GENEVA 10 May 2019: Passenger demand measured in revenue passenger kilometres rose 3.1% in March according to the International Air Transport Association
IATA announced global passenger traffic results for March 2019 noting it was the slowest pace for any month in nine years.
This largely was owing to the timing of the Easter holiday, which fell nearly a month later than in 2018. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the underlying growth rate has been relatively steady since October 2018 at a 4.1% annualised pace.
Capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) for the month of March grew 4.2% and load factor dropped 0.9 percentage point to 81.7%.
“While traffic growth slowed considerably in March, we do not see the month as a bellwether for the rest of 2019. Nevertheless, the economic backdrop has become somewhat less favourable, after IMF recently revised its GDP outlook downward for a fourth time in the past year,” said, IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
International Passenger Markets
March international passenger demand rose just 2.5% compared to March 2018, which was down from 4.5% year-over-year growth recorded in February and almost 5 percentage points below its five-year average pace. All regions showed growth with the exception of the Middle East. Total capacity climbed 4.0%, and load factor fell 1.2 percentage points to 80.8%.
Airlines saw March demand increase 4.7% over March 2018, down from 7.5% annual growth in February. The result partly reflects falling business confidence in the Eurozone and ongoing uncertainty about Brexit. March capacity rose 5.4% and load factor slid 0.6 percentage point to 84.2%, which still was the highest among regions.
Airline traffic climbed 2.0% in March, compared to the year-ago period, which was down from 4% growth in February. However, results were stronger on a seasonally adjusted basis. Capacity increased by 4.0%, and load factor dropped 1.6 percentage points to 80.1%.
Passenger demand fell 3.0% in March, marking a second consecutive month of declining traffic. This reflects the broader structural changes in the industry, which have been taking place in the region. Capacity increased 2.3%, and load factor plunged 4.0 percentage points to 73.8%.
Airlines posted a 3% traffic rise in March compared to the year-ago period, which was down somewhat from 4.2% year-on-year growth in February. On a seasonally adjusted basis, traffic has been trending strongly upwards, however. Capacity climbed 2.6% and load factor edged up 0.3% to 83.7%.
Airlines enjoyed fast traffic growth at 5.5%, compared to a year ago, up from 4.6% in February. March capacity rose 5.8%, and load factor dipped 0.2 percentage point to 81.9%. Latin America was the only region to show an increase in the year-on-year growth rate for March compared to February. In seasonally adjusted terms traffic continues to trend upward sharply, notwithstanding economic and political uncertainty in some key countries.
Airline demand increased 2.1% compared to March 2018, down from a 2.5% rise in February. Capacity climbed 1.1%, and load factor strengthened 0.7 percentage point to 71.4%. The upward traffic trend has softened since mid-2018 in line with falling business confidence in some of the region’s key economies.