Aviation Business Briefing – Monday 13 November 2017

Welcome to our weekly aviation business briefing for the week beginning Monday 13 November 2017, as published every Monday at 07:00 GMT.

BBC News – Wednesday 8 November 2017

Hello and welcome to our weekly aviation business briefing for the week beginning Monday 13 November 2017.

BA CEO Alex Cruz addresses the World Travel Market London

BA CEO Alex Cruz addressed the World Travel Market last week. Alex gave a 20 minute speech, followed by a 40 minute interview with aviation consultant John Strickland.

As BA is part of a publicly listed company (IAG) it is bound by Stock Exchange rules on the release of market sensitive information. This means that CEOs cannot give away too much in media interviews. This is why the vast majority of what was said was announced at IAG’s Capital Markets Day in early November.

One thing of note in Alex’s speech is the reference to BA as the UK’s national carrier. This is of course how many in the UK see it. But not its parent company which is, in its own words, “brand agnostic”. And herein lies the rub. Media commentators and large swathes of the travelling public see BA as having a special status, whereas as far as its parent company is concerned, it must compete with other airlines in the group all over Europe for investment, based on profitability alone.

In other BA news last week it announced the addition of Corsica to its portfolio of Heathrow summer leisure routes. BA also unveiled its revamped Concorde room at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Emirates

Emirates unveiled its new first, business and economy class cabins on its Boeing 777 aircraft. Most of note is a new First Class cabin comprising six fully enclosed private suites in a 1-1-1 configutation. The new cabins will make their debut on 1 December 2017 on flights from Dubai to Brussels and Geneva. Emirates has some 165 Boeing 777s in its fleet. It has not been officially confirmed how many will be refurbished.

Emirates also confirmed an order for 40 Boeing 787-10 aircraft, to be delivered from 2022.

Financial Results

Emirates announced a half-year profit of $452m for the six months to 30 September, an increase of 111% on the previous year.

Flybe announced an adjusted profit before tax of £8.4m for the six months to 30 September, a near 50% fall year on year due higher than expected maintenance and IT costs.

Singapore Airlines Group announced a net profit of S$425m for the six months to 30 September, an increase from S$103m in the previous year.

WizzAir announced a 27.5% increase in EBITDAR to €472.2m for the six months to 30 September 2017.

Johan Lundgren joins easyJet

easyJet announced the appointment of Johan Lundgren as CEO.

Johan replaces Carolyn McCall who is joining ITV as CEO. Johan was previously Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Mainstream Markets at TUI Group. Johan will join easyJet from 1 December. Amongst the many things in his in-tray will include the establishment of new operating airline in mainland Europe to maintain flying rights after Brexit and the free-for-all for Monarch’s slots at Gatwick.

KPMG, the administrators of Monarch, lost a court case which means they do not have the right to sell Monarch’s slot holding at London Gatwick. This means that the slots revert to a general pool and ACL Airport Coordination Ltd will be tasked with allocating the slots to new and incubent airlines. IAG has made it clear that all of its airlines in the group will seek to acquire slots.

Kenya Airways on BBC, Sky…

Britain’s political reporters in Westminster love nothing more than the pursuit of a hapless Government minister on the cusp of “being resigned”.

Priti Patel who was, until last Wednesday evening, International Development Secretary, found her self summoned back from Africa to 10 Downing Street to face Prime Minister Theresa May. Some 20,000 people duly tracked every move of Kenya Airways Flight KQ100 from Nairobi to London Heathrow last Wednesday.

The BBC even dispatched a helicopter to catch the flight landing at London Heathrow Terminal 4. A lot of free publicity for Kenya Airways, albeit not its in-flight connectivity. Priti Patel sat aboard the flight blissfully unaware of the ensuing media frenzy.

Also of note this week:

Air France KLM announced significant changes to its group frequent flyer programme FlyingBlue. In essence, the programme joins many others in awarding miles based on money spent, rather than distance flown.

Can supersonic flight land a new lease of life asks Monocle 24’s Section D.

BA releases another “BA Magic” video.

Virgin Atlantic’s Blog on its Graduate Engineering Scheme.

Raw Productions is now filming Series 4 of “Britain’s Busiest Airport” which will complete in February 2018.

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