European Commission announced (26-Jan-2023) the EU rules establishing a dedicated airspace for drones (U-space) entered into force on 26-Jan-2023. The U-space creates conditions for both drones and manned aircraft to operate safely and will allow the industry to continue scaling up the market for the drone sector and services. The commission noted the new rules will support more complex and longer distance operations, in particular in low level and densely operated airspace and when out of sight of the remote pilot. The next steps will involve member states designating their U-space areas and service providers as well as work on information exchange and navigation performance standards. [more - original PR]
For the surviving airlines, partnership and alliances appear as an increasingly attractive option. Before the pandemic many had started to question the value of alliances. Now they are providing an important safety net for carriers enabling them to serve strong, profitable markets and allow partners to support wider connectivity.
Mergers and consolidation have accelerated as a result. JetBlue’s acquisition of Spirit Airlines from under the nose of Frontier Airlines – and the premium it paid – could be the start of a trend as airlines seek to solidify their market penetration.
The expansion of partnership has not just been within the industry though – it is also looking at expanding collaboration with other transport providers, technology partners, environmental organisations and more.
The global pandemic has significantly accelerated the pace at which companies are bringing new ideas to market, including massively expediting some processes and applying pressure on industry ecosystems to deliver services in new ways.
How should companies use partnerships to build business resiliency?
Can strategic joint ventures bridge the supply and demand gap?
Will the COVID pandemic break down the Mergers & Acquisitions wall or actually make it stronger?
Wizz Air Group CEO József Váradi provided (26-Jan-2023) the following outlook:
- Continued cost management is driving ex-fuel CASK towards earlier guidance. Wizz Air caught up with peers in terms of systematic jet fuel hedging impact through FY2024. Ex-fuel CASK is expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels in FY2024;
- Continued evidence of a solid fare environment as average fares are trading above 2019 and 2022 levels. Mr Váradi added booking volumes are ahead of 2022 levels towards the end of Jan-2023. Mr Váradi said: "We remain optimistic and maintain our RASK guidance for H2 F23 at mid-single digits above the same period in 2019";
- On track to operate 35% higher capacity compared to H2FY2020. For H1FY2024, the planned ASK growth is 30% compared to 2023 and 65% compared to 2019. As with the Q3FY2023, the company expects slightly more ASK contribution from longer routes connecting locations in the Middle East and Near East, as this region continues to attract a higher volume of passengers;
- Load factors improving. The load factor gap is expected to continue to close compared to 2019 in the coming quarters as recent network investments start to mature;
- Overall net loss expected in FY2023, however profitability is forecast for FY2024, subject to no adverse pandemic or geopolitical events. [more - original PR]
Bonza placed (27-Jan-2023) its services on sale and launched its airfare list. Customers are able to book on 15 routes to 12 destinations as part of a phased rollout. Bonza chief commercial officer Carly Povey stated: "We're committed to low cost fares which will in turn, stimulate new markets for Australia's domestic tourism industry". [more - original PR]
AlphaStruxure announced (26-Jan-2023) an agreement to design, construct and operate integrated microgrid infrastructure at the New Terminal One (NTO) facility at New York John F Kennedy International Airport. The 11.3 megawatt microgrid will provide NTO with sustainable, locally generated and cost-predictable energy and is expected to deliver immediate greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 38% compared to grid-sourced energy. The project will feature the largest rooftop solar array in New York City and on any airport terminal in the US, with all available and viable rooftop areas being used for the project. When complete, NTO will be the first airport transit hub in the New York region that can function independently of the power grid. [more - original PR]
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The CAPA-Envest Global Sustainability Benchmarking Report - 2022 provides an understanding of the status of emissions in the airline industry. It provides an independently evaluated “airline sustainability rating” system, based upon a range of key emissio