IATA's global passenger traffic results
for November 2016 show the strongest demand growth in nine
Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 7.6%
compared to November 2015. Capacity (available seat kilometers or
ASKs) increased by 6.5%, and load factor rose 0.8 percentage
points to 78.9%.
"Stronger demand for air travel
reflects—and is supporting--a pick-up in the global economic
cycle. As the stimulus effect of lower oil prices recedes in the
rear view mirror, the strength of the economic cycle will play a
key role in the pace of demand growth in 2017," said Alexandre de
Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
November international passenger demand rose
8.0% compared to the year earlier, with airlines in all regions
showing growth. Total capacity climbed 6.8%, and load factor edged
up 0.9 percentage points to 77.1%.
European carriers saw
demand increase by 8.3% in November 2016, while traffic grew at an
annualized pace of 12% over the past five months or so. This
suggests that the disruption caused by terrorism and political
instability has lifted, against a backdrop of a growing Eurozone
economy. Capacity rose 6.8% and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage
point to 80.8%.
Asia Pacific airlines’ November
traffic also climbed 8.3% compared to the year-ago period.
Capacity increased 7.1% and load factor rose 0.8 percentage points
to 77.4%. The strong upward trend in demand has slowed recently
but it is not clear whether this is a longer-term development or
just a brief pause.
Middle East carriers led all
regions with a 12.2% demand increase. But the upward trend in the
region’s seasonally adjusted traffic has paused, with November’s
level coming in unchanged from that of July. Capacity rose 11.6%
and load factor rose 0.3 percentage points to 68.7%.
North American airlines’ traffic climbed 1.5% in November. Traffic
across the Pacific is growing rapidly but North Atlantic demand is
moderating. Capacity rose 1.2% and load factor edged up 0.2
percentage points to 78.7%.
Latin American airlines
saw November traffic climb 7.3% compared to November 2015.
Capacity increased by just 2.9%, pushing load factor up 3.4
percentage points to 82.2%. The upward trend in international
traffic has remained strong despite difficult conditions on the
North America-South America route, supported by healthy
international demand within South America.
airlines experienced an 8.2% rise in demand compared to November
2015. Economic conditions in much of Africa remain challenging,
particularly in the biggest economies of Nigeria and South Africa,
but the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted passenger traffic has
reasserted itself more recently, supported by strong demand on
routes to and from Asia and the Middle East. Capacity rose 5.1%
and load factor climbed 1.9 percentage points to 66.3%.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Domestic travel demand rose 7.1% in
November 2016 compared to the same month in 2015, but results
continued to vary widely, with China, India and Russia showing
double-digit growth while demand declined in Brazil and Japan.
Domestic capacity climbed 6.1%, and load factor improved 0.8
percentage points to 82.2%.
Air travel in Japan declined
0.5% in November. Traffic has trended sideways in
seasonally-adjusted terms for the best part of two years, against
a backdrop of weak momentum in consumer spending.
Russia’s 15.5% increase largely reflects favorable comparisons
with the year-earlier period following the collapse of Transaero
in utumn 2015. But the recovery in seasonally-adjusted domestic
traffic is continuing, alongside signs that the country’s economic recession is easing.
industry continues to deliver strong results. In 2017, for a third
consecutive year, the industry’s return on invested capital will
exceed the cost of capital. Passengers benefit from the industry’s
success. Travel has never been more accessible—with great fares,
many options and more destinations. Nevertheless uncertainty lies
ahead. The threat of terrorism, questions over the durability of
the economic upswing, rising oil prices and increasing
protectionist rhetoric are among the concerns. The industry has
reshaped itself and strengthened its resilience to shocks. We
should see another solid year of collective profitability for the
airlines in 2017. But we must be vigilant," said de Juniac.
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