Airline shares continue downward slide despite profitability: IATA

Airline shares continue downward slide despite profitability: IATA

GENEVA — Global airline share prices fell for the fifth consecutive month in June, making it clear that forward-looking investors expect more difficult conditions ahead than was the case in Q1, according to the latest IATA stats.

Airline profitability was strengthening in Q1 2018 compared to the same quarter a year ago, while cash flow generation in the industry also picked up.

However the global airline share price index has now fallen by 14.3% since the start of the year, compared to a 1.7% decline in the global equity index.

Oil prices have trended upwards since early 2017 and are a key reason why airline shares are underperforming the market.

The price of jet fuel is currently sitting just above US$90/bbl, around 55% higher than it was a year ago.

The global average passenger yield has tracked broadly sideways since early 2017, according to IATA. “However, yields in the less price-sensitive premium-class cabin have trended upwards over much of the past year, which reflects the fact that airlines have been able to pass on higher input costs to a greater extent than in the economy cabin.”

Passenger demand has continued to trend upwards. A rising passenger load factor is helping to boost unit revenues in the face of the sideways trend in yields, notes IATA.

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