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Old March 14th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #21
hkskyline
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Big airlines fare badly in industry tell-all report
Murray Bailey
14 March 2005
South China Morning Post

For the second year running, the Association of European Airlines (AEA) has produced an annual report where member airlines list their flight delays and baggage mishandling.

AEA does not want this to be treated as a ranking of the best and worst airlines, but it is unfortunately inevitable.

The only sizeable airline on the "best" list was SAS-Scandinavian for on-time arrivals, which it also achieved last year. The overall winner was another Nordic airline, Finnair.

The "worst" list included a few big airlines - Air France, British Airways and KLM (which all made the list in both reports).

Note, however, some AEA members (including Aer Lingus and Virgin Airlines) don't provide data - raising suspicions that they have something to hide.

Also, it seems difficult to believe Icelandair's (and Air Malta's in 2003) 100 per cent flight regularity - the percentage of flights performed as planned. Particularly because both airlines also figured in the "worst" list for late arrivals or departures. An integrity check is perhaps in order.

In the meantime, could Asia's equivalent to AEA - the Kuala Lumpur-based Association of Asia Pacific Airlines - match this for the region's airlines? And would the airlines dare to tell all?

In the past, Hong Kong was a world champion in terms of the amount of money visitors spent in the city on a per-person basis. Those times, it seems, have long gone.

The latest available data shows that even Thailand takes in more dollars from its visitors.

This is partly because visitors stay a shorter time in Hong Kong than in a destination such as Thailand - less than four days for the former compared to around 10 for the latter. The good news, however, is that spending growth in Hong Kong last year was fast.

Among its main competitors, Hong Kong's spending growth was about the same as in Australia and the mainland, but faster than Singapore and Thailand.

All regional airports reported fast growth last year, but Guangzhou looked likely to beat Hong Kong in the final tally.

Over the first 11 months, Hong Kong had 39.1 per cent growth in passengers compared with 38 per cent at Guangzhou. However, the new airport serving Guangdong's capital saw faster growth later in the year.

Hong Kong residents seem to be increasingly reluctant to take trips to destinations other than the mainland, according to indications from the latest figures.

Although the number of travellers from Hong Kong (excluding the mainland) grew 13 per cent last year, much of it was recovery from declines in the two previous years.

Also, the rate of growth was much slower than for the other major travel markets in the region which ranged between 25 and 30 per cent each for Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

Final results from the mainland are not yet available, but its growth will have been the region's strongest at about 50 per cent last year and reaching a total of 30 million departures.

However, there is some mystery about how much money is spent by those travellers.

The World Tourism Organisation puts Hong Kong's total quite high at US$11 billion - higher than for both Korea and Taiwan, even though they have a higher traveller count.

The spending figure looks too high if based on travellers to destinations other than the mainland (US$2,200 per trip), but too low if travel to the mainland is included (under US$400). Also looking low is the total spending on international travel by mainland travellers; the organisation says it totalled US$15.2 billion in 2003.

Macau may have assumed it would be the first choice for gambling tourism by mainlanders, but there are challengers.

Two doing big business with mainland gamblers are Myanmar and the Philippines - but a long way from their capitals.

In Myanmar, the gambling centre is Mongla in northeast Shan state on the border with China's Yunnan province.

In the Philippines, it is Laoag in the north, where former president Ferdinand Marcos was born, and where he built an ill-fated international airport.

Both areas have been transformed by casinos with gamblers from the mainland, although Laoag also has a sizeable portion hailing from Taiwan.

Mongla gets an average 1,000 visitors daily from the mainland while Laoag gets four charter flights daily.

Compiled by Murray Bailey, research director and editor, Travel Business Analyst
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Old March 19th, 2005, 06:59 AM   #22
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Number of world commercial aviation deaths falls to just over 400

MONTREAL, March 15 (AFP) - The number of people killed in commercial aviation accidents in 2004 dropped to just over 400, compared to 700 the year before, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) said Tuesday.

There were nine fatal accidents among regularly scheduled carriers last year, taking the lives of 203 passengers, compared to seven accidents which killed 466 people the year before.

Charter firms were involved in 18 fatal accidents which killed 207 people in 2004, 10 fewer deaths than in 2003.

The ICAO also collated statistics for people killed by acts of terrorism and sabotage in the aviation industry.

In 2004, 91 people were killed and 8 injured in 16 incidents, mainly in the mid-air explosion of two Russian planes claimed by Islamic extremists.
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Old April 5th, 2005, 04:03 AM   #23
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IATA has plan to save airlines billions

NEW YORK, April 4 (Reuters) - Cutting-edge technology that would lower costs for airlines and make travel easier for passengers is exactly what the ailing airline industry needs, International Air Transport Association chief Giovanni Bisignani said at a conference on Monday.

At the Airfinance conference in New York, Bisignani offered a bleak outlook for the airline industry - forecasting it would lose $5.5 billion in 2005 - but said the implementation and standardization of new technology should save airlines close to $10 billion a year.

"With the drastically deteriorating profits in the airline industry, we have to be proactive about returning to profitability," Bisignani told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the conference.

The IATA, an industry group that co-ordinates aviation rules and standards, calls its new plan "Simplifying the Business," and is made up of four main parts.

The first part, which would save the industry $3 billion a year, eliminates paper tickets by the end of 2007.

Globally, electronic tickets account for only 35 percent of all tickets issued, up from 10 percent in 2001.

The IATA, which alone sells over 300 million paper tickets a year, expects 40 percent of its tickets to be electronic in 2005, up from 19 percent in 2004.

The second and third parts will standardize electronic boarding passes and self-service kiosks, both of which would allow usage over multiple airlines.

The fourth part -- and the one that will likely take the longest and cost the most -- revolves around standardizing the process of switching baggage labels to wireless tags from printed bar codes, based on radio-frequency identification technology.

Of the 1.5 billion bags carried by commercial flights each year, about 0.7 percent get lost or misplaced. Dealing with the process costs an airline about $100 per bag, Giovanni said. "The implementation of this process might cost them something, but they will benefit from the return of investment - monetarily, as well as from customer goodwill."

The accuracy of printed bar-codes can be as low as 80 percent, as crumpled or torn labels are misread by machines that process bags, but RFID tags have accuracy rates higher than 95 percent, according to the IATA.

But Delta Air Lines , the first U.S. carrier to test the technology, said it has "indefinitely deferred" the testing due to a cash crunch.

"This kind of technology requires a multi-year investment before it would begin to pay for itself," Delta spokesman Anthony Black said in an interview. "And in our current operating environment, such projects are low on our priority list, and are being deferred for projects that have quicker returns."

Frontier Airlines Chief Financial Officer Paul Tate also said the airline would not invest in any technology that was not already proven to make returns. "I would think all low-cost carriers would feel this way," he said in an interview at the sidelines of the conference.

But KLM Airlines and Japan Airlines have tested RFID baggage-tagging on the route from Schipol, Amsterdam, to Narita, Japan, and another trial at Montreal Airport tested a process that generates RFID tags at kiosks, allowing self-service check-in for passengers with bags to check.

In keeping with the efforts to lower airlines' costs, Giovanni is also seeking independent regulators for airports and air traffic control operations, who, he says, charge airlines "way too much" for their services. Airlines spend $40 billion on such services every year.

Bisignani also said governments must stop passing national security costs to airlines and passengers. Airlines have paid $5.6 billion in additional security costs since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, he said.

"Three and a half years after September 11, security is tough, but the system is still a mess. And airlines and customers get the $5 billion bill for the resulting inefficiency."
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Old April 5th, 2005, 04:05 AM   #24
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31 March 2005
IATA Release
February Traffic Growth Slows in Line with Projections -Asia Recovers from Tsunami Impact

Data : http://www.iata.org/pressroom/indust...5-03-29-01.htm

(Geneva) "February traffic growth gave mixed signals. A slowing of global economic activity saw passenger traffic fall to 6.6% year-on-year from the 7.9% reported in January. The good news is that the resilience of air travel was once again demonstrated in the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami. Growth for Asian carriers returned to normal levels, partially boosted by Chinese New Year travel," said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

February passenger traffic growth of 6.6% brought year-to-date passenger growth to 7.3%. All regions reported positive growth with the Middle East and Latin America being the strongest performers. Asia Pacific largely recovered from the impacts of Tsunami, posting a 7.9% year-on-year increase for February.

Cargo slumped by 0.9% in February, although year-to-date figures maintained positive growth of 6.5%. Weaker global economic activity and a slump in Chinese imports during the Chinese New Year period are largely to blame for this.

Year-to-date load factors remained high at 72.7%. Latin American and North America led with average load factors at 74.7% and 74.8% respectively for the January-February period.

The cost of fuel continued to rise in February, mitigating the positive impacts of both growth and careful capacity management. "If the average price of oil settles at US$43 per barrel (Brent) for the year the total cost of fuel to the industry will exceed US$73 billion. Clearly 2005 will be another year of industry losses, despite aggressive airline cost cutting," said Bisignani.

"Consolidation in European aviation last week was a small but important step in the right direction for the industry. But we need governments that are not afraid of taking big steps that will fundamentally change the structure of the industry," said Bisignani.

"The return of a discussion on the North Atlantic Open Aviation Area to the industry's agenda is a golden opportunity for the US and Europe to lead change with liberalisation. A modern set of rules that gives airlines the freedom to do business like real businesses—without the constraints of archaic bilateral rules and ownership restrictions—has never been more important to the health of our industry," said Bisignani.
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Old April 5th, 2005, 10:43 AM   #25
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Airline profits hit by oil price


High oil prices could cost airlines £2.9bn ($5.5bn) this year and cause business failures, the International Air Transport Association has warned.

At the AirFinance conference in New York on Monday, IATA said that total losses for the industry could be as high as $40bn from 2001 to 2005.

The forecast 2005 loss is based on an average price for Brent Crude of $43 a barrel. On Monday, Brent hit $57.10.

The high costs threaten the survival of several airlines, especially in the US.

Risky business

United Airlines and US Airways are still trying to emerge from bankruptcy protection.


Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive of IATA, told the conference the air transport industry was "fragmented, constrained and quite frankly in many places a disaster".

However, he suggested a number of measures could improve the situation. He said governments should reduce regulation for the airlines but increase it for the monopolies they are forced to use, such as airports and air traffic control systems.

"We see record profits at airports, when airlines have record losses," Mr Bisignani said.

"Airlines do the flying and everybody else makes the money."

He also argued that governments should cut taxes for airlines, which despite their difficulties in making money are seeing passenger traffic rise six per cent a year.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4411169.stm
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Old April 6th, 2005, 02:23 AM   #26
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April 6, 2005
IATA unveils plan to help airlines save $16b a year
Carriers urged to invest in cutting-edge technology

NEW YORK - THINGS look grim again for the global airline industry, and what is needed is cutting-edge technology to lower costs for airlines and make travel easier for passengers.

'With the drastically deteriorating profits in the airline industry, we have to be pro-active about returning to profitability,' said International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief Giovanni Bisignani.

The IATA, which coordinates aviation rules and standards, said the industry faces losses of up to US$5.5 billion (S$9.2 billion) this year, due mainly to rising fuel costs.

Airlines, which spent US$63 billion on fuel last year, are projected to spend US$76 billion this year, based on an oil price of US$43 per barrel.

Mr Bisignani said the industry lost US$35 billion between 2001 and last year because of high oil prices, low traffic volumes, intense competition and high operating costs.

But the IATA chief said his association's plan for the implementation and standardisation of new technology should save airlines close to US$10 billion (S$16.7 billion) a year.

The plan has four main parts.

The first calls for eliminating paper tickets by the end of 2007.

The IATA said this alone would save the industry US$3 billion a year.

Globally, electronic tickets account for only 35 per cent of all tickets issued, up from 10 per cent in 2001.

The second and third parts will standardise electronic boarding passes and self-service kiosks, both of which would allow usage over multiple airlines.

The fourth part - the one that will likely take the longest and cost the most - revolves around standardising the process of switching baggage labels from printed barcodes to wireless tags that use radio-frequency identification technology (RFID).

Of the 1.5 billion bags carried by commercial flights each year, 0.7 per cent get lost or are misplaced.

Dealing with the process costs about US$100 per bag, Mr Giovanni said.

'The implementation of this process might cost them something, but they will benefit from the return of investment - monetarily, as well as from customer goodwill.'

Accuracy in identifying bags by barcodes can be as low as 80 per cent, as crumpled or torn labels are misread by machines that process bags, but RFID tags have accuracy rates higher than 95 per cent, according to the IATA.

But the first American airline to test the technology, Delta Air Lines, said it had 'indefinitely deferred' further testing due to a cash crunch.

'In our current operating environment, such projects are low on our priority list,' Delta spokesman Anthony Black said.

Frontier Airlines is also not planning to invest in any technology that was not already proven to make returns, said its chief financial officer Paul Tate.

'I would think all low-cost carriers would feel this way,' he said.

KLM Airlines and Japan Airlines have tested RFID tagging on the Schipol-Narita route, and Montreal Airport is testing RFID kiosks that allow self-service check-ins for passengers with bags to check.

Mr Bisignani also wants independent regulators for airports and air-traffic control operations, who, he says, charge airlines 'way too much'.

Airlines spend US$40 billion on such services every year.

The IATA added that governments must stop passing national security costs to airlines and passengers.

'Three and a half years after Sept 11, security is tough, but the system is still a mess.

'And airlines and customers get the US$5 billion bill for the resulting inefficiency.' \-- REUTERS

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 05:08 PM   #27
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Business Times - 06 Apr 2005

Airline industry's fragile recovery under threat

But Asian carriers seen better placed than American airlines in face of rising oil prices

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Spiralling oil prices could wreck the global airline industry's fragile recovery and destroy some carriers, particularly in North America. But Asia-Pacific players seem better placed to ride out any storm.

Analysts and industry insiders see stormy skies ahead as jet fuel prices keep soaring in line with crude oil, which has gone up 50 per cent this year.

'It's getting scary,' a Singapore-based airline executive said yesterday. 'We are way beyond our break-even levels.'

Giovanni Bisignani, Director-General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, warned this week that global airlines could lose a total of US$5.5 billion this year. And that's a conservative estimate.

Mr Bisignani told an air finance conference in New York that the industry's fuel bill - which climbed from US$44 billion in 2003 to US$63 billion last year - will be around US$76 billion based on an average oil price of US$43 a barrel.

But oil prices have already soared way above this mark. Benchmark Brent crude this week hit record highs of US$58 in New York.

'The high price of fuel is robbing our profitability,' Mr Bisignani said. 'We have lost our balance as an industry.'

A US$5.5 billion loss this year would take the global airline industry's accumulated 2001-05 losses to more than US$40 billion.

US and European players are seen as most at risk - but Asian airlines won't go unscathed.

After chalking up a combined profit of more than US$3 billion last year, they could see earnings flatten - or fall - this year. But buoyant passenger traffic means they won't go into the red.

'We are bullish despite higher fuel costs,' said Peter Harbison of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa). 'Asia-Pac will be lower this year if fuel prices stay up, but will still be very much in the black.'

Indeed, analysts seem to be in no hurry to rejig their profit forecasts for regional carriers. 'We are watching the situation,' said Seah Hiang Hong of Kim Eng Research. 'Who knows, oil prices can recede just as sharply.'

Mr Seah expects Singapore Airlines - where fuel accounts for 25-30 per cent of total operating costs - to earn about $1.36 billion in its current financial year ending March 2006. SIA made a $1.1 billion profit for the nine months to end-December 2004.

The region's other big player, Australia's Qantas, expects to post a record annual profit this financial year, beating last year's A$964.6 million (S$1.2 billion), which was itself a record.

At ground level, the question now seems to be when - not whether - SIA, Qantas and others around the region raise their fuel surcharges.

Olivia Wong, Singapore country manager for Cathay Pacific, says her airline has no immediate plans on this front. 'But it's tough,' she said.

'Fuel is one of the costs we can't control. And our fuel surcharge doesn't even cover half of the rise in the fuel price. I guess we just have to find smarter ways of doing business,' Ms Wong added.

Fuel accounts for a quarter of Cathay's total expenditure, and every one US cent rise in the price of a gallon adds HK$60 million to operating costs.

For SIA, every one per cent rise in fuel depresses profit 1.5 per cent. But chief executive Chew Choon Seng said last month the airline will only raise its fuel surcharges if fuel prices rise more than US$10 a barrel.

'We last reviewed our fuel surcharge at the end of last year. I do not foresee any immediate adjustment to the fuel surcharge,' he said.

But fuel has risen almost US$20 since the start of last month.

SIA introduced fuel surcharges in June 2004 and raised them five months later in November. It now charges $4 a ticket from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, $10 to other Asian destinations and $22 a ticket for flights elsewhere.

The only good news is that regional carriers are expected to benefit from 20-25 per cent air passenger traffic growth in the region this year.

'The growth in Asia-Pacific markets and the still-privileged position that the national flag carriers hold means that they should perform well again in 2005,' Capa's Mr Harbison said. 'That assumes no major shocks - and that fuel prices stabilise and decline over the year.'

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 05:54 PM   #28
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Date: 04 April 2005
Rebalancing the Air Transport Industry
- US$5.5 billion Industry Loss Expected for 2005

IATA Press Release

(New York) "The high price of fuel is robbing our profitability," said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association at the opening of the AirFinance conference in New York. "The fuel bill has risen from US$44 billion in 2003, US$63 billion last year. If oil averages at US$43 per barrel (Brent) for 2005, the bill will be US$76 billion. And that would leave us with an industry loss of US$5.5 billion for 2005 and over US$40 billion for the period 2001-2005," said Bisignani.

"We have lost our balance as an industry. Change is critical," said Bisignani.

"We cannot live with the half-measures and contradictions of the past. Governments intensified airline competition without effective regulation of monopoly suppliers that account for 10% of operating costs. The cost of labour as a percentage of operating costs ranges from 18% in Asia to 38% in the US. And it has been stubbornly difficult to reduce. So it is result of tremendous hard work at restructuring and re-engineering their businesses that airlines have reduced non-fuel unit costs by 2-3% annually," said Bisignani.

Bisignani outlined a vision for change that involves airlines, governments and the industry's monopoly suppliers—airports and air navigation service providers.

"Everybody has a role to play. Airlines must Simplify the Business by eliminating complex processes that are expensive but add no value to our customer. Industry-wide e-ticketing alone will save US$3 billion in costs each year. Our monopoly partners—airports and air navigation service providers—cost us US$40 billion a year. They must understand the need for gains in cost efficiency and deliver measurable results," said Bisignani.

Bisignani singled out governments for adding costs to the industry,

"Deregulation was meant to foster competition and lower the cost of air travel. But governments continue to milk the industry for taxes and charges that are at the levels of alcohol and tobacco. In the US, the average tax charged on a US$200 ticket has increased from 7% in 1972 to 26% in 2004—or US$ 15.8 billion. Moreover, we cannot accept the US$ 5.6 billion global cost burden for security that governments are passing annually to the industry. Governments must take responsibility and pay for national security," said Bisignani.

Bisignani challenged governments to take a different approach with air transport.

"We have nationalistic rules for businesses that compete globally. And, in place of a strong vision and leadership for our industry's future, governments micro-manage and mis-regulate. In Europe alone, mis-regulation and micro-management cost the industry EUR 5.9 billion each year. We need modern rules that will allow us the same freedoms that other global businesses take for granted. Ownership and control rules that restrict access to global capital are of a different age. We need to run our businesses like real businesses. Markets and competition must shape the future of our industry, not the 60 year-old bilateral system," said Bisignani.

Bisignani drew a comparison between a deregulated telecommunications industry and aviation.

"Both of these industries have importance as strategic components of a nation's infrastructure. For both, deregulation resulted in declining yields in excess of 30% between 1991 and 2004. But the playing fields are completely different. The telecom industry has access to global capital, facilitating cross-border mergers. Customers are well-served and the companies are financially healthy. Air transport is fragmented, constrained and, as a result, a financial disaster in many places. Governments agreed on progressive liberalisation through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It is time for government leadership to implement the vision," said Bisignani.

Urgent action is needed.

"The livelihood of 28 million people in aviation and aviation related activities and US$1.8 trillion of economic activity are at stake. Governments must act quickly in areas that are their responsibility and then get out of the way. We need to get on with business," concluded Bisignani.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #29
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Business Times - 12 Apr 2005

Discount airlines make great strides

Number of budget flights doubles in four years worldwide

(TOULOUSE) Low-cost airlines operate one out of every eight flights worldwide, doubling the number four years ago and putting increased pressure on full-service carriers.

Discount airlines such as Ryanair Holdings in Europe, JetBlue Airways in the US and AirAsia Bhd in Asia account for 12 per cent of all scheduled flights and 15 per cent of all available seats, according to figures released in a statement yesterday from the Official Airline Guide (OAG).

The rising competition helped contribute to a combined US$9.2 billion in losses last year for US network carriers and to consolidation among European airlines.

Southwest Airlines, the world's largest low-cost carrier, has never reported a loss and earned US$313 million last year. Discount airlines JetBlue, AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines were profitable as well.

'The low-cost phenomenon continues to break all records,' said Duncan Alexander, managing director of business development at the airline guide, based in Bedfordshire, the UK. Compared with this time last year, low-fare airlines are this month operating 19 per cent more flights, and offering 20 per cent more seats.'

The global number of flights now exceeds those from the first quarter of 2001, before the Sept 11 terrorist attacks battered demand for air travel, the OAG said.

The world's airlines will operate more than 2.27 million flights this month. That is 111,000 more than a year ago and 45,000 more flights than in April 2001.

This month, the airlines will have a potential 260 million available seats for sale, the organisation said.

Low-cost airlines will account for just shy of 300,000 flights, or about 38 million available seats.

Discount airlines accounted for only for 6 per cent of the world's flights and 8 per cent of available seats in April 2001, according to the guide, which tracks flight details for 1,000 airlines and about 3,500 airports.

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are showing the fastest growth for discount airlines, the guide said. In Europe, there are 24 per cent more budget flights today than in April last year.

Air France bought KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in May 2004 and Swiss International Air Lines last month agreed to be acquired by Deutsche Lufthansa AG in takeovers that were in part attributed to the increased expansion of the low-cost carriers.

In the US, where the discount airline industry first got started, the number of flights has increased 12 per cent from a year earlier.

Since April 2001, the low-cost airlines have boosted their share of the US market to 17 per cent from 12 per cent. - Bloomberg

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #30
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IATA Head Says Fuel Cost May Put Some Airlines In Trouble
12 April 2005

TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Continued rises in oil prices could put some airlines in serious jeopardy as surcharges and fare hikes will never be enough to cover spikes in operational costs, the head of a global aviation industry body said Tuesday.

"We'll seem some airlines going through very, very difficult moments because of fuel," if prices continue to rise through the summer, International Air Transport Association Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani said at the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Japan.

Some airlines have extremely limited defenses against rising fuel costs as it is practically impossible to keep raising fuel surcharges or fares due to stiff industry competition, Bisignani said.

"The problem is that we have too much capacity," he said.

The IATA estimates that the airline industry's fuel bill grew to $63 billion in 2004 from $43 billion in 2003. If the average price of Brent fuel for this year is $43 per barrel, the bill will further increase to $76 billion in 2005, Bisignani said.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 05:18 AM   #31
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Delta reinstates Atlanta-Rio daily service

Samba Time! Delta Begins Atlanta - Rio de Janeiro Service October 1
Wednesday April 13, 10:10 am ET

Delta Air Lines' new daily service from Atlanta to Rio de Janeiro, beginning Oct. 1.
Delta plans to serve Rio daily from Atlanta with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, carrying 204 passengers in a two-class configuration.

"Customers now have more choices to fly directly to either of Brazil's two largest cities -- Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo -- from Delta's convenient Latin American gateway in Atlanta," said James Sarvis, director-Latin America and Caribbean. "International markets are growing in customer demand, and Brazil represents a very attractive and strategic tourist and business destination for travelers. Delta is pleased to be adding service to this rapidly growing market as we expand our international destinations."
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Old April 29th, 2005, 12:04 AM   #32
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IATA: March Intl Airline Passenger Traffic +12.1% On Yr
28 April 2005

LONDON (Dow Jones)--International scheduled airline passenger traffic in March 2005 was up 12.1% from a year earlier while cargo traffic showed a 0.8% rise, The International Air Transport Association said Thursday.

The passenger load factor in the month was 75.0%, IATA said.

Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA, said airlines are still facing a difficult year.

"Intensified cost cutting and better aircraft utilization are steps in the right direction. But they (airlines) cannot keep pace with the increases in the industry's fuel bill. From 2003 to 2004 the industry fuel bill rose by $19 billion from $44 billion to $63 billion," he said.

"At an average fuel bill of $43 per barrel (Brent), the fuel bill for 2005 will exceed $76 billion-and even that seems conservative given today's prices. Fundamental and large-scale change is absolutely critical," said Bisignani.

IATA represents 265 airlines comprising 94% of international scheduled air traffic.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 12:54 AM   #33
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Korean Air: Atlanta to Seoul

Beginning May 1st, Korean Airlines will increase their 5x per week Boeing 747-400 nonstop service from Atlanta to Seoul to daily service.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 02:42 AM   #34
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Friday April 29, 2:34 AM
Major airlines carry more passengers but struggle with rising fuel prices

GENEVA (AFP) - Airlines carried 9.4 percent more passengers during the first quarter of 2005 compared to the same period last year but are unable to keep pace with rising fuel prices, the main industry association said.

The International Air Transport Association warned that the "good news" would not be enough to secure profits for struggling airlines in the coming year.

"With oil in the 50 dollar per barrel (Brent) range we are a long way from profitability," Giovanni Bisignani, director general of IATA, said in a statement.

Bisignani said increased cost cutting and more efficient use of aircraft could not keep pace with the industry's fuel bill.

IATA predicted in a "conservative estimate" earlier this month that airline fuel costs will reach 76 billion dollars this year against 63 billion dollars last year.

"However you look at it, 2005 is shaping up to be another difficult year for the airlines. Fundamental and large-scale change is absolutely critical," Bisignani added.

Freight traffic expanded at a slower 4.2 percent in the first three months of this year, prompting some concern in the industry.

"While it is too early to identify a slowing trend in freight traffic, we need to watch this development closely over the coming months," the IATA chief said.

Twenty-six percent of the tickets sold by IATA members in the first quarter were cost-saving electronic tickets against 19 percent at the beginning of 2004.

The association, which groups 275 airlines, is aiming for a 40 percent take-up of "e-ticketing" this year and complete paperless ticketing by the end of 2007.

Electronic ticketing is estimated to cost one-tenth of the traditional paper slip, potentially saving airlines up to three billion dollars a year, according to IATA.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 06:55 AM   #35
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IATA: April Intl Airline Passenger Traffic +7.5% On Year
26 May 2005
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--International scheduled airline passenger traffic in April 2005 was up 7.5% from a year earlier while cargo traffic showed a 5.3% rise, The International Air Transport Association said Thursday.

The passenger load factor in the month was 73.4%.

IATA represents 265 airlines comprising 94% of international scheduled air traffic.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 05:36 AM   #36
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After three years of crisis, air transport readies for takeoff

PARIS, June 8 (AFP) - After three lean years, international air travel faces a brighter future as ticket sales take off and costs drop, but the future is overshadowed by high fuel costs and an excess capacity that may force new mergers.

With the important exception of the big US companies, airlines -- the chief clients at the Paris Air Show this month -- have seen matters improve this year.

"Parts of the industry are profitable," Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), acknowledged at the end of last month at its annual general meeting in Tokyo.

But overall he painted a sombre picture of the state of the industry's health and IATA does not see an overall return to balance until next year, with losses totalling six billion dollars (4.88 billion euros) in 2005.

Since 2001 airlines have been hit by a series of hammer blows, including the global economic slowdown, the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Losses between 2001 and 2004 exceeded 36 billion dollars," Bisignani said at the Tokyo meeting.

In 2004, "North American carriers lost nine billion dollars. Efficiency gains cannot make up for structural problems. Labour costs remain high. And low-cost competition at major hubs drove yields down," he said.

"European carriers posted a profit of 1.4 billion dollars. Yields were better. And consolidation helped capacity management.

"Asian carriers posted 2.6 billion dollars in profit. Strong growth fuelled by China and low labour costs are the competitive advantage. And India may be the next great market for the industry."

The contrast between US carriers and the rest is explained by the particular nature of the North American market, according to former IATA president and current Air France-KLM president Jean-Cyril Spinetta.

"European companies mainly operate international long-haul flights while their American counterparts fly internal routes" and therefore "face more competition from low-cost carriers."

The improvement in the fortunes of non-US companies is attributed to a rise in traffic and pressure on costs.

Passenger numbers rose by 8.7 percent from January to April, IATA said, and freight by 4.7 percent. Traditional companies put their costs under the microscope to improve profit margins.

In mid-May the Spanish airline Iberia announced a new cost-savings plan worth 500 million to 600 million euros and the US carrier Northwest Airlines plans to halve staff numbers to save 176 million dollars.

By 2007 paper tickets will be abandoned in favour of less time-consuming electronic, or e-tickets, IATA said.

The savings drive is made all the more essential by the fact that aviation fuel costs have soared by between 15 and 20 percent after the rise in the price of oil.

But "the main problem in the sector... is that there is too much capacity," according to Spinetta, of Air France-KLM, the first carrier born of the merger of two national airlines.

The point is made by developments in recent months: America West has merged with US Airways, TAP (Portugal) has said it plans to take a 20 percent stake in Brazil's Varig and Germany's Lufthansa has bought Swiss International Air Lines.

If the rescue plan for the Italian carrier Alitalia is successful and it is privatised, Air France-KLM would like to enter into partnership with it.

And the head of Iberia, who has close ties to British Airways, said recently the Franco-Dutch merger was "an interesting path to follow."
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Old June 9th, 2005, 07:04 AM   #37
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Air Transport Needs Common Sense, Not More Taxation
Development Needs Commitment, Not Politics


For Immediate Release - (Geneva) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed extreme disappointment that the ECOFIN meeting in Luxemburg yesterday did not result in the abandonment of proposals for a tax on air transport to support third world development.

"Development is a serious issue that needs a serious solution. But focusing on airline travellers, whether with a tax or a voluntary contribution, is absolutely not the way to do it. No industry has done more for development than air transport by linking nations and facilitating tourism. Development needs commitment, not politics. And air transport needs common sense, not more taxation," said Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO.

A strong European air transport industry needs coherent and harmonised policies. "This tax proposal is yet another example of national European leaders sacrificing competitiveness for political agendas."

"Putting a stop to this mis-guided tax proposal is a golden opportunity for the European institutions to prove they are serious about creating a more competitive Europe," said Bisignani. "The industry urgently requires a level playing field and a harmonised operating environment. The Lisbon Agenda for competitiveness must be applied to air transport. It is time for change."

Bisignani also commented on the previous European Commission's failures, "The previous Commission did not understand air transport and the vital role it plays. As a result, ineffective policy-mis-regulation and micromanagement-is its legacy. The cost to Europe's air transport industry is US$7.6 billion (EUR 5.9 billion) each year."
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Old June 30th, 2005, 06:51 AM   #38
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May Intl Airline Passenger Traffic +8.8%, Cargo Dn - IATA
29 June 2005
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--International scheduled airline passenger traffic in May 2005 was up 8.8% from a year earlier while cargo traffic showed a 1.6% decline, The International Air Transport Association said Wednesday.

The passenger load factor in the month was 71.9%.

"May cargo growth slipped into negative territory in Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe, following a sluggish performance since the beginning of 2005. As a leading economic indicator, the slowdown in cargo traffic demonstrates that the high price of oil is slowing the global economy faster than expected," said IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani.

"Passenger traffic for May at 8.8% was much stronger. But we can expect a downward trend as the decline in economic activity works its way through the economy," he added.

IATA represents 265 airlines comprising 94% of international scheduled air traffic.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 08:46 PM   #39
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Air-Cargo Traffic World-Wide Falls As Oil Costs Rise
First Clear Drop in 2 Years May Signal Global Decline In General Business Activity
By Daniel Michaels
30 June 2005
The Asian Wall Street Journal

Air-cargo traffic, a leading indicator of general business activity, shrank in May from a year earlier after slowing over recent months. The data are a sign that high oil prices may be hampering world economic growth, according to the International Air Transport Association, which compiles the figures.

Roughly 40% of goods shipped world-wide, measured by value, move by air. This includes high-margin products such as sophisticated industrial equipment, consumer electronics and auto parts, as well as perishable items such as food and fashion.

The volume and value of air cargo rose steadily over the past few years as much of the global economy picked up and the pace of business quickened. Cargo aircraft are an increasingly important market segment for plane makers Airbus and Boeing Co., which recently announced plans for a new large cargo jetliner.

But the pace of growth in air cargo has dropped significantly since February. In May, the volume of traffic actually fell 1.6% below the level of May 2004. This was the first clear drop in more than two years. Air-cargo traffic is measured by both the weight of goods and the distance they fly.

"The obvious conclusion is that the high price of fuel is starting to affect industries beyond those that are superexposed" to petroleum prices, such as airlines, said Anthony Concil, chief spokesman for the IATA, a global airline trade group in Geneva.

Companies feeling a pinch from petroleum prices could be curtailing production, purchases and therefore shipments. Mr. Concil said that while IATA had expected high oil prices to slow economic activity, the recent slump has surprised IATA economists.

The May drop in air-cargo traffic came as the global volume of passenger traffic continued to rise, climbing 8.8% from May 2004. Airlines world-wide are reporting greater numbers of people flying, although ticket revenue isn't rising at the same pace. Sluggish revenue growth, combined with sharply higher fuel prices, is hurting the profitability of passenger airlines. IATA predicts the global industry will show a combined loss of $6 billion this year, with much of that coming from a handful of traditional airlines in the U.S.

Now, the sharp drop in cargo traffic could signal worse times ahead for passenger airlines, whose fortunes are closely correlated to broader economic growth. IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani said in a prepared statement that airlines "can expect a downward trend as the decline in economic activity works its way through the economy."
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Old July 28th, 2005, 06:57 PM   #40
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IATA: Global air passenger traffic up 8.8 percent in first six months of 2005
28 July 2005

GENEVA (AP) - Global air passenger traffic grew by 8.8 percent in the first six months of this year, the International Air Transport Association said Thursday, adding that it hoped recent terrorist attacks in tourist destinations would not deter future travelers.

Growth was led by airlines from the Middle East, Latin America and North America, which all recorded an increase in passenger travel above 10 percent, the Geneva-based federation of air carriers said.

World passenger loads -- a measure of how full planes are -- were 74 percent in the first half of the year, a full percentage point up from last year, IATA said. In June, loads on North American passenger planes were as high as 83.9 percent.

IATA said the industry "remains vigilant at a heightened level of security" in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Britain, Turkey and Egypt.

"Passengers should be reassured that the air transport network is more secure than ever," said Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani. Governments should do even more to better coordinate security measures, he said.

Cargo traffic, however, grew by only 3.2 percent between January and June, as high fuel prices and a slowdown in the global economy took their toll, IATA said.

Cargo traffic grew by 13.2 percent in the same six-month period last year.
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