IATA reveals strong industry growth in June

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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Air travel has demonstrated its fastest first-half growth in 12 years as IATA releases global passenger traffic data for June.

Global demand, measured in total revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 7.8% in June 2017 compared to June 2016, in line with the 7.7% growth recorded in May. Capacity, measured in available seat kilometres, increased by 6.5%, and load factor rose 1.0 percentage point to 81.9%.

Industry growth across the first half of the year contributed to a 12-year high in traffic growth (7.9%) and a record first half load factor of 80.7%.

"A brighter economic picture and lower airfares are keeping demand for travel strong. But as costs rise, this stimulus of lower fares is likely to fade. And uncertainties such as Brexit need to be watched carefully. Nonetheless, we still expect 2017 to see above-trend growth," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Regional growth year-on-year in RPKs in June 2017 was as follows: Africa 9.2%, Asia Pacific 11.6%, Europe 8.8%, Latin America 6.7%, Middle East 2.1% and North America 4%.

All regions recorded growth in passenger traffic, too, with the highest growth recorded by airlines in Africa, where passenger traffic soared 9.9% in June, closely followed by Asia-Pacific airlines, which recorded a 9.1% increase in traffic. The lowest growth was seen by Middle Eastern carriers, at 2.5%, a slowdown from the 3.7% growth seen in May.

Demand for domestic travel climbed 8.2% in June compared to June 2016, up slightly from the 7.9% growth seen in May. Domestic capacity increased 7.0% in June, and load factor rose 0.9 percentage points to 84.3%. All markets reported demand increases, led by China and India, but statistics varied widely.

Overall, the data is very positive. As well as recording the fastest first-half growth in 12 years, and record high load factors, IATA is also predicting that peak northern summer travel season is likely to be record-breaking.

"This is all good news. The demand for travel is strong and that, in turn, will make a positive contribution to the global economy,” commented De Juniac. He went on to say that growth will expose infrastructure deficiencies, emphasising the link between connectivity and economic prosperity. “…Few governments have been able to deliver on the imperatives of sufficient capacity, quality aligned with user needs and affordability. This year’s strong growth is a reminder that there is no time to lose," he concluded.


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