Flying would never return to the old level after Corona, it was predicted. The summer of 2022 showed something else, determined in the economic sense.
Repaid State Aid and better results than in the relatively carefree pre-Corona-summer 2019: European airlines appear to have been completely over the pandemic after last summer. Even soaring petroleum prices, persistent staff problems at some major airports, galloping inflation, the war in Ukraine and ongoing Corona-Lockdowns in China cannot hurt the rapidly recovered confidence.
- European aviation consumed all Corona concerns last summer.
- Many airlines already managed better than in the last pre-Corona-summer 2019.
- Many airlines have also already repaid the Corona state support.
- There is hardly any fear of an imminent recession: Both Lufthansa and British Airways parent company AIG raises its surplus forecast for the rest of the year.
As the largest airline in Europe, Ryanair proved again Monday how fantastic the past summer season was. The low -cost car transported 11 percent more passengers than in the summer of 2019 before Corona and also managed to get these travelers to pay 14 percent higher ticket prices. That led to a tripling of revenue over the past six months to EUR 6.6 billion and a profit of EUR 1.37 billion.
That makes Ryanair the best performing large airline in Europe. This is largely due to its strategy of not cutting the workforce during the corona crisis, unlike many other European airlines. For example, the Irish low -cost fighter jet was able to fully utilize the exploding demand for air travel after the abolition of coronary restrictions at the beginning of this year.
At the same time, the slow-starting delivery of hundreds of new Boeing aircraft has reached marching speed. Last year, 73 new aircraft arrived. Over the next six months, a plane will be added every week, bringing the fleet to 124 new Boeings for next summer.
Furthermore, no one beats Ryanair in terms of the degree of paving of their aircraft. While all European airlines are very pleased that less than 20 percent of the seats remain empty on an average flight, Ryanair achieved a 94 percent occupancy rate last summer. This is important because the rule of thumb in aviation is that money is only earned by a flight if more than three -quarters of the seats are filled.
In addition, Ryanair also considers himself more recession -proof than its competitors. CEO Michael O’Leary expects to be able to limit the classic losses during the winter season for the rest of Ryanair’s fiscal year, which runs until March 31. As a result, the annual profits would amount to 1 to 1.2 billion euros. The budget folder hopes to welcome 168 million travelers, a slight increase compared to the former forecast.
Consumers do not stop flying, they are just more aware of the price. Like Aldi, Lidl or IKEA, we will win market shares in this climate.
“Concerns about the impact of a recession on our business model are greatly exaggerated,” O’Leary said. “Consumers don’t stop flying, they’re just more aware of the price. And like Aldi, Lidl or IKEA, we will win market shares in this climate. ‘
Ryanair also benefits from its focus on the European market, which means that it is not affected by the still weak demand for flights to the Far East. Air traffic to China in particular is stopped due to Beijing’s zero -tolerance policy towards Corona and the related strict lockdowns.
Higher earnings expectation
The other major European airlines have also processed the Corona boom. Last month, Brussels Airline’s parent company Lufthansa raised its result forecast for the whole year when operating profit in the summer of 1.1 billion euros turned out to be more than double what the German group expected.
AIG, the group over British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus, also raised its profit expectation for the rest of the year. Despite all the lack of staff at British airports and the associated cancellation of thousands of aircraft, a few more passengers were transported last summer than in the summer of 2019.
At Air France-KLM, even the structural problem child Air France made the beautiful weather. The Corona-Sanation has made the French state-owned company a number of slimmer. In addition, Air France took advantage of the French government’s obligation to cancel all domestic flights from Paris-Orly to destinations that can be reached with TGV of no more than 2.5 hours. These flights from Paris, among others, to Lyon, Bordeaux and Nantes were loss -making and the remaining aircraft could be used on profitable routes.
The billions of euros in state aid that governments had to give their airlines in the full Corona crisis have already been largely repaid. KLM and Lufthansa already paid off their rescue billions at the beginning of this year. After this summer, Brussels Airlines announced that they would repay the € 290 million in state aid and the two similar government representatives on the board by the end of this year.
At the same time, the Belgian airline, which has been reduced by a quarter, is working again with growth plans. Aircraft were scrapped under Corona but a few new aircraft were added this summer. CEO Peter Gerber sees especially growth in the prestigious destinations to East Africa.
Air Belgium cuts off markedly into the supply
Air Belgium will cut deep in its offer at the beginning of next year. The Belgian-Chinese airline cancels almost all flights to the Antilles as a result of high fuel prices.
Due to the increased costs, the airline was already forced to reduce capacity in the summer and combine flights to more destinations: those to the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, and those to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with them to the Dutch island of Curaçao. .
Now the community goes a step further. She condemns that fuel prices in the Dominican Republic are more than half and passenger taxes three times higher than in Brussels. On top of that comes the loss of value of the euro compared to the dollar. The Punta Cana airport also commits passengers with destination Curaçao to get off and on again, resulting in tax on them as well.
Until mid -January, Air Belgium will plan one or two more flights for Curaçao and Punta Cana. Then it suspends the connection, except during the spring holidays in February and March. It has not yet been decided whether the destinations should be included in the summer offer again. The Dutch island of Bonaire, which is also served from Brussels with a triangular connection via Curaçao, also disappears from the flight plan.