L'IATA, l'Association internationale du transport aérien a publié son Air Transport Market Analysis pour le mois de septembre 2012.
Le trafic aérien de passagers continue de progresser dans le monde. En un an, il a augmenté de 4%, mais cette augmentation cache des signes de ralentissement depuis le milieu de l'année et des situations très différentes selon les régions du monde.
Les compagnies du Moyen-Orient caracolent largement en tête avec une croissance de 13%, suivies par les comapgnies latino-américaines en progression de 7,5%.
Les compagnies européennes et africaines sont légérement au dessus de cette moyenne mais les compagnies d'Amérique du Nord et d'Asie-Pacifique piétinent, à l'exception notable des compagnies chinoises.
Mais l'augmentation du trafic ne signifie pas nécessairement augmentation de la rentabilité pour les compagnies aériennes. Ainsi les compagnies européennes affichent une croissance sans profit, en raison de l'importance des coûts fixes et des taxes.
Selon l'IATA, l'Europe sera d'ailleurs la seule région du monde où les compagnies finiront l'année avec des pertes, de l'ordre de 930 millions d 'euros. Quant aux compagnies africaines, en dépit d'un fort potentiel de développement, elles souffrent du taux de remplissage le plus faible, 70% au lieu de 80% en moyenne. Ce qui nuit à l'émergence de bénéfices.
Points clés :
Global air travel continued to expand in September, but at a slower rate than during the first half of the year. The year-on-year growth rate in September was 4.1%, which was down on August when this comparison was 5.3%, and lower than the 6% average growth seen throughout H1 2012.
There was an improvement in the level of air travel in September compared to August, which is a standout in the trend over previous months. Global air travel levels have been mostly flat, held down by business confidence and slowing world trade growth. Because the business environment remains weak, that improvement in air travel is erratic rather than the start of a stronger trend.
On international markets, European airlines continue to experience growth in air travel, increasing 5.4% in September on a year ago, despite recessionary conditions in several countries in the Eurozone. The Middle East continues to be the fastest growing region, expanding by a strong 13.3% in September on a year ago. North American airlines, which have been keeping capacity tight, saw demand increase 2.1% in September year-onyear. The major area of weakness was Asia-Pacific, with international traffic just 1.7% higher in September on a year ago.
On domestic markets, air travel in China grew strongly, expanding 11.4% in September compared to the same month last year. Although China’s economy may not yet have emerged from its slowdown, these domestic air travel results are consistent with recent data on industrial production and consumer spending and incomes, all of which show improvement and point toward an acceleration in economic growth. Conversely, slowing economic conditions in India and reduced available capacity are suppressing domestic travel, which contracted 9.9% in September compared to the year-ago period. Japan’s domestic market was down slightly on a year ago, 0.3%, with current levels still 10% below those before the earthquake in 2011. Any boost the Japanese economy received from rebuilding after the earthquake could now be ending, as economic growth, industrial production and exports all showed decline in recent months.
The level of air freight volumes fell further in September, contracting 0.6% compared to August and eroding the stability achieved earlier in the year. The market looks to be following, with a few months of delay, the falls in business and consumer confidence seen over recent months. However, the introduction of new consumer products such as the iPhone 5 could offset some of the downward pressure from the weak business environment, and potentially offer support to air freight volumes in the months ahead.
After four months of decline, passenger load factors improved in September, on the back of increased traffic but also due to slower capacity expansion over the month. This will help airlines offset some of the pressure on profitability from high fuel prices.
Despite a small improvement in business confidence last month, the demand environment for air travel and freight markets remains soft with businesses still expecting a decline in manufacturing activity overall and world trade growth continuing to slow.
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