1-Jun-2012 11:38 AM

IATA: Air travel demand growing above long-term trend

IATA released (31-May-2012) its ‘Airlines Financial Monitor’ for Apr/May-2012. Key points include:

  • Global airline share prices fell 7% in May-2012, but outperformed the market as fuel prices eased further, though in Europe airline shares were sharply hit (-15%) by concerns over the euro zone;
  • 1Q2012 airline profits are significantly down year-on-year (net loss of USD1.5 billion), as fuel prices squeeze margins, but North American airlines in contrast to other regions have improved performance (net profit of USD500 million);
  • Air travel is increasing at a 6% annualised rate – above the 20-year trend – and air freight volumes are now also trending upward, starting to reverse the weakness of 2011. Freight capacity remains stable while passenger capacity continues to increase;
  • Asset utilisation is improving – seasonally adjusted passenger load factors reached record highs in Apr-2012, and cargo load factors improved on the lows of late 2011;
  • Fuel prices eased further in May-2012, falling back to the levels of Dec-2012, as euro zone concerns overcome worries about the Iranian situation;
  • US airlines are managing to recover fuel costs with higher yields, but softer worldwide fares suggest weakness in other regions. [more – original PR]