Asia is the next frontier, when it comes to massive airline expansion. All the major cities in the Western world have been connected to each other by air. There is really not much growth possible in the West for new routes. Yes, there are new routes coming up connecting cities across continents, but not within them. The work is done. That is certainly not true in Asia. It is just beginning.
Million person cities
From Istanbul to Indonesia, Asia has more cities with a population of more than a million people, than the rest of the world put together. China and India alone have a 150 such cities. All of them are not yet connected to the rest of the world or to each other by air. This is the next frontier for airline growth. As reported on Bloomberg, mainly thru the Gulf carriers in the Dubai Air show and new Asian carriers thru the Singapore Air show, new aircraft orders for Asian carriers exceeded $200 Billion!
The New Asian carriers
The largest growth seen today is from carriers in the Gulf – Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, Saudia, Oman Air, to name a few. But the new unexpected growth is actually coming from brand new carriers in Asia – mostly Low Cost Carriers (LCC). THAI International has Smile. ANA has Vanilla Air AND Peach Aviation, Singapore has Tiger and Jet Airways has JetLite. And the growth has not stopped. Singapore Airlines and Tata Group in India is launching a new LCC in India.
These carriers are fueling the future growth of the airline sector in Asia and will be the next area of growth on the planet. Over the next decade or so, the Gulf airline will soon grow to capacity and go into a status quo of just replacing aging aircraft, like the Western carriers do today. For the new airlines in the Far East, the growth has just begun. With more than a third of population of the world now living between India and China, but having less than half as many aircraft serving them than serve the entire US, there is still a long way to go. What’s more, the population in these countries and those surrounding them in the rest of Asia, has not slowed growing either. According to Mckinsey, China will have 221 cities with a population of over a million by 2025! Footnote to compare – Europe has and will have only 35!
Have you travelled on one of these new Asian LCCs? Is there reason to ‘Smile’ with ‘Vanilla’ and ‘Peaches’? Leave a comment below and share your experiences.