Issue No. 900

A Year Without Russia

Global Airlines Prove Resilient Amid Russia’s War in Ukraine

Pushing Back: Inside the Issue

Fourth quarter financial reports continue to roll in. Last week featured some strikingly good performances, led by Singapore Airlines and Qantas. Both carriers have emerged from the pandemic with guns blazing, taking advantage of robust demand and wounded rivals. In Europe, Iberia is leading IAG’s recovery, capitalizing on bountiful transatlantic demand — both north Atlantic and south Atlantic. British Airways is making money again too, though not nearly as much as it was before the Covid storm. The biggest headline for IAG, however, involves the deal it finally clinched to buy full control of Air Europa. But will regulators allow it?

United, speaking at an investor event last week, preached again about structural impediments to industry capacity growth. Couple that with its belief that demand has structurally changed for the better, and what you get is an airline that’s sounding very bullish — bullish to the point of voraciously buying new aircraft. United clearly burns with desire to overtake Delta as the profit champion among the U.S. Big Three. Can it do so? One new arrow in its quiver is a transborder joint venture with Air Canada, with whom it already shares revenue on transatlantic routes — the two carriers announced some new transborder flying last week.

Back on the earnings beat, one airline that failed to impress was SAS. Its bloody wintertime losses suggest trouble in its quest to become more competitive while in bankruptcy. Management, however, insists that things will look much better in the quarters ahead, pointing to restructured lease agreements and other reforms.   

Read on for more about SAS, along with more about Air France-KLM’s current situation, more about JetBlue’s plan to get its Spirit merger done, more about ANA’s new business plan, more about the fate of Mexico’s two major LCCs, more on U.S. airline capacity trends, and more about the state of aviation one year after Russia’s Ukraine invasion. Here’s to hoping that the war will end soon.

Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast

Singapore Airlines and Copa Airlines were two champions of the December quarter with standout financial results. What set them apart from the pack? Listen to this week’s episode to find out. A full archive of the Lounge is here.

Weekly Skies

International Airlines Group has reached a deal to acquire the rest of Air Europa for €400 million ($422 million) that it thinks will pass muster with European authorities.

Feature Story

Passengers aboard Finnair flight AY73 from Helsinki to Tokyo took what could be described as the scenic route to Japan on February 18. The flight traveled south from the Finnish capital over the Baltic states and Eastern Europe, before turning…

By the Numbers

Each U.S. carrier's seven busiest airports ranked by seats scheduled for the upcoming second quarter, the April to June period. Also shown is the percentage change in seat capacity versus the same quarter of 2019.