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Aviation Radar 2013

European airlines and airports are facing fundamental changes: The increasing popularity of low-cost carriers and airlines from the Middle East is changing the competitive landscape. Leisure and business travelers' strong price sensitivity negatively affects airlines' average revenues. There are also stricter regulatory frameworks such as more extensive bans on night flights or additional safety regulations that further limit operations of airlines and airports in Europe.

Many companies in the aviation sector have already responded by launching comprehensive efficiency improvement and restructuring programs. This is why they are slightly more optimistic regarding year-on-year business development in 2013. Passenger airlines and airports both expect passenger numbers to increase by the end of the year, but remain rather more cautious regarding growth prospects than the International Air Transportation Association (IATA).

Only in the cargo segment do respondents expect better business development than the IATA forecast for 2013: Some 83% of cargo operators forecast business growth above 2.4% for this year. But the experts warn against excessive optimism: "What triggers positive expectations at first glance, could also harbor major risks if the aviation market develops sluggishly or planned actions are not implemented on time," cautions Björn Maul, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

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