Global air traffic grows 4.5% during May, lower than 20-year average, says IATA

Despite a 4.5% growth in demand for air travel during May 2019 compared to the same month in 2018, it is well below the 20-year average surge rate of around 5.5%, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) global passenger traffic results. The upswing in May is in line with the April traffic growth of 4.4% and above the recent trough of 3.1% year-on-year growth recorded in March.

During the month, airlines in Asia-Pacific saw traffic rise 4% compared to the year-ago period, an improvement over the 2.9% increase in April.

Capacity increased 3.0%, and load factor edged up 0.8 percentage point to 78.6%. This is the second consecutive monthly increase in demand, but it still represents a soft outcome in a region that regularly saw double-digit growth rates over the past few years because the US-China trade tensions continue to weigh upon growth in the region.

“Passenger demand growth has slowed compared to the past two years. This is in line with slumping global trade, rising trade tensions and weakening business confidence. In this challenging environment, airlines are managing capacity carefully in order to optimise efficiency,” Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO, IATA said.

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