IATA’s global passenger traffic data for August
2016 shows that demand (measured in total revenue passenger
kilometers or RPKs) climbed 4.6% compared to the year-ago period.
This represented a slowing from the 6.4% increase recorded in July
(revised). August capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.8%, and load factor slipped 0.9 percentage points
"Growth in passenger demand dipped to 4.6%.
While that’s disappointing compared to the previous month’s
performance, it is still healthy growth. And although terrorist
attacks in Europe have dampened demand, the impact is ebbing,"
said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
August international passenger
demand rose 4.7% compared to August 2015. All regions recorded
increases, but growth was dominated by airlines in the Middle
East. Capacity climbed 6.5%, causing load factor to slide 1.4
percentage points to 83.9%.
Asia Pacific airlines’ August
2016 traffic climbed 5.6% compared to a year-ago. Capacity
rose 6.8% and load factor slipped down 0.9 percentage points to
81.9%. There are signs of Asian travelers continuing to be put-off
by recent terrorism in Europe. Traffic on Europe-Asia routes grew
just 1.5% in July, the most recent month for which route-specific
figures are available, while international traffic growth on
routes within Asia accelerated by 9.9%.
carriers saw August demand climb 3.3% year-on-year. European
traffic continues to be affected by the impact of terrorism,
however, there are indications this may be easing. Capacity rose
5.1%, which caused load factor to drop 1.6 percentage points to
86.6% - which was still the highest among regions.
Middle Eastern carriers posted a 10.3% traffic increase in August,
while capacity climbed 13.7%, resulting in a 2.5 percentage point fall in load factor to 81.2%.
airlines’ international demand rose 1.8% compared to August a year
ago. However, seasonally-adjusted traffic has risen at an
annualized rate of 7% since March, supported by transpacific
demand and leisure routes to Central America and the Caribbean.
Capacity rose 3.8%, causing load factor to drop 1.7 percentage
points to 85.3%.
Latin American airlines experienced
a 6.7% demand rise compared to the same month last year, helped by
strong demand on international routes within the region, spurred
in part by the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Capacity increased
by 4.0% and load factor rose 2.1 percentage points to 84.0%.
Carriers in this region were the only ones to see a rise in load
factor compared to a year-ago.
airlines’ traffic climbed 1.8% in August. International growth has
tracked sideways since the start of the year, reflecting
challenges in the major economies. Capacity rose 3.1%, with the
result that load factor slipped 1.0 percentage point to 75.6%,
lowest among regions.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Demand for domestic travel climbed 4.3% in August compared to
August 2015, which was slightly exceeded by a 4.4% increase in
capacity. Load factor slid 0.1 percentage points to 83.6%. All
markets reported demand increases with the exception of Brazil and
Russia, with India and China reporting double-digit rises.
Russia’s domestic traffic fell 2.7% but the failure of Transaero
last year has taken significant capacity out of the market, and
load factor reached a record high for the month at 86.5%. It was
also the highest among the domestic markets tracked by IATA.
US airlines’ domestic traffic climbed just 1%
year-on-year in August and traffic has trended sideways in
seasonally-adjusted terms since late 2015.
"Lower airfares are a major factor sustaining demand for air
travel. And airline profitability is stronger than ever as a
result of a better industry structure and efficiency gains. But
the lingering impact of terrorist attacks in Europe earlier in the
year reminds us that the aviation industry is vulnerable to many
external factors beyond its control. The risks—including the
normal ups and downs of the business cycle—won’t go away. The
industry has improved resilience along with its profitability.
That will be critical to responding quickly should the business
environment change," said de Juniac.
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