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Aviation-Specific Travel Risk Management Services In Mandarin

MedAire has announced that it will now offer its travel risk mitigation services in Mandarin. MedAire will provide 24/7 in-flight and on the ground assistance out of the International SOS Beijing Assistance Center to support Asia based customers with preference for Mandarin-language service.

“Having a MedLink center in China allows an enhanced customer experience for Mandarin-speaking clients” said Bill Dolny, CEO MedAire, “we can now offer this as another option in addition to our U.S. based service delivered in English.” 

MedAire is the market leader in providing aviation-specific medical and travel safety assistance and has over 30 years experience in travel risk management solutions for the Business Aviation Market. MedAire Solutions include remote medical assistance to manage in-flight emergencies, at-destination support wherever clients and crew travel and may need help,  crew medical training, medical kits and equipment.   

In 2015, MedAire handled over 128,000 client calls from its Global Response Center in Phoenix, Arizona. With increased passenger traffic and the strong growth of the Asian aviation market, MedAire has expanded operations to better meet the needs of Asian clients.  Mandarin-speaking operators, and those with pilots and crew who may want Mandarin-language support, now have 24/7 access to advice and assistance both in-flight and at destination in their local language and from doctors who have an excellent understanding of these clients’ specific requirements.

  

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Continuing Strong Demand Growth For Domestic And International Travel

Global passenger traffic results for February showing continuing strong demand growth for domestic and international travel. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 8.6%, compared to the same month last year. Monthly capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 9.6%, and load factor declined 0.7 percentage points to 77.8%.

“In the first two months of 2016, demand for passenger connectivity is off to its strongest start in eight years. However, February was the first month since the middle of 2015 in which capacity growth exceeded demand, which caused the global load factor to decline. It is unclear whether this signals the start of a generalized downward trend in load factor, but it bears watching,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

FEBRUARY 2016 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR)WORLD SHARE1RPKASKPLF (%-PT)​2PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market 100.0% 8.6% 9.6% ​-0.7% 77.8​%
Africa 2.2% 11.6% 11.9% ​-0.1% ​65.7%
Asia Pacific 31.5% 9.8% 9.6% ​0.1% ​79.0%
Europe 26.7​% ​7.5% 7.3% ​0.2% 77.7​%
Latin America 5.4% ​7.2% 7.3% ​-0.1% ​79.5%
Middle East ​​9.4% 11.0% 16.7% ​-3.8% ​73.3%
North America 24.7% 7.1% ​9.0% ​-1.4% ​79.1%
(1)% of industry RPKs in 2015  (2)Year-on-year change in load factor  (3)Load factor level

International Passenger Markets

February international passenger demand rose 9.1% compared to February 2015, which was an increase over the 7.3% yearly increase recorded in January. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 9.9%, causing load factor to slip 0.6% percentage points to 76.6%.

  • European carriers saw February demand increase by 7.7% compared to a year ago. Traffic has recovered following disruptions in the 2015 fourth quarter related to airline strikes and the shutdown of Transaero in Russia. Capacity climbed 7.8% and load factor dipped 0.1 percentage points to 78.3%
  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ February traffic rose 11.2% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased 10.3% and load factor climbed 0.7 percentage points to 78.3%. Comparisons with 2015 are distorted by the timing of the Lunar New Year celebrations, which took place in February this year. Slower economic growth in many of the region’s economies has been at least partly offset by the 7.3% increase in the number of direct airport connections within the region, which has helped to stimulate passenger demand
  • North American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.6%, which was the slowest among the regions and was exceeded by a capacity expansion of 4.8%. In turn, this caused load factor to fall 0.9 percentage points to 75.9%. US airlines have been focusing on the larger and more robust domestic market, although that market is showing signs of slowing in recent months
  • Middle East carriers had an 11.3% demand increase in February compared to a year ago. This was exceeded, however, by a 16.9% rise in capacity that caused load factor to drop 3.7 percentage points to 73%. Traffic growth has now lagged capacity growth for six consecutive months
  • Latin American airlines saw February traffic jump 10.4% compared to February 2015. Capacity increased by 10.1%, boosting load factor 0.2 percentage points to 79.8%, highest among the regions. Domestic passenger demand remains under pressure from economic difficulties in the region’s biggest economies, but this seems not to be affecting business-related international travel
  • African airlines posted the strongest demand growth among the regions with February traffic up 12.7% compared to a year ago. The pick-up indicates that carriers here are regaining market share through efforts to rationalize networks and enhance revenue management systems, after several difficult years. It also aligns with a jump in exports from Africa. Capacity rose 13.4%, and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 63.7%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic travel demand rose 7.9% in February compared to February 2015, which was an increase over growth of 6.9% in January. All markets except Brazil showed growth, with the strongest increases occurring in India, the US and China. Domestic capacity climbed 9.0%, and load factor fell back.0.8 percentage points to 79.7%.

FEBRUARY 2016 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR)WORLD SHARE1RPK​​ASKPLF (%-PT)​2PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic 36.4% 7.9% 9.0% -0.8% 79.7%
Australia 1.1% 4.6% 5.2% ​-0.4% 74.3%
Brazil 1.4% -3.1% -1.0% ​-1.6% ​78.5%
China P.R. 8.4​% 8.2% 9.5% ​-1.0% 82.0%
India 1.2% 24.6% 27.4% ​-1.9% 85.2%
Japan ​​1.2% 1.4% -0.6% ​1.3% ​66.8%
Russian Federation 1.3% 3.4% -0.8% ​2.9% ​72.6%
​US ​15.4% 8.9%​ 11.5%​ ​-1.9% ​80.7%
(1)% of industry RPKs in 2015  (2)Year-on-year change in load factor  (3)Load factor level
*Note: the seven domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs.
  • India led all domestic markets again with a 24.6% year-on-year growth, supported by the strong economic backdrop, as well as notable increases in services. This trend is expected to continue with flight frequencies in 2016 scheduled to increase by 11.5% year-on-year
  • Brazil’s domestic market decline may be starting to bottom out but the highly uncertain economic and political outlook could pose challenges for airlines in the near-term

The Bottom Line

“On March 22 we had a grim reminder that transportation—including aviation—remains a target for terrorism. The attacks in Brussels were an attack on humanity—a terrible tragedy—that was met with resilience. The subway is back in operation. And the airport is working hard to return to normal operations that will reconnect Europe’s capital with the world. Aviation is a force for good. And we are once again proving that terrorists will never succeed in destroying the fundamental urge of people to travel, explore and learn about the world,” said Tyler.

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Air Freight Makes Solid Start To 2016

Data for global air freight markets in January showing a rise in freight tonne kilometers (FTK) of 2.7% compared to January 2015. This continues the improving trend witnessed toward the end of 2015, and is the fastest pace since April of last year. The freight load factor (FLF) fell 1.8 percentage points, however, indicating that yields are likely to come under further pressure.

Total FTKs in January surpassed the previous all-time peak reached in February 2015. All regions except the smallest markets of Africa and Latin America expanded in January, but all regions reported declines in the FLF. Despite this good start, the underlying weak trade performance makes it unlikely that growth will accelerate significantly in the coming months.

“It is good news that volumes are growing, but yields and revenues are still under tremendous pressure. Air cargo plays a vital role in our globalized and fast-paced world in which trade is the foundation for long-term prosperity. Removing barriers to trade is a win-win. It will shore-up the foundations for stronger economies. And an improved business environment for air cargo will help facilitate much needed technology and process investments so that the industry will be an even stronger catalyst for growth and development. A third of the value of goods traded internationally are delivered by air. But the value of air cargo goes much deeper in the prosperity that it creates in supporting jobs and economic opportunity,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Regional Analysis in Detail

African airlines’ FTKs declined by 1.4% in January compared to January 2015, and the FLF was 22.6%, down 4.8 percentage points, and the lowest of any region. The largest economies in the region, Nigeria and South Africa, are heavily dependent on energy industries and have been hit hard by the slump in global commodity prices.

Asia-Pacific carriers, which comprise almost 39% of all air freight, expanded by 1.3% year-over-year (although the international freight figure was a much lower 0.2%). The FLF fell 2.3 percentage points to 49.8%, still the highest of any region. Emerging Asia trade contracted in the second half of 2015 and in general trade to and from Asia-Pacific is weak.

European airlines’ demand grew by 2.5% in January but the FLF fell 1.5 percentage points, to 41.6%. Growth may have been flattered by the volatility and weakness seen a year ago. The growth trend for volumes looks weak for the months ahead, so there is a strong possibility that Europe could slip back into negative growth.

Latin American carriers continued the weak performance of recent months, declining by 3.6%. The FLF fell 2.7 percentage points, down to 32.9%. Brazil, the region’s largest economy, has struggled, particularly with the fall in the price of oil and other commodities.

Middle Eastern carriers resumed their strong growth trend, expanding 8.8% in January. The FLF was broadly stable, declining just 0.3 percentage points to 39.2%. The region’s airlines continue to enjoy strong growth, helped by large-scale network and fleet expansion.

North American airlines saw FTKs expand 2.5% in January compared to January 2015. The FLF was 34.6%, a fall of 1.4 percentage points. Following the spike in volumes due to last year’s West Coast ports strike, air freight from the US across the Pacific fell away. On the other hand trade with Europe, particularly imports, has increased.

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Strong Passenger Demand Continues into 2016

Global passenger traffic results for January 2016 showing demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 7.1% compared to January 2015. This was ahead of the 2015 full year growth rate of 6.5%. January capacity rose 5.6%, with the result that load factor rose 1.1 percentage points to 78.8%, the highest load factor ever recorded for the first month of the year.

“January maintained the strong traffic growth trend seen in 2015, showing the resilience of demand for connectivity despite recent turmoil in equity markets. The record load factor is a result of strong demand for our product and airlines making the most productive use of their assets. Underlying conditions point to another strong year for passenger traffic, with the latest decline in oil prices likely providing additional stimulus for air travel growth,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. 

January 2016 (% year-on-year)World share1RPKASKPLF (%-pt)​2PLF (level)​3
Total Market 100.0% 7.1% 5.6% ​1.1% ​78.8%
Africa 2.2% 11.0% 7.1% ​2.5% ​71.3%
Asia Pacific 31.5% 10.4% 7.9% ​1.8% ​78.5%
Europe 26.7​% ​4.0% 2.1% ​1.4% ​77.9%
Latin America 5.4% ​5.1% 4.6% ​0.4% ​82.8%
Middle East ​​9.4% 10.5% 12.8% ​-1.6% ​77.9%
North America 24.7% 4.3​​% ​2.9% ​1.1% ​80.7%
(1)% of industry RPKs in 2015  (2)Year-on-year change in load factor  (3)Load factor level

International Passenger Markets

January international passenger traffic rose 7.3% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity rose 5.9% and load factor rose 1.0 percentage point to 78.8%. All regions recorded year-over-year increases in demand.
 
  • Asia Pacific carriers recorded an increase of 10.3% compared to January 2015. Capacity rose 7.6%, pushing up load factor 2.0 percentage points to 79.2%. A 7.3% increase in the number of direct airport connections within the Asia region over the past 12 months or so has helped to stimulate demand.
  • European carriers’ international traffic climbed 4.2% in January compared to the year-ago period. Capacity rose 2.6% and load factor rose 1.2 percentage points to 78.8%. Airline strikes and the shutdown of Russia’s Transaero caused the region’s traffic to fall in the last quarter of 2015. Volumes have picked up somewhat in recent months.
  • North American airlines saw demand rise 2.4% in January over a year ago. Capacity rose 1.3%, pushing up load factor 0.8 percentage points to 80.3%. North American international traffic growth was weakest among the regions, as carriers have focused on the stronger and larger domestic market.
  • Middle East carriers had the strongest year-over-year demand growth in January at 10.9%, helped by ongoing network and fleet expansion. Capacity rose 12.9% and load factor dipped 1.4 percentage points to 77.8%.
  • Latin American airlines’ traffic climbed 8.9% in January. Capacity rose 7.8% and load factor increased 0.8 percentage points to 82.5%, highest among the regions. Domestic traffic remains under pressure from economic difficulties in the region’s biggest economies, notably Brazil, but the strong growth in international demand shows little sign of slowing.
  • African airlines saw January traffic jump 12.1% compared to January 2015. This continues the strong upward trend in travel since mid-2015 that coincides with a jump in exports from the region over the same period. With capacity up 8.2%, load factor rose 2.5 percentage point to 71.3%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic air travel rose 6.8% in January year-on-year. Capacity rose 5.1% and load factor was 78.9%, up 1.3% percentage points. 
 
January 2016 (% year-on-year)World share1RPK​​ASKPLF (%-pt)​2PLF (level)​3
Domestic 36.4% 6.8% 5.1% 1.3% 78.9%
Australia 1.1% 3.8% 2.3% ​1.1% 76.9%
Brazil 1.4% -4.1% -2.6% ​-1.3% ​83.3%
China P.R. 8.4​% 11.9% 10.6% ​0.9% 79.1%
India 1.2% 22.9% 21.9% ​0.7% 84.7%
Japan ​​1.2% 1.2% -4.3% ​3.5% ​64.7%
Russian Federation 1.3% -2.0% -5.2% ​2.2% ​68.4%
​US ​15.4% 5.5%​ 3.7%​ ​1.4% ​81.0%
(1)% of industry RPKs in 2015  (2)Year-on-year change in load factor  (3)Load factor level
*Note: the seven domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs.
  • India’s domestic air travel soared 22.9% in January compared to a year ago. Growth is being propelled by the comparatively strong domestic economy and increases in air services. The Indian market overtook both Australia and Japan during 2015 and is currently level with Russia at around 1.2% of global RPKs.
  • Russian domestic traffic slipped 2.0% in January. Despite the decline, the Russian domestic load factor reached an all-time January high as capacity fell at a faster rate, suggesting that local carriers have absorbed traffic affected by the shutdown of Transaero.
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VIDEO: IATA Releases 2015 Safety Performance - No Fatal Jet Hull Losses

The 2015 global jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.32, which was the equivalent of one major accident for every 3.1 million flights. This was not as good as the rate of 0.27 achieved in 2014 but a 30% improvement compared to the previous five-year rate (2010-2014) of 0.46 hull loss accidents per million jet flights.

There were four accidents resulting in passenger fatalities in 2015, all of which involved turboprop aircraft, with 136 fatalities. This compares with an average of 17.6 fatal accidents and 504 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period (2010-2014). The 2015 jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.22 (one accident for every 4.5 million flights), which outperformed the global rate by 31% and which was in line with the five-year rate (2010-2014) of 0.21 per million flights but above the 0.12 hull loss rate achieved in 2014.

The loss of Germanwings 9525 (pilot suicide) and Metrojet 9268 (suspected terrorism) that resulted in the deaths of 374 passengers and crew are tragedies that occurred in 2015. They are not, however, included in the accident statistics as they are classified as deliberate acts of unlawful interference (i).

“2015 was another year of contrasts when it comes to aviation’s safety performance. In terms of the number of fatal accidents, it was an extraordinarily safe year. And the long-term trend data show us that flying is getting even safer. Yet we were all shocked and horrified by two deliberate acts--the destruction of Germanwings 9525 and Metrojet 9268. While there are no easy solutions to the mental health and security issues that were exposed in these tragedies, aviation continues to work to minimize the risk that such events will happen again,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. 

2015 Safety by the numbers: 

    • More than 3.5 billion people flew safely on 37.6 million flights (31.4 million by jet, 6.2 million by turboprop)
    • 136 fatalities compared to 641 fatalities in 2014 and the five-year average of 504. Including those who lost their lives in Germanwings 9525 and Metrojet 9268, the 2015 figure was 510.
    • 68 accidents (all aircraft types), down from 77 in 2014 and the five-year average of 90 per year
    • Four fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 12 in 2014 and the five-year average of 17.6
    • 6% of all accidents were fatal, below the five-year average of 19.6%
    • 10 hull loss accidents involving jets compared to 8 in 2014 and the five-year average of 13 per year
    • Zero jet hull loss accidents involving passenger fatalities, down from three in 2014, and the five-year average of 6.4 per year.
    • Although there were no passenger fatalities on jet transports there were two accidents with jet aircraft which resulted in loss of life:

1. Eight fatalities on the ground resulted from a runway excursion in the DR Congo involving a freighter aircraft.
2. A passenger jet and a smaller jet conducting an air ambulance flight collided over Senegal. Damage to the passenger jet was moderate and there were no injuries to any on board. The wreckage of the air ambulance has not been located and is presumed lost with the deaths of all 7 persons on board.

  • Eight hull loss accidents involving turboprops of which four were fatal
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Air Freight Growth Slowed To 2.2% In 2015

Global air freight markets showing cargo volumes measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) expanded 2.2% in 2015 compared to 2014. This was a slower pace of growth than the 5.0% growth recorded in 2014. The weakness reflects sluggish trade growth in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

After a strong start, air freight volumes began a decline that continued through 2015, until some improvements to world trade drove a modest pick-up late in the year. Cargo in Asia-Pacific, accounting for around 39% traffic, expanded by a moderate 2.3%. The key markets of Europe and North America, which between them comprise around 43% of total cargo traffic, were basically flat in 2015. Latin America suffered a steep decline (-6.0%) while the Middle East grew strongly, up 11.3%. Africa also saw modest growth of 1.2%. The freight load factor (FLF) was at times the lowest for some years, falling to an average 44.1% compared to 45.7% in 2014, driven down by weak demand and capacity expansion.

“2015 was another very difficult year for air cargo. Growth has slowed and revenue is falling. In 2011 air cargo revenue peaked at $67 billion. In 2016 we are not expecting revenue to exceed $51 billion. Efficiency gains are critical as the sector adjusts to shortening global supply chains and evermore competitive market conditions. We have to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of cargo growing in line with general rates of economic expansion. The industry is moving forward with an e-freight transformation that will modernize processes and improve the value proposition. The faster the industry can make that happen, the better,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The industry’s key challenges will be discussed in detail at the World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Berlin, 15-17 March. The world’s largest gathering of air cargo professionals, the 10th WCS will bring together 1,000 delegates under the theme of ‘The Value of Air Cargo’ to debate solutions for strengthening air cargo and the vital service it performs for the world economy.  
 
Dec 2015 vs. Dec 2014FTK GrowthAFTK GrowthFLF
International 0.7% 6.6% 47.4
Domestic 1.4% 6.2% 30.8
Total Market 0.8% 6.5% 43.9
YTD 2015 vs. YTD 2014FPK GrowthAFTK GrowthFLF
International 2.5% 6.4% 47.6
Domestic 0.1% 4.6% 29.6
Total Market 2.2% 6.1% 44.1

Regional Analysis in Detail

The global freight growth rate in December was 0.8% compared to December 2014. Within that range there were considerable regional fluctuations. 

African airlines FTKs declined by 8.4% in December although for 2015 as a whole the region grew by 1.2%. The FLF in 2015 was 29.7%, the lowest of any region. The underperformance of the Nigerian and South African economies was a challenge throughout the year, but trade growth to and from the region was sufficient to drive a modest expansion in FTKs.

Asia-Pacific carriers were basically flat in December, expanding just 0.1%. For the whole of 2015, the region grew 2.3%. The FLF for 2015 was 53.9%, the highest of any region. Cargo expansion in the region has been hampered by a shift in Chinese economic policy to favour domestic consumption. A mid-year fall of 8% in trade to/from emerging Asia also led to declines but this appears to have bottomed out, with a rebound in the second half of the year.

European airlines grew by 1.2% in December but the performance for 2015 in total was a fall of 0.1% compared to 2014. The FLF in 2015 was 44.9%. Economic conditions in the Eurozone have been subdued, leading to suppressed demand for air freight, but imports have improved in recent months.

Latin American carriers continued the weak performance of recent months, declining by 6.2% in December and by 6.0% for 2015 as a whole. This was the weakest performance of any region. The average FLF for 2015 was 38.3%. Economic and political conditions in Brazil have worsened, and regional trade activity has been volatile.

Middle Eastern carriers grew 4.0% in December and for 2015 in total the region expanded 11.3% compared to 2014. The FLF was 42.8% for 2015. The region enjoyed a strong year as network expansion into emerging markets was supported by economic growth in local economies. Political instability and the fall in the oil price may impact on some economies in the region but growth as a whole remains robust enough to support further expansion in 2016.

North American airlines saw FTKs expand 1.4% in December compared to December 2014. For the year as a whole, North America grew just 0.1%. The 2015 FLF was 34.3%. Growth in 2015 faded after a strong start that was flattered by the West Coast ports strike. Recently there have been mixed signals from economic data, indicating an uncertain outlook for air freight in the coming months.
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Italian Aviation Tax To Cost 2,300 Jobs a Year

A sudden increase in the Italian Council Tax levied on air passengers which will damage Italian economic competitiveness, and result in 2,300 jobs a year being lost. That is, according to IATA.

Effective immediately in January, without any advance warning or consultation, Italian authorities announced a 33-38% increase in its Council Tax, amounting to an extra EUR 2.50 for every passenger. Passengers will be paying EUR 10 in tax each time they fly from airports near Rome, and EUR 9.00 for flights from other Italian airports. None of the revenue raised from the tax is re-invested in aviation, instead it is diverted for general purposes.

“This sudden jump in the cost of flying from Italy can only cause harm to the Italian people and its economy. The increase in the Council Tax will reduce passenger numbers by over 755,000 and GDP by EUR 146 million per year. 2,300 jobs a year will be lost, meaning that by the end of the decade over 9,000 jobs will have been needlessly squandered. Rather than increase this inefficient and ineffective tax, the Italian government should urgently enact policies to encourage the growth of air transport links, which are proven to enhance employment, innovation and cultural activities. The Government should start with a full-scale review of the economic basis of the tax, with a view to its complete removal. Airlines and passengers should not become an easy source of income for any Government,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.

Experience elsewhere in Europe, such as in the Netherlands and Ireland, show removal of taxation boosts traffic and benefits the economy of the country. Italy has a number of other taxation and regulation issues which IATA is calling on the Government to reform, to enhance competitiveness.
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First Medical PTC-Transport On Airbus A380 Manned By SOS International Doctor

SOS International was the first medical assistance company to take the new generation of flying intensive care units on the Airbus A380 in use on a patient transport on a Lufthansa flight from Johannesburg to Frankfurt.

The Patient Transport Compartment (PTC), a flying intensive care unit, is developed by Lufthansa Tecknik and LH Medical Service and can now also be built into Airbus A380 aircrafts to be used on long-haul routes.

The use of the PTC can be a very cost-effective alternative to ambulance airplanes. Using an intensive care unit when possible instead of an ambulance airplane is often cheaper. Lufthansa has aircrafts specially prepared for these intensive care units and can therefore change flights, when SOS International orders a PTC transport. It is of course only possible for SOS International to make use of these intensive care units when medical and logistic conditions make it possible.

The large airplanes from Lufthansa, i.e. Airbus 380, 340 and 330 and Boing 747, prepared for the PTC, have routes from/to Munich and Frankfurt, so the patients must continue the repatriation with an ambulance airplane from these destinations to the final European destination. The airplane change normally takes place wing-by-wing, i.e. the small ambulance plane is allowed to park close to the very large aircrafts. Although it seems inconvenient to change flight during a trip, this should be compared with ambulance flights having several ground stops for fueling.

Medical Escort Doctor from SOS International Hanns Reich, an anesthesiologist, escorted the patient on the first flight with the Airbus A380 and explains, “it was exciting to be the first to test a new installation together with a PTC-crew member. The ventilator, the infusions pumps, the monitors etc. all functioned as intended. The size of the PTC gives excellent working conditions with the patient placed in the correct height and seats for the escorting crew appropriate placed for monitoring the patient means that we can provide the best possible medical care during the repatriation. The Lufthansa PTC crew-member is fully aware of the conditions of having a patient on board and they know the exact position of all equipment, medicines and other supplies which contributes to a safe repatriation for the patient”.

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Preventing Payment Fraud In The Air Travel Industry

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced it is expanding its activities to prevent payment fraud in the air travel industry. Payment fraud costs the industry an estimated $858 million annually, approximately $639 million of which is borne by airlines and the remainder by other participants in the travel value chain, including travel agents. IATA is cooperating with Ypsilon Net AG to make IATA Argus Fraud Manager (IATA Argus) available to airlines and travel agents.

While some airlines already use a range of systems to reduce fraud activity in their direct sales, IATA Argus offers a unique, fully-integrated and automated payment fraud detection and management solution for both travel agents and airlines.

“IATA is committed to helping the industry fight fraud. Our partnership with Ypsilon Net AG brings a modern fraud prevention solution that meets the needs of both airlines and travel agents to reduce fraud and increase the confidence in generating new sales via all available distribution channels,” said Aleks Popovich, IATA’s Senior Vice President Financial and Distribution Services.

By accessing information available in global distribution systems, IATA Argus is able to detect suspect transactions from as early as the booking request stage, and flag them or even cancel them as appropriate. It can notify the agent or airline of a suspicious booking, and automatically take action to void, suspend or cancel a ticket.

“You cannot segregate fraud occurring on airline direct channels from fraud generated through travel agency or online travel agency channels. IATA Argus combines ease of implementation and cost efficiency in a system that protects all channels effectively and provides full automation,” said Hans-Joachim Klenz, CEO of Ypsilon Net AG.

IATA Argus can also integrate systems including, but not limited to, IATA Perseuss and Ethocaand uses the provided information to enhance fraud scoring.

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International And Domestic Passenger Markets Show Healthy November Traffic Demand

Global passenger traffic results for November 2015 showing continued strong traffic growth above the 10-year average rate of 5.6%. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 5.9% compared to the year-ago period. Although below the October rate of 7.1%, this largely was owing to the impact of factors that are expected to be short-lived, including the cessation of operations by Transaero, Russia’s second largest carrier, and labor strikes at Lufthansa.

The healthy demand continued despite some softening in economic growth, in large part owing to falling fares. Data for the first ten months of the year show a 5% decline in average fares in currency-adjusted terms. November capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 4.2%, and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0%. 

“Consumers continue to benefit from lower fares, which are spurring demand. The economy benefits from the stimulus to consumer spending. And airlines are starting to achieve minimum acceptable profit levels. It’s good news all around, but as we open 2016, economic risks are mounting,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. 

Nov 2015 vs. Nov 2014RPK GrowthASK GrowthPLF
International 5.6% 4.1% 76.2
Domestic 6.4% 4.4% 81.1
Total Market 5.9% 4.2% 78.0
YTD 2015 vs. YTD 2014RPK GrowthASK GrowthPLF
International 6.8% 6.1% 79.8
Domestic 6.4% 5.3% 81.6
Total Market 6.7% 5.8% 80.5

International Passenger Markets

November international passenger demand rose 5.6% compared to November 2014, with airlines in all regions recording growth. Total capacity climbed 4.1%, and load factor edged up 1.1 percentage points to 76.2%.

  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ November traffic climbed 7.9% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased 5.7% and load factor rose 1.6 percentage points to 76.2%. Weakness in Emerging Asia trade activity, as well as slower than expected growth in China, appear not to be impacting international RPKs for Asia-Pacific carriers.
  • European carriers saw demand increase by 2.2%. The lower growth primarily was triggered by the aforementioned shutdown of Transaero and labor issues at Lufthansa. Capacity slipped 0.1% and load factor rose 1.7 percentage points to 79.5%, highest among the regions.
  • North American airlines’ traffic climbed 2.1% in November. While this was weaker than the year-to-date trend of 3.4%, capacity dipped 0.2%, boosting load factor 1.8 percentage points to 78.4%.
  • Middle East carriers had a 9.8% demand increase in November. Capacity rose slightly faster at 11.5% causing load factor to dip 1.0 percentage point to 69.4%. Business conditions across the non-oil producing private sectors of the UAE and Saudi Arabia appear to be strengthening, and this should help sustain solid expansion in air passenger demand for local carriers.
  • Latin American airlines saw November traffic climb 10.7% compared to November 2014. Capacity increased by 10.1%, pushing load factor up 0.3 percentage points to 78.9%. Latin American carriers have seen robust growth in air travel, but significant declines in yields, with weakness in the key economies of Brazil and Argentina, placing significant downward pressure on financial performance.
  • African airlines’ experienced their fifth consecutive month of positive traffic growth in November, posting a 12.2% rise compared to November 2014. However, the trend for the year-to-date so far remains weak, with growth of just 1.3% reflecting adverse economic developments in parts of the continent, including in Nigeria, which is highly reliant on oil revenues. Over the past few months, exports from Africa have held up better than they did earlier in 2015, and this could be helping boost international air travel on the region’s carriers. Capacity rose 9.8% and load factor rose 1.5 percentage points to 65.1%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic travel demand rose 6.4% in November compared to November 2014 but results were mixed, with Brazil, Russia and Japan all showing declines. Domestic capacity climbed 4.4%, and load factor improved 1.6 percentage points to 81.1%. 

Nov 2015 vs. Nov 2014RPK GrowthASK GrowthPLF
Australia 1.9% 1.0% 79.4
Brazil -7.9% -4.1% 78.0
China P.R. 8.4% 7.7% 80.4
​India ​25.1% 19.8​% ​83.6
​Japan -1.2​% -2.5​% ​71.2
Russian Federation -7.1​​% -10.6​​% ​71.7
US 9.1​​% 5.3​​% ​84.5
Domestic 6.4​​% 4.4​​% ​81.1
  • India’s strong results reflect notable increases in service frequencies, ongoing economic strength and the timing of the Diwali holiday, which occurred in October in 2014.
  • Air travel in Japan declined but measures of manufacturing activity improved strongly during the month, which should support rising passenger demand.
The Bottom Line: “The airline industry is delivering solid financial and operational performance. The industry’s return on capital for 2015 and 2016 is expected to exceed its cost of capital—a very rare occurrence. This means we are on the path toward financial sustainability. Consumers are benefitting from lower fares, and airlines are able to invest in new aircraft that are more comfortable, quieter and more environmentally friendly.
 
Passenger demand remains strong; however, the ongoing turmoil in the global financial markets and concerns over slowing economic growth in China are casting a shadow over the New Year.
2016 will be a historic year for aviation as States come together at the 39th International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly to discuss—and I hope agree—a market-based-measure that will allow airlines to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020,” said Tyler.
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