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IATA: demand growth strengthening industry

Underbelly of an airplane

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) claims strong global passenger demand for November 2017 helped boost the airline industry in November 2017, driving an increase in revenue.

According to IATA, the total revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose 8 per cent compared to November 2016, which the association says is the fastest growth rate in five months and up from a 7.3 per cent in October. Meanwhile, available seat kilometres (ASK) grew by 6.3 per cent and load factor increased 1.2 percentage points to 80.2 per cent.

Asia Pacific airlines saw the biggest boost in passenger numbers, up 10.8 per cent year on year. IATA says the increase was driven by strong regional economic growth and continuing expansion of options for customers.

The Middle East saw the lowest demand increase, at 4.9 per cent. Traffic could be affected by tensions between the Middle East and the US, with the latter imposing a now-lifted ban on personal electronic devices and president Donald Trump’s proposed travel restrictions from certain countries being partially allowed.

Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO of IATA, commented: “The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November’s strong demand gives the industry momentum... We expect 2018 to be the fourth year in a row where the industry’s return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital. In sum, we begin the new year with confidence.”

However, de Juniac warns that airlines will still face challenges on other fronts. “Security threats continue. Infrastructure issues persist. Fees and charges are a growing part of the cost base. And in many cases airports and air traffic management struggle to keep pace with demand and technology advancements. These and other challenges can only be addressed in partnership with governments. And doing so requires governments to recognise the enormous value that aviation – the business of freedom – provides to their economies and the world.”

iata.org

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