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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #121
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Air groups: May freight down 20 pct, outlook grim

BRUSSELS, July 10 (Reuters) - European airlines witnessed another bad month of freight volumes in May with few signs of an upturn, two aviation groups said on Friday.

"May was another catastrophic month for air freight, which posted a 19.8 percent decrease" year-on-year, said the Association of European Airlines, which represents 33 carriers including Air France-KLM and British Airways.

"Several AEA airlines have seen their cargo volumes cut by one third or more," it added.

The group said passenger numbers fell 8.3 percent in May compared with a year earlier, with preliminary figures for June indicating a slight improvement.

"There is no relief in sight, however, in the air freight market," it added.

Airports body ACI Europe said freight dropped 20.1 percent year-on-year in May at the 105 airports it surveyed, a slight improvement on April's 25.4 percent fall.

The group gave no figures for June, but its director-general Olivier Jankovec last month told Reuters he forecast 2009 freight would be down 16 percent on last year.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #122
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Gloomy airlines see upturn at year end: IATA
16 July 2009
Agence France Presse

Airlines have reverted to pessimism about business prospects and do not expect any improvement in international air travel until the end of 2009, IATA said on Thursday.

The global recession has been cited as the main reason for deteriorating demand, but the impact of the swine flu pandemic is also being highlighted by airlines responding to the International Air Transport Association's survey.

"The glimmer of optimism about financial performance for the coming 12 months seen in April's survey has faded as respondents, on balance, indicate further declines in profitability ahead," said IATA.

"Even the optimistic respondents don't see significant recovery before Q4 this year and others not until early 2011," it added.

The airline industry has been battered by the global recession. As businesses attempt to reduce costs, cut backs have been made in particular yo business travel.

IATA noted that premium traffic -- business class or first class travel where carriers typically make their money -- fell more in May than in prior months this year.

"Passenger travel numbers in May cast doubt on the view that a bottom to the travel decline has been reached," it said.

In May, premium traffic passengers fell 23.6 percent, compared to a fall of 22 percent in April, and a drop of 19.2 percent in the first quarter.

IATA noted that economy travel appears to be growing for Europe-Middle East and Middle East-Asian routes, but this could also reflect a shift of business travellers from premium to economy class.

The impact of swine flu also began to be felt in May.

IATA had earlier said that the H1N1 virus depressed air travel by about one percent globally in May.

The slump was particularly marked in travel within central America which indicated a 62.4-percent fall in May. Traffic between central and south America also plunged 46.7 percent during the month.

European and American airlines were more downbeat than carriers in Asia, which expect "stabilisation of profitability."

Meanwhile, IATA also warned of what it described as "de-globalisation" amid the crisis, as economic stimulus packages unveiled by governments focus spending on boosting domestic economies.

The association feared that these measures are being implemented at the expense of world trade and capital links, and could further hurt international travel.

"The deterioration in international air travel in, to and from Asia during May, despite recovering economies in the region, is a worrying sign of what is being called 'deglobalisation'," said IATA.

Overall international air passenger traffic fell 9.3 percent in May following a year-on-year decline of 3.1 percent in April, a month traditionally buoyed by holiday travel over the Easter period.

IATA added last month that airlines are expected to lose nine billion dollars this year, the worst slump the industry has ever faced.

Combined with the revised estimate that it lost 10.4 billion dollars in 2008, the industry now looks set to lose almost 20 billion dollars over two years.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #123
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Does anyone know where I might be able to find passengers numbers for city pairs? For example, if I wanted to find out how many people fly between Los Angeles and Frankfurt where could I find this out? Also, I am curious if there are stats on the size of markets to a particular area. For example, how many passengers a year is Los Angeles - Europe. In other words, how many people fly between LA and Europe in 2008. Thanks.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 09:57 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massp88 View Post
Does anyone know where I might be able to find passengers numbers for city pairs? For example, if I wanted to find out how many people fly between Los Angeles and Frankfurt where could I find this out? Also, I am curious if there are stats on the size of markets to a particular area. For example, how many passengers a year is Los Angeles - Europe. In other words, how many people fly between LA and Europe in 2008. Thanks.
These are usually very hard to come by. Airlines rarely post specific route figures. These seem to be very proprietary numbers.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #125
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@massp88: In 2008 there were 237694 passengers flying FRA->LAX (960 take offs including the 2 weekly cargo flights) and 242508 flying LAX->FRA.
From the whole of Germany there were 363070 passengers on 1405 flights flying to LAX (passenger load factor 84,8%).
Between LHR and LAX (both directions) there were 131601 passengers in June 2009.

The numbers for Germany can be found at the Federal statistical office of Germany.
(Click "Details" at "Luftverkehr auf allen Flugplätzen - Fachserie 8 Reihe 6.2 - 2008" (should be the first entry), choose whether you want the data as pdf-document or xls-table, click on "weiter" and the download will start; the numbers for intercontinental flights can be found in chapter 4.2.2, 5.2 and 8.2)
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Old July 21st, 2009, 05:26 AM   #126
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Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be airline bosses
19 July 2009
The Toronto Star

The first decade of this new century is one that airlines will be eager to forget.

It has been marked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the SARS outbreak, skyrocketing fuel costs, the bankruptcy of five major North American airlines and the outright disappearance of the likes of Swissair, Canada 3000 and Jetsgo.

Yet it seems those setbacks weren't punishment enough for an industry hard-pressed to turn consistent profits even in the best of times.

Which these obviously aren't.

Last week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), trade group for the world's major carriers, reversed an earlier prediction that the latest plunge in demand had bottomed out. Reacting to a further 9.2 per cent drop in May traffic, IATA now forecasts total industry losses of $9 billion (U.S.) this year on a likely 15 per cent decline in revenues.

To which Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways PLC, shakes his head and says, "Too optimistic." BA, which posted a record loss of $615 million (U.S.) last year, is so determined to cut 4,000 positions from its workforce that it's prepared to take its first strike in a dozen years.

BA's survival is at stake, claims Walsh. For Calin Rovinescu, CEO of Air Canada since the ouster of his predecessor in April, at stake is averting a second trip through bankruptcy court this decade. Like its peers among large, so-called "legacy" carriers, Air Canada has cut capacity by abandoning routes and reducing frequency of flights.

But Air Canada, which lost more than $1 billion (Canadian) last year, finds that it cannot reduce capacity fast enough to keep pace with sharp declines in traffic. In the past year, Air Canada has cut capacity by 7.6 per cent. But in that time, passenger volume fell 9.1 per cent. Archrival WestJet Airlines Ltd. trimmed its available seats 2.5 per cent during that period. But demand has fallen 7.1 per cent.

The worst global recession since the Great Depression and the accompanying credit crisis have severely reduced volume in all price categories.

Penny-pinching corporate clients have been grounding their employees, using teleconferencing wherever possible. The leisure market has also taken a hit as blue- and white-collar unemployment soars across North America and Europe.

Even workers who remain employed are sufficiently fearful of job loss they're opting for "staycations" rather than flying to Disney World or Vegas.

Fuel costs have dropped this year, of course, but they remain far above 2006-07 levels. Even swine flu and a recent string of airline tragedies have given travellers more reason not to fly. (So far this year, there have been about 630 plane-crash fatalities, more than in all of 2008, though well short of the 1972 record of 2,374.)

BA chair Martin Broughton, who calls the past 12 months an "annus horribilis" for BA and other global carriers, says his industry is "crying out for consolidation."

And it's true that despite all the capacity reductions, there still are too many planes chasing too few passengers.

BA is doing its part with drawn-out negotiations to merge with Spanish flag carrier Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA, and BA hopes later this year to add American Airlines in an alliance among the three carriers.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, having absorbed the short-lived successor to the failed Swissair, is close to a deal to buy Austrian Airlines.

Air France-KLM Group continues its long flirtation with a chronically profit-challenged Alitalia SpA. Yet even after last year's combination of Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Inc., the U.S. market remains over-served by six national carriers, along with scores of regional players and upstart discounters such as JetBlue Airways Corp. and AirTran Holdings Inc.

With its heavy debt load and fractious labour relations, United Airlines Inc. seems the likeliest candidate to sacrifice its independence.

Yet even if the industry's consolidation wishes are fulfilled, commercial aviation will still suffer the curse that economists refer to as "low barriers to entry."

Starting an airline is notoriously easy: You just rent or lease one of the hundreds of aircraft mothballed in the Mojave and you're in business.

No sooner do failed carriers such as Jetsgo make their last trip to the hangar than appear the likes of privately held Porter Airlines, based at Toronto's Island airport. Porter goes head to head with Air Canada on the busy Toronto-New York run. (Porter flies to Newark, N.J., one of the Big Apple's three major airports.) Just three years after its launch, Porter counts eight destinations, with a business plan calling for an eventual 17 ports of call.

And U.S. upstart JetAmerica, with a leased Boeing 737, will next month begin offering $9 (U.S.) flights from its Toledo base to Newark, and will also commence service to the sub-metropoli of Melbourne, Fla., Lansing, Mich., and South Bend, Ind. The Jet

America plan is to profit from a raft of "convenience fees" for checked baggage, ordering tickets by phone ($20 U.S.) or Internet ($10 U.S.) and round-trip assigned seats ($20 U.S.).

Upstarts are the curse of the industry, driving down fares enough on cash-cow routes to impoverish larger carriers that rightly fear losing market share if they don't match the lowest fare on offer. Trouble is, these legacy carriers are operators of high-cost networks, vying for passengers with low-cost startups.

It's not as though the established players can be credited with unerring discipline.

Calgary-based WestJet last week unveiled expansion plans for 11 new destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean for next winter. Air Canada, which Bay Street expects will lose money this year and next, making for three consecutive years of red ink, plans to add capacity on major routes in peak periods, citing its London-Vancouver run during the Winter Olympics in February as an example.

"Adding flights at this point in the economic cycle takes courage, believe me," Rovinescu told a Vancouver audience gathered for the unveiling of an Olympics-branded Boeing 777 last week.

Courage probably isn't the word for it. Air Canada needs $600 million (Canadian) in financing to stave off insolvency.

Already the world's 14th-largest carrier, with more than 330 aircraft, what Air Canada needs is a thorough restructuring to get its costs down to within shouting distance of WestJet's.

"In the interim," airline analyst Fadi Chamoun of UBS Securities told Canadian Press last week, "equity holders will likely bear the brunt of the costs related to securing sufficient cash resources to bridge the liquidity gap until the economy recovers."

Air Canada shareholders have already suffered an 80 per cent drop in the value of their shares over the past year.

We need Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson to reprise their 1978 hit "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys." The vocation you want to steer them clear of is airline executive.

"This industry is always in the grip of its dumbest competitors," Robert Crandall, long-time CEO of American Airlines, once complained.

"We have no choice but to match whatever low fare anybody puts out there.

"And so it will get as bad as they want it to get."
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:30 PM   #127
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Air traffic falls 7.2 pct in June, hit by swine flu: IATA
30 July 2009
Agence France Presse

International air passenger traffic fell by 7.2 percent in June over 12 months, with the swine flu pandemic adding a blow to an airline industry already depressed by the economic crisis, IATA said on Thursday.

"These are extremely challenging times for airlines. There are no signs of an early economic recovery," said Giovanni Bisignani, director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

"Other external risks are potentially great, including rising oil prices and the impact of Influenza A(H1N1) on demand," he added.

IATA estimated that the effects of swine flu shaved up to four percentage points off growth rates for Asian-Pacific carriers in June, when a 14.5-percent fall was reported compared to the figure for the same month a year ago.

Latin American airlines posted a 4.7-percent drop in passenger demand, but this is "significantly better" than the 9.2-percent plunge in May, said IATA.

IATA said there were "early indications" that the Latin American region was beginning to recover from the impact of swine flu but pointed out that there was "still uncertainty around the spread of Influenza A(H1N1) and its effect on travel."

North American carriers also saw the sharp decline in traffic ease in May, with demand falling just 6.7 percent in June compared to 10.9 percent in May.

European carriers meanwhile posted a fall of 7.1 percent, compared to the May drop of 9.4 percent.

IATA said that even though the sharp decline in demand slowed in June compared to the rate in previous months, airlines had not reduced their capacity to match the fall.

"As a result, June revenue on international markets fell by a shocking 25-30 percent," it said.

Meanwhile, international air cargo traffic was down 16.5 percent, a 13th month running of contracting demand.

"There has been some improvement in world trade and, after adjusting for seasonal fluctuations, freight volumes rose six percent from the low point recorded in December 2008," IATA said.

At the current pace, air cargo traffic would take "several years" to return to early 2008 levels, it added.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #128
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Aviation crisis? What crisis? Budget carriers flourish amid economic gloom
5 August 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Budget airlines have found a silver lining in the global recession.

As travelers pinch pennies and opt for cheaper alternatives, AirAsia, Europe's Ryanair and other low-cost carriers are adding routes and buying new planes to grab a larger slice of global aviation at the expense of their more established rivals.

Major players such as British Airways and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways have reported full year losses for the first time in years despite cutting costs and flights to cope with a downturn in premium air travel.

Full service carriers, which once completely dominated the skies, are banking on an economic recovery to restore their fortunes but they may find it tough to return to the growth levels they enjoyed before the crisis.

"Full-service airlines have a bit of conundrum on their hands," said Derek Sadubin of the Sydney-based Center of Asia Pacific Aviation. "We think low-cost carriers will become so much more entrenched in airports and corporate travel that it will be difficult for them to claw their business back" when the economy recovers, he said.

To be sure, all airlines have struggled as oil prices soared in the last two years. Oil prices have since tumbled and despite a rally early this year, are still half the level of a year earlier.

But major industrialized economies continue to contract and economic conditions are likely to remain tough even when a recovery is under way. The International Air Travel Association in June predicted airline losses worldwide to swell to $9 billion this year, nearly double its previous forecast.

Full service carriers are the worst hit as the downturn has hammered business and first-class travel, which make up a small percentage of seats but account for up to 40 percent of their revenues.

Their smaller, no-frills rivals are weathering the recession better with a low-cost model that relies on high passenger volumes, stripping out costs through strategies such as taking the cheapest landing slots at airports and turning full service features like meals and check-in baggage into profit-making extras.

In Asia, budget aviation has seen exponential growth since the start of the decade and now has a 16 percent market share, Sadubin said.

The market share of low cost carriers could cross the 20 percent mark in the next one to two years, he said, as they open up new routes across the region and give travelers an option to fly at a fraction of the cost charged by full service airlines.

Malaysian-based AirAsia, the biggest low-cost carrier in the region, posted a record profit of 203.2 million ringgit ($56.4 million) for the quarter through March, up 26 percent from a year earlier. Passengers soared 21 percent to 3.15 million during the period while falling at regular airlines.

It has ordered new planes, made its debut in Europe with flights to London in March and is eyeing plans to enter the U.S. market.

"We are in the McDonald's, Wal Mart category. Business is booming as people are looking for value," AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

AirAsia's success has generated rivals, the best known of which are Singapore-based Tiger Airways and Qantas Airways-owned Jetstar.

Tiger, which is 49 percent owned by Singapore Airlines, is rapidly expanding and has a total 56 new aircraft on order for delivery through to 2016. Tiger expects business travel to account for 15 percent of its total traffic by March 2010, more than triple from current levels.

Budget aviation has put down even stronger roots in the U.S. and Europe, with about a one-third market share in both regions, analysts said.

In Europe, Irish discount airline Ryanair remained on an expansionary course and forecasts a net profit of up to 250 million euros ($350 million) for its 2010 fiscal year. It is eyeing plans to order up to 300 more aircraft in a deal that would make the Irish carrier more than double the size of British Airways.

In the cash-rich Middle East, analysts said budget aviation penetration is still low at less than five percent but new carriers have sprung up in recent months. FlyDubai, based in the United Arab Emirates, was launched in June and has unveiled ambitious expansion plans after ordering 50 Boeing 737 aircraft.

The intense competition from budget carriers has changed the rules of the game for some major airlines.

Many full service carriers are regularly churning up promotional offers -- with tickets at a discount of up to 80 percent -- in an effort to protect their market share.

Others like India's Jet Airways, Korean Air, and Malaysian Airlines have set up low-cost offshoots, relying on a two-brand strategy to cushion earnings.

Some carriers have taken more drastic steps to focus on lower-fare volume business.

British Airways has announced it won't configure any new planes to offer first-class cabins. Qantas has also scrapped first-class service on several long-haul routes and is considering reducing the 72 business seats in its Airbus A380 superjumbo jets.

But Singapore Airlines, one of Asia's top carriers, remains confident of a recovery in the premium market. It has cut fares and capacity this year but said it would not crop the 60 business seats in its A380 planes.

"It's a cyclical business and positive growth will return. We are not going to fundamentally change our business focus overnight just because of the downturn," said spokesman Nicholas Ionides.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #129
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Association Of European Airlines: June Traffic Dn 6.5% On Year
10 August 2009

LONDON (Dow Jones)--The Association of European Airlines Monday said traffic fell 6.5% on year in June, an improvement from the 8.3% decline in May, but added that the market remains weak.

Seat capacity, measured as available seats per kilometer, fell 4.9% on year and was consistent with reductions airlines made in May, said the AEA, which represents 33 European airlines.

Although carriers reduced frequency, the AEA said the rate of reduction "still didn't match the weakening market," and as a result load factor - which measures how many available seats are filled with paying passengers - fell 1.3 percentage points to 77%.

AEA said the hardest-hit market was for flights between Europe and the Far East, down 10.7% - the first double-digit traffic decline for flights between these regions since the SARS epidemic of 2003.

However, preliminary data show that traffic declines have eased in July - usually a peak time for summer travel - by 2.2% on year.

Capacity reductions slowed compared with May and June to 3%, but the AEA said the reductions were "at last sufficient to counteract the market decrease and drive a small improvement in load factor."
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Old August 27th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #130
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Fragile air traffic recovery under way - IATA

GENEVA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - A recovery in air traffic is under way, according to latest data from a global industry body, in another sign the world economy is clawing its way out of recession.

But the recovery will be "volatile and weak", the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday, indicating the turbulence that has buffeted an industry facing another year of multi-billion dollar losses is not at an end.

Airlines carried 11.3 percent less cargo and 2.9 percent fewer people in July than a year earlier, IATA said in its latest monthly reading of cross-border traffic, a leading indicator for the health of world trade.

The figures represented an improvement from June, when the year-on-year declines were 16.5 percent for cargo and 7.2 percent for passengers.

Air freight is a good leading indicator of world trade movements, since shippers tend to switch to air when speed is more important than cost -- at the start of an upturn -- and switch to ocean transport in a recession, IATA says.

As a result, air freight is first into recession but usually is first out, it said in a recent analysis.

So far this year, freight volumes have fallen 19.3 percent and air travel is down 6.8 percent, according to IATA, whose data exclude domestic flights.

And compared with June and adjusted for seasonal factors, both freight and passenger travel grew by more than 3 percent in July, it said.

"The data can be rather volatile but this does confirm earlier signs that a recovery in demand for air transport has begun, though there are good reasons for expecting the path of further recovery to be volatile and weaker than recoveries from previous recessions," IATA said.

IATA said there was a varied regional pattern, with passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific remaining weak but improving, with a strong rebound in air freight reflecting recovery in several Asian economies.

Airlines in Europe and North America are seeing less improvement in freight, but a stronger improvement in passenger volumes which could reflect earlier cuts in fares.

Passenger capacity was more in line with demand in July, with passenger load factors averaging 80.3 percent, but excess capacity continued to emerge in the freight sector, it said.

"Downward pressure on freight rates and revenues continues to increase," said the Geneva-based body, which represents 230 carriers including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and United Airlines.

IATA has estimated airlines will lose $9 billion in 2009 after an $8.5 billion loss in 2008, when high oil prices hit profits and then the global credit and financial crisis slashed demand for business and leisure air travel.

IATA estimated last year that $3.5 trillion of goods were transported by air in 2006, representing 35 percent of international trade.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 06:14 PM   #131
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Airlines lost more than $6 bln first half '09-IATA

GENEVA, Sept 1 (Reuters) - The world's airlines are being squeezed even as the global economy recovers, with higher oil and jet fuel prices causing added pain, an industry group said on Tuesday.

Net losses continued to expand in the second quarter of 2009, reaching at least $6 billion for the first half of the year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

In its latest financial monitor, it said the second quarter of 2009 involved "further deterioration" for airlines' bottom lines. Big carriers normally take in half their annual profits in the season that includes the northern hemisphere summer.

"This year Q2 losses of $2 billion follow Q1 losses of $4 billion," IATA said in a statement. "Total industry losses in the first half of 2009 are likely to have been in excess of the reported $6 billion.

IATA has previously estimated airlines will lose $9 billion in 2009 after an $8.5 billion loss in 2008, when high oil prices hit profits and then the global credit and financial crisis slashed demand for business and leisure air travel.

The Geneva-based group, whose 230 member airlines fly some 93 percent of international air traffic, also said that signs of economic rebound had pushed up energy prices in August, with jet fuel prices above $80 a barrel.

While air cargo volumes and passenger numbers rose in July, improving from their credit crunch and recession lows, IATA said "both remain well below levels seen at the same time last year."

"There was a material improvement in July but the future path is likely to be volatile and weaker than normal recoveries," it said.

IATA, whose members including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and United Airlines, said last week that declines in cargo and passenger traffic in July were less than in the previous month.

The industry's recovery was under way but will be "volatile and weak", it said.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #132
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Global air travel may not recover until 2011
9 September 2009

HONG KONG (AP) - International air travel, whacked by the economic downturn, is starting to stabilize but may not recover until 2011 as companies and passengers continue to scale back, executives at aviation giants Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS said Wednesday.

Passenger travel, somewhat better so far in the second half of 2009 than in the first, was still expected to slump between 6 percent and 8 percent for the year, said Randy Tinseth, a Boeing vice president for marketing.

Still, there were signs the drop in demand was slowing, with global airlines beginning to restore capacity and the Chinese and Latin American markets picking up, he said.

"We're already starting to see some improvements in traffic and traffic growth, but we've got a long ways to go," Tinseth told reporters at an Asian aerospace and aviation show in Hong Kong. "We see 2010 as a year of economic recovery and 2011 as a year of air travel recovery."

Airlines have racked up massive losses since the global economic crisis led companies to curb travel and shipping and consumers cut back on trips. Carriers, their losses already $6 billion in first six months of the year, are set to lose a total of $9 billion for all of 2009, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Boeing rival Airbus, the world's largest manufacturer of commercial planes, said air traffic seemed to be in the process of bottoming out and was slightly more optimistic.

Global air traffic -- measured by a combination of revenues, passengers and distances flown -- could slide between 2 percent and 4 percent this year, but then turn flat or grow as much as 4 percent next year, according to Laurent Rouaud, the aircraft manufacturer's senior vice president for market and product strategy.

In 2011, traffic could grow over 6 percent, he said.

Asia, where major economies like China and India are still expanding fast despite severe contractions in the West, was likely to lead the recovery. The region's air traffic may be up 4 percent this year and at least 6 percent in 2010, he said.

Boeing's Tinseth said Asia is set to overtake North America as the world's largest air travel market over the next 20 years, growing from its current 32 percent share to 41 percent.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 05:43 AM   #133
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Boeing sees return to cargo traffic growth next year

HONG KONG, Sept 9 (Reuters) - U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Co expects global air cargo traffic to return to growth next year amid a broad economic recovery, with the United States and China leading the way, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

Air cargo growth typically leads economic and passenger traffic growth by 3-6 months, Jim Edgar, Boeing's regional director, cargo marketing, said at the Asian Aerospace Expo in Hong Kong.

"This year, we're anticipating a deeper decline and it'll be the first time in history that we'll have two years of decline back to back," Edgar said, referring to worldwide cargo traffic.

"The decline is slowing ... things are improving and we're hopeful, but there's a way to go yet," he said, adding that near-term certainties include the global economy, oil prices and the stability of financial institutions.

Generous stimulus packages from governments will prop up the global economy, Edgar said.

"We expect the U.S. and China to lead the worldwide recovery, followed by the EU, UK and Japan," he said.

Air freight, a leading indicator of the health of world trade, is picking up slowly, but is still down on last year and the upturn remains fragile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said last week.

Airlines carried 11.3 percent less cargo in July than a year earlier, according to IATA data.

Boeing, like its European rival, EADS' Airbus unit, has had a difficult year as carriers and air cargo operators have seen less business during the global recession.

The road to recovery for the airline industry still looks bumpy for the current second half, said Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"We're going into the worst part of the year -- it'll be a pretty tough next 4-6 months," Tinseth said. "But in 2010, there'll be a bounce back in traffic."

On Tuesday, Airbus said it was seeing signs of recovery in freight demand and expects a recovery in total passenger traffic volume by 2010.

Airbus and Boeing are headed for their worst annual order tally in at least 15 years as struggling airlines cancel or defer almost as many planes as they are buying.

The world's airlines are expected to post 2009 losses of $9 billion, with first-half net losses hitting at least $6 billion, IATA has said.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 04:45 AM   #134
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Airline trade group forecasts deeper 2009 losses
15 September 2009
By John Crawley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The outlook for global airlines this year has worsened, with a leading trade group projecting $11 billion in losses as weak passenger and cargo demand pressure revenues.

"The industry situation remains bleak," Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the International Air Transport Association trade group, said Tuesday.

"With rising fuel costs and falling yields, recent optimism in the global economy has not appeared on the industry's bottom line," he told government and industry officials in a speech.

In coming months the airline industry could see other bankruptcies, Bisignani said, declining to be more specific about carriers or regions that are most vulnerable.

But he said smaller- and medium-sized carriers have not had the access to debt markets that their larger peers enjoy, putting them in a more fragile condition.

Low-cost, Slovakia-based airline SkyEurope filed for bankruptcy and suspended all flights earlier this month. Japan Airlines , Asia's biggest carrier, is undergoing a state-supervised restructuring after years of losses. U.S. and other carriers are seeking to invest in the company.

Bisignani said the two-year downturn is worse than the financial hit carriers took after the Sept. 11, 2001 hijack attacks on New York and Washington when travel was severely depressed.

"This is not a short-term shock," Bisignani said in projecting nearly $4 billion in losses for 2010.

But airlines are not looking for government bailouts similar to help extended after the 2001 attacks and the billions given to distressed U.S. automakers this year, he said.

In the United States, Bisignani made his first formal pitch to the Obama administration to relax the law that restricts foreign ownership of domestic airlines.

The IATA trade group estimated in June that airlines would lose $9 billion in 2009 after an $8.5 billion loss in 2008, when record high oil prices dragged down results.

The Geneva-based group's 230 member airlines account for some 93 percent of international air traffic. Members include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and United Airlines.

During an earlier conference call with reporters, Bisignani said revenues were expected to slump by 15 percent this year and would not return to 2008 levels until 2012 at the earliest.

For 2009, IATA said it expects passenger traffic to fall 4 percent, compared with its June estimate of 8 percent. It sees cargo demand falling 14 percent.

The updated forecast assumes oil prices average $61 a barrel, up from $56 a barrel in the previous forecast.

U.S. STOCKS HIGHER AS SENTIMENT IMPROVES

Despite the dour forecast, sentiment on airlines has improved recently as cost-cutting has helped soften the blow from weaker demand and some airlines have said revenue trends may improve.

U.S. airline shares were mostly higher Tuesday, with some carriers rising as much as 8 percent. The Arca Airline Index was up more than 4 percent.

Among non-U.S. carriers, Air France-KLM rose 1 percent in Paris and British Airways was flat in London trading.

"The dynamics of the U.S. airline industry are very different from the dynamics of the global airline industry" that IATA represents, said Michael Boyd, an airline consultant.

For instance, he said non-U.S. carriers such as JAL are highly dependent upon international travel that has taken a hit in the recession, unlike U.S. airlines.

On Monday, Delta Air Lines Inc, the world's largest carrier, boosted its operating margin forecast for the third quarter, citing an estimated drop in fuel costs.

After Delta's improved outlook, many investors are betting that other U.S. airlines will come out with similarly positive announcements, said airlines analyst Helane Becker of Jesup & Lamont Securities.

"The realization that everyone else is going to put out guidance is maybe catching up to people," Becker said in explaining the airline stock rally on Tuesday. In a research note Monday, J.P. Morgan analyst said he expected Continental Airlines to be the next to unveil an improved outlook.

The new forecasts could spur a rash of analyst upgrades, which would bode well for stocks.

"A lot of stocks are rated 'hold' or 'sell' by a lot of analysts," Becker said. "There is room for analyst upgrades."
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Old September 17th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #135
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Old October 30th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #136
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Air travel slump has bottomed out, says trade body
30 October 2009
The Herald

THE slump in aviation triggered by the global recession bottomed out last month but the industry is still a long way from recovering from a historic loss of passengers, the leading international airline representative body has said .

Figures from the International Air Transport Association (Iata) show passenger numbers on international flights grew marginally in September and that load levels - the proportion of seats on a plane that are filled - had recovered to "pre-crisis" levels.

However, the body, which represents some 230 airlines, said the latest figures were "misleading" as they compared with an exceptionally bad month last year, and that rising costs and a sharp drop in the lucrative business market were still making it difficult for operators to survive.

Giovanni Bisignani, Iata's director general, said: "It is far too early to call this a recovery. The worst may be over in terms of the fall in demand, but yields continue to be a disaster and costs are rising. " With Edinburgh the glaring exception, most of the UK's airports have continued to report a continuing decline in passengers in recent months, though the rate has slowed from the precipitous drop around September last year.

Glasgow and Aberdeen airports, both owned by BAA, saw passenger numbers fall by 12per cent and 9per cent respectively last month while Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire saw an even more tumultuous 28per cent decline, brought about by cuts in capacity by Ryanair.

The no-frills airline has meanwhile expanded in Edinburgh, helping to fuel a 3.8per cent increase in passenger numbers in September, its fourth consecutive month of growth.

In the latest addition to its network, Ryanair yesterday announced a new service from Edinburgh to Bordeaux, which will begin service on March 10 next year with four flights scheduled a week.

International passenger demand is now 5per cent higher than the low point reached in March 2009, but 6per cent below the peak recorded in early 2008, Iata said yesterday.

Aircraft are flying less frequently, which increases costs, and airlines have also been hit by the continuing rise in fuel prices.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 04:44 PM   #137
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Airlines raise cash but IATA keeps 2009 loss outlook

GENEVA, Nov 3 (Reuters) - The world's leading airlines were able to raise $8 billion in new cash from capital markets in the past two months, but their full-year outlook remains worrisome, an industry group said on Tuesday.

In its latest industry snapshot, the International Air Transport Association said it still expected airlines to lose $11 billion on a net basis in 2009 and warned that with jet fuel prices on the rise, cash flows would be under pressure.

Air fares have been nudging up along with improved economic and consumer sentiment worldwide, IATA said, while stressing that prices remain much lower than they were before the financial crisis hit.

"The revenue environment remains extremely challenging," said the group, which represents 230 airlines including British Airways , Qantas , United Airlines , Cathay Pacific and Emirates [EMIRA.UL].

It has previously said the airline sector would lose $4 billion in 2010 as a result of continued economic improvement.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 05:00 AM   #138
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Airlines to lose $5.6 billion in 2010, on top of $49 billion losses since 2000
15 December 2009

GENEVA (AP) - The global airline industry will face another harrowing year in 2010, with losses expected to reach $5.6 billion despite some recovery in passenger and cargo traffic, an industry group said Tuesday.

Low yields and rising costs are a "continuing disaster" for world airlines, who have already lost $49 billion since 2000, according to the International Air Transport Association. The industry group maintained its estimate of $11 billion full-year losses for 2009.

"The worst is likely behind us," said IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani. "Some key statistics are moving in the right direction. Demand will likely continue to improve and airlines are expected to drive down non-fuel unit costs."

Still, he conceded that "airlines will remain firmly in the red in 2010."

IATA attributed much of the pressure on the "extraordinarily low" yields airlines are currently generating -- the average price someone pays to fly one mile. Those will barely improve in 2010 because of a glut of planes on the market and lower corporate travel budgets, it said.

The group, which represents 240 airline companies worldwide, has been forced to lower its forecasts as the intensity and longevity of the economic crisis became clearer. It had earlier forecast $3.8 billion in losses for 2010, and only 12 months ago was predicting that deep cost cuts by U.S. carriers would limit industry losses to $2.5 billion for this year.

"2009 very quickly got much worse than we expected," said IATA chief economist Brian Pearce.

Passenger traffic fell 4.1 percent, from the already-low levels they reached in 2008 when financial markets collapsed, and premium fares fell the hardest. Cargo traffic, meanwhile, declined 13 percent.

The U.S. carriers that were being counted on to lead the industry toward recovery also struggled, losing an estimated $2.9 billion in 2009. European airlines and Asia-Pacific carriers both lost around $3.5 billion, while the Middle East fared somewhat better, with a negative result of $1.2 billion.

Latin America was the only region in the black in 2009, and is expected to be the sole profit-maker again next year.

IATA said it expects passenger traffic to bounce back by 4.5 percent in 2010, with nearly 2.3 billion people traveling. Cargo demand will perk up by 7 percent, but remain significantly below the peak traffic of 41.8 million tons in 2007.

Bisignani said 2010 will look similar to 2007 in terms of passenger traffic and an oil price of around $75 a barrel. But revenues will be $30 billion less next year than in 2007, and "change is needed," he said.

He urged airlines to focus on the traditional solutions of conserving cash and cutting costs, while governments should cut taxes.

After 30 airlines were eliminated in 2009, Bisignani said the big carriers were healthier now as a result of $38 billion in cash they have raised this year. Still, carrier debts total $220 billion and regional carriers may be in trouble.

"I don't see the threat of major bankruptcies, but smaller airlines (will) have difficulty accessing credit," he said. "As a result, they are fragile."

Beyond the airline data, Bisignani also launched a surprisingly sharp criticism of the British government for raising taxes on emissions with the purported goal of halting global warming. The higher charges are robbing carriers of the money they need to invest in cleaner technologies to fulfill an industry pledge to halve carbon emissions by 2050, he said.

"The U.K. is the worst tax offender," Bisignani told reporters. "Now the government admits that it is just a tax to pay bankers' bonuses, completely unrelated to the environment."
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Old December 21st, 2009, 05:17 AM   #139
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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:13 AM   #140
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Asia-Pacific airline passengers slump 5.7 percent in 2009
22 January 2010
Agence France Presse

Asia-Pacific airlines suffered a 5.7 percent drop in passenger numbers and an 11 percent slump in cargo traffic in 2009 as they weathered their worst ever downturn, an industry body said Friday.

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said that the collapse in corporate travel and intense price competition during the global recession saw airline revenues tumble 20-25 percent.

"We have been through downturns before, but none as severe as we’ve experienced in the past two years," AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said in a statement.

Airlines cut flights and cargo capacity, and shaved back on costs, but were still not able to fully offset the effects of sharply lower revenues, compounded by continuing volatility in oil prices, he said.

"Overall, Asia Pacific airlines are expected to report significant losses for 2009, following similar heavy losses suffered in 2008," he said.

However, Herdman said traffic numbers in recent months had shown signs of recovery.

"The cargo business is regaining some of its dynamism, and passenger demand on short haul leisure routes within the region has already picked up, although business travel demand is recovering more slowly," he said.

Regional airlines faced the task of "conserving cash, rebuilding damaged balance sheets, and carefully managing capacity to match demand as they work towards restoring profitability."

"Whilst we remain hopeful about future prospects, the outlook for 2010 very much depends on the sustainability of what still appears to be a rather fragile global economic recovery."

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said it expects Asia-Pacific carriers to lose 700 million dollars this year, an improvement from the 3.4 billion dollars lost last year.

Singapore Airlines posted its first quarterly loss in six years during the June 2009 quarter and deferred the delivery of eight A380 superjumbos. Australia's Qantas and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific also saw earnings slump.

Asia's largest carrier Japan Airlines this week filed for bankruptcy, and other airlines could be in line for government bailouts.

Globally, IATA is forecasting a loss of 5.6 billion dollars for the industry this year.
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