Catch up on CAPA’s exclusive Market Analysis pieces

    Each week, CAPA – Centre for Aviation, produces informative, thought provoking and detailed market analysis of the aviation industry. With supporting data included in every analysis, CAPA provides unrivalled and unparalleled intelligence.


    SWOT analysis: Aegean Airlines Group, Greek legend

    In 2018 Aegean Airlines Group made its sixth successive year of profit and indicated its confidence in the future by placing an order for 30 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. Its success has been built on resilient inbound tourist demand, regardless of the fluctuations in the Greek economy, and a very efficient cost structure compared with other full service airlines.

    The Greek market is highly leisure focused, very price sensitive and characterised by strong LCC competition. The Aegean Airlines Group has differentiated itself in this fiercely competitive environment through its full service offer, its well regarded brands, its Star Alliance membership and the connections available at its Athens hub. It also segments the market through Airbus narrowbodies operated by Aegean Airlines on international routes and turboprops operated by Olympic Air on domestic routes.

    This report considers Aegean Airlines Group’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In spite of strong competition and a sometimes difficult domestic economy, Aegean has proved to be enduring.

    To read on, visit SWOT analysis: Aegean Airlines Group, Greek legend


    Ontario Airport: new international flights, positive prospects

    California’s Ontario International Airport is one of the four largest airports serving the Los Angeles Basin and after recording declines in passenger numbers from 2008 to 2013, the airport has returned to annual passenger growth as US airlines work to ensure that they have ample coverage in the Los Angeles metro region.

    Ontario’s network mix is interesting. With the addition of China Airlines’ flights to Taiwan in 2018, Ontario is the only airport apart from Los Angeles International offering long haul service. There are unique characteristics to the Ontario area that make the flight possible, and the airport is no doubt working to capture additional international services.

    It remains to be seen whether Ontario will attract more international flights in the near future but for now, a return to positive passenger growth is welcome after the airport has worked for years to regain momentum.

    To read on, visit Ontario Airport: new international flights, positive prospects


    Air France-KLM vs TAP Air Portugal in Fortaleza

    The launch of Fortaleza flights from Paris CDG and Amsterdam a year ago in 2018 has added a third destination in Brazil for each of Air France and KLM. Both continue to operate considerably more capacity to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but Fortaleza has contributed to a double digit percentage expansion in Air France-KLM’s Brazil capacity.

    Under a three way partnership Air France, KLM and GOL established a hub in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in May-2018. Air France-KLM’s commercial partnership with GOL provides feed to/from the long haul routes and has contributed to Fortaleza Airport’s growth. The three airlines have collectively transported more than 2.5 million passengers on domestic and international flights in the first year of their cooperation.

    In addition to the services operated by Air France and KLM, TAP Air Portugal’s Lisbon service makes it the largest operator from Europe to Fortaleza, a market that is also served by Condor (from Frankfurt).

    However, with its Fortaleza operations, Air France-KLM is challenging TAP Air Portugal’s leadership in the Europe-Brazil market.

    To read on, visit Air France-KLM vs TAP Air Portugal in Fortaleza


    Long haul LCC narrowbody: Air Arabia, Jazeera Airways join the party

    Long haul low cost narrowbody operations are spreading to the Middle East with the upcoming launch of services from Sharjah to Kuala Lumpur by Air Arabia and from Kuwait to London Gatwick by Jazeera Airways.

    Kuala Lumpur will become Air Arabia’s first long haul destination on 1-Jul-2019 and London will become Jazeera’s first long haul destination at a date later in 2H2019 that has not yet been determined.

    Air Arabia and Jazeera are the Middle East’s two oldest LCCs, having launched in 2003 and 2005. Flydubai launched in 2009 and by some measures is the only Middle East LCC with long haul routes, but is generally no longer considered an LCC.

    Air Arabia is able to add Kuala Lumpur and other long haul routes not yet announced using its new fleet of A321neoLRs. Air Arabia has only committed to six A321neoLRs but is considering the acquisition of more long range narrowbody aircraft as part of an order for more than 100 new aircraft that the group expects to place in 2H2019.

    Jazeera is also considering acquiring A321neoLRs but is using A320neos to launch London and – at least for the time being – is focusing on expanding its A320neo fleet.

    To read on, visit Long haul LCC narrowbody: Air Arabia, Jazeera Airways join the party


    Lufthansa and Condor could reunite the cranes

    Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr has said that it has made a non-binding offer for the German leisure airline Condor Flugdienst, a Thomas Cook Group subsidiary. Lufthansa may also be interested in buying all Thomas Cook Group airlines, which include other subsidiaries in the UK, Scandinavia and Spain’s Balearic Islands.

    Condor, the biggest Thomas Cook Group airline and the only one with its own brand name, has a long history of ties to Lufthansa (including the historic crane logos). The acquisition of Condor, the number five airline in Germany, would further extend Lufthansa Group’s leading seat share.

    For Thomas Cook Group the continuity of airline capacity supply to its tour operator business is important, but airline ownership is no longer a strategic imperative. Its airlines have been growing their seat-only and third-party tour operator sales for some years. Moreover, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium was sold to Brussels Airlines in 2017.

    CAPA analysis indicates that Condor’s scheduled summer network (which is far bigger than its winter operation) has a significant level of overlap with Lufthansa and Eurowings. Condor’s strong leisure focus suggests that it would be plugged into Lufthansa’s Eurowings division, although it is still digesting parts of airberlin, and other hurdles could include competition concerns.

    To read on, visit Lufthansa and Condor could reunite the cranes


    US airports: 2020 election clouds new USD2 trillion financing plan

    There has been little love losT between the Republican and Democrat political parties in the U.S., especially since the election of President Trump in Nov-2016.

    But now, and in the wake of the failure of a Presidential ‘Infrastructure Plan’ that was proposed at the beginning of 2018, it looks as if those two parties and others may work together to implement a new, and bigger one. U.S. President Donald Trump and top Democrats are pushing for a USD2 trillion infrastructure plan.

    This would have clear implications for airport infrastructure financing, but it is not yet evident whether the government would prefer investment in existing facilities, or in new ones.

    To read on, visit US airports: 2020 election clouds new USD2 trillion financing plan


    US airlines’ Net Promoter Scores: Delta, Alaska, JetBlue

    Net promoter score (NPS) is reaching a level of reputable maturity and numerous companies use the metric to determine customer satisfaction. And although NPS has a number of critics, North American airlines are becoming increasingly reliant on NPS to gauge their resonance among customers.

    Initially, it seemed as if the perennial passenger favourites Alaska or JetBlue would tout their favourable NPS scores, but recently Delta has cited its growth in that metric and believes its improvement has driven tangible benefits to the airline’s business.

    It remains to be seen how prevalent NPS will remain among the US airlines as a customer satisfaction metric but for now, most airlines are working to maintain or bolster their NPS against their competitors.

    To read on, visit US airlines’ Net Promoter Scores: Delta, Alaska, JetBlue