While recent data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that air traffic might be turning a corner, heavy discounting was used to bolster traffic and keep load factors up, especially in the US.
As pointed out in the latest Goldman Weekly Flyby note, passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) was down 16-20% for major airlines.
Still, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. The IATA now sees passenger traffic down 8% for 2009, but then flat in 2010, and up single digits in 2011. Hopefully airlines won’t get squeezed by higher fuel prices just as volumes begin to recover.
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