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Airline Mergers & Acquisitions

This category contains 30 posts

Ethiopian Airlines is and always had been, what the CEO calls a “strategic asset and a policy instrument” for the government. Its key role in logistics is designed to aid the country’s industrialisation. Today, the company is busy exporting its model across Africa, buying stakes in existing airlines in Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and Equatorial Guinea, as well as setting up new ones in Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zambia. Not all governments are fully on board with the company’s pan-African vision, a vision which led it to take a key role in pushing for the African Union’s single market for air transport launched earlier this year. “The main challenge is the lack of proper attention given to aviation by African countries,” Tewolde says. “At the policy level, African governments, unintentionally, consider aviation a rich man’s means of transport. They don’t consider it as an essential public service for the average person.”

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-aviation-doctor-3200a021/     Posted on Friday, 16 November 2018 Tewolde GebreMariam, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines   By Tom Gardner in Addis Ababa     http://www.theafricareport.com/East-Horn-Africa/itv-tewolde-gebremariam-chief-executive-officer-ethiopian-airlines.html   Tomas’s Comment:   There is no doubt that today Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s dominant airline, the only African Airline that can compete with the likes of Turkish, … Continue reading

A rare Caribbean airline success story, Turks and Caicos based inter-Caribbean Airways (8 x EMB-120, 4 x DHC-6, 1 x BN2 and soon 2 x ERJ-145’s) under the leadership of Chairman Mr. Lyndon R. Gardiner and CEO Trevor Sadler is planning to set up an AOC in the Dominican Republic with several used ERJ-145’s, as the 26 year old airline continues its impressive Caribbean expansion from Nassau, Havana, Kingston, Tortola all the way to Dominica. This Dominican Republic move would make it the second foreign airline that plans to do so, as two months back Laser Airlines of Venezuela announced it will fill the void left by the demise of PAWA Dominicana. Dominican ownership would be just 35%, it may be enough locally, but under most bilateral air service agreements (BASA) it requires majority ownership and control, so traffic rights could be an issue. No one has yet used the 50 seat regional jets in the Caribbean, though PAWA Dominicana did plan on operating 6 x CRJ-200’s, while fast they have a high unit cost (CSAK) and need a much higher yield to breakeven than what PAWA Dominicana was getting with its MD-80’s, and this will be interesting in a low yield market like the Caribbean.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-aviation-doctor-3200a021/       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InterCaribbean_Airways     Foreign airline manages to become Dominican?     ~ and covers routes within the Caribbean (translated)     Eugenio De Marchena Sunday, 26 August 2018     InterCaribbean Turks and Caicos have initiated the process that demands the Dominican State with the aim of becoming a … Continue reading

Jet Airways seeking $400 million from global equity firms to stay alive while Turkish Airlines had a good year, but the collapse of the Turkish Lira versus the $US, will create major problems this year for Turkish, 2 big airlines now in trouble for different reasons, and add to that Air India which has 23% of its 118 aircraft, grounded at any given time due to a lack of spare parts, yes $US 3.6 billion in assets parked waiting!

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/       Airline Economics  August 13, 2018         Jet Airways is reported to have begun a formal stake-sale process to raise $350-400 million from global private equity firms.     Local media sources suggest that Blackstone, TPG, Cerberus Capital Management and Indigo … Continue reading

The sad Rise and Fall of Curacao based InselAir took another “dubious” twist 2 weeks ago, in line with the ‘disappeared’ $US 97 million in Venezuela “mystery” that brought the airline down in the first place. The the Curacao Government and 51% owner (after a $US18.3 million loan) of what is left of the airline (1 operational Fokker F50), selected One Laser Group LLC of Miami, to be Insel Air’s 49% strategic partner. The Government claims that ‘InselAir is Bankrupt Without One Laser Group’. The Group is to invest $US 11.1 million into InselAir’s revival, yet the problem is, that there is NO information on the company, executives, history, business dealings, press releases, not even a web page, just a Florida based LLC (limited liability company), basically a “shell company with 1 key person. The company claims it is a “conglomerate of companies that invest in various sectors like air freight, logistics in food & pharmaceuticals and oil supply”? whatever! What the hell is Curacao thinking? I am sorry, but I believe this is just another BS airline scam in the works, like the recent BVI Airways, PAWA Dominicana, Baltia Air Lines/USGlobal Airways and others I have covered and exposed. With 4 CEO’s since January, 2017 it says novels about the ‘fiasco’ within InselAir today.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/               Tomas’s Comment:   This industry is never dull, always something and sadly too often I find some funny business going on, as this industry due to its high asset value seems to attract a lot dubious entrepreneurs, executives and … Continue reading

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is on a roll with is domination of the African skies as it takes equity positions in many new state owned airlines, the latest being tiny Eritrean Airlines (1 x ACMI leased B737-500), now that peace has come at least between the two neighbours. Ethiopian Airlines has for years had minority ownerships in ASky of Togo (40%) and Malawian Airlines (49%), but now it has gone on a binge of ownerships and partnerships from new national carrier start-ups and existing state carriers like Zambia Airways II (45%) to Guinea, Ghana, Chad, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, DRC and now possibly newly announced Nigeria Air. As Africa’s biggest and best managed airline (private and state owned) in Africa, ET is well positioned to dominate the continent with its equity and partnership ‘alliance’ strategy. Helping local airlines like Malawian Airlines (ex-Air Malawi) is very good, but when you start controlling a dozen plus airlines, it begins to be worrying, competition is being limited, and that is something Africa needs more of, not less. Now, new start-ups that plan to compete with Ethiopian, especially in long-haul, like Air Tanzania and Uganda Airlines and to a lesser degree for now, Senegal Airlines II face a mighty competitor that is going to pull traffic from all corners of Africa, N.A., Europe, Middle East and Asia with 100+ aircraft through Addis Ababa, and the small carriers will find it very hard to compete on costs, price, schedules, network to service. It is a very tough business to be entering today.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     Ethiopian Airlines confirms it is eying stake in Eritrean Airlines   Avitrader – July 20, 2018       Tomas’s Comment:   This peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, (a country of 5.5 million people) is good news for sure, the first flight in years … Continue reading

EC approval of Ryanair and LaudaMotion deal, where Irish Rynair is buying 75% of LaudaMotion (up from existing 24.9%) sparks war of words with Lufthansa, which was forced to drop its bid for NIKI in December, 2017 after the EC’s Directorate General for Competition warned that the tie-up would have harmed passengers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. NIKI was part of airBerlin and had been kept going through a combination of as much as 10 million euros ($12 million) in weekly support from Lufthansa and a 150 million-euro government loan granted to Air Berlin in August to prevent a wholesale grounding of flights. Lufthansa was successful in acquiring some other Air Berlin assets, including multiple aircraft, crew and slots, as well as regional air carrier LGW, subject to conditions set by the EC to avoid competition “distortions”. These included a reduction of Lufthansa’s project acquisition of slots at Dusseldorf airport and the transfer of 11 aircraft to LaudaMotion.

    Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/         EC approval of Ryanair/LaudaMotion deal sparks war of words with Lufthansa   19 July 2018 by Naomi Smith – Getting The Deal Through           Lawyers from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton have helped Ryanair win unconditional … Continue reading

Two of Europe’s biggest regional airlines, Air Nostrum and CityJet aim for closer cooperation , with a combined fleet of 88 aircraft and up to Euro 700 million in revenue from wet lease and franchise contracts they are out to conquer the regional market in Europe? Yet they are both over dependent on 1 major customer each for their survival, CityJet on SAS and Air Nostrum on Iberia Regional, they both have a large fleet of what I call “loser” aircraft programs as CityJet has 7 (+8 on order) of the 95 passenger Russian Sukhoi SSJ100’s, the ONLY operator in Western Europe, and only the 2nd western airline to operate it commercially (after Mexico’s Interjet), its cheap and it is about to get the boot from LH’s Brussels Airlines for poor dispatch reliability! Air Nostrum has 27 of the 60 delivered (just 68 ordered in 8 years of production) 100 passenger CRJ1000’s (a 18.2 meter stretch of the 1970’s CL-600 Challenger business jet), that airlines just don’t want or need, it is a very long tube from the back, and noone is buying it, airlines know best as to what is good and bad, it is why aircraft orders say novels about any aircraft no matter what an OEM says or thinks!

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     July 17, 2018   100 passenger CRJ1000 of Air Nostrum (Spain)   95 passenger Sukhoi SSJ100-95 of CityJet (Ireland)       Tomas’ Comment:   Interesting development, but no surprise, CityJet has been looking to buy other other operators as it looks for M&A … Continue reading

The Chairman of Estonia’s Nordica resigns. Remember this was the airline that took over Estonian Air routes the very day Eastonian Air shut down (November 8, 2015) as per European Commission orders to give back to the Estonian people the Euro 85 million in illegal aid that was used to keep the struggling national airline alive as it distorted competition. With no money to give back, Estonian Air had to shut down, just like Hungary’s Malev (February 3, 2012) and Cyprus Airways (January 9, 2015) for using illegal state aid. The Estonians learned from the Malev and Cyprus Airways EC ruling on how to circumvent EC rulings, and Nordica (Nordic Aviation Group) was readied and waiting in the wings for 2 months before the EC Ruling with Euro 72.7 million in new Estonian state aid for a “new” state airline. Now it has 18 aircraft (6 x ATR-72-600, 2 x CRJ700 and 10 x CRJ900) and is 49% owned by LOT. Has Nordica and Estonia circumvented EC rules? did they find a way to beat the EC and just let the old national airline collapse and start a new one with no repercussion? You know, all EU states should get out of the airline ownership business, airlines today need to swim or sink and state aid distorts competition, especially with private airlines who need make a return for their shareholders. Time for the EU states to get out of the airline business finally! No more public money for EU airlines, that is what the EC should be aiming for now.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Chairman of the Management Board of Estonian airline Nordica submitted his resignation   July 14, 2018 –  The Nordic Times       Jaan Tamm, Chairman of the Management Board of Estonian airline Nordica, submitted his resignation to the Supervisory Board of Nordic Aviation Group … Continue reading

Smart way for Estonia to avoid illegal state airline support? On November 8, 2015 state owned Estonian Air was forced to shut down after the European Commission declared it cheated with state aid to stay afloat and that it return Euro 84.9 million. Estonia knew this decision was coming and had already decided that the country must have a Estonian airline at all cost and two months before the closure it set up two new public aviation companies, Nordica and OU Transpordi Varahaldus, with Euro 72 million allocated by the state, and screw the EC, they were going to use state aid for another state owned airline to distort and compete with other EU based airlines? Ho wcan the EC allow this, should the Hungarian and Cypriot Governments have put up new money again for a new state airline when Malev and Cyprus Airways was forced into bankruptcy for illegal state aid? The EC needs to get its act together, the Estonians laughed in their face, and started flying their new state owned airline Nordic Aviation Group, the same day estonian Air stopped flying! What was the point? and what is the lesson for other EU state airlines, and where it the protections for privately owned airlines against state owned airlines like SAS, LOT, airBaltic, Croatian Airlines when the EC rulings are circumvented?

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     This article was written and first published on gediminas.ziemelis.com on 13th February 2018   Smart way for Estonia to avoid illegal state airline support?         Tomas’s Comment: A sad story on how the European Commission failed privately owned airlines in the … Continue reading

SUMMARY: NO surprise! Fastjet of South Africa is on the brink of failure, without a cash immediate injection, as cash on hand is down to $US 3.3m, this airline’s LCC business model with A319’s was broken for years, then they abandoned the model for regional jet flying with 3 x ERJ-145’s and 2 x E190’s. With operations in Mozambique (under Solenta Aviation Mozambique), South Africa (“branding licence”? with Federal Airlines), Tanzania (Fastjet Tanzania 49% owned) and in Zimbabwe (FastJet Zimbabwe 49% owned) and still cannot make money, share price fell 70% today, and yet still the airline is valued at $US 29m seriously?

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Fastjet warns it cannot continue without equity raising Airline Economics Daily – June 27, 2018 Tomas’s Comment: This is a sad story, the LCC model was a disaster, in 2016 it lost $US 48m on $US 68.5m in revenue? a -70% loss margin? what kind of business is that? They found a … Continue reading

SUMMARY: The 2nd last multi-national owned airline left in the world, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, the state carrier of Sweden, Norway and Denmark since 1951, is about to lose Norway as its shareholder, as it is selling the last of its 9.88% of the airline (down from the original 14.3%). Multi government airlines don’t work, from Air Afrique, Gulf Air, MSA, East African Airways to LIAT, they served their purpose but now its time for owners to go their own way, state owned airlines are hard to run imagine 11? it is time for that business model to be put to rest.

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   June 26, 2018 – Airwise Norway has announced it will sell its remaining shares in flag carrier SAS Scandinavian Airlines.   The Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday launched the sale of its remaining 37.8 million shares, representing 9.88 percent of the airline.   Norway originally held a 14.3 percent … Continue reading

SUMMARY: The Etihad Airways “Equity Alliance Strategy” was a disaster just like the 1990’s Swissair “Hunter Strategy” which bankrupted Swissair in 2001, now Etihad has to dig itself out of a mess and right size its business, which means less aircraft, which is bad news for Boeing’s B777X order book, but with just 25 orders out of a total of 326 its a small hit, the big hit will be on Etihad which now has to be thinking of joining Emirates and flyDubai under one Group ownership, that will take some soul searching and loss of pride in Abu Dhabi, but it makes sense for the future of Etihad.

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Etihad B777-300ER     $6 Billion Order Loss For Boeing? Jun.18.2018 – Seeking Alpha -Dhierin Bechai         Tomas’s Comment: Etihad Airways has 8 x $394.8 million B777-8’s on order and 17 x $425.8m B777-9’s on order since November, 2013 when life was good for Etihad Airways, and ordering 25 … Continue reading

Surinam Airways must ‘think Big’, with a Big vision for the future beyond just Suriname, too many small national carriers think ‘small’ and never achieve their full potential, sticking to old tried ways without much success, yet look at the success of COPA (Panama), Norway Air Shuttle (Norway), Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia), Ryanair (Ireland) to Singapore Airlines (Singapore), think Big, plan Big, act Big and do Big things and you become Big in time, step by step. But if you think small, plan small, act small you will always remain small and insignificant and most likely, not profitable.

Surinam Airways must ‘think big’, says aviation expert Published on January 23, 2017 by Caribbean News Now by Ray Chickrie Email To Friend    Print Version  By Ray Chickrie PARAMARIBO, Suriname — In his assessment of Surinam Airways (SLM) (3 x B737-300’s and 1 x A340-300), aviation expert Tomas Chlumecky has called on the airline to “get out … Continue reading

UPDATE: Transwest Air is now a fully owned subsidiary of WestWind Aviation, now there is only 1 large regional airline in Saskatchewan, and 80% owned by 2 First Nations economic development corporations (EDC’s). These First Nations EDC’s now pretty much own ALL airlines in Canada’s north, usually through Aboriginal economic development corporations (EDC’s), with a few family and corporate hold outs in the Northwest Territories, especially at Yellowknife (Summit Air, Discovery Air-Air Tindi/Great Slave Helicopters, Buffalo Airways) and in Fort Smith Northwestern Air Lease Ltd. Is this a good thing or a bad thing where First Nations own all air services in Canada’s north ? Is this the only viable exit strategy available in the north or are there “pressures” to sell to local First Nations ? and Can the EDC’s create long term financially sustainable airlines ? First Air (Makivik Corp.) and Canadian North (IDA), have tried to merge several times but each time it has failed, even though it makes lots of economic sense to do it, or is more cooperation among the EDC’s needed, like the recent cooperation between Air North and First Air ?

As to my blog of August 21, 2016, the Transwest Air deal is done and it is now a fully owned subsidiary of WestWind Aviation, which itself is owned 55% by the Athabasca Basin Development (ABD) and 25% owned Prince Albert Development Corporation (PADC), in short 80% First Nation owned with 20% owned by the … Continue reading

UPDATE: Canadian regional airline consolidation continues as the once fragmented industry starts to consolidate around a single provincial operator. After 11 months under Canada’s CCAA (+/- Chapter 11 bankruptcy/reorganization), Quebec based regional airline, Pascan Aviation is acquired by 2 senior executives in a management buyout (MBO). Meanwhile Saskatchewan based WestWind Aviation, fresh from its acquisition of Osprey Wings last November, looks to takeover its main local competitor, Saab 340 operator Transwest Air, itself the product of two old local airlines and their pioneers (Athabasca Airways of Floyd Glass and La Ronge Aviation of Pat Campling) coming together in 2000, leaving WestWind Aviation a monopoly in Saskatchewan, much like Manitoba with Perimeter Airlines, Calm Air, Keewatin Air and Bearskin Airlines, all under one ownership. Times are changing for regional airlines in Canada, as the second generation of airline owners retire or sell of the businesses that their fathers and mothers built from scratch, usually with nothing more than a single Cessna 180 aircraft. Sad to see the old names disappear, it is the “circle of life”, but the legacies of our Canadian aviation pioneers will always remain with us.

UPDATE: As I wrote this, I found out that WestWind Aviation (80% First Nation owned) has bought Transwest Air for an undisclosed amount, now only 1 airline exists in Saskatchewan, like it or not.   This is my follow up to the January 5, 2016 article “Consolidation in the Canadian Regional Airline Industry”, as the … Continue reading

PRESENTATION: Finding the elusive sustainable airline business model in the Caribbean, a large graveyard for regional airlines for decades. The region has a great deal of potential, but government taxes (up to 100% of net ticket price) play havoc with passenger demand, poor intra regional connectivity and government protection for state subsidized airlines (LIAT, Caribbean Airlines, Bahamasair, Cayman Airways) limits any real competition. Time for real Open Skies, allowing freedom to serve any route by appropriately licensed carrier, and governments to get out of the airline business, and stop taxing airline tickets to the point where tourist traffic is 1/3 of what it was 10 years ago, the whole idea is to get tourist to the islands and then tax them, rather than tax them to death on airline tickets as they then chose other destinations to travel to, its all backwards. LIAT flies 35% of its routes on money losing “social routes” with ATR-72/42’s, time to get small regionals with 15-19 passenger turboprops to compliment and even replace LIAT services on money losing routes, frees up ATR capacity for money making routes and reduces or eliminates loses on “social routes”. Time for a more intelligent approach on air transport and air connectivity in the region, where tourism is still struggling after 8 years, and it is tourism that drives the economies in the Caribbean.

I attended the Carib Avia’s 1st annual Caribbean Aviation Meetup between June 14-16, 2016 in Roseau the capital city of the beautiful Commonwealth of Dominica, and attached is the 2 hour presentation from the Conference. The Presentation covers airlines that have gone bust, regional aircraft, multi-government owned airlines, airline business models, regional airline valuations to … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Consolidation in the Canadian regional airline industry is slower than I expected, but recent acquisitions by West Wind Aviation of Osprey Wings and Harbour Air (aka “World’s Largest Seaplane Airline”) acquisition of Salt Spring Air on top of EIC acquiring Provincial Aerospace and Chorus Aviation acquiring Voyageur Airways earlier in 2015 gives me some hope for more mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in this sector over the next 1-3 years. In fact, Harbour Air itself has sold 49% of it’s equity to a Chinese investor in 2015, and is now planning to enter the highly questionable Chinese seaplane market , just as it solidifies it’s dominant market position in and around the Vancouver area having also acquired Whistler Air (in 2012) and West Coast Air (in 2010), and then divested itself off Prince Rupert based North Pacific Seaplanes (in 2013). There are 6 privately owned Canadian regional airlines that could be in play in the next 2-3 years, as several airlines are well into their 2nd generation of management by owners and most do not have a 3rd generation waiting to take control and few are actually growing and basically stuck in their traditional market. Publicly owned Exchange Income Corporation (EIC) with 5 airlines now has shown that you can make money with regional airlines as long as you have good management, a good market position/niche and financing behind you. The industry is changing, in the north, most airlines are now First Nation owned and the remaining privately owned airlines will find eager investors if they truly want to sell and are prepared for suitors before they need a buyer, as most small airlines are unprepared to generate interest with potential buyers, as they don’t even know how to value their business’s worth, what are its attributes and how to attract a broader pool of investors willing to pay more for the company. Last, I will discuss the growth of seaplane airlines around the world and the need for new aircraft beyond just old landplanes with bulky and heavy floats attached, for the industry to really grow.

I have previously discussed the Canadian regional airline market, and that consolidation is coming as family run airlines are looking to sell their airlines, as witnessed by Exchange Income Corporation (EIC) of Winnipeg (TSX:EIF), which has bought 5 Canadian private family regional airlines in the past 12 years, and surely eyeing more: Perimeter Aviation in … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Another Canadian airline has shut its doors again, as IMP Group’s CanJet Airlines has packed it in after 15 years of trying everything to be successful, from being sold to Canada 3000 and then revived, then went into scheduled services, then went into charter flying for tour operator Sunquest followed by ACMI flying for Air Transat and when that ended a failed quick and poorly planned attempt at becoming a tour operator as well, but CanJet Vacations lasted 2 months at best, again poor execution of a business plan and now it has run out of ideas. The airline has run the gauntlet of airline business models without any long term success or profit, the problem is more to do with execution than the business plans used, a common Canadian aviation problem. Now it will dry lease out its last 4 x B737-800’s and return them to their owners in May, 2016, but with no operations the AOC will be gone, and that is worth something for Canada’s aspiring ULCC start-ups like Canada Jetline or Maple Leaf Travel who have no AOC or money right now. Canada needs a ULCC, the business model is proven and LCC companies like Indigo Partners LCC and Irelandia Aviation surely would love to give it a try in Canada where 85% of domestic travel is in the hands of the duopoly of Westjet Airlines and Air Canada. Why are airlines like Air Transat allowed to lease in 10+ foreign B737-800’s on ACMI leases when Canadian aircraft and crews are available ? foreign ACMI leases should be allowed only when there is no Canadian lift available, time for the government to investigate this matter.

As expected (my Blog May 19, 2015), Canada has lost another airline last week, when CanJet Airlines, shut down the operation of its last operational Boeing B737-800 which was operating on an ACMI lease for Air Transat out of Toronto, and was downgraded to just a dry lease, forcing the company to furlough its last … Continue reading

SUMMARY: The good airline news out of Europe is that TAP Portugal is finally 61% privatized and in good hands for the future while the Irish Government gives the go ahead for IAG’s buyout of Aer Lingus. The bad news is that Lithuania’s small national airline, Air Lituanica becomes the 5th European airline this year to shutdown (27 in 2014), while Croatian Airlines and Adria Airways nervously wait for their privatization as it is “swim or sink” time for them and others like LOT, TAROM, Estonian Air, Czech Airlines, AirBaltic, etc. as they have all taken or will take their last “one time” EU allowed state aid packages, and from now on for most, if they run out of money, they have NO choice but to file for bankruptcy. The low cost carriers (LCC) in Europe continue to grow at a fast pace and challenge the existence of national carriers as incumbents cannot muster any significant competitive response against the LCC onslaught in Europe. Meanwhile, fully government owned AirBaltic of Latvia becomes the launch customer for Bombardier’s CS300 (20 on order, 13 + 7 options), the $US 1.44 billion aircraft cost and launch customer designation is not realistic from an airline based in Latvia that lost $US 220 million since 2010, bailed out by the Government in 2011 and has made only $US 11 million in net profit in the past 2 years on revenues of $US 688 million (a slim 1.6% net profit margin), it is a barely a financially viable carrier without the new and expensive CS300’s. The airline has 24 aircraft today (B737-300/500, Q400’s) making it the 36th largest airline in Europe (following ‘big’ names like Onur Air and Norwind Airlines ?) is this a joke ? Bombardier has NO “better” customer for the launch of the CS300 ? the quality of its current customer order book is sad indeed after Lufthansa and Korean. It reminds me of the Sukhoi SSJ-100 tragic launch customer Armavia (of Armenia), which was an absolute PR and marketing disaster, as it accepted the 1st aircraft, could not finance the 2nd aircraft, and then went bust. Anyway, the plight of the small/medium government owned and private airlines in Europe continues, what is their future ? or is there one ? Air Serbia pulls off an incredible corporate turnaround in 1 year under its “white knight” equity partnership with Etihad Airways, but other airlines may not be so lucky, time to look at new business models for survival before the wave of European bankruptcies begins as surely 50 European countries cannot all have a national airline !

The European airline industry is tough, unstable and very dynamic, the latest casualty is little known Air Lituanica of Lithuania, which is the 5th European airline victim in 2015 (not counting Russia), following Cyprus Airways, EuroLot (Poland), Tend Air (Romania) and Wizz Air Ukraine into the history books. The European airline industry is in trouble … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Canada’s charter airlines struggle, CanJet Airlines (owned by IMP) future in serious doubt while Air Transat limps along in its recovery, but Air Canada’s Rouge is growing and on its heels. Meanwhile the 3 ultra low cost airline candidates struggle to raise money, with Jet Naked (Enerjet) lost its 3 star ULCC (ultra low cost carrier) executives and now Enerjet is being sued by them for breach of contract. Meanwhile, NewLeaf Travel Co. Inc. ties up with Flair airlines to operate 2 x B737-400’s for it, IF and WHEN it raises sufficient start-up capital. Over in Vancouver, Canada Jetlines orders 5 and options another 16 Boeing B737Max7’s before it even has start-up financing in place ?? Interesting developments in this segment, and worth watching, as Canada needs a ultra low cost airline (ULCC) to offer low cost air travel to Canadians. Canada is the ONLY large country left without a LCC, and is controlled by a duopoly. Troubled CanJet Airlines has the potential to be a ULCC and save itself from doom, but right now it looks like no ULCC will start-up in Canada this year and CanJet will most likely be shut down, leaving NO low cost champion in Canada, and 34 million Canadians are prisoners to only 2 airlines domestically, a country that is only 2% smaller than all of Europe put together !

The first 4 months of 2015, have brought mixed results for some of Canada’s airlines. In big trouble is one of Canada’s leisure and ad hoc charter airlines, Halifax based CanJet Airlines, owned by IMP Group International, a diversified conglomerate owned by the Rowe family, that now employs 4,500 employees in 6 Divisions in Aerospace … Continue reading