The latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show that global passenger demand slowed in July.
Demand—measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs)—increased by 3.6% year-on-year, but fell from the 5.1% annual growth recorded in June.
“July’s performance marked a soft start to the peak passenger demand season,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
“Tariffs, trade wars, and uncertainty over Brexit are contributing to a weaker demand environment than we saw in 2018. At the same time the trend of moderate capacity increases is helping to achieve record load factors.”
July’s performance marked a soft start to the peak passenger demand season
Capacity—measured in available seat kilometers (ASKs)—rose 3.2% in July compared to the same month in 2018, while load factor increased to 85.7%, a record high for any month.
In the international markets, overall passenger demand grew by 2.7% year-on-year, which was a deceleration compared to the 5.3% growth recorded in June.
Capacity climbed 2.4%, and load factor edged upward to 85.3%. All regions reported growth, led by Latin American airlines.
China led the way in the domestic markets, recording an 11.7% growth in passenger demand. This is aided by lower fares and more connections.
Domestic travel demand outperformed international growth in July, as RPKs rose 5.2%, up from 4.7% growth in June. Domestic capacity climbed 4.7%, and load factor increased by 0.4 percentage point to 86.5%.
See the breakdown by international region below:
- Asia-Pacific airlines’ July traffic rose 2.7% over the year-ago period, a slowdown compared to June growth of 3.9% and their weakest performance since early 2013. Capacity increased 2.4% and load factor rose 0.2 percentage point to 82.6%.
- European carriers registered a modest 3.3% annual growth in July, down from a 5.6% year-over-year increase in June. Capacity rose 3.2%, and load factor climbed 0.1 percentage point to 89.0%, highest among the regions.
- Middle East carriers had a 1.6% increase in demand for July, well down on the 8.3% growth recorded for June, after the end of Ramadan. July capacity climbed 1.0% compared to a year ago and load factor rose 0.4 percentage point to 81.3%.
- North American airlines’ traffic climbed 1.5% compared to July a year ago, down from 3.5% growth in June. July capacity rose 0.7% with the result that load factor climbed 0.7 percentage point to 87.9%, second highest among the regions.
- Latin American airlines experienced a 4.1% rise in traffic in July, which was the strongest growth among the regions but a decline from 5.8% year-over-year growth in June. Capacity rose 2.7% and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to 85.6%.
- African airlines’ July traffic rose 3.6%, a significant decline from 9.8% growth recorded in June. Capacity rose 6.1%, and load factor slipped 1.7 percentage points to 72.9%.