Dark skies ahead for travel, airlines

এই লেখাটি 72 বার পঠিত
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Dark skies ahead for travel, airlines.

Corporates travellers and holidaymakers are staying home this year as falling passenger numbers, high fuel costs, the low Australian dollar and dampened consumer confidence are hurting the travel and aviation sectors.
The slowdown comes as airlines cut their services to Australia to cope with rising fuel costs in a shift expected to hit international airfares.

Passenger numbers are down. Bloomberg
Executive chairman of the Centre for Aviation CAPA Peter Harbison spelt a grim forecast for the sector at its annual conference on Friday, warning “this is really, genuinely a watershed moment … for the tourism industry, for airports and the economy generally”.
“Passenger numbers are going down … demand is down in both corporate and leisure, driven by lower levels of business and consumer confidence,” Mr Harbison said. “The other issue is fuel costs are going up … what we’ve seen is virtually no growth”.
At its annual meeting on Friday, Sydney Airport also flagged a drop in the number of Australians flying overseas, with Australian passengers down 4.8 per cent overall in March compared with last year.
The three-month average growth in traffic numbers for international passengers and Australian residents is now falling compared with consistent growth of 4-5 per cent in recent years, according to UBS.

The decline is expected to hit airfares with the real domestic airfare index for restricted economy fares already at its highest level since October 2007.
Chair of the Association of Travel Management Companies Rob Dell agreed “we do have very challenging times” with “no growth”.
Paying for the small stuff
He predicts corporate travellers may soon be forced to make micro-payments for services like headphones and luggage space.
“We might well find in the future current premium carriers are going to be charging incrementally for certain things”, he said. “My personal belief is [you will be] charged to put your bag directly above your head, we have had stories about Ryanair charging for people to go to the bathroom.”
The aviation industry is considered to closely follow the broader economy and there is hope that Scott Morrison’s surprise election and promised tax cuts could help boost confidence.
Tough times ahead
“The immediate thought is that will push up prices but not necessarily initially, because we do see a softening of the economy, whether things will improve post-election we don’t know yet”, Mr Harbison said.
“Even if there was a bump in the next week or two the trend is a slowing,” he said.
But the airlines and airports are signalling tougher times ahead.

Peter Harbison AFR
Qantas’ international operations were hit with a $416 million fuel bill hike in the first half with profit falling 16.3 per cent to $498 million in the six months to December.
Former Virgin chief John Borghetti who has been replaced as CEO by Paul Scurrah has also signalled “uncertain market conditions” ahead.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi admitted fuel prices and geopolitical forces such as the US China trade war and Brexit are hurting the industry but claimed there are opportunities amid the gloom.
“I would coach everybody just to really watch generalisations because it is very easy to take a whole-of-market view and say it is bad everywhere but I think there are some real nuggets of opportunity within that market picture,” he told the CAPA conference.

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