Growth rates, which were fairly low at the beginning of 2012, reached 5.3% overall, thus becoming a positive indicator for the aviation industry.

Middle Eastern carriers contributed markedly to international traffic, as their numbers exceeded domestic traffic on 15.4% growth. European and North American Airline companies, affected by the Euro-zone crisis, respectively closed the year of 2012 on 5.3% and 1.3% growth. When these numbers are compared with the 2011 data for these carriers (9.5% and 4.1%) we observe a downward trend in growth rates.

Domestic airline companies completed the year on 4% growth rates. China (9.5%) and Brazil (8.6%) distinguished by strong growth rates and the US domestic line market, with its low growth rate, represents half of overall domestic line transfers.

Air cargo transfer has suffered in the climate of global crisis. During the year, the negative impact of maritime transport on its aviation counterpart is also noteworthy. Yet despite the negative conditions of air transportation, certain airlines managed to close the year on positive growth rates. The increased rates of Middle East and African Airlines for the cargo segment of 14.7% and 7.1% are a positive indication for the industry. Indeed, high cargo capacity utilization rates for the fourth quarter of 2012 gave the impression that the year of 2013 will be one of success.

Passenger Market

International Flights

When occupancy rates throughout the year are observed, we note development in all airline companies. This development in international air traffic signals positive changes for the market over the coming period. Airline companies closed the last quarter of the year on limited growth of 0.6%, and this trend is expected to develop further in the coming periods.

When compared to 2011, the 6% improvement in international air transfer is a positive indication for the industry. Middle Eastern companies, which make the largest contribution to the growth rate, accounted for one third of market growth in 2012.

Middle East carriers closed 2012 in first place on a 15.4% growth rate in the international market. They increased their growth rate when compared to the previous year, based upon which, signal growth is anticipated for the coming period.

Domestic Flights

The industry experienced a positive year in terms of occupancy rates in domestic lines. There has been a growth of 4% in overall flights. And when taking the trying global economic conditions and rise in fuel prices into consideration, 2012 actually closed positively. China posted the most distinguished growth rate, when the overall international market is analyzed, at 9.5%, followed by Brazil on 8.6% growth.

2013 Financial Forecasts

Following the rapid decline in the first quarter of 2012, the rising financial performances of airlines have been observed in the second and third quarters. Global economic stagnation and high fuel prices were reminiscent of the years of 2006 and 2007 for airline companies. Yet during the year these companies managed to reduce costs and develop themselves in industry terms. This resulted in better than expected financial performances. Industry profitability forecast for 2012 rose from USD 4.1 billion to USD 6.1 billion, which is viewed as a positive indicator for the sector.

Performance expectations for 2013 are much higher when compared to 2012. In 2013, the forecast for industry based profit after tax is at USD 8.4 billion. And while an increase in fuel prices is expected when compared to 2012, there is also the anticipation of an improvement the global economic environment.

This said, the aviation industry is forecast sustaining a negative impact. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Net Profit ratios after tax are expected to run in parallel in 2013.

Despite the difficult economic conditions faced by the aviation sector major airline companies are expected to continue their growth acceleration in 2013. Indeed, the more powerful players will intensify their strength, while weak ones will withdraw from the market.