December 5, 2017
October passenger demand rebounds from weather-impacted September
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released global passenger traffic results for October showing that demand (measured in RPKs) rose 7.2% compared to the same month last year. Capacity grew 6.2% and load factor climbed 0.8 points to 80.8%, which was a record for the month. October’s performance was a strong bounce-back after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance.
October international passenger demand rose 7.3% compared to October 2016, which was an improvement compared to the 6.6% demand increase for September. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 6.0%, and load factor increased 1.0 point to 79.4%.
Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3% compared to the year-ago period, which was up from an 8.7% rise in September. Capacity climbed 8.4% and load factor rose points to 78.0%.
European carriers’ October demand climbed 6.2% over October 2016, which was a slowdown compared to the 7.2% year-over-year growth recorded for September. Capacity increased 4.5% and load factor rose 1.3 points to 84.9%, highest among regions.
Middle East carriers experienced a 6.9% rise in demand in October, improved from 3.9% in September. Capacity increased 5.3%, and load factor climbed 1.0 point to 69.6%.
North American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.7% in October compared to the year-ago period, lowest among the regions but an improvement compared to the hurricane-impacted 3% growth in September. Capacity rose 5.2% and load factor dropped 1.1 points to 79.2%.
Latin American airlines had an 8.7% increase in traffic in October, which was a slowdown from September growth of 10.7%, but still the second strongest percentage growth among regions. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, however, volumes are slightly below where they were three months ago. This may indicate spillover from the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Capacity climbed 9.1%, and load factor slipped 0.3 points to 82.6%.
African airlines’ traffic grew 7.5% year-on-year in October, up from 3.6% in September. Conditions in the region’s two largest economies—Nigeria and South Africa, still are diverging, with business confidence levels in Nigeria near a three-year high, while confidence levels in South Africa are consistent with falling economic activity. Capacity rose 3.4%, and load factor jumped 2.7 points to 70.9%.