EUROPE & CIS: Decline continues for European carriers

Air cargo has “all but collapsed,” according to the Association of European Airlines (AEA), who said traffic volumes were down by around a fifth for the first two months of the year, the worst figures on record. Passenger traffic plunged nearly five per cent in the first two months of the year and could fall […]


Air cargo has “all but collapsed,” according to the Association of European Airlines (AEA), who said traffic volumes were down by around a fifth for the first two months of the year, the worst figures on record.

Passenger traffic plunged nearly five per cent in the first two months of the year and could fall another ten per cent in March as the economic downturn continues. It said it would normally expect a four to five per cent increase in traffic “so current levels are approaching 10 per cent below expectations.”

Airlines have cut back flights as demand slumps, but not quickly enough to avoid financial loss, the AEA said, noting the ongoing lower load factors.

“Load factor losses of this magnitude would normally signal a substantial effect on profitability,” it said – adding that this was amplifi ed by “a reported serious loss in premium-fare traffic.”

The AEA has some 34 European airline members that employ 423,000 people and have a total yearly turnover of €78 billion.