Strong Passenger Demand Growth Continues

July 5, 2018

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IATA reported another solid month for passenger demand in May with growth of 6.1 percent compared to last year, a slight uptick from April.

The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) global passenger traffic result for the month was up from April’s 6.0 percent, measured in revenue passenger km (RPK) terms.

Airlines put on 5.9 percent additional capacity in available seat kms (ASKs) in May, with load factor edging up 0.1 of a percentage point to 80.1 percent as a result.

IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac highlighted the solid demand growth, but introduced a note of caution as airline costs continue to increase.

“As had been expected, we saw some moderation, as rising airline costs are reducing the stimulus from lower airfares. In particular, jet fuel prices are expected to be up nearly 26 percent this year compared to 2017. Nevertheless, the record load factor for the month signifies that demand for air connectivity is strong.”

In regional terms, the results were varied for May, with most areas showing strong growth, but Africa contracted by 0.8 percent and the Middle East could only manage 0.5 percent demand growth.

In contrast, Asia Pacific continued its growth trend with an 8.7 percent increase in RPKs, and Latin America, Europe and North America all returning 5 percent plus increases.

Africa pulled capacity out of the market, with a 0.9 percent drop in ASKs, but that was the only region to contract in May. Asia Pacific again led the table with an 8.6 percent increase in capacity.