Brussels attacks cause short-term airline losses

Wall Street Journal has reported International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated the pace of air travel growth last month has been dented by the terrorist attacks in Brussels, the company said.

Air travel advanced 4.6 percent in April, the lowest growth rate since January 2015, and would have been up around 5.0 percent without the March 22 Brussels terrorist attacks, the airline trade group said. Islamic State terrorists struck the Brussels Airport and a subway stop in the Belgian capital, killing at least 32 people.

Airlines such as British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA IAG and budget carrier Ryanair Holdings PLC RY4C have said bookings slowed in the wake of the attacks.

Growth in airline capacity, a measure of seats available, outpaced traffic growth, IATA said ahead of a meeting of more than 200 of its members this week in Dublin.
IATA´s departing chief executive Tony Tyler said “the disruptive impacts of the Brussels terror attacks will likely be short-lived.” However, he warned of other industry headwinds, noting that “the stimulus from lower oil prices appears to be tapering off.” Oil prices have risen sharply since their lows at the start of the year.

Tyler also said subdued economic growth would affect airlines. “Demand is still growing, but we may be shifting down a gear,” he said.