Global passenger demand rose 4.5% compared to the same month in 2018. This was in line with the revised April traffic growth of 4.4% and above the recent trough of 3.1% year-on-year growth recorded in March. However, it remains below the 20-year average growth rate of around 5.5%. 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 optimize efficiency.
All regions recorded growth for May 2019.
Middle East carriers' May demand growth decelerated to 0.8% compared to a year ago, from 3.3% annual growth recorded in April. This partly reflects the impact of the structural changes that are underway in the industry in the region. May capacity plunged 6.1%, and load factor soared 5 percentage points to 73.0%.
African airlines posted a 2.1% traffic rise in May compared to the year-ago period, which was up from just 1.1% growth in April. Capacity climbed 0.1% and load factor increased 1.3 percentage points to 67.0%. Traffic between Africa and Europe continues to expand strongly, but economic growth in South Africa – a key regional economy and air transport market– contracted sharply in the first quarter and this is adversely impacting air passenger demand.