‘Demand limbo’: passenger growth figures give misleading picture of airlines’ fortunes says IATA


Issues & Trends – August 2012

‘Demand limbo’: passenger growth figures give
misleading picture of airlines’ fortunes says IATA

IATA continues to insist that figures showing continued increases in
passenger numbers, easily outstripping capacity growth, are not as rosy as they initially seem for the world airlines.

The figures show international passenger numbers in June were 7.4 per cent ahead of June last year, considerably less than capacity growth of 4.5 per cent. The result: load factors around 80 per cent or more – with the exception of Africa (65 per cent).

But IATA points to a slowing of growth this year. Annualised growth for the second quarter of 2012 is two per cent – a big drop from the eight per cent experienced in the second half of last year.

“The uncertainty that we see in the global economic situation is being reflected in air transport’s performance,” said IATA director general and chief executive Tony Tyler.

“Although there are some pockets of solid performance, it is difficult to detect a strong trend – positive or negative – at the global level.

“Passenger markets have been growing more slowly since the beginning of the year … The net effect is a demand limbo as consumers and businesses hedge their spending while awaiting clarity on the European economic front.”

Asia-Pacific carriers reported a six per cent year-on-year growth in demand in June which was more than double the 2.9 per cent expansion in capacity and the regions load factors stood at 79.5 per cent.

But IATA commented: “Month-to-month, the demand in the region was basically flat at -0.1 per cent …”

 

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