13 JANUARY 2014

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Article from BTNews 13 JANUARY 2014

Airline business

The year end has had the airlines rushing out their 2013 passenger figures showing that generally the last 12 months have been quite good as far as the numbers are concerned.  We will have to wait for later, when the accountants take a closer view, to see what the profits (losses) are like.

BTN reviews some of the larger European carriers.

Ryanair saw its numbers rise by 2.3% to 81.4m with a load factor of 81%.  easyJet, which does not consider itself a rival as it uses for the most part major airports (and air bridges), grew 3.6% to 61.3m with an astonishing 89% load factor. This maybe due to passengers’ ability to board an earlier flight without penalty on a ‘space available’ basis, therefore filling up empty spaces, releasing seats.

Some 76m passengers flew with Lufthansa and Germanwings – a rise of 1.4%.  British Airways parent IAG boosted passenger traffic from 54m to 67m but this figure includes buying Spanish regional carrier Vueling SA and a slashing of capacity at unprofitable Iberia.  BA is doing well, the questionable marriage with Iberia still a debating point.  The City seems to have been charmed, the share price doubling over the last 12 months.  

Air France-KLM carried 77.4m passengers in 2014, 2.2% up.  With the pending disposal of loss making CityJet, and no further cash drain via Alitalia, 2014 could be profitable, the first time for four years.

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