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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First signs of 4th quarter airline cutbacks are visible

Yesterday in my post, I talked about the year to date ARC statistics from the perspective of the average airfare being up both domestically and internationally. Which, as I stated, was good news for the airlines, but not so good for consumers (unless you fancy that empty center seat that has been popping up more and more over the last few weeks).

Today I learned that on an airline transaction basis (the total documents processed via ARC), the first two weeks of October are down 13% year over year. So this is not just seasonality kicking in. This is the first signs of the magnitude of the 4th quarter cutbacks.

According to my source at ARC, they are generally seeing 30 days from ticketing to travel, which sounds a bit long to me, but I will take them at their word as they are squarely in the data analysis business (lest you think they are purely a clearing house).

So November schedules are already well into the double digits as it relates to capacity and frequency reduction.

I suspect we will see the trickle down impact of this with the GDSs as well for their 4th quarter booking numbers.

Hmmmmmm...... time to figure out how to stimulate spending. Let me ponder that one for tomorrow.

Chicke Fitzgerald
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