The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is predicting that airlines will sell fewer seats this spring as consumers in both the leisure and business sectors opt to stay at home and cut back on their
While IATA is a bit more optimistic about the prospects for the a halt in the decline of air cargo internationally, it points out that there is still no clear sign of a bottoming out in the air passenger market.
In a statement, IATA said: ‘The deepening recession has cut away the foundations for travel demand.’ Having said this, IATA added that last month's passenger traffic figures showing a 10% drop over February 2008 may have been distorted because Chinese New Year occurred in February this year, causing a spike in the number of people travelling.
The association which represents 230 airlines worldwide, said: ‘Much of the recent bad news on fourth-quarter profits and slumping traffic is now 'in the price',’ said IATA, which has estimated that airlines will lose $4.7bn this year, after posting an $8.5bn loss in 2008.
As a result, IATA says that worldwide, airlines have cut tens of thousands of jobs and more than 40 carriers have been grounded in the past 18 months.