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Air passenger growth improves but trend remains moderate: IATA


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced global passenger traffic data for August showing that demand measured in total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) climbed 3.8 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

This was above the 3.5 per cent annual increase for July. August capacity available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 3.5 per cent. Load factor climbed 0.3 percentage point to 85.7 per cent which was a new monthly record as airlines continue to maximise asset use.

"While we saw a pick-up in passenger demand in August compared to July, growth remains below the long-term trend and well-down on the roughly 8.5 per cent annual growth seen over 2016 to Q1 2018 period," said IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

"This reflects the impact of economic slowdowns in some key markets, uncertainty over Brexit and the trade war between the United States and China. But passenger load factors reaching a new high of 85.7 per cent is good for overall efficiency and passengers' individual carbon footprint," he said in a statement.

August international passenger demand rose 3.3 per cent compared to August 2018, improved from a 2.8 per cent year-over-year growth achieved in July. With the exception of Latin America, all regions recorded increases, led by airlines in Africa. Capacity climbed 2.9 per cent and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 85.6 per cent.

Asia Pacific airlines' August traffic increased 3.5 per cent compared to the year-ago period which was an acceleration compared to a 2.6 per cent rise in July.

However, this remains well below the long-term average growth rate of around 6.5 per cent, reflecting slowing economic growth in India and Australia as well as the impact of trade disputes. Capacity rose 3.9 per cent and load factor slid 0.4 percentage point to 82.8 per cent.

Annual growth in India domestic RPK volumes accelerated moderately to 3.7 per cent in August, up from a revised 3.1 per cent in July. The country experienced its slowest economic growth in several years in Q2 19 (5 per cent year-on-year) with slowing consumption growth and some emerging concerns regarding the financial sector.

However, global demand for domestic travel climbed 4.7 per cent in August compared to August 2018, unchanged from the previous month. Capacity rose 4.6 per cent and load factor increased 0.1 percentage point to 85.9 per cent.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, October 11 2019. 16:22 IST