World airline association, IATA, recently published a report that suggests that the airline industry is facing a difficult year 2008. According to IATA airlines could expect to see a further increase in oil prices, consequently increase in air fare is inevitable, however, this is difficult to implement due to fierce competition. American air carriers are expected to suffer more than European ones due to the fact that American companies have older and less fuel efficient fleet.
Impact on Aruba
Aruba is reportedly a lucrative destination for many airlines, with relatively little competition on direct flights. The destination with the most competition is New York – Aruba. American Airlines and JetBlue are the major carriers from New York, where in the weekends US Airways, Continental and Delta add some flights from New York as well.
The further rise in fuel cost and ticket cost is obviously going to have an impact on travel in general. The precise impact on Caribbean travel, more specifically Aruba travel, has yet to be determined.
American Airlines announced a while ago that it was canceling the daily flight with the Boeing 757 from San Juan, Puerto Rico and is replacing it with American Eagle’s much smaller propeller aircraft ATR42. Apparently American wasn’t too pleased with the performance. Not only the load factor was an issue, perhaps more importantly, the frequent delays which the San Juan-bound flights seem to suffer from were unacceptable, according to American’s local manager. Local authorities in turn blamed the central air traffic control center in Curacao for having some kind of boycott action against some flights. Naturally they have denied those accusations.