IATA's global passenger traffic results for
November 2019 shows that demand, measured in revenue passenger
kilometers or RPKs, rose 3.3% compared to the same month in 2018.
This was unchanged from October’s result and below the long-term
Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs)
increased by 1.8%, and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points
to 81.1%, which was a record for any November. All regions
saw annual increases in traffic.
“November’s moderate result reflects the
continuing influence of slower economic activity, geopolitical
tensions and other disruptions, including strikes in Europe. On
the plus side, positive developments in the US-China trade talks,
in tandem with signs of improving business confidence, could
support an uptick in travel demand. In the meantime, continued
modest capacity growth is helping to maximize asset efficiency,”
said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
November international passenger demand rose 3.1%,
compared to November 2018, which was a marginal increase from the
3.0% year-on-year growth achieved in October. All regions recorded
traffic increases, except for Latin America. Capacity climbed
0.7%, and load factor increased 1.8 percentage points to 80.1%.
Asia Pacific airlines saw November traffic
increase 3.9% compared to the same month in 2018, a slight decline
compared to the 4.2% annual growth recorded in October. Capacity
rose 2.8% and load factor rose 0.8 percentage point to 79.9%.
While seasonally-adjusted volumes are increasing, the trend has
moderated. Disruptions in Hong Kong, slowing demand in India and
China and less supportive business confidence in several key
economies are among the contributing factors.
European carriers experienced a 1.2%
increase in November traffic, down from 1.6% growth in October and
the weakest outcome since early 2013. Industrial actions (strikes)
disrupted operations for a number of airlines during the month,
contributing to the demand slowdown. Capacity dropped 1.1% and
load factor rose 1.8 percentage points to 83.8%.
Middle Eastern airlines posted a 7.4%
traffic increase in November, up from a 5.6% rise in October.
Capacity was flat, and load factor soared 5.0 percentage points to
73.2%. The strong performance was driven by robust demand on
to/from Asia and Europe markets.
North American carriers’ international
demand climbed 2.3% compared to November 2018, down from the 3.6%
growth recorded in October. Despite a slowing in economic
activity, fundamentals remain generally sound for the region,
although the rise in geopolitical tensions may impact
international demand going forward. Capacity rose 1.6%, and load
factor accelerated 0.6 percentage point to 81.2%.
Latin American airlines had a 0.3% traffic decline
in November compared to a year ago, in line with October’s
decline. Capacity slipped 1.8% and load factor increased 1.3
percentage points to 82.1%. Economic headwinds and/or social
unrest in a number of countries in the region contributed to the
African airlines’ traffic climbed 4.9% in
November, up from 2.3% growth recorded in October. Challenges in
the South Africa market have been more than offset by strong
performance elsewhere in the region. Capacity rose 2.8%, and load
factor climbed 1.4 percentage points to 70.3%.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Demand for domestic travel climbed 3.5% in
November compared to November 2018, which was a marginal decline
from 3.7% annual growth recorded in October. Capacity rose 3.8%
and load factor slipped 0.2 percentage point to 82.8%.
Indian airlines experienced a return to
double-digit growth for the first time since January 2019, as
traffic rose 11.3% compared to November 2018. However, economic
growth in the third quarter was the weakest in around six years
amid a broad-based slowdown that is affecting many sectors of the
economy. This will present a more challenging environment for the
industry going forward.
Japan’s airlines saw domestic traffic climb 3.7%
in November, more than double the 1.8% increase recorded in
October. While growth has been volatile over the past six months
or so, the bigger picture is that seasonally-adjusted volumes are
trending modestly upward.
IATA represents 290 airlines comprising 82% of
global air traffic.