June 3, 2019: African airlines reported the slowest regional growth since early 2015, with 1.1 percent traffic increase in April 2019, which was down from 1.6 percent growth in March, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA). It added that capacity climbed 0.1 percent, and load factor edged up 0.7 percentage point to 72.6 percent in Africa which is seeing some economic and political uncertainty in the largest markets.

IATA announced that the global traffic results for April 2019 show that demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 4.3 percent compared to April 2018. Globally, the April capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 3.6 percent. The load factor was a record for the month of April at 82.8 percent, climbing 0.6 percentage point to surpass last year’s record of 82.2 percent.

“We experienced solid but not exceptional rising demand for air connectivity in April. This partly is owing to the timing of Easter, but also reflects the slowing global economy. Driven by tariffs and trade disputes, global trade is falling, and as a result, we are not seeing traffic growing at the same levels as a year ago. However, airlines are doing a very good job of managing aircraft utilization, leading to record load factors.” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Demand for domestic travel climbed 2.8 percent in April compared to April 2018, down from 4.1 percent growth in March year-over-year. The slowing trend is being driven primarily by developments in China and India. Capacity increased 3.2 percent, and load factor slid 0.3 percentage point to 83.2 percent.

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