African airlines record increased international passenger demand
- IATA said international passenger traffic among African airlines rose to 8.2 percent year-on-year in November last year notwithstanding the dire economic conditions in the region’s largest economies: Nigeria and South Africa.
The International Air Transport Association reported today that African airlines witnessed a significant growth in international passenger demand in November last year owing to stronger “seasonally-adjusted” passenger traffic.
The Montreal, Canada-based organization said international passenger traffic among African airlines rose to 8.2 percent year-on-year in November last year notwithstanding the dire economic conditions in the region’s largest economies: Nigeria and South Africa. IATA also said African airlines recorded a 5.1 percent year-on-year increase in capacity (available seat kilometres), while load factor rose 1.9 percent year-on-year to 66.3 percent.
“Economic conditions in much of Africa remain challenging, particularly in the biggest economies of Nigeria and South Africa, but the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted passenger traffic has reasserted itself more recently, supported by strong demand on routes to and from Asia and the Middle East,” the IATA said.
Just like African airlines, IATA said airlines in all regions witnessed an 8 percent year-on-year growth in international passenger demand in November, while total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) – a key aviation metric – rose 7.6 percent. Total airline capacity rose by 6.5 percent, while load factor rose by 0.8 percent to 78.9 percent.
"Stronger demand for air travel reflects – and is supporting – a pick-up in the global economic cycle,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “As the stimulus effect of lower oil prices recedes in the rear view mirror, the strength of the economic cycle will play a key role in the pace of demand growth in 2017."
As for international passenger markets around the world, IATA said European carriers saw demand increase by 8.3 percent in November 2016, suggesting that the disruption caused by terrorism and political instability has lifted against a backdrop of a growing Eurozone economy.
North American airlines posted a meagre 1.5 percent growth in demand as international passenger traffic across the Pacific rose rapidly, however, North Atlantic traffic moderated. Asia-Pacific airlines continued to post stronger upward growth in traffic as demand rose by 8.3 percent. Middle East airlines led all regions with a 12.2 percent demand increase, while Latin American airlines saw November traffic grow by 7.3 percent.
"The airline industry continues to deliver strong results,” said de Juniac. “Nevertheless uncertainty lies ahead. The threat of terrorism, questions over the durability of the economic upswing, rising oil prices and increasing protectionist rhetoric are among the concerns. We should see another solid year of collective profitability for the airlines in 2017. But we must be vigilant.”
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