IATA reports that airline traffic is growing again. Take a look at the table below.
IATA noted: “…June showing that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 7.8% compared to the year-ago period. This was in line with the 7.7% growth recorded in May. All regions reported growth.”
Through the first 1H17 the industry experienced a 12-year high in traffic growth (7.9%) and a record first half load factor of 80.7%. Which is great for airline, but not so much the passengers who are ever more squeezed. The North American load factor of 86% is something any airline flier in June can testify to. It was not a pleasant experience.
The markets that saw jumps in traffic were: Africa where traffic grew 9.9% in June, while capacity rose 7.1%, and load factor jumped to 64.3%. Asia-Pacific saw June traffic jump 9.1% compared to the year-ago period while capacity rose 7.9% and load factor edged up to 79.3%. In Europe traffic grew 8.8% in June compared to June 2016, while capacity climbed 6.5% and load factor rose to 85.9%.
But the star performer is India which saw a 20.3% rise in domestic traffic in June. The strong upward traffic growth slowed since the ‘demonetization’ in November 2016. IATA suspects that India’s streak of year-on-year double-digit traffic growth may have ended with June.
The next best performer was China where domestic traffic surged 17.6% in June, strongly ahead of the first half growth rate of 15.2%. IATA notes there is little sign of any slowdown in the traffic growth and second quarter GDP figures were stronger than expected. Air travel demand is continuing to be stimulated by supply factors, including ongoing growth in the number of unique airport-pair routes served, which ultimately translates into time savings for passengers. This is an important point because many worry about the impact of high-speed rail.
Overall IATA concludes: “Air travel recorded its fastest first-half growth in 12 years, pushing load factors to record highs. And the peak northern summer travel season is likely to be record-breaking.“