African air passenger traffic grows during July
KAMPALA, SEPTEMBER 7 – African airlines continued to post strong growth during July 2016 but their share of the global air transport remains muted. Passenger increased 7.4pc compared to the same period last year while their share of global traffic remained a paltry 2.2 percent according to numbers released by the International Air transport Association IATA.
According to a report first published today by ETN at 5.9pc capacity was growing ahead of load factor which climbed 1.0 percentage point to 72pc during the period. IATA announced global passenger traffic results for July showing fasat growth in demand over the previous five months. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 5.9pc, compared to the same month last year, with all regions reporting growth. Monthly capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.0pc, and load factor was 83.7pc – just 0.1 percentage point below the record July high achieved in 2015.
“July saw demand strengthen, after a softening in June. Demand was stimulated by lower fares which, in turn, were supported by lower oil prices. And near record high load factors demonstrate that people want to travel. But, there are some important sub-plots to the narrative of strong demand. Long-haul travel to Europe, for example, suffered in the aftermath of a spate of terrorist attacks. And the mature domestic markets are seeing demand growth stall while Brazil and Russia contract,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
International Passenger Markets
July international passenger demand rose 7.1pc compared to July 2015, which was an increase over the 5.0pc yearly increase in June. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 7.3pc, causing load factor to slip 0.2pc percentage points to 83.5pc.
Middle East carriers posted the strongest growth in July, with a 13.1pc year-over-year increase; demand had dipped in June owing to the timing of Ramadan. Capacity rose 15.5pc, causing load factor to drop 1.7 percentage points to 78.6pc.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ July traffic rose 9.8pc compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased 8.6% and load factor climbed 0.9 percentage points to 81.7pc. Reports suggest that Asian passengers are putting off traveling to Europe in favor of regional trips owing to terrorism fears: while traffic on Asia-Europe routes fell by 0.9pc in June, international traffic within Asia rose 8.1%, which was a four-month high.
European carriers saw July demand increased by 4.1pc compared to a year ago, which was the slowest among the regions. Demand has been affected by the recent terrorist attacks as well as political instability in parts of the region: traffic has grown at an annualized rate of just 1.4pc since March. Capacity climbed 4.7pc and load factor dipped 0.5 percentage points to 86.7pc, which was still the highest among regions.
North American airlines’ traffic climbed 4.8pc, while capacity rose 5.1pc with the result that load factor fell 0.3 percentage points to 86.1pc. Seasonally adjusted volumes have risen at an annualized rate of more than 8pc since March helped by transpacific and leisure traffic to Central America and the Caribbean.
Latin American airlines’ demand rose 7.5pc compared to July 2015 as the upward trend in traffic resumed following a soft patch in the first quarter of 2016. Capacity increased by 4.2pc, boosting load factor 2.6 percentage points to 85.3pc.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Domestic travel demand climbed 3.8pc in July compared to July 2015, its slowest pace in 19 months. China and India are booming while more mature markets are stuck in neutral, and Brazil and Russia are sliding backwards. Domestic capacity climbed 3.7pc, and load factor rose 0.1 percentage point to 84.0pc.
|World share¹||RPK||ASK|| PLF
Brazil’s traffic decline reflects not only the country’s economic turmoil, but also the fact that, as airlines reduce services, options for travelers are being curtailed by fewer and less frequent air connections. August demand could see an uptick owing to the Olympics.
Japan domestic traffic has trended sideways for the past 18 months in line with underlying weak momentum in consumer spending. However, service reductions and shifts to smaller aircraft helped push up load factor 1.1 percentage points to 66.7pc, an all-time July high.
The Bottom Line
“Passenger demand has broadly grown in line with the average of the past 10 years but the industry faces some potential headwinds, including lingering impacts from the series of terrorist attacks and the fragile economic backdrop. The environment in which aviation operates is dynamic—even volatile. Speed is of the essence. As an industry we must be prepared for rapid innovation in order to manage shocks and take advantage of opportunities as they arise,” said de Juni