February 28, 2017
With its fourth quarter results and a standout 2016, IAG, the airline group that includes British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, continues to separate itself from the other two members of Europe’s Big Three airline groups. And leading the way was IAG’s still rather new acquisition, Aer Lingus, which had the highest annual operating profit margin of all the IAG units in 2016.
Posting even better numbers was Air New Zealand, which saw record profits for the year. Nearby, Qantas seems to be enjoying a golden age of its own. Meanwhile, there’s nothing golden about a weak peso for Mexican carriers, although Aeromexico clearly is weathering it better than VivaAerobus.
February 22, 2017
Air France/KLM had some good news in 2016. For one thing, its Transavia unit broke even. Also, KLM made a decent profit. But the story is rather disappointing from there, with the group posting a mere 4% operating margin for the year. Could some positive revenue trends turn 2017 around? Air Canada and WestJet together have become quite a rivalry. Depending on where you put the decimal point, Canada’s two dominant carriers tied in the 2016 profit race as Air Canada closed the gap. Finnair, Virgin Australia and Norwegian all turned in lackluster performances for the fourth quarter and 2016 overall. Meanwhile, Copa, Gol and Azul are all slowly but surely putting their Brazil problems behind them. Click here to subscribe to podcast. –Jason Cottrell Subscribe to Podcast | Listen Whenever: iTunes | Stitcher
February 14, 2017
Europe certainly has its share of struggling airlines, but Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air are not among them. And for Ryanair and Wizz, fourth quarter earnings simply topped off a triumphant 2016. (easyJet has yet to report on its fourth quarter.)
In the U.S., Spirit’s fourth quarter numbers were great—just not great for Spirit, as the hunter has become the hunted. Meanwhile all those LCCs and ULCCs were bested in 2016 by Alaska Airlines, a carrier that’s never been happier to call Seattle home. And in Asia, South Korea’s two biggest carriers—Korean Air and Asiana—are persevering despite a slowing home economy and competition from Japanese and Chinese carriers.
February 7, 2017
Japan Airlines is enjoying a charmed life right now. How good is it? In 2016, JAL was the most profitable of the large global airlines outside the U.S. All Nippon Airlines is also doing pretty well. ANA has narrowed the gap between it and JAL, which is still benefiting from the retrenching that followed its 2010 bankruptcy. But both are facing revenue pressures. Meanwhile, Avianca chose United as its dance partner in the western hemisphere. What that dance will look like still remains to be seen. Lufthansa is feeling good about its longhaul premium economy product.
Indigo saw profit margins cut in half but still has plenty to smile about. And Jet Airways? Well, at least they have a profit margin. And lastly, Allegiant posted a ho-hum 20% margin in the fourth quarter. That was down considerably from the year before but still will likely end up being among the best in the world.