12/07/2011

Geneva Airport traffic in 2012

Like many airports, Geneva has seen many more flights in 2011 than in 2010. However, the omens for 2012 are not good (even perhaps for easyJet Switzerland).


Back in September of this year IATA raised its expectation of airline profits in 2011 to 6.9 billion dollars (1 billion dollars in Europe), more than the 4 billion dollars that it had estimated three months earlier. However, that report also foresaw trouble from the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, a global economic slowdown and persistently high oil prices, so that it expected the fourth quarter of the year, plus the first half of 2012, to be particularly harsh.

The IATA forecast at that time expected the world economy to grow by 2.5% this year, dropping to 2.4% in 2012: a figure that many economists might now regard as excessively optimistic! In fact, the IATA comment was that if world economic growth were to drop below 2% then airlines were likely to lose money. A subsequent IATA report now suggests that Europe will be the worst area for airlines, with an expected loss of 0.6 billion dollars in 2012.

One confirmation that hard times are already here came in a report in the Times yesterday, Tuesday December 6, which was entitled

Ryanair's golden era grinds to a halt.

This article noted that Ryanair, the largest airline in Europe, saw its passenger numbers fall for the first time since the early 1990s, and that Ryanair has grounded 80 aircraft.

So far, easyJet seems to be surviving OK, especially in Switzerland. The article in this paper on that same Tuesday was very positive, noting the number of employment posts created here in Geneva and the 16% increase in easyJet passenger numbers in Geneva this year. However, these figures need a little bit of interpretation, since they are essentially the result of now having 12 aircraft based in Geneva, whereas there were only 10 for most of 2010, i.e. a 20% increase.

Another pointer, possibly significant, can be seen by looking at the November air traffic figures for Geneva. The ones that ARAG has compiled appear to show that despite having one more aircraft available (12 this November, 11 last November) the number of easyJet Switzerland flights to and from Geneva actually appears to have dropped (the reason could be the suppression of some midweek flights to destinations in France).

The winter performance may well depend on many factors (snow which finally appears to be falling, the over-strong Swiss Franc and the economy, especially in the UK), so we cannot yet see clearly. However, the Geneva Airport Web site permanently suggests that people look at the easyJet flights for next Summer (I wonder how much easyJet pays for this publicity!), which indicate that there will be an extra 22 flights each week. In addition, easyJet will for the first time operate on Christmas day this year (tough on their employees, maybe).

It all sounds good (though not to those who are desperately worried about global warming contributions!), but if the very pessimistic forecasts of some economists, notably ones who write for the Sunday version of Le Matin, come to pass, then I should be surprised if it is not too good to be true.

18:49 Posted in Potpourri | Permalink | Comments (1) | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

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these figures need a little bit of interpretation, since they are essentially the result of now having 12 aircraft based in Geneva, whereas there were only 10 for most of 2010, i.e. a 20% increase.which indicate that there will be an extra 22 flights each week

Posted by: research papers | 12/07/2011

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