IATA ANNOUNCES SLOW GLOBAL PASSENGER DEMAND GROWTH IN JULY – By Daisy BARRO

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has noted that global passenger demand growth for the month of July slowed down, even though all regions recorded traffic growth.  Total Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) went up 3.6% when compared to the same month in 2018. This figure represents a drop of 5.1% annual growth documented in June. Load factor rose to 85.7% (a rise of 0.3 percentage points) and monthly capacity (Available Seat Kilometers or ASKs) also rose by 3.2%. IATA’s CEO and Director General, Alexendre de Juniac had this to say about the situation: “July’s performance marked a soft start to the peak passenger demand season. Tariffs, trade wars and uncertainty over Brexit are contributing to a weaker demand environment than we saw in 2018. At the same time, the trend of moderate capacity increases is helping to achieve record load factors.”

As concerns international passenger demand for the month of July, a rise of 2.7% was recorded compared to July of the previous year. Even though this looks good, it was a plunge when compared to the 5.3% growth witnessed in June. Load factor and capacity both perked up 85.3% (a growth of 0.2 percentage points) and 2.4% respectively. All regions experienced growth, led by Latin America.

In Africa, airlines’ traffic improved by 3.6%, a considerable drop from the 9.8% growth experienced in June. According to sources, this may have been due to decreasing business confidence in South Africa, which neutralized solid economic conditions elsewhere on the continent.

According to IATA’s Director General, traffic generally rises during festive periods in various regions around the globe as people travel to be reunited with families or simply to explore the world. He thus stated that the aviation industry is working hard to minimize the negative environmental effects that occur as a result of this increased activity. In his opinion, “The carbon footprint of the average air journey this year is half what it would have been in 1990. From 2020 overall net emissions will be capped, and realizing the full potential of sustainable aviation fuels will play a major role in our 2050 target to cut overall net emissions to half 2005 levels. Unfortunately, with a host of environmental taxes planned or under consideration in Europe, it seems that governments are more interested in taxing aviation than partnering with the industry to make it sustainable.”

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