Uncertainty usually spells bad news for economic growth, for business and discretionary spending and, in turn for airlines. There is plenty of uncertainty in the air as 2017 gets under way.
For airlines, the increasing complexity in their operations and the frustrations as well as changing behaviour of their customers are calling for a need for new generation of revenue management systems.
CAPA’s 2016 outlook was against a background of unusually high levels of profitability for airlines.
Northeast Asia continues to drive growth, large in size, complexity and with future implications inside and outside the region. China is a singular attraction and remains in its golden years of expansion, with opportunity mostly constrained by infrastructure.
Southeast Asia is a region with enormous growth potential but a relatively cloudy outlook for airlines given the intense competition and overcapacity concerns. Demand is on the rise, boosted by a growing middle class, rising discretionary incomes and relatively strong economies.
Australia and New Zealand enter 2017 on a different level from 12 months previously. The biggest change, not just compared to 2016 but since the global financial crisis, is that Qantas is revelling in a successful turnaround.
Aviation activity in South Asia in 2017 is expected to be dominated once again by India, currently the fastest growing large market in the world. As India goes through one of the brightest periods of its economic and aviation growth, the prospects look more positive for sustainable growth than recent history has delivered.
Aviation is fundamentally a business of cycles and the Middle East has been slowly transitioning from a long upswing in traffic growth and airline profitability into a plateauing that brings with it new initiatives in partnerships and profile.
Africa remains a region with huge untapped potential – as it has for many years. The long term outlook for growth is always bright, particularly if the Yamoussoukro Decision were to be implemented, bringing long overdue liberalisation.
Europe faces a growing range of geopolitical risks and uncertainties. These range from the presidential election in France and the federal elections in Germany to the UK’s (only) likely triggering of the formal process of leaving the European Union.
A sense of optimism prevailed among North American airlines as 2016 draws to a close. It is driven by the beginning of stabilised pricing in the US domestic market and an improved outlook for Western Canada after a marked drop in oil prices triggered a collapse in demand.
After battling dismal economic conditions for the past two years, Latin America is poised to begin pulling itself out of fiscal decay in 2017. Near the end of 2016, forecasts tilted toward a return of modest GDP growth between 1.5% and 2% for 2017 after the region endured an economic recession for the prior two years.