Consolidation in the airline industry is reducing their reliance on airports. Airports will have to diversify their operations abroad and welcome low-cost airlines to negate this power imbalance.
In the year 2000 for example, the top four players in the US airline industry had a combined market share of 61%. By 2015 the top four players namely American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Continental had a combined share of 84%.
Airports Council International (ACI) Europe head Olivier Jankovec speaking on this issue stated that "Consolidation means less airlines in the market to chase, to serve your airport and open destinations. It also gives airlines more purchasing power, more power to dictate the conditions under which they serve an airport. An airport cannot move, [but] an airline can move to another location”.
The balance of power between airports and airlines has increasingly been tilting towards airlines in recent years, as their consolidated nature has allowed them to dictate terms more so than airports. However airports can negate this tilt by themselves expanding their operations to other parts of the world, thereby reducing their reliance on a select few airlines.
- Examines the state of the airline and airport industries
- Explains why the airline industry is witnessing consolidation
- Analyzis the impact airline consolidation is having on the airport industry
- Explores ways in which airports can reduce their reliance on a few airlines
- Why is consolidation occuring in the airlines industry?
- How is this impacting the airport industry?
- How can the airport industry respond and restore power balance with the airlines industry?
- Airlines under increasing financial pressure due to competition, regulatory costs and oil price fluctuations
- Increased competition and rising regulatory costs affecting European and North American airline companies
- Oil price fluctuations continue to hamper industry
- Consolidation in the airline industry increasing airport reliance on fewer buyers
- Strong decline in the number of airlines in Europe and North America
- Bankruptcies also reducing the number of players
- Consolidation in the airlines industry is reducing negotiating power of airports
- Decline in retail revenue also affecting airports negatively
- Expansion into less mature regions and consolidation between airports required
- Asia is witnessing an airport boom presenting growth opportunities for European/North American airport groups
- Major airports will have to continue welcoming low budget airlines
- Consolidation in the airline industry negatively impacting airports
- Airports would do well to expand operations to less mature regions and welcome low-cost airlines
- Further Reading
- Ask the analyst
Table 1: UK Air Passenger Duty Rates, GBP and $, 2015-2019
Table 2: Top five airlines share at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, January 2018
Table 3: Percentage change in the revenue of Frankfurt Airport and value of German airline industry, 2013-2017
Table 4: Largest airlines in Italy in terms of passengers carried, 2016-2017
List of Figures
Figure 1: Average price of crude oil, $ per barrel, and % growth in the global airline industry 2013-2018
Figure 2: Monarch Airlines Operating Profit/Loss, $ m, 2012-2016
Figure 3: Air Berlin Revenue per Kilometer (RPK), $m, 2012-2016
Figure 4: Chinese population in income brackets as % of total population, 2010-2015
Figure 5: The under-construction Beijing Daxing Airport