Home' Asian Aviation : AAV_Dec2012.Jan2013.HighRes.pdf Contents 6 AsianAviation | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013
As another year draws to a close in the fast-
changing aviation industry, one can but wonder
what 2013 has in store. If 2012 is anything to go
by it looks set to be another rollercoaster ride.
Carriers in the region suffered financially in 2012 thanks
to high oil prices, weak global demand and over-capacity,
with some registering their worst financial performance
ever. For those that did make it into the black, they only
just scraped in. Some carriers, such as Garuda and Japan
Airlines, underwent transformations during the year, while
many others in the region will need to do the same in the
year ahead if they want to survive.
A number of new partnerships emerged in 2012, and
sometimes surprising ones at that, as airlines work to face
challenges together. As the saying goes, two heads are
often better than one.
Qantas, for example, ditched its long-term partner British
Airways in favour of Emirates, with Qantas' European
services now going through Dubai rather than Singapore.
The alliance with Emirates could well provide Qantas
with the boost that its struggling international business
undoubtedly needs. Time will tell.
Middle Eastern carriers have their dance cards pretty full
with names of Asia Pacific airlines, with Virgin Australia,
for example, firmly in bed with Etihad Airways. The year
was a busy one for that Australian carrier as it continued
its transformation from a low-cost operator to one with a
foot in all camps. That transformation is set to progress
with plans to acquire 60 per cent of Tiger Australia from
Tiger Airways and 100 per cent of West Australian regional
carrier Skywest, putting it firmly back in the low-cost sector
again as well as the booming fly-in fly-out regional market.
At the same time, Virgin Australia increased its international
partnership credentials through Singapore Airlines'
purchase of a 10 per stake.
The low-cost sector shows no signs of letting up on its
growth and innovation. AirAsia X, Jetstar and Scoot, for
example, are already showing that long-haul low-cost works.
What will these innovators set their sight on next?
Among mainline carriers and airline associations
"cautious" is a word heard frequently at the moment as
they look to 2013. The Asia-Pacific region's ever-upward
passenger traffic during much of 2012 has now slowed,
with October's figures hardly sparkling.
Cargo, meanwhile, is continuing its downward spiral, with
the Asia-Pacific region suffering the most. Cargo has been
the problem child for the whole year and the outlook doesn't
hold much hope.
As Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association
of Asia-Pacific Airlines points out: "Carriers in the region
are facing a challenging operating environment, clouded by
uncertainties over the global economic outlook. Competitive
market pressures and the impact of persistently high fuel
prices, have pushed up breakeven load factors, and are
spurring further efforts to deploy newer more efficient
aircraft, whilst carefully managing overall capacity."
Business aviation, meanwhile, is looking ahead with
confidence, if the record-breaking deal from VistaJet for
potentially 142 Bombardier business jets is anything to go
by. The Swiss company is targeting China as a major growth
market of the future as that country's business aviation
market begins to take off.
Asian Aviation looks forward to taking you through the
highs and lows of the year ahead.
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GOODBYE 2012, HELLO 2013
A number of new partnerships
emerged in 2012, and sometimes
surprising ones at that, as airlines
work to face challenges together. As
the saying goes, two heads are often
better than one.
Readers might be wondering why an image of Emma
Kelly, Associate Editor of Asian Aviation, appears next
to this issue's Viewpoint rather than Editor, Colin Baker.
Unfortunately Colin was taken ill at the Association
of Asia-Pacific Airlines' presidents' meeting in Kuala
Lumpur in late November. Subsequent hospital
tests revealed a brain tumour. Colin had surgery to
remove the tumour in late November. The surgery was
successful and Colin is now hopefully on the road to
recovery. Colin is likely to be absent for some months
as he receives further treatment. We wish him a full and
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