Global air travel demand grows

GENEVA, 4 August 2017: Demand for global airline travel grew 7.8% in June compared to the year-ago period, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced Thursday.

IATA measures growth in total revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs.

Growth in June was similar to the 7.7% increase achieved in May 7.8% and all regions reported improvements. Seat capacity in the month (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 6.5%, and load factor rose 1% to 81.9%.

Airlines have never had it so good with the first six months averaging a growth rate of 7.9%, a 12-year high for the industry.

“A brighter economic picture and lower fares are keeping demand for travel strong. But as costs rise, this stimulus of lower fares is likely to fade,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

“But uncertainties such as Brexit need to be watched carefully. Nonetheless, we still expect 2017 to see above-trend growth.”

In the regional breakdown Asia-Pacific airlines performed well with June traffic up 9.1% compared to the year-ago period. It was the highest regional growth rate in June bar Latin America where traffic grew 9.7%.

Asia Pacific seat capacity rose 7.9% and load factor edged up 0.9 percentage points to 79.3%, just below the global average. The overall upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic remains strong, although volumes have slipped in recent months. Traffic on Asia-Europe routes continues to trend upwards as the impact of terrorism related disruptions in early 2016 fades. However, solid demand growth on international routes within Asia has paused.

Note: ¹% of industry RPKs in 2016   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level