November 21, 2018
More and more people are traveling by air in Mexico, but Mexico’s airlines continue to struggle. All four of its main carriers had a disappointing 3rd quarter, which is historically peak season. VivaAerobus at least made a little money. Aeroméxico and Volaris barely broke even. And, Interjet’s numbers were simply alarming.
Fortunately, oil prices have dropped so much that the outlook for airlines everywhere has changed. In the U.K., easyJet posted earnings that were strong but not nearly as good as LCC rivals Ryanair and Wizz Air. Is that a problem? LATAM is navigating economic headwinds well. AirAsia X seems to be proving that “low-cost longhaul” remains a difficult business model. Lastly, Flybe’s ongoing struggles raise this question for some: Is an acquisition in order?
November 13, 2018
Of Europe’s “Big Three” airline groups, International Airlines Group (IAG) continues to significantly outperform the other two, namely Air France/KLM and Lufthansa Group. A big part of IAG’s success is simply British Airways’ coveted slot portfolio at Heathrow. But it didn’t hurt that pretty much everything else is working too. Still, Lufthansa navigated a difficult quarter operationally to deliver a respectable 14% operating profit margin.
Air France/KLM, meanwhile, rode the seasonal strengths of its Transavia unit to a profit margin that outpaced Lufthansa’s by a fraction of a percent. Ryanair saw its Q3 profit margin drop by 7 points. But no matter—it still did better than every other European carrier reporting so far. Icelandair bought competitor WOW Air. Lastly, with Turkish Airlines looking fully mended, will it return to its fast-growth ways?