TravelNewsAsia.com
Fri, 7 Feb 2020

Aviation: Slower But Steady Growth in 2019

IATA's full-year global passenger traffic results for 2019 show that demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 4.2% compared to the full year of 2018.

The 2019 result is a slowdown compared to 2018’s annual growth of 7.3% and marked the first year since the global financial crisis in 2009 with passenger demand below the long-term trend of around 5.5% annual growth. Full-year 2019 capacity climbed 3.4%, and the load factor rose 0.7 percentage point to a record high of 82.6%. The previous high was 81.9% set in 2018.

December 2019 RPKs increased 4.5% against the same month in 2018. That was an improvement over the 3.3% annual growth recorded in November, primarily due to solid demand in North America.

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 reg: A6-BLX. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

“Airlines did well to maintain steady growth last year in the face of a number of challenges,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “A softer economic backdrop, weak global trade activity, and political and geopolitical tensions took their toll on demand. Astute capacity management, and the effects of the 737 MAX grounding, contributed to another record load factor, helping the industry to manage through weaker demand and improving environmental performance.”

2019 international passenger traffic climbed 4.1% compared to 2018, down from 7.1% annual growth the year before. Capacity rose 3.0% and load factor edged up 0.8 percentage point to 82.0%.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ full-year traffic increased 4.5% in 2019, which was a large decline compared to 8.5% growth in 2018. This reflected the impact of the US-China trade war as well as weakening business confidence and economic activity. Capacity rose 4.1%, and load factor ticked up 0.3 percentage point to 80.9%.

European carriers saw a 4.4% traffic rise in 2019, which was down from 7.5% annual growth in 2018. Capacity rose 3.7% and load factor increased 0.6 percentage point to 85.6%, which was the highest for any region. The lowered results are attributable to generally slowing economic activity; declining business confidence, compounded by industrial disputes (strikes); Brexit uncertainty and the collapse of a number of airlines.

Middle Eastern airlines’ passenger demand increased 2.6% last year, the slowest pace of expansion among all regions and down from 4.9% growth in 2018. However, demand began to recover in the fourth quarter and the monthly growth of 6.4% in December led all regions. Annual capacity climbed 0.1% and load factor surged 1.8 percentage points to 76.3%.

North American airlines saw traffic growth slow to 3.9% last year, down from 5.0% in 2018, amid softer US economic activity and weaker business confidence compared to 2018. Capacity climbed 2.2%, and load factor strengthened 1.3 percentage points to 84.0%, second highest among the regions.

Latin American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.0% in 2019, a dramatic slowdown compared to 7.5% annual growth in 2018. Capacity rose 1.6% and load factor increased by 1.1 percentage points to 82.9%. The year was impacted by social unrest and economic difficulties in a number of countries in the region.

African airlines led all regions with a 5.0% demand increase, down from 6.3% growth recorded for 2018. Capacity rose 4.5%, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 71.3%. Airlines in the region benefitted from a generally supportive economic backdrop in 2019 as well as increases in air transport connectivity.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic air travel climbed 4.5% in 2019, which was down from 7.8% in 2018. All markets showed annual growth, led by China and Russia. Capacity rose 4.1% and load factor was 83.7%, up 0.4% percentage point compared to 2018.

China’s airlines saw domestic passenger traffic expand by 7.8% in 2019, the slowest pace since the global financial crisis. Softer economic activity amid the US-China trade war, compounded by weaker consumer spending and unrest in Hong Kong all contributed to the slowdown. Looking into early 2020, any positive impacts of the ‘phase one’ trade agreement with the US likely will be countered by the impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350 reg: 9M-MAD. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Indian airlines’ four years of double-digit demand growth came to a halt in 2019, as traffic rose 5.1%, down from 18.9% in 2018. The bankruptcy of Jet Airways and weakening economic activity were the main culprits of the slowdown.

“2019 was a difficult year for aviation and 2020 is off to a tragic and challenging beginning” said de Juniac. “The shooting down of PS 752 in January was inexcusable. Commercial aircraft are instruments of peace, not military targets. To honor the victims of this tragedy we must address this challenge with governments and stakeholders. Our thoughts are also with the injured, and the families of those who lost their lives, in the PC2193 accident in Turkey yesterday. Safety is the aviation industry’s number one priority and we are united in our desire to understand and learn from the circumstances of this tragedy.

Today, headlines are also focused on the novel coronavirus. From our experience of past outbreaks, airlines have well-developed standards and best practices to keep travel safe. And airlines are assisting the World Health Organization (WHO) and public health authorities in efforts to contain the outbreak in line with the International Health Regulations. There currently is no advice from WHO to restrict travel or trade. But it is clear that demand has fallen on routes associated with China, and airlines are responding to this by cutting capacity for both domestic and international China. The situation is evolving fast, but we are observing significant schedule adjustments for February.”

See also: Aerobility - The British Flying Charity for Disabled People, Interview with Mike Miller-Smith MBE.

See latest Travel News, Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: Air Traffic, ASK, RPK, IATA.

Headlines: Pictures from Elephant Boat Race and Bangkok River Festival 2020  Accor Opens Second ibis Styles Hotel in Vietnam  AirAsia Thailand Receives IOSA Certification  Travelport Achieves Level 4 NDC Aggregator Certification  Qatar Airways Opens Premium Lounge at Changi Airport  British Airways Expands NDC Offering  Steven Phillips Appointed GM of LUX* Grand Baie Resort in Mauritius  Russian Helicopters Delivers First Mi-38  Asia Pacific Airlines Carried 33.8m Int. Pax in January  Delta Reduces Seoul Flights; Delays Manila Launch  Finnair to Increase Flights to Delhi and Los Angeles  Thai Smile Becomes Second Connecting Partner of Star Alliance  ANA to Add 15 More Boeing 787 Dreamliners to Fleet  Airbus Helicopters Appoints Thomas Hundt as EVP - Finance  First Pratt & Whitney GTF Engine Produced in Japan Joins Flight Tests  Air Malta and Qatar Airways to Codeshare  Susan Doniz to Join Boeing as CIO / SVP IT and Data Analytics  AirAsia to Resume Manila - Saigon Flights; Launch Clark - Tagbilaran  COVID19: Qantas and Jetstar Make Major Changes to Network  Air Astana Changes Ticket Rules for Travellers from HK, JP, MO, SG, KR and TH  Hong Kong Int. Airport Introduces New Round of Relief Measures  Russian Helicopters to Commence Production of Ansat Aurus  Hong Kong Win Bronze at Inaugural World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger Series  Bangkok Airways Partners AXAThailand to Offer 'Protective Wing'  ANA to Test Autonomous Mobility Assistance at Narita Airport  Green Light for MotoGP in Buri Ram, Thailand  Aviation: COVID19 Cuts Demand and Revenues  Martin Dell Returns Home as GM of Four Seasons Hotel Prague  SWISS Takes Delivery of First A320neo  Sabre's Sean Menke to Participate in Keynote Interview at ITB Berlin  Executive Appointments at Outrigger Hospitality  CWT Appoints Linda Creighton as Vice President - Business Finance  Hilton to Open Garden Inn Hotel at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, North Wales  AirAsia Philippines to Launch Flights to Zamboanga from Cebu and Clark  Swiss-Belhotel Opens First Hotel in Malaysia  Joanne Taylor Joins FCM as Director of Account Management Asia  Thai Airways Waives Fees on Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan Flights  SalamAir Partners Tune Protect for Travel Insurance  American Airlines to Expand Preordered Meal Service  Etihad Airways to Launch TravelPass  AirAsia to Launch Flights from Clark and Cebu to General Santos, Philippines  MICE in North Wales - Interview with Richard Jones of venue cymru, Llandudno  Air New Zealand Extends Reduction in Flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai  Patrick de Castelbajac to Join Nordic Aviation Capital as CEO  Thai Airways Opens New Lounge at Phuket Airport  Bulgaria Air and Qatar Airways to Codeshare  Tarom Takes Delivery of First of Nine ATR 72-600s  Whitbread Signs Sixth Premier Inn Hotel in Ireland  Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Dubai Opens Royal Penthouse  COVID19: Zero Risk and Travel Advisories - Where Do We Stop?  Campbell Wilson to Rejoin Scoot as CEO  MIAT to Implement Sabre's Global Demand Data Solution  Cathay Pacific Carried 3M Pax in Jan; Reduces Flight Capacity by 40%  Roger Brantsma Joins 825-Room Hilton Tokyo as General Manger  Thai Airways Increases Passenger Screening on Flights from Cambodia  Mandarin Oriental Boston to Complete US$ 15 Million Renovation in April  Erica Antony Joins CWT as Chief Product Officer  Bjoern van den Oever Joins Alila Villas Koh Russey as Executive Chef  Unicorn Hospitality Opens 47-Room Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand  Hong Kong Airport Handled 5.7 Million Passengers in January  Vietnam Airlines Adds Wide-Body Aircraft to Hanoi - Saigon Route  Pratt & Whitney GTF Engines to Power Korean Air's New A321neos  AsBAA Appoints Jeff Chiang as Chief Operating Officer  Psychometrics at Naruna Retreats in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand  Airbus A330-800 Receives Type Certification from EASA and FAA  Hamza Sehili Joins Four Seasons Tunis as Hotel Manager  British Airways and Royal Air Maroc to Codeshare  Green Africa Airways Signs MOU for 50 Airbus A220-300s  Hong Kong Visitor Arrivals Plummet to Below 3,000 Per Day  What Does Tourism Mean to Conwy, North Wales? Interview with Mayor  Thai Airways Launches Promotion for Royal Orchid Plus Members  Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Upgrades Rooms and MICE Facilities  FlyArystan to Launch New Routes, Expand Capacity from Almaty, Kazakhstan  Finnair Extends Suspension of Flights to China; Reduces HK Service  SAS Extends Suspension of Flights to China  Air Astana to Launch Flights to Mumbai, India  HK7s and Singapore Sevens Rescheduled  Quay Hotel & Spa in Deganwy, North Wales - Interview with Brid Collins  Royal Thai Air Force Orders Six Airbus H135 Helicopters  CWT Appoints Laura Watterson as SVP - Global Talent & Rewards  Yee Pin Tan Joins Six Senses as Head of Design  Boeing Forecasts Southeast Asia to Need 4,500 New Airplanes Over Next 20 Years  Bombardier Completes Strategic Exit from Commercial Aviation  British Airways to Launch Flights Between London Heathrow and Newquay  Six Senses Appoints Bryan Gabriel as CCO  Piotr Madej Joins The Andaman Langkawi as GM  Sustainable Inspiration from Farmer Gareth Wyn Jones in North Wales  PNG Air Orders Three ATR 42-600S Aircraft  Japan Airlines Joins Amadeus NDC [X] Program  BBAM to Convert Three Boeing 737-800s into Freighters  John Woolley Joins The Ritz-Carlton Bali as GM  French Navy to Operate Four Airbus H160 Helicopters  British Airways Extends Suspension of Flights to Beijing and Shanghai  Air France Extends Suspension of Flights to Beijing and Shanghai  Welsh Wine from the Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard - Interview with Colin Bennett  Vietjet to Launch Three New Routes to India  WTTC's 20th Global Summit to Take Place 22-23 April in Cancun, Mexico  Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo to Open Renovated Rooms on 29 March  2019-nCoV - Arbitrary Restrictions and Blanket Travel Bans Cause Confusion  China and Mandarin Airlines Make Further Changes to Cross-Strait Services  Premier Inn to Add 735 Beds to Scotland Portfolio in 2020  Valentino Longo Wins North America's Most Imaginative Bartender Competition  Aviation: Slower But Steady Growth in 2019  Three Countries to Participate in Singapore Airshow 2020 Flying Displays  2019 Worst Year for Air Cargo Since End of Global Financial Crisis in 2009  Korean Air to Sell Land and Assets  ibis Styles Hotel Opens in Bekasi, Indonesia  Air France Takes Delivery of Airbus' 350th A350  United Airlines to Buy a Flight Training Academy  Bombardier to Double Size of Service Centre at London Biggin Hill  LA7s to Take Place at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles 29 Feb - 1 Mar  Singapore Airshow 2020 Still On; SAALS Cancelled  IHG Signs 61-Key InterContinental Resort in Khao Yai, Thailand  Fusion Suites Opens in Vung Tau, Vietnam  Aeroviation Expands Flight Training in Singapore with DA-20 Simulator  CWT Appoints Nick Vournakis as MD - Global Customer Group  SEHT Aviation Donates Six SH40-10 Headsets to Aerobility  China Airlines Adds 2019-nCoV Service Information Centre to Website  Four Seasons Resort Lanai Appoints Bradley Russell as Resort Manager  Leading Yachts of the World Appoints Anthony Brisacq as CEO  Second Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo Starts Accepting Reservations  Korean Air to Launch Passenger and Cargo Flights to Budapest, Hungary  Aviation: Alliance Established to Investigate Use of Blockchain in MRO Chain  SAS Closes Sale of Beijing and Shanghai Flights Until 15 March  North Face 100 Thailand Attracts Over 4,000 Runners from 20+ Countries  Hong Kong Air Cargo Renews IOSA Registration  Swiss-Belhotel to Open Over 2,000 Rooms in 12 Hotels in Indonesia  Elena Nazarovici Joins The Sanchaya Bintan as Director of Sales  Amadeus Joins Mastercard's City Possible Network  Asia Pacific Airlines Carried 375.5m Int. Pax in 2019  Thai Airways Reduces Flights to Mainland China  Cebu Pacific Cancels All Flights to Hong Kong and Macau  Batik Air Takes Delivery of First Airbus A320neo  Fiji Beat South Africa to Win First HSBC Sydney Sevens  Maldives Rejoins Commonwealth  Korean Air Making a Difference to Orphans in Tondano, Sulawesi  Qatar Airways Becomes Official Airline of Paris Saint-Germain  Polish Air Ambulance Service Orders Two Learjet 75 Liberty Aircraft  Vietnam Airlines Makes Changes to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Flights  Football: Pictures from Ascot United FC vs Egham Town FC  Aerobility - The British Flying Charity, Interview with Mike Miller-Smith MBE  ANA and SIA Sign Joint Venture Framework Agreement  Dusit Signs First Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam  SkyWest Orders 20 Embraer E175 Jets  SAS Suspends All Shanghai and Beijing Flights  Kuala Lumpur Int. Airport Trials Single Token Journey Technology  Air Canada Suspends All Flights to Beijing and Shanghai  Korean Air Sets Up Emergency Response Team; Suspends Select China Flights  Mark Radford Joins Trenchard Aviation as VP Business Development  CWT Appoints R. Thompson as VP Global Internal Communications & Culture  Vietjet Launches Daily Flights Between Hanoi and Bali, Indonesia  WTTC Moves April's Global Summit from Puerto Rico to Mexico  Andy Flaig Joins Wyndham as Head of Development South East Asia / Pacific Rim  Air Astana Reports 2019 Net Profit Increase of 461%  NASA Orders Three Airbus H135 Helicopters  Hahn Air Simplifies Distribution of Corporate Shuttle Flights  Sydney 7s to Take Place at Bankwest Stadium on 1-2 February  Russia's Sirena Travel Signs Multi-Year Retailing Deal with ATPCO  Shell to Use Airbus H160 for Offshore Transportation  ANA to Operate International Flights Out of Haneda T2 and T3 from 29 March  CAL Group Makes Changes to Inflight Services on Taiwan-HK / Macau Routes  Philippines Suspends Visa Upon Arrival Service for Chinese Nationals  UK Visitor Arrivals Spending Up 19% in October 2019  Todd Probert Joins CAE as Group President, Defence & Security  Six Senses Appoints Mark Sands as Vice President of Wellness  Air France and Sata Azores Airlines Start Codesharing  Norwegian Implements New Hand Baggage Policy  AirAsia X Launches KL - Taipei - Okinawa Flights  First Boeing 777-9 Begins Flight Tests  Accor Commits to Global Elimination of Single-Use Plastics by 2022  Etihad Receives EASA Approval to Train Boeing 777, 787 Pilots  Jeane Lim Appointed GM of Grand Park City Hall Hotel in Singapore  Whitbread Opens First hub by Premier Inn Hotel Outside of London's Zone 1  Delta Enhances Travel Experience for Pets  All Blacks Sevens Make History in Hamilton  Air Canada Becomes Official Airline of Cirque du Soleil  Phuket to Host Thailand Travel Mart (TTM+) 2020 in June  Thailand: Did Strength of Thai Baht Affect Number of Arrivals from UK in 2019?  Seaplanes in Thailand? Interview with Dennis Keller, CBO of Siam Seaplane  Future of Airline Distribution and NDC - Interview with Yanik Hoyles, IATA  Cambodia Airways Interview with Lucian Hsing, Commercial Director  HD Videos and Interviews  Podcasts from HD Video Interviews  Travel Trade Shows in 2019, 2020 and 2021  High-Res Picture Galleries  Travel News Asia - Latest Travel Industry News 

Subscribe to our Latest Travel News Daily Email Free of Charge by simply entering your email address to the right. You can also receive the daily news service by WhatsApp, stay updated with our RSS Feed Free Travel News RSS Feed and even add the travel news to your website. Have questions? Please read our travel news FAQ.
     
Advertising
Advertising
Copyright © 1997-2020 TravelNewsAsia.com