FuelPlus recently attended and spoke at the CAPA Aviation Finance Summit in Singapore held at the Shangri-La Rasa Santosa Hotel. A variety of airlines and finance professionals were in attendance to hear news, share experiences and learn new insight into what was happening in the region.
All in all the whole event had a very positive vibe and the outlook for the region looks fantastic. A number of start-ups and LCC’s were represented and all filled the room with energy and optimism. The growth of LCC’s and start-ups offering different ways to attract customers is great news for the airline industry, especially for passengers.
Airlines such are Vietjet based out of Ho Chi Minh wowed the audience with a strong marketing message, one particular strategy that was a favorite of the conference and seemed to be mentioned throughout the 2 days, the use of bikini clad girls to help promote their services!
Skyjet offers a totally new way of seeing the many thousands of islands in the Philippines by offering the first jet service to islands normally served by propeller of even boat. Dr Joel Mendoza’s idea is to offer a service that whisks you away to your island paradise for surfing or diving on a jet aeroplane. This has never been tried before but by matching the right jet to smaller runway lengths is an exciting prospect.
Golden Myanamar are also showing what opening a country to the rest of the world can mean to aviation. Their service plans are bold with the addition of a new aeroplane every six months serving 5 destinations to begin with and again building on this over time. Aung Gyi was confident in the growth of the airline as passenger numbers are well up over the average and as legacy operators fall short Golden can come to the fore.
Peach are the first LCC to operate from Japan and have created a brand that is favored by female travelling passengers. Shinichi Inoue stated that this is by design and are finding that their passenger mix is 50/50 in comparison to other Japanese operators who have a 70/30 male to female passenger ratio.
Scoot offer a no frills long haul service in place to compliment Campbell Scott made an interesting point in that the utilization of LCC’s has grown from 0% at Changi airport in 2004 to 30% in 2012 and is set to grow year on year so more good news for the LCC’s of the world. As part of a larger group they fit nicely into the mix and offer something unique and by all accounts growing in necessity.
Mandala seem very focused on 2 core areas by having a brand that resonates with both their clients and their staff. Paul Rombeek was the first to give some focus to the team who works at the airline and importance was placed on being proud to work for Mandala. Their aim is to really spread quality low fare air travel across Indonesia and do this by using a model of flying the same aircraft spec and leasing aircraft of the same age. The plan will allow them to grow from 6 to 25 aircraft by 2015.
Clovis Peryer from Air New Zealand told us what a profitable operation ANZ is and how it too is looking at further growth. The airline plans to add a further 27 aircraft to the fleet and retire 17 of their older aircraft bringing their average age down and providing them with greater opportunity for their growth push.
FuelPlus gave a short presentation entitled “Apart from safely flying aircraft, fuel management is the most important aspect of running an airline”. It was very different to the rest of the agenda and went down well with the airline audience especially those who represented start-ups or LCC’s. They are keen to find ways of improving the efficiencies of their operation and helping them to be the most competitive and sustainable. Effective fuel management is so important for a modern airline as fuel represents up to 50% of an airlines operating cost. Legacy ways of managing these processes should be addressed and a new more integrated way of controlling fuel burn and fuel spend needs to be harnessed. With a strong message one hopes this leads to an epiphany for the established operators and of course for the new kids on the block shows them the best way to manage fuel right from the start.
Overall the event was an extremely well managed and attended with everyone seemingly taking away some new insight as well as having an enjoyable time. CAPA plan many events in the future at all regions across the globe and if they continue to be as good as this one then they will become a most for all who work in the airline industry.