Gloom continues for struggling aviation industry
Monday, December 01, 2008: Passenger numbers continued to decrease for the second month in a row, with international figures dropping 1.3% in October, slightly better than the 2.9% experienced in September.
African carrier fared the worst for the month, dropping 12.9% in terms of passenger traffic when compared to last year, and North American passengers fared the best, dropping 0.8% in October, reports the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in their monthly statistic update.
“The gloom continues and the situation of the industry remains critical. While the drop in oil prices is welcome relief, recession is now the biggest threat to airline profitability,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO.
“The slight slowing in the decline of passenger traffic is likely only temporary. The deepening slump in cargo markets is a clear indication that the worst is yet to come.”
Asia-Pacific carriers, representing nearly a third of all traffic, dropped by 6.1% in October, though slightly better from the 6.8% year-on-year drop in September.
Once again, Mr Bisignani called upon governments not to tax airlines unfairly and asked for more liberalisation of aviation regulations.
“As the global economic downturn re-shapes the world’s financial industry, policy makers must also understand that change is needed in air transport. Unlike the finance industry, airlines are not asking for handouts. Commercial freedom, efficiency and a fair treatment in taxes are needed,” he said.