Global Air Passenger Traffic Surges By 5%

Global air passenger traffic took a 5.2 per cent leap in June, the International Air Transport Association, IATA, has announced. The global airlines body said increase in passenger demand is measured in revenue passenger kilometer, RPK.

IATA’s Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tony Tyler, who revealed this in Geneva, said the figure leaped from the 4.8 per cent last May to the new figure.

He however said the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has moderated since last January. In June, capacity otherwise known as available seat kilometres (ASKs ) increased by 5.6 per cent, and load factor slipped by 0.3 per centage points to 80.7 per cent.

“The demand for travel continues to increase, but at a slower pace.The fragile and uncertain economic backdrop, political shocks and a wave of terrorist attacks are all contributing to a softer demand environment,” Tyler said.

He said the June demand rose by five per cent compared to June, last year, capacity climbed 6.4 per cent, causing load factor to slide 1.1 percentage points to 79.4 per cent.

Tyler added that all regions recorded growth, led by airlines in Latin America. Asia-Pacific airlines’ June traffic increased 8.2 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

However, most of the growth relates to the strong upward trend in traffic seen in the final months of last year and into this year, with June demand barely higher than in February. This could be a natural pause, but possibly is also a sign of Asian passengers being put off travel by terrorism in Europe.

Capacity rose by 7.3 per cent and load factor inched up by 0.6 percentage points to 78.2 per cent. European carriers saw demand rise 2.1 per cent, the smallest increase among regions, reflecting the negative impact of recent terrorism. While demand tends to recover reasonably quickly after such events, the repeated nature of the attacks may have a more lasting impact.

Middle Eastern carriers posted a 7.5 per cent traffic increase in June, which was well down on the double-digit growth recorded earlier in the year.

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