Air travel demand continues rising, says IATA

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that air travel demand since last September shows a rising despite a slight slowdown from August. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 5,5% compared to September last year. According to IATA, capacity increased too at 5,3% over the same period and the load factor in September (80,3%) was largely in line with levels achieved in September 2012.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General, said they were perceiving a more positive environment for air travel demand based on a rising business confidence that could suggest an acceleration in air travel growth towards the end of the year.

September international passengers demand was up to 5,7% compared to the same period in 2012. An equivalent increase in capacity led to load factor remaining unchanged at 80,9 when compared to September last year. All regions saw demand increase compared to a year ago.

The Middle East showed the biggest growth at 10,4%, with likely to continue, with strong growing economies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in non-oil producing sectors and increases in new export orders.

Asia-Pacific carriers recorded an increase of the 8,5% compared to the same period last year, according to IATA, due to China’s third quarter GDP growth and Japan’s improved economy.

European carriers’ international traffic climbed 3,4% following modest economic improvements. Acceleration in trade growth would help support demand fro the remainder of the year.

North American airlines saw a light rise on demand at 2,3% over a year ago. Consumer confidence and business activity has been improving throughout the third quarter.

Latin American airlines posted a demand growth of 8,3% in September. While Brazil is suffering with inflation weakness, other countries such as Colombia, Peru and Chile are expanding strongly.

African airlines’ traffic grew 6,9% compared to September 2012. The strong economic growth in several emerging economies, including Ghana and Nigeria, as well as increased trade activity, is supporting the demand growth.

Globally, domestic travel rose 5% in September, with all markets showing an increase. The highest of these was in India, at 16.4 %, which IATA said was inconsistent with its weak economy and a reflection of a temporary fare discounting. Russian saw the next second highest increase in domestic travel with a 12,1%, followed from China with a 10,6% compared to the year ago.


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