Friday, October 30, 2009

Airline passenger demand up slightly

IATA says load factors for passenger and cargo have returned to pre-crisis levels

Passenger demand increased 0.3% in September compared with the same month last year, according to the latest figures issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Demand for international cargo was 5.4% below September 2008 levels while load factors for passenger and cargo had returned to pre-crisis levels of 77.1% and 50.8% respectively, it said.

However, IATA said the “apparent” year-on-year improvements in demand were “misleading”.
“It is largely due to comparisons with an exceptionally weak September 2008 when traffic fell sharply (minus 2.9% for passenger and minus 7.7% for cargo),” it said in a statement.

“It is far too early to call this a recovery,” IATA director-general and chief executive officer Giovanni Bisignani said in the statement.

The worst might be over but yields continued to be a disaster and costs were rising, he said.
“The airline industry remains firmly in the red with a fragile business environment.”

IATA noted that passenger demand was now 5% better than the low point reached in March this year but 6% below the peak recorded in early 2008.

Asia-Pacific carriers recorded the most significant improvement, from minus 1.6% in August to 2.1% in September, it said.

In terms of scheduled cargo demand, cargo traffic was 12% above the December 2008 low point but remained 17% below the early 2008 peak.
In the statement, IATA also condemned the British air passenger duty hike, saying that it was the wrong response to the industry trauma.

From Nov 1, the British government will increase its air passenger duty to collect £2.5bil annually from air travellers in the name of the environment, it said.

“The £2.5bil is completely disproportionate to the £572mil that it would take to offset the entire carbon footprint of British aviation,” it noted.

Source : STAR
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