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Airlines will take 3 years to recover

June 4, 2009 15:29 IST

Airlines will take 3 years to recover

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Airlines worldwide will continue to be in the 'red' because of the global meltdown and may take more than three years to recover, an international aviation group said warning that the epicentre of the crisis is now in Asia.

Noting that the passenger and cargo traffic is going down globally, International Air Transport Association is ready to announce its industry forecast for 2009.

Text: PTI


Image: An Indian official disembarks from an Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft.
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters
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Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive officer IATA, said that the forecast, to be announced in Associations general meeting on Monday, will be substantially worse than the March forecast of losses of $4.7 billion.

"We are in intensive care... the forecast seems more pessimistic than those presented in March," Bisignani told a press conference adding that the economy was not moving forward despite some optimism in the financial stock market.


Image: The Turkish Stars aerobatic team from the Turkish Air Force perform.
Photographs: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters
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"The economy has not started to run again, the industry is in a difficult position, its premium passengers have dramatically declined especially in Asia," he said.

The IATA chief said that crisis has also affected India and China, who had been drivers in the region.

Bisignani said after the September 11th incidents, the industry had lost seven per cent revenue and it took three years to recover.

Image: Flydubai, the first passenger flight of Dubai's first low cost carrier.
Photographs: Sharif Karim/Reuters
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"This situation is global and it will take more than three years to recover, it is difficult to see recovery of profits in the next few years," he warned.

IATA said the industry crisis which began in the US moved to Europe and is now in Asia.

"During January-April this year the passenger demand was down 7.5 per cent globally while the drop in Asia alone was 11 per cent, while the cargo demand was down 22.2 per cent worldwide while Asia accounted for 24.7 per cent," Bisignani said.





Image: A Virgin Atlantic aircraft comes in to land at London's Heathrow Airport.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters
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He, however, noted that the cargo sector was showing some signs of improvement.

"It has stabilised in low levels, there has been a one per cent improvement, showing that we have probably touched the bottom," he said adding that there had not yet been an improvement in the industry.

The AGM on Monday will also discuss how the IATA could help out the industry and how it could find ways to emerge out of the crisis.




Image: A British Airways aircraft is pictured at London's Heathrow Airport.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters
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Unlike swine flu whose impact was geographical (mainly hitting Mexico air traffic), the financial crisis is global, he said.

There will be discussions on climate change in the meeting and group eill discuss industry's impact on it. "The airlines industry represents two per cent of Co2 emissions and it takes it very seriously," Bisignani said.


Image: Praful Patel, Minister of State (Civil Aviation).
Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters
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