Business This Week: Irish air-traffic figures will show difference a year can make

Thursday’s data for end of 2019 will complete the picture of a year in which the industry was thriving

DAA, the company that runs Dublin Airport, is due to publish its annual report and financial results for 2019 in the coming weeks. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

DAA, the company that runs Dublin Airport, is due to publish its annual report and financial results for 2019 in the coming weeks. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

 

MONDAY

Bank holiday

TUESDAY

Results: United Airlines, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson.

Indicators: Irish trade statistics (Jan); US export and import prices (Mar).

WEDNESDAY

Results: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Mogan Stanley.

Indicators: Irish exports and imports (Feb), gross value added for foreign-owned multinational enterprises and other sectors quarterly results (Q4); US mortgage applications and rates (Apr), retail sales (Mar), industrial and manufacturing production (Mar), business inventories (Feb).

THURSDAY

Indicators: Irish aviation statistics (Q4), innovation in Irish enterprises (2016 - 2018); Euro zone industrial production (Feb); German inflation (Mar); US building permits and housing starts (Mar), jobless claims (Apr).

How times have changed in airline industry

On Thursday, figures for Irish air traffic in the fourth quarter of 2019 will complete the picture of a year in which the industry was thriving. How times have changed.

The comparison between this year and last will be stark, in an era in which the coronavirus has grounded flights, led to the loss of jobs and slashing of wages. Will the sector ever return to its previous might?

Central Statistics Office data for the third quarter showed almost 11.6 million passengers passed through the five main Irish airports. That was up more than 4 per cent over the same period in 2018. Dublin airport accounted for 85 per cent and last January it emerged that a record 32.9 million passengers passed through it for the entire year.

In the first nine months of 2019, 29.5 million passengers travelled through the main Irish airports, an increase of 5 per cent.

The performance level of 2019, as with other years, hit several financial targets and triggered “profit share, gainshare and performance-related” payments to staff from DAA (the company that runs Dublin Airport).

Although Dublin remains open to handle cargo flights and other vital services, it is now an aviation ghost town – at the end of March passenger numbers had plummeted 90 per cent and there is no indication yet of that changing.

DAA is due to publish its annual report and financial results for 2019 in the coming weeks.

FRIDAY

Indicators: Irish residential property price index (Feb); Euro zone construction output (Feb), inflation (Mar).

Long-term effects on property market

The property market has been stalled like everything else by the coronavirus pandemic and it will be some time before it becomes clear exactly what long-term effects it has.

On Friday, the Central Statistics Office publishes its residential property price index giving a detailed glimpse at trends in Dublin and nationwide but this is only for February, when the potential threat of the virus was only just beginning to enter the collective conscious.

“It is unclear what effect the outbreak will have on prices in the short term, but much slower than forecast economic growth and the recent jump in unemployment can only be detrimental to the market,” said DNG’s director of research Paul Murgatroyd, following the publication of its quarterly report on the residential market.

In January, according to the CSO, residential prices increased by 1.8 per cent nationally in the year to January, compared to a jump of just 0.5 per cent in the year to December.

This was markedly down on the 5.2 per cent increase recorded in the 12 months to January 2019, and that pattern is likely to be cemented, to say the least, by the ensuing global economic slump.

In Dublin, residential property prices increased by 0.5 per cent in the year to January.

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