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Thu, 10 Jan 2019

Aviation: RPKs and ASKs Up 6.2% and 6.8% in November 2018

IATAs global passenger traffic results for November 2018 show that total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.2% when compared to November 2017, a slight deceleration from 6.3% growth in October 2017.

 Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.8% over the year-ago period, and load factor dipped 0.4 percentage point to 80.0%. It is only the third time in two years that load factor fell on a year-to-year basis.

Traffic is solid. But there are clear signs that growth is moderating in line with the slowing global economy. We still expect 6% demand growth this year. But trade tensions, protective tariffs and Brexit are all uncertainties that overhang the industry, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATAs Director General and CEO.

Korean Air Airbus A220-300 in the foreground with a Korean Air Airbus A330 taking off from Gimpo Int. Airport in Seoul, South Korea in the background. Picture taken by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

November international passenger demand rose 6.6% compared to the year earlier period, up from 6.2% in October. All regions showed growth, led by carriers in Europe. Total capacity climbed 6.7%, and load factor dipped 0.1 percentage point to 78.4%.

 European carriers saw demand increase by 9.0% in November 2018, which was a nine-month high. Given the mixed signs on the economic backdrop in the region it is unclear whether this pace of growth can be sustained. Capacity climbed 9.1% and load factor slipped 0.1 percentage point to 82.1%, the highest load factor among the regions.

 Asia-Pacific airlines November traffic climbed 6.0% compared to the year-ago period, up from 5.7% growth in October. Capacity also rose 6.0% and load factor was flat at 79.1%. Growth is underpinned by rising living standards and continuing expansion of options for travelers.

 Middle East carriers had a 2.8% demand increase, which was the lowest among the regions for a third consecutive month. Capacity rose 5.6% and load factor slipped 1.9 percentage points to 69.0%.

 North American airlines traffic climbed 6.1%, in November, up from 5.7% in October and well ahead of the five-year average rate of 4.0%. Capacity rose 3.8% and load factor edged up 1.7 percentage points to 80.6%. Demand is supported by comparatively strong momentum in the US economy.

 Latin American airlines November traffic climbed 5.8% compared to November 2017, which was an increase from 5.2% growth recorded in October. Despite the increase, growth has slowed on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Capacity rose 6.6% and load factor slipped 0.6 percentage point to 80.6%.

African airlines experienced a 5.7% rise in demand compared to November 2017, down from 6.4% in October but higher than the five-year average of 5.8%. Growth is occurring despite challenges in the continents largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa. Capacity rose 3.9% and load factor climbed 1.2 percentage points to 68.9%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic travel demand rose 5.6% in November 2018 compared to the same month in 2017, its slowest pace in 11 months and down from 6.5% in October. All markets except Australia showed growth. Domestic capacity climbed 6.9%, and load factor dropped 1.0 percentage point to 82.8%

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