Fate of today’s airline industry, a quick overview

So today I decided to get out of my shell, and read up some aviation news on BBC. It has been quite depressing lately, so I had to do something to find some spark in my life, and this is what I found out:

Ryanair may halt ‘rapid growth’

Irish budget airline Ryanair has said it may stop expanding its business if it does not get a better deal on new aircraft from Boeing.

It is in talks with Boeing about buying 200 aircraft, but says if prices are not cut it will return cash to shareholders instead of buying planes.

Mr. O’Leary took the opportunity to criticize "stupid tourist taxes" and high airport charges, saying that he planned to switch some of his winter capacity to lower cost countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. The airline said that market conditions were still "difficult" with "an absence of consumer confidence". "We see no point in continuing to grow rapidly in a declining yield environment, where our main aircraft partner is unwilling to play its part in our cost reduction program."

‘State plan’ for Japan Airlines

Loss-making carrier Japan Airlines (JAL) is to be put under the supervision of a state-backed turnaround body, a report has said.

The Nikkei business daily said that the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan may take it over as early as this week. JAL has been in severe financial trouble, hit by falling passenger numbers and high oil prices. Last month, the airline asked the government for emergency funding.

Japan Airlines recently announced plans to cut 6,800 jobs to save money. But the Kyodo news agency reported on Monday that JAL had decided to raise the number of jobs it would cut to 13,000 jobs. JAL made a loss of 99bn yen ($1.08bn; £661m) between April and June.

Aer Lingus to cut almost 800 jobs

Irish airline Aer Lingus said it would cut almost 800 jobs as it tried to save 97m Euros a year ($143m; £90m) by 2011.

Fewer flights, new working methods and new IT systems will see 676 jobs go, in addition to 100 staff who have already been told their contracts will end. Under the proposals higher-paid staff will see their basic salaries reduced, and all employees will see falls in the allowances they receive. The airline has suffered amid falling fares and higher fuel costs.

The company lost 73.9m Euros in the six months to the end of June, more than three times the 21.6m Euros it lost a year earlier. Revenue fell to 555m Euros, down 12.2% on the 632m it made a year ago. On Tuesday, British Airways said it would cut 1,700 jobs and freeze pay.

US airlines report mixed fortunes

US airlines have reported mixed fortunes between July and September as they battle to cope with the sluggish economy at home and abroad.

Delta Airlines – the world’s biggest airline operator – reported a quarterly loss bigger than a year ago and said it would cut capacity by 3% next year. US Airways also lost money, but less than expected, and saw signs of a "soft but improving economic environment". Meanwhile low-cost airline JetBlue bucked the trend and made a profit. It cited lower fuel costs and cheaper fares luring passengers as reasons for its $15m (£9.1m) profit in the period.

Delta – which became the world’s biggest carrier when it bought Northwest Airlines in October 2008 – lost $161m in the third quarter, compared with $50m a year earlier, despite sales rising by 32% to $7.6bn. US Airways lost $80m, compared with the $866m it hemorrhaged between July and September in 2008. Earlier in the week, American Airline’s parent company AMR reported heavy losses for the period – losing $359m including one-off costs, against a profit of $31m a year earlier.

However, Continental and the parent company of AirTran Airways both reported modest profits – citing sharply-lower fuel bills. Gains in the oil price – currently at about $82 a barrel – have prompted worries about the prospect of higher jet fuel costs in the current quarter.

United Airlines and Southwest Airlines are also among those to have reported losses in recent days – saying they could not charge so much for fares and that they were operating fewer flights.

There it is, in a nutshell for you! I feel so great now, and have decided to go back to my hibernation mode again.