INTERNATIONAL. The effect of the extra day in February due to 2008 being a Leap Year has manifested itself in international passenger figures for the 124 airports to declare their results to date, said analyst Air4casts today.
It said that the 124 declarations account for just over a quarter of the expected international traffic for the month and reveal a +9.6% year-on-year increase. This was substantially influenced by the addition of the 29th day, Air4casts said, adding that a “crude removal” of the extra day still showed a +5.6% year-on-year improvement.
Here is a quick summary of the findings (all without any Leap day correction). For full results see www.air4casts.com
ASIA PACIFIC AIRPORTS – SELECTED YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE IN FEBRUARY INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER NUMBERS
SEOUL GIMPO: +26.0%
EUROPEAN MAJORS AIRPORTS – YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE IN FEBRUARY INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER NUMBERS
LONDON CITY: +23.3.3%
LONDON GATWICK: +8.3%
LONDON HEATHROW: +3.9%
LONDON STANSTED: -3.3%
MOSCOW DOMODEDOVO AIRPORT: +22.5%
PARIS ROISSY AND ORLY: +6.1%
ROME FIUMICINO: +15.5%
STOCKHOLM ARLANDA: +14.3%
QUARTER 2 INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER OUTLOOK
Air4casts said that the March international figures will be boosted by the early Easter, but warned: “There is no doubt that the sorts of growth rates which were quite common towards the end of last year will not be replicated through the spring of 2008 and there is much media speculation about how “˜recession’ will affect the industry and especially the tourist business.”
It said that analysts tend to reason that lower consumer confidence may mean holidays postponed, adding: “There is, however, a case for suggesting that, as consumers re-order their spending priorities, the leisure trip will stay in place at the expense of other consumption options. Recent evidence from the UK package tour business gives strong support to this line.”
THE US RECESSION
Air4casts downplayed the impact of the economic woes on that country’s airline sector, noting: “If recession is conventionally defined as two successive quarters of negative growth then, excepting the travel avoidance in the aftermath of 9/11, the US business since the start of the nineties has not experienced a single negative quarter.
“Passenger numbers declared by US airlines rose by +5% in February which, even after the 28/29 adjustment, is specially relevant after a half percent increase in January and a half point decline in December.”
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