Press Release No.:
9 January 2019
Solid but Moderating Passenger Demand in November
Croissance solide du trafic de passagers en novembre, mais en ralentissement (pdf)
Demanda de pasajeros sólida, pero moderada, en noviembre (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 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%.