Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
GENEVA — “Healthy but moderating” is how IATA described global passenger traffic for November 2018.
According to its latest report, total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 6.2% compared to November 2017, a slight deceleration from 6.3% growth in October.
Capacity (available seat kilometres, or ASKs) increased by 6.8% over the year-ago period, while load factor dipped 0.4 percentage point to 80.0%.
It was only the third time in two years that load factor fell on a year-to-year basis.
“Traffic is solid. But there are clear signs that growth is moderating in line with the slowing global economy,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “We still expect 6% demand growth this year, but trade tensions, protective tariffs and Brexit are all uncertainties that overhand the industry.”
November international passenger demand rose 6.6% compared to the year earlier period, up from 6.2% in October. All regions showed growth, led by carriers in Europe.
North American airlines’ traffic climbed 6.1% in November, up from 5.7% in October and well ahead of the five-year average rate of 4.0%. Capacity rose 3.8% and load factor edged up 1.7 percentage points to 80.6%. Demand is supported by comparatively strong momentum in the U.S. economy.