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African airlines’ registers 7.5% y-o-y traffic growth in October 2017

December 4, 2017: October saw global air passenger traffic rebounded after a slow growth in September 2017 says the latest report released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). African airlines’ also performed fairly well in the same month. African air traffic grew 7.5 percent year-on-year in October, up from 3.6 percent in September. Conditions in the region’s two largest economies—Nigeria and South Africa, still are diverging, with business confidence levels in Nigeria near a three-year high, while confidence levels in South Africa are consistent with falling economic activity. Capacity rose 3.4 percent, and load factor jumped 2.7 percentage points to 70.9 percent.  

As per the press release from IATA, the global passenger traffic results for October shows that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 7.2 percent compared to the same month last year. Capacity grew 6.2 percent, and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 percent which was a record for the month.  

October’s performance was a strong bounce-back after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in the balance.

  

October 2017 
(% year-on-year)

World share¹

RPK

ASK

PLF 
(%-pt)²         

PLF 
(level)³  
        

Total Market

100.0%

7.2%

6.2%

0.8%      

80.8%

Africa

2.2%

5.7%

2.2%

2.4%

71.9%

Asia Pacific

32.9%      

10.1%

8.9%

0.8%

80.2%

Europe

26.4%

6.3%

4.5%

1.4%

84.3%

Latin America

5.2%

6.7%

4.9%      

1.4%

82.5%

Middle East

9.6%

6.8%

5.4%      

0.9%

69.4%

North America

23.8%      

4.8%      

5.3%

-0.4%

83.3%

"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," said Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO,  IATA. 

International Passenger Markets
October international passenger demand rose 7.3 percent compared to October 2016, which was an improvement compared to the 6.6 percent demand increase for September. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 6 percent, and load factor increased 1 percentage point to 79.4 percent. 

While Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3 percent compared to the year-ago period, this was up from an 8.7 percent rise in September. Capacity climbed 8.4 percent, and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78 percent. Seasonally-adjusted passenger volumes are rising at an annualised rate of 8-9 percent, supported by the solid regional economic backdrop and strong growth in the number of connections.  

European carriers’ October demand climbed 6.2 percent over October 2016, which was a slowdown compared to the 7.2 percent year-over-year growth recorded for September. Capacity increased 4.5 percent and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 84.9 percent, highest among regions. While economic conditions have shown strong improvement over the past year or so, the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has slowed considerably since May. This reflects the nature of international travel in the region, which is predominantly short-haul and hence, highly-price sensitive.

Middle East carriers experienced a 6.9 percent rise in demand in October, improved from 3.9 percent in September. Capacity increased 5.3 percent, and load factor climbed 1.0 percentage point to 69.6 percent. As in Europe, the upward trend in RPKs has slowed. Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September (the most recent month for which route-specific figures are available), and it remains the only international market not to have grown in annual terms this year. Traffic has been heavily affected by the now-lifted ban on portable electronic devices, as well as from the proposed travel bans to the US.  

North American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.7 percent in October compared to the year-ago period, lowest among the regions but an improvement compared to the hurricane-impacted 3 percent growth in September. Capacity rose 5.2 percent, and load factor dropped 1.1 percentage points to 79.2 percent. North America was one of just two regions to post a load factor decline. There continue to be indications that inbound travel to the US is being deterred by the additional security measures now involved with travelling to that country. 

Latin American airlines had an 8.7 percent increase in traffic in October, which was a slowdown from September growth of 10.7 percent, but still the second strongest percentage growth among regions. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, however, volumes are slightly below where they were three months ago. This may indicate spillover from the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Capacity climbed 9.1 percent, and load factor slipped 0.3 percentage points to 82.6 percent.

And the domestic demand climbed 7.2 percent in October compared to October 2016, while capacity rose 6.6 percent. India and China continued to lead all markets, with double-digit growth rates.

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