Airline passenger demand to pick up in 2010

[September 24th 2008]

Airport scene

As the airline crisis continues to deepen and more airlines appear on the point of going bust, Airports Council International predicts that airline passenger demand will pick up again in 2010.

Airports Council International (ACI) describes itself as ‘The voice of the world’s airports’ and the organisation’s director general, Angela Gittens, made the prediction about the return of consumer confidence at the ACI World Annual General Assembly in Boston this week.

“Today we released our Global Forecast. It is telling us we are going to have to be cautious in the short term, but still plan to meet the longer term demand. Over the next two years, passenger growth will slow worldwide, reflecting the current uncertainties in the world economies, but will pick up again in 2010,” Gittens said.

In her speech, Gittens acknowledged the difficulties facing the industry: “2008 saw a slowing trend in consumer demand, attributed to a series of pressure points that affected the entire aviation community: volatile and less accessible credit markets, persistently high fuel prices, aging kerosene hungry fleets, a general economic slowdown, the threat of heightened government controls and taxation, and growing customer dissatisfaction with delays at congested hubs”.

Gittens also recognised “Our airline customers are feeling the pinch”. She said: “Airports fully recognise the difficulties airlines face due to the persistent rise in fuel prices. Indeed many airports around the world have been affected by recent airline decisions to realign their commercial offering and improve balance sheets by modifying routes, consolidating services and retiring aircraft, among other measures”.

Despite the current difficulties facing airlines and airports, the ACI remains confident about medium and long term prospects. “As we have seen with past extraordinary economic pressures that have challenged this industry, long-term demand for air service has proven to be resilient. The industry must stand ready to accommodate growth and avoid congestion, and airports must take a leadership role ensuring that our partners understand our constraints and our horizons,” said Gittens.

In its global forecast, ACI predicts that global airline passenger volumes will surpass the 5 billion mark by 2009 and reach 11 billion – that’s 30 million passengers a day – by 2027. Not surprisingly India and China are expected to see the greatest growth in airline passenger demand.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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Airline Passenger Demand To Pick Up In 2010