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Press Release No.: 38

Date: 2 November 2007

Traffic Demand Strong Despite Economic Uncertainty

Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released traffic results for September 2007. The highlights are:

Passenger Traffic

  • International passenger traffic increased 8.2% in September, down slightly from 8.6% in August, but well above the growth of 7.3% for the year-to-date.
  • Demand growth was boosted by global economic growth. It also reflects the impact from the security scares that disrupted passenger services and reduced demand during the same period in 2006.
  • Average international passenger load factors were 77.4% in September, down from the record levels seen over the past two months but 0.5 percentage points higher than those recorded in September 2006. 
  • Airlines in the Latin America region saw the strongest growth in demand (24.8%) as they recover from the impact of restructuring during 2006. Demand in Asia Pacific continued its brisk growth of recent months, rising 9.7% in September due to strong economic expansion in the region and fast-developing markets in China and India. African airlines saw the weakest growth in September (3.2%), reflecting strong competition on key routes. 

Freight Traffic

  • International air freight demand grew 5.0% in September, down from 6.0% in August, but still well above the weak levels of growth seen in the first half of 2007.
  • Growth for the year-to-date has improved to 4.0%.
  • Asia Pacific (7.0%) continues to drive the global improvement. Demand rose 8.2% in the Middle East after a sharp fall in August (3.5%), although below the double-digit levels seen over the last two years. Africa freight demand contracted by 10.4% continuing a 5-month downturn due to a fall in demand in southern Africa.

“Traffic demand remains strong despite the financial instability seen in recent months,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA.  “But it is still early days. Corporations—particularly the financial service sector—adjusting travel budgets could impact premium traffic. And fuel prices rising to new record levels will add more pressure on efficiency. So there can be no let-up in the imperative to keep costs down and planes full.”

Full September traffic results (pdf)

Editor's Notes:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 240 airlines comprising 94% of scheduled international air traffic.
  • Explanation of measurement terms:
    • RPK: Revenue Passenger Kilometres measures actual passenger traffic
    • ASK: Available Seat Kilometres measures available passenger capacity
    • PLF: Passenger Load Factor is % of ASKs used. In comparison of 2007 to 2006, PLF indicates point differential between the periods compared.
    • FTK: Freight Tonne Kilometres measures actual freight traffic
    • ATK: Available Tonne Kilometres measures available total capacity (combined passenger and cargo)
  • IATA statistics cover international scheduled air traffic; domestic traffic is not included.
  • All figures are provisional and represent total reporting at time of publication plus estimates for missing data.
  • International passenger traffic market shares by region in terms of RPK are: Europe 34.0%, Asia Pacific 31.8%, North America 18.8%, Middle East 8.0%, Latin America 3.7%, Africa 3.1%
  • International freight traffic market shares by region in terms of FTK are: Asia Pacific 46.1%, Europe 25.9%, North America 17.2%, Middle East 7.4%, Latin America 2.2%, Africa 1.1

 

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