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    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.

    Malta aviation: Air Malta, Ryanair and now Malta Air

    On 11-Jun-2019 Ryanair announced an agreement to buy the start-up airline Malta Air and use it to operate its low cost operations in Malta. Ryanair has already transferred its six Malta-based Boeing 737-800s to its new subsidiary’s AOC, although they will not be branded under Malta Air until summer 2020.

    The deal was done with the support and cooperation of the Maltese government, which wanted to solidify Ryanair’s ties to the country.

    This has caused some to question the future of the flag carrier Air Malta, which is owned by the Maltese state. Although the legacy airline reported a profit for the year to Mar-2018, it had struggled with profitability over the past decade, in no small part due to competition from Ryanair.

    The Maltese government has said that there is room for both airlines, operating different business models and networks.

    To read on, visit Malta aviation: Air Malta, Ryanair and now Malta Air

    Ireland’s airport funding: the future of regional airports

    Regional airports have a role to play in most countries but they are often undervalued. Ireland has more of those airports than most, for its small population, but they consistently live in the shadow of Dublin Airport, which punches well over its weight.

    The government has offered support to four small regional airports, one of which, Waterford, has no commercial services and was in real danger of closing down.

    The question is why European banks such as the EIB and EBRD are not playing their part, while one of those organisations is granting loan money at Dublin Airport which, comparatively speaking, is not in such great need of it.

    To read on, visit Ireland’s airport funding: the future of regional airports

    Gulf Air targets corporate and upmarket leisure as expansion resumes

    Gulf Air is increasing its focus on the corporate and upmarket leisure segments as it rapidly renews its fleet and improves its premium product.

    The new strategy, which was initially introduced last year and has accelerated this year with the adoption of a “boutique” business model, coincides with the start of a new expansion phase after several years of limited, or no, growth.

    The Bahrain flag carrier introduced a new industry leading widebody business class product in 2018 as it took delivery of its first batch of 787-9s. Another batch of 787-9s are being delivered over the next year and earmarked for new routes to New York, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

    Eight A321neoLRs will be delivered from early 2020 and will enable Gulf Air to improve its premium product on thin medium haul routes, as well as to launch new European destinations. Gulf Air is configuring its A321neoLRs with 16 lie-flat business class seats along with 152 economy seats.

    To read on, visit Gulf Air targets corporate and upmarket leisure as expansion resumes

    Lithuania plans a new central airport for Vilnius-Kaunas

    There is a growing propensity towards the concept of a new and centrally located airport to act as the main gateway in parts of Europe. Poland is the leader in this, having identified possible sites to the south of Warsaw, which could be connected multimodally to the main cities by high-speed rail.

    Now, Lithuania is considering something similar, except that in its case a new airport would be situated between the capital, Vilnius, and the other main city, Kaunas.

    It is a long way in the future, and if a decision is taken in its favour, considerable advance planning needs to be done in respect of transport links and terminal design.

    To read on, visit Lithuania plans a new central airport for Vilnius-Kaunas

    Colombia aviation: Avianca’s upheaval while competitors expand

    Colombia logged both solid domestic and solid international passenger growth during the first four months of 2019, reflecting the ample opportunities that exist in Latin America’s third largest aviation market as the country’s economy remains fairly stable.

    But Colombia’s largest airline, Avianca, is in a period of upheaval, fighting negative credit ratings, undergoing a sudden change in board control and naming a new CEO after its previous chief executive abruptly left the airline.

    Despite those challenges, Avianca is maintaining its leading share in Colombia’s domestic market.

    But Avianca’s largest rivals are planning growth in Colombia, which is adding pressure as Avianca aims to hit the reset button and execute its strategy to leverage its position as one of Latin America’s largest airline groups.

    To read on, visit Colombia aviation: Avianca’s upheaval while competitors expand

    Hawaiian and JAL navigate a new landscape with ANA’s A380s

    Japan has been key to Hawaiian Airlines’ international strategy for more than a decade. The country remains the airline’s largest international market by a wide margin, representing more than half of the airline’s international departing frequencies by country.

    Perhaps as a result of capacity pressure on its routes to the US mainland, Hawaiian is working to finesse its international network with the resumption of service to Fukuoka, Japan. It also recently gained increased access to Tokyo Haneda, beginning in 2020, though without as many route rights as it had originally requested.

    Despite all those moving parts, Hawaiian and its proposed JV partner Japan Airlines are working to create a competitive position between Hawaii and Japan as All Nippon Airways significantly ramps up its capacity to Honolulu.

    To read on, visit Hawaiian and JAL navigate a new landscape with ANA’s A380s