Air Traffic Growth Strong In AUG, But Warning Signs Ahead

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Global passenger traffic data for AUG showed demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) climbed 7.2% compared to the year-ago period. IATA reports that AUG capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.3%, while load factor climbed 0.7% percentage points to 84.5%, just below the record for the month set in 2015. 

Despite those positive numbers, IATA points out that the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has slowed from that seen at the end of 2016.

"Following the strong summer traffic season in the Northern hemisphere, 2017 is on course to be another year of strong traffic growth. However, some important demand drivers are easing, particularly lower fares,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“As we head towards the end of the year we still expect growth to continue, but potentially at a slower pace."

North American airlines’ international demand rose 5.5% compared to August a year ago, up from 4% growth recorded in July and nearly double the five-year average of 3.1%.

However, IATA says there are signs that inbound travel to the U.S. is being negatively-impacted by the additional security measures now involved with travelling there. Capacity rose 3.9%, and load factor grew by 1.4 percentage points to 86.6%. 

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years.

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