Italian air travel trends: What’s growing and what’s decreasing?

The IBAR (Italian Board Airline Representatives) report on air traffic on the sales of the first half of the year, offers a framework with many perspectives.

In the second quarter 2016, Asia continues to drive the market. It has recorded a growth of intercontinental travel volume while continuing uninterrupted the drop in prices (-6.3%) despite the rise in airport charges and the introduction of new boarding fees.

Overall volumes of intercontinental traffic showed a growth of 1.7%. The brilliant performance of Asia destinations that discounts without kicking further backward, areas of the Middle Eastern and Persian Gulf, marked an increase of 6.9% in the first half 2016.

The analysis of the main destinations of Asia, shows especially highlighted by China (+8.9%), Japan (+12.2%), Thailand (+13.1%), the Philippines (+7.4%) and Sri Lanka (+36.45); among the countries with lower volumes substantial increases for Vietnam (+23.7%), and a real boom of demands for Iran (+44.6%) which, in addition to tourism, enjoys the benefits of the recent resumption of commercial relations.

For Americas (total volumes to -4.5%), which, although affected by the unfavorable currency trend, the good news is coming from Canada (+7.9%) and Cuba (+8.9%).

Also for the Africa (volumes +2.5% in the half year). it consolidates the positive trend already reported in the first three months of 2016: the performance of Morocco (+16.8%) and South Africa (+20.3%), the largest contributors to the mid-year results.

The data on Europe, with volumes down 10%, fully reflects the two main trends that impact by travel agency sales: the advance of low-cost carriers that, as for the links between Italy and the rest of Europe, close to 50% market share and the greater propensity of customers to use the carriers’ sites (not detected by this analysis) for their purchases.

Finally, in turnaround for domestic traffic (+0.9%), the drop in prices (-4.2% for intercontinental travel and -6.3% globally) is generalized. Consumers continue to benefit from the advantages of a highly-competitive scenario while the air carriers renounce to charge to the final customers the airport rights increases, applied by almost all Italian airports in 2016, and the introduction of new Italian municipal taxes decreed earlier this year.

The report provides a scenario never published with this level of detail which is based on the analysis of a database of around 14.3 million tickets (of which approximately 4.5 million are for intercontinental travel) issued annually in Italy, with a total value slightly more than 3.5 billion euro. Not included in this analysis are direct purchases on the websites of individual airlines, but it does include transactions performed on the OLTA sites (online sales portals).

The IBAR (Italian Board Airline Representatives) is the association representing 55 Italian and foreign airlines operating in Italy. The total number of associated airlines exceeds 100 units, taking into account the air carriers registered through their trade representations in Italy. The main purpose of the association (IBAR) is “the representation of airlines in relation with institutions and all other components of the air transport industry.”

IBAR strictly observes the Antitrust regulations, therefore, does not intervene in matters of commercial nature relating to the individual members. The association strives for the development of air transport in Italy and, in that context, for the creation of an open and efficient market.