Global passenger traffic reports slow growth in September

5 November 2012 (Last Updated November 5th, 2012 18:30)

Global air passenger traffic grew at a slower pace in September, reporting a 4.1% increase compared September 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Global air passenger traffic grew at a slower pace in September, reporting a 4.1% increase compared September 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

International passenger traffic demand grew 4.9% during September, with all regions reporting growth except Asia-Pacific.

The highest passenger traffic demand of 13% was recorded in the Middle East, which was followed by the Latin American region with 7.5%, 5.4% in Europe, 4.7% in Africa and 2.1% in North America, with the lowest demand of 1.7% coming in the Asia Pacific region.

Passenger capacity grew 3.1% during the month, boosting the load factor by 1.3% to 80.9%.

IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said that carriers in China, Latin America and the Middle East are growing strongly.

"Europe's airlines are experiencing profitless growth in a strategy to manage high fixed costs and taxes. In Africa the challenge is to turn growth opportunities into profits," Tyler said.

"But for North American airlines the focus is on tightly managing capacity in order to optimise profits in a slow to no-growth environment."

"Asia-Pacific carriers outside of China are a mixed bag. Robust growth in China is being tempered by faltering markets in Japan and India."

Domestic passenger traffic demand increased 2.6% compared to September last year, boosting load factor to 78.4%. Although it is below the 5% year-on-year increase recorded in August.

"International passenger traffic demand grew 4.9% during September."

According to IATA, stronger growth in domestic passenger traffic in countries like China and Brazil offset weak growth in countries such as India, Japan and the US.

Air freight volume recorded a minor 0.6% year-on-year growth during the month with all the major regions recording year-on-year declines, IATA revealed.

Air freight capacity decreased 6% compared last year, which strengthened freight load factor during the month to 45.6% from 45.1% in 2011.

"Putting regional diversity aside, the fact that airlines are making any money at all with weak markets and high fuel prices is a tribute to their strong business performance, as evidenced by maintaining global load factors close to 80% since the start of 2012," Tyler continued.