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Global Airlines Financial Monitor [March 2O16]

Key Points:
· Global airline share prices continued their recovery in March from January’s decline;

· The latest airline financial results from Q4 2015 further cemented the picture of a strong end to 2015, driven by carriers in North America. Financial performance improved in all regions relative to Q4 2014 except Latin America;

· Crude oil prices gained in March, although the market currently expects them to stay below $50/bbl until late-2019;

· Further falls in air fares are likely to be seen in 2016 as fuel hedging contracts unwind and the decline in oil prices seen towards the end of last year feeds through. Exchange rate-adjusted fares fell by 6.2% year-on-year in January;

· While the leap year may have flattered things, the global air passenger market is enjoying a strong start to 2016. Passenger loads have slipped in recent months, though, which will require monitoring;

· Air freight volumes in the first two months of 2016 fell by 1.5% year-on-year, although the comparison is complicated by the one-off boost last year from disruption at US west coast seaports. The freight load factor in January and February combined was well below average for the time of year, keeping cargo yields under pressure.

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