Regional Market Africa
Traditionally the most active region for Lufthansa Consulting, Africa remains full of opportunities in the aviation business. Be it the creation of a new airline for passenger and/or cargo traffic, the turnaround of an existing airline, a privatization project, the improvement of an airport, the experts of Lufthansa Consulting can help you. We are recognized for our high quality services and exemplary respect of the highest ethical and professional standards of aviation consulting on the continent. We are active members of many international aviation associations and in particular very active with AFRAA (Aviation Suppliers and Stakeholders Convention - www.afraa.org ).
I look forward to meeting you at your convenience to discuss any potential project in this region.
The first Aviation MENA Summit & Exhibtion is a two- day summit and co-location exhibiton, featuring over 100 global aviation companies. The event is hosted by EgyptAir and was planned to share the aspirations and plans of the industry players from across the region. Furthermore, topics such as training standard and human capital, maintenance and safety, low-cost carrier versus legacy carriers, airports and ground handling are being addressed. Therefore, speakers from government, civil aviation authorities, airports, aviation services companies and airlines from re-emerging countries will come together in order to discuss those topics. Airlines from the re-emerging countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Libya will join the established players from Jordan, Morocco and Saudi Arabia to share thoughts and strategies and meet with the international audience and supply chain members.
Alexander Manakos, Head of Market Middle East at Lufthansa Consulting will share his insights in a speech at this event.
As health authorities around the world combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, airlines are taking drastic measures to minimize the impact on their business. How should one maneuver an airline through these stormy times? Six questions to Christine Weigner, Associate Partner at Lufthansa Consulting in Frankfurt:
COVID-19 has a massive impact on aviation. What is your assessment of the current situation for our industry?
Following years of strong growth, the aviation industry already slowed down in 2019 in some markets, driven by economic and political uncertainties as well as the rising debate about the effect of travel on the climate. With COVID-19, we see a significant cut for the entire industry. The shut-down and isolation measures that began with countries like China or Italy escalated to the closure of the US market for European travelers, traditionally a very large traffic flow. This was then dramatically worsened by most large countries closing their borders to international visitors. Domestic travel may also be hit, as seen by the week-long suspension of flights in India and the drastic reduction of capacity in the USA. These global restrictions on travel are an existential threat to many players in our industry. Only those who have built up a financial buffer and resilience, with the flexibility to react immediately to this development, will be able to emerge from this crisis stronger.
What financial impact will the crisis have on aviation?
In my opinion, it is still too early to evaluate the real cost of the crisis for our industry. In its latest update, IATA estimates a global loss in passenger revenues of over 250 billion USD. That is a little over 40% of airline revenues in 2019, and does not account for the losses that will be borne by other operators along the aviation supply chain. And, given the scale of the disruption, every airline, especially smaller ones, have to respond to the individual threats to their revenues and cash flows in order to survive.
What are your recommendations to airline leaders in these days?
First of all, to protect your employees and promote compliance with hygiene recommendations. Besides that, the biggest challenge is uncertainty. Nobody knows, how exactly the virus will spread, which markets will eventually be affected most and how long the slowdown will last. While everybody is hoping for a short-term impact only, I would rather recommend to anticipate a challenging 2020 and maybe beyond. Demand may bounce back in one or two quarters, but the financial aftershocks will be felt longer.
From a business perspective, the foremost priority must be ensuring financial liquidity. Drastic and courageous cuts are necessary to minimize cash out and optimize those products and routes that still deliver a positive cash contribution. The challenge lies in identifying those in times of daily changes in demand and travel regulations. Examples of selected air freight routes show that these opportunities do exist. And, looking ahead, this is an opportunity to rethink business models and recommit to leaner, more efficient ways of operating. For some airlines, the crisis might even be a chance to play an active role in further consolidation of the market.
Looking at cost positions – what are the main drivers from your perspective?
Airlines need to ensure that they have the liquidity to cover all costs that are relevant for operations, such as fuel cost, ATC fees, leasing/financing costs, salaries, etc. They can only ensure this through drastic measures of cost reduction. We recommend bold moves on one side and on the other hand keeping a strong focus on those actions that allow for a fast and smoothest-possible recovery from the crisis.
Prominent measures are immediate budget reductions in routine functions and projects. A hiring freeze and the negotiation of short-term work compensation programs can also lead to a significant relief of the cash-outflow. Obviously, in times of shortage of skilled labor, large-scale layoffs can only be the very last solution. Airlines also need to consider carefully which of their strategically relevant projects should continue in order to ensure fast recovery and achieve a potential competitive advantage after the crisis. Grounding aircraft is a measure that needs careful consideration of the costs for ‘mothballing’ and recovery as well as the resulting real benefit. If aircraft are leased, negotiating with your lessors and financiers might offer more relief. Airlines have learned from prior crises that the pace of recovery after the slump depends on the decisions made at the beginning.
For airlines that were already struggling to produce sustainably positive financial results before the crisis, often only fast and well organized ‘stop-the-bleeding’ programs to optimize cost positions are the solution.
You also mentioned securing revenues. What are your thoughts on this one?
Obviously, at a time when travel is so significantly impacted, this is easier said than done. First of all, an efficient and highly flexible network as well as revenue steering can help. On a daily basis, the network planning experts need to ensure that the combination of offered frequencies and operated aircraft type is steered to an optimum. This should be complemented with state-of-the-art highly flexible revenue/pricing management that allows airlines to react to demand and competition in order to remain attractive without wasting revenue potential. Dealing with the uncertainty of travelers is a key success factor. Therefore, introducing flexible re-booking and cancellation policies can also be of help to avoid cancellations (which would then negatively affect your cash position) and secure demand in markets, which are not affected too much. For airlines in full or sub-charter business as well as for those players with a high share of large accounts (for example, business travel), we recommend a very close exchange with your clients to understand their current issues and assess the impact on your business to reduce the risk of uncertainty.
Have you experienced similar situations? What was your advice to clients back then?
We are supporting several airline leaders in these days and the reaction is always the same. This situation, especially in Europe and North America, is unprecedented because of the global and simultaneous effects on business as well as leisure travelers. Nevertheless, there were similar situations in the past from which we can learn such as the Asian crisis, 9/11, SARS in 2003, the global financial crisis in 2008/2009 or the ash cloud over Iceland in 2010. This crisis is unique in its global scale and duration, yet manageable amid the uncertainty. Every crisis had its own dynamics, but the combination of revenue protection, cost cutting and preparing to jump-start the business after the crisis was the common denominator to navigate through them. In the last 30+ years Lufthansa Consulting has successfully guided its clients through these situations to not just survive the crisis, but thrive in the recovery. An experience from which our current and future clients all over the world will benefit.
If you would like to discuss the measures you have taken or challenge the scenarios you see for the future, we offer complimentary 60-minute consultation calls. Please contact our Associate Partner Christine Weigner for further information.
Airports are vital to provide safe, reliable and efficient air transport. The aviation industry is growing rapidly: worldwide passenger figures have doubled within the past 15 years and will continue to evolve by 3.5 percent annually over the next 20 years, according to ICAO and IATA. This growth is leading to capacity constraints and infrastructural needs at airports to provide state-of-the-art and reliable operations. Flight delays and thus disruption costs are rising due to limitations of infrastructures and in collaboration with system partners; according to SITA the aspect of mishandled baggage alone globally accounts for U.S. Dollars 2.4 bn in financial burden. The individualization of airline product demands and passenger expectations for a seamless travel experience require airports to adapt operational excellence measures.
Our experts at Lufthansa Consulting are envisioning continuous improvements in operations to tackle current industry challenges. We are looking to turn these challenges into success factors empowering airports to grow profitably while ensuring customer satisfaction and enabling dynamic advancements to infrastructural and capacity needs. To better understand the latest developments and perspectives of airports in relation to operational excellence Lufthansa Consulting has created an online survey on this relevant issue.
We would like to invite airport managers (Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Operations Directors, Operations Excellence Managers and Heads of Operations Control) to take part in our research by 31 March 2020.
The survey focuses on Operations Steering and Performance Management, Data Analytics and Organization as well as Partnerships and Services. Areas of research range from the use of data to forecasting tools, the presence of operational excellence programs and cover particularly topics such as the state of digitalization in operations and collaboration with joint partners.
The questionnaire consists of 30 questions and will take less than 20 minutes to complete.
If you would like to participate or have any questions, please click here, fill in your details and put the word “SURVEY2020” into the message.
Your Benefit: The outcomes of this anonymous study will be published in spring 2020 allowing you to benchmark your airport with the industry and identify your individual strengths and areas for development. You can also select to identify your company and receive a more detailed individualized report about the status of your operational excellence.
Revenue Management is the engine of an airline, determining its profitability, long-term success and survival. To increase revenues, it is vital to understand the customer. Having the right product for the right customer at the right time at the right price is the key to boosting revenues.
Our experts help clients to evaluate and transform data in order to define customer profiles and predict consumer behavior. This enables airlines to customize their products and achieve maximum revenue growth. By addressing all core elements of revenue generation within Revenue Management, Pricing and Revenue Analytics, we help you to find your unused growth potential. Our specialists actively support you in implementing processes to improve your passenger demand forecast and to optimize your revenues. We help to innovate your ancillary revenue strategy to offer the right fare families or branded fares. Our team provides expert guidance to support your decisions about pricing and revenue management tools, reviewing and enabling the creation of tailored reports.
Clients benefit from our long-term expertise and advisory services for revenue growth optimization:
- Worldwide airline experience
- Hands-on experience on systems/tools
- Extensive commercial knowledge
- Data-powered mentality & knowledge of key KPI’s
Read more about revenue growth opportunities for African airlines written by our Associate Consultant Nadine Meichsner from page 15 of the AFRAA publication African Skies.
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As a sponsor, we are actively supporting the prestigious Loyalty & Awards conference which takes places in Vancouver on February 24th-26th, 2020. This annual gathering gives delegates from across the world the chance to exchange insights on new trends, achievements and innovations in travel loyalty.
By applying the “Lufthansa Consulting Loyalty Canvas”, our experts ensure a guided strategy development to establish and build loyalty programs. At the core of the canvas is the strategic set-up of the loyalty program – with our wide range of experience and in-depth workshops to understand the specific objectives and challenges of our clients. We help you design loyalty programs that ensure the program’s attractiveness for your customers as well as partners.
From Airline only to Multi Partner, from static to dynamic processes, from focus on profit center up to focus on cost center - we develop the best individual solution for you. We also support you in the sustainable implementation of the program – from choosing the right vendors to setting up your internal loyalty organization.
Clients benefit from our aviation advisory services and loyalty expertise:
-In-depth expertise of the airline industry and loyalty programs
-Access to benchmark and a KPI database to measure the success of the program
-Time and cost saving due to long term experience in managing international projects
-30 years’ experience in thought leadership and anticipating industry and market trends
Would you like to discuss how we can design your loyalty program of the future?
To ensure a professional management of the airports Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire and Ollombo Lufthansa Consulting provided comprehensive support to the Government of the Republic of the Congo to identify a strategic partner for the airport concession
A solid business plan and hands-on implementation support got an airline from the drawing board to the runway in just 1½ years. Applying the expertise in every airline area, finance, commercial and operations, the airline was set up based on European standards. Long-term on-site support enabled the airline to achieve growth and serve both regional and international routes.
Capital and operational expenditure assessment and criteria for a balanced approach to infrastructure upgrade and capacity increase for the development of a financial model of the airport company. Air traffic forecast to derive minimum investment essential to comply with aviation safety and security requirements as well as capacity enhancement to ensure efficiency and service quality.