Air tickets likely to increase (bad), Dubai and Abu Dhabi airport numbers are on the increase (good), and the future home of seems to be on the right track (indifferent).
March 1, 2011 3:31 by Eva Fernandes
Because aviation round-ups aren’t as depressing as property market round-ups, Kipp volunteers to bang one out whenever there are developments in the industry – and this week is one of those weeks. You watch though – no sooner will we click ‘upload’ on this than the biggest story of the year will break. Ah well, we’ll work with what we have got…
Bad news; as oil prices are on the rise, an increase in airline tickets seems likely – or so says Emirates. In a statement, the UAE’s leading light of aviation said “We have an active fuel risk management programme but with such market volatility it is impossible to fully absorb the impact of soaring oil prices.” In other words, price hikes ahoy. And it’s to be expected: oil prices are literally double what they were last year; with a barrel of Brent crude up costing $76/b on March 1, 2010, now $112.35/b earlier this week. The exact percentage of increase for the airline fare is yet unknown, but Emirates has said the increase “differs by markets and routes.” Kipp sighs and shakes its head.
Khaleej Times reports that the cost of oil and the regional political unrest are both likely to hit airlines in the Middle East, and this could be a tough year. Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, is predicting a “reversal of fortunes” for the industry.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) just recently released tender documents for the construction of Abu Dhabi’s billion dollar airport terminal. The terminal, which is to become ‘the future home’ of Etihad Airways, will be 700,000 sq/m and have a capacity of 27 to 30 million passengers per year. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2015/2016, and is estimated to cost Dh20-30 billion. Kipp thought of tendering for the job, but apparently a track record in Lego is no use.
With passenger traffic numbers out, it appears that Dubai has over taken Frankfurt to become the airport that has the fourth largest by international passenger traffic. The National says that this January passenger numbers exceeded 4.25 million, which is an increase of 10 per cent compared with 3.87 million to January of last year. In addition to the fact that 130 international airlines connect through Dubai, January data for Dubai International show a 10 percent increase in year-on-year passenger numbers and a 3.9 per cent rise in international freight volumes. But busy as Dubai airport is, it still doesn’t have the numbers to top passenger traffic at London, Paris or Hong Kong.
Though it may not be in the top five, Abu Dhabi International Airport has also been experiencing an increase in passenger traffic. The Abu Dhabi Airports Company announced that Abu Dhabi International Airport had more than a million passengers passing through the airport in January, accounting for a 7 percent increase in passenger traffic. Ahmad Al Haddabi, Senior Vice-President-Airports Operations at Adac told Gulf News, “We expect to see traffic continue to rise as we welcome new carriers and add new destinations and frequencies from the airport. We are also working towards the completion of the Terminal 1 renovation works to increase the airport’s capacity … with more services yet to come.” For as long as Kipp can remember these airports have posted ever increasing traffic numbers – we’ll be interested to see if the rises ever stop.