Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 4th 2016 Contents BG20 TRAVEL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt FEBRUARY 4 • 2016
Plummeting oil prices
have led to falling plane
prospects for an even
bigger bonanza of con-
sumer-friendly fares in
the coming months, airline industry
With fuel prices down by two-thirds
from the dizzying heights of mid-2014,
when oil topped US$100 per barrel,
the once cash-strapped airline industry
is now reaping record profits.
Increased competition also have
helped coax down once stubbornly
high fares, the experts say.
"We ve seen typical domestic prices
drop about 14 percent over the past
year," Patrick Surry, chief data scientist
at Hopper, the airfare prediction app,
"The drop in fuel prices is a major
factor, along with increasing compe-
tition from low cost carriers, both
domestically and internationally," Surry
Experts say fuel makes up about a
third of an airline s costs. With oil and
jet fuel costs down two-thirds since
last year, airlines can expect to reduce
their overhead by about 20 per cent.
Some of the best bargains are for air
fares to popular US travel destinations
like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles,
and San Francisco, cities where com-
petition is stiff.
Good deals can also be had on routes
to the southwestern US energy meccas
of Houston and Dallas, where the slow-
down in the oil business has led to dis-
counted air fares.
Some companies said they are using
the windfall in fuel costs to reduce debt
and to make needed reinvestment in
"We are utilising our cash to con-
tinue to secure our future," said Gerry
Laderman, senior vice president at
"In 2015, we prepaid US$1.2 billion
of debt, including US$300 million in
the fourth quarter."
Likewise, Richard Anderson, CEO
at Delta, said of his company: "Our
focus on our long-term goals is unwa-
vering. We will continue to reinvest in
the business at an appropriate level to
sustain long-term growth."
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics
in a report earlier this month (January)
said air fares by foreign travelers on
US airlines fell 15.0 per cent in 2015,
the largest calendar-year drop since
the index was first published in 1987.
The decline in ticket prices was
steepest for air travel to Latin American
and Caribbean (down 17.8 per cent),
but there were also big drops in fares
to Asia (down 14.6 per cent) and Europe
(down 11.7 per cent).
Cheap fares to the Olympics?
Travel industry experts said that the
relatively low prices were likely to con-
tinue throughout 2016, including an
anticipated 23 percent drop in the price
of air fares to Rio this summer, just in
time for the Olympic games.
But there will be plenty of bargains
for those traveling to other destinations
as well, said Scott Kirby, president of
"There s lots of low fares in the mar-
ket," the airline CEO told reporters.
"Consumers are having a field day
in this environment," he said.
American, which emerged from
bankruptcy two years ago, is just one
of several major airlines posting record
profits over the last few quarters.
Pocketing the savings
Not all of airlines fuel cost savings
have gone back into the pockets of
"Of course, there s no reason that
they have to pass this (the savings)
directly to consumers," said Surry.
But even with some companies
pocketing or reinvesting a good deal
of the savings, they "are definitely
trickling down," he said. And the high-
flying airline industry is likely to con-
tinue passing along a good portion of
their saving, experts said.
"So long as we avoid full recession,
US airlines are likely to see yet another
historic year of profitability in 2016,"
said David Fintzen, an aviation analyst
The International Air Transport
Association, IATA, noted that the pic-
ture is not entirely rosy.
Some airlines, it said, will not benefit
from the full impact of falling fuel
prices because of a sharp rise in the
value of the US dollar in recent months.
Some airlines have been hurt by
hedging policies that led them to lock
in future fuel supplies at higher prices.
TECU Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited (TECU) invites members who
may be desirous of being part of our dynamic TECU team to serve on:
Board of Directors
The nomination process is a new and integral part to the democratic
elections of TECU and precedes our Annual General Meeting scheduled
for Friday April 8, 2016.
Nominations to these committees are hereby invited from members of TECU
who meet the following criteria:
Eighteen (18) years of age or older;
Member of TECU Credit Union for at least twelve (12) months;
Member must be in "good standing".
Not be an employee of TECU or any other Co-operative Society;
Not be an Officer of any other Co-operative Society;
Not have been convicted of any indictable or fraudulent offence;
Shall be willing to give generously of your time to attend meetings
and/or events and other associated Credit Union movement activities;
Nominations shall be signed by two (2) recommenders, members in
Nomination Forms can be obtained from any of TECU's offices or via
Fully completed forms must be addressed to "The Nomination Committee,
TECU House, Southern Main Road, Marabella" and be submitted to any of
TECU's offices on or before Friday February 26, 2016. Incomplete and late
forms will not be accepted.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Falling oil prices
air fares for some
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