IATA: “Good News All Around,” But Economic Risks Mounting

Open Jaw

IATA Director General Tony Tyler says the aviation industry is enjoying “good news all around” with the most recent traffic results – for November 2015 – revealing strong traffic growth above the 10 yr. average rate of 5.6%. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 5.9% In November compared to November 2014. 


The healthy demand continued despite some softening in economic growth, which IATA attributed in large part to falling fares. Data for the first 10 months of 2015 showed a 5% decline in average fares in currency-adjusted terms. November capacity increased by 4.2% and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0%. 


In his comments on the results, Tyler was pleased but cautious: “Consumers continue to benefit from lower fares, which are spurring demand. The economy benefits from the stimulus to consumer spending. And airlines are starting to achieve minimum acceptable profit levels. It’s good news all around, but as we open 2016, economic risks are mounting,” he said.  


North American traffic climbed 2.1% in November. While this was weaker than the year-to-date trend of 3.4%, capacity dipped 0.2%, boosting load factor 1.8 percentage points to 78.4%.

The Asia-Pacific saw November traffic climb 7.9% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased 5.7% and load factor rose 1.6 percentage points to 76.2%.

European carrierssaw demand increase by 2.2%. IATA says the lower growth was primarily triggered by the shutdown of Russian carrier Transaero and labour issues at LH. Capacity slipped 0.1% and load factor rose 1.7 percentage points to 79.5%, highest among the regions.

Middle East carriersenjoyed a 9.8% demand increase in November. Capacity rose slightly faster at 11.5% causing load factor to dip 1.0 percentage point to 69.4%.

Latin American airlines saw November traffic climb 10.7%., while capacity increased by 10.1%, pushing load factor up 0.3 percentage points to 78.9%. Latin American carriers have seen robust growth in air travel, but significant declines in yields, with weakness in the key economies of Brazil and Argentina placing significant downward pressure on financial performance.

African airlines experienced a 5th consecutive month of positive traffic growth in November, posting a 12.2% rise compared to November 2014. 

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