Airline group predicts another record for summer travel

Airlines for America forecast Tuesday that 257.4 million people will fly on US carriers between June 1 and August 31. (AFP)
Updated 21 May 2019

Airline group predicts another record for summer travel

  • Airlines for America forecast that 257.4 million people will fly on US carriers between June 1 and August 31
  • The trade group says airlines are adding 111,000 seats per day

The airline industry’s US trade group is predicting another record for summer travel.
Airlines for America forecast Tuesday that 257.4 million people will fly on US carriers between June 1 and Aug. 31.
That’s a 3.4 percent increase over last summer, and it works out to about 2.8 million travelers a day.
The trade group says airlines are adding 111,000 seats per day, more than the predicted 93,000 increase in daily passengers.
According to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average inflation-adjusted price for a domestic ticket has dropped for four straight years to the lowest level since the agency began tracking the fare prices in 1995. But those numbers don’t include all the extra fees that airlines now charge.


Saudi Arabia PIF’s $40bn boost aimed at post-pandemic profit

Updated 5 min 45 sec ago

Saudi Arabia PIF’s $40bn boost aimed at post-pandemic profit

  • Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the PIF has spent $7.7 billion amassing a portfolio

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s ambitious sovereign wealth fund, is seeking to use the extra $40 billion it was recently granted from government reserves to benefit the Kingdom and its citizens when the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is over.

A spokesperson for the PIF said that the injection from reserves held by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority — announced last week — “allow us to tap into a number of local and global investment opportunities at attractive prices. This includes investments in sectors that are well positioned to drive economic growth and value creation and derive benefits for the citizens of our country well beyond the current crisis.”

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the PIF has spent $7.7 billion amassing a portfolio of shake stakes in some of the best-known corporate brand names in the world, including Boeing, Disney, Facebook and Marriott International. It also took big holdings in independent oil companies Shell, Total and BP, as well as banking giants like Citigroup and Bank of America.

The shares of these and other investments in the PIF spending spree had been affected by the dramatic downturn in the US stock market after the first pandemic related lockdowns. They have since recovered almost to all-time highs as US authorities took emergency measures to support its financial institutions.

Some investors are calculating that there will be a rapid economic recovery when the lockdowns end, to send stock markets soaring again.

“The PIF’s role is to invest the nation’s wealth in a way that generates long-term attractive returns and a diversified source of wealth for the Saudi people. The uncertainty caused by COVID-19, and the subsequent drop in global oil prices, highlights why our economic diversification efforts are so important. Capital injections from the government are an established source of funding for the PIF, as outlined in our strategy as part of our Vision Realization Program,” the PIF spokesman said.

The fresh resources for the fund, which has $320 billion of assets under management, will provide extra firepower to take advantage of perceived bargains. Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF, said last month: “You don’t want to waste a crisis. We’re looking into any opportunities.”