As global air traffic continues to slide, the International Air Transport Association can now confirm this as international load factors fall to 75.4%, dropping 76.9% from last year’s April figures.
These figures have been hit by the unseasonably early Easter, and as such didn’t see the normal travel figures usually achieved at that time.
Also at the same time, the month saw the opening up of the transatlantic routes and the EU and US Open Skies policies are realised, translating to a 10% jump in transatlantic capacity.
“The impact of skyrocketing oil prices and weaker economies has made its way to traffic growth. At this time last year we were talking about 6.7% growth for the first four months of the year. This year it’s 4%. There has been a step change downwards,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO.
Looking forward, he adds, “The industry outlook is grim at best.”
The three markets that hold the most market share in terms of revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) are Europe with 33.1%, Asia Pacific with 32.9% and North America at 18.8%.
“In 2007 airlines posted a profit of US$5.6 billion. This was the first profit after six years in which losses totalled more than US$40 billion. To achieve this, we re-engineered the industry,” said Bisignani.
“On June 1st, the industry will mark a Simplifying the Business milestone, having achieved 100% e-ticketing. It means US$3 billion in cost savings and greater convenience everywhere. But there will barely be time to celebrate. Much more change is needed.”