anna.aero’s global aviation trendwatch

A regular feature of anna.aero’s weekly analysis is a revealing look at the trends in traffic across various country markets. For the first time ever we are now publishing the data simultaneously for 10 of the biggest country markets, or 18 if you separate out all the individual countries in the European graph. No where else will you find all this data so succinctly summarised in one place. What it clearly demonstrates is that while overall the global economy has been going through a rough patch during the last 12 months, some countries have been far less affected than others. Some markets are already starting to bounce back (even if quite slowly) while others would appear to be struggling to recover.

China booming, Japan struggling

While Chinese domestic traffic is booming once more with growth rates of over 20%, Mexico is still struggling with the after-effects of the swine flu outbreak earlier this year. Brazil’s domestic market appears to be growing healthily once more while the Indian domestic market also reported growth in June.
Things are not looking so good in the Japanese market, especially on international routes where demand is estimated to be down over 20% based on data from ANA and JAL. Domestic traffic is estimated to be down between 10% and 15% for most of 2009 so far. While neither the US nor Canadian markets have yet bounced back to growth there appears at least to be a gradual improvement in the rate of decline.

Russia’s trough seems to have bottomed out in March and since then the decline in traffic numbers in all markets has slowed somewhat though demand is still down around 15% versus a year ago. However, in some of these markets (such as Russia) it is worth looking back at the growth rates being reported just 18 months ago to realise that certain regions were reporting extremely high growth rates and that traffic levels in 2009 are still above those reported in 2007.

Slow recovery in Europe

Across the nine European markets we have tracked none have reported traffic growth since April. Norway (a business dominated market), spiked in March as the previous year contained Easter, while Portugal (a leisure dominated market) spiked in April thanks to Easter this year being back in its traditional slot. Sweden appears to be lagging behind its European colleagues, not helped by the difficulties being endured by SAS. This has been less of a problem in Norway (thanks to Norwegian’s growth) and Denmark (where Cimber Sterling and Transavia have been taking up some slack).

It is worth noting that two countries on the periphery of Europe (Morocco and Turkey) both reported traffic growth throughout the second quarter of 2009.

Australia

Image: Virgin Blue’s celebrate a string of new North Queensland services in April
Going ‘Troppo’: Townsville Mayor Les Tyrell and Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter join forces to celebrate Virgin Blue’s string of new North Queensland services in April.
Chart: Australian domestic traffic development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/06 to 6/09
Source: BITRE

Brazil

Image: Azul delivery of the first Embraer 195 last December
David Neeleman, chairman of Azul (left), with Embraer president and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado and Mauro Kern, Embraer’s EVP Airline Market, during delivery of the first Embraer 195 last December. Competition from Azul has since contributed healthily to a recovery of Brazil’s domestic traffic.
Chart: Brazilian airports traffic development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/06 to 7/09
Source: Infraero

Canada

Image: Porter Airlines recently launched services between Thunder Bay and Toronto City Centre Airport
Growth has not returned to Canadian markets, but declines are slowing. Porter Airlines recently launched services between Thunder Bay and Toronto City Centre Airport. It is also investing $45 million in a new terminal at the downtown Toronto Airport scheduled to open in November.
Chart: Canadian airports traffic development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/08 to 7/09
Source: Airport websites

China

Image: The opening of Routes/Beijing earlier this week
The opening of Routes/Beijing earlier this week: Li Jiaxiang (second left), the boss of China’s CAAC, banged that drum very hard and bellowed (literally at the top of his voice) a demand/invitation for “Chinese and foreign carriers to start operating more services.” Hats off to the Chinese for returning to 20% growth domestically and also restoring international traffic to stability.
Chart: Chinese airlines development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/07 to 7/09
Source: CAAC

Europe

Image: Launch of Ryanair’s 33rd base in Potro earlier this month
We promise to stop publishing this photo soon, but you have to agree that it’s rare to find a politician as happy to see Michael O’Leary as Portugal’s prime minister José Sócrates. MOL was at the launch of Ryanair’s 33rd base in Porto earlier this month where he also took his “Vote Yes to Europe” campaign – Ireland votes (again) on the Lisbon Treaty on October 2.
Chart: European airports traffic development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/08 to 8/09
Source: ADV, AENA, ANA, Assaeroporti, Avinor, CAA UK, Finavia, French airports, LFV,

India

Image: The first Kingfisher from Mumbai to Hong Kong and Singapore at Changi on September 17
The first Kingfisher flight from Mumbai to Singapore at Changi on September 17. Rajesh Verma, EVP Kingfisher, and Siva Ramachandran, VP Global Sales, join with Changi’s EVP Tan Lye Teck to “press the button.” Things were never that bad for India’s international traffic and its domestic traffic is just beginning to recover.
Chart: Indian domestic air traffic development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/06 to 6/09
Source: AAI

Japan

Image: Fuji Dream Airlines
Fuji Dream Airlines – and dream it may, but growth has not returned to Japan where domestic and international demand is down 15-20%. Of course the only way is up for Fuji Dream, a new regional airline based at the newly-opened Mount Fuji Shizuoka airport, currently operating just three routes to Komatsu (double-daily), Kagoshima (daily) and Kumamoto (daily).
Chart: Japanese airlines traffic development - Year-on-year change in passengers (ANA + JAL): 1/07 to 6/09
Source: ANA, JAL

Mexico

Image: Volaris launched its first international low-cost flights to Los Angeles in July
Mexico is still recovering from what now looks like a completely unhelpful response to the genuine concerns about swine flu. In July Volaris launched its first international low-cost flights to Los Angeles – the first of five US routes to be added this year.
Chart: Mexican domestic traffic development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/06 to 6/09
Source: DGAC Mexico

Russia

Image: United’s non-stop service from Moscow Domodedovo to Washington Dulles at the start of this year’s summer season
The US Ambassador in Moscow, John Beyrle (centre) cuts the ribbon to open United’s non-stop service from Moscow Domodedovo to Washington Dulles at the start of this year’s summer season. Domestic and international declines seemed to have bottomed out and it’s worth reflecting on the extraordinary growth over the last three-five years in assessing the real meaning of the recent shrinkage.
Chart: Russian airline development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/08 to 6/09
Source: TCH

USA

Image: jetBlue Cake
Domestically jetBlue has added several new destinations to its ever-growing network including twice-daily nonstop services from Los Angeles (the 56th destination in its route network) to Boston and New York JFK in competition with plenty of others…
Chart: US domestic market development - Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/05 to 5/09
Source: BTS
Image: US Airways Cake
…Internationally, as on domestic services, the rate of decline in the world’s single largest air transport market continued to slow. In particular we at anna.aero admired US Airways which focused its strategy on adding three key transatlantic routes from its stronghold in Philadelphia this year: Oslo, Birmingham and Tel Aviv.
Chart: US airlines development in 2009 - Year-on-year change in system Revenue Passenger Miles
Source: Airline websites

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