What’s next for the world’s largest airline?
The International Air Transport Association has released its annual Airline Ratings and Statistics, a yearly look at global travel.
The new edition of the report, released this week, found the airline industry continues to face a crisis of profitability and that passenger growth continues to stagnate.
The IATA also said that in 2018, global air travel grew by 2.2 percent, and that in 2019, the average passenger on a domestic flight will reach 1.3 million, which is the third consecutive year of growth.
That would be the largest number of passengers on any domestic flight since 2012.
But as the airline sector struggles to sustain growth, some airlines have decided to reduce their flight lengths and routes, or even cut back on ticket purchases altogether.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said this year that it would consider reducing the length of flights, while the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) said it would reduce the number of flights it carries.
The IATA said that while it remains “critical” that airlines are transparent about the impact of these decisions, “the global industry must continue to be transparent in order to continue to thrive.”
In 2018, the airlines with the highest average daily passenger volume were Qatar Airways (QQ), United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United Arab Airlines (UAL), with a combined total of 1.2 billion passengers, and the lowest average daily passengers were United Airlines (UA), with 2.1 billion passengers.
IATA president David Johnston told The Huffington Polling Network in a statement that these are “staggering numbers” that suggest that “it is imperative that the airlines take action to ensure they do not miss opportunities for growth.”
The airline industry in the United States is also experiencing a “significant” crisis of profit and profitability, Johnston said.
He pointed to the fact that the airline market is currently experiencing “significant declines” in the amount of revenue earned, and he said that there are a number of reasons for this.
Among the reasons cited by Johnston are: a rise in the number and size of commercial airliners in the domestic market; lower demand from the growing middle class and the growing number of students, and a decline in domestic airline revenue.
In 2018 alone, the IATA estimated that the U.S. domestic air transportation industry had revenue of $2.1 trillion, a 17 percent decrease from the year prior.
The total revenue of the domestic aviation sector for 2018 was $1.8 trillion, down by more than 7 percent.
The industry also reported that the average daily revenue for the U, Q, and AU was down 4 percent from last year.
In the report’s findings, Johnston wrote that the industry continues “to face significant challenges, including operational uncertainty stemming from the impact that global warming will have on passenger demand and profitability.”
He said that “some airlines are planning to cut their flight distances, while others are preparing to reduce or suspend flights to certain countries in certain regions, and some airlines are exploring other alternatives to domestic flights.”
But Johnston said that the overall situation is “unfortunate,” and that it will only get worse as the global economy continues to recover.
He said the “tough choices airlines will face will only compound the current crisis.”
The IAAI said that a number the airlines are currently making “will likely have a negative impact on overall airline profitability and profitability for the next several years.”
“Given the large number of options available to the industry to reduce costs, reduce capacity and increase passenger flow, we believe the industry should be making choices based on the financial, operational, financial-performance and passenger-revenue considerations,” Johnston said in a written statement.