Air travel maintains strong growth, up 6.6% in October

Air travel maintains strong growth, up 6.6% in OctoberGENEVA — Global passenger traffic results for October show a moderate acceleration of the robust demand trend of the last few months, according to IATA.

Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.6% compared to October 2012, an improvement over the September increase of 5.2%. A capacity increase of 6.5% meant that load factor was virtually flat at 78.9%.

“October traffic results reinforce expectations for a strong fourth quarter traffic performance in line with rising business confidence and better economic performance in the major advanced economies,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

October international passenger demand was up 6.9% compared to the year-ago period with airlines in all regions recording growth. Capacity rose 6.6% and load factor climbed 0.2 percentage points to 78.4%.

North American airlines saw demand rise 3.6% compared to October a year ago, an improvement on September growth of 2.3%. Recent indications suggest a more supportive business environment, with consumer confidence and business activity showing improvement throughout the third quarter.

But rates of manufacturing and service sector growth are still well down on growth seen at the beginning of the year, suggesting international demand could remain close to year-to-date rates (2.8%) for the rest of 2013. Capacity rose 4.6%, resulting in a 0.8 percentage point decline in load factor to 81.4%.