Global passenger air traffic grew in August, despite economic downturn in Asia

Generic Plane 1The International Air Transport Association (IATA) have announced global passenger traffic results for August showing a continuation of the strong growth in air travel demand for both domestic and international traffic.

Measuring actual passenger travel, total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 7.1% compared to the year-ago period. August’s available passenger seat capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 5.9%, and as a result of this, load factor (percentage of ASKs actually used) rose 0.9 percentage points to a record 84.7%.

“August results continue the trend of strong demand for air travel, despite some softening in global economic growth, particularly in emerging markets,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

August international passenger demand rose 7.1% compared to the same month last year, with airlines in all regions recording growth, led by Middle East carriers. Total capacity climbed 5.8% pushing load factor up 1.0 percentage point to 85.2%.

August traffic for Asia Pacific airlines surged 7.7% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity rose 5.8% and load factor increased 1.5 percentage points to 82.5%. While emerging Asia has experienced notable declines in trade activity this year as well as slower than expected growth in China, neither factor appears to be impacting international air travel on the region’s carriers.

European carriers saw traffic increase by 5.7%. Economic recovery in the Eurozone is supporting demand for international travel. Capacity climbed 4.1% and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 88.3%, highest among the regions.

Middle East carriers’ August demand jumped 13.7% over the same month in 2014. Major economies in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have experienced slowdowns in non-oil sectors but the growth rates remain robust. Capacity nearly kept pace at 13.5% and load factor edged up 0.1 percentage points to 83.7%.

IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents nearly 260 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic. IATA statistics cover international and domestic scheduled air traffic for IATA member and non-member airlines.