Passenger growth strong but moderating – IATA

Global passenger traffic results for July showing strong but moderating demand growth, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement.

Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.8%, compared to the same month last year but down from 7.7% year-over-year growth recorded in June.

All regions reported solid or better growth in passenger volumes over the past year. Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.1%, and load factor rose 0.6 percentage points to a July record of 84.7%.

“As is evidenced by the record high load factor in July, the appetite for air travel remains very strong. However, the stimulus effect of lower fares is softening in the face of rising cost inputs. This suggests a moderating in the supportive demand backdrop,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ July traffic rose 5.9% over the year-ago period, a deceleration compared to June growth of 8.8%. As with Europe, carriers in the Asia-Pacific region are seeing a slowing of demand growth. Capacity increased 6.7% and load factor slipped 0.6 percentage points to 81.0%.

Domestic travel demand grew by 7.9% year-on-year in July, in line with 8.0% growth recorded in June. With the exception of Australia, all markets recorded annual increases.

China led all markets (+15.0%) Although this was down from the 17.2% growth in June the trend line remains strong, with the latest second quarter GDP figures coming in better than expected. Demand is also being supported by supply factors including a near 15% increase in the number of unique airport-pair routes this year compared to last.

“As the first full month in the summer peak travel season, July is a bellwether month, and demand continues to be very strong. People want to travel and aviation connectivity is vital to the smooth functioning of the global economy. But the economic and social benefits that aviation brings need to be supported by adequate, affordable airport and air traffic management infrastructure. To do this effectively, governments must include aviation’s requirements as part of their national economic strategy,” said de Juniac.

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