadas, Mayor of Seville

“Airlines need destinations as much as destinations need flights to evolve.  A matter of coexistence, joint work and collaboration is required.”
Francisco Javier Fernandez, consejero turismo y deporte, Junta De Andalucia

“LCC are increasing there presence in this country and added links mainly to Europe, supporting the growth in connectivity to Spain. Low Cost Long Haul carriers could play an important role to expand this into intercontinental markets.”
Elvira Marcos, deputy director Tourspain


Thursday 4th October 2018

09:00 – ‘Start Me Up’  and away we go!

CAPA – Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison takes to the stage to welcome delegates to the inaugural CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit in Seville with a message of thanks to our hosts… in Spanish! We are all set for a couple of days of enlightening insight.


Thursday 4th October 2018

08:50 – The countdown commences… prepare for take-off

It is just ten minutes until the opening of the CAPA- Centre for Aviation Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit. The Rolling Stones are on pause ready for CAPA executive chairman to take to the stage for his welcome address.

600 seconds… 599 seconds… 598 seconds….


Thursday 4th October 2018

08:30 – Reminder… you can view the Summit from the comfort of your office!

If you can’t make it to sunny Seville then don’t worry. To ensure you don’t miss any of the thought-provoking discussions that are expected, CAPA – Centre for Aviation will be providing a free LIVE STREAM of the Summit which will follow all the agenda proceedings (details here – all local Seville, Spain time).

To access the live stream, visit centreforaviation.com during the Summit hours

Whether you’ll be joining us in Seville or from your desk, be sure to join the conversation! If you have any comments on the topics explored at the Summit, please tweet them using the Summit hashtag #CAPASummit.


Thursday 4th October 2018

08:15 – Join the debate – tweets via #CAPASummit


Thursday 4th October 2018

08:00 – Registration is now open!

It’s just an hour before the Summit opens and the registration and networking area is open to delegates.


Thursday 4th October 2018

07:30 –SIGN UP to The Blue Swan Daily news, analysis and insights

The Blue Swan Daily platform has spread its wings and issues are now available for Asia; the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and the South Pacific. Make sure you visit the site and sign up for regional focused material on the aviation and wider travel industry. Here’s some of its recent stories…


Thursday 4th October 2018

07:00 – The calm before the storm

It is just a couple of hours until the formal agenda starts on day one of the CAPA-Centre for Aviation Global Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit at the Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento in Seville. All is dark and quiet in the conference hall and networking areas, although the CAPA team have been beavering away for a couple of hours ensuring a smooth delivery of today’s programme.


Thursday 4th October 2018

06:30 – Buenos dias to everyone in Seville, or wherever you are in the world


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

22:00 – Wait until tomorrow… for debate and discussion of strategic issues facing the Low Cost Long Haul sector

What will tomorrow bring? A packed schedule of enlightening discussions unrivalled in coverage of the top strategic issues affecting the aviation and travel markets with a focus on the emerging Low Cost Long Haul sector. A full day of discussions is in store with events kicking-off at 09:00 with welcome introductions from CAPA, executive chairman, Peter Harbison, and a presentation of CAPA’s outlook for the growth and development of Low Cost Long Haul Carriers. That will be followed with a keynote from Vincent Hodder, the recently appointed CEO of LEVEL, IAG’s low cost brand and how they are building the airline business model of the future. And that’s just the first hour!


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

21:00 – Networking in the autumn sunshine – welcome reception pictures


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

19:00 – Can’t make it to Seville? Follow the action from tomorrow via our Live Stream

If you can’t make it to sunny Seville then don’t worry. To ensure you don’t miss any of the thought-provoking discussions that are expected, CAPA – Centre for Aviation will be providing a free LIVE STREAM of the Summit which will follow all the agenda proceedings (details here – all local Seville, Spain time).

To access the live stream, visit centreforaviation.com during the Summit hours

Whether you’ll be joining us in Seville or from your desk, be sure to join the conversation! If you have any comments on the topics explored at the Summit, please tweet them using the Summit hashtag #CAPASummit.


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

18:00 – LCCs are growing their share of global airline capacity

Almost 115 million additional seats were offered by Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) during the first nine months of 2018, versus the same period last year, new analysis from The Blue Swan Daily has revealed. While the lines between traditional and LCCs continue to blur, this figure, a +10.1% rise to over 1.25 billion global seats (over 4.5 million seats per day), has helped the sector boost its world share of capacity to 29.7%, up one full percentage point on last year.


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

17:00 – The sun is shining and Welcome Reception preparations are complete

Although the formal Summit agenda does not start until the morning, all delegates will be able to enjoy the Seville sunshine and networking opportunities at tonight’s Welcome Reception at the Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento, hosted by AENA and Turismo de la Provincia. It all starts at 18:00 local time.


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

16:00 – Our venue for the CAPA Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit

The summit is taking place at the Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento, well-known in the city for its architecture and design that evokes the Guggenheim Museum in New York. It is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, a short walk from the Alameda de Hércules, famous for its bars and restaurants, and just a few minutes from all the historic sites of interest. The high speed AVE train station is just 2.5 km from the hotel, and the San Pablo Airport just 10 km away. It has 295 spacious and light-filled rooms, which have been refurbished, and ideal accommodation for business trips, urban tourism and family holidays near the Isla Mágica – the famous theme park is just a few metres from the hotel.


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

15:00 – It’s all starting to take shape!

Here’s a quick peak around the event space…


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

14:00 – More Insights on Seville’s San Pablo Airport

The Blue Swan Daily analysis of OAG schedule data shows that summer 2018 system capacity in Seville has risen more than a quarter (+26.8%) versus last year with almost 20 new non-stop destinations added to its network. This is the fastest growth rate this decade and far exceeds the +4.1% average for the period. It represents the fifth successive summer season of growth after declines in 2012 and 2103.

FIND OUT MORE about the world’s leading airports in our Airport Insight series


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

13:00 – LCCs are changing the shape of long-haul aviation

To coincide with the Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit, CAPA – Centre for Aviation has launched the latest edition of its highly popular Airline Leader publication with features a range of insightful pieces on one of the fastest growing sectors within aviation.

Low Cost Long Haul Airlines: Slowly expand in the Europe-Asia market

AT LEAST THREE more LCC groups are preparing to enter the Asia-Europe market over the next two years: WOW air, AirAsia X and Lion. WOW air will become the sixth LCC in the Asia-Europe market in Dec-2018 as it launches services from Reykjavik to Delhi. Thai AirAsia is looking at launching services to Eastern Europe in 2019 while Thai Lion Air is aiming to launch services to Western Europe in 2020.

Europe’s low cost long haul airlines establish themselves

THIS REPORT OFFERS AN overview of Europe’s low cost long haul operators and their long haul fleets. According to CAPA analysis of the CAPA Fleet Database, Europe has 49 aircraft that are currently deployed on long haul low cost routes. Not surprisingly, the majority of these aircraft are widebodies, but there are now four narrowbodies with low cost airlines based in Europe that are operating trans Atlantic routes.

A321neoLR: Ideal for new North Atlantic routes, potentially a global game changer

AIRBUS COMPLETED the first A321neoLR test flight on 31-Jan-2018 and expects the aircraft to enter service in 4Q2018. With an extended range and seat costs equivalent to much larger aircraft, it holds the promise of a much wider profile of city pair operations. But the impact is likely to be gradual, as limited numbers arrive in service. Long haul low cost operators are prominent among first movers.

South East Asia Fleet: Lion Group growth slows while AirAsia and VietJet expand more aggressively

SOUTH EAST ASIA’S LARGEST airline entity, the Lion Group, has further slowed fleet expansion in 2018 and is on pace to take delivery of only 17 aircraft in 2018. The Indonesia based airline group has significantly slowed its expansion in the past three years, since taking an all time high of 57 aircraft in 2015.

VISIT centreforaviation.com/analysis/airline-leader to READ the online magazine.


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

12:00 – Insights on Seville’s San Pablo Airport

Did you know that LCCs account for more than eight in ten seats from Seville’s San Pablo Airport with Ryanair being the largest operator? Here’s what our analysis of this week’s flight schedules from OAG shows.

FIND OUT MORE about the world’s leading airports in our Airport Insight series


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

11:00 – From leisure airline to disrupting trans-Atlantic skies – There’s no happy ending for Primera Air

This weeks big LCC news has been the collapse of European carrier Primera Air. While you may not have been able to class the carrier as a Low Cost Long Haul operator, it was a disruptor with its ‘low fare, high value’ concept using modern generation single-aisle airliners across the Atlantic. Many may say this is a blow for the concept, others might say lessons can be learned and strategies tweaked for the future.

Here’s our article on the airline’s closure…


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

10:00 – What’s in store over the next couple of days?

It’s hardly a secret that the airline industry is facing myriad challenges, notably in the marketing and distribution areas, as companies with personalised data, and the analytics and artificial intelligence to go with it, become greater threats to the stability of the traditional airline model. Understanding aviation markets is CAPA’s great strength and passion and the event agenda in Seville includes a variety of topics sure to generate interest.

This high-level aviation event, hosted at the Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento hotel in Seville, Spain, is a forum for debate and discussion of strategic issues facing both full service and low cost carriers with the emergence of increasing Low Cost Long Haul operations and it is attracting delegate interest from across the globe.

Alongside keynotes from LEVEL and Air Canada and a high-level airline panel on the continued blurring of the divide between full service and low cost carriers, topics under discussion include:

  • Can the full service carrier and the low cost long haul model exist in the market side by side?
  • Networking long haul operations: combining with short haul partners at each end
  • Don’t beat them, join them: LCC alliances, long haul and short haul LCC and LCC-FSC partnerships
  • Aircraft, engines and operations – enabling new generations of LCLH services
  • Financing and funding growth: Managing risk with large aircraft orders
  • The evolving airport-airline relationship: What do airports and LCCs need from each other?
  • LCCs working as part of a full service/low cost group: secrets for success
  • Know thy customer: Marketing and distribution initiatives for low cost long haul carriers
  • Generating non-ticket revenue streams – Leveraging retailing and ancillary initiatives
  • Can low cost long haul airlines cater to corporate and business travellers?

CHECK OUT the full event AGENDA.


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

09:00 – It is western Europe’s hottest area and now the LCC sector is delivering renewed bright hopes for Seville

Seville is often referred to as the hottest major metropolitan area in Western Europe and this year its San Pablo Airport is witnessing a decade high year-on-year growth in both capacity and  passenger demand. This is being driven mainly by the LCC sector of the industry which accounts for more than 85% of its current summer seat capacity with Ryanair, Vueling and easyJet all offering larger schedules than national carrier Iberia.


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

08:00 – Behind the Scenes – Build up has started at the Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento venue

The CAPA – Centre for Aviation events team has been on site for a couple of days ensuring everything is prepared for the Summit. Here’s some images from the early stages of the event build…


Wednesday 3rd October 2018

07:00 – Bienvenido! Welcome to Seville!

Good morning from Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento in Seville, the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain, the host of the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Low Cost Long Haul Global Summit. The CAPA event team are all on site working hard to prepare everything for the event, the first to look at this emerging niche in the aviation market, which opens tomorrow morning.