Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 5.7% over October 2013, slightly ahead of the 5.2% year-on-year rise recorded in September 2014. October capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 5.5%, causing load factor to rise 0.1 percentage points to 79.1%.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, says: “Against a backdrop of economic weakness in some regions, October traffic results show demand for connectivity remains strong on a global basis.
“With 2014 drawing to a close, the outlook for air travel remains largely positive. Improvements in economies in Asia-Pacific and the US are offsetting weakness in the Eurozone and China.
“The fall in oil prices, if sustained, could provide a much-needed operating cushion. But there are risks, which must also be accounted for—including the proliferation of political instability.”
October international passenger demand rose 5.5% compared to the same month last year, with airlines in all regions except Africa recording growth. Capacity climbed 6.4% and load factor dipped 0.6 percentage points to 78%.
European airlines saw demand increase by 5.8% in October versus October 2013, the strongest growth among the three largest regions, while Asia-Pacific carriers traffic rose 5.5% compared to the year-ago period, reflecting stronger regional trade activity, which encourages business travel.
North American airlines experienced a 1.8% rise in traffic compared to October a year ago, Middle East carriers demand climbed 10.3% in October, the largest increase for any region, and Latin American airlines saw traffic climb 6.5% compared to October 2013, second best among regions.
African airlines traffic contracted 1.6% in October, while ASKs slipped 0.1%, resulting in a one percentage point drop in load factor to 66.8%, the lowest for any region.
Domestic travel demand rose 5.8% in October compared to the same month in 2013, with the strongest growth occurring in China, up 10% and India, up 16.3%, and total domestic capacity climbed 4%, and load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 81.1%.
Tyler explains: “This weekend marks International Civil Aviation Day. And next month will begin the second century of commercial aviation. These are fitting moments to pause and reflect upon the reliance of the global economy on connectivity.
“Even more important is the challenge to prepare for the future by ensuring that the industry has a smart regulatory environment, cost-efficient infrastructure and a reasonable tax obligation.”