Dispatch Issue One T1 2015

Connecting the World

AviaSolutions delivers air services to St. Helena Island

In March 2015, AviaSolutions announced that it had completed a project for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to procure air services to the remote island of St. Helena when the new airport opens in early 2016.

Currently, the only way to reach the 50 sq. mile volcanic island located in the South Atlantic Ocean is via the Royal Mail Ship St. Helena, a passenger service that visits the island about once every three weeks, taking five days to make the voyage from Cape Town.

Once the new airport is completed, Comair will provide a scheduled weekly service between Johannesburg, South Africa, and St. Helena Airport using a brand-new Boeing 737-800 operating as British Airways (BA), with which Comair has a franchise agreement. Tickets for the new route will be available later in 2015 through the BA website and travel agents worldwide.

AviaSolutions was appointed in 2013 to manage the air service procurement process, from soliciting interest and proposals from potential airlines through to assessing their technical competence and negotiating the final contract on behalf of DFID and St Helena Government.

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Supporting airport investors

AviaSolutions advises Ardian on the investment in F2i (Milan airports)

In October 2014, AviaSolutions secured the contract to provide commercial and technical due diligence services supporting the Ardian and Credit Agricole Assurances consortium bid for F2i.

In February 2015, it was announced that terms had been agreed with F2i Aeroporti S.p.A. for the acquisition of a 49% stake in the business.

F2i Aeroporti is the holding company of F2i First Fund which owns 36% of SEA S.p.A. (Milan Malpensa and Linate Airports), 70% of GESAC S.p.A. (Naples Airport) and 54.5% of SAGAT S.p.A. (Turin Airport). These companies individually hold indirect stakes in SACBO S.p.A. (Bergamo Airport) and SAB S.p.A. (Bologna Airport). These airports combined handled a total of 37 million passengers in 2014, equivalent to 25% of the Italian market in terms of passengers. The total annual turnover of the airports is approximately €900 million.

In addition to a detailed traffic forecasts, AviaSolutions also developed independent business plans and reviewed management’s capital investment programme for each airport in the F2i portfolio.

AviaSolutions supported the consortium throughout the sale process and the subsequent EU anti-trust approval, putting to good use our extensive knowledge of economic regulation of airport charges and comprehensive understanding of Alitalia and the Italian airport system.



Bridging the Pacific Rim

AviaSolutions works with San José – Silicon Valley to secure new trans-Pacific service to Beijing

In September 2014, AviaSolutions was commissioned by the City of San José to provide Air Service Development support to secure international routes to San José International Airport (SJC), the gateway to Silicon Valley.

Within just 100 days, AviaSolutions was instrumental in helping San José’s airport announce its second long haul route. The new Beijing service operated by Hainan Airlines will bring economic and trade benefits to the technology industry and large Chinese population of Silicon Valley.

Flights will commence on 15 June 2015. Hainan Airlines will operate five non-stop Beijing-San José flights per week with modern Boeing 787-8 aircraft. The two-class Dreamliner will offer 36 seats in Business and 177 in Economy.

Together with the San José airport team, AviaSolutions presented a full business case and traffic forecast to Hainan Airlines in Beijing. This was followed by a 3-day workshop with Hainan in San José to facilitate introductions between the airline, key stakeholders and business leaders of Silicon Valley. An incentive program was presented by the airport to support the launch of the new service.

The route is the first non-stop service between San José and China, marking Hainan’s entry into the San Francisco Bay Area market through the convenient SJC gateway. According to City studies, the flight’s economic impact for the San José region is estimated at $105 million annually.

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The Re-Launch of an Asian Icon

AviaSolutions advises Myanmar’s national airline re-launching international services

Union of Burma Airways (UBA) was one of Asia’s earliest and most iconic national airlines. UB is the famous two-letter code of the airline that was founded in 1948, the same decade as other pioneers such as Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Garuda.

Operating with a 9-seat De Havilland Dove, services were launched from Rangoon to Mandalay. Within four years, international flights to Bangkok, Dhaka and Chittagong had commenced and these were joined by services to Hong Kong and Singapore. The fleet developed over time with the addition of DC-3 Dakotas, Vickers Viscounts, Boeing 727s and Fokker F27s.

Burma was renamed Myanmar in 1989 and after many years of political and economic isolation has now become a full participant in ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations. The Myanmar economy is booming as the market opens to international investment and tourism. The national airline that was once known as UBA now flies under the name of Myanmar National Airlines (MNA). Aviation is central to Myanmar’s economic development, and later in 2015 MNA will re-launch international flights to various Asian destinations.

AviaSolutions has been working with MNA for the past 18 months to provide support and guidance on the implementation of the airline’s international launch programme, for which a brand new fleet of Boeing 737s will soon be delivered, leased from GE Capital Aviation Services.