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International Airlines Coordinates Low Global Aviation Industry Recovery Expectation


source:[Gravimetric blender]   release time:2021-04-13 11:25:20




The International Air Transport Association recently lowered its expectations for the recovery of the global civil aviation industry, believing that the aviation industry will still experience a rather difficult period before it fully recovers. Experts pointed out that governments still need to further increase industry policy support, and the aviation industry itself needs to continue to accelerate the pace of structural adjustment and transformation.

An industry report recently released by the International Air Transport Association (International Air Transport Association) shows that in 2020, global civil aviation passenger traffic has fallen by 75.6% year-on-year, and airlines’ overall losses have reached 118.5 billion US dollars. 12,000. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, the global aviation industry will only recover to the level of 33%-38% before the epidemic, which is less than the previous forecast of 51%. IATA calls on governments of all countries to take further effective assistance measures.

Industry insiders pointed out that affected by factors such as the rebound of the epidemic in many places and the continued ban policy, the recovery of the global aviation industry is facing multiple challenges.

The industry as a whole is experiencing difficult times

According to the 2020 operating status report recently released by many airlines around the world, the aviation industry has fallen into an unprecedented industry predicament due to the epidemic. For example, the three major European aviation groups all suffered serious losses, of which Lufthansa Group lost 6.7 billion euros in 2020; International Airlines Group lost 7.43 billion euros annually, and the group’s capacity was reduced by 2/3; Air France-KLM Group lost money 7.1 billion euros, passenger traffic dropped by 67%.

In addition to airlines, the profits of the world's major airports and aircraft manufacturers have also experienced serious declines. The Airbus Group suffered a loss of 1.13 billion euros in fiscal year 2020, and delivered only 566 aircraft for the year, down 34.4% year-on-year. According to statistics from the International Airports Association, the operating revenue of global airports in 2020 has decreased by US$111.8 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 65%.

Brian Pierce, chief economist of the International Air Transport Association, said that the full recovery of the global aviation industry will not be earlier than 2024, and the industry will still experience a rather difficult period before that. The future recovery of the global aviation industry will show a "K"-shaped imbalance, that is, the domestic market will recover earlier than the international market, the leisure travel business will be earlier than the business travel business, and the market in developed countries will be earlier than developing countries and regions.

Rick Ruman, a senior expert in the aviation field of ING, said that the continuous recovery of the global aviation industry will be postponed to the second half of 2021, which will ultimately depend on the progress of vaccination and the adjustment of national travel policies. The aviation industry also faces other risks, such as the recent rising fuel prices. As fuel costs account for 15%-30% of airlines’ total expenditures, the continued rise in oil prices in the future will put more pressure on airlines that are already facing severe financial risks and slow down their recovery.

Government assistance and industry self-help

In order to help the aviation industry emerge from the haze of the epidemic as soon as possible, governments of various countries have continuously increased their assistance to the aviation industry. Up to now, governments of various countries have provided more than 225 billion US dollars in financial assistance to global airlines through various methods such as assistance, subsidies, loans, financing, and tax reductions. For example, the governments of France and the Netherlands provided Air France-KLM with a total of 10 billion euros in assistance, and Germany passed a 9 billion euro rescue package for the Lufthansa Group.

International organizations and governments also give necessary support to the aviation industry in terms of policies and regulations. Some countries and regions have suspended regulations on the right to take off and land for a fixed period of time. According to previous rules, airlines need to maintain at least 80% of the take-off and landing utilization rate in order to retain the right to use specific time slots and seats. After the policy is adjusted, airlines can adjust their flight plans more flexibly without facing penalties.

In November 2020, IATA also launched a “digital health pass” system aimed at supporting the safe and open borders, hoping to record passenger virus test results and vaccination information to achieve cross-border safe travel. Regional organizations such as the European Union and the African Union have also recently launched similar digital travel pass systems.

Currently, major airlines are improving their operational capabilities through industry self-help. According to statistics, the average cost reduction ratio of global aviation companies will reach 45.8% in 2020. In view of the stable demand for air cargo business, many airlines have increased the number of cargo flights by changing passengers to cargo in order to maintain profit margins. According to data from the International Air Transport Association, global air cargo revenue in 2020 will reach 117.7 billion U.S. dollars, of which about 50% of air cargo is transported by passenger aircraft. It is expected that global air cargo volume will increase by 10% year-on-year in 2021.

Some airlines also use the frequent flyer program to obtain financing by selling frequent flyer points to banks and supermarkets to obtain funds, which then attract customers.

All parties call for accelerating industry transformation and adjustment

In fact, the global civil aviation industry showed signs of slowing down in demand growth long before the epidemic, and relevant agencies required the aviation industry to accelerate its transformation and adjustment.

Paul Kienne, Chief Risk Officer of Irish aircraft leasing company Avolon, said that in the 10 years before the crisis, the global aviation industry was in a stage of rapid expansion, but corporate debt risks have also accumulated. At present, the total debt level of global airlines has reached as high as 220 billion US dollars. The next 10 years will be an important period for the aviation industry to deleverage. The primary goal is to reduce debt risks and corporate burdens. Airlines will pay more attention to cost and scale control, adopt more flexible market strategies, and pursue a sustainable development model.

Lei Zheng, Dean of the International Aviation Research Institute, based in the United Kingdom, believes that the civil aviation industry has long-standing structural problems such as low profit margins and poor anti-risk capabilities. In the future, aviation companies need to further strengthen their anti-risk capabilities and market adaptability to ensure sufficient cash. flow. The crisis will further promote the adjustment of the business models of global aviation companies, such as sharing risks through more airline network sharing and complementarity. For aircraft manufacturers, in the future, more consideration should be given to functional conversion factors in aircraft design, such as how to transform from a passenger aircraft to a cargo aircraft more conveniently.

Luhmann suggested that governments should use industry assistance measures to promote the global aviation industry's transformation to a more sustainable development direction. For example, the French government will reduce emissions, invest in energy-efficient aircraft, and reduce short-distance routes as additional conditions for providing assistance to domestic aviation companies.

The results of a recent passenger opinion survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association show that people’s confidence in choosing air travel is increasing. 57% of the respondents said they will choose air travel within two months after the epidemic is under control, which is an increase from the third quarter of last year. Nearly 8 percentage points. IATA Chairman and CEO Juniak said that the prospects for the recovery of the global aviation industry are still optimistic in the long-term, especially the people's willingness to travel is still strong, and most international travelers' families are in good economic conditions. "We need to reopen the border as soon as possible while ensuring safety, and gradually cancel the quarantine policy, so as to restore people's confidence in travel."[Gravimetric blender]