Insights

Our latest analysis of trends in the aviation industry, case studies, and news about RDC

The commitment last month from Emirates Airline to acquire an additional 36 A380s would have been welcomed with some relief at the Airbus facilities across the world and once confirmed will safeguard the aircraft programme for another half a decade. Maybe the manufacturers comments about closing production influenced the United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier, the dominant operator of the type, to firm up its intent, maybe Airbus moved the pricing point in an aircraft programme where every jet of the line is allegedly eating into their own profits.

Well, perhaps not if you’re airberlin, but most of our airline group benefitted from a good summer. Mind you, they needed to, such was the relatively slow start to the year for most of them. The problems at airberlin and Alitalia will have helped both yields and passenger numbers during the quarter, while Ryanair’s much publicised pilot shortages and cancellations are to impact their operations in Q4, not Q3. Even fuel prices largely behaved themselves during the summer months. So the scene was set for a much needed recovery in the performance of our airline group; let’s see if the numbers bear this out.

I was recently asked by a UK fund manager what factors might shape the industry in the next 10 years. Thinking back to what I might have said in 2007 if I had been asked that question then, and the developments that have taken place to the present day, I think I would have needed a much better crystal ball than the one I owned at the time. So fresh from a recent expensive purchase on e-bay, here are a few predictions that my new crystal ball is putting forward over the next 10 years.

In the aviation industry we are very familiar with the feeling of waking up, checking our phones and immediately seeing a news bulletin that will have a direct impact on our work. However that said, 2017 has been particularly rife with these stories (airberlin, Alitalia etc.), and none of them have been good news. In this article we dig into two of the most recent news stories – Monarch and Ryanair – and employ RDC’s unique data to provide a new angle on the big headlines.

Well that was a relief! After a dismal Q1, things have taken a turn for the better in Q2, with Easter adding some sparkle to the numbers reported by our group of LCCs. Airlines do tend to go on a bit about Easter having a significant impact on their numbers, yet the comparison between the first two quarters of this year and last do seem to bear this out. After all, a two or three week holiday period spaced nicely between Christmas and the Summer offers up almost a month of nice prices in an otherwise unattractive part of the year. So not surprisingly, the lack of Easter in the first quarter dragged the quarter down to be worse than it otherwise would have been. And so consequently, the appearance of Easter in the second quarter has made this quarter look artificially better than it deserved. And so to some numbers.

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