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06 December 2017, 12:34 | Austin Hogan
Global passenger traffic up 7.2pc in Oct: IATA
Middle East carriers recorded a 6.9 percent rise in demand in October year on year, up from 3.9 percent in September, said the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) in its monthly report released Monday.
IATA represents some 275 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic.
Capacity increased 6.2 percent, and load factor increased 0.8 percent.
IATA said demand to and from North America in particular fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month. It will on Tuesday present its updated economic forecasts for the industry at a media event in Geneva. Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September and it remains the only global market not to have grown in annual terms this year.
Jet fuel prices are expected to rise even more quickly to $73.8 per barrel (up 12.5 per cent on $65.6 in 2017). The inventory-to-sales ratio in the USA is looking sideways, thereby indicating that the period when companies look to restock inventories quickly-which often gives air cargo a boost-has ended.
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European carriers' October demand climbed 6.2% over October, 2016, which was a slowdown compared to the 7.2% year-over-year growth recorded for September. "This led cargo volume to grow at twice the pace of the expansion in world trade (4.3%)", said IATA.
Passenger demand growth will likely continue in 2018, based on the global economic upturn of recent months, Oxley said. The highest growing domestic markets were India, at 20.4 percent, and China, at 10 percent.
For the first time, more than four billion passengers will be travelling this year, according to the aviation watchdog, and that number is expected to go up to 4.3 billion next year.
The average net profit per departing passenger will also rise slightly to $8.90 next year, from $8.45 in 2017. Cargo revenues will continue to do well in 2018, reaching $59.2bn, up 8.6 per cent from expected 2017 revenues of $54.5bn.
"We believe industry profitability is on a more sustained path so even in weakened business conditions we think the industry will perform better than it has in the past because of the (load factor) gap", said Pearce, noting that while low oil prices have contributed, the load factor gap has been above breakeven level since before 2015.
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