Wed, May 20, 2009
Recession 'Taking Toll on Demand'
Six months in a row... that's the losing streak experienced by
the nations's embattled airlines... so far. The Air Transport
Association is corroborating reports that passenger revenue fell 18
percent in April 2009 versus the same month in 2008 -- the sixth
consecutive month in which passenger revenue has fallen from the
The number of passengers traveling
on U.S. airlines in April fell 6.3 percent, while the average price
to fly one mile fell 12.6 percent. Revenue declines extended beyond
the mainland United States to the Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Pacific and
Latin markets. April results partially reflect the shift in the
Easter holiday from April last year to March this year.
Compounding the softening demand for travel, U.S. airlines saw
cargo traffic (measured in terms of revenue ton miles) decline 21
percent year over year in March 2009, matching the decline measured
in January and February and marking the eighth consecutive month of
declining cargo traffic. Notably, cargo traffic in the Pacific
region fell 28 percent. April 2009 cargo data is not yet
"The latest reports show the scope and depth of the recession's
continued toll on commercial aviation. The industry is seeing less
demand in the cabin, as well as in the cargo holds, clear signs of
the widespread slowdown in global economic activity," said ATA
President and CEO James May.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.1 trillion in U.S.
economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. On a daily
basis, U.S. 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.
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