IATA Director General and CEO says recent results reflect pick-up in economic cycle

November showed the strongest year-on-year growth in passenger demand for nine months, the latest IATA figures have shown.

Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 7.6% compared with November 2015.

Capacity increased by 6.5%, and load factor rose 0.8 percentage points to 78.9%.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said of the results: “Stronger demand for air travel reflects—and is supporting–a pick-up in the global economic cycle.

“As the stimulus effect of lower oil prices recedes in the rear view mirror, the strength of the economic cycle will play a key role in the pace of demand growth in 2017.”

November international passenger demand rose 8% compared to the year earlier, with airlines in all regions showing growth.

Travel has never been more accessible—with great fares, many options and more destinations

Middle East carriers led all regions with a 12.2% increase in international traffic demand, while European carriers and Asia-Pacific airlines both saw demand increase 8.3% compared to November 2015.

De Juniac spoke positively about the year ahead, but warned the aviation industry still faces major challenges. 

“In 2017, for a third consecutive year, the industry’s return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital,” he said.

“Travel has never been more accessible—with great fares, many options and more destinations.

“Nevertheless uncertainty lies ahead. The threat of terrorism, questions over the durability of the economic upswing, rising oil prices and increasing protectionist rhetoric are among the concerns.

“We should see another solid year of collective profitability for the airlines in 2017. But we must be vigilant.”