Airlines Continue to See War Impacts

Washington, April 9, 2003—The Air Transport Association (ATA) today reported that the nation’s airlines are continuing to see significant traffic declines resulting from the war in Iraq. Based on evidence thus far, ATA said its projections of war impacts, as outlined in the economic report Airlines in Crisis: the Perfect Economic Storm, are very much on target. In addition, there is clear evidence that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is also having an impact on the demand for air travel. The most recent week was the worst in every region this year.
“The world situation continues to play havoc with the airline marketplace,” said ATA President and CEO Jim May. “The airlines and their employees are struggling to deal with the crisis, but we need relief from government-imposed cost burdens as well.”
For the week ended April 6, system-wide traffic was down 17.4 percent, compared with the same period last year. Carriers now are reporting declines in Pacific traffic of 25.8 percent compared with the same week last year, with Atlantic traffic down 25.2 percent. Declines in Latin traffic were 17.8 percent compared with the same week last year, while domestic traffic was down 14.7 percent. Accordingly, in the past several days, airlines have announced additional capacity cuts.
The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. is the trade association for leading U.S. airlines. ATA members transport 95 percent of all the passenger and cargo traffic in the United States.