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.

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