Taking Stock


In this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier, Mike Dunbar reports that the world’s airlines will have to improve their bottom line results if they’re going to attract the investment that’s going to be required to buy the aircraft needed to meet the demands of an exploding air travel market.

2014 marks the first century of commercial aviation. From a flying boat carrying a single passenger from St. Pete to Tampa in January 1914, the industry has evolved into a global giant carrying 3.3 billion travellers on almost 100,000 flights a day across 50,000 separate routes this year.

According to IATA chief Tony Tyler, the century mark provides an “excellent plateau” to take stock of where the industry stands and what it needs to do to meet the needs of tomorrow’s passengers.

“One thing is certain,” Tyler told the recent World Passenger Symposium in San Diego, “There will be many more of them.”

Between now and 2018, IATA expects to see a 21% rise in passenger numbers. That’s an additional 700 million boardings and, by 2034 the airlines will be carrying 7.3 billion people – more than double today’s count.

Tyler said sustainability is key to growth and while the industry is making steady progress on the environmental front, he pointed out that it also means generating adequate returns to attract new investors.

“This year we expect the airlines to achieve a global net profit of $18 billion, which sounds like a big number, but on revenues of $746 billion, it’s a net profit margin of just 2.4%,” reported the association CEO.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.