November showed continued strong global passenger traffic growth above the 10-year average rate of 5.6%, reported the International Air Transport Association (IATA) this week. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 5.9% compared to the year-ago period. Although below the October rate of 7.1%, this largely was owing to the impact of factors that are expected to be short-lived, including the cessation of operations by Transaero, Russia’s second largest carrier, and labor strikes at Lufthansa.
The healthy demand continued despite some softening in economic growth, in large part owing to falling fares. Data for the first ten months of the year show a 5% decline in average fares in currency-adjusted terms. November capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 4.2%, and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0%.
North American airlines’ international traffic climbed 2.1% in November. While this was weaker than the year-to-date trend of 3.4%, capacity dipped 0.2%, boosting load factor 1.8 percentage points to 78.4%.
Latin American airlines saw November traffic climb 10.7% over November 2014. Latin American carriers have seen robust growth in air travel, but significant declines in yields, with weakness in the key economies of Brazil and Argentina.
European demand increased by 2.2%, with a load factor of 79.5%, highest among the regions.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ international November traffic climbed 7.9%. Weakness in emerging Asia trade activity, plus slower than expected growth in China, appear not to be impacting international RPKs for Asia-Pacific carriers.
Middle East airline demand grew 9.8%. African airlines’ posted a 12.2% rise, the fifth consecutive month of positive traffic growth, but the trend for the year-to-date so far remains weak, says IATA.