Savage's background (linkedin profile here) was with easyjet and Monarch. She took some time in her speech to share three key differences between the Low Cost/New World Carrier market in Europe and Australia. They are:
- Number of competitors and low cost carriers: Compared to her time in Europe, Savage was intrigued to discover how concentrated market share was in Australia. This lack of competition was particularly acute for Savage when it came to LCCs. Europe is filled with point to point low cost carriers. Savage mentioned that her previous employer - Monarch - was a medium sized carrier (some 30 aircraft and 100 routes) but was also a profitable airline and of size enough to compete. In Australia, no matter how you measure the market, there a very limited number of competitors - on an absolute scale and relative to Europe;
- Number of secondary airports: Savage reminded us that the success of Ryanair was in no small part due to the use of secondary airports. In Australia there are virtually no secondary airports, forcing low cost and new world carriers to sit with the same airport cost base as the full service/premium carrier(s); and
- Need for an international network: European LCCs can survive and prosper on the back of point to point short haul. But given Australia's distance and market, a carrier must says Savage have an international network (either directly or a virtual one via alliances).