Moderate slowdown in global passenger demand growth in October: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic data for October on Thursday showing that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) climbed 3.4 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

This was a modest slowdown from 3.9 per cent growth recorded in September, owing to softer traffic performance in domestic markets. October capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 2.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.9 percentage point to 82 per cent which was a record for October.

"Traffic growth continues to be depressed compared to historical long-term growth levels, reflecting continued moderating economic activity in some key markets and sagging business confidence," said IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

"However, the fact that traffic is growing is a positive and the industry continues to do an excellent job of maximising asset efficiency as shown in the record load factor," he said in a statement.

October international passenger demand rose 3.2 per cent compared to October 2018, unchanged from September's year-over-year performance. With the exception of Latin America, all regions recorded increases led by Middle East airlines for the first time since June 2018.

Capacity climbed 1.6 per cent and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 81 per cent.Asia-Pacific airlines' October traffic increased 3.8 per cent compared to the year-ago period, a bit below the 4 per cent annual growth recorded in September and well down on 2018 growth largely owing to weaker business confidence in a number of key markets, the impact of the US-China trade war and the recent disruptions in Hong Kong.

Capacity rose 2.7 per cent and load factor edged up 0.9 percentage point to 79.6 per cent.

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