IATA numbers show traffic growth easing in September; Middle East shines – 01/11/06

INTERNATIONAL. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced today that international scheduled passenger traffic rose by +4.7% year-on-year in September.

The figure is below the +5.9% rise for the year to date, continuing an easing of growth that began in May.

“Slowing traffic growth is starting to weaken the strong revenue environment,” commented IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani, “but efficiency gains and careful capacity management continue. The recent fall in spot prices for oil has provided a boost, though prices for forward purchase remain close to US$70 per barrel. The net result for the industry is more profitable growth and we are confident that the industry will improve the bottom line to a loss of US$1.7 billion for this year.”

Passenger traffic increased most in the Middle East, by +13.1% year-on-year – lower than the year-to-date growth figure of +15.4% – while demand in Latin America dropped by -8.6% in September, as restructuring (mainly relating to troubled Brazilian carrier Varig) continued in the region.

September’s overall passenger load factor was 76.9% – +0.2% higher than 12 months earlier – with Europe’s 80.0% the highest of all regions. Year-to-date load factors of 76.5% show a +1.0% increase over 2005, North American carriers faring best, at 80.9%.

“High load factors are among the most blatant examples of airline efficiency that is driving the industry towards a US$1.9 billion profit in 2007 – the first since 2000,” said Bisignani. “But the entire value chain must be on board. Unfortunately, too often governments are not keeping pace at the expense of the air transport industry and the environment.

“While airlines are doing everything possible to reduce their 2% share of greenhouse gasses globally, governments are perpetuating the 12% inefficiency in air traffic management by failing to take leadership in implementing a Single European Sky or simply straightening out air routes. This must change.”

Here are the passenger growth figures by region for September and January-September, measured in RPK percentage growth over the same periods last year.

Africa: +11.4%; +8.7%

Asia Pacific: +3.2%; +5.4%

Europe: +4.8%; +5.3%

Latin America: -8.6%; -1.4%

Middle East: +13.1%; +15.4%

North America: +5.4%; +5.7%

Total scheduled international: +4.7%; +5.9%


Strong demand lifts global airline passenger traffic in first half of 2006 – 27/07/06

IATA reports +7% increase in international traffic for May; warns of slowdown later in the year – 03/07/06

‘Good news and solid growth’ says IATA as February shows strong international pax rise – 04/04/06

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