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CAPA News Briefs

CAPA publishes more than 400 global News Briefs every weekday, covering all aspects of the aviation and travel industry. It’s the most comprehensive source of market intelligence in the world, with around 50 per cent of content translated from non-English sources. The breadth of our coverage means you won’t need any other news sources to monitor competitors and stay informed about the latest developments in the wider aviation sector.

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Below is a sample of the latest news headlines. 515 news briefs have been published for CAPA Members in the past 2 days.

Qantas announced (20-Aug-2019) plans to invest AUD10 million (USD6.75 million) in providing fare discounts for residents in 16 towns across Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia in response to demand. The programme will be offered in towns which compete which a high proportion of corporate travel or are impacted by the region's remoteness. Fares between regional towns and fare levels will be reviewed periodically to consider inflation or other cost increases, while offering residents sale fares below the levels "from time to time". The initial rollout will include Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Karratha and Kalgoorlie, with the carrier currently consulting with local airports and councils in Moranbah, Roma, Charleville, Broome, Port Hedland, Newman, Paraburdoo, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. Qantas additionally noted its current discounts of 20% to 30% for passengers travelling between their home town and the nearest capital city will remain available. [more - original PR]

Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA) reported (19-Aug-2019) the following traffic highlights for the first seven months of 2019:

Cathay Pacific Group appointed (19-Aug-2019) Mandy Ng as the new CEO of HK Express with immediate effect. Ms Ng, who has been with the Swire Group for 17 years, takes over from former CEO Ronald Lam who is now Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer. Mr Lam also assumes the chairmanship of HK Express. [more - original PR]

Costa Rica's President Carlos Alvarado announced (16-Aug-2019) plans to invest over CRC90 billion (USD157.3 million) in airport infrastructure modernisation. Liberia Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, San Jose Tobias Bolanos International Airport and Limon International Airport are undertaking works exceeding CRC75.1 billion (USD131.3 million). Palmar Sur, Golfito, Pérez Zeledón, Guápiles, Quepos, Tortuguero, Coto 47 and Puerto Jiménez airports will receive CRC15 billion (USD26.2 million) in investment. [more - original PR - Spanish]

Chongqing Airport Group, via its official Weibo account, announced (16-Aug-2019) Chongqing Wushan Airport commenced operation on 16-Aug-2019 (CAAC-News, 16-Aug-2019). China Express Airlines operated the first service at the airport from Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport. The airport is a category C regional airport with one 3500sqm terminal building and one 2600m runway, targeting capacity of 280,000 passengers, 1200 tonnes of cargo and 3333 aircraft movements p/a.

Air Mauritius, via its official Facebook account, reported (14-Aug-2019) improved financial results with a net loss of EUR4.1 million in Q1FY2019/2020, ended 30-Jun-2019, compared to a net loss of EUR14.9 million in Q1FY2018/2019. Load factor increased from 78% to 80.2%, revenues decreased 2.3% year-on-year and costs decreased 7.3%. The airline noted the first quarter of the financial year coincides with the low tourism season. The carrier is finalising a new business model based on an improved network and fleet.

AirAsia Group announced (16-Aug-2019) the following leadership reorganisation to support its transformation into "a travel and financial platform company" and to develop airasia.com as a lifestyle brand:

  • AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes appointed as CEO of airasia.com, the company's travel and lifestyle e-commerce platform. The carrier plans to appoint a new group CEO in due course, who will report to Mr Fernandes; 
  • AirAsia Group deputy CEO (airlines) Bo Lingam will continue to lead the airline business as AirAsia Group president (airlines) and also head up AirAsia's shared services company AirAsia SEA;
  • AirAsia Group deputy CEO (technology and digital) Aireen Omar appointed as AirAsia Group president (RedBeat Ventures). [more - original PR]

Dubai International Airport reported (18-Aug-2019) the following traffic highlights for 1H2019:

  • Passengers: 41.3 million, -5.6% year-on-year;
  • Cargo: 1.0 million tonnes, -18.3%;
  • Aircraft movements: 178,383, -11.6%.

The largest country destinations by passenger volumes were India (5.7 million), Saudi Arabia (3.1 million), the UK (2.8 million), Pakistan (1.9 million), US (1.5 million) and China (1.2 million). [more - original PR]

Avianca Holdings stated (16-Aug-2019) it "may not succeed even if the re-profiling plan is successful and the stakeholder investment is consummated". Avianca Holdings added: "Our ability to be profitable or avoid a reorganisation under bankruptcy protection will depend upon several factors", including:

  • Cost of fuel;
  • Aircraft leases;
  • Insurance and aircraft components and accessories;
  • Market disruptions;
  • Banking;
  • Labour and pension fund regulations;
  • Ability to control and reduce costs in the face of competitive pressures;
  • Risks associated with foreign operations such as:
    • Currency exchange rate fluctuations;
    • Increases in foreign tax rates;
    • Imposition of tariffs;
    • Exchange controls or other restrictions;
    • General economic and political conditions;
    • Required compliance with a variety of foreign laws and regulations.

Avianca stated: "The ability to be profitable or avoid a reorganisation under bankruptcy protection will also depend on the successful implementation of the strategic plan to increase our operational efficiency and operating margins, to seek to grow by focusing on our core business and expanding service to new markets, mainly via strategic alliances, including the United Airlines-Copa Airlines agreement". Avianca Holdings added that if it is "unable to successfully implement such strategic plans, or if demand for our services does not continue as expected, or we are unable to control the costs described above, we may not be able to generate enough revenue to remain profitable, generate positive cash flow or avoid a reorganisation under bankruptcy protection or liquidation". [more - original PR]

IATA reported (16-Aug-2019) risks to the global economy outlook "are clearly tilted to the downside", noting an inversion in the US Treasury bond yield curve, a recent sell off in global equity markets, ongoing trade tensions and "various simmering geopolitical concerns". The OECD's global composite leading indicator (CLI) has been trending downwards for 18 consecutive months, highlighting the recent moderation in global economic activity and the outlook. However, IATA noted that not all downturns in the CLI are related to global RPK recessions and periods of RPK recession have come at times when the CLI is at, or accelerating towards, a trough. IATA stated the CLI is presently improving, having passed a trough seven months ago. IATA stated: "Businesses and consumers are right to be anxious in the current environment of heightened uncertainty,however at this stage there is reason to think that we might just be in for a period of weaker growth, rather than outright recession". [more - original PR]

Cathay Pacific's board accepted (16-Aug-2019) the resignation of CEO Rupert Hogg and chief customer and commercial officer Paul Loo. The board appointed Augustus Tang as CEO and Ronald Lam as chief customer and commercial officer, effective 19-Aug-2019. Chairman John Slosar stated: "Recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific's commitment to flight safety and security and put our reputation and brand under pressure... we, therefore, think it is time to put a new management team in place who can reset confidence and lead the airline to new heights". He reiterated Cathay Pacific is "fully committed" to Hong Kong under the principle of 'One Country Two Systems', adding the carrier is "confident that Hong Kong will have a great future". [more - original PR]

CAAC reported (15-Aug-2019) the following traffic highlights for Chinese airlines:

  • Jul-2019:
    • Passengers: 59.3 million, +10.2% year-on-year;
      • Domestic: +9.5%;
      • International: +16.2%;
    • Cargo: 616,000 tonnes, +4.2%;
      • Domestic: 410,000 tonnes;
      • International: 206,000 tonnes;
  • Seven months ended Jul-2019:
    • Passengers: 381 million, +8.7%;
      • Domestic: +7.8%;
      • International: +16.5%;
    • Cargo: 4.1 million tonnes;