By John McDermott
The AirlineGeeks Podcast Episode 23: Airlines Under Pressure
Thank you for reading the AirlineGeeks Podcast Recap. This article gives a brief look at last week’s episode of our news podcast. For our full analysis of each of these stories, you can listen to The AirlineGeeks Podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or through our distributor, Anchor.
We start our episode with a look at the aviation industry in South America. It’s been a while since we’ve discussed the region, so we took a bit of time to inspect what governments are doing to combat the coronavirus crisis and how plans have changed over time. We also consider where different airlines are in their recovery – again considering restraints from governments – and predict where they might be in the coming months. Considering all the recent airline mergers and bankruptcies in the region, we take a special look at some low-cost carriers and what their futures might be like as they weather the Coronavirus crisis.
Next, we move to Europe, where Norwegian Air has revealed it is facing severe financial struggles. The carrier received a bailout from Norway’s government at the start of the crisis, but Norway has confirmed it will likely not offer Norwegian Air more money even as the airline faces record low traffic that has forced it to constantly downsize throughout the crisis. Norwegian estimates that it might not survive through the Winter 2021 season, and after recording it filed for bankruptcy protection in Ireland – confirmation that it is truly on its last leg. We theorize what the future holds for Norwegian and other long-haul-low-cost airlines as well as what impact an impending coronavirus vaccine may have on the airline.
Last, we move to South Korea, where we have learned that Korean Air, the flag carrier of South Korea, is set to purchase a majority stake in Asiana Airlines, the second-largest airline in the country. The deal comes as both airlines are facing ongoing struggles related to the coronavirus, though it should be noted that Asiana’s cargo arm did turn a profit last quarter, a sign that it is still a viable business. We discuss the future of the two airlines with the deal in mind and again touch on an impending vaccine and the impact it could have on the two airlines. We consider the steps Korean Air took to be able to acquire Asiana as well as a previous deal for Asiana that fell through after the Coronavirus reached South Korea.
We hope you’ll listen to the podcast episode, linked above, for more in-depth analysis of each of these stories. Monitor our page on your favorite streaming service each Friday to hear the latest episode just as it’s published – at 12 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time each week. Feel free to leave a comment sharing your thoughts on this week’s episode.