Air Travel Demand Stays Strong in May

IATA -tyler_March13

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports global passenger traffic results for May showing demand growth of 6.2% compared to May 2013.

While this represented a deceleration compared to April year-over-year traffic growth of 7.6%, the performance is indicative of improving demand drivers. May capacity rose 5.2% and load factor climbed 0.7 percentage points to 79. All regions except Africa experienced positive traffic growth.

“We are seeing healthy demand for air traffic to support and help sustain the pick-up in global economic activity,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

May international passenger traffic rose 7% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity rose 6% and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 78.1%. All regions recorded year-over-year increases in demand.

Asia Pacific carriers recorded an increase of 7.3% compared to May 2013, which was the largest increase among the three biggest regions. North American airlines saw demand rise 4.4% in May over a year ago, implying positive underlying economic growth trends with easing pressure on employment levels. Capacity rose 4.8%, pushing down load factor 0.3 percentage points to 83%, still the highest among all regions.

“Global economies rely on the connectivity provided by aviation to sustain business and leisure-related activities. And aviation relies on efficient and dependable air traffic management services to support that connectivity. Last week, some air traffic controller unions in France and Belgium held a short-sighted and ill-considered strike in protest of the efficiencies that the Single European Sky (SES) can deliver. The plans of thousands of travellers and businesses were disrupted, making for a stormy start to the summer holiday season. A privileged few should not be able to stop progress on improved connectivity for all,” said Tyler.

He added, “This was yet another reminder of the need for Europe’s governments to take leadership and deliver transformational change in the continent’s air traffic management system. The costs of inadequate air traffic management to Europe are enormous — at least three billion euro for airlines and six billion euro for consumers in lost time and productivity each year. On top of that, there is the environmental cost of 7.8 million tonnes of unnecessary carbon emissions. SES will reduce delays, cut emissions, raise safety levels and create 320,000 jobs across Europe. Delivering SES is critical for Europe’s future. We cannot afford any more frustrating delays.”