07 April 2008

Empirical Evidence - Q1 was bad - Q2 will be worse

I have just been looking at the airport traffic figures for Q1 2008 and in particular the US market. They provide a somber backdrop to an already falling economy.

Based on the reporting numbers (at least 50%) for the major US airports and airlines - the first quarter of 2008 ended on a down note with a loss (.02%) of total US based traffic. Add to this the boost that should have come from an early Easter - following on from an extra day February and we can still see an ominous downward trend.

But this was only through Monday of last week. With 3 airlines out taking with them a large number of passengers - the month of April will be brutal when the traffic numbers appear.

The rest of the world is not so hot either. While not actually showing a down turn we are seeing softening in EVERY major region. The UK with the loss of at least one whole day of schedules in March from its largest airline (British Airways) is going to be leading the way in bad news for Europe. Should Alitalia fall or Olympic - then additional numbers will be off. We don't believe that there will be a corresponding boost based on the new 18 flights out of LHR to the USA.

Airline stocks will be taking a tumble even further than they have already. Airports in the public arena will also take a hit. The ripple effect across all the major economies will start to be felt way beyond the Aviation, Travel and Tourism sectors. This will only provide more evidence and to magnify the overall global economic slowdown.

Belt tightening time.

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