(Sanaa) - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today released industry traffic results for the first 10 months of 2005 showing a weakening trend for both cargo and passenger traffic.

October passenger traffic grew 6.0% compared to the same month in the previous year. This is considerably slower than the 7.9% recorded for the January-October period and is the slowest single-month growth recorded since January 2004. October load factor was 74.8%. Middle Eastern carriers led October growth at 15.1%. North American carriers posted October growth of 5.5%, sharply down from the 9.1% recorded in year-on-year comparisons September.

Cargo traffic in October was nearly flat at 1.1%, while year-to-date growth for January-October recorded a 2.6% increase. This is well below the 13.4% growth recorded for 2004. Middle-Eastern carriers recorded the strongest October growth at 16.8%. Asian carriers saw October growth of 0.2% while North American and European carriers saw declines of 0.5% and 0.1% respectively.

October 2005 over October 2004RPK GrowthASK GrowthPLFFTK GrowthATK Growth
Africa 6.7%7.9%70.48.5%8.5%
Asia/Pacific 4.1%4.0%72.50.2%3.8%
Europe 5.9%4.6%77.1-0.1%4.2%
Latin America 8.7%5.2%73.42.1%3.9%
Middle East 15.1%12.0%72.516.8%8.2%
North America 5.5%6.5%76.9-0.5%4.3%
Industry 6.0% 5.4% 74.8 1.1% 4.4%

Year to Date - 2005 over 2004RPK GrowthASK GrowthPLFFTK GrowthATK Growth
Africa 10.6%8.7%69.17.8%10.9%
Asia/Pacific 7.0%6.2%72.93.5%6.9%
Europe 6.3%4.6%76.91.1%4.6%
Latin America 13.1%10.8%72.7-2.3%7.1%
Middle East 12.6%11.1%73.614.1%11.6%
North America 9.5%8.7%79.9-0.4%6.3%
Industry 7.9% 6.7% 75.4 2.6% 6.5%

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO said, "Slowing growth will continue to make the operating environment difficult. There has been some respite in the slight decline of fuel prices in recent weeks. But we are still facing a fuel bill of US$97 billion this year-more than double what it was only two years ago. Continued improvement in cost efficiency remains critical. This will become all the more urgent as the high price of oil broadens its impact on consumer confidence and production."

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO announced the results at the Annual General Meeting of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation in Sanaa, Yemen. "The Middle East remains an oasis of good news," said Bisignani. In addition to strong traffic growth, Bisignani noted that the Middle East is also noted that the region is leading in terms of aircraft orders. "High growth rates present unique challenges and can hide many problems. I see two challenges in particular-matching capacity and demand at economic pricing levels; keeping labour costs under control at a time of profitable expansion. Strong traffic growth should be an opportunity to build a robust industry for the future."

Editor's notes:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents 265 airlines comprising 94% of international scheduled air traffic.
  • The IATA Billing and Settlement Plan operates in 71 countries for 390 airline and non-airline participants covering 150 countries and territories.
  • Explanation of measurements:
    • 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 2004 to 2003, 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.
  • Due to uncertainties in the adoption of the new ICAO statistical definitions by reporting carriers, care should be taken when making year comparisons.