DATA SPOTLIGHT: Australia

This year The Blue Swan Daily will feature some of the leading airlines, airports and country markets for air travel. Here, using the extensive profile insights available to CAPA – Centre for Aviation members to deliver a data snapshot, we look at Australia, which could be home to the first major airline casualty of the current coronavirus pandemic.

The travel news headlines this week have been dominated by Sir Richard Branson’s call for government support for the Virgin airline businesses, even agreeing to place his British Virgin Islands property, Necker Island, up as collateral for loans. While Australia’s finance minister Mathias Cormann acknowledges Virgin Australia “faced a series of challenges prior to the coronavirus crisis,” the pandemic has now driven the carrier into voluntary administration.

Mr Cormann says “we are committed” to two airlines “moving forward” in Australia, and Sir Richard believes this is not the end for Virgin Australia, “but I believe a new beginning” and promises “we will work day and night to turn this into reality”. The potential resurrection of the business would likely be in a more streamlined form, but as CAPA – Centre for Aviation highlighted in an analysis report during the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak, “Australia needs Virgin Australia to survive”.

It reported that Virgin Australia was unlikely to survive six months, without support and that there is a precedent for allowing a major airline to fail – The Howard government bravely – and rightly – allowed Ansett to collapse in Sep-2001. The decision to let the airline fail was right at that time, because Ansett had proven for almost a decade that it was incapable of adjusting to a deregulated market. But, now, CAPA notes, that Australia “needs functioning, full service airline competition” when it emerges into the post Covid-19 world, after all aviation has become so important to Australia and Australians.

“Australia needs a full service airline – just as it always has – to provide competition on major routes and regional services, to cater to the corporate market across the spectrum … as well as to be able to offer an international alternative,” says the respected aviation intelligence provider.

That may not be Virgin Australia in its current form or even brand, but its voluntary administration should enable it time to recapitalise the business and ensure it emerges in a more stable financial position following the recovery from the coronavirus crisis. That has to be good for Australia.

AIRPORTS IN THE COUNTRY

ANNUAL VISITOR ARRIVALS (2009 – 2019)

VISITOR ARRIVALS BY MARKET (2019)

MONTHLY VISITOR ARRIVALS AND SEASONALITY IN DEMAND (2015 – 2019)

SCHEDULE MOVEMENT SUMMARY (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

ANNUAL CAPACITY (2012 – 2020*)NOTE:*the values for this year are at least partly predictive up to six months and may be subject to change.

WEEKLY DOMESTIC CAPACITY (2017 – 2020*)NOTE:*the values for this year are at least partly predictive up to six months and may be subject to change.

WEEKLY INTERNATIONAL CAPACITY (2017-2020*)NOTE:*the values for this year are at least partly predictive up to six months and may be subject to change.

CAPACITY SPLIT BETWEEN DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

LARGEST AIRLINES BY CAPACITY (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

CAPACITY SPLIT BETWEEN LOCAL AND FOREIGN OPERATORS (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

AIRLINE BUSINESS MODEL CAPACITY SPLIT (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

DEVELOPMENT OF LCC ACTIVITY IN COUNTRY (2009 – 2019)

ALLIANCE CAPACITY SPLIT (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

INTERNATIONAL CAPACITY BREAKDOWN BY COUNTRY (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

DEPARTING SYSTEM SEATS BY CLASS (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

BUSIEST DOMESTIC MARKETS BY CAPACITY (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

BUSIEST INTERNATIONAL MARKETS BY CAPACITY (w/c 20-Apr-2020)

LOCAL AIRLINES’ AIRCRAFT FLEET (as at 20-Apr-2020)

MORE INSIGHTS:

COVID-19: Forward indicators for Australia aviation & travel

Why Australia needs Virgin Australia to survive

Qantas cuts deep, but well placed to weather COVID-19

Trans-Tasman aviation impacted by Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19: SIA Group the big winner in Asia-Pac bailouts

Bushfires, economy and now Wuhan slash Australia’s air travel