Mubasher: The international global passenger demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), registered an increase of 7.2% in October 2017 compared to the same month in the prior year, according to a recent report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Global capacity showed a rise of 6.2%, with load factor up 0.8% to 80.8%, which was a record for the month, the IATA’s report noted.
The performance in October was a strong rebound following the hurricane-related disruptions in September.
“As expected, the recent severe weather in the Americas region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth,” IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, commented.
The Middle East (ME) airlines recorded an increase of 6.9% in demand in October, up from 3.9% in September. Capacity in the ME grew 5.3%, and load factor went up 1.0% to 69.6%.
As for Europe, the upward trend in RPKs slowed down, with the demand to and from North America declined in year-on-year terms for the seventh month in a row during September. Traffic was strongly impacted by the now-lifted ban on portable electronic devices, as well as by the proposed travel bans to the United States.
“North American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.7% in October compared to the year-ago period, lowest among the regions but an improvement compared to the hurricane-impacted 3% growth in September,” the IATA’s report said, adding that capacity grew 5.2%, while load factor slid 1.1% to 79.2%.
Latin American airlines reported a rise of 8.7% in passenger traffic this October, a decline from September growth of 10.7%, yet still the second strongest percentage growth among regions. Capacity added 9.1%, and load factor retreated by 0.3% to 82.6%.
Traffic in African airlines enlarged by 7.5% year-on-year in October, up from 3.6% in September. Capacity grew 3.4%, with load factor up by 2.7% to 70.9%.
“European carriers’ October demand climbed 6.2% over October 2016, which was a slowdown compared to the 7.2% year-over-year growth recorded for September,” the IATA’s report added.
Capacity in European airlines grew by 4.5%, with load factor up by 1.3% to 84.9% in October, registering the highest level among regions.
As for the Asia-Pacific airlines, they led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3% compared to the year-ago period, which was up from an 8.7% rise in September. Capacity grew by 8.4%, and the load factor added 1.3% to 78.0%.
“Seasonally-adjusted passenger volumes are rising at an annualised rate of 8-9%, supported by the solid regional economic backdrop and strong growth in the number of connections,” the ATA’s report said.
The CEO of IATA said that “Demand for air travel remains strong as we head into the holiday travel season, and signs point to the broad-based economic upturn continuing into 2018, which is good news for demand for air travel.”
IATA will hold the annual Global Media Day, bringing together some 100 journalists and bloggers from around the world.