Edward Robertson, editor, Routes News
If Lufthansa Group boss Carsten Spohr is correct, we are on the edge of a dramatic period of consolidation of Europe’s airlines. On page 20 he argues the continent’s short-haul market is “over-heated” and predicted we are at the same stage as the US before a period of failures and acquisitions there left just three major players.
While he says the process is imminent, he admits it will not be a mirror image of the American situation, as Europe’s many regional and national differences will have an impact, making it far easier to pinpoint which airlines might survive when the dust settles.
One such case in point is Air Malta, which has finally turned a profit after nearly 20 years of losses (page 30). CEO Clifford Chetcuti says this is down to better aircraft utilisation and a complete strategy overview. But he also admits profits came following the decision to ditch a strategy of shrinkage with one of growth which, when managed correctly, has proved to be the right decision.
And growth is continuing on a global basis, even if IATA has warned of it slowing since the start of the year (page 7). Certainly in the Middle East (page 36), growth is the main trend expected and airports are working hard to ensure they have the capacity to accommodate future flyers.
The same is true of Thailand, where Airports of Thailand expects growth of 4.5 percent at its six airports, including the one in the northern city of Chiang Mai, which will get even more of a boost when it hosts Routes Asia 2020 (page 42).
Of course, issues continue to raise their heads, as seen on page 50, with the grounding of more than 375 Boeing 737 Max 8s operating more than 1,000 routes globally in the wake of two deadly crashes just the latest example.
TUI fly boss Oliver Lackmann tells us on page 26 how he moved quickly to minimise the impact of the current delayed delivery of four of the aircraft. He also outlines the process of reintegrating the airline into TUI’s overall aviation wing, which shows just how much each country’s airlines can differ, even in the same brand.
No wonder Spohr is confident that any European consolidation will highlight as many differences in the market as similarities to the one in the US.
Produced by TTG Media on behalf of UBM, Routes News is the official, bi-monthly magazine of World Routes and the regional Routes events
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Routes News provides interviews, analysis and insight for airlines, airports and tourism authorities involved in route development decision-making. Serving the route development community for 13 years, the magazine continues to expand its presence in this ever-changing market, connecting all sides of the industry in the same way as the Routes events.
Edition 3, 2019
Lufthansa's boss Carsten Spohr, Boeing 737 Max grounding, Routes Silk Road
Edition 2, 2019
Jet2.com's post-Brexit future, oneworld at 20, Routes Europe comes to Hannover
Edition 1, 2019
Air Canada and Swoop, South America set for growth, the US and China's trade wars
Edition 6, 2018
China Southern, Indian Ocean airports, why transatlantic LCCs are suffering
Edition 5, 2018
World Routes 2018 special edition on host city Guangzhou
Edition 4, 2018
Time to grow. Is a new agreement opening Africa’s skies?
Edition 3, 2018
Destination Brazil. Will Brazil’s improving economy drive new routes?
Edition 2, 2018
Irelandia's Declan Ryan; Chinese airlines, Routes Europe
Edition 1, 2018
Jet Air, US infrastructure and China Airlines' return to Heathrow
Edition 6, 2017
World Routes 2017, Monarch dethroned and dealing with hurricanes
Edition 5, 2017
Hola Barcelona! Building for the future at World Routes 2017
Edition 4, 2017
easyJet’s first A320neo set to take the airline to new heights
Edition 3, 2017
How the Middle East's aviation market is meeting new challenges
Edition 2, 2017
Belfast prepares to host Routes Europe 2017 for the first time
Edition 1, 2017
How changing legislation could soon boost Canada’s fortunes
Edition 7, 2016
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport blossoms at World Routes
Edition 6, 2016
Why all eyes are on China as the land of future opportunity
Edition 5, 2016
After the UK’s vote to leave the EU, we explore what Brexit means for Europe
Edition 4, 2016
Ethiopian Airlines CEO's 10-year plan to make it Africa’s leading aviation group
Edition 3, 2016
What do the Iran's new global freedoms mean for the aviation industry?
Edition 2, 2016
The Philippines opens up, plus Cebu Pacific’s global vision
Edition 1, 2016
Air Canada’s Klaus Goersch is hopeful for a brighter future