Monthly financial metrics for airline members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) tracked positively in February 2014 with fairly flat jet fuel pricing, slightly lower capacity and higher load factors.
The February 2014 Airlines Financial Monitor, produced by IATA Economics, provides these highlights:
- Airline shares gained 6 percent in February compared to January, in line with the broader market which rose 5 percent.
- Improvements in financial performance continue to support growth in airline stock prices but recent developments in the Ukraine crisis could have adverse effects on markets as well as crude oil prices going forward.
- The fourth quarter 2013 financial results for airlines shows what IATA termed "solid improvements" in operating profits, mostly in the U.S. but in Europe as well.
- Jet fuel prices were flat in February, remaining within the three-year range at $125 per barrel. U.S. passenger yields are stable compared with a year ago, but weakness continues in other regions of the world.
- The air freight markets showed strong increases in January, reflecting growth in world trade.
- Passenger travel travel growth has sustained a recent pick-up, which IATA said was driven by the strength of emerging markets and improvements in advanced economies.
- Growth in available seats slowed in January, as the level of new deliveries is declining and some aircraft are returning to storage. IATA said that's helped sustain the recent rebound in passenger load factors -- now back above 80 percent.
Agents may read the full report at www.iata.org/whatwedo/Documents/economics/airlines-financial-monitor-feb-14.pdf