Global air passenger traffic continued to climb in January 2015.
Following the full-year increase of 5.9% experienced in 2014, the world’s airlines saw a 4.6% rise in traffic in the first month of 2015, according to the latest data from IATA. The association noted however, that the results were affected by the timing of the Lunar New Year in Asia, which occurred one month later this year compared to 2014.
Global seat capacity rose 5.2% in January 2015, while average load factors slipped 0.5 percentage points to 77.7%.
“January traffic did not maintain the rate of growth attained in 2014; nevertheless, we are seeing healthy albeit slightly slower growth in the demand for air services,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general & CEO.
He warned however, that while January’s figures represented a “relatively positive start for the year”, there are “some significant risk factors in the macro-economic and political environment” that could impact traffic in the months ahead.
In terms of international traffic, European airlines saw a 5.0% rise in demand in January 2015, while Asia Pacific traffic rose 4.7% and North American airlines saw demand rise 2.7%. Middle East carriers achieved the strongest year-over-year traffic growth in January, at 11.4%.
In terms of domestic markets, India continued its recent upward trend, with traffic rising 17.9% in January 2015. China’s growth was a subdued 2.7%, mainly due to the Lunar New Year timing, while the world’s biggest domestic market, the US, saw a 2.7% rise.