The 2010s: A Decade in Review
The 2010s saw the airline industry start to recover from the shocks of the 2000s and return to profitability, but not every airline benefited.
On Jan. 4, 2010, Airline Weekly began the new decade with a review of the progress and perils of the prior 10 years. From 2000 to 2009, the world saw a flowering of low-cost carriers on shorthaul routes, the rise of Gulf carriers on longhaul routes, a wave of airline deregulation, and economically transformative traffic growth in emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, eastern Europe and the ASEAN region. The Internet changed the way airlines sold their tickets. B737-NGs and A320s dominated the narrowbody space. The widebodies of choice were A330s and B777s.
The first decade of the 2000s, however, were unfortunately filled with more bad memories than good. It was an age shaped by terrorism, war, natural disasters, health epidemics, and multiple economic shocks, including the bursting of an Internet stock bubble and the worst global recession since the 1930s. IATA’s chief at the time called the 2000s the 10 worst financial years in aviation history, stained by $49b in industry losses. The single biggest reason for this? A huge increase in fuel costs — Brent oil prices per barrel, which averaged $18 in the 1990s, averaged $50 in the 2000s. Just before the global recession began in 2008, they topped $130.
The 2010s, fortunately, were much better for airlines. Rather than lose $49b, they collectively earned more than $200b. The industry in fact earned profits every year of the decade. And things got better over time, not worse, with profits much higher in the second half (2015-2019) than during the first (2010-2014). The single biggest reason for this? A mid-decade collapse in fuel prices — oil averaged $100 in the first half but just $57 in the second half. While still relatively high in historic terms, $57 is a price many of today’s airlines, using the latest aircraft technology, find comfortable.
It wasn’t a great decade for everyone. The biggest losers were those that disappeared, including some large carriers like India’s Jet Airways just last year. Others would have disappeared if not for government rescues. Alitalia, Air India, Kenya Airways, and South African Airways are some examples. Another is Malaysia Airlines, whose horrible decade included two fatal air disasters in 2014. Thai Airways, which entered the decade on a long profit streak, spilled enormous quantities of red ink in the 2010s. Singapore Airlines stayed profitable but struggled to produce strong margins. Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia, outmuscled by British Airways and Qantas, respectively, were forced to seek salvation from foreign airline investors. There were lots of ups and downs — including some severe downs — for Turkish Airlines and Gol.
Longhaul LCCs tried but failed to gain traction. It was another decade of unfilled promise for African aviation, exemplified by the crushed hopes of Fastjet. Only Ethiopian had a decade worth celebrating, minus two fatal crashes it suffered, one in the decade’s first year, one in the decade’s last.
The creation of Latam at the start of the decade, from a merger between Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM, didn’t produce the sort of profit margins its shareholders envisioned. Air France never managed to engineer the cost cutting and other reforms it needed. It was also — this is a familiar story — devasted by labor strikes, which incidentally was a big problem for Lufthansa last decade as well. Avianca experienced perhaps the longest pilot strike in history.
In one of the biggest industry developments of the 2010s, Gulf carriers began losing their luster after an early bonanza of aircraft ordering. By 2020, Etihad was in shambles, Qatar Airways was losing more money than ever, and Emirates was downsizing its growth ambitions. Airlines from Delta to South African Airways to Aeromexico still complain about Gulf carrier expansion. But the desert predators are clearly not the threat they once were.
On the contrary, U.S. carriers spent the decade transforming themselves from chumps to champs. In one of the defining developments of the 2010s, U.S. airlines became the leading contributors to industry profitability, an unthinkable notion in the decade prior. Key to their transformation was a wave of mergers, along with greater capacity discipline, more aggressive ancillary selling, and a more finely segmented approach to the products they offered and the pricing they charged. U.S. fare wars weren’t as widespread during the 2010s, to the detriment of consumers. But as airfares and industry profits stabilized, U.S. airline workers won big raises. Stuck with higher wage bills and unable to control fuel costs, U.S. carriers reduced costs by introducing more fuel-efficient planes, investing in information technology, and optimizing their distribution channels. At the same time, they devised new ways to grow revenue, not least by forming joint ventures and leveraging their giant loyalty programs.
Of all the U.S. airline turnaround stories, Delta’s was most dramatic; the Atlanta-based giant is today synonymous with quality, reliability, and strategic acumen. But don’t forget to look north of the border. Air Canada’s reversal of fortunes was no less stunning. On the other side of the world, Japan Airlines began the decade with bankruptcy and ended it with a long streak of strong margins. IAG emerged as the clear champion among Europe’s global carriers, using consolidation as a powerful weapon. Qantas and Air New Zealand were other big winners of the 2010s. Copa as usual made lots of money.
Joining the winner’s circle was a long list of low-cost carriers spread throughout the world, including a new breed of ultra-low-cost carriers relying heavily on ancillary revenues. The pioneer of the ultra-LCC model, Ryanair, ran into unfamiliar labor challenges late in the decade but remained highly profitable throughout. Wizz Air entered the pantheon of elite profit producers. Southwest, Spirit, Allegiant, AirAsia, easyJet, Cebu Pacific, and IndiGo were some of the other LCC all-stars of the decade. Large numbers of established full-service carriers launched low-cost units, some of which did well (i.e. Aeroflot’s Pobeda) and others which did not (Lufthansa’s Eurowings). WestJet launched two new businesses simultaneously: A longhaul business and an ultra-LCC.
With almost 40% of the world’s population, China and India were bound to eventually play a larger role in global aviation. That’s indeed what happened in the last decade, a reality made clear by the huge numbers of aircraft their airlines ordered. Benefitting from consolidation and a steady modernization of their business practices, China’s major airlines earned steady profits throughout the 2010s. China in fact surpassed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy behind the U.S. India’s airlines, by contrast, often lost money while having to compete with subsidized Air India. IndiGo emerged as the country’s top success story. SpiceJet got its act together after a near-death experience. And two foreign carriers — Singapore Airlines and AirAsia — co-launched Indian ventures.
According to Cirium schedule data, total seat capacity in both China and India, from 2010 to 2019, each increased roughly 130%. That made them among the decade’s fastest growing airline markets. Not the fastest though. Among the 100 largest country markets, Iraq’s grew most last decade: nearly 700%. It remains small though. More notable was Vietnam’s 237% rise and Ethiopia’s 230%. Myanmar, Iceland, Turkey, and Peru were also in the top 10. Not far behind were Thailand, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.
Libya, Syria, and Yemen, on the other hand, all saw their airline markets shrink dramatically due to war. Among markets still in the top 100, only two were smaller at the end of the decade than at the beginning. One was Bahrain, where Gulf Air lost relevance to neighboring carriers. The other was Venezuela, whose economy all but collapsed. Brazil ended 2019 with merely 8% more seats than it had in 2010, depressed by the mid-decade commodity bust that led to a severe recession. Italy’s stagnant economy barely grew all decade. Most of Europe’s other big country markets, along with the U.S., Japan, and Australia, all grew seats between 20% and 30%. That’s not a lot for a 10-year period, reflecting the impact of legacy carrier consolidation and capacity cutting. In any case, the consolidation and capacity cutting worked, producing a decade of healthy profits for most of the large legacy carriers in the developed world.
Importantly, the 2010s were mercifully spared any economic shocks as deep as the prior decade’s global financial crisis. It was spared any health epidemics as disruptive to air travel as the SARS or H1N1 scares. There were no terror attacks as debilitating as 9/11. There were no fuel spikes as great as the one that devasted airlines in the mid-to-late 2000s. That said, the decade did feature Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, the Arab Spring revolts, Brexit, trade wars, currency crises from Argentina to Turkey, an Ebola epidemic in Africa, and a lethal tsunami in Japan. In the meantime, a changing climate increased the quantity and severity of disruptive weather events, while putting more public pressure on the airline industry to address its own alleged responsibility for the problem.
Another key highlight of the decade was technological. As handheld mobile devices became ubiquitous, they changed the way airlines interacted with their customers. This coincided with the use of large data sets and machine learning, enabling carriers to more finely tune their marketing and distribution practices, often down to the individual traveler. The notion of companies knowing everything about everybody, and anticipating people’s future buying behavior, is becoming a defining trait of modern business, including airlines. Indeed, they now have relationships with the key technology companies driving this new era of capitalism: a social media presence on Facebook, for example, and apps on Apple and Google mobile platforms. As it happens, airlines are giant data collectors themselves, about the more than 4b passengers that fly each ear. How to more effectively use this data? That will be a major priority in the 2020s.
Today’s advances in aircraft technology aren’t as revolutionary as they once were — nothing quite like the advent of jet engines or supersonic air travel. But advances have nevertheless produced extremely meaningful improvements in the economics of air travel. Boeing’s B787, followed by the Airbus A350, transformed international route networks with their unprecedented combination of fuel efficiency and ultra-long range. Their ability to efficiently fly just about any longhaul mission would make ultra-large aircraft like B747s and A380s largely unnecessary. The rather large B777-300ER, however, remained popular through much of the decade, as did the smaller A330, aided by B787 and A350 delivery delays. Aircraft delays, sure enough, were a key development all decade, punctuated by 2019’s twin B737 MAX disasters. The MAX, like the A320 NEO, brought new engine technology to the workhorse narrowbodies that dominate shorthaul air travel. By late in the decade, they were staring to fly longer missions, some transoceanic. After a slow start, Bombardier’s CSeries, which became the Airbus A220, gained a sizeable following. Boeing and Airbus enter the 2020s, however, with concerns about widebody demand in a world no longer characterized by voracious Gulf carrier and Chinese carrier ordering.
There’s plenty more one could say about the 2010s. It was era of cheap and abundant capital, to all but the severely distressed. The demographic change of greatest consequence was an aging population in North America, Europe, and East Asia, creating legions of retirees with time and money to travel. Younger consumers expressed their preference for experiences like travel over tangible goods. Same for Asia’s growing middle class, representing hundreds of millions of people now affluent enough to travel by air. On a more cautionary note, the world enters a new decade with enormous government debt, infrastructure shortages, growing income inequality, and threats from political divisions, nuclear proliferation, cybercrime, climate change, and antibiotic-resistant superbugs. And who’s to say there won’t be another oil shock?
Next week, we’ll take a closer look at the forces likely to shape the 2020s, and how the airline industry is positioned to benefit and suffer. Until then, here’s Skift Airline Weekly’s list of the top 10 developments of the 2010s, in no particular order:
1. Airlines adapt to a digital world: In adjusting to a consumer landscape increasingly dominated by tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (or Alibaba and Tencent in China), carriers spent the decade establishing a presence on their key platforms — the Apple and Google app stores, for example. This opened new methods of retailing, upselling, personalization, customer interaction, and distribution. And it gave airlines their own ideas about how to replicate aspects of Amazon-like retail, including heavy use of data to predict and influence buyer behavior. Other manifestations of the industry’s move from analog to digital technologies are visible in its adoption of cloud computing, more sophisticated reservation/passenger service systems, onboard Wi-Fi, self-service check-in, equipping staff with tablets, predicative maintenance, and IATA’s NDC standards for selling via travel agencies.
2. Airlines reduce their dependence on price-sensitive tickets: A key driver of the industry’s financial resilience last decade was its ability to find less-volatile sources of revenue. Intense price competition remains a prominent feature of the airline business. And economy class seats remain largely a commodity-like product — a seat is a seat is a seat, and whichever carrier charges the lowest prices wins the business. By selling a host of new ancillary products and services, however, many once included in the base fare, airlines managed to reduce their exposure to debilitating fare wars. For some ultra-LCCs like Spirit, ancillary sales led by bag and seat fees now account for around half of total revenues. But ancillaries are important to nearly all airlines these days. Loyalty programs are among the industry’s largest sources of non-ticket revenues. Branding groups of fares with a common set of perks, or lack thereof, aided the goal of more effective market segmentation, identifying exactly which customers were willing to pay for something more than just any old seat. Carriers also improved their ability to sell premium seats, which further reduced dependence on price-sensitive coach tickets. Even in times of deep distress, the last thing premium airlines cut was their spending on amenities like business-class seats and airport lounges — a good example is Cathay Pacific right now. Put succinctly, industry revenues strengthened last decade amid efforts to provide less than ever to those buying the cheapest fares, and more than ever to those paying top dollar.
3. New longhaul aircraft reshape global route networks: The B787 alone was a major change agent of the 2010s, joining with A350s to enable many new intercontinental routes heretofore economically unfeasible. By decade’s end, narrowbodies too, with extended range capabilities, began creeping into the longhaul scene. Growing international commerce throughout much of the decade, along with flight-right liberalization, visa relaxation, growing cross-border tourism, and new low-cost business models all contributed to a surge in new intercontinental routes. One particular feature of the B787 and A350 is their extreme range capabilities, enabling nonstops between almost any two points in the world, and with twin-engine efficiency, unlike prior-generation planes like A340-500s. As the 2020s get started, Qantas is working with Airbus to conquer one of the last frontiers of nonstop flying: Sydney to London and New York. A separate less heralded highlight of the 2010s took place inside the aircraft: New thinner and lighter-weight seats that helped foster a densification sensation. Ultra-dense seating was most conspicuous among ultra-LCCs but the idea of packing more seats per plane was universal throughout the industry.
4. The rise of ULCCs: The ancillary and densification efforts of ultra-low-cost carriers is just one aspect of their extremely successful business model. Others include lots of outsourcing and rapid capacity growth. Indeed, their growth was a highlight of the decade. Ryanair, the model’s pioneer, continued to make life miserable for its European competitors. Wizz Air replicated that success with a copy-cat approach. In the U.S., Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant, collectively irrelevant at the start of the decade, became major players in major markets, and they became major aircraft buyers, too. By 2019, the model had spread like wildfire all across the globe, with the notable exception of sub-Saharan Africa. Distinguishing a more traditional LCC like Southwest from an ultra-LCC like Ryanair or Spirit isn’t an exact science. But let’s just say that carriers with an extreme approach to cost control are heavily represented in today’s rankings of global airlines by profit margin.
5. The rise of China: The Chinese economic miracle was well underway by the start of the 2010s. The moment that best symbolized its rise, the Beijing Olympics, came in 2008. But consider this: There were roughly 6k nonstop flights between the U.S. and China in 2010. By 2019, that number had tripled to 18k. And no longer were nonstops available from only Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, but from 13 other mainland Chinese cities as well. Such growth was evident between China and other international markets too, partly thanks to Chinese carriers, including many other than the Big Three, expanding voraciously abroad, sometimes with government subsidies. Just as importantly, China became a critical market for many foreign carriers relying on inbound Chinese tourists as their principle source of demand growth. China sailed through the global financial crisis thanks to enormous government spending — GDP grew nearly 11% y/y in 2010. By 2019, though, growth in both GDP and airline demand had slowed considerably, raising concerns about a possible Japan-like stagnation — or worse a major debt crisis — in the 2020s. Even amid the slowdown though, most major Chinese airlines remained solidly profitable thanks to major mergers in 2009 and 2010, easing fuel-cost pressures after 2014, still-healthy demand growth, and improved management. Still, carriers like Air China haven’t yet achieved high esteem among global business travelers, thus limiting their intercontinental premium prowess. Premium demand fell sharply even among Chinese travelers following a 2012 anti-corruption campaign that cracked down on wasteful spending. Improving their brand positioning among overseas premium travelers will be a key priority in the 2020s.
6. The rise and fall of the Gulf carriers: In retrospect, the 2013 Dubai Airshow represented the height of the Gulf carrier boom. There, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad all placed huge orders, mostly for widebodies. With oil prices hovering above the $100 per barrel mark for much of the first half of the 2010s, the Gulf region continued to bathe in an influx of dollars. The 2014 oil bust meant an end to the party however, which further soured in 2017 when several Gulf states expelled Qatar Airways from their airports in a diplomatic tiff. Though it maintained elevated capacity growth throughout, Qatar’s losses swelled and its aircraft ordering mostly stopped. Etihad, always with the least viable business plan, was in complete shambles after virtually everything it touched turned to dust — it foolishly invested in Alitalia, Air Berlin, Jet Airways, and Virgin Australia. Emirates, by contrast, stayed modestly profitable but realized the errors of its giant bet on A380s. Growth slowed sharply. And the carrier shifted its aircraft ordering priorities from the largest widebodies to midsized models. Besides egregious overexpansion and the impact of lower oil prices on Middle Eastern economies, the Big Three Gulf carriers were hurt by exposure to weak currencies, intense lobbying by rivals, a proliferation of long-distance international nonstops overflying Gulf hubs, and competition from Turkish Airlines, regional LCCs and international joint ventures. For Boeing and Airbus, incidentally, the end of the Gulf carrier era casts a cloud over future widebody demand, already evident in weak order activity.
7. In Europe, the strong get stronger and the weak disappear: IAG, Ryanair, easyJet, and Wizz Air were the big European success stories of the 2010s. In IAG’s case, consolidation was a big factor, developing from a combination of British Airways (with its London Heathrow dominance), Iberia (with its South Atlantic strengths), Aer Lingus (with its North Atlantic strengths), and Vueling (with its ability to make money in Europe’s unforgiving shorthaul market). IAG is now buying Iberia’s South Atlantic rival Air Europa. Lufthansa and especially Air France/KLM had a more difficult time earning decent margins. But at least they made money, and nobody questioned their ability to survive. More tenuous were the survival prospects of mid-sized legacy carriers like SAS and Finnair. Some like TAP Air Portugal, Virgin Atlantic, and Alitalia got help from foreign airline investors. Alitalia, like LOT Polish, survives only with support from its government. Norwegian’s grand visions to blanket the world with low-cost longhaul flights proved a bust. And waves of undersized, sub-scale, high-cost peripheral airlines disappeared from scene. Despite these failures though, and despite extremely sluggish economic growth, air traffic grew at a healthy pace, powered by LCC expansion, inbound tourism, and the maturity of eastern markets like Poland.
8. Consolidation transforms the U.S. airline sector: Not long after America West bought US Airways in 2005, which coincided with the height of the mid-2000s real estate bubble, signs of a U.S. airline sector recovery were already faintly evident. Most carriers were still a mess, but major reforms were underway. Delta and Northwest, which both filed for bankruptcy on the same September day in 2005, decided to merge with each other three years later. When the success of that merger quickly became clear, and after a devasting recession again put the industry’s survival at stake, a succession of other mergers ensued. In 2010, United joined with Continental and Southwest bought AirTran. In 2013, American merged with US Airways. Finally, in 2015, Alaska bought struggling Virgin America. The consolidated landscape greatly reduced the prevalence of savage fare wars and turf battles. And carriers simultaneously devised new ways to generate more revenue, from ancillary selling to joint venturing to better monetizing their huge loyalty plans. The result: The U.S. airline industry became the world’s most profitable, with all major carriers earning respectable margins.
9. Fuel in the 2010s: A tale of two halves: The single greatest year for U.S. airlines was 2015, just after a fuel price collapse. Prices would rise somewhat in subsequent years, but never to levels that airlines considered terribly uncomfortable. The mid-decade fuel collapse, of course, was part of a broader downturn in commodity markets (and non-dollar currency values) that badly damaged some key economies such as Brazil and Russia. So the fuel bust was hardly a universal positive for the world’s airline industry. But it had a profoundly positive impact for many, especially carriers in the U.S. The first half of the decade, by contrast, saw a string of years in which oil prices topped $100 a barrel, though never rising to heights reached in 2008. In fact, even during these years of $100-plus oil, price volatility was subdued, enabling carriers to plan their networks accordingly. Recall that in the prior decade, violent swings in energy prices made future network, fleet, staffing, and pricing decisions extremely difficult. One thing that didn’t happen in the 2010s was any meaningful use of alternative fuels — oil remains king in 2020.
10. Demand throughout the decade was generally healthy: The 2010s, to be sure, had its uncomfortable moments — the eurozone crisis, the Arab Spring revolts, the Tohoku tsunami in Japan, the Ebola scare, Brexit uncertainty, and so on. But the global economy as a whole did not experience anything nearly as crippling as the financial crisis of the late 2000s. There were no industry shocks even remotely as disruptive as the 9/11 terror attacks. There were no health scares as disruptive as SARS or H1N1. There were no fuel shocks as disruptive as those that occurred just before the global financial crisis. And so, demand for air travel grew steadily throughout the 2010s, powered by engines like the surge in Chinese outbound flying and the spread of LCCs. Premium demand grew nicely as well, in key areas like the transatlantic and transpacific markets. Demand on the other hand was somewhat constrained by forces depressing supply, including widespread consolidation and joint venturing, more disciplined capacity management, airport capacity shortages, the growth in high-speed trains in markets like China and Europe, a steady wave of bankruptcies, aircraft production delays, and the B737-MAX crisis last year.◄
Looking Back at Airline Weekly’s Top 10 Developments of the Year, 2010-2019
- Fuel prices, so wildly up and down in recent years, stay remarkably stable:
- A big bang in once-sleepy Japan
- Airlines rediscover their appetite for plane buying, but manufacturers suffer setbacks
- The BRIC countries and other emerging markets swing back to their hyper-growth ways:
- Global airlines scramble for Africa
- The airline industry’s center of gravity continues its shift to the Middle East
- Plenty of heartache notwithstanding, leading North American and European airlines prosper
- A vast intensification of consolidation and cooperation
- Even as demand roars back, supply doesn’t
- Revenues rebound sharply — and happiness is in the air
- The return of extreme fuel prices, aggravated by unusually severe market disruptions
- Latin America booms, India swoons and China prospers but with signs of strain
- A forex-boosted earnings renaissance in Japan
- The U.S. market in 2011: prosperity minus one
- Europe’s Big Three turn to the Americas, northeast Asia and Africa for relief
- Labor unrest intensifies
- Despite the fuel pressure — or maybe because of it — airlines go on a plane-buying spree
- Airlines, especially those in the U.S., escalate tensions with distribution partners
- Airlines partner with each other, with an upgraded level of intensity
- Longhaul premium business stays strong
- Another strong year for aircraft sales, led by the B737-MAX, but widebody orders slump
- Chaos in Brazil and India but a new age of connectivity for Russia and Africa
- East Asian carriers feel the heat
- European carriers, minus the continent’s leading LCCs, endure a hellish year
- Delta emerges the clear champion of an unprecedentedly stable and healthy U.S. airline industry
- A liquidation sensation
- Big legacy carriers undertake massive restructurings, labor concessions included
- Gulf carriers make partial peace with their legacy rivals
- Cutting capacity becomes cool
- Airlines of all shapes, sizes and geographies respond to pressures with cross-border consolidation
- Oil prices stayed high but calm
- Currency markets were anything but calm
- Another boom year for aircraft orders
- Foreign carriers target the U.S.
- LCCs expanding their reach and influence
- Alliance realignment
- Emerging markets lose their luster
- A tough year for airlines in East Asia
- Europe still a hodgepodge, but major legacy carriers aggressively restructuring
- Triumph in North America
- LCCs go corporate, while legacy carriers go low cost
- Low-cost longhaul flying — never more popular but never less successful
- Rise of the ultra-LCCs
- Many of the industry’s brightest flames start to flicker
- More seats per departure, not more departures per day
- In most emerging markets, the shine wears off
- The economies of Europe and Japan are stuck in a rut but produce widely diverging airline fortunes
- ASEAN airlines slammed by tragedy and overcapacity
- Never before have U.S. carriers had it so good
- Oil prices collapse in the second half
- America was the place to be
- Gulf carriers start to sweat
- Two BRICs bad, two BRICs good
- A commodity oddity
- Europe’s airlines: cold, warm, hot and scorching hot
- New aircraft models hit the market, but old ones gain favor
- Airlines gain a preference for leisure
- Labor tensions rise, for different reasons in different places
- Unit revenues falling, falling everywhere
- The joys of cheap fuel
- Leisure demand drives strong traffic growth
- Longhaul leisure was especially hot
- Premium demand, by contrast, sags
- Chinese airlines go wild overseas
- Overcapacity bites on transatlantic markets
- Latin America recovers as LCCs beckon
- The European airline sector just can’t seem to stabilize
- In the U.S. prosperity but problems
- U.S. carriers construct an arsenal of revenue weapons
- The aircraft market slows
- A strong global economy drives strong worldwide demand
- Cargo makes a comeback
- Fuel prices rise but to still manageable levels
- Conditions improve in emerging markets
- China becomes ever-more important to industry fortunes
- The Gulf challenge eases
- Airlines step up their IT investment
- Longhaul LCCs storm the North Atlantic but cause only limited disruption
- The U.S. market loses some steam
- Europe enjoys perhaps its best year ever
- New aircraft technology forges ahead, but with production headaches
- Cargo boomed despite threats to global trade
- The low-cost longhaul business model disappoints
- Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty
- A segmentation sensation
- It was a bad year for emerging markets
- A strong U.S. dollar added to airline cost pressures
- Fuel costs rose and rose, until they didn’t
- In Europe, competitive conditions ease a bit, notably on shorthaul, but operational conditions worsen
- Intercontinental premium demand was stronger than ever
- Trade wars and economic softness decimate the air cargo market
- U.S. dollar strength persists
- A big shakeup in Latin America
- Europe consolidates
- An Avionic Plague sweeps across the globe
- Pressure builds on the industry to help fight climate change
- Fuel prices moderate
- Longhaul LCCs again failed to live up to their hype
- Passenger demand was generally strong
- Tragedy leads to severe disruptions in aircraft supply