Uncertainties, Severe Weather Dents
2011 Airline Recovery
February 7, 2011 - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported full-year 2010 demand statistics for international scheduled air traffic that showed an 8.2% increase in the passenger business and a 20.6% increase in freight.
Demand growth outstripped capacity increases of 4.4% for
passenger and 8.9% for cargo. Average passenger load
factor for the year was 78.4% which is a 2.7 percentage
point improvement on 2009. The freight load factor saw a
5.2 percentage point improvement to 53.8%.
Compared to the pre-recession levels of early 2008,
December air travel volumes were 4% higher. Air freight
was 1% higher than pre-recession levels; however volumes
have fallen 5% since the peak of the post-recession
inventory re-stocking boom in early 2010.
is moving again. After the biggest demand decline in the history
of aviation in 2009, people started to travel and do business
again in 2010. Airlines ended the year slightly ahead of early
2008 volumes, but with a pathetic 2.7% profit margin. The
challenge is to turn the demand for mobility into sustainable
profits,? said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA?s Director General and
weather Europe and
Asia-Pacific carriers recorded a 9% year-on-year increase in
passenger demand in 2010. While December 2010 passenger demand
growth slowed to 2.9%, it is 11% higher when compared to
December 2008, just ahead of the industry?s 9-10% improvement
over the same period. The economies of
carriers saw year-on-year passenger demand increase 5.1%. This
is double the capacity increase of 2.6%, which shored-up the
passenger load factor at 79.4%. But the continent?s economic
uncertainty and continuing debt crisis limited yield
carriers recorded year-on-year increases in passenger demand of 7.4% in
2010. A key feature in 2010 was the capacity discipline, where full-year
capacity was up by just 3.9% (leading to a sharp recovery in profits).
The passenger load factor at 82.2% for the full year (up from 79.6% in
2009) may prove difficult to maintain if capacity additions accelerate
over the period ahead. Passenger demand in December increased 6.7%.
carriers reported the strongest full year growth at 17.8% on the back of
a 13.2% capacity increase fueled largely by aircraft deliveries to
Gulf-based airlines. Load factors for the region showed a 3 percentage
point increase to 76.0%. December demand was 14.1% above previous year
levels and 35% higher than in December 2008, illustrating the structural
shift that is taking place in the industry as a result of the region?s
carriers saw the whole year demand grow 8.2% despite a 1.1% decrease in
December, a reflection of the demise of Mexicana.
But the reality is that for 2010 overall, the total is almost 8%
more than 2008.
experienced a sharp rebound of nearly 12.9% in 2010, although load
factors remained well below the industry average, at 69.1%. Their year
ended with December demand at 11.7% above previous year levels.
growth varied wildly over the year from a high of 35.2% in May to a low
of 5.8% in November. Overall the industry is trending towards normal
growth pattern in line with the historical growth rate of 5-6%.
variation in growth remains particularly marked. Latin American carriers
recorded the highest full-year growth rate of 29.1%, followed by Middle
East carriers (accounting for 11% of the market) at 26.7%, Asia Pacific
airlines (with a 45% market share) grew by 24.0%, Africa at 23.8% and
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