July 18, 2017
The airline is on such a roll that not even a grouchy demagogue can stop Delta. The Atlanta-based carrier posted a better second quarter than it did last year, and it leaves Delta with at least a slim shot of having its best year ever. Low fuel prices were a defining factor for the industry during the quarter, and Delta took full advantage. But it saw success on the revenue side too.
Not all airlines were so lucky, including Norwegian, which posted a slightly negative operating margin during a quarter it really needs to be making money—a lot of money. Things are even more dire at South African Airways, although SAA has one thing Norwegian doesn’t have: a state sponsor. And Air France pilots agreed to allow the airline to create a low-cost unit. But is that even a good idea?
July 4, 2017
Terror attacks… a blockade… Alitalia… The first half of 2017 has been interesting—even against the airline industry’s high standard in that department. In just a 30-minute episode we attempt to unpack the first half of 2017. Despite a lot of excitement, the most significant story of the year—low oil prices—is really rather mundane, but still a very big deal. For instance, it means the U.S. earnings bonanza might be more sustainable.
Europe is enjoying one of its better years in recent memory. Gulf carriers are cutting capacity, which might (or might not) be the start of a seismic change in the industry. Kenya Airways is back on its feet, while South African Airways is on it back. New entrants are riding an economic resurgence in South America. Lion Air, VietJet and Air Asia are ensuring capacity remains high in the ASEAN region. And that’s all before we get to China, which continues to be the 800-pound panda in the room.