Lunar New Year travel adds to strong traffic growth in February for world’s airlines

Lunar New Year travel adds to strong traffic growth in February for world’s airlines

GENEVA — The world’s airlines saw strong global passenger traffic results for February, according to IATA.

Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 6.2%, which was an improvement on the January year-over-year increase of 4.5%. Monthly results were positively impacted by the Lunar New Year holiday which occurred in February this year, one month later than in 2014. February capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 5.6%, and load factor rose 0.5 percentage points to 78.5%.

“Lunar New Year celebrations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, certainly contributed to the robust February performance, but it is also clear that solid demand for connectivity is offsetting economic weakness in some regions including the Eurozone,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

February international passenger demand rose 6.8% compared to the same month last year, with airlines in all regions except Africa recording growth. Capacity climbed 5.7% and load factor rose 0.7 percentage points to 77.4%.

North American airlines experienced a 3.5% rise in traffic compared to February a year ago, which was above the 3.1% expansion in 2014 overall. The U.S. economy remains a stand-out performer among developed economies. Capacity rose 2.3% and load factor was 76.8%, up 0.9 percentage points over a year ago.