What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Europe

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FOXTROTS*

 

What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Europe

Our summary of traffic results for the leading airlines (not, where relevant, airline groups) in Europe, excerpts from the current editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter, over January-July.

 

Seat sales (RPKs for British; our estimates for Ryan), in alphabetical order: Air France (from February this year available only combined with KLM, but we have now obtained separated data) -0.2%; British +4%; Easyjet +4%; Lufthansa +7%; Ryanair +6%.

 

Notes (on notable details; on whole-group for Air France (=AFKL), British (=ICAG), Lufthansa (=LHG):

 

-AFKL +3%. AF’s fractional-fall compares with KLM’s +5%. Transavia’s +6% not good for an almost-NFA (no-frills-airline) but it was only +3% for the month. We presume AF’s strike-prone staff also affected this subsidiary, although its capacity grew +5%.

 

Joon? AFKL is still hiding data. We add the separate parts without Joon and they match (what AFKL reports as) the total with Joon – so something is clearly wrong.

 

 

-ICAG +8%. Going good is Iberia (our estimate) +12%, AerLingus (our estimate) +14%, Vueling (our estimate) +11%. If BA was not so sluggish, ICAG’s growth would be matching LHG’s.

 

-Easyjet. If we describe BA’s + 4% growth as ‘sluggish’, that is worse for an NFA. As both are UK airlines, is this partly related to the Brexit economic slowdown?

 

-LHG +11%. Good but monthly data slower than for the month for Austrian +9% YTD against +4% for the month; Eurowings (our calculation) +26% +17%; Lufthansa +7% +5%. But the other way round for Brussels (our calculation) +12% +16%; Swiss +9% +11%.

 

-Ryanair. The start of flight disruptions start to show? Just +4% for the month.

 

-Others of note:

-Turkish a fair +7% YTD but only +4% for the month.

-Is SAS slipping into trouble? Only +1%, although its Nordic neighbour Finnair reported +14%.

-Is Virgin going to grow again? Just +2% YTD but +6% for the month.

 

 

 

The Fox. Remember, I’m an industry expert in the parallel world.

*Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

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What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Asia Pacific

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FOXTROTS*

 

What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Asia Pacific

Our summary of traffic results for the leading airlines in Asia Pacific, excerpts from the current editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter, over the first-half.

 

Seat sales at biggest FSAs (full-service-airlines) in Asia Pacific (whole-group results for all), in alphabetical order: Air China +9%; Cathay +2%; China Eastern +9% (our estimate; CE has not published its data for two of the first six months); China Southern +11%; Japan +3%; Singapore +6%.

 

Notes (on notable details):

 

-Air China. International growth +15%.

 

-Cathay. Our perennial question: is it Cathay Dragon or Cathay Pacific that is doing badly?

 

We hope it is CP, because China – the main operating area for CD – is growing fast and so if CD is not also doing well in this market, that would be even worse news for the Group.

 

 

-China Eastern. International growth +9% (our estimate).

 

-China Southern. International growth +18%.

 

-Japan. That low systemwide growth looks unhappily standard for JA. But international is at +7%, shockingly fast for Japan.

 

That is the result of fast growth in four of the first six months, and +12% in June – prompting us to recheck the data to see what had gone wrong! However, we must note it fell -1% in the same 2017 month.

 

 

-Singapore. Significantly, the core SIA airline is now just 57% of the group. That compares with a 63% share for Air France in the AF-KLM group, 58% for British in ICAG, 50% for Lufthansa in its group, 55% for Qantas in its group.

 

That looks good. And now that SAG (our no-longer-true name for the group) plans to follow what we proposed eight years ago – merge Silk into SIA – prospects look better.

 

 

The Fox. Remember, I’m an industry expert in the parallel world.

*Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

Trottings: Direct Ferries – False Promises.

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TROTTINGS*

 

Trottings: Direct Ferries – False Promises.

Direct Ferries (DF) is a UK-based wholesaler of ferry trips. The other week it offered a 25% discount on Italy’s GNV ferry company for sailings to Sicily booked before September 30.

 

I did it; I booked Sicily on the 30th on GNV via DF.

 

Where was the discount? It did not seem to be there. Indeed, DF even added a booking fee to the price it quoted.

 

I contacted them.

 

First contact after getting my details was to inform me that a bus transfer was not available on the DF site, but it was available on the GNV site. As I had not enquired about a transfer, bus or other, this explanation was a puzzle.

 

I reverted, and another agent replied, apologising for the reference to the transfer. The agent added that he/she did not know why I had received that first message. I replied perhaps he/she should ask the other agent, and would then know the reason, and could then tell me.

 

The agent also told me that the fare I was quoted included the 25% discount – if I had clicked through the discount offer on the DF site.

 

In fact, that is what I did – clicked through on the DF site. But I had also checked on another system on another computer, and the fare was the same as the one available from a click-through. Also, the fare was the same as when I checked two weeks earlier.

 

In other words, the DF agent either did not know, or believed that was the system, or was lying. Given that they sent me no further message, I am tempted to believe that they were lying.

 

I never got my discount.

 

Obviously, the moral of this message is for travellers to beware statements by Direct Ferries, and to assume they may not provide what they seem to be offering.

 

 

*Trottings = Trip Jottings

*The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.

 

What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Europe

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FOXTROTS*

 

What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Europe

Our summary of traffic results for the leading airlines (not, where relevant, airline groups) in Europe, excerpts from the current editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter, over the first half.

 

Seat sales (RPKs for British; our estimates for Ryan), in alphabetical order: Air France+KLM (starting this year, no longer separated) -0.3%; British +3%; Easyjet +4%; Lufthansa +7%; Ryanair +7%.

 

 

Notes (on notable details; on whole-group for Air France, British (=ICAG), Lufthansa):

 

-Air France group (AFKL). Once again, we assume AF is dragging down group performance, and particularly KLM. AFKL’s no-frills subsidiary Transavia is doing better, although we think it should be above that +7%.

 

AFKL still shows no figures for Joon. Is AFKL cheating investors? Its group total calculates to the addition of AF+KL+Hop+Transavia. So where (and why) is Joon traffic being hidden? The most-likely hiding place is AF’s total. But nowhere does AFKL state this.

 

We are surprised the Euronext stockmarket, where AFKL is listed, tolerates this obfuscation.

 

 

-British (=ICAG). The ICAG group is producing a good +8%; only BA, representing the group’s biggest share at 58%, is slow. Iberia (our estimate) +12%, AerLingus (our estimate) +15%, Vueling (our estimate) +13%.

 

 

-Easyjet. Impressive seat factor, 94%.

 

 

-Lufthansa (LHG). The group is humming along at +12%. Yet even if Austrian +10%, Brussels +11% (our calculation), Swiss +9%, are doing well, we remain struck by fast growth at Eurowings +28% (our calculation).

 

Lufthansa itself, biggest in LHG (57% share) is the slowest, at +7%, but that is still twice as fast as, say, ICAG’s biggest airline, British.

 

 

-Ryanair. Impressive seat factor, 96%.

 

 

-Others of note:

We thought growth at Turkish would slow with its political and terrorism/war episodes, but at +8%, it is picking up again. However, that is partly a Dead Cat bounce as its growth was just +1% in the first-half of 2017.

 

Of regional trends for the Big-3 groups, despite that Asia Pacific is oft-reported as a boom region, it is slower than systemwide growth for the three – +3% for AFKL, -1% ICAG, +4% LHG.

 

 

The Fox. Remember, I’m an industry expert in the parallel world.

 

*Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.