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Carry on: Laptop ban extension, China growth, fewer A380s and more

Business traveller news also includes a new industry study by Fitch Ratings.

Nevil Gibson
Fri, 09 Jun 2017

US pursues tighter security plans
US authorities want to extend the “laptop ban” to a total of 71 airports around the world. Though not specified, these would include New Zealand and Australia. Details of the planned extra security measures were outlined by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to a congressional committee in Washington DC.

The tighter security standards would be accompanied by measures that airports could meet to avoid the carry-on ban on laptops, tablets and other electronic devices. Mr Kelly said foreign terrorists “are trying every day to knock down one of our aeroplanes coming over here from – right now – Europe and the Middle East.” He called the threat “very serious “and “constant.”

So far, the US ban only applies to 10 airports in the Middle East. The UK has a similar ban on a number of other airports in the Middle East and North Africa.

Capacity to exceed passenger demand
An aviation industry study by Fitch Ratings predicts further growth in global demand for air travel but airline capacity growth could outstrip demand. While industry profits are expected to remain above historical averages, supply and demand dynamics, along with higher oil prices and labour costs, are likely to dampen profitability. 

China to lead airline growth
The Fitch Rating analysis says revenue per passenger kilometre (RPK) growth will be in the 9-14% range over the next five to 10 years. This is due to strong travel demand underpinned by falling air fares due to low oil prices and increasing competition, urbanisation, rising household incomes, improving infrastructure and consumer lifestyle changes in favour of leisure travelling, especially international.

Ryanair puts out feelers for Alitalia
Irish budget airline Ryanair has submitted an expression of interest to administrators trying to sell Alitalia but is interested in cooperating with the business rather than buying it. The Italian airline filed in May to be put under special administration for the second time in less than a decade. Another 31 parties also filed expressions of interest before the deadline but no further names have been made public. Ryanair says it wants to provide short-haul traffic to feed Alitalia's long-haul network and could deploy up to 20 aircraft at two weeks' notice if Alitalia cut capacity significantly.

Singapore’s Goh to take reins at Iata
Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong is the new chairman of the International Air Transport Association (Iata). The role lasts for one year and is effective from the conclusion of the Iata annual meeting in Cancun, Mexico. The 2018 annual meeting will be held in Sydney, where Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar al Baker will take over as chairman.

Fewer A380s to be built in 2018
Airbus has raised the prospect of a new cut in production of its A380 superjumbo because of weak sales. It already plans to cut production to one a month in 2018 and has said it needs to win more sales this year to maintain output at that new level.

Nevil Gibson
Fri, 09 Jun 2017
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Carry on: Laptop ban extension, China growth, fewer A380s and more