We’re now, officially, entering the home stretch toward the end of the year. What better way to celebrate than a ranking of the top airports in the world? Yes, when you look at the list compiled by Airports Council International, you’d likely first see some depressing figures. In the year-over-year column, there are a lot of negative numbers. Don’t be depressed!
Despite the sluggish year-over-year results and the slow first half of 2012, airport operators have said that, on the whole, cargo operations are becoming busier. That’s good news for officials at Hong Kong International Airport, Incheon International Airport and Memphis International Airport, all of whom contributed to the article this month, and all of whom saw either flat growth or declines in their tonnage numbers between 2010 and 2011. The airports that did see boosts were the smaller players in emerging markets. These airports in Africa and Latin America will be even more important in the coming months. We should all watch to see how quickly they keep growing.
In addition to airports, carriers are also on my mind, as we wait for the approval of UPS and TNT Express’ merger, and watch, from a distance, the results from the EU’s inquiry into a proposed Ryanair-Aer Lingus deal. Closer to home, rumors are swirling about US Air’s pursuit of American Airlines, a carrier that just welcomed a new cargo head a few short months ago. Another new official tasked with boosting up a sometimes troubled airline is Richard Forson, who recently became interim CEO of Cargolux.
Yes, transition is in the air, as it turns colder here in the Southern U.S. Mergers, while diminishing the number of carriers in the market, are not a bad thing. New vitality can be derived from joining forces, just as better direction can be given to an adrift company when a new perspective takes over. Hopefully, these developments will help exhilarate the industry, turning what has been a so-so 2012 into a booming 2013.