The aviation industry. Is it entering a period of consolidation?
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So my cat amongst the pigeons question for you all today is whether aviation is about to enter a period of consolidation or not? Some of this is not just LBA related but some of it is. My own thoughts behind my question above are:
DSA is about to close as has been more than well documented. It was always claimed that the airport was never needed in the first place and as such TUI and Wizz have now consolidated in to other airports, where fortunately LBA has gained.
Flybe seem to be lurching from one crisis to another having to cut, or cut back on several routes. Yes this does appear to be a/c lessor issues but what damage is it doing and LBA certainly hasn’t escaped there.
IPS Airways - this never happened for LBA and other posters continue to claim this is a scam and should be avoided at all costs. So will MAN, EMA, ISB and LHE ever see this airline?
Over at BHX there are unsubstantiated rumours about whether Hans Airways will now ever get off the ground and their chairman resigned the back end of last week.
Yes I fully appreciate there are outside factors such as Ukraine, economy and COVID continuing to affect things, but there does appear to be quite a lot of negativity around in aviation just now. I am sure I could go on and others will have opinions, their own knowledge and insights etc. Etc.
Please discuss - as I know you will
 
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The general consensus is that the economy is heading for a downturn and so a period of consolidation in the aviation sector seems likely; this Summer has been a good one for it because of the release of pent-up demand following lockdowns and restrictions in the last two years. However, I feel that LBA is in a strong position compared with other airports, particularly as a result of the closure of DSA; I do not believe that it will reopen, at least in the short term, following the final closure on Friday. The closure of DSA confirms that LBA is now the sole regional airport for Yorkshire - not only has LBA gained through the transfer of Wizz Air and TUI flights, but it is likely that additional passengers from South Yorkshire will use existing flights. Additionally, LBA's main competitor, MAN, has had a really bad press because of delays, coupled with chaos on the train services; I also don't see the very limited services at MME having any impact on LBA. The aviation market has always had lots of start-ups which have never materialised, as well as bankruptcies, so we will have to see what happens to Flybe, IPS and Hans Airways! The confirmation of LBA as the sole regional airport means that the owners need to get a move on with the terminal extension and refurbishment. Likewise, the combined authority with the airport parkway station....
 
The general consensus is that the economy is heading for a downturn and so a period of consolidation in the aviation sector seems likely; this Summer has been a good one for it because of the release of pent-up demand following lockdowns and restrictions in the last two years. However, I feel that LBA is in a strong position compared with other airports, particularly as a result of the closure of DSA; I do not believe that it will reopen, at least in the short term, following the final closure on Friday. The closure of DSA confirms that LBA is now the sole regional airport for Yorkshire - not only has LBA gained through the transfer of Wizz Air and TUI flights, but it is likely that additional passengers from South Yorkshire will use existing flights. Additionally, LBA's main competitor, MAN, has had a really bad press because of delays, coupled with chaos on the train services; I also don't see the very limited services at MME having any impact on LBA. The aviation market has always had lots of start-ups which have never materialised, as well as bankruptcies, so we will have to see what happens to Flybe, IPS and Hans Airways! The confirmation of LBA as the sole regional airport means that the owners need to get a move on with the terminal extension and refurbishment. Likewise, the combined authority with the airport parkway station....
I would say the main beneficiaries of DSA's closure are the airports that will get the based Tui aircraft.
 
I think Summer 2022 was a recovery from Covid travel restrictions and may have been artificially successful. Not sure how foreword bookings are for S23 currently, but I suspect many will be tightening purse strings and trying to ride out the winter due to substantial increases in the cost of energy (amongst other things). I do take into account that many people will not go without at least one holiday abroad, so perhaps early bookings are ok. Notice tour operators are pushing flexible payment options and putting S24 on sale already to try mitigate and uncertainty.

Use of online meeting software still heavy and I think (hope) that this continues. It’s very efficient, but in many cases doesn’t replace face-to-face contact. So I’m hopeful that the issues at Schipol can be resolved during the winter and the looming slot restrictions do not have any impact on their U.K. regional operations.

I feel there may be a U.K. casualty or two next year.. Or some consolidation in the U.K. regional airlines.

I believe the EASA/U.K. CAA transition period ends on 31st December, after which Ryanair may be forced to place more aircraft on the U.K. register. However, I feel that the CAA may play to their demands. Either way, I can see Ryanair being difficult if they are forced to move aircraft over to G-Reg, upto and including the closure of some U.K. bases.

Wizz U.K. may be one to watch, may have bitten off more than they can chew. Wouldn’t be surprised if a certain Friendly airline/tour operator was looking at gaining some slots at LGW. Though with the aforementioned threats to the industry, 2023 may not be a time for further growth.

Conclusion - I feel next year may be a cautious one with more hope for S24. Certainly the airports with the proven ability to attract passengers will ride it out, the smaller ones will fall by the wayside and/or close completely as we are seeing at DSA.
 
Next year will definitely be a year of consolidation. A lot of this year's traffic has been delayed holidays due to covid. With the increase in the cost of living a lot of people will cut back on spending, whether on holidays or other luxuries only they will know.
I think the biggest problem will be coping with the fact they can't have everything they want and hopefully they will realise the government (Conservative or Labour) will not bail them out.
 
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