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Press Release No.: 3

Date: 9 January 2019

Solid but Moderating Passenger Demand in November

Translation:

Croissance solide du trafic de passagers en novembre, mais en ralentissement (pdf)

Demanda de pasajeros sólida, pero moderada, en noviembre (pdf)

国际航协:2018年11月份全球航空客运需求增速放缓 (pdf)

Demanda de passageiros sólida, com aumento moderado em novembro (pdf)

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 share1RPK ASKPLF (%-pt)​2PLF (level)​3
Total Market100.0%6.2%6.8%-0.4​%80.0%
Africa2.2%2.2%1.2%​0.7%69.8%
Asia Pacific33.8%6.3%7.4%​-0.8%​80.2%
Europe26.7​%8.8%8.8%​0.0%81.7%
Latin America5.1%​6.2%6.0%​0.1%​82.0%
Middle East​​9.4%2.6%5.2%​-1.8%​69.4%
North America22.8%5.1%5.0%​0.0%83.6​%


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 share1RPK ASKPLF (%-pt)​2PLF (level)​3
Domestic35.9%5.6%6.9%-1.0​%82.8%
Dom. Australia0.9%-0.7%-1.1%​0.3%82.6%
Domestic Brazil1.2%5.3%4.1%​1.0%​83.6%
Dom. China P.R.9.1​%7.2%10.2%​-2.3%82.0%
Domestic India1.4%​13.3%19.8%​-4.8%​84.4%
Domestic Japan​​1.1%1.5%3.0%​-1.1%​75.6%
Dom. Russian Fed.1.4%13.8%10.9%​2.1%81.6​%
Domestic US
14.3%​4.9%​5.9%​-0.8%​85.2%​


  • 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)

For more information, please contact:
Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 22 770 2967
Email: corpcomms@iata.org

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%.

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