Fri, Apr 17, 2009
Recession Continues To Hit Marketplace, Earnings
The Air Transport Association of
America (ATA), lobbying organization for the leading US airlines,
reported this week that passenger revenue fell 23 percent in March
2009 versus the same month in 2008 -- the fifth consecutive month
in which passenger revenue has fallen from the prior year.
ATA adds March passenger traffic on US airlines fell by 10
percent, while the overall cost to fly one mile fell by 13 percent.
Declines extended beyond the mainland United States to
transatlantic, transpacific and Latin markets.
Compounding the softening demand for travel, US airlines saw
cargo traffic -- as measured by revenue ton miles -- decline 21
percent year over year in February 2009, matching the decline
measured in January and marking the seventh consecutive month of
declining cargo traffic. Notably, cargo traffic in the Latin region
fell 27 percent. Year-over-year results were also adversely
affected because February 2008 consisted of 29 days. March 2009
cargo data is not yet available.
"We are seeing first quarter 2009 earnings for the US airline
industry that reflect the adverse conditions impacting the broader
economy," said ATA President and CEO James C. May. "While the
industry faces demand uncertainty as we head into the summer, we
certainly would like to believe that we have seen the low
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.1 trillion in US
economic activity and more than 10 million US jobs. On a daily
basis, US airlines operate nearly 30,000 flights in 77 countries
using more than 6,000 aircraft to carry an average of two million
passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo. More than half of US exports
by value move by air and every $1 million of aviation economic
activity generates approximately 24 US jobs.
Thursday's release was the second in a series of reports ATA
plans to issue during the recessionary period.
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