IATA's global passenger traffic results for
January 2017 shows that demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs)
rose 9.6% compared to January 2016, the strongest increase in more
than five years.
Results were positively affected by
traffic associated with the Lunar New Year celebrations, which
occurred in January this year, compared to February in 2016.
IATA estimates the holiday-related travel
contributed up to one-half a percentage point in extra demand
growth. January capacity rose 8.0%, and load factor climbed 1.2
percentage points to 80.2%.
"2017 is off to a very strong start, with demand
at levels not seen since 2011. This is supported by the upturn in
the global economic cycle and a return to a more normal
environment after the terrorism and political ‘shock’ events seen
in early 2016," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General
January international passenger traffic surged
9.3% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity rose 7.5% and load
factor climbed 1.3 percentage point to 80.3%. All regions recorded
year-on-year increases in demand led by the Middle East and Asia
Asia Pacific carriers recorded an increase
of 10.9% compared to January 2016, helped by the impact of Lunar
New Year-related travel and solid growth on routes within Asia.
Capacity rose 8.9%, pushing up load factor 1.5 percentage points
European carriers’ international traffic
climbed 8.3% in January compared to the year-ago period against a
backdrop of moderate momentum in the Eurozone economy. Capacity
rose 6.7% and load factor was up 1.2 percentage points to 80.3%.
Middle East carriers had the strongest
year-over-year demand growth in January at 14.4%. Capacity climbed
11.4% and load factor rose against the year-ago period for a third
consecutive month, up 2.1 percentage points to 79.8%.
North American airlines had the slowest
demand growth, with traffic rising 3.2% in January, compared to a
year ago. Capacity climbed 3.1%, and load factor was flat at
80.3%. Traffic on the transpacific market has continued to trend
upwards but North Atlantic traffic growth has weakened since the
middle of 2016, reflecting softer demand on UK-US routes.
Latin American airlines’ traffic climbed
8.2% in January. Capacity rose 5.7% and load factor increased 1.9
percentage points to 83.7%, highest among the regions. Robust
international demand within South America is offsetting weaker
demand to North America.
African airlines saw January traffic rise 5.6%
compared to January 2016. This reflects a recovery on the key
routes to/from Europe, despite continuing weakness in South Africa
and Nigeria. With capacity up 4.5%, load factor rose 0.7
percentage point to 69.9%.
Domestic air travel climbed 9.9% in January
year-on-year. All markets except Brazil showed growth, paced by
double-digit increases in China, India and Russia. Capacity
increased 8.7% and load factor was 80.1%, up 0.9% percentage
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