IATA says global passenger traffic results for July show strong but moderating demand growth. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.8%, compared to the same month last year, down from the 7.7% year-over-year growth recorded in June.
All regions reported solid or better growth in passenger volumes over the past year. Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.1%, while load factor rose 0.6 percentage points to a July record of 84.7%.
"As is evidenced by the record high load factor in July, the appetite for air travel remains very strong. However, the stimulus effect of lower fares is softening in the face of rising cost inputs. This suggests a moderating in the supportive demand backdrop," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Here in North America, July traffic climbed 3.5% compared to a year ago. This was down from 4.4% growth in June, but still ahead of the 5-year average pace (2.9%).
Outbound travel is being supported by the relatively solid economic backdrop in North America; however, anecdotal evidence suggests that inbound demand is being negatively influenced by the additional security measures in place for travel to the U.S. July capacity rose 3.8% with the result that load factor slipped 0.3 percentage points to 85.9%.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years.