The sales and marketing gurus at the world’s major business jet manufacturers have long counted Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America as “potential” growth markets–all while focusing their attention on the “real” markets for business airplanes, namely the U.S., Western Europe and the Middle East.
Throughout the world established airlines struggle to compete against start-up operators employing bare-bones business models or serving niche business markets. Trends in the UK illustrate the problems–and the opportunities–the situation presents British Airways and the likes of lean, young regionals such as Air Southwest and Eastern Airways.
Circumstances have certainly done few favors for the 2005 ERA General Assembly’s hometown airline. From its first day of operation, Gothenburg-based City Airline seemed marked for failure. It flew its first revenue service four years ago, on Sept. 10, 2001, the day before the U.S. terrorist attacks that accelerated the global economic recession already under way.
With fuel prices in a steep ascent, do airlines need further inducements from regulators to burn less jet-A? No, says the European Regions Airline Association in response to proposals to extend emissions trading to the air transport industry.
Although the FAA is not yet advocating new taxes or user fees, the agency continues to emphasize that it needs a consistent, stable revenue stream that is not tied to the price of an airline ticket.
Flybe, the UK-based low-cost carrier that took delivery of its first Embraer E195 last month, plans to go public next year with the goal of raising between $141 million and $189 million. A spokesman at Dresdner Kleinwort, part of investment institution Dresdner Bank AG of London and Frankfurt, said the financial advisor will place the value of Flybe at between $283 million and $379 million.
Embraer celebrated delivery of its first E195 jetliner last month in an event at the company’s São José dos Campos headquarters that completed the Brazilian company’s line of E-Jets already in service–the E170, E175 and E190.
Which type of public air-transport service is safest–mainline, regional or low-cost carrier (LCC)? It might be a surprise, given possible assumptions about the perceived priorities at the various carrier types, that a recent report suggests the LCCs are safest.
Officials from small carriers meeting in Barcelona this month for the European Regions Airline Association general assembly very likely will bump into Carlos Bertomeu, chief executive of local Spanish operator Air Nostrum. In so doing, they also might hope that some of his success will brush off.
Into an environment in which airlines perceive business aviation as competition for high-end travelers comes a study suggesting that business aviation is not necessarily benefiting from airline losses. According to the analysis–from Washington. D.C. consulting firm The Velocity Group–by fare category and estimates of business aircraft ridership, both the airlines and business aviation have shown similar growth between 2000 and 2005.
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