The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports global passenger traffic data for August shows that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) climbed 3.8% compared to same time a year ago.
This was above the 3.5% annual increase for July. August capacity increased by 3.5%. Load factor climbed 0.3% percentage point to 85.7%, which was a new monthly record, as airlines continue to maximize asset use.
“While we saw a pick-up in passenger demand in August compared to July, growth remains below the long-term trend and well down on the roughly 8.5% annual growth seen over the 2016 to Q1 2018 period. This reflects the impact of economic slowdowns in some key markets, uncertainty over Brexit and the trade war between the US and China,” said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac. “Nonetheless, airlines are doing a great job of matching capacity to demand. With passenger load factors reaching a new high of 85.7% this is good for overall efficiency and passengers’ individual carbon footprint.”
North American carriers’ international demand rose 2.5% compared to August a year ago, up from a 1.4% increase in July. Capacity rose 1.3%, and load factor grew by 1% to 88.3%. As with the Middle East and Asia Pacific, this performance represents an improvement from July, but remains relatively soft compared to long-term norms, most likely reflecting trade tensions and slowing global demand.