Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Another Stellar Ryanair Performance ©


Ryanair continues to deliver stellar profitability in a very tough environment while competitors struggle to restore profitability in the European short-haul market, announcing a Q1 operating profit of €132 million and net profit of €99 million down 29% vs. 2011 on revenues of €1.284 Billion carrying 22.5 million passengers up 6% with a load factor of 82% down 1% with cash reserves of €3.808 billion.

The Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary stated "Ryanair continues to grow its traffic across Europe while maintaining the lowest unit costs in the airline industry, and generating healthy profits as evidenced by the 8% after tax margin achieved in the first quarter, We continue to see significant opportunities to grow across Europe as many airports aggressively compete to attract Ryanair’s traffic growth".

The carrier’s ancillary revenues continue to grow strongly up 15% to €285.9 million in the long-term ancillary revenue is expected to account for 20% of total revenues, however Ryanair like other carriers is not immune from high fuel costs which are a drag on costs/profitability in Q1 it’s fuel costs increased by 27% to €543.8 million now accounting for 47% of total operating costs versus 43% in 2011.

On the Conference call the CEO signalled the situation is very fluid regarding new bases/routes as discussions with airports and governments continue , and expects the winter scheduled to be bedded down by late September/Early October, however the airline flagged further expansion  for Budapest & Warsaw Modlin this winter.  

The airline will take delivery of 11 new Boeing 737-800s in quarter three and four completing the delivery programme and stated in Q1 it increased the net leased fleet from 51 to 55 aircraft and returned four aircraft to lessors.  

The Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary stated the on-going recession and high fuel costs will continue the consolidation process in Europe, thus creating new opportunities for Ryanair as was case last winter following the collapse of Malev Airlines and Spanair with available aircraft it's positioned to seize opportunities as they arise in an ever changing environment.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 31st July 2012

Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways Announce new partnership ©

Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways yesterday (Monday 30th July 2012) announced a new code-share and interline agreement which will come into effect from the third quarter leveraging the natural strengths of their perspective networks in Dublin and Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways operates 10 flights a week from Abu Dhabi to Dublin using Airbus A330-200s and has carried more than 817,000 passengers between the two capitals since it began flying the route in July, 2007. Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways use terminal 2 at Dublin Airport.

Aer Lingus become the 36th partnership carrier with Etihad Airways following the airline taking a 2.987% stake in Aer Lingus. Interestingly both carriers have a partnership with Jetblue Airways in New York JFK where Aer Lingus will switch terminals in early 2013.

The partnership will see Etihad Airways will place its “EY” code on Aer Lingus flights between Dublin, Manchester and London Heathrow, and destinations in Ireland, the British Isles, the Channel Islands, Portugal, the Netherlands and the US.

Aer Lingus will place its “EI” code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and Dublin, and have full access to flights across the network beyond Abu Dhabi, to points including Australia, Asia-Pacific, the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East, thus gaining access to high growth market praticulary in China and India
The Etihad Airways President & CEO stated  “We are delighted to announce this new codeshare agreement with Aer Lingus which will provide Etihad Airways’ customers with new travel options and flight connections to Ireland, the UK, continental Europe, and across the Atlantic to Boston and New York".

The Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller stated "Today's announcement supports Aer Lingus’ strategy to provide greater access and choice to our customers. We are delighted to welcome Etihad Airways on board as a codeshare partner.”

Going forward the carriers continue to discuss additional commercial and cost opportunities to develop a closer working relationship in areas such as joint procurement.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 31st July 2012

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Malev Boeing 737s depart for new pastures ©

Two Malev Airlines Boeing 737-700s stored at Dublin Airport following the carrier ceasing operations on Friday 3rd February 2012 have since departed for new pastures to new lessors Smartwings & Transaero Airlines.  A joint collobration of based MRO's Dublin Aerospace & Eirtech Aviation Ltd prepared the aircraft for delivery to new customers.


The first aircraft HA-LOI Boeing 737-7Q8 c/n 29350 arrived in Dublin around 2130 operating the scheduled service MAH622 from Budapest on 2nd of February, however it was unable to depart on the morning of the 3rd of February as the carrier ceased operations at 0500GMT.  The aircraft was subsequently registered EI-EUW to ILFC Ireland Ltd on the 3rd of March and was delivered to Vilinus on lease to Transaero Airlines on the 20th of June (Planespotters.net).


The second aircraft HA-LOA Boeing 737-7Q8 c/n 28254 was ferried Tel Aviv to Dublin on the 10th of March 2012 it had been undergoing maintenance in Tel Aviv at the time the carrier ceased operations.  The flight to Dublin was the last time a Malev Airlines aircraft would fly in full colours with Hungarian registration.

On the 23rd of April HA-LOA took up a temporary registration EI-EUU before becoming OK-SWW with Smartwings. The aircraft was delivered Dublin to Prague on the 3rd of June as TVS737 becoming airborne at 1255 local off Runway 10 (Planespotters.net).

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 24th July 2012

Monday, 23 July 2012

Ryanair launches new Warsaw Modlin services ©

On Sunday 15th July the Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary became the first offical passenger to arrive at the newly opened Warsaw Modlin Airport on a special flight from Dublin.  The flight was operated by EI-EVF Boeing 737-8AS/WL  c/n 40291 carrying new Polish titles 'Modlin Jest Ok!' translated 'Modlin is ok!'.

The launch of new routes from Warsaw Modlin marks Ryanair's return to the Warsaw market after a gap of four years as the carrier perviously terminated routes to Warsaw Chopin in 2008 after a landing charges dispute. The Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary stated 'That's why Modlin provides such an opportunity. It's still not particularly cheap here but it has lower costs than at Chopin airport, and it gives us an important lower-cost gateway'.
On the 8th of Feburary the airline announced eight routes into Warsaw Modlin from bases across Europe; Budapest, Bergamo,Charleroi, Dublin, London Stantsed, Oslo Rygge, Skastva (Ryanair 8th February).

On the 26th of June the airline announced a further eleven new from Warsaw Modlin to start on a phased basis between the 3rd of September-30th October to Barcelona El Prat, Bristol, Bologna, Dusseldorf Weeze, East Midlands, Frankfurt Hahn, Glasgow Prestwick, Liverpool, Manchester,  Paris Beauvais (Airline route 26th June).

The Dublin to Warsaw Modlin route commenced on the 16th of July operating three times weekly on Wendsdays, Friday and Sunday and will increase to a daily service from the 28th October and was weclomed by the DAA becoming it's 10th Polish route from Dublin Airport.

Warsaw Modlin is located 35 kilometres north of the Warsaw city centre, with the site formerly used as a military airfield in the  district of the town of Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki with plans to have a rail link in place by the end of 2013.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 23rd July 2012

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Ryanair Relentless Cost reduction ©


The recent announcements by Ryanair to cut capacity at Barcelona & Madrid (20th July), the Canary Islands (19th July), Greek Islands (18th May), Morocco (28th June) demonstrates the airline management laser beam focus on continuous unit cost reduction, thus being able to flex it's assets to where they can be re-deployed at a lower cost (existing bases or new bases) or parked as has been the case the last two winters 80 + aircraft.

The announcements by Ryanair will see the carrier cut the frequency on the Dublin-Barcelona route also the carrier will close routes from Fuertaventura to Ireland West Knock Airport, Las Palmas to Shannon and Tenerife South to Cork Airport, although Aer Lingus serves these routes from it's Cork & Dublin Bases.
The airline operates no routes from it's Irish bases to the Greek Islands or Morocco.

On the 26th of June the Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary stated the airline planned to announce the opening of four new bases of operation in Europe in the summer 2013. "Currently, seven airports are in competition. we will announce the decision probably by October or November 2012" (RTBF.Be).

However as usual Ryanair took everyone by surprise with the announcement of  it's 51st European Base in Maastricht  in early July with a single Boeing 737-800 operating three new routes from the 1st of December and four new routes from it's Birmingham base to commence in November. These announcements shows the flexibility to move capacity into new markets/routes where it can seize new opportunities as they arise 

The airline is in a buyer's market as opportunities continue to open up across Europe as a result of on-going consolidation (Malev Airlines/Spanair) and the gradual extension of EU Open Skies Agreements.

The changing regulatory environment in Europe is creating a new competitive landscape. In the UK the BAA has sold Edinburgh & London Gatwick airports & the re-birth of London Southend is proving new competition to London Stansted. In France airports are segmenting to cater for LCC's (Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseilles) and on the Iberian Peninsula are airports are being sold to reduce government debt, thus creating a more competitive airport environment.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 21st July 2012

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Aer Lingus Announces Belfast Move ©


Aer Lingus announced from Sunday 28th of October it's moving to Belfast City Airport after an extensive competitive tendering process with Belfast City & Belfast International airports. The opportunity for the RFP was a result of British Airways announcing it was closing the Bmibaby Base at Belfast City following the acquisition of the carrier and subsequent operations review thus creating a void to be filled by another carrier at Belfast City.

The Aer Lingus move underpins it's €100 million investment in Northern Ireland having established a base in Belfast International five years ago and it's commitment to the Northern Ireland market.

This announcement will see the carrier re-structure the Belfast route network accordingly routes to Alicante, Barcelona, Faro, Las Palmas, Lanzorate, Malaga, Tenerife South will cease effective 28th October. The routes to the Canary Islands are apparently being axed due to runway constraints at Belfast City.

Jet2 has announced plans to fill the void in the market with new weekly routes to Lanzorate and Tenerife South commencing on the 4th of November.

The Base fleet two Airbus A319s EI-EPR & EI-EPS will operate from Belfast City Airport to London Gatwick & London Heathrow three times daily thus increasing connectivity opportunities for business and lesuire segments, plans for Summer 2013 call for three base aircraft operating to Faro and Malaga daily.

Aer Lingus will face competition on the London Gatwick route from Easyjet x 4 times daily (Belfast International) & Flybe x 5 times daily (Belfast City).  In addition to Easyjet serving Luton x 3 daily & Stansted x 4 daily and Southend x 2 daily.

Aer Lingus will be competing aganist British Airways (Formerly BMI) to London Heathrow which is currently operating six times daily and is due to increase to seven daily for the winter schedule.

The Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller stated "Northern Ireland’s vital London connections are secure with Aer Lingus, This is a commercial decision delivering value for our customers and the company. George Best Belfast City Airport delivers a compelling location and a strong history of business flying.

We believe the move will appeal to the 600,000 plus passengers annually who fly with us and especially the business traveller who now has a choice of two London airports with Aer Lingus.

Indeed business travellers based in the Belfast City Centre will now be able to substantially reduce transit times from office to aircraft. Customers who are members of our Gold Circle frequent flyer programme will also be able to use the business lounge facilities at George Best Belfast City Airport. We believe our dual offer of Heathrow and Gatwick supports the local marketplace during these challenging economic times".

The carrier plans to expand the base with future investment and new routes.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 19th July 2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Could it become 'Fortress Dublin Airport' ??? ©


The prospect of Dublin Airport becoming a 'Fortress' Airport remains a real prospect in the event of a successful take-over of Aer Lingus by Ryanair already the two carriers including Aer Lingus Regional account for 83.9% of total Dublin Airport Traffic (UBM Aviation Routes May 2012). According to Anna.aero (June 2012) Ryanair competes on 73% of the Aer Lingus route network indirectly or directly out of Dublin Airport.

The etablishment of Aer Lingus Regional has seen the Aer Lingus brand re-enter markets too large to justify Airbus A320 equipment (Bristol) and to feed it's Transatlantic route network, interestingly it has filled the gap left by Ryanair exiting UK city pairs to Aberdeen, Blackpool and Bournemouth also increasing frequenices to Edinburgh & Glasgow.

Since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger and subsequent recession traffic into Ireland has collapsed by 23%  (Anna.aero February 2012), with indications this year it will struggle to achieve growth of 1% in view of continued weak domestic demand (CSO revised GDP Growth from 1.4% to 0.7%/GNP -2.5% & Unemployment rate 14.9%)  and the on-going Euro Debt Crisis suppressing demand.

In my previous blog post: We need Irish Airline Competition (23rd June 2012) gave  a detailed overview of carriers whom have exited the market through bankruptcy, consolidation and downsizing.


Since the last attempted take-over of Aer Lingus by Ryanair in December 2008 their has been a convergence of Ryanair stategy to that of Aer Lingus by operating to primary airports as a result of airline consolidation/closures creating opportunities for Ryanair to establish new bases at primary airports Budapest (Malev Airlines), Barcelona (Spanair), Manchester (Bmibaby).

This has lead Ryanair to competing against Aer Lingus on three new city pairs from Dublin to Barcelona , Budapest, Warsaw*.  However their is a possibility in future of overlap on city-pairs  to Lisbon subject of course to Ryanair reaching agreements with the airport.

On the 29th of March  Ryanair Deputy CEO Michael Cawley outlined a new Lisbon Base proposal identifying Cork & Dublin as potential new routes (Low cost Portugal 4th May 2012).

We await with interest the developments as they unfold with Ryanair's third take-over bid of Aer Lingus and how it evolves over the coming months ahead.

*Ryanair serves the new Warsaw Modlin Airport

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 18th July 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Cityjet to launch new LCY-Munster Osnabruck Route ©


Cityjet has announced it is to launch a new route from it's London City Base to Munster-Osnabruck airport operating daily from the 28th of October using Fokker F50s marking it's first route in the German market. The carrier identfied a gap in the market following the decision of Air Berlin to terminate the Munster-Osnabruck route leaving the London market without an connection.

The Cityjet CEO Christine Ourmieres stated : "By starting services to Münster, CityJet is expanding its appeal to the UK MICE industry as well as facilitating a new trade corridor for the rapidly expanding British green technologies and renewable energies market".

The carrier achieved a significant milestone at London City Airport on the Wednesday 11th  July 2012 when the millionth movement, which arrived  at 0850 on Wednesday was CityJet RJ85 AF5118 from Dublin.

The airline has been serving LCY for 18 years having commenced the route on the 12th of January 1994 under the Virgin Atlantic brand over the years it has evolved with Air France assuming control of the airline in 2002.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 18th July 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Farnborough International & RIAT 2012 Air Show Updates ©


I have complied a single source list of social media news sources for Farnborough International & RIAT 2012 Airshows I hope you find this page as useful. 


Farnborough International Airshow: https://www.facebook.com/FarnboroughAirshow

RIAT Arrivals & Timings: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RIAT-Arrivals-Timings/137742086293818


Twitter Hashtag News Feeds:

Twitter News Feed Farnborough:

Twitter News Feed RIAT:

Twitter List:

Flightglobal Public List of journalists covering Farnborough Air Show


Twitter To Follow: 

Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) showcases the best of the global aerospace industry takes place 9th - 15th July.

Farnborough spotters will provide unofficial news and info on Farnboroughairport including aircraft movements and airshow news.

Updates and information on the aircraft movements at the Royal International Air Tattoo. Normally only populated when the Tower is manned.

The Official Royal International Air Tattoo Twitter account. The World's largest military airshow, a great family day out - 7 & 8 July 2012!

Latest News For RIAT 2012, Arrivals and Updates.


Farnborough2012: http://www.youtube.com/user/Farnborough2012

RIATOfficial's channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/RIATOfficial

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 06/07/12

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Irish Airlines Report June Traffic ©


The Aer Lingus Group including Aer Lingus Regional announced it carried 918,000 passengers in June up 4%.The airline carried 99,000 long-haul passengers up 12.5% with a load factor of 92.4% up 9% on an 0.1% increase in capacity and it carried 819,000 short-haul passengers up 0.1% with a load factor of 78.1% up 1.4% on flat capacity as two Airbus A320s where returned to lessors.

The Aer Lingus Regional operation carried 95,000 passengers up 41.8% and year to date it been a strong growth driver carrying 447,000 passengers up 31% exceeding the performance of Long-haul’s 433,000 passengers, as usual figures exclude traffic carried on the joint-venture United Airlines Washington Dulles to Madrid route.

The June figures demonstrate the success of its business model with strong performance on the Transatlantic with passenger numbers up 12.5% with load factors up 9% indicating a considerable volume may be using Dublin Airport T2 for connections.

Aer Lingus has outperformed Association of European Airlines (mainly so-called legacy carriers, as the Aer Lingus passenger load factor was higher on short-haul routes (78.1% v 76.2) and North Atlantic segments (92.4% v. 89.7%).


Ryanair announced that it carried 7.79 million passengers in June up 6% with a load factor of 84% and year to date it has carried 77.08 million passengers.

The airline announced its 51st European Base in Maastricht which will commence in December with a single Boeing 737-800 operating a total of 14 routes including three new routes to Dublin (Operating x 3 times weekly), London Stansted and Venice Treviso. The airline plans to carry 450,000 passengers from the new base in the first year of operation.   

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 5th July 

The Dublin CPH Route Battle ©


The consumer will be the ultimate winner this winter as three airlines (Aer Lingus, Norwegian Air Shuttle, SAS Airlines) compete for market share on the Dublin to Copenhagen route as Aer Lingus returns to the route with a daily A320 service from the 28th of October.

This will mark the fourth return to the route for Aer Lingus (2001, 2004, 2007), in addition to existing services on the route from Norwegian Air Shuttle operating twice weekly and SAS Airlines operating thirteen times weekly.


Aer Lingus has been developing its brand presence in the Scandinavian & Nordic markets having launched a seasonal summer route to Helsinki in March 2010 and Stockholm route for summer 2012, however in an interesting development the airline has extended the Stockholm route to a year round operation & will offer flight connections to Boston & New York JFK over it's Dublin Terminal 2 hub

Interesting times are ahead in the Dublin-Scandinavian & Nordic markets segment as it continues to evolve against the backdrop of a significantly challenging competitive & economic environment. 

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 5th July