The global passenger traffic for May 2019 has shown a year-on-year growth of 4.5%, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Although this is a growth from the last two months, it remains lesser than the 20-year average growth rate of 5.5%. The airline capacity climbed by 2.7%, and the passenger load factor increased by 1.4% to 81.5%.
Passenger demand growth has slowed compared to the past two years. This is in line with slumping global trade, rising trade tensions, and weakening business confidence. In this challenging environment, airlines are managing capacity carefully to optimize efficiency, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
The Asia Pacific constitutes 34.4% of the global passenger traffic, followed by Europe and North America with 26.7% and 22.5% respectively. The Middle East occupies 9.2% of the world passenger traffic, Latin America shares 5.1%, and Africa reports the least share of 2.1%.
The demand for airlines in Europe climbed 5.4% in May 2019, when compared to the same period last year. The capacity increased 4.6%, and load factor too was up 0.7%. The Asia Pacific, on the other hand, witnessed a passenger traffic growth of 4% in May 2019 over May 2018. The capacity rose 3%, and the load factor too increased by 0.8% to 78.6%. The US-China trade tensions are affected by the region’s aviation growth.
The demand for the Middle East carriers reduced to 0.8% compared to the same period last year. The capacity too decelerated to 6.1%. The load factor, however, rose 5% to 73%. The undergoing structural changes in the region are cited as the reason for this de-growth.
North American airlines’ traffic rose 4.8% year-on-year in May 2019. The capacity climbed 2.7%, and the load factor rose 1.7% to 83.6%. Latin America too experienced robust growth of traffic in May 2019. The capacity of the region rose 4%, and the load factor increased by 2.1% to reach 84%. African airlines reported a 2.1% traffic rise in May 2019. There is also a slight rise in capacity, of about 0.1% and load factor increase of 1.3% to 67%.
Aviation is the business of freedom, connecting people and trade and creating new opportunities for growth and development. But to be effective, the business of freedom relies on borders that are open to the movement of people and goods—and aircraft. In recent weeks, we have seen extensive airspace closures owing to political tensions. These closures have contributed to longer and less efficient routings, higher operating costs and increased carbon emissions. Without any compromise on safety, it is vital that governments work to minimize airspace closures so that the Business of Freedom can continue to deliver its benefits as efficiently as possible, said de Juniac.