Issue No. 784
Pushing Back: Inside This Issue
The once-in-a-lifetime Covid crisis already is reshaping the global airline business in profound ways. In London, the world’s largest air travel market, the upheaval has some major players in retreat, and others (like Wizz Air) sensing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Never in its lifetime has India’s SpiceJet flown overseas. But it’s dabbling in the market now, plotting a new post-crisis strategy amid powerful forces of change like the potential privatization of Air India, the decline of Gulf carrier influence in Indian markets, the longhaul ambitions of Vistara, and the growing domestic dominance of IndiGo.
In the U.S., Frontier’s Q2 financial figures show it’s clearly benefitting from Denver’s relative strength in attracting leisure flyers. Sun Country, on the other hand, is more dependent on virus-stricken Florida, whose peak season by the way, is now just a few months away. Just a few days away, meanwhile, is the looming expiration of federal job subsidies for U.S. airlines, which continue to lobby for an extension.
In other U.S. news, Delta borrowed another massive sum of money, this time backed by its 100m member-strong loyalty program. Spirit detailed its path toward cash breakeven. Southwest, for its part, said it too is seeing a modest increase in leisure demand. Elsewhere, Cathay Pacific will soon unveil big changes to its business model. Thai Airways is undertaking big changes in bankruptcy. And in China, the Big Three are taking advantage of big changes in the competitive landscape, most importantly a big retreat by Hainan Airlines.
"We are not at the stage of recovery. We are still at the stage of survival."LOT Polish CEO Sebastian Mikosz
April-June (3 Months)
- SpiceJet: -$79m; -119%
- Frontier: $17m/-$69m*; -41%
- Sun Country: -$6m; -95%
*Net result in USD/*Net result excluding special items/ Operating margin
Skift Global Forum
Delta CEO Ed Bastian, United CEO Scott Kirby, JetBlue President Joanna Geraghty, and American CIO Maya Leibman headline Skift Global Forum, held virtually this year. Join us Mon., Sept. 21-Weds., Sept. 23 to hear from them as well as more than 60 leaders from across the travel industry. Airline Weekly subscribers get a 25% discount on the registration with code SAW202025. Details and agenda are here.