Passenger Traffic Demand Increases, But Growth Slowing

November 2, 2017

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Global passenger traffic demand rose in September, but it was the slowest year-on-year increase since February as weather events limited growth.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its monthly passenger demand update that Hurricanes Irma and Maria weighed heavily on results, with revenue passenger km (RPK) traffic increasing by 5.7 percent compared to the same month last year.

“September's growth in passenger demand was healthy, notwithstanding the heavy impacts of extreme weather events on the Americas,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said.

“Global economic conditions support rising passenger demand, but with higher cost inputs, the demand stimulation from lower fares has waned, suggesting a moderating trend in traffic growth.”

Regionally, Asia Pacific topped the growth table on 8.7 percent, with Europe and Latin America tied on 7.1 percent. North America saw just a 0.4 percent increase in RPKs during the month as the severe weather events limited growth.

Total ASK capacity increased by 5.3 percent in September, with Asia Pacific again leading on 8.1 percent. Latin America was second on 5.6 percent, and Europe third with 5.3 percent growth. North America added 2.0 percent capacity in the period.

All regions showed an increase in passenger load factor except North America and the Middle East. Overall load factor edged up 0.3 percentage points to 81.6 percent.