Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced healthy but moderating global passenger traffic results for November 2018. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.2% compared to November 2017, a slight deceleration from 6.3% growth in October. Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.8% over the year-ago period, and load factor dipped 0.4 percentage point to 80.0%. It was only the third time in two years that load factor fell on a year-to-year basis.
“Traffic is solid. But there are clear signs that growth is moderating in line with the slowing global economy. We still expect 6% demand growth this year. But trade tensions, protective tariffs and Brexit are all uncertainties that overhang the industry,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
|november 2018 (% year-on-year)||World share1||RPK||ASK||PLF (%-pt)2||PLF (level)3|
International Passenger Markets
November international passenger demand rose 6.6% compared to the year earlier period, up from 6.2% in October. All regions showed growth, led by carriers in Europe. Total capacity climbed 6.7%, and load factor dipped 0.1 percentage point to 78.4%.
- European carriers saw demand increase by 9.0% in November 2018, which was a nine-month high. Given the mixed signs on the economic backdrop in the region it is unclear whether this pace of growth can be sustained. Capacity climbed 9.1% and load factor slipped 0.1 percentage point to 82.1%, the highest load factor among the regions.
- Asia-Pacific airlines’ November traffic climbed 6.0% compared to the year-ago period, up from 5.7% growth in October. Capacity also rose 6.0% and load factor was flat at 79.1%. Growth is underpinned by rising living standards and continuing expansion of options for travelers.
- Middle East carriers had a 2.8% demand increase, which was the lowest among the regions for a third consecutive month. Capacity rose 5.6% and load factor slipped 1.9 percentage points to 69.0%.
- North American airlines’ traffic climbed 6.1%, in November, up from 5.7% in October and well ahead of the five-year average rate of 4.0%. Capacity rose 3.8% and load factor edged up 1.7 percentage points to 80.6%. Demand is supported by comparatively strong momentum in the US economy.
- Latin American airlines’ November traffic climbed 5.8% compared to November 2017, which was an increase from 5.2% growth recorded in October. Despite the increase, growth has slowed on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Capacity rose 6.6% and load factor slipped 0.6 percentage point to 80.6%.
- African airlines experienced a 5.7% rise in demand compared to November 2017, down from 6.4% in October but higher than the five-year average of 5.8%. Growth is occurring despite challenges in the continent’s largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa. Capacity rose 3.9% and load factor climbed 1.2 percentage points to 68.9%.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Domestic travel demand rose 5.6% in November 2018 compared to the same month in 2017, its slowest pace in 11 months and down from 6.5% in October. All markets except Australia showed growth. Domestic capacity climbed 6.9%, and load factor dropped 1.0 percentage point to 82.8%.
|November 2018 (% year-on-year)||World share1||RPK||ASK||PLF (%-pt)2||PLF (level)3|
|Dom. China P.R.||9.1%||7.2%||10.2%||-2.3%||82.0%|
|Dom. Russian Fed.||1.4%||13.8%||10.9%||2.1%||81.6%|
- India’s domestic traffic rose 13.3% in November compared to November 2017, marking the 51st consecutive month of double-digit domestic growth. However, it was also the slowest increase in 16 months.
- Brazil’s domestic traffic rose to a four-month high of 5.3% in November, against a fragile economic backdrop.
Read full November passenger traffic analysis (pdf)
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Notes for Editors:
- IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 290 airlines comprising 82% of global air traffic.
- You can follow us at http://twitter.com/iata for announcements, policy positions, and other useful industry information.
- All figures are provisional and represent total reporting at time of publication plus estimates for missing data. Historic figures are subject to revision.
- Domestic RPKs accounted for about 36% of the total market. It is most important for North American airlines as it is about 66% of their operations. In Latin America, domestic travel accounts for 46% of operations, primarily owing to the large Brazilian market. For Asia-Pacific carriers, the large markets in India, China and Japan mean that domestic travel accounts for 45% of the region’s operations. It is less important for Europe and most of Africa where domestic travel represents just 11% and 14% of operations, respectively. And it is negligible for Middle Eastern carriers for whom domestic travel represents just 4% of operations.
- Explanation of measurement terms:
- RPK: Revenue Passenger Kilometers measures actual passenger traffic
- ASK: Available Seat Kilometers measures available passenger capacity
- PLF: Passenger Load Factor is % of ASKs used.
- IATA statistics cover international and domestic scheduled air traffic for IATA member and non-member airlines.
- Total passenger traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of RPK are: Asia-Pacific 33.8%, Europe 26.7%, North America 22.8%, Middle East 9.4%, Latin America 5.1%, and Africa 2.2%.