Air passengers and profits may be up, but bring your own crisps
Road Warrior: KLM speaks in tongues, with status updates in 10 languages
KLM offers travellers booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding passes and flight status updates in 10 languages on Twitter and WeChat. Photograph: Xtra Koen Suyk
Good news all round in the aviation industry with IATA revising the 2017 profitability outlook upwards. Profits from airlines are expected to be $31.4 billion (€28 billion), up from the previous forecast of $29.8 billion. Revenues will be in the region of $743 billion. IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac warned though that profits were still down on last year. “Demand for both passenger and cargo business is stronger than expected. While revenues are increasing, earnings are being squeezed by rising fuel, labour and maintenance expenses.”
Exceptional passenger traffic
In Europe, passenger traffic was up in April, and the Airports Council International is declaring it a month of exceptional growth. Average passenger traffic in Europe grew by 14.1 per cent compared with the same month last year. A number of exceptional factors distorted last April – attacks at Brussels airport, depressed figures from Turkey, ATC strikes in France and Easter being in March. Turkey is now coming back to full recovery after months of incremental growth. Leading the table of airports with over 25 million passengers is Palma Mallorca. Both Moscow airports in the same table are showing almost 20 per cent growth. The topper for airports with 10-25 million passengers is Brussels, and the 5-10 million passengers leader is Iceland’s Keflavik airport.
More social media from KLM
KLM, the leader in the use of social media for customer service, now offers travellers booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding passes and flight status updates in 10 languages on Twitter and WeChat, the Chinese social media platform. It makes information easy to find and in a single place on Twitter or WeChat. The service rolls out from this week. Last year KLM introduced flight information and flight documents to Facebook Messenger and so far 1.4 million people have used the service.
Bring your own crisps
A survey by Kayak.ie, the airline booking website, revealed the cost of buying a snack or beverage on Aer Lingus and Ryanair compared with supermarkets. No surprise to anyone to hear that the differences can be substantial, a can of soda costs €2.50 on board against €1 in Supervalu or Tesco. Sparking water is always my biggest bug bear and €3 is excessive when it is €1 or less in supermarkets. Crisps are a real rip-off, a little 40g bag for €2.50 against 95c on terra firma. A can of beer is €5 on Aer Lingus, €4.50 on Ryanair, but only from €2.15 in Tesco. The moral of the story is bring your own crisps, sambo and an empty water bottle to fill up at the airport.