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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.

    Aviation and tourism in the UK General Election: largely ignored

    The UK is about to hold a general election (12-Dec-2019) which will determine the political direction of the country for the next five years. It is probably the most important election since the one in Jul-1945 immediately after the end of World War 2.

    The referendum vote to leave the EU in Jun-2016 and the opposition to it that has arisen in the Houses of Parliament since is at the heart of the election. Other issues will have an impact, too.

    Britain’s transport future will be determined by this election and the government that arises out of it.

    But air transport in particular, along with tourism, has been universally overlooked this time by nearly all the parties, at least in their manifestos.

    To read on, visit Aviation and tourism in the UK General Election: largely ignored

    ACI Europe and the airport ‘investment gap’

    ACI Europe has followed its North American counterpart in highlighting the “lack of investment” in airports in Europe, especially from the private sector, and on how that impacts on the ‘decarbonisation’ of airports.

    This appears to be a response to the growing tide of our-environment anti-flight movements, which have the capacity to impact heavily on transport choices in the future.

    But is there really a lack of investment on that continent? To what extent should investors – public or private – be expected to finance environmental protection around airports, which are public spaces used by a wide variety of traffic?

    Should they be expected to forego profitable enterprises such as car parking and make provision instead for alternative travel modes that legislators wish to see replace them? And in any case, can anyone be certain that the growth in travel is going to continue unabated? These all form part of the complex framework around growing awareness of the need to take action to slow the rate of aviation emissions.

    To read on, visit ACI Europe and the airport ‘investment gap’

    UK-Canada aviation: biggest Europe-Canada market stagnates

    Air Transat has noted the importance of Heathrow traffic in the market between the UK and Canada and is keen to attract more of this to Gatwick. Heathrow dominates UK-Canada traffic, but only the two national airlines, Air Canada and British Airways, serve Canada from the UK’s biggest airport.

    Air Transat’s commercial director for the UK and Ireland Adrian Keating regards this as one of Air Transat’s “biggest challenges”, as “so much Canadian traffic is Heathrow based” (Business Traveller Asia Pacific, 9-Nov-2019).

    The UK is the biggest market in Europe by annual seats to/from Canada, but annual capacity has grown only very slowly in recent years and much more slowly than the overall Europe-Canada market.

    Canadian airlines, led by Air Canada, dominate the UK-Canada market and drive growth (particularly the entry of LCC WestJet in 2015). British Airways has reduced its seat count, and Virgin Atlantic left this market in 2014. However, in Nov-2019 Virgin announced a new codeshare with WestJet to 32 destinations in Canada for passengers travelling from Gatwick.

    Air Transat is introducing the A321LR into the UK-Canada market in 2020. Long range narrowbody aircraft such as this could help to reinvigorate the market.

    To read on, visit UK-Canada aviation: biggest Europe-Canada market stagnates

    Spirit Airlines: maturing markets could create upside in 2020

    Spirit Airlines has been one of the fastest growing US airlines during the past decade, and over the past three years its ASM growth has averaged nearly 20%. The company expects capacity growth of 17% to 19% in 2020 as it expands both domestically and internationally.

    Spirit has also worked to ensure that its expansion includes international destinations to diversify its network, and expects international markets to make up approximately 15% of its total capacity.

    Cancún has been a centrepiece of Spirit’s latest international push after the airline concluded that it is a ripe market for the company’s specific product offering. The airline also believes that some of the new markets it has added during the past year should reach a certain level of maturity, which should create some unit revenue benefit for Spirit in 2020.

    To read on, visit Spirit Airlines: maturing markets could create upside in 2020

    UK regional airlines Flybe & Loganair kiss & make up with codeshare

    In Oct-2019 the UK’s two largest regional airlines Flybe and Loganair began a new codeshare agreement. Flybe, also Europe’s largest independent regional airline, and Loganair, the largest airline on routes within Scotland, overlap at 14 airports this winter, but on only one route. The new partnership focuses on their networks at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Manchester.

    The agreement also marks a renewing of cooperation between the two, albeit in a more equal manner, following the termination of a franchise arrangement in 2016 under which Loganair operated under Flybe’s code and brand. Since emerging from that relationship, Loganair has grown rapidly.

    By contrast, Flybe has been reducing its fleet and capacity since 2017, while enduring a number of years of losses. Flybe was acquired by a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and the investment firm Cyrus Capital earlier this year and will rebrand as Virgin Connect in 2020. The codeshare with Loganair is another stage in Flybe’s ongoing strategy of building commercial partnerships with a number of airlines.

    For Loganair, the new agreement is another stage in its development as an independent regional airline, ironically a development that began with the ending of its previous relationship with Flybe.

    To read on, visit UK regional airlines Flybe & Loganair kiss & make up with codeshare