Air Transport 2012 – Year of the Water Dragon

According to the Feng Shui 2012 forecast, (, they say that from “reading the stars and element relationships in the Paht Chee chart, 2012 is going to be a transformational life-changing year!”
They also say that, “there are more goodies in store for you in the year 2012 than 2011”. It’s a good year to improve oneself, take calculated investment risks and to build wealth. Whether it turns out extremely good, or bad, will depend on how you ride the mighty Water Dragon!

When we look at the air transport industry, 2011 was a year where the airlines went on a spending spree, and sealed many deals for new aircraft deliveries, which broke many records. 

Two thousand eleven was also a year where economies struggled and the price of oil soared, which as always, affected the airline industry. We also saw one of the last few legacy carriers file for bankruptcy protection – American Airlines!

The year of the Water Dragon, promises to be an interesting year as aircraft manufacturers are reaping the benefits of healthy new aircraft orders being placed all around the world, especially in Asia and South America where the new middle class is growing. This in contrast to what is happening in the economies of Canada, United States, and Western Europe.

The sluggish US economy and the potential fallout of the EU economy are reminders that if these economies do not improve, air travel will be impacted all over the world. So far, North American carriers are controlling their cost through the practice of controlling seat capacity offered on their networks. 

We are also seeing China and the Middle East slowing down their economies, this will tell a story later on this year, and if it affects Cargo capacity, then we will know that we are in for a rough ride.

IATA is predicting that European Carriers will be hard hit and will see financial losses in 2012, as opposed to North American carriers that are expected to see moderate profits with a limited capacity growth. If the EU enters into a major Banking crisis, then the world is in for major losses. Let us hope the Water Dragon takes their economy away into smoother waters. IATA further predicts that in 2012 passenger demand will grow by 4% and Cargo will show a flat growth. 

While most of us talk of trying to improve ourselves, employers hopefully will not be trying to calculate how to build wealth at our expense. 

Let us hope we do not have to wait until 2013, the year of the snake, to see stability and positive improvements for the working families who drive the economy of our country.

Carlos DaCosta
January 27, 2012