Restructuring efforts and negotiations with unions continued to dominate the agenda for many European carriers during January.
Italian carrier Alitalia – on which Etihad is continuing due diligence before making a decision on whether to make it the latest of its European airline investments – has finally detailed plans for job cuts. It is to cut its 15,000-strong staff by 1,900 under a new industrial plan it says will save €128 million ($174 million) over two-and-a-half years.
The struggling Italian carrier is working on a restructuring as it looks for a new long-term investor after securing its €300 million capital increase. Following the that increase, Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo is now Alitalia’s biggest investor with a little over a fifth of the carrier. Poste Italiane, which contributed €75 million, now holds just under 20%, while Air France-KLM – which did not take part – has seen its stake drop from 25% to just over 7%.
EUROPEAN AIRLINE NEWS: JANUARY SNAPSHOT
Luxembourg completes sale of its 35% stake in Cargolux to China’s Henan Civil Aviation and Investment (HNCA) for $120 million;
Ryanair unveils plans for bases in Lisbon and the Greek pair of Athens and Thessaloniki;
Swiss regional Darwin Airline begins first operations under Etihad Regional brand;
British Airways drops its Boeing 747-8 freighter ACMI deal with Atlas Air’s Global Supply Systems in favour of new capacity agreement with Qatar Airways;
Small Planet Airlines Italia, which is independently owned and managed from Lithuanian charter Small Planet Airlines, has its operating licence suspended by the Italian authorities
EUROPEAN AIRLINE TRAFFIC: DECEMBER
European airline passenger load factors increased almost a point in December as passenger traffic growth of 7.4% outpaced the 6.5% extra capacity added.
Traffic figures for 15 European operators in December showed all but three – Croatia Airlines, Finnair and Iberia – lifted RPKs in December over the same month in 2012. All but two carriers – Finnair and Turkish Airlines – lifted passenger load factors in December. This helped contribute a 0.7 percentage point improvement in load factors in December, to 79%.
AEA MEMBER TRAFFIC BY MARKET: NOVEMBER
November traffic data for Association of European Airlines (AEA) members, representing nearly 30 predominantly scheduled network carriers, showed passenger load factor that month down 0.6 percentage points to 76.1%. That is in contrast to the 0.7 percentage point increase recorded by AEA members over the first 11 months of the year.
This in part reflected passenger traffic on the key North Altantic routes failing to keep pace with the 4.4% extra capacity added during November 2013.
EUROPEAN AIRLINE FLEET SUMMARY: JANUARY
Figures from Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database show 5,842 aircraft in active service among European airlines in January and 676 – just over 10% – of its overall fleet stored.
Just over 1,000 widebodies were in service in January among European airlines, while 8.8% of the total European widebody fleet is currently parked.