The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports global passenger traffic data for June shows that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose by 7.8% compared to a year ago.
This was in line with the 7.7% growth recorded in May. According to IATA, all regions reported growth. June capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 6.5%, and load factor rose 1% to 81.9%.
For the first six months of 2017, the industry experienced a 12-year high in traffic growth (7.9%) and a record first half load factor of 80.7%.
“A brighter economic picture and lower airfares are keeping demand for travel strong. But as costs rise, this stimulus of lower fares is likely to fade. And uncertainties such as Brexit need to be watched carefully. Nonetheless, we still expect 2017 to see above-trend growth,” said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac.
North American airlines’ demand rose 4.4% compared to June 2016, and capacity climbed 4.1%, with load factor inching up 0.3 percentage points to 84.5%.
“This is all good news. The demand for travel is strong and that, in turn, will make a positive contribution to the global economy. This growth will also further expose infrastructure deficiencies. In every part of the world airport and air navigation infrastructure is struggling to cope with demand,” added de Juniac. “There are plenty of examples linking connectivity and economic prosperity. But few governments have been able to deliver on the imperatives of sufficient capacity, quality aligned with user needs and affordability. This year’s strong growth is a reminder that there is no time to lose.”