Happy days are here again

“Happy days are here again, The skies above are clear again…” So goes the popular hit song by Ager and Yellen featured in the 1930 movie Chasing Rainbows. In aviation parlance, we might say “blue skies”.

Courtesy Bloomberg

Courtesy Bloomberg

US airlines are reporting strong improved results even as there continue to be concerns about increased competition and new threats such as the Ebola scare. American Airlines for one, based in Dallas Fort Worth that claimed the life of the first Ebola victim in the country and where two caretakers were subsequently found to be infected, where the first detected Ebola victim, reported a net income of US$942 million in the third quarter. This was an improvement of over 85 per cent on the combined incomes of American and US Airways before their merger in December 2013. The airline expects the demand for seats to grow in spite of a temporary drop in bookings following the news of the Ebola fallout.

Other airlines are similarly upbeat about their bottom lines, and a boost in capacity is expected.

Courtesy Qantas

Courtesy Qantas

At the other end of the world, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has expressed confidence that the flying kangaroo is back on course to deliver its first pre-tax profit this year (Q1 Jul-Sep) after its biggest annual loss of A$2.8 billion (US$2.6 billion) in the last financial year. In particular, according to Mr Joyce, yields for its loss-making international arm had been positive for six consecutive months.  Me Joyce said: “Preliminary figures indicate that the group has made an underlying profit before tax for the first half of the financial year.”

In Europe, while Air France and Lufthansa are struggling with industrial action that has caused the airlines millions of euros, low-cost carrier easyJet reported benefitting by as much as £5m (US$5.35m) from the disruption. (see Easyjet rides on Air France’s troubles, Oct 8. 2014). That aside, demand across Europe has been reportedly buoyant in recent times. In August, International Airlines Group (IAG) which owns British Airways, Iberia and Vueling reported a pre-tax profit of 155 million euros (US$207 million) compared with a loss of 177 million the previous year.

Courtesy Cathay Pacific

Courtesy Cathay Pacific

Major airlines in Asia are also expected to also post improved results. Cathay Pacific for one posted an impressive first half net profit (Jan to Jun) of HK$347 million (US$44.8 million) compared to a profit of HK$24 million a year ago. Of course, Cathay chairman John Slosar warned against increased competition, which “makes it difficult to maintain yields.”

For all that the airlines had been quick to blame their previous poor performances on high fuel costs, they may now drink to the falling fuel prices.

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About Dingzi
Writer by passion, with professional expertise in aviation, customer service and creative writing. Aviation veteran, author, editor and management consultant. Besides commentary on business issues and life-interest topics, travel stories and book reviews, genres include fiction, poetry and plays. Nature lover who abhors cruelty of any form to animals, and a tireless traveler. Above all, a dreamer.

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