IATA’s global passenger traffic results for
August 2014 show a slight pick-up in demand over the previous
Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs)
increased 5.9% compared to August 2013, which was above the 5.4%
year-on-year increase recorded in July. August capacity climbed
5.5%. The load factor stood at 83.9% which is a 0.3 percentage
point rise over August 2013.
"August was a good month right across the
industry. All regions reported an expansion in demand for air
travel. And load factors were high, reflecting the fact that
August is peak travel season in the Northern hemisphere. We
should, however, keep an eye on potential downside risks. European
travel, for example, continues to show robust growth. The 6.1%
year-to-date expansion in demand reflects a solid step up from the
3.8% growth recorded in 2013. But it remains a question how long
the robust trend in passenger travel can continue in light of the
continent’s increasingly worrying economic outlook," said Tony
Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
International Passenger Markets
International passenger traffic rose 6.7% in
August, with all regions showing growth over the previous year.
Capacity also rose 6.7% and load factor was stable at 84.2%.
European carriers’ international traffic climbed 6.8% in
August compared to the year-ago period. Carriers based in the
region are experiencing strong demand despite the economic
difficulties in the Eurozone. Sanctions related to the
Russia-Ukraine crisis are among the factors having a dampening
effect on key European economies including Germany. Capacity was
up 6.0% pushing load factor to 86.9% which is 0.6 percentage
points above previous-August levels.
airlines saw their traffic rise 5.8% in August compared to the
previous year. After a slow start, the Chinese economy has been
stabilizing, supported by government fiscal stimulus, and regional
trade activity which encourages business travel, has rebounded
fully. Capacity rose 7.0% and load factor declined 0.9 percentage
points to 81.0%.
North American airlines’ demand rose
3.2% in August compared to a year ago. According to JP Morgan/Markit,
overall business conditions in the US are the strongest they have
been since May 2010. With capacity up 5.0%, load factor fell 1.5
percentage points to 86.6%.
Middle East carriers had
the strongest year-on-year traffic growth in August at 11.7% as
airlines continue to benefit from the strength of regional
economies and solid growth in business-related premium travel.
Capacity rose 10.3% and load factor rose 1.0 percentage points to
Latin American airlines experienced an 8.2%
rise in traffic, second highest among the regions. Capacity rose
6.4% and load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 82.2%. While
economies such as Colombia, Peru and Chile continue to expand
robustly, growth in the Brazilian economy remains fundamentally
weak and regional trade volumes have made no progress this year
compared to the highs reached at the end of 2013.
African airlines’ demand rose 7.5%, while capacity climbed 5.9%
and the load factor improved 1.1 percentage points to 75.0%. Because significant volatility in volumes for this region can
occur, the strong traffic growth cannot be immediately interpreted
as a trend change.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Domestic demand rose 4.5% in August compared to August 2013 with
all markets reporting growth, led by Russia and India. Domestic
capacity climbed 3.4% and load factor rose 0.9 percentage points
domestic air traffic rose 10.1% in August versus the year-ago
period. The Russia-Ukraine crisis has caused a slowdown in economic growth in Russia. Airlines have been able to stimulate
domestic demand through significant fare reductions.
Indian domestic demand climbed 7.4%. Results for the last two
months have been solid, perhaps an early sign of improvement as a result of the new business-supportive government regime.
The continuing Ebola crisis took on a new
dimension with the first confirmed diagnosis of Ebola in the
The World Health Organization (WHO)
evaluates the risk of Ebola transmission occurring on an aircraft
as "very low", and continues to recommend against travel restrictions and border closures.
"The airline industry is taking its guidance from the WHO and
public health authorities to keep flying safe for passengers and
crew. Travelers should be reassured. WHO has clearly said that the
risk of Ebola transmission on board an aircraft is very low.
Moreover, WHO is not advising any restrictions on travel," said
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