IATA reveals global passenger traffic increase during April 2019

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood May 30, 2019 09:51

IATA reveals global passenger traffic increase during April 2019

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that global demand revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose by 4.3% in April 2019 compared to the same period last year.

During the month, global available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 3.6%, and load factor climbed 0.6 percentage points to 82.8%, which was a record for the month of April, surpassing last year’s record of 82.2%. Regionally, Africa, Europe and Latin America posted record load factors.

The report from the IATA shows that European airlines’ April traffic increased 8% compared to the same period in 2018, up from 4.9% annual growth in March. Capacity rose 6.6% and load factor surged 1.1 percentage points to 85.7%, the highest among the regions.

Asia-Pacific carriers posted a 2.9% traffic rise in April, up from 2% growth in March but well below the long-term average, the report says. Capacity climbed 3.7% and load factor dropped 0.6 percentage point to 80.8%. Asia-Pacific was the only region to experience a decline in load factor compared to the same month a year ago.

Meanwhile, Middle East carriers saw demand rise 2.9% in April, which was a recovery from a 3% decline in traffic in March. Notwithstanding the monthly turnaround, in seasonally-adjusted terms the downward trend in traffic growth continues, reflecting broader structural changes affecting the industry in the region. Capacity fell 1.6% and load factor soared 3.5 percentage points to 80.5%.

In North America, airlines posted a 5.5% demand increase compared to April 2018, which was up from 3.2% year-over-year growth in March. A strong domestic economy, low unemployment and a strong dollar are offsetting any impacts from current trade tensions. Capacity climbed 3.2%, and load factor rose 1.8 percentage points to 82.2%.

Latin American airlines experienced a 5.2% rise in April demand compared to the same month last year, slightly up on 4.9% growth in March. Capacity increased by 4.0% and load factor edged up 0.9 percentage point to 82.8%.

In Africa, carriers had a 1.1% traffic increase in April, which was down from 1.6% growth in March and was the slowest regional growth since early 2015. Like Latin America, Africa is seeing some economic and political uncertainty in the largest markets. Capacity climbed 0.1%, and load factor edged up 0.7 percentage point to 72.6%.

“We experienced solid but not exceptional rising demand for air connectivity in April. This partly is owing to the timing of Easter, but also reflects the slowing global economy. Driven by tariffs and trade disputes, global trade is falling, and as a result, we are not seeing traffic growing at the same levels as a year ago. However, airlines are doing a very good job of managing aircraft utilization, leading to record load factors.” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood May 30, 2019 09:51