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GOOD NEWS IN THE AIR

IATA reports that June passenger demand figures showed year-on-year growth of 6.0%. The robust growth, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), is ahead of the 4.8% demand growth reported over the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. It is also ahead of the 5.6% expansion in capacity for June over the previous year. This pushed the passenger load factor to 81.7%. While the strong growth trend was reflected in all regions it should be noted that Asia-Pacific airlines were responsible for half of the increase in RPKs from May to June. Due to the volatility of Asia-Pacific performance it is too early to say if this acceleration marks a trend for the rest of the year. European airlines were another highlight of the month. They reported a second consecutive month of solid growth (4.8) reflecting an easing in recessionary conditions in the Eurozone and an improvement in business and consumer confidence. And emerging markets were once again the strongest performers, particularly Africa (10.8%) and the Middle East (11.0%). Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, observed: “June was a positive month for passenger markets. The stability in the Eurozone, albeit tentative, is giving a boost to business and consumer confidence. And the load factor at 81.7% shows that airlines are efficiently meeting increasing demand for travel. But there are some headwinds. Growth in the BRICS economies, including China, is slowing. And oil prices remain high. The industry is still on track to make $4.00 per passenger this year for a global net profit of $12.7 billion. But there is little margin for error and even a small change in the second half of the year could shift the outlook significantly.”

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