"We are in a disastrous sequence for the customers first and then the travel agents, and I am calling on the authorities to stop this." On September 23rd, XL Airways boss did not hide his concern for the future of the air sector. Five days earlier, his company declared itself insolvent. Its liquidation was officially pronounced last Friday.
The plane of XL Airways are now grounded like those of Aigle Azur or Adria Airways, which operated flights between Zurich and Lugano, and whose bankruptcy was declared there are ten days. In eighteen months, more than fifteen airlines have gone out of business in Europe. The sector is more than ever weakened and passengers find themselves on the tarmac.
After the opening of many counters, the price war has brought down the most vulnerable companies in a context of increases in operating costs. "It's the small companies that are disappearing, the reason is that they often lack capital or their strategic positioning in the market is not clear enough, so in the future, there should be a concentration of activities." the economist Pascal Perri, specialist of the sector.
A concentration unnatural, according to the French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire who points the finger at Norwegian Airlines. "This company is in debt but has support from the Norwegian government, and that I can not accept because the rules of competition must be the same for all," he was indignant on September 29th.
Big companies favored
Pascal Perri confirms a real dumping situation: "Norwegian is engaged in a competition that is not fair.With its direct or indirect subsidies, this company charges prices below its production costs. has a responsibility in the weakening of the market of the regular companies ".
Long overcapacity, the European market comes out of an ultra-competitive period and cleans up gradually, says the economist: "Some small companies could still disappear.Finally, it will remain first of all large companies with a strong capacity to 'adapt to the market'. Large companies that could become even bigger with the opportunity to raise prices as they please.
>> The subject of 19:30:
Estelle Braconnier, Kevin Gertsch