Strong Traffic Demand Continues

IATA reports that global passenger traffic continued to be strong in November and was above the 10-year average rate of 5.6%.

Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 5.9% compared to the same period a year-ago. Although below the October rate of 7.1%, this largely was owing to the impact of factors that are expected to be short-lived, including the cessation of operations by Transaero, Russia’s second largest carrier, and labour strikes at Lufthansa.

The healthy demand continued despite some softening in economic growth, in large part owing to falling fares. Data for the first 10 months of the year show a 5% decline in average fares in currency-adjusted terms. November capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 4.2%, and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0%.

Tony Tyler, director general and CEO for IATA, commented: “Consumers continue to benefit from lower fares, which are spurring demand. The economy benefits from the stimulus to consumer spending. And airlines are starting to achieve minimum acceptable profit levels. It’s good news all around, but as we open 2016, economic risks are mounting.”