Aviation Week & Space Technology has unveiled it's Index of Competitiveness. The magazine is highly respected and is read by many in the aerospace industry.
The survey concentrates on performance measures like asset utilisation, productivity and financial health.
Low cost airlines performed the best in the survey this year with small airlines, EZY, Westjet (Canada), FR and Air Tran (USA) performing better than the top large and medium airlines.
These airlines performed well in their low-yield airline environment which attracted many passengers. In €urope, EZY topped FR who held the best €uropean small airline for 3 years. FR's margins remained high, however, return on fleet investment fell and revenue growth was slower than capacity growth.
"If you can't make money with that combination, you can't make money at all. It's like selling Viagra to 16-year-old boys," said Edmund Greenslet of ESG Aviation Services, part of the AW&ST Panel, commenting that EZY and FR are selling low-cost air travel in a high-cost travel market (€urope).
American Trans Air (ATA) scored the highest mark in the medium airlines category due to fleet utilisation gains, replacing L1011s with leased 737s. ATA's returns on assets increased.
The winner in the large airline category was Singapore Airlines Limited. Superior service held up at the airline as premium-fare business travel plummetted. SIA's margins were 50% above Australia's largest airline and 200% of that of JAL's. Singapore Airlines Limited scored the highest in productivity and financial health. The airline posted a S$604 000 000 net profit in FY01/02. However, asset (fleet) utilisation fell sharply due to 11 September 2001.
So to recap,
Most competitive small airline: EasyJet Group plc.
Most competitive medium-sized airline: American Trans Air (ATA)
Most competitive large airline: Singapore Airlines Limited.
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology.