A survey of airlines during the
third quarter of 2010 indicates that confidence is high in the industry.
However, air carriers reported
concern over the outlook for 2011. According the International Air Transport
Association, 77 per cent of those who responded had reported improvements in
profit during the second quarter of 2010, which was based on stronger revenues
and tighter control of costs.
But airlines were more pragmatic
about the future based on reports of an at best modest amount of growth in
global economic conditions.
The survey was taken in October
based on responses from surveys sent out to the transport association’s 230
airlines, which represent 93 per cent of scheduled international air traffic.
From those who participated, more than 67 per cent said the third quarter had
been more profitable than the previous one, and 60 per cent said that they
anticipated further improvement over the next year.
“Continued recovery in air
transport markets combined with stronger yield performance has helped the
revenue environment for airlines. Improving aircraft utilization and moderate,
rather than dramatic, increases in fuel prices have helped to contain costs.
Profitability has improved as a result,” said the transport association.
Demand and revenue
Demand and revenue are both still
growing in terms of passenger traffic, but at a slower rate than the initial
rebound at the start of 2010. Similarly, freight volumes which had bounced back
quickly as inventories were restocked have now levelled out to a slower growth,
rather than a decline.
The report added that airlines were
trying to control costs through operational matters and improvements in staff
productivity. Employment was slightly down, particularly in Europe, but
airlines expected a slight increase in staffing levels in the upcoming 12
The general feeling in the industry
was that the prospect of increased fuel costs was also a worry, but due to the
modest economy there would be less likelihood of demand-driven price rises.
A major industry event is taking
place this week. The annual National Business Aviation Association show in
Atlanta, Georgia, brings together 25,000 professionals in the field and
discusses issues of aviation in the corporate world.
The conference takes place at
Georgia World Conference Centre at DeKalb Peachtree Airport, and in addition to
exhibitors, there are over 100 seminars in education and maintenance and operations,
from risk management to traffic flow management and training innovation. The
show is a valuable source of resource and contacts for those involved in
business and private aviation.