Global airline share prices up 2.1% y-o-y in May, says IATA

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 13): Airline financial data continue to show that industry profitability improved in Q1 2018 relative to the same period a year ago, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

However, it said global airline share prices fell by a further 2.8% in May – the fourth monthly decline in a row – to leave them 8.5% lower than where they started the year.

On a year-on-year basis, airline share prices rose 2.1% in May, said IATA.

It said while the wider equity market also fell in May, the global airline share price index has underperformed by a margin over the past year, mainly upon investor concerns of the impact of rising fuel prices.

In its May 2018 airlines financial monitor released yesterday, IATA said the pick-up in industry-level performance was driven by a turnaround for European airlines.

Nonetheless, it said investor concerns about the impact of rising fuel prices on future airline financial performance saw global airline share prices fall for the fourth month in a row in May.

IATA said the global airline share price index has now fallen by 8.5% since the start of the year, continuing to underperform the global equity market.

“Oil prices climbed again in May, driven by tighter market supply and ongoing geo-political tensions.

“At the time of writing the Brent crude oil price is currently sitting around US$76/bbl – almost 60% higher than a year ago,” it said.

IATA said the seasonally adjusted trends in passenger and freight demand have continued to diverge.

“All told, while the industry-wide passenger load factor has continued to set new record highs in seasonally adjusted terms in recent months, the corresponding freight load factor has fallen back to levels last seen at the start of 2017.

“The premium cabin’s share of international passenger revenues fell to 30.6% in Q1 2018, from 31.1% a year ago.

“Nonetheless, the cabin continues to provide an important buffer for airline financial performance,”it said.