IATA: performance in February was strong but outlook is fragile
Global air passenger traffic increased by 8.6% in February, according to the association’s latest Air Transport Market Analysis. However, a number of factors inflated the results compared to February 2011, such as weaker traffic in the Middle East and the Brazil Carnival happening a month earlier this year. Nevertheless, airlines in Europe continue to do surprisingly well given the “Eurozone crisis”. Carriers in the region saw a 7.6% increase in international demand, ahead of a 5% increase in capacity.
“While the threat of a European financial meltdown seems more remote than it did only a few months ago, the political risks that aviation faces are growing,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general. “The rapid increase in the price of oil is already biting hard.”
Business confidence is also receding. Compared to January 2012, the picture indeed changes, with passenger demand growing by just 0.4%. Tyler added: “We are ending the first quarter with a considerable amount of uncertainty.”
Reuters / TTG Digital
[pictured: Lufthansa A380 at Stockholm Arlanda Airport; photo by Daniel Asplund, courtesy Swedavia]