IATA stats back airline slowdown fears

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The International Air Transport Association says its statistics backs its contention that the global airline industry remains in deep crisis despite the fall in the global oil price.
It says its figures for August – the latest available – show a decline in passenger numbers on both premium and economy tickets for the first time since the SARS flu crisis of 2003.
   
“Premium passenger numbers were down  -1.5% and those travelling on economy tickets fell -0.1%,” the organisation`s Premium Traffic Monitor report notes.
“Travel within and to the Far East once again was very weak, with a -7.8% fall within-Asia and a -6.4% fall in Pacific markets”. The report adds there were some areas of strength with a 4.3% premium growth on transatlantic routes and growth in Africa, the Middle East and South America.
However “prospects for premium travel, business travel in particular, look very depressed. The financial sector crisis will surely see a very large shrinkage in business travel from this sector. Moreover, the increased likelihood of recession in major economies next year will further weaken both business and leisure travel,” IATA warns.
“Business travel, which forms the bulk of those travelling on premium tickets, is highly sensitive to the economic cycle and to activity in key industries such as financial services. The sharp decline in premium travel seen in recent months is a reflection of the sharp falls in industrial production seen in major economies during July and August and the falls in both consumer and business confidence.”
The warning echoes the words of IATA regional vice president for Africa, Lance Brogden, in George, in the southern Cape, last Friday, when he urged greater and faster reform in the airline industry.
IATA director general and CE Giovanni Bisignani has made similar calls, most recently from Hanoi, Vietnam.  
Share of Total Premium:
 
Premium Traffic Growth
Traffic
Revenues
Aug 08 vs Aug 2007
YTD 2008 vs YTD 2007
Africa – Middle East
1.0%
0.6%
3.7%
13.7%
Africa – Middle East
1.0%
0.6%
3.7%
13.7%
Africa – SW Pacific
0.0%
0.1%
-7.4%
9.7%
C America – S America
0.4%
0.2%
12.8%
14.3%
Europe – Far East
8.5%
14.3%
-3.4%
1.4%
Europe – Middle East
4.6%
5.5%
10.7%
10.7%
Europe – SW Pacific
0.1%
0.3%
10.4%
-5.8%
Africa – Far East
0.2%
0.3%
0.8%
3.2%
Within Africa
0.6%
0.2%
13.2%
21.6%
Within Central America
0.2%
0.0%
-8.4%
-6.4%
Within Far East
10.5%
2.9%
-7.8%
-0.9%
Within Middle East
1.7%
0.4%
20.3%
15.9%
Within N America
1.7%
0.7%
-1.9%
-1.8%
Within SW Pacific
0.3%
0.2%
-6.3%
0.4%
Within South America
1.0%
0.2%
10.1%
12.1%
Mid Atlantic
1.1%
2.2%
0.8%
5.3%
Middle East – Far East
2.5%
1.5%
-0.7%
12.4%
Middle East – SW Pacific
0.4%
0.8%
-11.0%
-4.2%
North Atlantic
18.5%
31.6%
4.3%
4.8%
N America – C America
5.6%
1.6%
2.1%
2.4%
Europe – Africa
4.0%
5.3%
3.9%
5.0%
N America – S America
2.4%
3.1%
5.2%
6.8%
Far East – SW Pacific
1.8%
2.1%
-7.2%
0.3%
North & Mid Pacific
7.1%
13.7%
-6.4%
-1.1%
South Pacific
0.4%
1.4%
-8.7%
-6.7%
South Atlantic
2.5%
4.2%
18.7%
13.6%