Today’s upload of the latest forecast updates is, in global terms, little different from the view taken just a month ago.
There are differences at the margin, but not all are short-term in nature, plus there is the difficulty of guessing which of this week’s short term problems will be around in the long term. Hence of the aphorisms attributed to John Maynard Keynes: “…in the long run we are all dead” is probably apocryphal whereas “…the long term is for undergraduates” works well and better with knowledge of the in-joke. Yet neither speaks to this key question of short term uncertainty which appears unresolvable.
At the time of the last forecast revision we explaIned that the restrictions on Russian air travel, while having the most serious consequences for those companies who are revenue dependent on this area, made only a slight impact on the total number of passengers carried: big country, small air travel profile. But the Russian case exemplifies the difficulties faced by all data users since 2020. It is no longer sufficient to be in command of the latest passenger data and because it is quite impossible to analyse the several political factors which must underpin any return to freer travel, use must unashamedly be made of assumptions. The proposition that Russian air travel will never recover is convenient but unrealistic. On the other hand it is very much the case that even the reduced level of domestic departures cannot be sustained in the medium-term since an aircraft fleet cannot long be sustained by cannibalism.