IATA: Despite downward trend, passenger demand remains positive

IATA: Despite downward trend, passenger demand remains positive
Published: 4 July 2019 - 11 a.m.
By: Aviation Business

The latest results from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that global passenger traffic results for May rose by 4.5% compared to the same month in 2018. This fell in line with the revised April traffic growth of 4.4% and above 3.1% year-on-year growth recorded in March.

Despite the forward progress, however, traffic growth remained below the 20-year average growth rate of 5.5%. Meanwhile, capacity rose by a mere 2.7%, while load factor rose by 1.4 percentage points up to 81.5%. The figure surpassed last year’s record load factor of 80.1%.

Commenting on the global aviation market, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said: “Passenger demand growth has slowed compared to the past two years. This is in line with slumping global trade, rising trade tensions and weakening business confidence. In this challenging environment, airlines are managing capacity carefully in order to optimise efficiency.”

Over the month of May, international traffic demand increased by 4.3% over the year-ago period that was down from the 5.1% growth recorded in April. According to IATA, all regions recorded growth, the leading region being Latin America. Additionally, total capacity climbed 2.1% with load factor increasing by 1.7 percentage points to 80.4%

In the Middle East, May demand growth decelerate to 0.8% compared to a year ago, from 3.3% annual growth recorded in April. The factors leading to this development included the impact of the structural changes that are underway in the industry in the region. Lastly, May capacity dropped by 6.1%, while load factor increased by five percentage points to 73%.

“Aviation is the business of freedom, connecting people and trade and creating new opportunities for growth and development. But to be effective, the business of freedom relies on borders that are open to the movement of people and goods — and aircraft. In recent weeks, we have seen extensive airspace closures owing to political tensions,” said de Juniac.

“These closures have contributed to longer and less efficient routings, higher operating costs and increased carbon emissions. Without any compromise on safety, it is vital that governments work to minimise airspace closures so that the Business of Freedom can continue to deliver its benefits as efficiently as possible.”

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