Airline passenger numbers at historic high during 2013 with promising signs for 2014


Issues & Trends – February 2014

Airline passenger numbers at historic high during 2013
with promising signs for 2014

THE world’s airlines continued to benefit from historically high passenger growth in 2013, according to latest IATA figures.

Full-year traffic results for 2013 show a 5.2 per cent increase in passenger demand compared to 2012. The 2013 performance aligns with the average annual growth rate of the past 30 years.

Passenger numbers stayed well ahead of capacity growth (which rose 4.8 per cent). As a result load factor averaged 79.5 per cent up 0.4 percentage points over 2012.

Demand in international markets expanded at a slightly faster rate (5.4 per cent) than domestic air travel (4.9 per cent).

Strongest overall growth (domestic and international combined) was recorded by carriers in the Middle East (11.4per cent) followed by Asia-Pacific (7.1 per cent), Latin America (6.3 per cent) and Africa (5.2 per cent). The slowest growth was in the developed markets of North America (2.3 per cent) and Europe (3.8 per cent).

IATA director general Tony Tyler said the industry achieved “healthy demand growth” in 2013 despite a “very difficult” economic environment.

“There was a clear improvement trend over the course of the year which bodes well for 2014,” he said.

“And with system-wide load factors at 79.5 per cent it is also clear that airlines are continuing to drive efficiencies to an ever-higher level.”

In the Asia Pacific, after a slow start, carriers saw a pick-up in demand in the third quarter, supported by stronger performance of major economies such as China and Japan.

Capacity expansion of 5.2per cent was meant load factor was virtually flat at 77.7 per cent.

 

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