Aviation

Oil prices can play spoilsport to airline stocks rally

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2017 was a fantastic year for airline stocks as relatively lower oil prices, higher demand and improved operational performance brightened the outlook for the sector. However, after a solid performance last year, the global airline industry is bracing for an oil shock in 2018. The recent run-up in oil prices, if sustained, may exert a significant drag on airlines profitability in this year.

Stock returns
[Image 1: Watchlist highlights stock returns for leading airlines as on Jan. 24, 2018
(*For US-based companies, returns as on Jan. 23, 2018)]

In 2017, jet fuel prices averaged at USD 1.5 per gallon for the first 3-quarters. A spike in crude oil moved jet fuel average price to USD 1.74 per gallon in Q4’17 from USD 1.59 per gallon in Q3’17. The impact of 9.4% sequential rise in jet fuel prices in Q4 was clearly visible in recently announced quarterly numbers of leading airlines.

For instance, Delta Air Lines witnessed an 8% y-o-y drop in net income in Q4’17 owning to 21% rise in fuel cost. At the same time, CASM (cost per available seat mile) – Fuel for Delta rose significantly by 38.67% sequentially to USD 0.03 in Q4’17.

Delta - CASM Fuel
[Image 2: Compare screen highlights trend for Delta Air Lines’ CASM – Fuel and Jet Fuel] Read the rest of this entry »

Passenger load factor for these 4 airlines consistently stay above 2016 levels

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Passenger load factor is one of the key operating metrics for airlines. It measures how much of an airline’s passenger carrying capacity is used. Aviation is a capital-intensive sector and it is important for airlines to maintain higher load factor as it can lead to improvement in profitability.

FiND, an alternative data platform identified 12 airlines witnessing consistent improvement in monthly passenger load factor in 2017 when compared with 2016. We have highlighted passenger load factor trend for 4 such airlines below:

Deutsche Lufthansa

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Financial Performance of Airlines Through Open Data Sets

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Aviation_1The aviation sector, after years of underperformance, has been bullish of late as evidenced by the turnaround of Spicejet’s fortunes and a strong response for the Indigo IPO. This turnaround has led to a lot more interest in the aviation sector in recent times. In this article, let us understand how operational factors affect the bottom-line of an airline and the use of open datasets to estimate these factors. An airline’s operational factors can help us understand which airline uses its fleet efficiently, which airline has an optimal route network or which airline’s fleet is optimized for fuel efficiency.

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