The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that global passenger traffic for October rose 7.2% compared to the same month last year.
October’s performance was a strong bounce-back after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance.
“As expected, the recent severe weather in the Americas region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
International Passenger Markets
International passenger demand rose 7.3% in the month compared to October 2016, which was an improvement compared to the 6.6% demand increase for September. Airlines in all regions recorded growth.
Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3% compared to the year-ago period, up from an 8.7% rise in September. Seasonally-adjusted passenger volumes are rising at an annualized rate of 8-9%, supported by the solid regional economic backdrop and strong growth in the number of connections.
European carriers’ October demand climbed 6.2% over October 2016, slowing from 7.2% year-over-year growth recorded for September. Economic conditions have shown strong improvement over the past year or so, but the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has slowed considerably since May. This reflects the nature of international travel in the region, which is predominantly short-haul and hence, highly-price sensitive.
North American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.7% in October compared to the year-ago period. This was the lowest among the regions but an improvement compared to the hurricane-impacted 3% growth in September. There continue to be indications that inbound travel to the US is being deterred by the additional security measures now involved with travelling to that country.
Latin American airlines had an 8.7% increase in traffic in October. This was down from September growth of 10.7%, but still the second strongest percentage growth among regions. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, however, volumes are slightly below where they were three months ago. This may indicate spillover from the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Middle East carriers experienced a 6.9% rise in demand in October, improved from 3.9% in September. Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September (the most recent month for which route-specific figures are available) and it remains the only international market not to have grown in annual terms this year. Traffic has been heavily affected by the now-lifted ban on portable electronic devices, as well as from the proposed travel bans to the US.
African airlines’ traffic grew 7.5% year-on-year in October, up from 3.6% in September.