Monday, March 21, 2011

IATA Predicts Japan Air Transport Downturn

Japan Airlines
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects a “major slowdown in air travel” to Japan in the short term, but says it is too early to assess the financial impact. “The fortunes of the industry will likely not improve until the effect of a reconstruction rebound is felt in the second half of the year,” Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani says.

According to IATA, Japan represents 6.5% of world airline traffic and 10% of its revenues. The biggest international markets connecting with Japan are the U.S. (at an annual $10.5 billion in revenues), China ($6.5 billion), South Korea ($3.1 billion) and Taiwan ($2.1 billion). IATA estimates that the length of the current downturn “will depend critically on developments in the nuclear power situation.”

Several airlines, including Cathay Pacific and United Continental, have reported weaker demand for services to Japan. However, that trend is not seen in other regions yet. European airlines are still experiencing strong demand for Japan travel, both inbound and outbound.

The association estimates that the fuel reserves at Japanese airports will last for 10 days, although some fuel facilities have been damaged

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