A review of employment numbers and schedules suggests the airlines are up to 20% less efficient than in 2019 on a per-employee basis.
Ultra low cost carriers
Upstart Avelo Airlines sees big potential in Orlando. The airline will establish a new crew and aircraft base in Central Florida, bringing new competition to the market. Avelo plans for ten destinations served from Orlando by the end of the year.
Iceland’s Play Airlines is ready to stretch the legs on its A321LR fleet. The carrier will offer service between its Keflavik hub and Orlando, Florida starting this winter.
Can Delta Air Lines continue to deliver outsized revenue gains in its premium cabins? The carrier appears focused on that segment, especially in the long-haul markets, even as domestic LCC competition heats up.
Travelers from Baltimore and Boston now have a new option to Europe. Iceland’s PLAY intends to launch both markets in Spring 2022, connecting the US to Europe via its hub at Keflavik.
What’s the experience like on Flair’s new 737 MAX? Just fine, once you get to that point, though also a bit less than expected.
In yet another sign that US carriers are looking past the pandemic recovery process, American Airlines intends to invest in Chilean ULCC JetSMART, expanding its footprint in South America. JetSMART is a portfolio airline of Indigo Partners.
As part of its recapitalization plan Virgin Australia intends to retire its long-haul aircraft. The carrier’s five 777s and six A330s will be removed from service as it invests “in the core Virgin Australia domestic and short-haul international operation.”
Blocking middle seats or even sitting passengers every other row is not a problem when load factors hover in the mid-teens, occasionally peaking at 30% for an especially busy flight. But if social distancing rules remain in place IATA executives believe the LCC market could collapse as a financially unsustainable endeavor.
Abu Dhabi is suddenly a hot market for low cost carriers. Wizz Air is the latest player, announcing plans to establish a Middle East-based outpost of its operations in the UAE captial. It expects to launch service in the second half of 2020.