Airline CEOs and experts meet to discuss airline strategy


LONDON (eTN) – Strategy is the word that has brought together various aviation executives and experts to London for Air Weekly’s ongoing Airline Strategy Summit where the list for the world’s fastest and slowest growing airline markets were been named. Who is who is on the list may surprise you.

Citing OAG Max Online, Airline Weekly said during the first ten months of 2009, Russia was the fastest growing domestic market worldwide, driven by strong “energy-fired economic growth” and “aggressive expansion by airlines like Aeroloft and S7.

Factoring the first ten months of 2008 and 2009, the top five fastest growing domestic markets were Russia (with an increase of 24.5 percent), Philippines (with an increase of 14.9 percent), New Zealand (with an increase of 14.5 percent), Turkey (with an increase of 11.8 percent), and Australia (with an increase of 11.5 percent).

Seeing a decline in their domestic markets from January to October in 2008 and 2009 are the United Kingdom (-1.2 percent), Japan (-1.3 percent), Spain (-1.9 percent), USA (-2.4 percent), Colombia (-4.5 percent), Indonesia (-7.1 percent) and Saudi Arabia (-17.7 percent).

Internationally, India ranks highest as the fastest growing market because carriers like Jet Airways, Air India and Kingfisher received new widebody planes with lots of seats, according to Airline Weekly. Comparing January to October 2008 to January to October 2009, India saw an increase of 25.3 percent in seat capacity. The remaining top four include Poland (22.4 percent), Belgium (20.8 percent), Egypt (19.1 percent), and Russia (18.7 percent). Not surprisingly, Turkey also ranked high at number 13 with an increase of 9.6 percent, while Philippines (ranked #2 in domestic) managed to pull in an increase of 7.2 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, slow growth in seat capacity was seen in Japan (with a decline of -0.4 percent), Argentina (-.04 percent), Taiwan (2.6 percent) and Mexico (-3.0 percent).

Meanwhile, issues from fuel prices to the impact of the current global economic crisis are the pressing issues being discussed at the summit. But, as stated in yesterday’s eTN, Turkish Airlines has managed to defy not only its own projections but has managed to pull the impossible—make a profit in the economic conditions. Mr. Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines, spoke exclusively to eTN after his presentation, “Becoming the New Global Power.” What he had to say about his airline’s success may surprise many, especially the US aviation industry. Look for the interview in the very near future.

Airline Weekly’s Airline Strategy Summit continues today. Today’s keynote address is to be delivered by Robert Crandall, retired chairman and CEO of American Airlines. His topic: Suggestions For a Troubled US Airline Industry.