Asia-Pacific dominates aircraft deliveries



Asia-Pacific dominates aircraft deliveries

In this issue, we see a number of major industry players underlining the significance of the Asia-Pacific region as a long-term driver of growth in the aviation industry.
Simulator maker CAE (see page 32) says long-term demand for its products will be bolstered by growth in emerging markets such as China, India and South-East Asia. Elsewhere (see page 20), Airbus’s top salesman John Leahy says key factors in the company’s latest 20-year outlook “include a strong driving of traffic growth by the emerging economies, the nearly doubling of traffic in and between more mature markets, and the positioning of Asia-Pacific as the leader in world traffic”.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) strikes its familiar cautionary tone on the near-to-mid-term outlook for the global industry (see page 19), but nonetheless says Asia-Pacific airlines will be this year’s star performers, while expressing continued optimism about China’s economic resilience.
Continued faith in the region – in the face of resurgent fuel prices and renewed economic uncertainty – can be seen reflected in the fact that seven of the top ten airlines by widebody aircraft deliveries over the next 12 months are based in Asia – a fact highlighted by analysts at the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).
Leading the list is All Nippon Airways (ANA), which has made headlines this month by taking delivery of the first Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ – a major industry milestone (see page 9). The Japanese carrier will be keeping up a lively schedule of further aircraft deliveries, placing it at the top of the list with 20 new aircraft deliveries expected in the next 12 months.
Cathay Pacific Airways, Air China and China Southern Airlines all have 15 or more widebody aircraft scheduled to be delivered in the period, while Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Air India and Japan Airlines (JAL) also make the list, with 11, ten and ten deliveries scheduled, respectively.

Of the airlines outside the region that made the list, two are based in the Middle East. Emirates ranks second behind ANA, with 19 deliveries scheduled, while Qatar Airways ranks tenth with ten deliveries. Lufthansa is the only European airline on the list, with ten deliveries.
Looking at the top 30 airlines on the list, we see that 13 are from the Asia-Pacific region, ten are based in Europe, five are from the Middle East and Africa, while just three are from North America. Four operators in the top 30 are dedicated cargo carriers – CargoLux, FedEx, UPS and China’s Yangtze River Express.
ANA took delivery of its first 787 on 26 September. The carrier currently has 112 widebody aircraft in its fleet, accounting for almost three-quarters of its fleet total, with 63 widebodies on firm order, comprising 72 percent of the carrier’s order book, CAPA says.

Additional 787s will make up many of the airline’s 20 scheduled deliveries over the next 12 months. Four 787s are to be handed over to the carrier in the rest of 2011, with eight more coming in 2012. By the end of 2017, the carrier will have all 55 of the 787s it ordered in service on domestic and international routes, based on the current schedule. The carrier also has three 767-300ERs and five 777-200ERs on order from Boeing, to supplement its widebody fleet.
According to CAPA, ANA’s international growth “is largely predicated on the 787s deliveries, with the carrier to put the [aircraft] into service on international routes from 2012”. The Japanese carrier says the model is “a game-changing aircraft”, marking a “new horizon for aviation and the company”. Operating from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, the jetliner will allow the carrier to expand its network beyond the existing 76 destinations.

The 787’s first regular domestic service will be between Haneda and Okayama, starting on 1 November, with a flight between Haneda and Hiroshima also operating the same day.
“By the end of this fiscal year, the aircraft will be successively used on routes connecting Haneda with Itami, Yamaguchi-Ube, and Matsuyama,” CAPA says. The 787 will begin to operate a regular long-haul operation linking Tokyo Haneda to Frankfurt, Germany, from January 2012.

That service will initially operate thrice weekly, increasing to daily in February 2012. The aircraft will also be used on the Haneda-Beijing route from December this year, marking its first regular international service. CAPA says the ‘Dreamliner’ will operate on that route “approximately once a week”, until the Haneda-Frankfurt service commences the following month.
While ANA is focused on international expansion plans, Japan Airlines – once Asia’s largest carrier – is experiencing “brutal network contractions”, making the going easier for its rival. However, CAPA says the sluggish domestic economic recovery and the nation’s still-slow aviation sector in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis “all encourage outward-looking strategies for ANA”.


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