The International Air Transport Association has released its April report of the Airlines Financial Monitor.
The key points are:
- The initial data for Q1 2018 indicate a pick-up in airline financial performance relative to the same period a year ago. The improvement was broad-based, with every region except Europe posting a widening in their EBIT margin.
- Despite these signs, global airline share prices fell by 4.8% in April, and underperformed the wider equity market by the widest margin in ten months. The decline in April was led by North America, where investor concerns of the
impact of rising capacity and fuel prices have seen airline shares fall by nearly 12% since the start of the year.
- Oil prices rose to their highest level since late-2014 in April, driven by tighter market supply and geo-political tensions. At the time of writing, the Brent crude oil price is currently around 50% higher than a year ago.
- The seasonally adjusted trends in passenger and freight demand have diverged in recent months. While industry wide passenger capacity is still growing broadly in line with demand, slower freight demand has seen the freight load factor slip back of late.
- In an illustration of the importance of the premium-class cabin for airline finances, the premium cabin accounted for 5.4% of total international origin-destination passenger traffic, and just over 30% of revenues, in Jan-Feb combined.