Sunday, October 12, 2008

The independent Tells a Porky?

According to Martin Hickman in the Independent.

"Air travel is declining for the first time in almost 20 years, The Independent on Sunday discloses today. Airline failures, harder economic times and a dismal airport experience have caused a sharp downturn in the number of travellers boarding planes at British airports."

I know he's quoting Independent on Sunday figures, but I doubt it's true. In 2001 the volume of passengers using the BAA's UK airports dropped by 1.6 % against 2000. I'm sure the other UK airports will not have picked up the slack.

The fact is that the individual airport statistics hide a multitude of aberrations, both temporary and more fundamental. They should take a look at how the figures play-out at the low cost airline hubs to show how significant the effect on that sector of the market is; so far this year Stansted is almost 5% down. As I've said regularly the bubble for cheap travel is set to burst, but let's at least be truthful in the reporting.

1 comment:

Ken Dyer said...

Richard, in fairness I would not be surprised if the Independent figures were correct. I've not dived into the detail but Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol had a combined increase of over 1,500,000 pax in 2001 v 2000. That would recover a fair chunk of the BAA airports drop. I'm guessing that airports such as East Midlands, Birmingham, Exeter and Luton would have all had increases due to low cost ops. 2001 is generally regarded as a fairly flat year in the industry, but I'm not sure it was a declining one. Whatever, the end results for 2008 will make for interesting reading!