A Boom with No Local Heroes: Air traffic in Taiwan is booming. So why aren’t Taiwanese airlines prospering?

A Boom with No Local Heroes: Air traffic in Taiwan is booming. So why aren’t Taiwanese airlines prospering?

Amid the darkness, there is light. In Taiwan, last week’s TransAsia crash breached the airline industry’s supreme mandate: safety above all. But away from the fog of disaster is a positive story about aviation’s most important contribution to humanity: economic prosperity. Taiwan’s airline industry, in case you haven’t noticed, is booming. Taipei’s main airport, which […]

American’s Destiny: Will the new American be the next Delta? Or the next United?

American’s Destiny: Will the new American be the next Delta? Or the next United?

The $2.9b net profit Delta earned in the 12 months to March 2014 is extraordinary; It’s more than a billion dollars better than any other airline has ever earned in a year. Even controlling for airline size to compare smaller airlines that can’t possibly earn that much money, Delta’s 10% operating margin for the period […]

Flight of the Living Dead: Zombie airlines are haunting Europe’s excessively fragmented airline sector

Flight of the Living Dead: Zombie airlines are haunting Europe’s excessively fragmented airline sector

Forget the strike-prone labor unions, the government austerity, the economic doldrums, the high taxation, the overregulation, the expensive airports, the opposition to airport expansion, the wasteful Eurocontrol regime, the heavy seasonal swings, the night curfews, the capacity growth and the Gulf carrier incursions. Yes, all of these hurt. But ask European airline executives what they […]

C is for Trouble: New airlines, new planes and new capacity promise more yield pressure in China

C is for Trouble: New airlines, new planes and new capacity promise more yield pressure in China

For a time, U.S. airlines—enjoying the fruits of consolidation, capacity cutting and charging for everything—weren’t alone. From 2010 through 2012, Chinese airlines experienced their own set of C-lettered tailwinds. Their market likewise consolidated, with China Eastern buying Shanghai Airlines and Air China buying Shenzhen Airlines. Collusion on pricing and scheduling, hard to prove but widely […]