GENEVA — Global air passenger traffic results for September showed demand growth of 5.3% (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) over September 2013, according to IATA.
This continues the positive growth trend for passenger demand even though the performance was slightly below the August year-over-year rise of 6.3%. September capacity rose 5.1% and load factor rose 0.2 percentage points to 80.3%.
“Overall, demand for passenger travel is growing in line with expectations. We saw, however, some shifting of the sources of that growth in September, largely driven by economic factors. The strengthening of the U.S. and Asian economies was offset by weakness in Europe and Latin America,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“The three big stories in September were Europe, Russia and India,” said Tyler.
European airlines reported 3.9% growth for international demand. That’s a significant drop from the 7.0% reported in August indicating the impact of the Air France crew strike and a general weakening of European economic prospects.
Year-on-year growth for Russian domestic demand fell to 5.6% in September from 10.1% in August. The impact of price stimulus wore off and the weakness revealed could be a first indicator of the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Indian domestic travel spiked with a 26.3% growth in September (several times the 7.6% growth recorded in August) as a result of price stimulation.