Air traffic figures "heavily negative" - AEA
European passenger volumes down 6.5%
The Association of European Airlines (AEA) has today (Aug 10) labelled recent declines in passenger volumes as "heavily negative".
The Association's airline members reported overall volumes down 6.5% in June year-on-year.
"The June figures, while evidently not as extreme as the minus 8.3% recorded in May, remained heavily negative," the AEA said.
A small increase in traffic was seen on routes to and from Sub Saharan Africa. Middle Eastern and North African traffic had also shown improvement.
Flights within the EU saw traffic decline 6.3% in June year-on-year while North Atlantic travel was down 7%.
The Association said traffic between Europe and the Far East was the hardest hit in June having fallen 10.7% year-on-year, the first double-digit loss since the 2003 SARS outbreak.
Seat capacity in June fell 4.9% compared to the same month in 2008, a decline almost equal to that seen in May.
The Association said airlines were "systematically reducing frequency, although at a rate that still did not match the weakening market."
Load factors continued to decline as a result, down 1.3% to 77.0%.
"Preliminary figures for July, based on weekly reports, open a new panorama," the AEA added.
"The negatives are still very much in evidence, but on a reduced scale, with an indication for the month of minus 2.2%."
The Association said it expects cuts in capacity to slow but still counter the decline in demand for travel and drive growth in load factor.