Air passenger growth continues but clouds loom, says IATA

08-09-2018 2:01 pm

Air passenger demand climbed in June (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rising by 7.8 per cent compared to June 2017, according to the latest monthly report by the International Air Transport Association.

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This was up from six per cent year-over-year growth recorded in both May and April, IATA said, with June capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increasing by 6.5 per cent, and load factor rose one per cent to 82.8 per cent. The first six months of 2018 produced demand growth of seven per cent, a strong performance, but down from 8.3 per cent growth recorded in the first half of 2017.

"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. 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 per cent over the past year — are reducing the stimulus of lower fares," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Growth for North American airlines

North American airlines’ demand rose 5.9 per cent compared to June a year ago, an improvement from five per cent growth recorded in May. Capacity climbed 3.6 per cent, with load factor increasing 1.9 percentage points to 86.7 per cent. Increasing momentum in the US economy is supporting growth in passenger volumes, but prospects of further escalation in trade disputes could affect future demand.

June international passenger demand rose 7.7 per cent compared to June 2017. All regions recorded growth, led by airlines in the Middle East and Africa. Capacity climbed 5.9 per cent, and load factor increased 1.4 percentage points to 81.9 per cent.

Demand for domestic travel climbed 7.9 per cent in June compared to June 2017, up somewhat from the 6.7 per cent annual growth seen in May. June capacity increased 7.5 per cent, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 84.5 per cent. Led once again by double-digit gains in India and China, all markets reported demand increases, but with wide variation.

View IATA's June 2018 passenger traffic analysis