Saturday, February 4, 2012

Aruba Airport Authority Reports Year-end 2011 Traffic Results

Passenger traffic increase of 5.4%

January 20, 2012- ORANJESTAD – With the closing of 2011 AAA looks back on a year that ended satisfactory; the total number of revenue generating passengers (RGPs) increased with 5.4% compared to 2010 and the number of aircraft movements with a modest 0.9%. The latter number was positively influenced by the number of private aircraft that grew with 6.3%. The total number of RGPs was just short of 1 million. With that, it was AAAs best traffic year ever.

The various markets contributed as follows: North America +0.6%; Europe +3.6%; Antilles +17.5% and Latin America +18.5%. Within the Latin American market Venezuela (+20.1%), Panama City (+19.8%), Bogota (+11.4%) and Brasil (+37.3%) performed strongly. The Latin American market is now good for more than 18% (2010: 16%) of the total.

AAA invested some Afl.22 million in its facilities in 2011, one of the highest levels in recent years. The focus of these investments was in upgrading of the existing facilities, especially the arrivals areas and the maintenance and expansion of the airside. One of the most important projects is the capacity expansion of the general aviation area at the southside where Afl.12 million was committed (i.a. in apron space and aircraft hangars). In 2012-2014 another Afl. 24 million will be invested there to guarantee sufficient capacity to accommodate increasing demand.

2012 will see a total forecasted investment level of approximately of Afl.45 million. AAA finances all these investments from its operating cash flow and reserves.

As expectations for 2012 are modestly optimistic; the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) earlier predicted an increase in passenger traffic growth of approximately 3% globally (North America +2.5%; Europe +2.7% and Latin America +5.6%). Recently, however, IATA tempered its expectations by stating that a deepening Eurozone sovereign debt crisis would push many airlines, and not only the European, into severe losses. Such a development would surely have an impact on traffic around the globe, including the Americas, according to IATA.

“We look back at a positive year; a year that performed better than expected, actually” said Peter Steinmetz, Chief Executive Officer of AAA. “Expectations for 2012 however are overshadowed by the European economic crisis and the potential fall out on other regions. We have to be vigilant, alert and pro-active to protect Aruba’s volumes and relative market share. The diversification into Latin America, as initiated in 2011, seems one of the best strategies to mediate potential negative effects in other markets. In brief, it will be a challenging year.”