Passenger demand up, open borders still essential: IATA

GENEVA — Global passenger traffic was up 5% in June, reports IATA, a slight increase from the 4.7% year-over-year-growth recorded in May.

As per recent traffic results, June capacity increased by 3.3% while load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 84.4%, which was a record for the month of June.

“June continued the trend of solid passenger demand growth while the record load factor shows that airlines are maximizing efficiency. Amid continuing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and rising economic uncertainty in other regions, growth was not as strong as a year ago, however,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

All regions recorded increases in growth in June, led by airlines in Africa. North American carriers’ demand rose 3.5% compared to June a year ago, down from 5.0% annual growth in May, similarly reflecting U.S.-China trade tensions. Capacity climbed 2.0% with load factor increasing 1.3 percentage points to 87.9%.

In a statement, de Juniac reminded the industry of the importance of open borders: “The peak summer travel season in the Northern Hemisphere is upon us. Crowded airports are a reminder of the vital role aviation plays in connecting people and commerce. For those traveling on journeys of discovery or reuniting with loved ones, aviation is the business of freedom. But aviation relies on borders that are open to trade and people to deliver its benefits. Ongoing trade disputes are contributing to declining global trade and slowing traffic growth. These developments are not helpful to the global economic outlook. Nobody wins a trade war.”