Cantillon: Good news takes off across aviation sector

Aer Lingus and DAA report traffic increases

 Aer Lingus reported yesterday that it carried more than 1 million passengers in May, which was 5.3 per cent more than in the same month last year.  Photograph:  Frank Miller

Aer Lingus reported yesterday that it carried more than 1 million passengers in May, which was 5.3 per cent more than in the same month last year. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

Bad things happen in threes apparently, but it looks like good news can do the same, when it wants.

Yesterday, both Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA)published numbers showing that their performance in May beat the numbers for the same month last year.

These bulletins came more or less hot on the heels of a prediction from global industry body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), earlier this week, that airline profits around the world are set to rise to $12.7 billion (€9 billion) this year.

Aer Lingus reported yesterday that it carried more than 1 million passengers in May, which was 5.3 per cent more than in the same month last year.

Meanwhile, the State-owned DAA reported that more than 1.8 million passengers used Dublin Airport in May, 9 per cent more than during the same month last year.

It all points towards growth in the sector, both domestically and around the world.

On the domestic front, it is not possible to say that any one factor is driving increased traffic. The Government would dearly like to say that it is the Gathering initiative.

However the most recent figures for overseas visitors were mixed, with some markets, such as the US, being up and, one of our most important, Britain, being down.

In any case, as we are only just getting into the tourist season proper, it would be premature to say one way or the other how any initiative is doing.

In a global context, Aer Lingus’s figures are only a small drop in a large ocean. The IATA’s numbers tend to be skewed by results from a small number of very large airlines, but analysts say that its predictions this week point to overall growth across the sector, which made a total $7.6 billion profit last year.

Interestingly, its director general, Tony Tyler, said that this year’s profit will equate to $4 (€3) per passenger, “less than the price of a sandwich in most parts of the world”.