Despite Werf's optimism SAS continue to post disappointing numbers

SAS monthly traffic numbers for August show low utilization of fleet and no growth. Werf says he see positive results in forward bookings but don't verify it with any numbers. And it certainly don't show in the publicised actual traffic numbers. SAS should say something monthly about freight because that is one of the things that diffferentiate it from its Scandinavian competition and other European low costs. The freight market has been booming but SAS is consistently keeping mum about it. Since they went into Chapter11 I assume they haven't been  coining it from freight and instead have missed out on this massive opportunity. Despite me pushing it for 2 years now in both articles and comments. The announcement of reducing the offer on SAS Plus to a single food item and a single drink also do not point to a future of an upmarket offer for passengers either. The inevitable slimming down of its fleet will lower its stance as a netwrok airline and without it's real premiu

As assumed and notified lead the pilot strike in SAS to that the company applied for Chapter 11

An actual Chapter 11 because it was done in the US so they could continue flying with their subsidiaries and operate their bonus program. The cash situation in SAS must have been worse than previously announced because they have put all cabin crew on leave and are already scrambling to find a loan of 700 million dollars to help them through the reconstruction process. This must mean that most of the earlier announced 8 billion krona cash available was in reality prepayments from customers that is now running out fast as repayments for cancelled flights, and compensation because the non-flying wheren't notified 14 days in advance. How company management can prefer this process to a slower but still fully flying cost saving exercise is baffling. Or have they looked to much to what happened with Norwegian. Then they have forgotten that the Norwegian process happened in the middle of a pandemic where sources of refinancing where available from many sides and leasing companies where des

After several days of extended deadlines the 900 pilots of mainline SAS is on strike

SAS Forward plan is not going well. The savings they where to get from the pilots was just to big a hill to climb for the unions. Not only wouldn't SAS hire back direct 450 pilots let go under the pandemic. The company tried the ruse with som irish underling companies to hire further pilots on new contracts far from scandinavian union influence. A move that didn't work for Norwegian and now has ended in a total 3 country pilot strike for SAS. Even the last weeks of potential strike has probably brought new bookings down to near 0 because both sides have all the way talked about potential bankruptcy. And now when tens of thousands hollidaymakers every day is looking for alternatives in an already overfull market the SAS reliability it depended on for its necesseraly slightly premium prices is in the dumps. This is a case where all press is not good press. Wonder how Werf got on in negotiations between swedish, danish and norwegian dealbrokers, unionreps and SAS mgmt mainly repre

Are SAS top brass focusing on the right stuff during a passenger depressed cycle

SAS should as soon as Omicron rumours started to spread been back to seeing how Cargo could save the winter.  But as usual it is all about passengers in their presentations. In the last reported quarter their cargo income rose more than their charter income went down. That is significant. But since they are not highlighting it in their presentations one would assume its not either on top of the mind of their top brass.  Cargo operations is where SAS has a competitive advantage over their Scandinavian, mainly Norwegian, competitors like Norwegian and Flyr. Either of those have any.  Question is did SAS hire a CEO with the right background to get them through a pandemic that could be severe for as long as the post war econmics. Specially combined with litle abaiting environmental pressure, where any suggestion of governmental supports for the sector immediately meat strong opposition from parties that call themselves green. Or did they go for the avaiable CEO that was most likely to get

Norwegian is still not an airline for consolidation and playing it safe for profit

Gei Karlsen, the CEO of Norwegian, learnt his airline craft during a wild expansion and is now looking to recreate that. Just before he announce a 17 mill euro profit for the summer season 2021, he announce 17 more planes for the fleet. At least he didn't pay extra to get the ExMax, for now but did say that that was an option for the future. He is also going to park a large part of the fleet during the winter months and is negotiating hard with the unions for some solution on what to do with the flying crews during that period. Will it be a long vacation or will it be halve the hours for everybody. The need to keep pilots current may play in here. But he didn't stop there. They day after the results he is hinting to that he want to expand further and think Norwegian can handle a fleet of 80 aircraft with the administrative staff they already have on board today. The parking will be helped financiall by some power by the hour deals for the winter season but maintenance will stil

Has Ryanair reached its zenith or does O'Leary have doubt about that the ExMax is the future

He recently announced that he had plenty of time before any further 737 orders where forthcoming saying that another world shock disruption would have to come first so he could again get preferential pricing. The ExMax was never such a gamechanger that Ryanair has been spreading about. 10% more seats than the 737-800 and slightly more effective engines do not give enough green credentials that it impresses any politician when everybody is dreaming about electric planes. And for Ryanair shareholders its just a few percentage points more potential profit for an increasingly short timeframe until something more drastically have to happen about the future of flying. Unless transport of people by air is to go into a permanent decline at the hands of the climate change brigade. It could also be that Ryanair has reached the long touted optimum sice of aircrafts, round 200. They are dividing into not only more marketing names but operations to. Or that the current top management have run out o

CoVid19, can todays soft society live with it if we have to or will 2019 levels never reappear

Heard immunity and a reduction in inection was supposed to happen at 60% infection/vaccination. Now some countries are there but infection rates continue to rise.  New scenario; We need to be at 90% vaccination rate because the vaccines are at best 90% effective and with the latest virus version only 30% after first dose. And not at all in some that are immuno compromised. This could drag on. When 90% won't do it they will come with the 3'rd injection and what then. Will there be a 4'th and a 5'th and then annual boosters. This is the problem when there is no plan B as an alternative to vaccination. Or maybe vaccination was plan B and a plan C is just to much for politicians to think about.  At some stage we will have to live, or die, with the CoVid19 virus. It's a cold virus just like the 4 others that we have lived with for at least a hundred years. It's just we weren't that well informed when each of them first came around and killed left right and center

Can Karlsen survive as head of Norwegian

Or rather can he survive without giving up his 11 million bonus. Or should the question be, will he, since it could take him 2 years to make it back. Question is how much does he want to be CEO or is it just the money that drives him. There is surely another company he could rescue from the brink through financial wizardry. Schram, the former CEO of Norwegian lasted 18 months. More because ofthe support of a weak board with litle shareholder backing but at the same time without any shareholder unity or even a strong such. And a chairman without much airline background that maybe of that reason picked a CEO without any at all. As soon as kind of new strong shareholders came in and the chairman that picked him for the CEO role was out, so was he. But is Karlsen what Norwegian needs now. When he came in as CFO he either had any airline background but was a part of the Fredriksen sphere. Fredriksen is again a large shareholder in Norwegian but the time for finanzial wizardry might be vanin

SAS made their choice; More of the same

They picked a non scandinavian person with airline CEO experience and a tiny localisation excuse of having worked in Stockholm but not for a scandinavian company. At least Anko have experience in how to try to refinance airlines that in reality are bust. Even though he is leaving one n the midle of a chapter 11 equivalent.  He is supposed to be on good term with pilots but if that was won by giving in to much in negotiations is another question, see previous paragraph. As a bonus for the board he knows how to wrangle millions out of a bust company for himself and his nearest, while showing lover employees the door, and one would asume the board will think some of that some will say ill gotten gain will fall on them. Wouldn't see im on the barricades demanding that top managment and board stand by their employees in solidarity and take an equivalent pacut inn times of need. But aside from supporting  the culture of greed, a well liked trait by many in the upper echelons of business,

The boards choice of CEO decides what kind the airline will be in the future

The board of SAS a traditional networks airline with a service, is about to pick a new CEO and thereby indirectly deciding on what kind of airline they want the company to be in the future.  Al Baker the boss of Qatar airways wich is a 35% investor in IAG the parentcompany of BA commented in an article in the Sunday Times yesterday that the management of BA under Cruz leadership lost sight of what made BA. It became a penny pinching airline that where selling food instead of serving food. Is that what SAS owners wants with their airline. A low fares competitor that instead of competing with route network, connections and non-quareling service sees price as their most important factor. In that case they will get plenty of competition in the Scandinavian market with Wizz, Norwegian, Ryanair and newcomers Flyr and long haul Norse all ready for a race to the bottom. However I doubt all Scandinavians look only to price when it comes to picking their mode of air travel. Plenty of people with

For management how important is a grasp of the local language and culture

Can a scandinavian company in unrest be led successfully by a person who has no grasp of any scandinavian language.  Have often witnessed how badly communication in english goes between two people who's mother tongue is not english. This is why outsourcing support for english to India and similar places often go awry. It works as slong as one of the two in a communication are native english speaking. But if they both are not, miscommunications flourish. And that is even when one of them are from India. A country where many schools has english as the primary language, but its indian english. These problems get better with time. If one moves to a pure english speaking country after several years, the problem can be overcome when oneself gain the ability and confidence to internally correct what the other person is saying.   The problem remains though if one goes to a contry like Sweden and expect all communication to happen in english. Even a press release for an international compan

SAS future is based on minimum 50% of pre pandemic passenger traffic already this summer

If SAS is to reach that target they'll better quickly get a new CEO in that brim full of ideas can land running. We need to see skidmarks just like a plane. The cash of the company have in the last quarter reduced with more than halve. And their chances of borrowing more is not getting any better with Moody downgrading them from B3 to Caa1 and hints to an even more negative future.  Worse is they are expecting 20% in April and 30% in May/June. That can be difficult if one compares to last year when Europe didn't really open up before July. Add in the uncertain vaccine supplies and this summer could be a complete wash out. Notice all vaccine forecasts says that most is going to happen in the last month. That is a recipe for disapointment. There is still much to be said for freight. If passenger volumes is only going to be 50% that is a lot of missing belly capacity transcontinentally, and europe wide. Most international post is still at less than halve the speed it was pre-covid

It might be named Norse but that's not where they will be flying

Norse Atlantic Airways is the new transatalantic then true intercontinental airline where the founder of Norwegian Kjos and his partner Kise are involved.  It might be targeting Low Fares and according to its founder they have learnt the lesson that that have to be combined with Low Cost. Maybe and maybe not. They are going for ex Norwegian 787's wih the same seat configuration. That might save on leasing cost, what they are planning of fundraising do not equal to outright plane purchases, but it is 2 cabin classes again and that is not true Low Cost.  Add in the freight, which have proven crucial and resilient but is still a distraction but you migth as well since 30min turnarounds are out the window, and a new Low Cost concept needs to be invented. With usual pain for first movers, maybe a bit less for what will now be a second mover. Norway might be where this airline will be founded and somewhat hq'd but if they have learnt their lessons from the adventures with Norwegian t

Airlines should maximise income now instead of being satisfied with minimising cash burn

All airlines should should take charge of their own destiny now and do their utmost to maximise income now instead of hibernating the pandemic and hope for better times. Arilines have massive set costs in the form of either massive leases or fleets of owned assets that rots fast without regular maintence and use. Always remember airline seats spoils as fast as soft fruit. Todays potential income can't be earned in tomorrow instead. And if you can't fly people there is plenty of other stuff that needs transporting.  A christmas present sent from Irleand to Norway in mid November arrived yesterday the 24'th of February. That is over 3 months in the post. Another one sent the same day from Ireland to Greece came back today after the airline contunously refusing to freight it. That is a complete let down by most airlines of their previous commitments to bring post around contributing to a worldwide organized and fast postal service. Every time I bing Cargo up in diverse forums

Containerise loading freight into passenger cabins

We are now a year into the pandemic and its time to better organise the loading of freight into the cabins of passenger aircraft. There needs to be developed a container that can get in through the passenger door, or the emergency exit door opposite. Preferably in a bit less than 1/2 cabin width size, leaving space for passage down the middle. After all every airport have the equipment to load such containers, daily in use to load the wheeled carts that contains food, drink and duty free to be consumed and sold onboard. In practice they could be seen as small containers. One could also do with a track system that would be fastened to the mounting points normally used for seats, to easily move around and lock in place the cargo.  Maximum weight would be 5 passengers at 70kg each plus the weight of the seat lets say 50 kg wich give a maximum weight for each container of 400 kg. for a 3+4+3 seat width plane and 2 container wide. sample a 787 or A330. That should leave at least 350 kg for

Opportunities in Scandinavian long haul post Norwegian

With Norwegian gone from the Scandinavian long haul market, including its transatlantic connectivity through Gatwick, there should be growth opportunities for SAS. One will assume long haul will come strongly back if not end of 2021 so at least in 2022. And at least in the northern hemisphere markets will be full back by summer 2022. This gives opportunities for they who early prepares after the permanent exit of some airlines from long haul during the pandemic. SAS should now prepare for what it will do when this market returns. Now is when cheap(ish) deals for long haul aircraft can be made for they with a plan, and guts. Insted of going for a strategy of highest prices retrievable with the short term lowering of capacity, one should seriously consider if more profit can't be obtained by increasing ones own capcity, therebye lowering prices slightly. For a payback in the form of increase in demand. In addition to avoid letting potential passengers leak to competitors stuffed with

Few european airlines have covered themselves with glory in times of a global pandemic

How many airline have ben supportive as governments around the world have tried to handle a worldwide pandemic crisis. Today KLM tried to force the retraction of the dutch governments demand of negative tests even for crew by threatening to stop all it's Transcontinental and even european flying that would demand a crew layover to not risk that a crewmember with a postitive test was left behind. A behaviour more akin to O'Leary trying to change tax hikes by dropping all routes from certain airports than a national airline having the word Royal in its name. Even coming with stories how they have to stop trans-shipping vaccines to countries in South America with tremendous Covid19 problems. Apart from the sudden concern over crew, that was lacking before, can't see why KLM couldn't operate flights with double, or treble or quarduple or whatever it takes, sets of crews so no crew leaves the plane or stays over and everybody comes back. To at least bring out the vaccines. M

Why can't Scandinavian airlines manage to do dedicated cargo flights in passenger planes

Virgin Atlantic got going with it already in March 2020 managing 4000 cargo only flights in the year.. And with the panemic continuing into 2021 they are regularising the service offering 33 flights per week. Why haven't Norwegian managed do even 1, instead parking the whole fleet of 787 's resulting in its complete demise. Did they fall foul of internal resources with an all is difficult attitude. That didn't see how the new cargo market differentiated from that of previous.  Why haven't SAS managed to take advantage of the booming cargo only flight market due to the lack of passenger flights to send cargo with. They do have a sizeable cargo division with a precense in many locations and all the wide body containerised capcity that was needed. Even planes that was being retired/scrapped where seats could have been stripped for extra capacity and nobody would care about some extra cosmetic damage. All they lacked was vision, fantasy and a can-do mentality. Both airlines

The fleet of SAS have to many elements in each group

Scandinavian Airline Systems have 3 types of long haul aircraft, 2 types of regional and no less than 6 types of short haul medium size aircraf in their fleets. I know SAS has historically been able to sell used aircraft for more than they bought them due to being early on new types and moving on quickly, but that is many years ago now. Low cost competitors have gone for single type and big orders. Ryanair 's fleet of 340 aircraft are all Boeing 737-800's. Even though SAS is a full service (somewhat) network airline of the hub and spoke model a certain reduction in fleet disparity can only be good. Who these days adjust the aircraft used exactly to load instead of adjusting price to fill the seats available.   Let's take long haul first. A330, A340 and A350. Simple choice. Everybody is getting writh of the 4 engine A340. And SAS have now got the last out of operation. If the market is light and SAS could ramp up cargo maybe a couple of cargo conversions could have been in o

Management and chums landgrab for a quick Norwegian profit

Accepting the plan for the future Norwegian maangment announced today 14/1-2021 is something creditors and leaseowners should think more than twice about. The key is in the details and the plan for 50 planes now but a rapid expansion to 70 already in 2022 is akin to a landgrab by management and a an asembled consortium of larger new shareholders. Meaning they under-size now before the vaccines has nullified the pandemic and then expand rapidly with significantly better lease deals as the markets recover. Another key sign is that only a very small amount of new shares are available to existing shareholders. If it awas all above board wouldn't they be given a fare share. The difference now is that its not up for another shareowner vote so in reality its a free for all for managment and whoever they are mixed in with. Next year, if profitable, and I can't see why covering maybe a 80% market with a 50% fleetsize, its time for big bonuses to top management and a rapid rice for the s

The failure of SAS to expand cargo in Scandinavia in a pandemic

The numbers SAS released in December 2020 reveal only 3/5 cargo income in 2020 compared to 2019. That is 700 million lost and probably a lot more since the potential has shot up.  This is leading one to believe SAS could have done a lot more and that the company haven't taken advantage of what ever they could make money on in the pandemic market. Using the assets they are locked into and are paying for. And this failure of flexibility is ultimately the fault of the CEO Gustafson.  Lack of aggressive local suppliers could be the reason Middle Eastern carriers now is moving into the Scandinavian Cargo market. And once they are in they could be difficult to dislocate. Remember exporters are not as sentimental with what airline they pick as local politicians with their travel expenses refunded by the taxpayer, ref some mayors boycott of Wizz.  One can also see from the numbers how having the actual flying of ones regional network outsourced lead to lack of flexibility in time of crisis

Scandinavian airline looking for a new figurehead

Gustafson in SAS has taken his hat and gone, to a different kind of business all together.  He has been controversial in recent years, How he received significant bonuses after getting other employes to reduce their renumeration packages in recent crisis did not help SAS when pilots went on strike a couple of years ago.  Maybe his greed got the better of him and he foresaw that for the coming years his performance bonuses would not mount up to much. Specially since most airline have negotiated multiyear CoVid19 reductions in the pay of staff and therefore will have problems restoring senior managment perks faster or significantly higher in this period. His share options and other renumeration schemes is also probably solidly underwater after the refinancing SAS went through in 2020. Resulting in any financial loss by leaving would be minimized.   What should SAS look for in their next leader.  First someone who can him/herself show moderation and not only demand it from others.  Somebo

Is the plan still the plan if you hear nothing more.

It's a Norwegian trait that if you say you are going to do something that is the plan until you hear something different.  In sample Ireland a plan has to be reconfirmed and preferably every day until it happens or else everone assumes its cancelled. Back last spring Norwegian said they where hibernating their longhaul until March 2021. One would think that after such a long hibernation an official declaration would be made if this was still the plan 9 months later. But not Norwegian. They have started selling longhaul seats both out of London Gatwick and Paris and probably other permutations if you want to check:  Norwegian destinations from Gatwick   However there is no rumour about them having started retraining their 787 pilots at neither London Gatwick nor in Paris. They proably have kept some 787 hopefully training pilots current to do ferry flights. Some of the Dreamliners have gone to Shannon and back to leasers to go to new customers. But its not a good sign if some more s

Is the airlines hope for a vaccine certificate well thought through

Airlines is hoping a demand for certificate of vaccination for passengers will free up the travel world so people again can fly freely. Ryanair even advertising jab to fly. There are a couple of flies in the oinkment. With more than 7 billion people in the world and wealth extremely unevenly spread, at some stage there will be a cry for fairer distribution of the vaccines produced.  Several countries are already talking about not vaccinating people under 45 with no underlying health issue. We don't want fighting in the queue among all the others because airlines demand vaccination and eager travellers getting in front of they for whom the jab might mean the difference between actual life and death. As in contrast to just the financial health of the travel industry but not actual death for its owners and employers. There are certainly enough squabbling in the queue already with policeforces trying to get vaccinated before the nurses, fishermen before the elderly and doctors grabbing

Where did it all go wrong for Norwegian and what now

There is the overambitious expansion and desire to play in the big league with big orders for brand new planes, of several different types no less. But others have gone big and succeeded, but maybe not so much in the airline industry that is plagued with protection from your creditors and financial rescues. The transition from the enthusiastic well liked entrepenour to the next CEO is important for most companies. It usually happens because the founder have got out of his depth, or simple become to old. In Norwegian Kjos flew a bit too close to the sun . There is also that the airline was built on a belief of continually better market conditions and no savings for a rainy day. So did they choose an individual with a lot of airline experience and a lot of usefull contacts that could come in with own ideas and change things around from day 1. Not at all. They chose somebody that first spent 3 months learning before he took the reins. And then speculated for another 3 months on how he cou

Is there a future where Norwegian still have LongHaul

The rescue plan leeks seem to be pretty consistant on that the future of Norwegian will contain shorthaul within  and to/from the Scandinavian market. Question is what about 787 LH. Norwegian seem to historically have used a small profit margin created from its original and core business of the domestic and Scandinavian plus sun hollidays for same market, to subsidise an expansion into transcontinental including transatlantic flights. Without the latter beeing documented as anything else than a loss making business. Resulting in the whole company using a lot of red ink for its accounts. There is a possibility for LH low fares business but one have to have the discipline for low cost operations that must go with it. The 787 proved a problematic choice for the company and maybe now one of the never narrowbody planes with la larger range would be a better option. Partially because the Scandinavian to sample US market is very small even from the capital cities, and most routes gain by havi

Norwegian management's christmas wish of rescue

Norwegian have today presented a new plan for how they dream the company can be rescued.  Lets talk about the positives first. They are planning to do a reverse share split by a factor of 100 from over 3 billion to round 30 million. There have been comments that sees shares only worth some norwegian øre (100'th of a Norwegian Krone (nkr)) as signs of a company in distress and leading to a share price easily manipulated = penny stocks. For any hope for the future they need to be able to have shares with an exchange worth of whole nkr's. Theis leads us to the question wether there are enough small investors in Norway, and maybe other Scandinavian countries with enough cash to waste to swallow up a new issue of 4 billion nkr of even more new shares whose value could be lost nearly before they are isued. After all they say straight out that they hope the shareholders will continue to support them for even further future recapitalizations. If there are that many willing to throw eve

How can airlines slide the ExMax into their schedules

Soon the Boeing 737 ExMax will be approved for transporting passengers also in Europe, the plane will have got the necessary updates and the airlines will trained their crew. Then comes the question on how to get it back in the air without upsetting to many customers.  Airlines like Ryanair that have high frequency routes like Dublin-London or Norwegian's Oslo-Trondheim can put 1 into a roster of 3-4 aircrafts on the routes and offer anyone nervous to change to a later departure free of charge. Potentially put off by a long queue and without knowing exactly when that departure is some will change their mind. Others will after changing not think its worth the hassle the next time, or the next after that. To minimise agro this should be offered by a single customer service agent at every Max departure so the customer see its available there and then and don't have to return to sample departure hall and do security again. The added bonus is that when people change flight by person

Why should Ryanair take on Norwegian

 And with taking on I don't mean competing against them but rather swallowing the juicy parts of it. What do Norwegian have that could be attractive to Ryanair:  It has a loyal following in Norway and parts of Scandinavia . A following that want Low Fares but loats Ryanair. It has a well established net of routes within Scandinavia and domestically within Norway that Ryanair would have a problem copying without diluting its own union stance and cost base. It is positioned at the more premium part of Low Fares with a less agitating policy against customers. This could be expanded upon incorporating some more Low Cost basics for profitability. And without messing up the Ryanair image anc cost base like its own Always Getting Better efforts have done to the bottom line lately. It has a Transatlantic/Transcontinental fleet and a worked up net of routes and we all know how O'Leary have long wanted to somehow do Transatlantic Low Cost. A part that could be split out from Norwegian Sc

Who are the movers in Europan Low Fares aviation and who try not to rock the boat

The main Low Fares encumbents ( = they with the Lowest Costs) in the European landscape are taking wildly different approaches to the first full winter of the CoVid19 pandemic.  Wizz is seeking opportunities where they appear and quickly moving into markets where the (semi) incumbent is in trouble. Sample in Norway where they have announced and quickly started their first domestic routes and announced even more to come when Norwegian went to the courts for protection. By the time any other seeking opportunities come looking post vaccine, Wizz will already have operated on the routes for more than 6 months. Ryanair on the other hand has spent the CoVid19 crying about different governments actions, and their response to pandemic changes is to kick the toys out of the pram and abandon routes and airports. Exactly as they used to do when an airport tried to introduce new charges. You haven't seen them really anounce an entry into any really new market, just adjusting frequencies in tho

Are there others to rescue Norwegian and for what purpose

 There are always some Norwegians willing to buy small amounts of shares just because its an airline and its name is Norwegian. But not that manry and they are not that flush with cash that it will make a difference.  The current majority shareholders, the lease owners, are unvoluntering shareowners and its doubtfull if thwy will go for the same stunt again. And they have expressed that they don't want to own airlines. If they let the floodgates open there could be many other airline in financial need that would pay for their leased aircraft in shares instead of readies. A trade sale or trade investor is always a possibility. If the share price should fall to let#'s say 10 ore or 1 penny the whole share capital could be bought for 300 million nkr or 30 million euro. An investment instead of lets say 50 million nd nulling of the old shares would get you a solid foothold in the Scandinavian market including Scandinavia to the sun/med. Other airlines have done similar investments

What would have happened if Norway had rescued Norwegian

If one as the Norwegian party Senterpartiet (Centrist) suggested had given the airline Norwegian 20 billion nkr, the future for the company would have been less rosy than one would think. As opposite to the future of the many who would have filled their pockets. Management would have rewarded themselves well with some exuberant, for Norway to be, bonuses for saving the company. As Gustafson of SAS did after persuading staff to so deep cuts in their terms and renumerations some years ago. The lease- and bondholders would see to that all past and future rents and payments would be paid well in advance, as the big shareholders they are. All the unions would then come in and fight hard to see to that their members got their share of the cake and more, plus lay paid to any demands for performance improvements. Nobody would fight for neither future profits or any streamlining of the company into something that would be anything else than a future drain and per passeenger loss busines. None o

Have Norwegian a future beyond court protection

Now when the main subject of my last article has taken the consequences and partly thrown in the towel we can speculate on if Norwegian have a future as an independent airline. CityJet might have come out of its protction as a leaner and stronger ailine, maybe, but they where a very small airline, a shadow of their former self already, with a well connected Irish businessman founder/leader and some guaranteed income wetleas contracts in their pocket. They came out of the process as an airline that no longer sell seats or fly scheduled routes under their own name. Surprised O'Leary  haven't made an appearance regarding Norwegian going lets call a spade a spade, bust. Ireland has a very small and concentrated aviation environment and those leasing companies that have planes at Norwegian have a lot more at Ryanair. In addition to that most of them grew out of the Ryanair original owner Tony Ryan's own leasing company. And many in the circuit including overseers onece worked fo

Is a positive balance sheet required or is having a bit of cash to pay some of the bills enough to continue

 Is an airline that is living on the cash prepaid for cancelled flights technically in breach of the law. Why is governments letting airline that have depleted their assets to such a degree that debt far outweighs any assets, so in reality a negative balance sheet, continue on running as long as they have cash to pay some of their bills. Not only refusing to refund customers whos flights didn't happen but also handing out worthless pieces of paper and calling them points. Taking even more money from more customers running up even bigger piles of debth. The boards of these airlines must be in jeopardy risking both business quarantines and teoretically time in the slammer. There is no way any accountancy firm is going to sign off on any of their accounts when that time comes. Which may be why some of them are running for the hills. They who pay far in advance for tickets with these outfits are taking a huge risk and in some countries both travel insurance companies and banks have war

Norwegian's financial mess was building over a long time due to less than optimal cost control

There is things surfacing that indicate the financial expertise within Norwegian was more in getting financing and avoid paying leases rather than in cost control. It sems like different stakeholders have through the years done their besst to milk the company dry thus stopping it from building up profits for a rainy day fund. There are talk about pilots being well paid, sometimes double tariff for working on days off, which indicates that operations and crew control was not too well managed either.  These are growth pains that comes to light in many companies, including Ryanair with their well known roster screw up a couple of years ago. But Ryanair could afford it and have been busy ever since getting out of the union deals the problems led them into, finally mostly resolved by using the CoVid19 crisis to get low low and long term 5 year deals with their staff. In Norwegian on the other hand they who should keep an eye on the bottom line have instead concentrated on getting more finan

Ups and downs is part of airline business, question is who is prepared

The airline business has always been a cyclical roller coaster of ups and down and its sesoned participants would do well in remembering that after 7 fat years comes 7 meagre ones, not always on that schedule. How you handle it is different from country to country and sometimes from company to company.  American airlines sway from one crisis to the next paying out all they cane to management, share- and other stakeholders in the good times. Always relying on that their government will see them as critical infrastructure and always bail them out. Privatise profits and socialise losses. The top management of Ryanair on the other hand remembers 9/11 very well and have ever since insisted on holding on to as much cash and building up as much equity in the company as possible. They are a large company in a small and not very rich economy so they know they have to handle any coming crisis on their own.  Norwegian fell into it because their current top management have minimal experience from

Braathen's new airline is missing a name and Norwegian is soon available together with a large chunk of Boeing capital

Braathen and his suited team didn't get his 1/5 billion nkr from the Nowegian government but there is about 100 million USD available together with the Norwegian name for a company that is willing to commit taking some new planes from Boeing.  As a manufacturer they care more about how many new airlines the can sell than how many of the older planes get parked. Norwegian never got to an agreement for how much the problems with their new ExMax and Dreamliner planes was goeing to cost the manufacturer because Beoing prefer to pay that sort of money in discounts rather than cash.  A new-Norwegian without most of the commitments and liabilities of the Schram-Norwegian could make a deal and have a fleet partially financed. That would also give them a good base for getting a good deal with the banks so any ticket sales will end up in the airline instead of being kept by the card issuers and banks for security against future refund claims.   

Norwegian could have spent this year better making themselves more deserveable of further support

Norwegian did not spend the time well since the last injection of government loans. Too much concentration on finding finance too little on what makes an airline a viable business.  They could have gone for doing more cargo. If they by now transported halve of the Norwegian international post and a large portion of its exportable airfreight products if would have given the Norwegian government a reason for why the company needed saving.  They could have marked them out as bringing something extra to the CoVid19 table by, as the only airline in Europe, offering to transport the nervous in a socially distancing environment by at least offering the option of middle seat free in parts of the cabin. For 50% extra on the ticketprice off course. Then the politicians could have said look what Norwegian brings to the table, we need that, lets give them a helping hand.  Instead they decided to spend all their effort and most of their time in scouring for finance. Not easy to come by when y

Airline rebranding a costly exercise with doubtfull value

Who convinces airlines that the solution for all their problems are a rebrand. Or for any othe rcompany for that matter. Rumours are coming out that Flybe was weeks from a rebrand when they collapsed. A rebrand due to some baggage failure that supposedly had made the airline name toxic ant that could only be fixed with a new name.  Remember a new name is unknown in the market and will not only cost to effectuate but also swallow up massive amounts of cash for marketing to get it known so potential passengers can trust it enough to book with it. And trust is important in the airline sector. We trust after all the Airline to bring us safely from A to B and that is not all ablout that we get value for our bucks but that we actually arrive physically safe.  That kind of trust is not easily built so any rebrand will have to be linked to the old brand name and suddenly the whole purpose of it evaporated. The only winners are the marketers and their often outside brand designer helpers, that

Could a permanently reduced market benefit airlines with smaller planes

  If the Wizz air chief is right in that CoVid19 will lead to a permanently reduced airline passenger market combined with more direct flights and much less hub and spoke, then the LoCo's are going for the wrong aircraft with their demand for more and more seats per aircraft. More direct routes and less demand should mean a market of planes with less seats each to avoid the booking confusion of trice weekly flights instead of daily. After all sample Ryanair made their lo-co start with 130 seat planes, then 186 seat and soon they will be up to 200 and then 220 with an extra cabincrew. Larger planes and still just 2 pilots in them might lower costs per seat but if they have to keep fire-selling the seats could it decrease profit per planeload.