The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for November 2017 showing continued robust demand. Total revenue passenger kilometres rose 8.0 per cent compared to Nov. 2016, the fastest growth rate in five months and up from a 7.3 per cent year-over-year rise in October. Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.3 per cent, and load factor rose 1.2 percentage points to 80.2 per cent.
"The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November’s strong demand gives the industry momentum. The number of unique city-pair connections now tops 20,000. Passengers not only have more travel choices than ever, the cost of travel in real terms has never been cheaper. Along with delivering great value to consumers, airlines are rewarding their shareholders with normal levels of profitability. We expect 2018 to be the fourth year in a row where the industry’s return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital. In sum, we begin the New Year with confidence," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
"Challenges, however, remain. Security threats continue. Infrastructure issues persist. Fees and charges are a growing part of the cost base. And in many cases airports and air traffic management struggle to keep pace with demand and technology advancements. These and other challenges can only be addressed in partnership with governments. And doing so requires governments to recognize the enormous value that aviation—the business of freedom—provides to their economies and the world," said de Juniac.
International Passenger Markets
November international passenger demand rose 8.1 per cent compared to the year earlier period, an increase from 7.3 per cent in Oct. All regions showed growth, led for the third consecutive month by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. Total capacity climbed 6.6 per cent, and load factor increased 1.1 percentage points to 78.2 per cent.
North American Market
North American airlines’ traffic climbed 6.4 per cent in Nov. Capacity rose 6.1 per cent and load factor edged up a 0.2 percentage point to 79.1 per cent. The relatively vigorous economic backdrop is supporting outbound passenger demand, but this appears partly to be offset by a negative impact on inbound travel to the US from the additional security measures involved with travelling there.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Domestic travel demand rose 7.8 per cent in Nov. 2017 compared to the same month in 2016, up from a 7.2 per cent year-over-year increase in Oct. All markets showed growth, led again by India and China. Domestic capacity climbed 5.9 per cent, and load factor improved by a 1.4 percentage points to 83.6 per cent.