2016 – A Year of Challenge for the Airline Industry

2016 – A Year of Challenge for the Airline Industry

I did conjecture in one of last year’s blogs that we might have a decision about a new London runway by the time of the 2015 WTM. It’s now Spring 2016 and we still don’t have a decision in sight. Sadly not an April Fool’s joke!

Meanwhile the industry has faced a mixed start to the year. Fuel prices are down, though airlines have not seen the full benefit, as many buy fuel in advance via fixed price hedging contracts. Competition too, has meant that much of the savings have been passed on to travellers in the form of lower fares.

Regrettably, the challenge of security remains a serious issue. As I write we have seen the tragic loss of life following the attacks in Brussels. Aside from the human tragedy this only serves to underline the importance of air travel to modern life across the globe. When it is disrupted the ramifications are considerable.

Tourism and the livelihoods which it provides have been shattered in Tunisia and Egypt. As demand has evaporated, airlines have not only cancelled flights, but have had to look to find other uses for this capacity. They cannot afford to leave aircraft idle and so they are moved to other markets where demand is strong.

Such is the day to day life of the airline business and these are certainly topics which will feature in this year’s WTM airline sessions.

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Director, John Strickland, is a graduate of the University of York and has held senior positions with a number of airlines including British Caledonian, British Airways, KLMuk and Buzz. John was instrumental in the decision by KLM to establish the low cost operator Buzz and in its selection of new routes. His 36 years of experience have exposed him to the business models of regional, global, legacy and low cost carriers. JLS Consulting was established in 2003 and now serves a growing range of clients including airports, airlines, investors and those whose businesses require strategic insight on and advisory services concerning the air transport sector. John regularly devises and chairs panel discussions and interviews senior executives at industry conferences and events. Media work is undertaken for numerous global media organisations including the BBC, CNN, Sky, Al Jazeera, and business specialists Bloomberg and CNBC. John also contributes to a wide range of respected written publications including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires, Business Week, The New York Times, Gulf News, Reuters and AFP.

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