European and US traffic trends October 2004
This snapshot of recent traffic trends (right) shows that total traffic this year has now just about recovered to pre- September 11 levels for the ATA carriers (though yields are about 13% below those of 2000) while the AEA RPKs (excluding dynamic LCCs like easyJet ) are 6.4% above 2000 levels.
With the structural changes that are taking place in the industry and the inexorable long–term yield decline, traffic results and load factors from the main industry bodies are probably less useful than they used to be. Nevertheless, a substantial rebound from the Gulf War and SARS–impacted 2003 is evident, although the traffic growth trends have moderated in recent months.
There has been a strong resurgence in Asian routes (Europe–Far East and Pacific) this year and also a noticeable recovery on the Atlantic. But the US Majors have yet to return to pre–September 11 volumes on the Atlantic or Pacific, though this should change next year as their recovery plans indicate a concentration on international service, the domestic market having become so difficult. The European network carriers will inevitably respond which will lead to interesting market conditions on the Atlantic next year.