Regional Market South America
Since the opening of the first intercontinental flight from Europe to Rio de Janeiro in 1956, aviation has become an important part of the economy of South America.
Although it has faced many challenges, the aviation industry in South America has been growing constantly during the last years. The numbers of passengers travelling within the continent are increasing rapidly, thus demanding more from airlines. Economic stability and higher income allow an increasing number of South Americans to travel for leisure and business purposes. The necessity for improvements in security measures leads to better decision making by airlines and airport companies, as well as by the highest authority in aviation-the Civil Aviation Authority.
The demand derived from international events, such as the World Soccer Championship 2014 and the Olympic Games 2016, speed up growth and create the necessity for detailed planning and appropriate solution finding. Lufthansa Consulting supports the effective, fast and transparent development of such projects.
ALTA Airline Leaders Forum is the largest event of its nature in the commercial aviation industry of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is designed to stimulate an international dialogue that promotes safer, profitable and environmentally friendly aviation in the region.
Meet Liége Emmerz, Head of Market South America at the event
With the main subject Connectivity and Technology: The Evolution of the Air Transport Ecosystem, the 8th Airport Infra Expo will explore new trends such as the use of robotics, beacons and face recognition tools, technologies that are rapidly changing the market and experience of the passenger.
Airport Infra Expo has the mission to catalyze the airport infrastructure sector development in Latin America, especially in Brazil, gathering several segments and giving exhibitors and buyers an opportunity for knowledge and information exchange, as well as meaningful business contacts.
Meet our delegates at the 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.
More information about our Commercial Service Portfolio
To secure the future viability and growth of the airline, Lufthansa Consulting optimized the route network and identified new potential markets. Recommendations for short and long term fleet planning were defined to support the network optimization.
The efficiency of the existing cargo terminal facilities was improved to handle the future cargo demand until at least 2018. The client is the number one freight airport in Brazil with a terminal area of 96,000sqm handling 439,000t of cargo per year.
Full support for operational readiness of a new terminal. The objective of the ORAT project was the coordinated approach to prepare all airport stakeholders for the operations in and at the new terminal. Preparation and execution of different operational trial scenarios to fully test and prove all aspects and to ensure a seamless transition into the operations.