In Southeast Asia nearly 60% of all airline seats today are on LCCs. The different - and changing - needs of the low cost model have forced airports to re-evaluate how they service the new mix. A mere 15 years ago, scarcely even a minor investment cycle for airports, there were no LCCs.
Those US airlines and unions who are instinctively protectionist have voiced loud opposition to the advantages given to foreign airports by being permitted to establish US immigration pre-clearance. Predictably the loudest noises were generated when the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Airport was among the first of a new round of authorisations.
North American airlines are underpinning a recent rise in IATA’s global profit forecast for 2015 from USD25 billion to USD29 billion. With a projected USD15.7 billion in profits, airlines in Canada and the US are driving the global airline industry’s profitability this year. Those airlines are reaping benefits from an industry reshaping driven by bankruptcy and consolidation, which have helped North American airlines to slash debt, bolster their respective balance sheets and, for many companies, exceed their stated ROIC (return on invested capital) goals.
India’s air navigation service provider has successfully managed to handle a more than doubling of scheduled aircraft movements over the last decade, which increased from 718,000 in FY2005 to 1.6 million in FY2015. This was supplemented by a further 281,000 general aviation movements. In addition to arriving and departing movements, Indian airspace handles approximately 400,000 annual over-flight movements.
In comparison to improving domestic performance, Virgin Australia’s 1H2015 losses increased by 54.8% to AUD49.5 million (USD38.7 million) from a AUD31.9 million (USD24.9 million) loss in 1HFY2014. Meanwhile in 1H2015, Qantas International returned to profit for the first time since the global financial crisis. Although domestic flying remains their core business, outbound tourism has overtaken inbound visitors. What are Qantas and Virgin’s long-haul strategies?
Technology enhancements in aircraft, engine and related private sector enterprises have transformed the airline industry’s efficiency over recent decades. But when it comes to governments playing their part, the transformation has been slower.
Tables of the world’s busiest airports are often published in trade and general media but a more significant statistic is growth rates, for the light they shed on changing trends.