July Passenger Demand Shows Resilience: IATA


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports global passenger traffic results for July showing an acceleration in demand growth over the previous five months.

Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 5.9%, compared to the same month last year, with all regions reporting growth. Monthly capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 6%, and load factor was 83.7% – just 0.1 percentage point below the record July high achieved in 2015.

“July saw demand strengthen, after a softening in June. Demand was stimulated by lower fares which, in turn, were supported by lower oil prices. And near record high load factors demonstrate that people want to travel. But, there are some important sub-plots to the narrative of strong demand. Long-haul travel to Europe, for example, suffered in the aftermath of a spate of terrorist attacks. And the mature domestic markets are seeing demand growth stall while Brazil and Russia contract,” said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac.

July international passenger demand rose 7.1% compared to July 2015, which was an increase over the 5% yearly increase in June. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 7.3%, causing load factor to slip 0.2% percentage points to 83.5%.

North American airlines’ traffic climbed 4.8%, while capacity rose 5.1% with the result that load factor fell 0.3 percentage points to 86.1%. Seasonally adjusted volumes have risen at an annualized rate of more than 8% since March helped by transpacific and leisure traffic to Central America and the Caribbean.

“Passenger demand has broadly grown in line with the average of the past 10 years, but the industry faces some potential headwinds, including lingering impacts from the series of terrorist attacks and the fragile economic backdrop,” added de Juniac. “The environment in which aviation operates is dynamic – even volatile. Speed is of the essence. As an industry we must be prepared for rapid innovation in order to manage shocks and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”