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Airline Business Podcast

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Exclusive insight and intelligence for airline boardrooms worldwide


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Exclusive insight and intelligence for airline boardrooms worldwide




Q1 earnings, Ryanair order, Go First woes, Joyce's Qantas legacy

Graham and Lewis discuss how European and North American carriers performed during the recent earnings season, which saw a degree of ‘normalisation’ and plenty of positivity about the summer, despite the slower recovery of corporate travel. They then consider the growing problems around aircraft maintenance delays, particularly in light of India’s Go First grounding its fleet. Next they discuss Ryanair’s bumper – and long-expected – order for Boeing 737 Max 10 jets, before looking at the legacy of departing Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce. Music credit: Tea K Pea “highabove”/Creative Commons IAG reports Q1 operating profit as leisure demand gives it summer confidence Lufthansa predicts ‘summer travel boom’ after loss-making Q1 US carriers see revenues surge, but challenges remain Corporate customers are back: United Airlines How strong is the corporate air travel recovery? Ryanair reaches 737 Max 10 deal covering up to 300 aircraft Ryanair settles for higher price to secure 737 Max 10 slots Third of Swiss Airbus A220s grounded as Lufthansa boss lists supply constraints India’s Go First suspends flights, blames P&W engine woes for insolvency protection filing Qantas CEO succession a fitting outcome after Joyce’s diversity focus Unpacking Alan Joyce’s Qantas legacy Qantas appoints finance chief as new CEO


Consolidation challenges, Riyadh Air, C-suite gender diversity

Graham and Lewis talk through the growing list of consolidation moves within the global industry, discussing why deals take such a long time to get over the line. They then look back on Graham’s recent interview with Lufthansa Group chief executive Carsten Spohr and what he had to say about the Italian market, before considering the launch of Riyadh Air and a bumper widebody deal for Saudi carriers. Finally, Lewis talks through our latest survey of women in the C-suite, with data showing the number of female chief executives has shot up over the past 12 months. Music credit: Tea K Pea “highabove”/Creative Commons Airlines struggle to fast-track consolidation Significant rise in women leading airlines offsets falls elsewhere in C-suite Carsten Spohr on how Lufthansa is back on the front foot Saudi aircraft orders underscore home carrier ambitions Jazeera to create new Saudi low-cost airline Saudi government unveils new national airline Riyadh Air


Do airline failures belie brighter outlook?

Graham and Lewis discuss the recent collapses of European carriers Flybe and Flyr, asking whether those developments belie a much brighter outlook for the industry in 2023. They also consider recent comments from United Airlines chief executive Scott Kirby about fundamental changes to the industry coming out of the pandemic, which he suggests could make growth plans undeliverable if peers fail to act. Expanding on Kirby’s comments, they further consider whether the industry is better prepared for the strong demand ahead as carriers and the wider sector gear up for the northern hemisphere summer. Music credit: Tea K Pea “highabove”/Creative Commons How significant are exits of Flybe and Flyr from Europe’s airline market? Investors see value in airlines as 2023 outlook improves Why does United Airlines chief think competitors are ‘in denial’? European airports hope for ‘boring’ summer after ramp-up disruptions


Standout stories from 2022

Graham and Lewis discuss some of the most interesting developments in 2022, including KLM’s challenges, ITA Airways wrangling, Norwegian’s renaissance, JetBlue’s move for Spirit, Abra Group ambitions in Latin America, Air India’s transformation and consolidation, differing fortunes at domestic market-less Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, and Saudi ambitions as it looks to launch new flag carrier. The Airline Business 38: tracking key data indicators from airlines around the world Legal action possible as Air France-KLM vows to fight Schiphol cap Airline CEO changes in 2022 dominated by appointment of women and upheaval in India ITA sees passenger revenues ahead of budget as Italy works on securing investor Air France-KLM eyes TAP, Transavia and territories for growth as ITA deadline nears Norwegian trialling expansion beyond Nordics with Riga base Norwegian saw historic-high unit revenue during profitable third quarter American and JetBlue expand alliance amid looming antitrust decision JetBlue-Spirit deal approved by Spirit shareholders Weathering storms: Avianca survives pandemic, bankruptcy and ‘painful’ changes Latin carriers re-emerge from crisis but with fresh uncertainties ahead How Abra Group could change balance of airline power in Latin America How enlarged Air India sets up two-horse race in Indian market Singapore Airlines agrees deal on Vistara merger with Air India SIA attributes strong results to early investment in capacity Cathay flags ‘substantial’ 2022 loss despite improving environment How far through recovery are Middle East airlines? Wizz Air helps to kick-start Saudi Arabia’s aviation powerhouse ambitions


IATA profit hopes, Heathrow, Virgin, A380, United Airlines order and Air India

Graham and Lewis discuss IATA's recent forecast for 2023, which showed the industry tipping into profitable territory after a punishing few years. They also discuss airport charges following more developments at Heathrow, and consider Virgin Atlantic's growth plans. They then focus ot the A380's fortunes following Etihad's decision to bring some back into service, before discussing United Airlines' recent bumper aircraft order - and a potential order from Air India. Music credit: Tea K Pea "highabove"/Creative Commons IATA forecasts global airline industry will return to profit in 2023 Razor-thin airline industry profit projection for 2023 reflects complex web of factors Virgin chief prepped for ‘subdued’ 2023 but no sign yet of bookings impact United hands Boeing order for 100 787 Dreamliners and 100 737 Max Air India to lease six 777-300ERs, six A320neos amid ‘aggressive expansion’ Strong end to 2022 prompts Lufthansa Group to raise full-year profit forecast Virgin Atlantic livid as UK regulator details interim Heathrow price cap Etihad partially restoring A380 fleet for service on London route


Record Q3 revenues, cargo concerns, ICAO deal and Latin latest

Graham and Lewis discuss a strong third-quarter results season for airlines in Europe and North America, as constrained capacity met surging demand. They also consider whether that momentum can continue into 2023 and look at developments in the air cargo sector. Then, following the recent ICAO agreement on a long-term aspirational goal for aviation, they examine the next steps for the airline industry on its journey to net-zero CO2. Finally, Graham talks about prospects for the Latin American airline sector after his recent trip to the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Buenos Aires. Music credit: Tea K Pea "highabove"/Creative Commons Why airline confidence is high despite headwinds Air France-KLM eyes TAP, Transavia and territories for growth as ITA deadline nears Air France-KLM operating profit tops €1bn in Q3 despite Schiphol challenges Lufthansa Group reports strong forward demand as Q3 profit exceeds €1bn Shortage of 787 cockpit windows reflects industry-wide supply constraints: Lufthansa chief Vueling heads IAG carrier capacity and profits return Delta tops record revenues in strong third quarter Relief and reality checks after ICAO aviation emissions deal Air transport bodies welcome ICAO resolution on net-zero goal Taxes, litigation, air rage and infrastructure weigh on Latin American carriers Does recession threaten Latin American airlines’ hard-won successes? Can Argentina’s aviation sector tap growth potential?


Winter worries, Emirates-United tie-up, Frontier and Blue Air

Graham and Lewis discuss the transition from a positive summer period in terms of demand and - in some cases - profits to an uncertain winter, with a long list of challenges clouding the 2023 outlook. Jon Hemmerdinger then joins Graham to discuss the recent tie-up between United Airlines and Emirates, and Frontier Airlines' strategy after losing out on Spirit. Finally, Graham and Lewis consider some of the consolidation moves in markets in recent weeks, before discussing the grounding of flights at Romanian operator Blue Air. Music credit: Tea K Pea “highabove”/Creative Commons The two unusual phenomena faced by airlines as headwinds strengthen United and Emirates strike broad partnership that will ‘terrify’ competitors JetBlue-Spirit deal will leave Frontier like ‘Southwest in the late ’80s’: CEO Romania’s Blue Air delays service restart until 10 October Italian start-up ITA retreads familiar path with Air France-KLM link-up


787 return, supply-chain impact and Farnborough thoughts

Graham and Lewis discuss the resumption of Boeing 787 deliveries and the impact of supply-chain issues on fleet planning. They also look back to July’s Farnborough air show, which saw Boeing dominate the order announcements as Airbus unveiled a string of commitments before and after the event. Music credit: Tea K Pea “highabove”/Creative Commons Boeing resumes 787 deliveries, handing aircraft to American Airlines Dreamliner deliveries resume but capacity constraints remain Airbus and Boeing delays add to ‘global supply bottleneck’: Lufthansa chief Boeing Max deals lead Farnborough air show order activity ‘We don’t need to make a lot of noise’: Scherer on Airbus at Farnborough~ Qatar orders 25 Boeing 737 Max 10, plus 25 options GE successfully tests high-power, high-voltage hybrid-electric engine at altitude Delta orders 100 Boeing 737 Max 10s as Farnborough opens Condor orders 41 Airbus A320neo-family jets China’s ‘big three’ airlines sign for 292 Airbus A320neos Malaysia Airlines picks A330neos for medium-haul fleet renewal Ethiopian Airlines converts four A350 orders to -1000 variant


IATA AGM talking points and A380 return

Graham and Lewis consider the main talking points from the recent IATA AGM in Doha, at which the association outlined an improved economic outlook for the industry. At the same time as better news on Covid restrictions being dropped, however, executives also acknowledged a new set of headwinds. They also discuss the return of the Airbus A380 at some carriers, after questions were asked about its future during the pandemic. The superjumbo is returning to operations amid a stronger-than-expected recovery in demand and delays in other key widebody aircraft programmes. They also discuss a recent bumper aircraft order by Chinese carriers and the forthcoming Farnborough air show. Risks and uncertainties persist despite IATA’s brighter economic outlook Defiant Walsh says airline industry can handle coming headwinds IATA trims industry loss expectations for 2022 to $9.7bn New Pegasus chief hails tourism rebound and ‘game-changing’ A321neos Kenya Airways chief sees ‘very promising’ summer as demand picks up Break-even unlikely in 2022 amid cost pressures: Malaysia Airlines chief Emirates chief rates industry challenges 9/10 but sees demand resilience Cathay plans hiring spree as airline anticipates network ramp-up A380s return amid strong travel demand and aircraft delivery delays Emirates chief predicts ‘relief on both sides’ if 787 order parked China’s ‘big three’ airlines sign for 292 Airbus A320neos


Disruption blame game and sustainability action plans

Graham and Lewis consider the blame game that is emerging as airlines and the wider air travel sector grapple with operational challenges. They also discuss the next sustainability steps for airlines – including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and offsetting – as the industry prepares to meet in Doha for this year's IATA AGM. Music credit: Tea K Pea "highabove"/Creative Commons IATA chief hits back at ‘idiot politicians’ who blame UK airlines for staff shortages EasyJet chief calls for ‘sober view’ of capacity limits at UK airports this summer Air France-KLM chief concerned over staff shortage spreading to Paris and 787 delays Airlines grapple with cancellations, queues and government gall Is hydrogen power the right path for aviation? Aviation will heavily rely on carbon credits to hit EU ‘Fit for 55’ emissions target The sustainability chiefs leading the airline industry’s net-zero charge


Reining in the recovery and Chinese market reversal

Graham and Lewis discuss big airline expectations from the recent results season, alongside the operational challenges that threaten to limit the recovery and the uncertainty regarding what might follow. And as more of the Asia-Pacific region brings down border restrictions, they consider the impact of China’s continued ‘zero-Covid’ policy on airlines within that country and on overseas carriers that relied on its citizens’ seemingly endless appetite for international travel. Willie Walsh on the airline sector’s road to recovery and a sustainable future Has the golden age of Chinese air travel come to an end? Air cargo market told to brace for ‘growing challenges’ as demand falls JetBlue cuts Q2 capacity growth as it attempts to ‘create resiliency’ British Airways trims capacity plan to tackle operational challenges IAG sees profits from second quarter onwards on summer ramp-up Lufthansa reminds of A380 option amid strong demand and Boeing delays Border reopening lifts Asia Pacific airlines’ March traffic Southwest Airlines aims to be ‘solidly profitable’ in 2022


Challenging summer capacity ramp-up and the fight for Spirit

Graham and Lewis return to discuss the challenges facing airlines as they ramp-up operations heading into the northern hemisphere summer, notably amid staffing shortages and rising fuel prices. They also take a look at the competition to purchase Spirit Airlines, after JetBlue Airways threw its hat into the ring for the US ultra-low-cost carrier, weeks after Frontier Airlines had agreed to purchase its rival. They further consider whether the move reflects growing interest in consolidation as regions emerge from the pandemic. Music credit: Tea K Pea "highabove"/Creative Commons How Russian airspace restrictions are adding hours to some Europe-Asia flights Spirit’s board to weigh pros and cons of competing offers JetBlue would dismantle Spirit as ultra-low-cost competitor, become ‘larger JetBlue’ IATA chief insists airlines and airports not to blame for staff shortages Air Baltic chief on Ukraine solidarity, Russia exit, airspace closures and IPO plans Atlanta regains title of world’s busiest airport in domestic travel-dominated 2021 ranking EasyJet cuts first-half loss as it aims restore pre-crisis summer capacity Outbound travel drives Heathrow to busiest month since pandemic Asia-Pacific reopenings see airlines boost international capacity SAS chief urges airline industry to ‘get real’ as he laments missed consolidation chance


Uncertainties prevail after bleak Q2 results season

Graham and Lewis discuss a bleak financial results season, as airlines count the costs of a ruinous April-June period while grappling with a bumpier-than-expected comeback in the current quarter. The dynamics playing out in global markets are also examined, including the recovery mismatches in domestic and international sectors, the challenges presented by the ending of government support schemes, and the retrenchment of the traditional network carriers. They also discuss the European Commission’s pending decision on a winter waiver for the 80:20 slot rule at the region’s airports, and the impact that could have on the ambitions of industry disruptors. Airline losses mount for second quarter after revenues collapse Asia-Pacific airlines temper optimism with caution - but for how long? Wizz cements Gatwick ambitions by opening new base Airline slot waivers need strict conditions: ACI World chief Airlines urgently need winter waiver decision: IATA slots chief Air cargo decline narrows in June but market ‘exceptionally challenging’ US airlines brace for further volatility in second half of 2020


What challenges do airlines face as they return to the skies?

As airlines begin to ramp up operations, Graham and Lewis discuss the demand situation and the likely pitfalls ahead. They consider whether low passenger confidence in the safety of travel is likely to dampen demand, and how the progress of the virus is a critical factor in the shape of the recovery. They also discuss the safety of airports and aircraft, and the particular challenges facing the major regions. European carriers put emphasis on reach in short-haul return Layoffs expected when pay support ends for US carriers Assessing government support for Asia-Pacific carriers By the numbers: coronavirus effect on the global fleet


How airlines in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are impacted by the crisis

Airlines begin cutting their fleets in earnest, Latin America's biggest carrier heads into restructuring and Asia-Pacific operators grapple with how to kick-start services.


What will the airline industry look like when flying restarts?

With talk in some markets turning to how airline markets might open up again as coronavirus cases peak, Graham and Lewis examine the current state of the industry and where it might be heading. Among the topics considered, they look at Virgin Australia’s demise and the moral hazard faced by governments around helping airlines. Could we see more state-owned carriers in future? They also discuss how airlines might deal with the demand for social distancing on flights – or, indeed, whether it is an issue carriers can solve. And they consider which markets might be first to return - particularly in geographic terms. Read more on FlightGlobal's website: Rather than solving social distancing, airlines face a waiting game US carriers tap relief funding as crisis deepens European carriers face long haul through coronavirus crisis Air freight market goes into overdrive Early retirements in crises: a new normal? Adapting to coronavirus means removing its power to frighten Grounded commercial aircraft around the world – in pictures


'Cash crunch' for airlines as majority of global fleet is grounded

Graham and Lewis talk through the latest developments in the airline industry as the majority of the world’s fleet is grounded amid the coronavirus crisis. They discuss the prospects for carriers facing a cash crunch as revenues dry up – including whether the unprecedented circumstances might prompt consolidation as operators either collapse or merge with rivals. Having recently spoken to serving airline chief executives, Graham and Lewis also highlight the approaches being taken by Etihad and Air Baltic. Graham is then joined by Americas air transport editor Pilar Wolfsteller to discuss developments in the Americas, including tough decisions to be made regarding their future fleets. Airline traffic unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels before start of 2021 Former airline chiefs on government role in airline survival and future shape of sector Tough decisions loom for fleets grounded due to coronavirus crisis Asia-Pacific order book haunts crisis-hit airlines, airframers How Etihad aims to manage through coronavirus crisis grounding US carriers race to shrink fleets as nearly 400 near-term aircraft deliveries loom


Airlines ground fleets as IATA gives latest impact assessment

Graham and Lewis talk through the latest figures and thoughts from IATA as airlines across the world ground their fleets in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Graham is then joined by Asia-Pacific bureau chief Greg Waldron to talk through the specific impact on markets in that region – including some potentially positive developments in China. Read more of our coverage on Airline coronavirus story could go from ‘Apocalypse Now’ to ‘The Big Short’ Airline passenger revenues to fall $252 billion in 2020 amid coronavirus: IATA China’s domestic airline market 'may be at turning point': IATA How coronavirus could impact airliner fleets across the globe Wizz warns full grounding a ‘distinct possibility’ as low-cost carriers pare back Week of 16 March in review: North American carriers reel from coronavirus fallout All tunnel, no light for Asia-Pacific airlines


Airlines reel from coronavirus impact, plus latest on Boeing 737 Max

Join executive editor Graham Dunn and managing editor Lewis Harper as they discuss the impact of the coronavirus, which has been described by IATA as a “crisis” for the airline industry. Graham and Lewis consider markets across the world, including Italy’s, which has joined those in Asia and elsewhere in feeling a strong impact from the outbreak. They also look at IATA’s latest estimates for the virus’s economic impact They then consider the recent collapses of Air Italy and Flybe – including the environmental dimension to any government intervention to rescue operators. Finally, Graham is joined by FlightGlobal’s Americas bureau chief Jon Hemmerdinger to discuss the latest on the Boeing 737 Max programme. Read more on the stories discussed: IATA flags up to $113 billion revenue hit from coronavirus ‘crisis’ Cathay flags ‘substantial loss’ for first half of 2020 Why strong Ryanair and Wizz February traffic offers few clues to coronavirus impact Which airlines are most exposed to mainland China amid the coronavirus? Spirited Flybe fails to conjure another great escape Coronavirus downturn raises questions about demand for new passenger jets Boeing’s new leaders may have what it takes to lead turnaround: analysts Congress slams Boeing and FAA for alleged 737 Max failures


Airlines grapple with coronavirus impact

The new edition of the Airline Business podcast is now available. Join executive editor Graham Dunn and managing editor Lewis Harper as they discuss a tough – and, at times, perplexing – start to the year for airlines. If the industry thought it was getting some respite from a challenging first couple of weeks in 2020, fortunes quickly dipped again as the impact of the coronavirus began to be felt by airlines in China and beyond. At the same time, however, fuel prices are helpfully low, and a moderating of capacity growth continues to benefit the yield environment. Graham and Lewis also discuss the latest happenings at ailing UK carrier Flybe, and the strategy behind LOT Polish Airline’s purchase of German leisure carrier Condor. Airlines cut back China flights as WHO declares coronavirus a global emergency Which airlines are most exposed to mainland China amid the coronavirus? What does LOT’s purchase of Condor mean for Europe’s airline market? Ryanair renews attack on Flybe rescue deal