African airlines record 4.9 per cent growth in passenger demand
Middle Eastern airlines posted the strongest performance, as passenger demand rose by 7.4 per cent.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced on Thursday that international passenger demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) for African airlines rose by 4.9 per cent year-on-year in November 2019, up from 2.3 per cent growth recorded in October.
In a statement released by the association, capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) rose by 2.8 per cent in November. IATA said the region's airlines' load factor, which measures the percentage of available seating capacity that is filled with passengers, climbed 1.4 percentage points to 70.3 per cent.
The association said all regions of the world recorded traffic increases, except for Latin America. Middle Eastern airlines posted the strongest performance, as passenger demand rose by 7.4 per cent. African airlines posted the second-strongest performance of the month, followed by Asia-Pacific airlines, which recorded 3.9 per cent in traffic increase, North American carriers (2.3 per cent), and European airlines (1.2 per cent). Latin American carriers saw a 0.3 per cent traffic decline in November.
The report was released following the Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 plane crash on Wednesday. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran's international airport, amid geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and escalation in the United States-Iran conflict, and killed all 176 people on board.
“November’s moderate result reflects the continuing influence of slower economic activity, geopolitical tensions and other disruptions, including strikes in Europe,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “On the plus side, positive developments in the US-China trade talks, in tandem with signs of improving business confidence, could support an uptick in travel demand.”
Globally, passenger demand rose 3.1 per cent in November, compared to 3.0 per cent reported in October. Despite a slow down in economic activity in Europe, IATA said fundamentals remain generally sound for the region, except for the rise in geopolitical tensions, which might impact international demand going forward.
IATA also provided results for travel demand, showing that the demand growth in Africa, which rose 3.5 per cent in November, was higher than the global average of 3.3 per cent in the same period.
According to IATA, Africa accounts for the smallest share (2.1 per cent) of global passenger traffic. The Asia-Pacific carriers hold the largest global share of passenger traffic at 34.5 per cent, followed by Europe (26.8 per cent), North America (22.3 per cent), Middle East (9.2 per cent), and Latin America (5.1 per cent).
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