Africa Airlines Lead Global Rise in Passenger Traffic


Chinedu Eze

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that African airlines’ traffic climbed 4.1 per cent in August, up from 3.2 per cent in July. 

The global body noted that the performance came after South Africa – the region’s second largest economy – returned to positive economic growth in the second quarter (Q2) 2019, as capacity rose 6.1 per cent.

However, and load factor dipped 1.4 percentage points to 75.6 per cent.

Globally, IATA noted that the global passenger traffic data for August 2019 showing that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) climbed 3.8 per cent compared to the year-ago period. 

This was above the 3.5 per cent annual increase for July, remarking that August capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 3.5 per cent. 

IATA disclosed that load factor climbed 0.3 percentage point to 85.7 per cent, which was a new monthly record, as airlines continue to maximise asset use. 

“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 per cent annual growth seen over the 2016 to Q1 2018 period. 

“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 per cent; this is good for overall efficiency and passengers’ individual carbon footprint,” said IATA Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

 In August, international passenger demand rose 3.3 per cent compared to August 2018, which was an improvement from a 2.8 per cent year-over-year growth achieved in July. With the exception of Latin America, all regions recorded increases, led by airlines in Africa. Capacity climbed 2.9 per cent, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 85.6 per cent.