September’s passenger traffic demand grew 5.3 per cent in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) on last year, according to IATA.
“This continues the positive growth trend for passenger demand even though the performance was slightly below the August year-on-year rise of 6.3 per cent. September capacity rose 5.1 per cent and load factor rose 0.2 percentage points to 80.3 per cent,” IATA said in a statement.
European airlines a significant drop in growth rates from seven per cent in August to 3.9 per cent in September. IATA believes this reflected the impact of the Air France crew strike and a general weakening of European economic prospects.
Year-on-year growth for Russian domestic demand also fell in September to 5.6 per cent from 10.1 per cent in August. The impact of price stimulus wore-off and the weakness revealed could be a first indicator of the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Meanwhile, domestic travel in India spiked with a 26.3 per cent growth in September (more than three times the 7.6 per cent growth recorded in August) as a result of price stimulation.
“There are a lot of risks out there—growing weakness in key economies such as Europe and Brazil, the potential threat of Ebola to public confidence in flying, and the impact of political instability in various parts of the world,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“The positive economic developments in Asia and the US continue to underpin profitability. But it is a delicate balancing act.”