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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 and make a disruptive move. I was wrong in 2014, but hey, maybe I was just a year early!
    Finally, look for schedule tweaking, not wholesale changes. To me, mid-level markets will be interesting to watch. The hubs are mostly set for post-merger life, but how will things go in the 2nd tier? Will old hubs continue to whither on the vine? I think so.
    As the FAA continues rolling out the NextGen ATC hardware, look for more route timing changes as approaches get more efficient and direct. This will of course take forever, but dragging the ATC system into the 21st century will move forward, albeit SLOWLY.
    Finally, no new software for the Luv bunch. But I think even they will wake up to the need and start the ball rolling.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 popularity of drones will cause more danger for air traffic. Frustrated by the government’s lackluster response, pilots will threaten to stop flying if strict new regulations aren’t enacted.

    Airlines tired of travelers trying to carry on over-sized or too many items will start imposing penalties for checking items (other than strollers or wheelchairs) at the gate. Passengers forced to check luggage at the gate will be charged two or three times the checked-bag fee they would have been charged at the counter.

    At least one major online travel service will fail, almost without warning, causing chaos in the online travel industry and giving airlines a way to lure travel shoppers back to their own websites.

  5. 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.

    1. 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, ie JFK against delta with JetBlue. Maybe not in ’15, but we’ll see.

  6. 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 earning than they expected as formerly loyal lower level elites favor AA, AS and even WN.

    Amex is forced to introduce limits on how often Platinum cardholders may access the SFO Centurion Lounge.

    LH’s long haul low cost operation looks like a failure and is folded back into mainline LH, but keeping a configuration with fewer premium seats on certain routes. This doesn’t actually happen until 2016. LH & AF pilots keep striking periodically.

    Airbus announces that there will be no A380neo

  7. 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.

  8. 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 leads to days-long delays for some fliers, many stranded after being diverted to alternate airports due to lack of gate space, and the resulting bad press.

    DL’s rollout of Basic Economy is a failure, primarily due to problems with disclosure on OTAs. After tens of thousands of DOT complaints, Delta initially shelves the idea, but brings it back by the end of the year at a substantially lower price point that the current $10 each way discount. I’m guessing $50.

    Sustained low oil prices roil the Middle Eastern carriers. At least one, my guess being Etihad, begins to substantially cut back service, and jettisons its interests in a handful of the money-losing carriers it has picked up over the past few years.

    And now for the truly absurd but amusingly off-the-wall prediction of the year:

    Egged on by lower fuel prices, a new start-up will attempt to ply the skies. This time, it’ll be a new regional carrier operating service from hubs to small and mid-size cities (like JAN) using E-175 and E-195 jets in an all-domestic first configuration, a la India’s defunct Paramount Airways. This roils the existing regional carriers and sparks a brutal fare war to these smaller markets, causing the bankruptcy of one, perhaps two carriers.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. But no one will address the fundamental issue of injecting cash and resources into the pilot training world to increase the size of future applicant pools.

    The regionals as a whole will eat enormous costs related to pilot turnover for which they are unprepared, having whittled their contracts to the lowest possible margins during the attritionless age 65 period. They will be threatening their partners with bankruptcy and inability to staff unless the majors pick up some of those training costs.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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. Alaska and Delta continue to duke it out, but Alaska wins its home turf in SEA.

    Passengers will continue to whine about how much they hate Spirit and Allegiant and Frontier…but they will still fly them.

    Gary, IN airport, does NOT become “Chicago’s Third Airport”, no one wants to fly to Mid America airport either.

    In general,all US airlines will continue to make good money, and sock it away as cash for a rainy day, no huge airline sales, because the money is too good. Boeing all but stops trying to sell the 747-8, same same for the A380.

    Virgin America plods along, LUV flights underperform all year.

  15. 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 first European airline to receive A350 to enable their growth into 2020’s and profitability but they severely need cash to finance this acquisition. The business plan is solid as Airbus just agreed to sell them even more A350’s and buy back some of their old A340’s.

    As Finnair is not profitable, the Finnish government is willing to divest their share and they need a solid source of financing to enable their growth and profitability ambitions, IAG will buy Finnair to grow their Asian business and to acquire the Helsinki hub which is a lot more preferable for Asian connections than Heathrow.

  16. 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 on today or near future travel be minimal?

    Thank you.

    1. 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.

    2. Question Asker – Some airlines don’t hedge at all (like American). While
      others are much deeper into hedging. But they don’t ever hedge all their
      fuel needs and they buy it at different periods in advance. When fuel goes
      down, there is an immediate impact for every airline, and you’ll see it in
      their financial reports. Sometimes it’s negative. Southwest, for example,
      benefited from hedging for years as fuel prices ran up. But as soon as
      fuel prices crashed in 2008/2009, Southwest had a big loss from hedges gone

      This is a pretty simplistic response because there are a lot of different
      ways to hedge. (Delta buying a refinery is a form of hedging.) But there
      is some immediate impact and some longer term impact when hedging is
      involved. But pricing shouldn’t change based on your cost inputs here. In
      the short run, you want to price based on demand and that hasn’t changed.
      In the longer run, some airlines may feel that there’s room for more
      capacity, and that’s where pricing would start to change. If more capacity
      enters the market, prices will come down.

    3. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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..

  21. 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.
    Loyalty programs continue to loose value & interest for the Consumer, especially DL.
    New coach seats continue to be cramped & uncomfortable.
    A domestic carrier offers early retirement incentives.

  22. 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 by Boeing. Its owned by King County.) Boeing moves those operations to a non-airport location, or to Paine Field.

    Delta seals the deal off by agreeing to purchase the 737Max, be a launch customer for the 737-Replacement, and purchase some widebodies. Perhaps firming up the 787 order, buying a few 747-8s, and adding a 777X or three.

    Also shortly after ending the Alaska-Delta partnership Alaska and American announce a closer relationship. American also makes a token investment in Alaska.

    Pipe Dream: Airline IT finally announces a plan to allow more than 9,999 flight numbers. Instead of being sane and increasing the length of the flight number, they introduce letters to flight numbers.

    Southwest introduces their new computer system. Instead of things going great they have to ground flights for over a day. Southwest passengers, being used to drinking their kool aid, enjoy comedy routines by flight attendants at the gate. People not flying Southwest show up early just to listen to the comedians, but they realize that they have seen better things on YouTube and just go watch that.

    Delta makes a deal to buy Blue1’s and Turkmenistan’s 717s, leaving only four 717 operators left.

    Delta Techops, seeking additional revenues and efficiencies, buys the DC-9 type certificate, A6WE, which includes the DC-9, MD-80s, MD-90s, and 717 from Boeing. They’re hailed for being adventurous like when they bought the Monroe refinery. Analysts are nuts, and suggest that Delta is going to get into the airplane manufacturing business.

    United continues their mediocre slog. They bring on former executives from Walmart to improve their operational efficiency, until they realize that Walmart is held to together with duct tape and bailing wire.

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

  24. 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 action to take out the people behind it.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

    – 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 Northeastern counterparts (JFK, BOS, EWR, with EWR last.) This is directly aimed at Virgin America. The Mint introduction won’t be complete until enough A321s are on hand with a Mint cabin, but the process will be started.

    – A few new domestic cities, best candidates are OKC, IND, SAT. And they’ll take a hard look at the largest cities Southwest doesn’t currently serve, looking to move in shut WN out. Not sure who would be the best candidate – I believe FAT is the largest market in the continental US not served by WN? Not a typical Blue city, but who would have predicted Detroit?

    – A few new connect-the-dots routes as well on the east coast. BTV-MCO or BTV-FLL for next winter, with service becoming permanent (at least on a less-than-daily basis) after the Winter ’16 season. Also think we’ll see a new city or two from PIT, HOU, and service connecting FLL to TPA, RSW, and possibly SRQ for Caribbean/Latin American feed.

    -Finally, domestically, we’ll see BOS-ATL…yes, JetBlue will return to Atlanta, but not from NYC (official reason: “slots”, real reason “slots, and not wanting to touch off a fare war with Delta.”)

    – For the international/PR markets, we’ll see a few new connect-the-dots markets from the islands to the continent. SJU to PIT’s my first guess. BZE and at least one more city in Mexico will come later in the year.

    (Back later with more SWAGs…I mean, highly intelligent predictions…)

  27. > 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.

    > DL – announces 2nd phase of joint operations with Virgin Atlantic. Reduces flights @ SLC while increasing long-haul SEA flights. marginally expands LAT flights. Expands lowest fare to more domestic destinations.

    > WN – does not understand why their big int’l launch is met by lukewarm results and hires more consultant type employees and consultants to fix the problem. domestically it is stung by DL’s bare bone fare expansion and spirit/frontier.

    > F9/NK – continue tussling with each other until chairman puts a stop and tells f9 that is better to work together and thus a merger exploration committe is formed. with DL/UA and to a lesser extent AA implementing bare bone fares f9/nk decide to merge and also take advantage of relatively low oil prices.

    > AS – wonders why DL has not gone away and begins to explore alliance/merger partners versus expanding nationwide on their own.

    > B6 – begins to implement shareholder happy changes and stock makes big gains; however, b6 determines that aa is in the way of its successful implementation and asks to expand ff alliance. if aa agrees then stock continues to rise but if aa says no then b6 aggresively looks to merge with as to gain scale and press aa.

    > VA – while the going is good (i.e. oil price is relatively low) va decides to challenge B6/AS on the west coast long-haul flights.

    happy new year to all

  28. 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 to find that it trimmed too many branches off the tree and find itself having trouble with personnel.

    A regional will either die outright or be in terminal condition by the end of 2014 as consolidation rearranges the fleet. Poor labor relations and difficulty recruiting pilots will force this consolidation to progress rapidly.

    Frontier will have difficulty getting a foothold as a low cost carrier, in light of the other horses in that race having such a head start. They will soldier on through 2014 on the backs of the economic recovery but they won’t see the ridiculous profits that Southwest and Spirit will see next year.

    WN will start service to Canada.

  29. 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 with Lufthansa and IAG, as AirFrance-KLM will still be floundering. IAG needing exposure to Eastern Europe will make a not so popular bid, and it may get rejected or not.

    Croatia Airlines also desperate for an investor will likely be bought Lufthansa or Air Serbia and subsequently Etihad.

    Cyprus Airways will go bankrupt as no EU investor finds any value in its debt.

    AirBerlin(although I love the airline) will need a major restructuring even greater than all that has happened so far and it may indeed go bankrupt. But a new company will emerge named “Air Berlin” and will buy all of the assets of the previous company. (Like what happened with Alitalia, except airberlin won’t be as awful) Niki is left to die, or a corporate buyout occours.

    IAG buys floundering Finnair as they need the money.

    Thai Airways restructures do to awful passenger numbers this year.

    Malaysia Airlines gets it restructuring plan approved and embarks on a new journey of redemption in the publics eyes.

    MH370 is found I predict some wreakage on the Australian coast, but mostly either in Indonesia coast or near antarctica.

    Tensions between BA and Virgin Atlantic grow as they compete with their JV’s. But BA/AA comes out on top due to established market.

    Alaska upset that Delta is trespassing on its turf aligns itself more closely with American until it joins ONEWORLD (my wish)

    West Jet, Gol, Azul and IndiGo join alliances possibly due to alliances developing low cost platforms.
    West Jet-OW

    Jet airways chooses to align itself with oneworld. As skyteam has courted Indigo.

    ONEWORLD has admitted ambitions to grow and I think that Philippine Airlines was courting them and aligning services with Cathay so they Could join. I also think that Hainan is inevitable.

    I think that with Emirates growth Qatar Airways and Etihad will start putting up a fight.

    Qantas and Emirates alliance will have bumps and end, but out of the Ashes Qatar swoops in, and partners with Qantas.

    Al Maha and SaudiGulf start operations in Saudi Arabia. And quickly become popular.

    Aerolineas Argentinas goes bankrupt ( even though the government doesn’t want it to) and its assets are bought by LATAM.

    TAM successfully intrudes upon Azul’s territory and provides domestic locations with another airline choice.

    Iberia edges Air Europa out of the market as they grow and Air Europa shrinks.

    (Sry) I wouldn’t mind if Skyteam disbanded due to all of the tense relations and Delta Trying to limit growth and strangle airlines into joint ventures.

    I Predict that Cathay will start a JV with American. As american expands within Asia and Inparticularly China. I would also like to see American Airlines growth into Southeast Asia.

    Bangkok airways despite saying it won’t join an alliance will join either ONEWORLD or SKYTEAM. Not Star.

    I predict that an airline in Singapore will start up and will not be bought by Singapore Airlines thus creating a competitor for them.

    I predict a new airline in Central American will start to challenge Avianca’s and Copa’s dominance.

    I predict that Sri Lankan Airlines will undergo reform and will be run by a real CEO not a relative of the president. And it will get an alliance with Jet Airways.

    I suspect that SpiceJet will default despite a capital infusion by JPMorgan Chase due to poor results, investor worries, and lack of coustomers willing to fly it.

    I predict that Skymark will tie the knot with ANA due to the Japanese governments rules about JAL. Even though this would give ANA 60% of Haneda.

    I suspect that Deltas poorly used Haneda slot will be given to American Airlines.

    I predict that ONEWORLD in need of african members will take RAM and Tunisair. Maybe even a South African carrier.

    I would like Royal Jordanian to get more 787’s and expand its reach.

    I think American should Enter a TransAtlantic JV with Qatar.

    I predict Aeroflot shrinks as more EU stuff happens against Russia.

    I predict Boeings Y3 comes out soon as it renewed the 737 delaying Y1 preparation.

    I predict that American adds some Hubs.
    Firstly they will use their Dallsa Hub as a somewhat of Deltas Detroit. Then they will also use LAX as an Asia Hub.

    But that won’t be enough due to their limited growth they have at LAX until the satellite terminal is completed. Thus they will go for a northeast hub, and their only option is Portland, and if AS is ONEWORLD then it would be fine to have them provide domestic and then American provide the international, of course American would provide some Regional, but Alaska could help them.

    They could also use a as I like to call it TWATH

    TWA Throwback Hub, use MCI as a Hub to better connect the U.S. Midwest with the rest of it.

    Then they only need to expand at their LAX and JFK hubs and they would be good. But in my opinion LAX needs to be redesigned or atreats create more room. American can’t keep using the awful Remote terminal. Also, I think United will shrink its LAX operations and move most of the long hauls to SFO.

    I woud, like American or United to use SAN as a hub, considering its a large airport and nobody has a “HUB” but southwests Focus City. I would love to have more Asian Connections out of there from American as an alternative to Portland.

    Now if anybody knows how United’s Micronesia operation is going, because if it is not doing well then I think they might try to dump it off.

    Now Uniteds Dulles Operations is somewhat lagging, as it is nothing compared to the new American’s DCA operations. Does anybody know if the DCA unposed flight restrictions are going to be lifted. Because I Think it’s best if they are but only if more space is added to the airport. Thus meaning one 11000ft runway, and some new terminals.

    (I like ONEWORLD and Star, more than Skyteam, but I feel that there is a great competition between the three.)

    I wonder what will happen to EuroWongs long haul, SAS, LOT, and Air France.

    Qantas restructuring will be a success. I think Virgin Australia will flail and struggle until it decides what it is, Low-Cost or Full Service. I am not a fan of it being a “New-World Carrier”.


  30. 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 extent, and the same for North America. Miami would have trouble treaching Australia, but not the Middle East. And Delta has asia flights from Atlanta. So I am sure that American could pull off flights from Miami.

    I hope American Builds out more of their Hub in JFK. It wasn’t fully built due to budget cuts, but now that American is a money machine, it should be able to be built out more. Then I think BA would move in. Plus their terminal(look on google maps) has the most space to expand. The cargo terminal I front of it could easily be moved.

    Also I think that T2/T3 should be taken up by another carrier to keep them from going away.

    (Crazy Idea Time)
    I think that many hubs need to be expanded, mainly LAX and JFK.

    Does Miami have any plans for expansion, (not that it needs it)

    And what about DCA expansion.

  31. 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 model for flights up to 10 hours – with meals and bags only included on higher fare tickets.

    7. Alitalia will morph into an LCC.

    8. Ukraine will continue to be a no-fly zone for Asia-Europe flights, and Rebel-held areas of Iraq and Syria will become no-fly zones for most airlines.

    9. Gulf carriers will introduce more one-stop flights between the U.S. and DXB with full pick-up/drop-off flights at the intermediate European city.

    10. The A380 will continue to be built.

    And if I’m allowed an eleventh wishful-thinking, tongue-in-cheek one – U.S. Immigration agents will learn how to smile and be a welcoming face into the U.S. for international passengers. :-)

    1. 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.

      1. 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 Works – A seat; 1 x 23 kg checked-in bag; 7kg cabin baggage; Inflight Meals & a range of non-alcoholic & alcoholic drinks, ability to buy extra snacks if desired – meal choices are only Standard, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Childrens; On-demand movies (no extra charge), tv-shows, music & games; Advance seat selection

        The Works Deluxe – Everything included in ‘The Works’ plus premium check-in; 1 extra 23kg checked-in bag; Access to Air New Zealand lounges; Seating at the front of the cabin – Seating in premium economy when 777 and 789 aircraft are used for short-haul flights; Complimentary Mineral water; Newspaper; Premium Headphones

        The Works Deluxe is not available for medium-haul. Passengers are required to buy more expensive Premium Economy tickets. Business Class is also available on flights operated by 767, 777 and 789 aircraft.

        My point is that from Auckland, medium-haul destinations include Papeete (flight time approx. 5 hours); Cairns (flight time approx. 5.5 hours); Perth (flight time approx. 7.5 hours); Honolulu (flight time approx. 9 hours); Denpasar-Bali (flight time approx. 9.5 hours). The above fare types apply on these flights, meaning that passengers on ‘Seat’ & ‘Seat & Bag’ fares get no meals included on flights up to 10 hours in length.

        My prediction is that Qantas will follow suit.

  32. 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 chairman of BP is saying $50ish oil for at least three years.)

    – On the US start-up front, “New Eastern” will start operations as a charter airline, but will fold before entering scheduled service.

    – Growth of tourism between the US and Cuba will not grow as fast as has been predicted since the US policy change, mainly due to a lack of hotel rooms in Cuba.

  33. 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?

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