Topic of the Week: Your Predictions for 2015

The new year is almost here. We’ve looked back at your 2014 predictions, so now it’s time to look forward to 2015. What’s going to happen?

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47 Comments on "Topic of the Week: Your Predictions for 2015"

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billyshearer
Member

Some random European guesses:

British Airways will succeed in buying a European flag carrier: they have been rebuffed by Aer Lingus, they will try again and also go for TAP (facing regulators)

Air France will become the new Alitalia.

Cityjet will merge with FlyBe and the CityJet name dropped.

Bmi regional will drop drop “regional” and will merge with Eastern Airways.

Lufthansa will struggled all year due to its confusing strategy of having another low cost airline alongsidealongside German wings.

Virgin Atlantic will return to profit and innovation.

Norwegian will collapse.

Len
Guest
Compared to the recent past, 2015 will be a fairly quiet year for the industry. A few guesses: The new American will complete the transition to a single operating certificate with little fanfare or hassle. Post-merger life will be better for the masses compared to the glitchy United. Lower (for now) fuel prices will reduce pressure on bottom lines, but will not do much for fares. No more new fees for now, but the biz traveller won’t be seeing any $99 trips anytime soon. I still think something will happen out west. Alaska has got to be feeling pretty good… Read more »
Jim M
Guest

With oil cheap, fares relatively high, consumer and business spending robust, and planes full there will be some fairly healthy profits. Which will lead someone, somewhere to dream up an airline start-up. And it might actually work.

The fun thing to watch will be the AA-US merger — especially since I am a big CLT flier. Lets hope they do well, and don’t hose the customer.

FlyGuy
Guest
Wild ideas: While scheduled service from the US to Cuba might still be years away, a few international carriers will make seamless flights easier from US cities through Canada, Mexico and Jamaica. Hawaiian Airlines will continue to grow, adding direct service between several more mainland cities and the outer islands. They’ll also add direct service to the Honolulu from Canada and Mexico. JetBlue will face a dilemma, with a desire to continue to expand but not knowing where or how to do it next. Attempts to expand to new large markets will be difficult and not necessarily successful. The expanding… Read more »
Koavog
Member

JetBlue, Alaska and Hawaiian will announce a merger.
Oil prices will remain below $75/barrel which helps Virgin America survive and thrive.
One of the big five will start a fare war in a tightly contested market. Fare wars are like crack to airline executives and will spread industry wide. Ticket prices will come down on the eastern seaboard and some transcontinental flights.

padronflyer
Guest
I actually have heard rumors of this mulling around, more with JetBlue and Hawaiian, but also heard JetBlue and Alaska, and only once or twice all 3. This would make these three carriers more of a contender with the big 3 legacy. Plus unlike Barger, who was very adamant about organic growth, Hayes has never said much about holding strong to that. This can be a very possible and seamless merger with little overlap. Also it would be a great way for Alaska to stick it to Delta for intruding on their SEA turf by now synergizing the east coast,… Read more »
Carl
Member
The newly merged AA will find labor peace elusive, as pilot groups and FA groups continue to bicker while at the same time lusting after a greater share of the profits. The systems integration will be delayed beyond May 2015. Management will continue to roll out moves that irritate AA elites, and back down on some of them. UA will improve its operational reliability. But it will continue to lag behind DL in most polls. Surprisingly, both AS and DL both continue to prosper in SEA. UA and DL get more of a negative hit from the lowered dollar-based mileage… Read more »
Shane
Member

Predicting AF and LH pilots will strike is like predicting the sub will come up.

Mitch
Guest

Low oil prices will lead to debilitating fare wars in 2015. 2014 brought profits due to high load factors and stable fares. At least one major carrier will lose this restraint and try to dominate a market through crazy fares and high frequency. It is rare for the airline industry to show year-after-year of high profits. 2015 will see at least one major go back to the same old formula.

MeanMeosh
Guest
Hopefully I’ll do a slightly better job than last year :) India’s SpiceJet will succumb to its problems and kick the bucket. The loss of an LCC will at least temporarily bring pricing power to the market. After being totally wrong on this last year, AA will buck the trend and announce that they will maintain the existing mileage-based structure of the AAdvantage program for 2016 and beyond, deciding that it provides a significant competitive advantage over DL and UA. Speaking of AA, the hub rebanking strategy is left in tatters after a day of training summer thunderstorms at DFW… Read more »
Jeremy
Guest

They will find MH-370.

More private charters such as Surf Air and JetSuite.

Red
Member

I feel we will see UA improve but barely, which is still a good thing. Alaska starts code sharing with UA and uses the big three to just feed its large west cost network. Pacific Wings gets grounded again (Just as a refresher they operate New Mexico Airlines who just recently got grounded) and shuts down.

Nick Barnard
Member

Oy. Hopefully Alaska doesn’t start codesharing with United.. That’d be like US Air and British Airways, but worse.

Eric C
Guest
The US majors, American in particular but also United, will discover that transferring regional aircraft from large operators to smaller cheaper ones doesn’t mean the pilots will go with. Envoy and ExpressJet will see a pilot exodus greater than their shrinkage accounts for, while carriers like Trans States and PSA will find it exceedingly difficult to recruit them. The pilot shortage will become more accute, but will hit the media as “parking inefficient fifty seat jets” even as continued huge margins suggest otherwise. Regionals will fight over a smaller pool, offering greater hiring bonuses but requiring retention contracts for them.… Read more »
***
Guest

I hope I’m wrong but a collision between a drone and a plane seems bound to happen at some time.

Eric C
Guest

One more I forgot: the continued success of Spirit poses the greatest long term that to Southwest, which will grow increasingly agitated with them. Many of their moves, both consumer wise, route wise, and labor wise, will be seen as directly responding to Spirit.

A
Guest

MH 370 will not be found and conspiracy theories will continue.

There will be an incident with TSA that causes pre-check to get clawed back partially.

Oil prices will be lower than 2014 but highly volatile thus price wars will not happen and ticket prices remain unchanged or higher equalling solid profits across the board.

Steve M.
Guest

A few off the wall, completely unsubstantiated predictions:
-A regional carrier will fail in dramatic fashion, but the regional industry as a whole ends up healthy.
-Said regional carrier’s AOC gets bought by California Pacific
-A charter company gets bought and turned into a startup airline
-The DoJ/EU blocks a merger of two US airlines
-A major carrier lands an aircraft at the wrong airport

Yo
Guest
New Eastern debuts, manages to limp along for several months, but is gone by end of year. People’s Express never comes back. American Airlines makes outrageous amounts of dough, again. Pilot seniority: the US East guys lose big (I said it last year, but this stuff takes time). AA increases Asia services by the end of the year, going after United, Charlotte hub gets smaller, PHX remains the same. Doug might start looking to buy off a competitor. Southwest labor issues continue, if oil goes back up to where it was, they will…finally start charging a nominal fee for bags.… Read more »
Danyay
Member

Doug figures a way to get his position, if not all of AA’s executives, back in PHX.

Lauri
Guest
IAG will buy Finnair Finnair is not currently profitable but it has a solid market share between Europe and Asia (I think it’s double digit) supported by their Helsinki hub which is a preferred place to change flights between Europe and Asia thanks to it’s location and convenient size. Finnair is already part of the BA/AY/JL joint-venture (Finnair 26% of revenue) and BA/AA/AY joint venture (Ay only around 1%). The Finnish state is willing to divest their 50% share of Finnair if they get some kind of guarantee of service from Helsinki to Central Europe. In addition, Finnair is the… Read more »
Question Asker
Guest
Question to CF: Question to CF: I keep reading here and elsewhere speculation that lower fuel prices will lead to lower fares, fare wars or record profits. But I thought the airlines bought fuel futures years in advance, which negate or delay the impact of low prices now? Isn’t that why Southwest was so profitable for so long? Because they bought so many long term fuel futures at cheap prices that they were paying bargain prices for years while the legacy carriers that hadn’t had that much foresight were screwed? Based on that, won’t the impact of lower fuel prices… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

There is only so far in advance you can buy. Some airlines (US Airways, and now American) don’t bother with the fuel hedging mess as it does take some money to make it happen, and you can lose money on it.

Not sure what the other big boys are doing, but oil has been high but stable for a while..

In any case the airlines would be losing money on most hedges right now since oil has gone down in price.

Guido
Member

Fuel hedges, like all futures, are contracts. Those that are hedged into the higher fuel prices now and have the capitol to do so might find fuel prices get to such a level that it might be profitable to buy out their present hedges and “re-hedge”. Obviously this would be an initial hit on capitol but in the long run could be the smart move. No one expects that oil will stay where it is. The question is how low will it go before it shoots back up?

chrisr_999
Member

Someone will eventually take another look at the data from MH370 and start looking Northwest instead of South. Especially since it won’t found found where they are looking now.

AA or UA will take a look at the NZ monopoly on the US-NZ route and start services DFW(AA)AKL or HOU(UA)AKL with a view to starting West Coast services later.

Tara
Guest

AA does not adopt a revenue based mileage program but in the 4th quarter they release the new award charts with substantial devaluations. AA also announces at least one route to an Australian city, probably SYD (though I would prefer BNE).

Garuda partners with a major credit card provider in Australia, probably Amex.

Daniel
Guest

Baltia Air Lines sells it’s first ticket but will give the passenger a refund

Delta buys some used widebodies

Frontier leads U.S. airlines in DOT complaints.

One of the 4 major U.S. carriers’ CEO resigns.

IO
Member

Oil and its effect on the economy is the major wild card for 2015.

DW
Guest

With cheaper oil prices, someone tries ExpressJet 2.0. And fails. Again.

Jonathan
Guest

Flotsam from MH 370 will finally make it to shore leading to more questions than answers

Frontier will scale back operations system wide

MEM will finally land a new LCC or ULCC bringing life back to a waning market

WN will suffer some type of operational malfunction leading to a massive internal review

Security on trans Atlantic flights will receive a major overhaul due to a breech or series of breeches..

PF
Guest
AZUL and B6 codeshare. The two A380 operators at DFW decrease frequency or downgrade equipment. The A350 has some initial operational problems and is grounded until resolved. The middle east big 3 (QR, EY, EK) slow down their aggressive growth and rightsize. Frontier’s Investors buy or sell to merge, and/or IPO. Alaska decreases domestic code share partners and concentrates on one partner. Delta downsizes domestic in Seattle. United continues to improve service & perception, gaining back with CO had. United in DAL reduces DALIAH frequency and adds larger equipment to a UA hub. AA speeds up retirement of the MD80.… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member
Alaska and Delta end their codeshare and frequent flier partnership. Its not a huge deal as many would expect, but is announced with a joint press release. Shortly after ending the codeshare, Delta comes to a three way agreement with FedEx and Boeing. Delta purchases’s FedEx’s SeaTac airport facility and announces plans to build their own terminal there, as they have been unable to obtain enough gates at the current port operated facility. FedEx purchases some of Boeing’s property at Boeing’s property near Boeing Field, and moves their Seattle area operations there. (Much of Boeing Field isn’t operated or owned… Read more »
Theo
Guest

After Airbus announces the discontinuation of their A380 program, Emirates announces a massive order for the Boeing 747-8.

TC99
Guest
Spirit will expand into MIA after seeing the success that Frontier has with domestic flights. They will eventually add International flights to most of the cities they serve out of FLL because of the demand. American will discontinue the hard banks after losing a lot of money in missed connections at MIA. (Hotel rooms, Transportation to/from, meals) They will try to blame Immigration and Customs for being too slow, but the problem is they schedule these connections. Finally, we will have another tragic International Incident involving the shooting down of a passenger plane. This will lead to a major military… Read more »
R
Guest

DL closes their CVG hub and continues to add new destinations from SEA.

WN still doesn’t enter the Hawaiian market.

AA adds DFW to SYD and DXB. AA exercises their E175 and CRJ9 options for Envoy/PSA.

UA shrinks operations at their IAD hub.

BOS sees additional international growth.

F9 continues to shrink DEN and expand elsewhere to rival NK. Indigo considers possible F9/NK merger.

Bombardier CSeries encounters additional delays and will not be introduced in 2015.

No new A380 or B748 orders are placed.

cblock2
Member
ALASKA – Ends partnership with Delta, suddenly and with much drama on Delta’s part. Alaska looks for opportunities to expand relationship with American. By year’s end AS and AA begin preliminary merger discussions (UA may kick the tires as well) – these are mainly window dressing to satisfy dissident shareholders and don’t go very far. JETBLUE – Orders the A321neoER (or whatever it’s eventually called), as range issues are hampering further growth in South America. – By year end, has a timetable to add Mint to all service between their major West Coast business-customer airports (SFO, LAX, LGB) and their… Read more »
IO
Member
> aa – wraps-up remaining labor contracts and begins to bring together tasks/systems together; It announces mostly tactical changes in frequent flyer and pricing areas with strategic changes being a minor component. meaning that changes can be done/undone easily. > ua – copies DL. announces joint ops. with LH at JFK/IAD. reduces domestic flights @ LAX while increasing SFO domestic long-haul flights with 787. marginally expands LAT flights at IAH. introduces DL like bare bone fares into domestic flights. jeff smisek declares that most of the revenue gains/cost efficiencies are complete in 2015 and gives himself a big raise. >… Read more »
Guido
Member
I’ll throw in here… Oil prices will continue to drop in 2014, up until the point the domestic shale drillers throttle back production due to lack of profit, at which point oil shoots back up to over $90 a barrel. Early 2014 will see an upstart, emboldened by the low oil prices, pull an Independent Air move and try to start a business flying some flavor of previously unprofitable small jet. It might even make it as far as tabletops before oil prices kill it in the womb. Endeavor, having minted its new pilot contract, will draw down aggressively only… Read more »
Rzn
Guest
Aer Lingus is Bought By IAG after a second takeover bid between 2.40£ and 2.50£ a share, which in turn The Irish Government, Ryanair, and other investors quickly jump at. Still don’t know how Etihad will take part. As for the TAP Portugal sale, I predict that IAG is trying to get aer lingus and TAP so they can control the West Coast of Europe. But Lufthansa will put up a fight for TAP. TAP will have a similar decision to make on wether changing alliances will hinder their connectivity or not. Adria Airways, desperate for an investor will plead… Read more »
Rzn
Guest
My Ideas,(additional) American, if they don’t have planes for directs to Southeast Asia, then they should use Hong Kong as their Asian Hub like United, or Delta(for now). does anybody know where Delta plans to serve Singapore and such if they get rid of their Narita Hub. Also American has been talking about starting flights to Africa from Miami. If they did, I think that it would end up being a much better gateway than New York. Then you could call it the Doha/Abu Dhabi/ Dubai of the United States. Abu Dhabi can reach Latin America to a very large… Read more »
Adrian in NZ
Guest
My 10 predictions for 2015 – 1. Jetstar Hong Kong will never get off the ground. 2. People Express won’t come back. 3. The new Eastern will fail as AA gets aggressive against them in MIA 4. A One World or Sky Team carrier will challenge NZ’s monopoly on NZ-US flights by flying direct to DFW or SEA. (Maybe a bit of wishful thinking as AA, CO, QF & UA have all flown AKL to USA in the past but no longer do.) 5. Haneda will continue to grow at the cost of Narita. 6. Qantas will adopt Air NZ’s… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

Adrian, You’re expecting the United States to do something sane in regards to foreigners while we have borderline xenophobic legislature?

Also, I’m a bit surprised airlines aren’t including meals in flights upto 10 hours. Its one thing for flights that are upto 5 hours long, but I know I start getting cranky after that point. I’m sure some people bring their own food, but plans get foiled and sometimes purchase onboard doesn’t quite work out as well.

Adrian Jenkins
Guest
Hi, Looking at the Air New Zealand model, all international flights in what they term short and medium haul have economy class seats for sale in the following categories: Seat, Seat & Bag, The Works; The Works Deluxe. To briefly summarise the different offerings: Seat – A seat; 7kg cabin baggage; Coffee, Tea & Water (other snacks & drinks can be purchased with credit card or pre-purchased voucher – no cash); On-demand tv-shows, music & games; Ability to pay for movies (NZ$10); No seat selection Seat & Bag – Everything included in ‘Seat’ plus 1 x 23kg checked-in bag; The… Read more »
cblock2
Member
Part Deux…running very late here, but work has a nasty habit of getting in the way of life… I already covered Alaska and JetBlue (my favorite airline), so here’s a few quick general predictions: – After the end of the Alaska partnership, Delta will continue to ramp up Seattle. We will see a small number of service reductions at SLC, mostly in the form of downgauging and a handful of frequency reductions, not any destination eliminations. – Oil will trade in a band of $45-60/barrel for the rest of the year (I’m not going out on a limb here, the… Read more »
Rzn
Guest

Question to CF: Anything on alliances? Star and SkyTeam said they are done with growth for a while… Any News on OneWorld? Also… Merger Prospects… Opinions on Croatia Airlines, Adria, TAP, Aer Lingus, South African Airways.

Start Ups?- Al Maha?, any others?

Westerndc10
Guest

What will become of Sun Country Airlines?

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