15 JUNE 2009

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Article from BTNews 15 JUNE 2009

COMMENT: IATA speaks of huge losses

So IATA are warning of big losses at the airlines (see story below), this is nothing new, in fact in 2008 IATA announced the same and then gave out a USD10.4bn loss from the world’s airlines.  The association seem to be saying they need help from other parts of the industry so that some of them can survive this recession.

Not so long ago the airlines removed travel agents booking fees and expected them not to make as much as a whimper about the loss of revenue.  The airlines thought they might be able to do without agents as more reliance was put on direct online sales over the internet.

I have no doubt there is some comfort in internet sales but how much premium business does an airline get from the internet, I think the vast majority of sales online are for lower priced tickets that might begin to fill up planes but might not make too much profit.  Some airlines are finding it hard to put people in planes even with knock down prices at this time of deep recession.

The key is survival and some airlines in the industry must change, the way they do business, the kind of customer they attract even maybe it is time for them to change the product they sell.

Many travel agents are still very angry at the airlines for the way they were treated as the booking fees were withdrawn, some travel companies nearly did not survive.

Well according to IATA 2009 will be another terrible year for the airlines, with huge negative figures, I wonder how many of the airlines both large and small will survive into 2010?

Terry Spruce

Guest Editor

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