The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for January 2019 showing traffic (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 6.5 per cent compared to January 2018. This was the fastest growth in six months. January capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) rose 6.4 per cent, and load factor inched up 0.1 percentage point to 79.6 per cent.
“2019 has started on a positive note, with healthy passenger demand in line with the 10-year trend line. However, market signals are mixed, with indications of weakening business confidence in developed economies and a more nuanced picture across the developing world,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Asia-Pacific carriers recorded a demand increase of 7.1% compared to January 2018, solidly above the 5 per cent growth in December. Capacity rose 5.1 per cent, and load factor surged 1.5 percentage points to 81.7 per cent, second highest among the regions. Healthy regional growth is being underpinned by rising incomes and an increase in the number of airport pairs.
Domestic traffic climbed 7.3 per cent in January, year-on-year, the fastest pace since August and up from 5.6 per cent growth in December. All markets showed growth, with China, India and Russia posting double-digit annual increases. Domestic capacity increased 7.5% and load factor slid 0.1 percentage point to 79.3 per cent.