Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The big subsidies debate

Full article in PDF format

No-one disputes that the meteoric rise of Emirates Airline, Dubai’s state-owned flag-carrier, has changed the face of civil aviation. Having started life in 1985 with just two aircraft, the Gulf carrier has ballooned in size to become the world’s largest international airline by seating capacity. Its rapid growth has gone hand-in-hand with the broader economic development of Dubai, whose government sees aviation as a strategic priority.

Geographical advantage undoubtedly lies at the heart of Emirates’ success – Dubai sits at the cross-roads of East and West, making it an ideal stopover for intercontinental travel – but has this blessing been harnessed fairly by a commercial entity, or leveraged maliciously by a deep-pocketed government...

Interview: Skúli Mogensen, WOW Air CEO

Full article in PDF format: page 22-25 & cover

When Iceland’s WOW Air began flying between Europe and North America this March, it was staking its claim on a market that has confounded no-frills operators for decades.

Laker Airways is the name that typically crops up in discussions about the mythical low-cost, long-haul business model. The airline operated out of London Gatwick Airport until its demise in 1982. But it was in fact another Icelandic carrier, Loftleiðir, that first opened up affordable transatlantic flying to the masses – albeit with the annoyance of a stopover in Reykjavik.

Loftleiðir was dubbed the ‘Hippie Express’ throughout the 1960s, proving popular with American students who were visiting Europe on a shoestring budget...

Floriculture keeps its cool

Full article in JPG format: page 36/37 & page 38/39

On an average day at the Aalsmeer flower auction in the Netherlands – long considered the flower capital of the world – some 20 million stems will change hands. During peak holiday periods trading in the country, which handles around 52% of global volume, is even more frantic.

The week running up to Valentine’s Day 2015 saw an estimated 200m red roses and tulips, 100m assorted other varieties and 20m pot plants exported by truck and air from Amsterdam. Many of those flowers had just arrived from Nairobi, which despatched 45 aircraft freighters to the Dutch capital that week alone.

It wasn’t always this way. While few exporters emerged from the global economic downturn unscathed, shippers of price-elastic, discretionary goods bound for Europe were particularly hard hit...