All international regions except Latin America recorded passenger growth, led by carriers in Africa. 

Passenger demand experienced moderate growth in August, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Demand—measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs—increased by 3.8% compared to the same period in 2018, an improvement of 0.3% on July’s figures.

Capacity—measured in available seat kilometers or ASKs—rose by 3.5% in August year-on-year, while load factor set a new monthly record as it climbed 0.3% to 85.7%.

Airlines are doing a great job of matching capacity to demand, with passenger load factors reaching a new high of 85.7%

“While we saw a pick-up in passenger demand in August compared to July, growth remains below the long-term trend and well-down on the roughly 8.5% annual growth seen over the 2016 to Q1 2018 period,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.

“This reflects the impact of economic slowdowns in some key markets, uncertainty over Brexit and the trade war between the US and China. 

“Nonetheless, airlines are doing a great job of matching capacity to demand. With passenger load factors reaching a new high of 85.7% this is good for overall efficiency and passengers' individual carbon footprint.”

All regions except Latin America recorded passenger growth in August, led by airlines in Africa. 

International demand rose 3.3% year-on-year, an improvement from July’s figures of 2.8% growth. Capacity increased 2.9% and load factor edged up 0.3% to 85.6%.

See the breakdown by region below:

  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ August traffic increased 3.5% compared to the year-ago period, which was an acceleration compared to a 2.6% rise in July. Capacity rose 3.9% and load factor slid 0.4% to 82.8%.
  • European carriers saw August demand climb 3.7% year-to-year, fractionally up over a 3.6% increase for July. Capacity rose 3.4%, and load factor climbed 0.2% to 89.0%, which was the highest among regions.
  • Middle Eastern airlines posted a 2.9% traffic increase in August, which was an increase from a 1.7% rise in July. Capacity increased 1.3%, with load factor rising 1.3% to 82.4%. 
  • North American carriers’ international demand rose 2.5% compared to August a year ago, up from a 1.4% increase in July. Capacity rose 1.3%, and load factor grew by 1.0% to 88.3%.
  • Latin American airlines experienced a 2.3% demand increase in August compared to the same month last year, down from a 4.0% annual growth in July. Capacity fell 0.3% and load factor surged 2.1% to 83.9%.
  • African airlines’ traffic climbed 4.1% in August, up from 3.2% in July. Capacity rose 6.1%, however, and load factor dipped 1.4% to 75.6%.