IATA's full-year global passenger traffic
results for 2016 show demand (revenue passenger kilometers or
RPKs) rose 6.3% compared to 2015 (or 6.0% if adjusted for the leap
ahead of the ten-year average annual growth rate of 5.5%.
rose 6.2% (unadjusted) compared to 2015, pushing the load factor
up 0.1 percentage points to a record full-year average high of
A particularly strong performance was reported for
December with an 8.8% rise in demand outstripping 6.6% capacity
"Air travel was a good news story in 2016," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
"Connectivity increased with the establishment of more than 700
new routes. And a $44 fall in average return fares helped to make
air travel even more accessible. As a result, a record 3.7 billion
passengers flew safely to their destination. Demand for air travel
is still expanding. The challenge for governments is to work with
the industry to meet that demand with infrastructure that can
accommodate the growth, regulation that facilitates growth and
taxes that don’t choke growth. If we can achieve that, there is
plenty of potential for a safe, secure and sustainable aviation
industry to create more jobs and increase prosperity."
traffic rose 6.7% in 2016 compared to 2015. Capacity rose 6.9% and
load factor fell 0.2 percentage points to 79.6%. All regions
recorded year-over-year increases in demand.
Pacific carriers recorded a demand increase of 8.3% compared to
2015, which was the second-fastest increase among the regions.
This pace is considerably ahead of the five-year growth average of
6.9%. Capacity rose 7.7%, pushing up the load factor 0.4
percentage points to 78.6%.
international traffic climbed 4.8% in 2016. Capacity rose 5.0% and
despite a decline of 0.1 percentage points to 82.8%, the load
factor remains the highest among the regions. European carriers
particularly benefitted from an improvement in the second half of
the year—passenger volumes have been increasing at an average of
15% year-over-year since June, easily compensating for a slight
decline over the first six months of 2016.
American airlines saw demand rise 2.6% in 2016. Most of the growth
occurred in the second quarter, and traffic has been strongest on
Pacific routes. The North Atlantic, by contrast, has been fairly
flat. Capacity rose 3.3%, reducing the load factor by 0.5 percentage points to 81.3%.
Middle East carriers had
the strongest regional annual traffic growth for the fifth year in
a row. RPKs expanded 11.8%, consolidating the region’s position as
the third-largest market for international passengers. Capacity
growth (13.7%) continued to outstrip demand, with the result that
the load factor fell 1.3 percentage points to 74.7%.
Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 7.4% in 2016. Capacity rose
4.8% and load factor strengthened by 1.9 percentage points to 81.3%. International traffic from Latin America remains very
healthy despite some economic and political uncertainty in the region’s largest market, Brazil.
had their best growth performance since 2012, up 7.4%. Growth is
being underpinned by strong demand on routes to/from Asia and the
Middle East. Capacity exactly matched demand, with the result that
the load factor remained flat at 67.7%.
Domestic air travel rose 5.7% in 2016. Capacity
rose 5.1% and load factor was 82.2%, up 0.5 percentage points over
2015. All major markets except Brazil showed growth, but India and
China, with RPK expansion of 23.3% and 11.7% respectively, were
the stand-out performers. These markets have been underpinned by
additional routes and increasing flight frequencies, with the
latter looking set to continue in 2017.
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