ME air passenger traffic growth dips in Nov yoy
Geneva, December 30, 2010
Middle East airlines saw their passenger traffic growth rate decline from 17.8 per cent yoy in October to 16.7 per cent yoy in November, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
The region’s carriers handled 16 per cent more traffic in November than at the pre-recession peak in early 2008, showing that they have gained market share over the course of the recession and the recovery, Iata said.
The region recorded a load factor of 74.3 per cent, below the global average of 75.6 per cent.
Middle Eastern carriers saw 12.4 per cent year-on-year freight growth for November. The region’s carriers handled 14 per cent more freight in November than they did at the pre-recession peak in early 2008.
International scheduled passenger traffic rose 8.2 per cent yoy in November, but slowed from the 10 per cent growth registered in October.
Freight grew 5.4 per cent in November but fell sharply from 14.5 growth in October.
Global passenger load factor for November averaged 75.6 per cent while the freight load factor stood at 55.2 per cent for the month.
The slowdown in 2010 is partially skewed because of the exceptionally rapid rise in traffic volumes recorded during the fourth quarter of 2009. However, when viewed in absolute terms, air travel fell by 0.8 per cent and air freight fell by 1.1 per cent between October and November 2010.
This slower growth does not necessarily signal a negative trend. Even with the decline in November, passenger and freight traffic are still expanding at annualised rates of between 5-6 per cent which is in line with the industry’s historical growth trend, Iata said.
“The industry is shifting gears in the recovery cycle. Growth is slowing towards normal historical levels in the 5-6 per cent range. Relative weakness in developed markets is being offset by the momentum of economic expansion in developing markets. We see a strong end to 2010 that boosted the year’s profit forecast to $15.1 billion. Slowing traffic growth is in line with our projections for a reduced profit of $9.1 billion in 2011. That’s a 1.5 per cent margin. More hard work will be needed in the New Year to achieve sustainable levels of profitability,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Iata’s director general and CEO.
International passenger demand
• The level of international air travel is now 4 per cent above the pre-recession peak of early 2008. All regions, except Africa, reported a slowing in year-on-year growth rates from October to November.
• Europe’s carriers recorded 7.3 per cent growth in passenger traffic, below the 9.4 per cent recorded in October.
• North American carriers saw their growth slow from 12.4 per cent in October to 9.5 per cent in November.
• Asia-Pacific carriers saw their growth slow from 7.3 per cent in October to 5.8 per cent in November.
• The air freight recovery hit a peak in May 2010. Compared to that peak, volumes have fallen 7 per cent. The volume of air freight in November was equal to pre-recession levels of early 2008.
“The year-end holiday season has been tough for travelers and for airlines. Exceptionally adverse weather conditions in Europe and the US resulted in travel chaos. Passengers were inconvenienced. Airlines saw lost revenues and saw costs rise. The first lesson from this situation is to learn and apply lessons from this difficult season so that all stakeholders in the industry’s infrastructure are better prepared for future exceptional situations,” said Bisignani.
“The second opportunity is to evaluate the regulatory world in which aviation operates. In 2010, the Icelandic volcano and the year-end adverse weather made the value of air transport crystal clear. Modern life and the global economy depend on aviation,” concluded Bisignani.-TradeArabia News Service
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