¦ The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced a revised global financial forecast predicting airline losses totaling US$11 billion in 2009. This is US$2 billion worse than the previously projected US$9 billion loss due to rising fuel prices and exceptionally weak yields. Industry revenues for the year are expected to fall by US$80 billion (15 percent) to US$455 billion compared with 2008 levels. IATA also revised its loss estimates for 2008 from a loss of US$10.4 billion to a loss of US$16.8 billion.
¦ Clyde Machines Inc. of Glenwood, Minn., recently introduced a line of towable passenger access stairs. The stairs are available in three different height models to accommodate all popular aircraft. The 12-volt, dual battery-powered LED lighting system can go several overnight shifts before charging is necessary. A built-in timer prevents inadvertent use of the lights when not required, thus extending the duty cycle, according to the company.
¦ Swissport International has introduced a new self-service facility for reporting lost baggage. The new “Lost & Found Self-Service Kiosk” enables any traveler who finds that their baggage is missing on arrival at Geneva Airport to enter all the relevant details and obtain the latest information on their delayed or missing bag. Swissport’s new facility came into use at the end of August, and is available to travelers on SWISS, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, FlyBaboo, Alitalia, Air Malta and further air carriers.
¦ Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A. Inc., Industrial Concepts Incorporated (ICI) and AutoGuide gathered recently for an open house to present new concepts in Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) technologies. Open to the public, the event highlighted available AGV options and educated consumers on the advantages of the fully automated industrial equipment. The open house offered various demonstrations, including a brief presentation on how businesses can integrate low-cost AGV systems into their operations. A floor demonstration showcased the maneuvering and towing capabilities of Toyota’s AGV products and AutoGuide’s AGVs, along with the debut of ICI’s PC-based AGV traffic control software Automated Vehicle Intersection Navigational Utility (AVINU).
¦ Garsite announced that it now offers stainless steel interior linings and fittings for its fuel storage tanks. Through its relationship with its sister company, Walker Stainless, Garsite is able to offer the stainless steel lines and fittings at the same price as an epoxy coated carbon steel tank. Walker Stainless manufactures stainless steel tanks for the dairy, pharmaceutical and ethanol industries.
¦ AERO Specialties announced it will introduce six new ground support equipment products in its expanded booth (No. 1811) at NBAA’s Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 20-22. Four products are part of exclusive distributor agreements with major manufacturers (Eagle Tugs, TLD, JetGo, and Wainbee), and two products are manufactured by AERO Specialties in Boise, Idaho.
¦ The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), reported that passenger revenue, based on a sample group of carriers, fell 21 percent in August 2009 versus the same month in 2008 – the 10th consecutive month in which passenger revenue has declined from the prior year. Six percent fewer passengers traveled on U.S. airlines in August while the average price to fly one mile fell 17 percent, a slight improvement over the 18 percent year-over-year yield decline observed in July. Revenue declines extended beyond the domestic United States to the trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific and Latin markets. U.S. airlines saw cargo revenue ton miles decline 13 percent year-over-year (11 percent domestically and 15 percent internationally) in July 2009, the 12th consecutive month of declining volumes.