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The Thomas Cook Group PLC announced on 23rd September that it has gone into liquidation putting 21,000 jobs at risk, 9,000 of which are based in the UK. The UK government has chartered 45 jets making it the largest ever peacetime repatriation, and temporarily, the UK's 5th largest airline.
According to T2RL data the UK is the third largest market for PBs globally and Thomas Cook was the 2nd fastest growing airline (above 3 million PBs) in the UK for 2017-2018. Last year Thomas Cook Airlines and their subsidiary Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia together flew 10.5 million PBs making them the 2nd largest charter/scheduled airline in the T2RL database after TUI. The European charter/scheduled market is currently the largest in the world transporting a total of 102.84m PBs last year. Condor, Thomas Cook's German airline subsidiary (8m PBs) has stated that it will continue operations.
T2RL research shows that Tour Operators' share of PB sales has been steadily declining at a rate of -6% CAGR over the past ten years with a shift moving towards direct web bookings. T2RL estimate that the 10.5 million Thomas Cook PBs will be uptaken by TUI, Jet2, Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizz and other LCC/hybrid carriers with short-haul routes from the UK.
23 September 2019
The Department of Justice in the United States has sued to block the acquisition of Farelogix. The DOJ's complaint points to the likelihood of the acquisition resulting in a lessening of competition, an increase in prices for booking services in the United States and a reduction quality, service choice and innovation for booking services. The DOJ also takes the position that Sabre's GDS agreements have restricted Farelogix's ability to compete.
T2RL's view is that there is a broader market to consider in connection with the merger and that a combination of Sabre and Farelogix would permit Sabre to compete more effectively with Amadeus in the provision of IT solutions to airlines outside the United States in particular. Farelogix would provide the ability to replace some of the core technology that underpins the GDS and PSS infrastructure specifically accountable documents including ancillaries, real-time availability processing and commercialization of the schedule. Farelogix would accelerate Sabre's transformation to new generation systems.
At the core of the DOJ argument is a different definition of a market. T2RL does not understand how the DOJ came to assess booking, ticket issuance and the channel chosen by customers as distinct market places. To call out traditional agents and online agents and booking services in those channels as markets will undoubtedly be part of the upcoming dispute. Airlines ultimately appoint travel agents to issue tickets and the GDSs contract with travel agents to supply technology services. Other channels are available to consumers and corporations in the US and other geographies making this part of the argument a little more complex. The channels available to airlines (assuming they have the IT infrastructure to support this) include direct channels and APIs (NDC flavoured or not) and travel agents choose to work directly or indirectly with the airlines according to a set of their own criteria, including customers and passengers needs. It is also clear that some airlines can and have negotiated their GDS agreements which contain the right to charge fees and pass those fees on to the customer to incentivise them to move to the direct channels. This has certainly been the case in Europe with IAG's airlines, Lufthansa Group and Air France / KLM.
Elsewhere airlines are developing private channels which see incentives paid by airlines for bookings to the travel agent. There is no doubt that the market definition will be debated by both parties in the coming weeks and months as Sabre responds to the complaint and pushes to obtain a judgment to go ahead with the purchase. The exact timing of the litigation is not currently known, as the parties will be working on a protective order (i.e., determining what information will be kept from public court filings) and a timeline for the proceedings.
Typically the hearing before the judge in such cases is held within a 2 to 6 month time frame. If Sabre fail to win the battle there will be a long queue as others will seek to purchase Farelogix including a list of private equity houses.
22 August 2019
After years of participating at the lowest functional level in Sabre and Travelport GDSs, Southwest have announced new partnerships with new capabilities to support industry standard processes for TMCs and corporates with Amadeus and Travelport. The announcement highlights the importance of the corporate business by signalling incremental revenue expected in 2020 and a basic timeline for GDS readiness in mid-2020. Southwest Business are focussed on a set of customers that are likely to appreciate Southwest's policies with respect to no change fees and free bags. This complements the recent announcement for participation in NDC and of course builds on the decision to move to Amadeus PSS some years ago. T2RL see this announcement as a win for newly appointed CEO of Travelport Greg Webb and his team. The announcement will also reinforce the value of the GDS business at a time when there has been significant press around the continued demise of the GDS as a result of NDC. T2RL does not share the view that GDSs are end of life particularly given the importance of Amadeus, Sabre and Travelsky in provisioning the PSS solutions that support distribution and will be even more important when NDC receives broad adoption.
06 August 2019
Southwest has joined the ATPCO/SITA NDC Exchange Solution to allow third-parties to connect to Southwest's own API using the latest NDC standards. This is a real win for ATPCO and SITA in the race to remain relevant and continue to add value to the industry outside their traditional businesses.
Southwest is a leader in direct distribution selling more seats directly than any other carrier worldwide. T2RL see this as a smart move by Southwest as it limits the amount of IT work that needs to be done to make their own API comply with the latest NDC standards quickly and efficiently. This gives Rob Brown the ability to target the corporate market place and the business travel segment for those that choose to adopt the NDC standard as the method of inventory acquisition.
It is important to note that Southwest are actually available today with limited functionality in the Sabre and Travelport GDSs at the lowest level of participation, as of today they do not make their inventory available in the Amadeus GDS.
17 July 2019
Cebu Pacific has extended their existing agreement with Amadeus' Navitaire until 2028 and will continue to use Navitaire's reservations, inventory, departure control system, e-commerce and revenue accounts platform. Cebu Pacific is one of Navitaire's key customers in the Asia Pacific region undertaking 20.3 million PBs in 2018 including franchisee Cebgo. This renewal follows other key renewals for Navitaire this year including the AirAsia Group, Eurowings and Spirit.
09 July 2019
Sabre have been executing on their plans to rationalise their airline technology product portfolio since Dave Shirk was appointed as the President of Sabre Airline Solutions in April 2017. Shirk has since been promoted and now also runs the GDS business. The deal with Cheetah makes great sense to T2RL as part of the product portfolio rationalisation. Loyalty solutions are now considered mainstream IT platforms "off the shelf" with all of the necessary integration support for all types of merchandising and customer touch points. Ultimately the partnership will only work if the combined Sabre / Cheetah teams win business from the existing players in the market place. T2RL's research suggests that in-house developed systems still dominate the airline loyalty landscape with approximately 27% market share, followed by Oracle with some 19% share and Comarch third with approximately 7%. At first glance this looks like another smart move from Sabre in picking a market place with significant in-house systems and it appears one of the more advanced vendors according to Forrester Research. T2RL will follow this solution and report to subscribers on market performance in our future reports on market share for loyalty solutions in the airline business.
24 June 2019
T2RL have now completed their annual research exercise into global passenger volumes. The findings are based on a bottom up approach (airline-by-airline) and take into account 1100+ carriers. T2RL's global passenger volumes growth from 2017 is 6.7%.
29 May 2019
LATAM have selected two major schedule planning components from Amadeus partner Optym as they seek to boost their network planning and optimisation function. This follows on from Easyjet's announcement in August 2018 for the purchase of the schedule simulation capabilities. T2RL's research suggests that there are significant opportunities for airlines to improve profitability and customer service around planning and monitoring the performance of the schedule. Schedule planning has entered a renaissance period triggered by faster data processing and much improved algorithms. Optym seems to have made the most of their intellectual capability and infrastructure to deliver an attractive market leading product.
20 May 2019
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T2RL has just released its projections for the passenger air transport market out to 2029. They show growth from 2018's 4.47 Billion passengers boarded to 6.06 Billion in 2023 and almost 9 Billion in ten years' time.
05 August 2019
In a briefing from Senior Management T2RL have learned that FLIGHTKEYS GmbH will soon launch its new Flight Planning solution, FLIGHTKEYS 5D, and announce launch customers. In this First View, T2RL assesses FLIGHTKEYS' new solution and the impact it may have on the industry.
26 June 2019
GE Aviation has been the global leader in commercial aircraft engine deliveries for many years. On 18-21 February 2019, it hosted a conference in Dallas, around the theme of using data to generate insights. In this First View, T2RL look at GE Aviation's strategy moving forward and how they plan to add value from insights obtained from data.
11 March 2019
IATA continues to promote its new standard for communications between Order Management Systems, delivery and accounting systems. There have been some limited proof of concept projects and a number of airlines have committed publicly to the new standard. In this First View, T2RL look at what is needed to make this standard a success and what it might mean for the industry in the long term.
07 January 2019
Airlines, like many other enterprises, are currently subject to extensive marketing on behalf of blockchain technology providers. In this First View, T2RL looks into this new technology and where it could possibly be used by an airline.
04 January 2019
On 14th November 2018 Sabre Corporation announced that it had agreed to acquire Farelogix for $360 million in cash. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close around the turn of the year. In this First View, T2RL assess the impact that the acquisition will have on customers on both sides and the industry as a whole.
07 December 2018
The most recent annual AGIFORS Symposium took place in Tokyo on 8th-12th October 2018. The conference attracted some of the top minds in aviation operations research, discussing innovative topics which have the potential to create value for airlines in the future. Given the topics of discussion and through T2RLs own experience, over the next few years T2RL expect that Revenue Management will continue to be the most productive area, in terms of both revenue gains for airlines and increased R&D investment by system vendors.
09 November 2018
On 1 February 2018 the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO) announced the acquisition of Routehappy, an aggregator of so-called “rich content” relating to airline services. In this First View, T2RL assess the implications of this acquisition and its effectiveness in creating the conditions for long-term success.
12 March 2018
Full reports are available for subscribers to download. Feel free to download the extracts which give an introduction and contents table of the full report.
T2RL's annual research into global passenger volumes highlights almost 4.47 billion passengers boarded from January to December 2018. The purpose of this report is to provide an industry standard on current, historical and forecast global air passenger volumes.
23 September 2019
T2RL's research highlights 4.07 billion passengers boarded in the market for airline revenue management systems. This report highlights the key vendors by market share, the addressable market, migrations and key trends in 2018 and 2019.
31 July 2019
T2RL and partners Travel in Motion (TiM) have produced a report on the current status of IATA's new distribution capability (NDC) and ONE Order including details of projects, vendors, sellers and solutions. The report is updated on a quarterly basis with the next update planned in October 2019.
23 July 2019
This report is the third of T2RL's annual reports with analysis on the market for airline operations systems. We continue to look into the capabilities that exist, the new capabilities airlines are demanding, and what the service providers are developing as part of their roadmaps and plans. Airlines should use the report to understand vendor capabilities in the operations space.
08 July 2019
T2RL and partners Travel in Motion (TiM) have produced a report on the current status of IATA's new distribution capability (NDC) and ONE Order including details of projects, vendors, sellers and solutions. The report is updated on a quarterly basis with the next update planned in July 2019.
03 May 2019
T2RL's research highlights 1.73 billion passengers boarded in the market for airline internet booking engines. This report highlights the key vendors in the market by market share, the addressable market and key trends in 2018 and 2019.
03 May 2019
The 'best' method of distributing an airline ticket has always been a hot topic of debate within the travel industry. This report examines the channel split of where an airline's passengers boarded are sold.
11 March 2019
This report will examine the comings and goings in the industry in the year that has just ended. Across the world in 2018, 39 new airlines were launched and 66 stopped flying. Of the 66, 45 airlines ceased operations permanently and 21 carriers suspended operations with the hope of restarting in the near future.
11 February 2019