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Major Airlines

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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

Six ERJ-145 regional jets are joining the eight EMB-120 at Inter-Caribbean Airways of the Turks & Caicos

  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-aviation-doctor-3200a021/   SIX NEW JETS FOR InterCARIBBEAN By Hayden Boyce & Todeline Defralien – The Sun – September 9, 2018       Over 60 airlines have failed in the Caribbean since 1981:  Aero Wings  Carib Aviation  Caribbean Star  RedJet  Trans Island Air 2000  Air Monserrat  Air Caribbean … Continue reading

American Airlines will phase out its 23 remaining B767-300ER’s by 2020 as more B787-8/9’s arrive. By next year all MD-80’s will be gone as will 20 E190’s by 2020. This will improve AA’s unit costs per ASM as will its acceptance of 100 A321neo and 100 B737-8’s and a B787 fleet that will as of now go to 89 aircraft. Out with the old and in with the new, will make AA more competitive against DL and UA.

  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-aviation-doctor-3200a021/         AMERICAN AIRLINES CONFIRMS BOEING 767-300ER RETIREMENT DATES by Enrique Perrella – Airways     In an internal memo, American Airlines (AA) confirmed that its fleet of 23 Boeing 767-300(ER)s will be phased out in 2021.   Ryan Travis, Managing Director of Fleet Planning at AA, confirmed that “The 767 … 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

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 national flag carrier of Fiji is Fiji Airways, whose history goes back to 1951, and which was until May 2012 known as Air Pacific, and from 2012 it has become a very profitable airline national airline under 2 excellent previous airline executives, American CEO’s Dave Pflieger (Ex-CEO Hawaiian Airlines and after Fiji Airways he went on to Silver Air, Island Air and now RAVN Alaska), German Stefan Pichler (Ex-CEO Thomas Cook AG, Ex-COO Virgin Australia, Ex-CEO Jazerra Airways, Ex-CEO airBerlin and now CEO Royal Jordanian) and now highly regarded and talented South African CEO Andre Viljoen (Ex-Comair, SAA, Ex-CEO Air Mauritius). Fiji Airways has grown its fleet to 12 jets (6 x A330-200, 1 x A330-300, 1 x B737-700, 4 x B737-800 and 6 on order, 1 x A330-300 and 5 x B737-8’s). The airline is part of the Air Pacific Group, which also owns 100% of Fiji Link (1 x ATR-42-600, 2 x ATR-72-600, 3 x DHC-6-300’s to be replaced by 4 x Viking Air’s Series 400 Twin Otters), with the Government of Fiji owning 51% of Air Pacific Group, 46.32% owned by QANTAS and 2.68% ownership spread out between Air New Zealand and the Governments of the Pacific island states of Kiribati, Tonga, Nauru and Samoa.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     FIJI AIRWAYS, THE LITTLE AIRLINE WITH A BIG HEART   Written by Tom Ballantyne July 14, 2018 – June 2018 edition of Australian Aviation.       It’s the little airline with a big heart. In the South Pacific, where history suggests financial success … Continue reading

Start-up Vietnamese airline, Bamboo Airways, has committed to purchasing 20 787-9 Dreamliners and 24 x Airbus A321neo’s back in March. The airline will be up against state owned and soon to be 49% privatized Vietnam Airlines with 83 aircraft and 28 on order, LCC VietJet Air with 55 aircraft and 179 on order and lastly Jetstar Pacific with 19 aircraft, if all airlines take their orders, Vietnam should have 4 airlines operating a total of 408 commercial jet airliners by +/- 2024, that is going to be a highly competitive market for sure.

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Airline Economics Online- June 27, 2018       Tomas’s Comment:   Bamboo Airways, is a startup airline by a Vietnamese construction company, FLC Group. It will start in late 2019? and will serve destinations where FLC Group has heavily invested in tourism infrastructure, as well as other secondary domestic routes.   … 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

Nepal’s aviation sector removed from ICAO’s SSC (significant safety concern) list

You can read more of my Articles and Posts on LinkedIN at:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/    The Himalayan Times – June 22, 2018 – RASTRIYA SAMACHAR SAMITI Nepal’s aviation sector removed from ICAO’s SSC list Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil aviation, Rabindra Prasad Adhikari, has said that International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has removed Nepal’s aviation … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Is it too Early to Bury the A380 ? Then a look at the costly $25.0B, A380-800 program in more detail which has just 317 orders and 210 deliveries for the $436.9M List Price airliner now operated by 13 airlines. As we approach 10 years in service with Singapore Airlines we will see the first used A380’s to come to the used market (for airline and possibly VVIP/Head of State use). Does the big 4 engine airliner have a future ? a niche ? as it is the lowest cost per unit (CASK) airliner in the world at Emirates, where some are configured with 615 seats, and its why Malaysian Airlines is putting in 700 seats on its A380’s for Hajj and other charters, wile ANA will have 600+ seats in its 3 x A380s for its high demand leisure flights from Japan to Hawaii, replacing 2 x B767-300’s flights with one A380 flight, a sign of some new potential for the “Queen” of the skies ? Lets hope so.

https://www.aerotime.aero/en/civil/18805-is-it-too-early-to-bury-the-a380 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— With permission from Aerotime Is it too early to bury the A380? Published on: May, 19, 2017 Source and image:Oleg Volkov Airbus A380 is big, beautiful, and notoriously problematic when it comes to airport availability and – most importantly – profitability. For some, like Emirates, it is still a signature aircraft that is … Continue reading

UPDATE: Sukhoi’s SSJ100 is soon to enter service with Ireland’s CityJet, as that airline is sold by Intro Aviation to it’s pro-Russian CEO Pat Byrne and his “investors” . The airline will be leasing 21 of the aircraft and supporting the Russian Military Industrial Complex, as Sukhoi and its parent United Aircraft Corporation are under EU/US economic sanctions. At a time when the “Cold War” is back on in Europe it is repulsive for many Europeans as maybe the Irish don’t care or know what is happening in Eastern Europe and the Baltics between NATO and Russia, but most people who are in the know are nauseated by Russia’s never changing anti-western propaganda, the same narrative of the 1950’s to the 1980’s, just different faces, we are the western “imperialists”, the west is bad and Russia is good propaganda, and do you want to fly on a Russian airliner ? Say NYET to CityJet and its Russian jets and any other airline that wants to support Russia’s military by wet leasing the aircraft from CityJet. The program is a joke, this month its 5 years for the SS100 program, 102 delivered and only 66 as of these are in service today, and 36 sitting around waiting for a ‘home’, NOT GOOD, they are new aircraft, they need to fly not sit. The Russians need the SSJ100 to be a western success, to open doors to their 165+ passenger single aisle Irkut MC-21 which is due in 4 years. The “political risk” associated with operating the SSJ100 is huge given today’s political situation, and why any airline executive would risk the entire future of his airline on ‘political events’ is beyond my comprehension, it must be about money, as it cannot be about a long term sustainable business model with a “game changer”, which it surely is not, in fact it is outdated today as Embraer E2’s , MRJ’s and CS100’s are greatly superior in economics and passenger comfort. BUT the money is huge today for anyone wanting a Sukhoi ! as Russia is desperate, as the planned 45 units for production in 2015 became only 17 due to “low demand”.

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) subsidiary, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) is celebrating its its 5th anniversary for the Sukhoi SuperJet 100, and it sure has not been a smooth ride for the Russians. After 5 years (as of April, 2016) there are only 66 aircraft in out of 102 produced, leaving 36 aircraft in storage … Continue reading

UPDATE: Bombardier stock (TSE:BBD.B) has been at $1.00 all day today, and late this afternoon it went south of that “psychological” barrier and became a “penny” stock, as it closed at a 25 year low of $0.99 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Investors are dumping their shares for good reasons. No new CSeries order since September, 2014, lost United deal to Boeing, 3 of the 4 first CSeries orders from 2009-2011 are NOT happening (Lease Corp. International, Odyssey, Republic add up to 53 ‘firm’ orders and 57 options) and the 4th is Gulf Air (2011 order for 10 x CS100’s and 6 options) that last week ordered 19 x A320/321 with 10 x A320 already on order, and their CEO Maher Salman Al Musallam comments on the CSeries are not optimistic “I don’t know, as a small airline, whether we are able to operate a third type or not”, “whether it’s going to be viable for Gulf Air to continue to renegotiate a delivery date with Bombardier or something else”, also today, the CEO of Gulf Air offered his resignation, no reason given. Meanwhile, Bombardier eyes Iran, but Iran will order 127 Airbus airliners this week, meanwhile Delta Air Lines order that Bombardier wants so badly, will not be any time soon and then will require a very good price, that will have to compete with Embraer, Boeing and maybe Airbus. Bombardier wants Federal government to buy 50% of CSeries, yet Quebec’s Mayors block East pipeline that western Canada desperately needs for its oil. If Bombardier gets money from the Feds, western Canada will NOT be happy with Ottawa. I say NO to any funding until current special voting shares by which 60% control is still in the hands of the 2 families, eliminated and then some sizable injection of capital by the 2 families that today control Bombardier and who orchestrated the current fiasco, otherwise I say NO to Federal money for Bombardier, too many other needs in Canada. Lastly, Bombardier needs to just stop talking about all the deals they are working on, it is bad PR when they lose and it is un-professional, when you sold something then brag about it but don’t brag about being in this or that campaign, because the sad reality is they will lose +85% of the campaigns when competing with the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing, it is just sad they are so “desperate” for any good news.

This is the event few would have expected at Bombardier a few years ago, but today the Bombardier shares (TSE:BBD.B) went to $0.99 a share, the lowest in +25 years (since 1991), and it is a “penny” stock today, this is how bad the company is now perceive don the market, a total mess from … Continue reading

UPDATE: United Airlines as expected has chosen the Boeing B737-700 over the CS100/CS300 offer from Bombardier and E195-E1 from Embraer. Bombardier stock has dropped 9.17% to a new low of $1.09 (21.1.16 4:21pm) on the news, which should not have been a surprise to those that read my blog. This was the first head to head battle between Bombardier’s CSeries and Boeing’s B737 line, in the end it was all about PRICE, and now Bombardier and all investors see what I have been talking about for some time, Bombardier will NOT be able to compete with Airbus and Boeing on Price. The Duopoly is going to see to it that the CSeries gets undercut on price on every deal, and Bombardier has to be really worried now. The United Airlines deal for 40 x B737-700’s was apparently closed at $US +/-23 million per aircraft (a whopping 71% OFF the List Price), and here lies the Achilles heel of Bombardier, it is not able to compete on Price with the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing, and with low fuel prices, fuel efficiency, new design, value proposition, etc. all take a back seat to Price (capital costs). The writing is on the wall, little Bombardier entered the Big League totally ill prepared for the fierce competition and now it is going to get really tough to make any profitable deal as Airbus and Boeing are prepared to defend their market from a new entrant that they know is very vulnerable and shaky. In a simple SWOT analysis, the THREAT of entering this narrow-body segment was the defensive and offensive position Airbus and Boeing were and are going to take against any new competitor, and this should have been a major RED FLAG for NOT entering this market segment, and Bombardier is now realizing the severity of its weak position vis-a-vis Airbus and Boeing as competitors, as they are no Embraer and ATR, which Bombardier battled with for years with it’s dying Q400/CRJ brands, and ultimately lost to in the past 4 years. Now, on to this next Bombardier PR disaster, Delta Air Lines interest in the CSeries, which is not much different than the United Airlines deal, and the result, which I do not expect to be anytime soon , will be the same. Delta’s very successful and forward looking CEO Richard Anderson has already said what it will take to win his airline’s order when he said “at the RIGHT PRICE, it’s quite a competitive airplane”, right price ? what price ? List price of the CS100 is $US 71.8 million, CS 300 is $US 82.0 million, Bombardier CANNOT compete with deals at 70% off and stay in this business for very long, no way, now how, the duopoly has economies of scale with large production numbers, many different models, and can offer discounts on other aircraft deals to sell their B737Max and A320neo products. On top of the duopoly, the narrow-body segment has 2 new very well financially backed entrants coming, the Russian government backed Irkut MC-21 and the Chinese government backed Comac C919, and it is going to be a great time for airlines to make sweetheart deals, but sadly Bombardier Aerospace (Commercial and Business Aircraft) will not be enjoying the next few years at all, and ultimately “Combardier” (China’s Comac buying Bombardier) is a real possibility in the next 4 years.

Well it is official and as expected, United Airlines has chosen to order 40 x Boeing B737-700’s over the Bombardier CS100, CS300 and Embraer’s E195-E1. I touched on the reasons a few ago why Bombardier was NOT going to win this order, basically United Airlines operates 310 x B737’s already with 100 on order. It … Continue reading

UPDATE: The national airline of Slovenia, Adria Airways has been sold for a mere $US 1.2 million, the buyer is an unknown German/Luxembourg company, 4K Invest that has a nice web page but absolutely no information about the company, it’s executives or past deals. It’s one of many recent “funny” deals going on in Europe’s airline industry. We had a Sukhoi “agent” invest into airBaltic looking to sell SSJ-100 regional jets, we have Ireland’s City Jet buying up to 25 x SSJ-100’s the first in Western Europe and very risky for any airline these days, and yet as quickly as the ink was dry on the Sukhoi deal, the owner of City Jet, Germany based Intro Aviation (aka “turnaround specialist”) is negotiating to sell the airline and bail out before any SSJ-100 operations begins ? does that seem odd ? To go through all the “trouble” of putting in a new Russian airliner that no one has bought in Western Europe. They praise the SSJ “game changer” as if they found the holy grail, and then sell the airline once a SSJ deal is done ? It shows that they do NOT have confidence in the long term success of the SSJ’s and City Jet. Who is the new buyer ? well apparently they are new to the airline business but not aviation. I wonder if they realize what they are getting into ? or is it the Russians coming through the back door ? it is all possible these days. Intro Aviation once was known for turning around troubled airlines, now it has lost it’s touch as on top of City Jet’s loses it could not turn around it’s own InterSky (Austria) DHC8/ATR-72 operation either, and tried to sell it in September, but no takers, so it shut it down in November due to a debt of EUR 5.0 million ?, while it also sold money losing VLM Airline in 2014 in a MBO (management buy out) and surprise and behold, it wanted to buy/lease 12 x SSJ0100’s right away (makes one wonder who funded the MBO ?) , seems SSJ’s orders follow the company. Intro Aviation was also one of the 3 German companies in the running to buy Adria Airways, which is a perfect target for SSJ-100 sales as it operates 7 x CRJ700/900’s today, and surely had it won, SSJ’s would be flying in Adria Airways livery in 2016, and maybe still will given that so little was paid and so little is known about K4 Invest. Russia’s President recently declared NATO as major security threat, and therefore Western European airlines should NOT be buying Russian airliners or leasing them, as they are built by the Russian military complex, Sukhoi is a big Russian arms manufacturer and is currently on the EU/US economic sanctions list, time to put the SS-100 SuperJet on that list as well. We cannot support the Russian arms industry and Europeans should not buying, leasing or flying on Russian airliners (basically that was the Latvian Government’s addition to airBaltic’s shareholders agreement in November, to stop a “undesirable” new investor form making a SSJ-100 deal going forward).When Putin thinks we are the enemy and talks of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons in a limited engagement we have no choice but to say NYET to Russian aircraft. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15), as the Russians are doing everything and anything possible to sell the poor selling SSJ100 (40+/- current sitting “white tails”) to the West, if it fails, then the Irkut MC-21 will fail as well, and for Airbus, Boeing, Comac and Bombardier and the West, that is a good thing.

The Slovenian Government approved a capital injection plan of $US 3.3 million for national flag carrier, Adria Airways and simultaneously sold the airline to German investment group, 4K Invest (www.4k.ag), which is to inject only $1.1 million for the 91.58% owned by the government and pay Adria Airways another $US 100,000 ? The Slovenian Government … Continue reading

UPDATE: Canada’s first ULCC (ultra low cost carrier) is Winnipeg based NewLeaf, which will launch services to 7 Canadian destinations on February 12, 2016 with Boeing B737-400’s operated by Kelowna based Flair Airlines. It is not a perfect business model to start with, but given that Naked Jet/Enerjet and Canada Jetline have not been able to get their business plans executed for the past 2 years, it is better than nothing. In fact, this model was used to run Greyhound Air between July 1996 and September 1997, when Kelowna Flightcraft operated 7 x B727-200’s under its AOC for Greyhound Air, and Winnipeg was the hub, so it has been done before, but today the market landscape is different and it just may work. NewLeaf will offer fares as low as $99 one way but also will need to supplement it’s low fares with “non-ticket” revenue from baggage, seat selection, exit row, food and beverage fees, that today at US based ULCC’s make up around 45% of total revenue or 79% of the ticket price (i.e. Spirit Airlines), so expect that on average that $99 one way ticket will become on average a $+145 one way ticket when all is done and paid, still much lower than what Air Canada and WestJet charge today. Some people still think of WestJet Airlines as a low cost airline, but that story is long gone, as WestJet realized it did not have to be a low cost airline, just come close to Air Canada’s fares and the service would win over. Today Air Canada and WestJet Airlines have roughly the same passenger yields ($/RPM) at around $cents 0.192, both have the same average load factor of +/-81%, their PRASM (passenger revenue per available seat mile) are pretty much the same at $0.155, and Air Canada is reducing its units costs while WestJet’s keep going up. It is time for Canadians to have access to LOW airline fares, and have another choice over the duopoly that runs our airline industry, as we are the ONLY country in the developed world today without a low cost airline, and while Air Canada’s ‘rouge’ is a low cost subsidiary (mostly just due to higher seating density on its aircraft) it’s fares are the same as Air Canada’s, as its role is to make more money for Air Canada and not to reduce air fares to Canadians. It is estimated that 4.8 million Canadians fly each year from US airports that are close to our border (e.g. Buffalo, Detroit, Bellingham, etc.) to save on airfare ! This is the Canadian ULCC opportunity and challenge, to get some of those passengers back. With low frequencies and just 7 airports served, NewLeaf will not threaten Air Canada or WestJet but then 20 years ago WestJet started with 3 B737-200’s and 5 destinations and look at its evolution, every company has to start somewhere. Lastly, Iceland based ULCC operator WOW Air is coming to Canada in May, 2016 and is offering great deals to Iceland at $C 99 one way and $C 149 to Europe, it is about time Canadians had low cost options and let’s hope the low cost trend spreads fast and forces the duopoly to stop ‘milking’ Canadian air travelers !

Well, Canada finally has another low cost champion, as NewLeaf Travel Company Inc. (http://www.FlyNewLeaf.ca) announces it will begin operating Boeing B737-400 commercial flights to 7 Canadian cities for as little as $99 one way under the AOC of Flair Airlines of Kelowna, B.C. on Friday, February 12, 2016, only 1 week short of the 20th … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Air Armenia becomes the 2nd national airline to go bankrupt this month, the poorly financed airline shuts down after a local bankruptcy filling by HSBC. This follows Estonian Air shutting down on November 8th after the EU Commission ordered Estonia to take back the state aid it had provided the perennial money losing airline. It is very difficult for small airlines to find a niche in the highly competitive market as competition globally intensifies, and more and more small airlines will fail, sadly most due to poor management, it is about financial mismanagement followed by poor or none existing planning, strategy, marketing or revenue management (e.g. Estonian Air according to EU Commission). Finally, since I am looking at Armenia and the Caucasus region, a quick overview of corruption is in order, from small Pacific island nations being paid to recognize some of the 5 Russian backed self declared Republics to using offshore companies to rob 3 Moldovian banks of billions of $US and money laundering out of Russia, seems very fitting.

Air Armenia the national airline of Armenia was declared bankrupt yesterday (November 25, 2015) by a court in Yerevan the capital of Armenia following a claim by HSBC Armenia. This is the second national airline to go bankrupt this month (Estonian Air shut down November 8, 2015), and more will follow as competition in the … 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

ABSTRACT: The world’s most remote populated island, the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena with its 4,250+ residents on 420 square Km of land and the final resting spot for the exiled Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte who died there in 1821, is finally going to be connected to the rest of the world with its first direct air service in June, 2016. The island is in its final stages of finishing its brand new airport, that will be able to handle the planned weekly 4.5 hour (3,672 Km) flight from Johannesburg by South Africa’s Comair Boeing B737-800 that will also have to carry enough fuel for world’s farthest scheduled service alternate airport at 1,190 nm (2,201 km) to the east. The new service will greatly improve the quality of life for the local inhabitants and bring much needed economic development for a distant island lost in time for too long. There are still several very remote islands in the world where a handful of inhabitants live, very far from any civilization and still dependent on regular ship arrivals for their very survival, a world long gone to most of us.

The remote British island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic will finally be connected by air to the rest of the world on June 2016, when world gets just little smaller South Africa’s Comair starts to fly weekly to the island’s new airport with a Boeing B737-800 from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, 1,985 … Continue reading