IATA has reported healthy global passenger
demand for July with all regions experiencing growth.
passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.2%, compared to the same month
last year. While this was down from 8.1% year-on-year growth in June, it nevertheless marked a solid start to the peak passenger
demand season. Monthly capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.5% and load factor rose 0.6 percentage point
to a record high for July of 85.2%.
“The industry posted
another month of solid traffic growth. And the record load factor
shows that airlines are becoming even more efficient in terms of
deploying capacity to meet demand. However, rising costs --
particularly fuel -- will likely limit the stimulus we would
expect from lower airfares. Therefore, we do expect to see a
continued slowing of growth compared to 2017,” said Alexandre de
Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
international passenger demand rose 5.3% compared to July 2017,
which was a deceleration compared to the 8.2% growth recorded in
June. Total capacity climbed 4.7%, and load factor edged up half a
percentage point to 85.0%. All regions reported growth, led by
Asia Pacific for the first time in three months.
Asia Pacific airlines’ July traffic rose 7.5% over the year-ago
period, a slowdown compared to June growth of 9.6%. Capacity increased 6.0% and load factor rose 1.1 percentage points to
82.1%. Growth is being supported by a combination of robust
regional economic growth and an increase in route options for
European carriers posted a 4.4% rise in
traffic for July compared to a year ago, down from 7.1% annual
growth in June. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, passenger volumes
have been tracking sideways for the past three months, reflecting
mixed developments on the economic front and possible traffic
impacts related to air traffic control strikes across the region.
Capacity rose 3.9%, and load factor climbed 0.5 percentage point
to 89.1%, highest among the regions.
carriers had a 4.8% increase in demand for July, well down on the
11.2% growth recorded for June, although this mainly is
attributable to volatility in the data a year ago, rather than any
major new developments. The region has been negatively impacted by
a number of policy measures over the past 18 months, including the
ban on portable electronic devices and travel restrictions. July
capacity climbed 6.5% compared to a year ago and load factor
dropped 1.3 percentage points to 80.3%.
American airlines’ traffic climbed 4.1% compared to July a year
ago. This was down from 6.0% growth in June, but still ahead of
the 5-year average pace for carriers in the region as strong
momentum in the US economy is helping underpin a pick-up in
international demand for airlines there. July capacity rose 2.8%
with the result that load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to
87.2%, second highest among the regions.
American airlines experienced a 3.8% rise in traffic in July, the
slowest growth among the regions and a decline from 5.6% year-over-year growth in June. Capacity rose 4.6% and load factor
slid 0.6 percentage point to 84.2%. Signs of softening demand have
come alongside disruption from the general strikes in Brazil.
African airlines’ July traffic rose 6.8%, second highest
among the regions. Although this represented a decline from 11.0%
growth recorded in June, the seasonally-adjusted trend remains
strong. Capacity rose 3.9%, and load factor jumped 2.1 percentage points to 76.0%. Higher oil and commodity prices are supporting
economies in a number of countries.
Domestic travel demand grew by 7.8% year-on-year
in July, broadly in line with 8.0% growth recorded in June. All
markets saw annual increases, with China, India and Russia posting
double-digit growth rates. Domestic capacity climbed 6.9%, and
load factor rose 0.8 percentage point to 85.6%.
Russia’s domestic traffic
soared 10.8% in July - a 13-month high - as rising world oil prices
are helping support economic activity as well as incomes and jobs.
US domestic traffic also surged to a 5-month high of
5.6%, well above the 5-year average of 4.2%, boosted by the rising
"The second half of
the year got off to a solid start. The strong demand we
experienced in July is confirmation that summer is when people
want to travel, to explore new places and to reunite with friends
and family. Unfortunately, for air travelers in Europe, summer
also brought delays and disappointment, while for airlines, it
meant accepting schedule inefficiencies and longer flight times.
That’s because air traffic capacity has not kept pace with demand
and because some controllers used the opportunity of the peak
traffic period to launch strikes and work slowdowns. Travelers
want to get to their holidays on time. It’s past time for the
European Commission, Member States and air navigation service
providers to take urgent action to eliminate European airspace
bottlenecks and to discourage air traffic controllers from
penalizing air travelers when they are unhappy over a contract,”
said de Juniac.