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Southeast Asia: The Golden Opportunity for Low Cost Carriers

The dynamic growth of economies in South-east Asia, currently brings golden opportunities to boost tourism and trade for all aviation players.

Research shows that ASEAN’s capacity shrunk significantly from 30% (2013) to 13% 2014. However, Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) made up approximately 60% of the total market and rising quicker than their full service carrier counterparts. With rapid growth of South-east Asia’s LCCs, leisure travel is in major demand for many passengers, so these airlines as the most active players in the region have a gained competitive advantage in comparison with premium travel.

South-east Asia’s low cost carrier fleet has passed the 600 aircraft mark as the region’s 23 LCCs added about 70 aircraft in 2015, resulting in 13% growth. The region’s LCC fleet has expanded by 50% in only three years, from 400 to just over 600 aircraft.

Indonesia's Lion Group continued to expand its fleet rapidly in 2015 as several of its rivals in South-east Asia slowed growth or restructured. Lion added 57 aircraft in 2015 –the highest figure ever – and ended the year with 236 aircraft. By doing so Lion has overcome Air Asia as the largest airline group in South-east Asia, increasing its fleet by 32% in 2015, while the Air Asia fleet shrank slightly. The Lion Group is expected to add a similar number of aircraft in 2016, further widening the gap.

Vietnam's two main airlines - Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet - are also performing well in terms of growth and route expansion. At the beginning 2016, Vietjet has announced the purchase of 12 new planes in addition to the 9 purchased last year, and expects their fleet to grow to 100 planes within five years. Noticeably, regarding to Vietnamese domestic market, Vietjet’s market share has dramatically grown from 29.4% (2014) to 36.2% (2015), which impacted negatively on Vietnam Airlines’ market share as it dropped from 56% (2014) to 47.1% (2015). This fact has improved the power of the low cost carrier in South-east Asia.

More interestingly, there is a large demand for pilots to supply the expansion of fleets throughout the region. Paul Osorio, Business Development Manager for Brookfield commented: “We receive new requirements for pilots from airlines in S.E. Asia every week. There has probably never been a better time for foreign captains and first officers to capitalise on the opportunities available for both jet and turboprop pilots”. The pilot training business is very strong too. By outsourcing pilot training, airlines are securing more efficient, cost-effective training programmes, with pilot training schools offering specific skills and expertise in the field.

According to Boeing, by 2034, 558,000 additional commercial pilots will be required to service expanding global fleets. South-east Asia’s remarkable expansion means a sizeable proportion of these pilots will be needed in the region.

Brookfield has on-going opportunities in South East Asia for pilots and engineers. We have been collaborating for a long time with Air Asia, Nok Air, Philippine Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air, Raya Airways and more. Currently, we have more than 1000 pilots on contract worldwide with a diversity of career opportunities for new Pilots throughout the world and with the best quality training and genuine opportunities for advancement. Check our latest vacancies.

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