Global Passenger Demand Accelerating

August 9, 2018

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Global passenger traffic demand continues to grow with June’s increase of 7.8 percent comfortably beating the preceding two months’ 6.0 percent growth rate.

Airlines added slightly less capacity than demand in June, leading to a 1.0 percentage point increase in load factor to 82.8 percent. Capacity, measured in available seat km (ASK), rose by 6.5 percent against June 2017, IATA said in its monthly update.

For the first six months of the year, demand growth came in at 7.0 percent, down from H1 2017’s 8.3 percent increase.

“The first half of 2018 concluded with another month of above-trend demand growth, which is a good indicator for the peak summer travel season in the northern hemisphere,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said.

“But the looming prospect of a global trade war is casting a long shadow. Additionally, rising cost inputs - fuel prices have soared by approximately 60 percent over the past year - are reducing the stimulus of lower fares.”

All regions returned strong growth, with Asia Pacific leading the pack on an 11.2 percent increase. The Middle East was second in RPK terms with 10.3 percent and Africa third with 6.3 percent, but from a low base. Europe on 5.8 percent and North America with 5.5 percent came in close by.

Asia Pacific added the most capacity with a 9.8 percent uplift, Europe put on 4.5 percent and North America 4.3 percent. All regions bar South America showed increased load factors for the month.