EasyJet’s brio bodes ill for Lufthansa, Air France

November 17, 2015

On the back of an 18 pct jump in pre-tax profit in 2015, the UK budget carrier is ordering more planes to step up growth and expand into new routes. The confidence is merited. High-cost legacy carriers are too bogged down by labour unrest to fight more nimble low-cost rivals.

Europe’s stricken airlines cursed with good luck

October 29, 2015

Lufthansa and Air France-KLM reported boosts from lower oil prices and strong summer demand. The uplift is probably temporary. But try telling that to restive pilots who may push back even harder on essential cost cuts. There’s little respite for the carriers’ horrible returns.

United board flies into risk-management failure

October 19, 2015

The U.S. airline’s directors have been buffeted by the turbulence caused by new CEO Oscar Munoz’s illness. Apple’s handling of Steve Jobs’ terminal cancer remains a far worse example. But Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan show it’s possible to both inform investors and respect privacy.

Cheap oil comes with hidden risks for airlines

January 19, 2015

Falling oil prices cut airlines’ fuel bills and will lift earnings this year. European carriers’ share prices are up, but weaker players will find it easier to stay in business so needed consolidation may slow down. Excess capacity could soon put pressure on ticket prices.

Malaysia Airlines plight points to riskier world

July 18, 2014

Fatal air passenger accidents almost never happen. Malaysia Airlines has been struck by tragedy twice in four months. The aviation industry has its own challenges. Yet even more robust businesses need to consider political risk carefully.

TPG can be forgiven its mile-high club fetish

January 17, 2012

A successful contrarian bet on bankrupt Continental in 1993 was the buyout firm’s seminal deal. Since then, David Bonderman has chased airlines across the globe, including now American, and scored with a few like Ryanair. Even bad romances like Midwest can’t dampen the thrill.

Why 100 pct FDI could save India’s Kingfisher

February 20, 2012

Mounting debts and deteriorating service levels are bringing the airline to the brink. The can has been kicked further down the road, but eventually something must give. New investors are in very short supply. A proposal to allow 49 pct FDI does not go far enough.

World’s new air giant taking off at turbulent time

June 18, 2012

The marriage of Brazil’s TAM with Chile’s LAN has taken nearly two years to consummate and will create the most valuable airline in the world. The promise of greater regional integration is fueling big expectations that will be difficult to meet given economic headwinds.

Investors may be happy to ride on renovated JAL

August 3, 2012

The airline’s plans to raise roughly $8.5 bln in an IPO may seem a heavy lift amid weak markets and a perennially limping industry. But big funds will likely clamor for seats on a flight fueled by a mix of government largesse and one of Japan’s most promising turnaround stories.

How to stop worrying and love that volcano

April 19, 2010

It's tough on the flower-growers of east Africa, the salmon-farmers of the Orkney Islands, and almost everyone in or near the airline industry. For the rest of us, the eruption of an unpronounceable volcano is a heaven-sent chance to reflect.