Post-summer airline promotions expected to stimulate the market

Post-summer airline promotions expected to stimulate the market

Airlines are expected to look to stimulate the market after the summer with promotions to improve forward bookings.

Gordon Wilson, chief executive and president of Travelport, said he expected carriers to look to stimulate the market, particularly in Europe where market conditions remain challenging.

He said in terms of GDS activity the UK is flat, while even in markets like Germany which have so far “sailed though” the downturn, less positive growth is being seen than earlier this year.

Wilson said he did not see the situation turning around in the near term in economies like Spain and Italy which are embroiled in the euro crisis, saying Travelport had a very “conservative view” of western Europe.

This contrasted with eastern Europe which Wilson said was growing in double digits in both the first quarters of this year.

“What we are going to see after the summer is some pretty interesting fare activity,” said Wilson. “I think the airlines are a bit concerned about their forward bookings and we will see some stimulation of demand.”

A dip into negative growth in the US Wilson said was “surprising” after strong growth in GDS sales in the first quarter of 2012.

But he said airlines in the US had done a god job of managing capacity and that the biggest issue for customers was how expensive air fares are.

Travelport is expecting an upswing for London traffic post the Olympic Games but Wilson said it remains to be seen what the full impact of the event will have.

“We had all this horrendous scaremongering about people not travelling and I think that has done our industry a disservice,” he said.

“On a global basis the Games has not had a big impact but I think London has shot itself in the foot.”


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