Luisvalero
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IB to drop Malabo

Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:51 am

IB has stated that is going to drop Malabo route due to high fuel prices and lack of profitability. It's a pitty how IB is erasing it's presence in Africa.. it has dropped too ACC LOS LAD & CAI. I think IB has to consider a better strategy for Africa (like TAP), because it has a huge potencial there.

http://www.gacetadeguinea.com/noticia/1 ... orial.html
 
pzurita1
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:50 am

This is so sad at so many levels.

The article states that local government refuses to accept the financial reasons why IB is ceasing the route. Thye also demand the Spanish government to notify governmnet to government about a private company decision.

Ceiba Airlines, the competition refered by IB as one of the reasons for lack of profitabilty, has not been able to fly to Madrid whith their own metalin the last 6 months. If they do so they risk these a/c to be impounded due to a civil demand against the airline and Ecqustorial Guinea government. In fact, Ceiba has chartered IB metal to cover the route.

It seems Malabo will loose their services to Madrid altogether.
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jmmadrid
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:58 am

Sounds like an opportunity for Air Europa to add one more destination... They can probably do 3 times per week with their 737-800.
 
mmo
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:06 am

One of the problems of operating into places in Africa is recovering any revenue generated in that country. It becomes problematic in that the local governments want the funds to remain in country and insist the airline use the funds in the local economy. Also, you have to look at it from the position of could the asset generate a better return by being used on another destination.
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LupineChemist
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:39 am

It's so sad that the connection to the only Spanish-speaking African country (well if you want to be pedantic, Spain does have territory in Africa, but yeah) cannot be sustained. And so much is because of the corruption of the Obiang family. Just a sad story overall.
 
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Aisak
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:39 pm

LupineChemist wrote:
Spain does have territory in Africa, but yeah) cannot be sustained.


Yeah, Ceuta, Melilla and the Canary Islands, which makes me think about this other reply....

jmmadrid wrote:
Sounds like an opportunity for Air Europa to add one more destination... They can probably do 3 times per week with their 737-800.

Air Europa is statring some sort of hub in LPA. Now it's mainly for inter-islands, but as Canary Islands is part of Spain there's nothing to prevent them flying LPA-Malabo and use LPA as their gateway to Spain and Europe.
I think IB flew MAD-LPA-DKR in the past and Binter has several destinations (Agadir, Marrakech, Dakhla, Casablanca, Banjul, Nuakchot...) so there might be demand for Canaries-Mainland Africa flying.
 
jmmadrid
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:13 pm

Aisak wrote:

jmmadrid wrote:
Sounds like an opportunity for Air Europa to add one more destination... They can probably do 3 times per week with their 737-800.

Air Europa is statring some sort of hub in LPA. Now it's mainly for inter-islands, but as Canary Islands is part of Spain there's nothing to prevent them flying LPA-Malabo and use LPA as their gateway to Spain and Europe.

I think IB flew MAD-LPA-DKR in the past and Binter has several destinations (Agadir, Marrakech, Dakhla, Casablanca, Banjul, Nuakchot...) so there might be demand for Canaries-Mainland Africa flying.


Not a bad idea. BINTER have two Bombardiers CRJ-100 that they use to fly LPA-DKR and LPA-SID. Not sure if they can make it all the way to Malabo though.

However (and everything I say from now on is just gossip), the most "interesting" (and frequent) segment of fliers between Malabo and Madrid are the "aristocrats", wives and families of important military men, who fly very often to Madrid to go shopping, see the doctor, the dentist, eat out, and generally speaking, spend their hardly earned cash in long weekends in Madrid. These are the people who complained some years ago that IBERIA's 3x3 with a free middle seat business class was not "bussinessy" enough and made then reconfigure a number of 319s with a more decent Business Class.

If this is the case, I don´t think that this crowd will be happy with a long-ish economy class flight on a regional jet to LPA just to connect to an IBERIA Express super light (I don't want to say super-trashy) Business Class to MAD.

Bear in mind that for the remaining 99% of the ecuatoguinean population, it is irrelevant which airline flies there with how many stops and if it's an Emirates 380 because they simply cannot afford it. As from the passengers that originate in Spain, they are very few and I don't think it's a market that can be easily stimulated.
 
a350lover
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:14 am

I guess all airlines have one/several routes which are more subjected to historical bonds between the two sides and this is certainly one of them. Iberia added Malabo back in 1966, and it has been part of its network even through the bad times of the restructuration back in the last economy recession in 2008. Back then Iberia dropped Johannesburg, Luanda and Lagos.

I agree with others Africa is a big business. Though hard to get much profit from. Politics is a bit of an issue there, which states which do not offer much stability to businesses, local currencies which fluctuate much from time to time, and demand just prompted by high-class populations (little), again politics, and business pax.

Out of all of Iberia markets in Africa, Malabo is one of the fields which offer the least level of competitors with just AF and LH remaining there. This may be explained by poor demand which is more than covered by the strong networks that both of these airlines put on offer.
Iberia dropped other routes like Havana and Montevideo back in 2012, but these are places which have much more potential and have been added back soon. Malabo certainly won’t be the case.

The Spanish airline is remarkably strong in South America despite new competition being added. You would have never imagined airlines like KLM flying to places such as Cartagena, so Iberia needs to strengthen its presence there, so that they can remain winner.

Africa is still too weak for airlines like Iberia.
 
LH658
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:39 pm

I think they speak spanish in Malabo? It also could be due to oil and gas.
 
dcajet
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:49 am

LH658 wrote:
I think they speak spanish in Malabo? It also could be due to oil and gas.


Spanish is spoken in Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony known as Spanish Guinea. And yes, there is oil and gas.
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LH658
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:48 am

I meant say, the demand could be drop due to weak oil and gas. I am pretty sure more Energy traveler are Star or Sky team members, usually BA does good job covering O&G routes. I am pretty sure someone wouldn't want to fly YYC - LHR - MAD - SSG vs YYC - FRA - SSG.
 
Cunard
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:04 am

You definitely seem 'sure' on a lot things but wasn't sure about the fact that Spanish wasn't spoken in the former Spanish colony of Equatorial (Spanish) Guinee :-)
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airbazar
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:43 pm

jmmadrid wrote:
However (and everything I say from now on is just gossip), the most "interesting" (and frequent) segment of fliers between Malabo and Madrid are the "aristocrats", wives and families of important military men, who fly very often to Madrid to go shopping, see the doctor, the dentist, eat out, and generally speaking, spend their hardly earned cash in long weekends in Madrid. These are the people who complained some years ago that IBERIA's 3x3 with a free middle seat business class was not "bussinessy" enough and made then reconfigure a number of 319s with a more decent Business Class.

I'm sure some of it is true but the majority of the traffic on this route is oil and gas business traffic.
a350lover wrote:
Out of all of Iberia markets in Africa, Malabo is one of the fields which offer the least level of competitors with just AF and LH remaining there.

That's a pretty big "just" for such a tiny destination :)
The reality is that the market is very, very small and heavily dependent on oil and gas traffic and IB doesn't offer connections to Houston via MAD.
I don't believe that Spanish energy companies have a presence in Malabo any more, or if they do it's extremely small.
 
a350lover
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:52 pm

airbazar wrote:
That's a pretty big "just" for such a tiny destination :)
The reality is that the market is very, very small and heavily dependent on oil and gas traffic and IB doesn't offer connections to Houston via MAD.
I don't believe that Spanish energy companies have a presence in Malabo any more, or if they do it's extremely small.


Indeed! I totally agree. That's why I pointed it out. Both of them have extensive networks from their hubs in FRA and CDG, plus they fly into SSG with long-haul aircrafts, which make them a lot more competitive. On top of that, the J product is/looks like quite more premium surely.
 
TWA902fly
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:35 pm

The biggest foreign energy companies doing business in Equatorial Guinea are;

Marathon Oil (Houston, USA)
GEPetrol (head office in London, HQ in Malabo)
Noble Energy (Houston, USA)
Mitsui Group (Tokyo, Japan)
Kosmos Energy (Dallas, Texas)

So... there is not a Spanish company, and Iberia offers no one-stop connectivity other than to Tokyo and Dallas, and even in that case, Mitsui appears to be the smallest of the foreign companies % of investment wise, while Marathon appears to be the biggest. I hope that puts in perspective why IB had a disadvantage compared to LH and AF. Although, at the same time you'd think it'd be easier to fill an A319 than an A330, but at the same time maybe the business travelers have requirements for lie-flat J class, which IB did not offer.

'902
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FlyingSicilian
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:18 am

SonAir used to run one of their Houston Express flights to Luanda from IAH via Malabo but it was pulled some time ago.

Houston actually has one of Equatorial Guinea's only consulates in the world just for the oil and gas market basically.
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FlyingSicilian
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:35 am

TWA902fly wrote:
The biggest foreign energy companies doing business in Equatorial Guinea are;

Marathon Oil (Houston, USA)
GEPetrol (head office in London, HQ in Malabo)
Noble Energy (Houston, USA)
Mitsui Group (Tokyo, Japan)
Kosmos Energy (Dallas, Texas)

So... there is not a Spanish company, and Iberia offers no one-stop connectivity other than to Tokyo and Dallas, and even in that case, Mitsui appears to be the smallest of the foreign companies % of investment wise, while Marathon appears to be the biggest. I hope that puts in perspective why IB had a disadvantage compared to LH and AF. Although, at the same time you'd think it'd be easier to fill an A319 than an A330, but at the same time maybe the business travelers have requirements for lie-flat J class, which IB did not offer.

'902


And I forget to mention, in addition to my post above, GEpetrol has a small presence in Houston and Mitsui Group has a fairly large energy office in Houston. Not to mention PetroAfrica with offices in Houston, London, and Malabo. Energy is a HUGE driver of business traffic with much of it to London and Houston.

AF/KLM and LH (along with UA and BA) are huge players in corporate travel x-IAH for energy companies in addition to their own corporate fleets which routinely fly to Malabo and other far flung destinations.

IB would seem to have had a better chance at whatever "historic ties" traffic there was, which wast not be enough to sustain the route.
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aemoreira1981
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:03 am

This really shows that there may be a need for European carriers to have at least an A321 fleet with a true international J product (similar to the BA A321 Club World frames). An A321 with the A330 hard product might be what is needed for smaller Africa destinations as well as to TLV. An A319 without a true intercontinental J just won't work.

Something else I'm surprised hasn't been tried, although they may not have enough wide-bodies to make it work: AT to IAH to offer a connection in Casablanca to support the oil industry...B788 to IAH and then on the triangular AT539 CMN-LBV-SSG-CMN route, currently served 3x weekly. This could be especially done if AT were to join oneworld, with either QR or AA as a sponsor.

As for CEIBA (operated by White), CS-TQX has been tracked flying MAD-SSG, and so I would believe that that debt has been resolved.
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:11 am

I wonder how relationships are between "Ecuatoguineanos" and Spaniards in the first place. That kind of comes into the game also sometimes, if members of the two groups like each other or not...although I know of British and French people , as an example, that don't like each other yet Paris-london is one of the most desriable routes worldwide...and some Americans don't like Mexicans and vice-versa and again the USA_Mexico air market is healthy...I just wonder if in the case of Spain and Guinea Equatorial that might come in play a bit.
 
lhrsfosyd
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:25 am

Agree, A321 NEO would be suitable at IB and could be used to Middle East/West Africa.
 
Kadish
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:01 am

AntonioMartin wrote:
I wonder how relationships are between "Ecuatoguineanos" and Spaniards in the first place. That kind of comes into the game also sometimes, if members of the two groups like each other or not...although I know of British and French people , as an example, that don't like each other yet Paris-london is one of the most desriable routes worldwide...and some Americans don't like Mexicans and vice-versa and again the USA_Mexico air market is healthy...I just wonder if in the case of Spain and Guinea Equatorial that might come in play a bit.


Spanish people hardly think or know who or where ecuatoguineanos are. It was a former colony....maybe they closing the route to put the metal in a more profitable route. If it were a loss money maker they would not think too much..

As said before with the lack of lie flat beds in IB 319 IMO has nothing to do, the flight is around 4 hours if I’m not wrong..to LON,Paris...u need to add 2 more hours in that case it makes more sense.

I agree with the idea of having a new fleet of 321neo with a proper business class so they could cover most places in Africa and become a real player.
 
Cunard
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:07 am

AntonioMartin wrote:
I wonder how relationships are between "Ecuatoguineanos" and Spaniards in the first place. That kind of comes into the game also sometimes, if members of the two groups like each other or not...although I know of British and French people , as an example, that don't like each other yet Paris-london is one of the most desriable routes worldwide...and some Americans don't like Mexicans and vice-versa and again the USA_Mexico air market is healthy...I just wonder if in the case of Spain and Guinea Equatorial that might come in play a bit.


Your generalising aren't you in a very big way and an old fashioned view of the world as well!

The British don't generally dislike the French as with other countries your get a few saying this or saying that but it all boils down to history and the younger generation definitely don't think like that it's ridiculous to think otherwise, same applies to other countries such as Mexico and the USA. (Although there are some bad asses weirdo right wing Trump voting racists living in the USA that might say otherwise)

The London to Paris air links are a fraction of what they previously were with the EUROSTAR being the leader in that market by a huge percentage.

Modern day Spain has no real significance with their former Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinee and I don't think that it plays to much into Spanish history but this move by Iberia is all down to the recent decline in the worlds oil and gas industry not about having good relationships.
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a350lover
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Re: IB to drop Malabo

Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:23 pm

They have finally confirmed IBE's last flight to SSG will take off on the 22nd of January.

Apart from the obvious reasons regarding the lack of business traffic to EG due the recent decline in the oil and gas business, I am sure this was one of the least effective crew rotations in IBE's network. With only 3x weekly flights there, the layover there was way longer than management wanted

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