IATA August report puts European airlines in good spot
Demand for air transport is continuing to flatten out but with significant regional variations, according to a new report by the International Air Transport Association. Business and consumer confidence continue to slip. Demand for air travel expanded by 5.1% in August compared to the same month in 2011. However, this partly reflects a positive distortion owing to the timing of Ramadan. Adjustment for such seasonal fluctuations reveals that passenger demand has been basically flat since June – and with only 1.2% expansion since January. Carriers continued to slow their capacity expansion, limiting it to 4.1% growth, taking load factors to 82.1%.
European airlines recorded strong demand growth in August (5.6%), ahead of the 4.7% expansion seen in July. Despite recession conditions in Europe, airlines in the region are expanding on international routes, growing capacity by 4.4%. Load factors rose marginally to 84.9%.
However, North American airlines saw just 0.5% growth in demand, and Asia-Pacific carriers were among the weakest in terms of demand growth at 2.9%. Middle East carriers were again the strongest performers, but the August growth rate of 16.7% may have been boosted by the impact of Ramadan falling across the whole of August last year. Latin American airlines were the second-best performers in August (7.3%) and African carriers’ demand rose 3.2%.
Among domestic passenger markets, demand rose 2.4% in the US, 9.4% in Brazil and 10.8% in China, but fell 2% in India and 2.1% in Japan.
[pictured: Lufthansa’s Europa Cabin]