The airline industry is on course for a record US$39.4 billion for the 2016 calendar year but on average airlines only earn a paltry net US$5.60 per passenger.According to the International Air Transport Association Director General Tony Tyler, addressing the groups AGM in Dublin, airline net profit margin will only be 5.6 per cent – a quarter of the world’s most profitable industries such as medical and banking. This year airlines are expected to carry 3.8 billion passengers.”Lower oil prices are certainly helping [profitability] but we are probably nearing the peak of the positive stimulus from lower prices, said Mr Tyler.He added that passengers are getting “a great deal” in lower ticket prices not only due to the lower fuel prices but because airlines are improving efficiency across a range of initiatives.Commenting on the lean profitability Mr Tyler said that $10.42 airlines earn (net $5.60) on each passengers is not enough to buy four double-espressos at Starbucks in Dublin.Mr Tyler said the airline industry is making just half what Starbucks makes in net profits.Mr Tyler said that the average return fare (before surcharges and taxes) is expected to be US$366 which is a 62 per cent reduction on 1995 levels (after adjusting for inflation). The global airline network is 18,243 routes and the world fleet is 28,000 aircraft.However the airline industry is dramatically improving fuel efficiency with current analysis showing that on average the sector has improved fuel efficiency by 2.4% per year since 2009.Since 2001 the fuel efficiency of the airline industry has improved a massive 36 per cent.Mr Tyler said that the industry remains committed to achieving carbon-neutral growth from 2020.
Odisha continues to remain in poll mode even though a month has passed since the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections were held in the State simultaneously in four phases in April.Elections were to be held for two Assembly seats — Patkura and Bijepur — and four Rajya Sabha berths in the State. Four Biju Janata Dal members of the Upper House of Parliament have contested and won the recent Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.The Patkura Assembly constituency was first scheduled to go to the polls on April 29. However, polling was adjourned following the death of BJD nominee Bed Prakash Agarwalla on April 20. Mr. Agarwalla’s wife Savitri Agarwalla filed the nomination as a BJD candidate when polling date was scheduled for May 19.Polling in Patkura was deferred again due to Cyclone Fani that devastated many coastal districts on May 3. The Election Commission of India is likely to announce the date of polling for the constituency shortly.On the other hand, the Bijepur Assembly seat in western Odisha has already been vacated by Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik. The bypoll will be held in Bijepur within six months after the ECI announces the schedule. Mr. Patnaik had won from two Assembly segments — Bijepur and Hinjili — in south Odisha.The Bijepur seat will witness a triangular contest involving the three major parties — the BJD, the BJP and the Congress. A triangular contest is also likely in the Patkura seat.Lobbying for seatsMeanwhile, lobbying has started in the BJD for the Rajya Sabha seats that were to fall vacant before completion of the term. While Rajya Sabha members Anubhav Mohanty and Achyuta Samanta have got elected from Kendrapara and Kandhamal Lok Sabha seats, two other members of the Upper House — Pratap Keshari Deb and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik — have got elected to the State Assembly from Aul and Khandapada seats.While the BJD, with 112 legislators in the 147-member Assembly, is certain to bag three of the four seats easily, election to the fourth seat will be crucial since the BJP, which has become the main Opposition party, does not have the required numbers to win a single seat comfortably. The BJP has won 23 seats in the Assembly and Congress has nine.