2009 Worst Year For Airlines Yet
January 27, 2010
While national flights in the U.S. improved in December with a 4.5% increase, it was likely due to the holidays, and the year bottomed out with only 77% of domestic seats being filled.
International flights decreased 0.7%, and overall the demand dropped by 3.5% compared to 2008.
“The industry starts 2010 with some enormous challenges,” IATA director Giovanni Bisignani said.
“The worst is behind us, but it’s not time to celebrate. Adjusting to 2.5 to 3.5 years of lost growth means that airlines face another spartan year, focused on matching capacity carefully to demand and controlling costs.”
There are likely a number of reasons for this drop.
While the price of air travel has gone down significantly, airlines have begun to charge for bags and other amenities.
Increased security, bans on various items on planes, and nervousness over recent crashes and attacks have also led to the downturn, as have the instability for some International flights to countries with increased political and social tension.
The recession may also be to blame, with less disposable income leading to less travel for the lower and middle classes.