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.


    Winnipeg International: trends point to continued passenger growth

    Winnipeg International airport is enjoying a period of solid passenger growth, averaging approximately 6% annual increases from 2015 to 2018. During 2018 the airport handled 4.5 million passengers, which was the highest throughput since 2009.

    The airport features a mix of airlines operating various business models now that the ULCCs Flair and Swoop have introduced flights from Winnipeg. And although Flair’s capacity at Winnipeg pales in comparison to the airport’s largest operator Air Canada and WestJet, the ULCC’s entry into the market appears to have changed some of the competitive dynamics.

    Winnipeg joins other airports of similar sizes in working to gain more nonstop flights. But the airport’s management realises that it is a long game, and they will remain patient in its campaign to attract more service.

    To read on, visit Winnipeg International: trends point to continued passenger growth


    Borneo aviation: tourism on the rise, growth for Malaysia and Brunei

    The Southeast Asian island of Borneo has emerged as a popular tourist destination, particularly in the expanding ecotourism sector. Borneo, which is shared by Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, now attracts more than 2 million international visitors per annum (visitors from outside these three countries).

    International passenger traffic to/from Borneo increased by more than 10% in 2018, to approximately 6 million. Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia are the main international airports and are growing rapidly, driven primarily by China and other North Asian source markets.

    International passenger traffic at Kota Kinabalu increased by 11% in 2018 and another year of double digit growth is likely in 2019 given the capacity increases experienced so far this year. Smaller Brunei also expects double digit passenger growth in 2019 driven by rapid expansion by Royal Brunei Airlines. International seat capacity at Bandar Seri Begawan is projected to increase by around 20% this year compared to 2018.

    Royal Brunei Airlines has adopted an extended home market strategy with the objective of improving connectivity within Borneo, enabling visitors to combine different parts of the island in a single itinerary. The airline launched services to Kuching at the end of 2018, giving it two destinations within Borneo along with Kota Kinabalu, and is planning to add five new secondary destinations in Borneo by the end of 2019 using a new fleet of two wet-leased ATR 72s.

    To read on, visit Borneo aviation: tourism on the rise, growth for Malaysia and Brunei


    Gatwick Airport: majority owner VINCI ready to progress runway plan

    London’s Gatwick Airport lost out to Heathrow in the race to get government approval for an additional runway. It has said since that it will still build one anyway, and it does need extra capacity urgently.

    But a change of ownership at Gatwick’s operating company has overshadowed that plan. A new majority owner has to weigh up the pros and cons. Its track record does suggest it would welcome the challenge.

    In the meantime the airport is pursuing an ‘extra runway lite’ strategy that would mean that it would bring an existing taxiway back into commission as a partial-use runway to the north of the present runway.

    There are some technical problems to overcome.

    To read on, visit Gatwick Airport: majority owner VINCI ready to progress runway plan


    European airport “connectivity” growth slows

    In Jun-2019 ACI Europe published its sixth annual Airport Industry Connectivity Report, in partnership with SEO Amsterdam Economics.

    The report calculates a composite measure of the number of destinations, the frequency of services and the quality of connections available at airports. It also measures direct and indirect connectivity of airports and hub connectivity, defined as the number of connecting flights facilitated by hubs.

    Airport connectivity in Europe grew by 46% over 2009-2019, with indirect connectivity growth outpacing direct connectivity. Connectivity from Europe to Middle East and from Europe to Asia Pacific grew faster than to other world regions.

    EU airlines have modestly increased their direct connectivity share in the EU. However, there has been a switch from full service to LCCs, which are the growth engine for direct connectivity in Europe.

    LCC connectivity growth has focused mainly on middle sized airports, but is also growing at major hubs there. Frankfurt is the number one airport both for direct connectivity and for hub connectivity. At most of the major hubs, the home airlines have held or increased their share (expect Air France/Paris CDG).

    Connectivity growth in Europe has slowed in 2019 and connectivity at its major hubs has long grown more slowly than at leading airports in other regions.

    To read on, visit European airport “connectivity” growth slows


    Airline data protection: BA fine sends uncertain messages

    One of the biggest challenges facing airlines – and many other companies – is the digital revolution. For those rising to the challenge, technological change provides unprecedented opportunities. It can transform sales, distribution and payment and generate new ancillary revenue streams, with the potential for a significantly improved customer experience.

    The rewards for airlines can be lucrative. Globally, ancillaries have grown from 4.8% of airline revenue in 2010 to 10.7% in 2018, according to IdeaWorksCompany/CarTrawler.

    The raw material at the heart of the digital revolution is data. Customers freely provide airlines with huge amounts of data about themselves and their preferences, which airlines can use to sell enhanced services to those customers.

    However, the GBP183 million fine on British Airways on 8-Jul-2018 proposed by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for infringements of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) alters the balance between the challenge and opportunity of data. Whether the magnitude of the fine is appropriate, or whether it will achieve effective goals  are fundamental issues.

    The decision dispels any lingering misapprehension among airlines that data is a costless asset. An increasingly vital aspect of brand and reputation, it is used to generate revenue and inherently has a value. There are material costs associated with protecting it.

    The scale of the fine raises broader issues; for example, is the UK is sending a negative message to foreign investors at a time when Brexit may require the opposite? And at a practical level, it may discourage companies from being as transparent as they have in the past.

    To read on, visit Airline data protection: BA fine sends uncertain messages


    London City Airport: consulting on a draft master plan for 2020-2035

    London City Airport (LCY), originally a short takeoff and landing airport designed to satisfy business travel demand in the financial district of London, has begun to consult on its master plan from 2020 to 2035.

    The consultation is against the background of a steady rise in traffic and a drift towards more leisure passengers, but also opposition to its expansion that has – in the past – come from both the London Mayor and local councils.

    Moreover, as things stand, the airport will not host a station on the west-east Crossrail heavy rail line, one of two such lines (another will run south-north) which promise to revolutionise travel across the UK’s capital city.

    In its Master Plan the airport management pledges to “encourage” the building of such a station, but its main thrust is one of sustainable growth as it also pledges no more significant infrastructure additions and carbon neutrality.

    To read on, visit London City Airport: consulting on a draft master plan for 2020-2035


    Frontier Airlines: guessing the ultimate strategy for its new A321XLR

    Frontier Airlines’ recent announcement that it was converting 18 Airbus A320neo orders to the A321XLR generated a fair amount of speculation over where those aircraft would ultimately be deployed, despite the fact that those aircraft are not scheduled for delivery until 2024.

    The company’s comments about possible flights to Hawaii set the industry abuzz, that Frontier would become the latest airline to add flights to a market that has recently undergone significant capacity additions and pricing weakness. It is also a market that could undergo changes in the five-year period before Frontier begins operating its new long range aircraft.

    There’s also the possibility of Frontier adding long haul service to Europe, which seems like a lesser possibility than service deeper into Latin America, where prospects are more promising.

    To read on, visit Frontier Airlines: guessing the ultimate strategy for its new A321XLR