Rising Oil Prices Hurt Airlines’ Financial Outlook
International Air Transport Association is downgrading its outlook for the aviation industry by half a billion dollars this year because of high fuel prices.
It estimates that the world´s airlines will see a global profit of $3 billion this year for a .5 % margin, a $500 million downgrade from its December forecast. That´s due to the increase in expected oil prices to $115 per barrel instead of the $99 per barrel originally forecast.
The outlook would be more dire if the Eurozone crisis worsened. An improving U.S. economy also is helping. Capacity is expected to grow by 3.2%, while demand is expected to grow by 3.6%. Both passenger load factors and aircraft utilization are back to pre-recession levels. Political tensions in the Gulf could make oil go higher; that could push airlines into the red. (Source: IATA press release).
Airline On-Time Performance Improves
Airline on-time performance was much better in January, the latest figures available, than it had been a year earlier, going up to an on-time arrival rate of 83.7% from 76.3% in January 2011. It was the best January for on time performance in 18 years, according to the Department of Transportation.
Cancellations were down, too, with airlines cancelling just 1.5% of flights, down from 3.9% in January 2011. And, airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic or international flights. (DOT press release).
TSA Expands Pre Program to More Than 20 Airports
The Transportation Security Administration expects to have its Pre✓ program in place at many of the nation´s major airports by the end of the year. It expects to have it operating in more than 20 airports by June.
Right now the expedited screening program for passengers who provide information about themselves in advance is in place at nearly a dozen airports. Airports that should have it in place by June include Boston Logan, New York LaGuardia, Newark Liberty, Orlando, Portland International and Seattle-Tacoma.
Participating airlines are Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and US Airways.
Participants go through a separate security lane and some times do not have to remove shoes, coats and sweaters or take a laptop out of its bag. This is part of a risk-based security programs; program participants are not guaranteed expedited screening.
The TSA still conducts random and unpredictable security checks. The TSA is adding other risk-based security procedures, including expanded behavior detection techniques and modified screening procedures for those 75 years old or older. (TSA press release).
Four Airlines Change Terminals at LAX as Airport Updrades
Four airlines have or are about to change terminals at Los Angeles International this month as part of the airport’s capital improvement program.
Spirit Airlines, Great Lakes and Alaska Airlines have already moved terminals; later this month, AirTran Airways will also move to a different terminal. Spirit and Great Lakes have moved from Terminal 6 to Terminals 3 and 7 respectively. Alaska is now in Terminal 6, which has expanded lobby space, check-in kiosks, bag-check stations and a new baggage community screening system. (LAX press release).