Thursday, November 25, 2010

October International Air Traffic Rises Above Pre-Crisis 2008 Levels: Recovery is Strengthening

The International Air Transport Association announced today that there was a 10.1% year-on-year increase in passenger traffic for the month of October and a 14.4% year-on-year increase last month for international freight volume (see chart above).  Passenger traffic has now increased in 14 out of the last 15 months, and five of those months have been double-digit improvements. Freight traffic has increased for 13 consecutive months, and the last 12 have been double-digit gains. 

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO said:

“As we approach the end of 2010, growth is returning to a more normal pattern. Passenger demand is 5% above pre-crisis levels of early 2008, while freight is 1% above. Where we go from here is dependant on developments in the global economy.  The US is spending more to boost its economy. Asia outside of Japan is barrelling forward with high-speed growth. And Europe is tightening its belt as its currency crisis continues. The picture going forward is anything but clear, but for the time being, the recovery seems to be strengthening."

19 Comments:

At 11/26/2010 2:27 PM, OpenID American Delight said...

I think it's more of a cultural thing. People just seem more eager to fly and more reluctant to drive long distances these days.

 
At 11/26/2010 5:17 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"People just seem more eager to fly and more reluctant to drive long distances these days"...

Hmmm, serious question but have you not been following the news about TSA?

I have 34+ years as an airline employee and this particular Thanksgiving is the lightest that I can remember...

Now its possible that the TSA contributed to that a lot but then again one as to consider unemployment and under-employment means that people have much less disposable cash to spend on airline tickets...

 
At 11/27/2010 3:40 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

U.S. airlines will not release November passenger counts for another week. But the Air Transport Association is predicting that air passengers for the 2010 Thanksgiving week will be 3.5% greater than 2009 counts. That still will not reach pre-recession levels, though.

 
At 11/27/2010 4:13 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"But the Air Transport Association is predicting that air passengers for the 2010 Thanksgiving week will be 3.5% greater than 2009 counts"...

Hmmm, I wonder who the big winners will be?

Did you get a chance to peruse ATA's 2010 Economic Report?

 
At 11/27/2010 12:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Did you get a chance to peruse ATA's 2010 Economic Report?"

Juandos, your link is broke.

Does your position as an airline employee, give you any special insight on the effect of the "Opt Out" movement on Wed. 11/24?

 
At 11/27/2010 12:48 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

It could just be people fleeing to countries that aren't going bankrupt.

Seriously, though, this doesn't tell us much. What's happened to the price of air travel during this period and it needs to be put into context relative to aggrgate travel. The increase in air travel could just be a substition effect.

 
At 11/27/2010 3:23 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

methinks,

For U.S. flights in 2010, revenue per passenger has reached all time highs. The combination of reduced capacity and recovering economy has enabled almost all U.S. airlines to be profitable. Southwest Airlines revenue reached record levels in 2nd and 3rd quarters of this year,

jetbeagle (aka John Dewey on other blogs)

 
At 11/27/2010 3:30 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Ron H,

My insight, as an airline insider, about the impact of TSA's new procedures:

1. If anyone is going to reduce flying in order to avoid being scnned or searched it will be leisure travelers. Business travelers must travel, and rarely can afford the extra time and inconvenience of driving.

2. Leisure travelers almost always purchase tickets in advance. So most had already purchased holiday travel tickets before the new procedures were started.

3. If there will be any reduction in air travel due to TSA procedures - and I am skepitcal about claims there will be - the reductions will occur in the future after the current period of prepaid travel is over.

John Dewey

 
At 11/27/2010 4:03 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Juandos, your link is broke"...

Oops! My bad Ron H and here's the actual link: 2010 Economic Report

"Does your position as an airline employee, give you any special insight on the effect of the "Opt Out" movement on Wed. 11/24?"...

Well here at St. Louis, Mo the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was exceedingly light compared to previous years and no, there was no one as far as I could tell (we made a point of looking) was even remotely indicating any sort of resistance to either the scan or the pat down...

 
At 11/27/2010 4:13 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Business travelers must travel, and rarely can afford the extra time and inconvenience of driving"...

True but business travelers as a percentage of travelers as a whole are less than 40% or so we've been told by management...

Considering the increase in ticket prices, the extra costs of checking luggage, and the additional airport, fuel, and security fees I wonder if we'll be seeing a renaissance of online meetings via broadband connections?

Obviously online meetings won't fill the bill but considering the thin profit margins at the airlines in general it won't take to many more business passengers giving up airport hassles and airlines' increased costs of flying to make what is looking like a potentially profitable time into a loss situation...

 
At 11/27/2010 8:48 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

juandos,

I think we have different but complementary perspectives on the airline industry. One reason is that I think I work for a very profitable airline, while I think yours may have been struggling lately. But another reason is that I don't get to see firsthand what's happening with the customers and on the ground, so to speak. I'm a back office guy, and I depend on statistics for my view.

I gotta tell you,though, the statistics through the end of October look pretty good. We'll have to see what happens when airlines report November traffic in about a week.

 
At 11/28/2010 3:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/28/2010 4:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos, Jet, thanks for the insight, guys. I hate to rely only on the news media for information.

juandos,

"(we made a point of looking)" - at what? :-)

My own air travel these days would all be leisure travel, so I just won't likely fly again. Sorry guys, I know you're hoping to stay employed for a while longer, but it's just too much trouble now.

One failed attempt to light a shoe 8 1/2 years ago has caused countless millions to remove their shoes at US airports every day since. I can just imagine Richard Reid laughing himself to sleep in his cell every night when he thinks about it.

Another failed attempt at crotch lighting has caused the current ridiculous scanning and groping of anyone including the elderly, disabled, and children.

I shudder to think of what might be next.

Both of these failed attempts originated outside the US, so no amount of screening at US airports would have made any difference.

Even before the current illegal searches were in place, I had decided I would fly only as a last resort. My last business flight was from ONT to PHX. With all the delays, waiting, and aggravation I experienced, this 50 minute flight took 6 hrs from the time I left home, until I got to my hotel room in Phoenix.

I realized that a reasonably pleasant drive would take me only 5 1/2 hrs, and I could not only take more luggage with me, but I could keep my shoes on, so that's what I did on 3 more occasions.

If the goal of terrorists is to cause massive disruption and cost billions of dollars, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. It's no longer necessary to actually blow something up, just a poorly planned attempt is enough.

"You won't see London, you won't see France, unless we see your under pants."

 
At 11/28/2010 6:15 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Ron H,

Sorry to read that you fly only as a last resort. I also do not believe the TSA procedures are accomplishing a great deal. I'm confident, though, that the loss of travelers who think as you do will not be enough to threaten my job. Travelers have been inconvenienced by TSA procedures for about 8 years, yet U.S. enplanements soared to record levels in 2007, and are nearly at that record level again in 2010.

IMO, airlines did not protest when the federal government took over airport security for a simple reason. Following 9/11, the cost of airline liability insurance would have soared had airlines been responsible for that security. If we want to blame anyone for the inconvenience of airport security, I think it should be the opponents of tort reform.

 
At 11/28/2010 11:42 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I also do not believe the TSA procedures are accomplishing a great deal"...

Well that depends on what one is defining as a, 'great deal'...

Take the conspiracist's point of view for instance...

TSA slowly drive airlines under due to passenger discomfort with the legalized fondling (check out this YouTube clip: HELP YOU MAKE IT TO YOUR FLIGHT) and then Uncle Sam can swoop in and buy the air carriers ala GM and Chrysler...:-)

"Following 9/11, the cost of airline liability insurance would have soared had airlines been responsible for that security"...

Very good point!

 
At 11/29/2010 11:19 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jet,

"IMO, airlines did not protest when the federal government took over airport security for a simple reason. Following 9/11, the cost of airline liability insurance would have soared had airlines been responsible for that security.

I hadn't considered that. It's an interesting point. But, are airlines really off the hook even though they don't provide security?

I can only speculate, but I wonder if liability insurance rates would really be that much higher if airlines provided their own security. I'm only talking numbers here, but my impression is that losses due to terrorist attacks have been relatively low.

 
At 11/29/2010 11:25 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos,

"HELP YOU MAKE IT TO YOUR FLIGHT"

That's great.

 
At 11/29/2010 4:44 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Ron H: "I wonder if liability insurance rates would really be that much higher if airlines provided their own security."

All I can say is this: in September and October, 2001, a couple of airline executives told me they believed the rates would be much higher. That's when the airlines agreed to government proposals which created TSA. I can only assume airlines had been in contact with insurors.

Incidentally, I was told that neither United nor American wanted the post-9/11 bailouts. The rationale was that both would have benefitted if America West and U.S. Airways would have gone out of business, which was possible without the post-9/11 funds. It was explained to me that UA and AA accepted the bailouts in return for legislation which would absolve them of liability for the 9/11 crashes, a much bigger issue for UA and AA.

 
At 11/29/2010 9:05 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That's when the airlines agreed to government proposals which created TSA. I can only assume airlines had been in contact with insurors."

The future was uncertain at that time, and they may have chosen a known evil over unknown ones.

"It was explained to me that UA and AA accepted the bailouts in return for legislation which would absolve them of liability for the 9/11 crashes, a much bigger issue for UA and AA."

Crony capitalism at it's finest.

 

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