Ansett wrote: ↑
19 May 2020, 23:40
oldblueeyes wrote: ↑
19 May 2020, 07:05
And? He grew by 20 Mil Pax or 70 planes / Q400 not counted. Should he have left the market to the competition?
Yes, it takes some time to harmonize operstionally up to 5 AOC per Base but this crisis will Help to do it eben earlier - Q400 is out, the enheritated TUI contract is out etc
You need also time to Clean up the mess Brussels has - they were also not forced to grow above their regional airline size, right?
Should CS have left the market to the competition ? I am VERY surprised that the EU Commission authorized this "consolidation", but then, AM is the most powerful politician in the EU and she is German !
As to cleaning up the mess at SN, the biggest mess was the integration into EW. If you don't admit that, you are of bad faith. CF realized it and took the first opportunity to leave or she was offered another post in order to let a Belgian clean up the mess left by the Germans.
As to SN "not being forced to grow above their regional airline size
", please elaborate, because literally this means that you are implying they should not operate any long haul flights.
Let's start with the last point.
SN was until the major re-fleeting (AVROS out, more A320 in) basically a regional company - flying in the range of 100-130 Seats/ plane. This if you admit that this size of the industry is called regional aircraft - you just have to look to the feeders of the major airlines.
So the model was a combination of "regional airline" with "niche long haul".
In the mean time, the local market developed a lot trought the low cost carriers. And as we know, they are fighting on cost per seat, under others as well via plane size. The A320/B738 are the workhorses of the industry, and now the switch towwards the A321 and Max200 has started.
What Brussels made during the last years of Gustin was to increase the aircraft size from AVRO+319+ minimal 320 to 319+320. Good for fleet harmonisation, but bad for positioning in the market, as this is causing one dilemma:
- if the company wants to be a hub and spoke network airline, it needs regional aircraft ssupporting the hub
- if it want to be a City to City player, than it has to go storngly towards a 320 as a workhorse of the fleet
The mix 319+320 itself made an alignemtn to Eurowings easy - there were also a lot of enheritated 319 fro AirBerlin, a lot of clean up to be done in the comign years as well so it made some logic to align the business models.
Now the question is - how could a long haul focused SN deliver, if it does not have the right fleet set up?
Let's look into the group:
- Austrian had half of the fleet in regional aircraft size - the future will be a mix of E195 and A320 ( the A319 will stay for the next 2 years until the flight program is ramped up again and than leave)
- Swiss has done a state-of- the art upgauging - 20AVROs and 5 A319 were replaced by 20 A223 and 9A221_ on top, their wet leaste partner Helvetic moved from 7 Fokker 100 to 10 E190, feeding mainly from Italy
- Lufthansa has the Cityline with its CRJ fleet and Dolomit doing the feeder job from Italy with E195 plus the remaining E190 in FRA - alltogether 61 aircraft
- politically the last turboprops will be gone - Swiss deselected the last wetleases since years, LGW was anyhow due to end 2021 and Austrian decided to give away the Q400 2 years ago
- Eurowings has strong fllet harmonisation plan with the 320 as a core ( boosed also by the fact that many A319 eg of the Lufthansa are over 20 years old and rocket up with 8 sectors a day)
And that is finally my critical view on the perception and claims vs real acting of Gustin and his team:
- what he was doing was to develop Brussels in a model close to Aer Lingus - which is a smart thing, as both Ireland and Belgium have strong LCC players comepting, a lot of P2P and most of the long haul is more price sensitive than a classic carrier
- but if he was doing this, than the integration with eurowings as a logic step - "smart" budget long haul, differentiated city pairs and a kind of upper end P2P with smart hubbing eg. Düsseldorf
- on the contrary , if he would have wanted to move forward as a full hub and spoke player, than basically the fleet decisions would have had to be rather a combination of E190 or E195 without wetleases and A320 - the first ones to optimize confort, cost per trip and economics in the catchement areas, the second model to serve trunk routes at competitive cost
And this is the dilemma for the current and /or future management as well. The projection for the group is to have by 2023 100 less aircraft but carry the same number pf passengers - means in average 15% more pax per plane. The consequence for Brussels is a more 320 centric fleet, kniwing the current difficulties to fill the planes and earn money. At the same time, the political wish is more long haul, where this fleet positioning can't provide feeding and a closer alignement to the major brands, with a product that might be significanly lower - eg trough long transfer times.
As a conclusion - i never said at any time Brussels should not operate long haul. I just say that the development initiated since Gustin does not really support the business model of a classic hub and spoke player.
On the contrary, i do believe that Brussels could have a great role as brand below Swiss and Lufthansa, similarly to Aer Lingus in IAG - not promising that much service, attracing more pricey clients ( by the way longer connecting times are always good for well developed airports with good food and shopping areas so these collateral effects shouldn't be neglected).
As a benchmark , i would suggest you to go trought eh presentation and see how IAg is positioning its brands
https://www.iairgroup.com/~/media/Files ... md2018.pdf
You will see clearly that there are many parallels between Iberia Express / the shorthaul of Iberia and Lingus inkl.long haul positioned as smart choice products but not frugal.
Worth to think about it for Brussels or Austrian as well, if a high dosage of local pride could be swallowed.