Issue No. 769
America’s Airlines Start to Recover… A Little Bit
Pushing Back: Inside This Issue
By its own lofty standards, 2019 was not a good year for Ryanair. Needless to say, 2020 will be worse. But with an important caveat: This year’s distress contains unmistakable seeds of opportunity.
Ryanair will survive the crisis, no doubt about that. And it expects to be right there as Europe’s shorthaul airlines start adding back flights in the next few weeks, assuming governments proceed with the lifting of travel restrictions. All the while, the Irish LCC is positioning itself to revive muscular margins by negotiating crisis-time deals with airports, with unions, and with Boeing.
U.S. airlines too, are prepping to reintroduce more flights as demand slowly creeps back. All understand the need to shrink, and the misfortunes and inefficiencies shrinking entails. But they’re just as keen as Ryanair on finding diamonds of opportunity amid the burning wreckage.
Speaking of burning wreckage, the Thai Airways balance sheet will finally get a proper chance to heal, if through the painful process of bankruptcy. Not so for a small Ecuadoran carrier called TAME, whose bankruptcy will lead to liquidation. Virgin Australia’s bankruptcy is headed for a swift conclusion — four reputable and well-capitalized investment firms want to buy it. Latam could be next in line at the bankruptcy court. Lufthansa will avoid bankruptcy by finalizing a government rescue plan. But it’s a plan with a heavy price — Berlin could own a full quarter of the airline.
Elsewhere, easyJet defeated a shareholder rebellion, while Taiwan’s two largest airlines reported first quarter losses but big increases in cargo revenue. Tragically, Pakistan’s national airline suffered a fatal plane crash. Almost 100 people lost their lives.
"I think you’re going to see enormous cost opportunities here for the next four or five years, and Ryanair well-poised to take advantage of them."Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Skift Airline Weekly Livestream
Join Airline Weekly Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan and special guest Brett Snyder, better known as "The Cranky Flier," to hear about the airline industry recovery, social distancing on aircraft, and when this recovery might happen. Tune in Tues., May 26 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern for a livestream broadcast. (It's Tuesday this week due to the Memorial Day holiday in th U.S. on Monday.) Can't make it? We'll post a replay after the event every week at airlineweekly.com. Registration is free for subscribers here, at forum.skift.com.
January-March 2020 (3 Months)
- Ryanair: -$657m/-$265m*; -21%
- China Airlines: -$127m; -9%
- EVA Air: -$36m; -1%
- Bangkok Airways: -$11m; 4%
October-December 2019 (3 Months)
- Philippine Airlines: -$34m; 6%
*Net result in USD/*Net result excluding special items/ Operating margin