- Passenger numbers: 36 million, +1.5% year-on-year;
- Passenger traffic (RPKs): +3.0%;
- Capacity (ASKs): +2.4%;
- Passenger load factor: 84.3%, +0.4 ppt;
- Cargo traffic (FTKs): -3.8%.
AEA pax numbers up 2% in Jul-2012, cargo traffic down 4%
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European airlines’ financial results in 2012; Net profit of biggest 13 down 72% for the year
The biggest 13 European airline companies for whom 2012 accounts are available reported an aggregate fall in net profit of 72% in 2012 to just EUR69 million. At the level of operating profit, which provides a more accurate view of underlying performance, the aggregate result fell by a more creditable 17% to EUR 1,662 million (71% of this from the four LCCs in the sample) and the operating margin fell by 0.5ppts to 1.5%.
Total revenues grew by a healthy 8.0%, but total costs grew faster, by 8.5%.
Costs were inflated by an 18.9% increase in fuel costs, whose share of revenues increased to 28%, up from one quarter in 2011. Excluding fuel, all other costs grew by 4.8%, appreciably slower than revenues.
LCCs grew faster, had higher load factors and, while their collective operating margin fell slightly, from 9.8% to 9.5%, this was vastly superior to the legacies’ collective 2012 margin of just 0.5%.
Eurocontrol flight movement forecasts to 2019: go east, young man
Eurocontrol’s impressive medium term forecast of flight numbers in Europe, covering 44 markets for the period 2012 to 2019, sees an average growth rate of 2.3% p.a. under its base case. It contains a number of key points concerning recent trends and the outlook for European airlines. Eurocontrol sees the weak traffic environment of 2012 continuing in 2013, with another year of falling flight numbers and winter seasons especially weak. However, it forecasts a recovery in 2014 and that Turkey will lead the superior growth of Eastern countries both in 2013 and through to 2019. Airport capacity constraints and competition from high speed rail are forecast to cut 1.6% from the total of flights in 2019.
For charter carriers, 2012 brought some welcome relief as flight numbers recovered from the impact of the Arab Spring in 2011, although they are still on a longer term downward trend. Traditional carriers saw a fall in their share of flights in 2012 and this looks set to continue as LCCs are projected to increase their share further (especially in Central and Eastern Europe). The main point of comfort to traditional carriers is that growth rates to destinations outside Europe are forecast to be higher than within Europe.