The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for May showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 4.5% compared to the same month in 2018.
Significantly, IATA states that African airlines posted a 2.1% traffic rise in May compared to the year-ago period, which was up from just 1.1% growth in April.
It notes that capacity climbed 0.1% and load factor increased 1.3 percentage points to 67.0%. Traffic between Africa and Europe continues to expand strongly, but economic growth in South Africa – a key regional economy and air transport market– contracted sharply in the first quarter and this is adversely impacting air passenger demand.
“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 in order to optimize efficiency,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Also, International traffic demand rose 4.3% in May over the year-ago period, which was down from 5.1% growth in April. All regions recorded growth, led by airlines in Latin America. Total capacity climbed 2.1%, with load factor jumping 1.7 percentage points to 80.4%.