Markets facing fresh challenge

Werner Rohrer, Sales and Marketing Manager of SWISS for the Middle East and Asia also spoke to TTN about the airline's performance in the region.

Q. Could you provide a brief on the industry's performance over the last two years?

A. Until September 11th, 2001, the load factors as well as the yields have been stable. Due to the steady increasing passenger volume, the industry has been focusing more on the yield-side.

Q. Based on the performance of the past year, how would you critically analyse future prospects?

A. If economies perform badly, tourism suffers. If we look at the business before September 11th, we were optimistic for the future, but after the terror-attacks people are no longer as fond of travelling as they used to be.

The challenges in the industry were very much influenced by the fact that a lot of new low-cost carriers have established their products in different markets.

These carriers have put strong pressure on today's airline management. In the past few months, these carriers opened a new customer segment.

Q. What according to you have been the positive impacts on the industry?

A. Strong competition is forcing all airlines to be (or stay) innovative.

Depending on the airline's strategy, fuel prices partially helped to keep the budget.

Government decisions "to open" their countries, led to new markets; examples are countries in East Europe but also the region east of the Ural, Arab countries, China etc.