Outlook 2019 – The prospects of inbound tourism to Greece in 2019, by INSETE Intelligence provides data on airseat capacity to Greece. The analysis is carried out for Greek tourism’s 18 largest markets, based on receipts, which account for 76% of the total receipts of inbound tourism in Greece in 2018. Key findings include:
- Scheduled seats as of 30 June 2019 for the 2019 summer season are down by 1.2 million (-7%) compared to scheduled seats as of 30/06/2018 for the 2018 season. Further, the number of seats scheduled for 2019 (16.6 million) is 4.9% less than the number of seats (17.4 million) which eventually came in 2018.
- A part of this change may be a “correction” since, during the 2018 summer season, compared to 2017, there was a +15% rise in the scheduling of seats and a +13% rise in implementation of the schedule, while arrivals rose by +11%. In other words, the growth rate for arrivals in 2018 was lower by 4% than the growth rate for scheduled seats, and lower by 2% of implemented seats. As a result, a drop was observed in the load factor of airplanes (from 85% in 2017 to 83% in 2018) which may have prompted airlines and tour operators to limit capacity for 2019, aiming for higher occupancy rates.
- The final change in airport arrivals will be determined both by the extent of implementation of the schedule as well as load factors. Arrivals at Regional Airports, during the first five months of 2019, were at similar levels (+0,9%) as in the same period in 2018 following a very strong first 4-month period (+8,5%) and a drop of -3.1% in May. In addition, according to available data for April and May, the first two months of the season, airplanes operated with an increased load factor.
The following factors will play a significant role for the final outcome with regard to arrivals for the 2019 summer period:
- In 2019, European economies are expected to grow at lower growth rates compared to 2018, and also compared to previous estimates. This negatively impacts consumers’ willingness to spend. The US economy is expected to have greater growth, however there is no direct link with Regional airports.
- Non-conclusion of an agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom on the terms of BREXIT, and the insecurity that the prospect of a no-deal BREXIT creates,
- Last year’s hot summer in Europe which affected travel behaviour in these countries, either leading to “staycations” or to putting off making the decision for a holiday abroad,
- Turkey and North Africa’s recovery in the markets prompts tour operators and airlines to increase the capacity to those destinations in order to meet the increased demand, limiting of capacity in the field of air transport due to the grounding of the Boeing 737-Max for safety reasons and – to a lesser extent – reorganisation in the global field of air transport in recent years due to the bankruptcy of various companies.
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