IATA: Strong passenger demand in 2018 along with record load factor

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
IATA: Strong passenger demand in 2018 along with record load factorDemand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) grew by a healthy 6.5%

Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for 2018 showing that demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by a healthy 6.5% compared to full-year 2017. Although this represented a slowdown compared to the 2017 annual growth of 8.0%, it was another year of above-trend growth. Full year 2018 capacity climbed 6.1%, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to a record 81.9%, exceeding the previous high set in 2017.

December RPKs rose 5.3% against the same month in 2017, the slowest year-over-year pace since January 2018 and a continuation of the trend that saw demand growth decelerate to an annualized rate of 5% over the course of the 2018 second half compared to a 9% pace in the first half.

“2018 was another year of strong passenger demand, as aviation continued to support the global economy. We expect similar, if somewhat moderating performance in 2019. Nevertheless, slowing growth in the second half of 2018, coupled with concerns over issues including Brexit and US-China trade tensions, are creating some uncertainty to this positive outlook,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. 


 

DECEMBER 2018 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR)WORLD SHARE1RPKASKPLF (%-PT)2PLF (LEVEL)3
Total Market 100.0% 5.3% 6.1% -0.6% 80.4%
Africa 2.1% 2.1% 1.6% 0.4% 72.4%
Asia Pacific 34.5% 6.4% 6.7% -0.2% 81.0%
Europe 26.7% 7.8% 8.8% -0.8% 81.0%
Latin America 5.1% 6.0% 5.4% 0.4% 81.8%
Middle East 9.2% 0.0% 4.2% -3.1% 73.6%
North America 22.4% 3.6% 4.0% -0.3% 82.5%


International Passenger Markets


International passenger traffic in 2018 climbed 6.3% compared to 2017, down from 8.6% annual growth the year before. Capacity rose 5.7% and load factor climbed by 0.4 percentage point to 81.2%. All regions recorded year-over-year increases in traffic, led by Asia-Pacific. However, North America and Africa were the only two regions to post stronger demand growth in 2018 compared to the prior year’s performance

  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ 2018 traffic rose 7.3%, compared to 2017, driven by robust regional economic expansion and an increase in route options for travelers. Although this was a slowdown from the 10.5% year-over-year growth recorded in 2017 versus 2016, it was strong enough to lead all the regions for a second consecutive year. Capacity rose 6.4%, and load factor ticked up 0.7 percentage point to 80.6%.
  • European carriers’ international traffic climbed 6.6% in 2018 compared to the previous year, which was down from 9.4% growth the year before. Capacity rose 5.9% and load factor increased 0.6 percentage point to 85.0%, which was the highest for any region. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, traffic growth has softened a bit in recent months, likely owing, in part, to uncertainty over the economic backdrop and Brexit.
  • Middle East carriers’ traffic increased 4.2% last year, down from 6.9% growth in 2017. It was the second year in a row of moderating demand growth. Capacity climbed 5.2% and load factor slipped 0.7 percentage point to 74.7%. The deceleration in growth reflects the impact of policy measures and geopolitical tensions, including travel restrictions and the temporary ban on large portable electronic devices. Traffic actually declined 0.1% year-on-year in December, but this may reflect volatility in data.
  • North American airlines had their fastest demand growth since 2011, with full-year traffic rising 5.0% compared to 2017, an increase from 4.7% annual growth in 2017. Here too, however, demand growth slackened noticeably in the last two quarters. This may be owing to increasing concerns over the US economic outlook and trade tensions with China. Capacity climbed 3.7%, and load factor edged up 1.0 percentage point to 82.6%, second highest among the regions. 
  • Latin American airlines’ traffic climbed 6.9% in 2018, a slowdown compared to 8.8% annual growth in 2017. Capacity rose 7.7% and load factor dipped 0.6 percentage point to 81.8%. Traffic was affected by the mid-year general strikes in Brazil as well as by political and economic developments in some of the region’s other key economies.
  • African airlines saw 2018 traffic rise 6.5% compared to 2017, which was an increase compared to 6.0% annual growth in 2017. The strong performance took place in spite of the mixed economic backdrop of the continent’s largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa. Capacity rose 4.4%, and load factor jumped 1.4 percentage points to 71.0%.

 

Domestic Passenger Markets


DECEMBER 2018 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR)WORLD SHARE1RPKASKPLF (%-PT)2PLF (LEVEL)3
Domestic 36.0% 5.0% 6.3% -0.9% 81.2%
Dom. Australia 0.9% -1.8% -0.8% -0.8% 80.5%
Domestic Brazil 1.1% 3.4% 2.3% 0.9% 84.3%
Dom. China P.R. 9.5% 7.3% 9.8% -1.9% 80.8%
Domestic India 1.6% 10.0% 16.5% -5.0% 84.5%
Domestic Japan 1.0% 4.7% 1.9% 1.8% 68.8%
Dom. Russian Fed 1.4% 11.4% 11.6% -0.1% 78.8%
Domestic US 14.1% 3.8% 4.9% -0.9% 82.8%

 

Domestic air travel climbed 7.0% last year, which was unchanged from the rate in 2017. All markets showed annual growth, led by India and China, which both posted double-digit annual increases. Capacity rose 6.8% and load factor was 83.0%, up 0.2% percentage point compared to 2017. 

  • India’s domestic market posted the fastest full-year domestic growth rate for the fourth consecutive year, with an 18.6% annual demand increase. Domestic demand is underpinned by robust economic expansion and increasing numbers of city pairs.
  • Australia represented the opposite picture, as annual traffic rose just 1.4%, although this was a slight increase over the rate of 2017.

The Bottom Line

“Aviation continued to demonstrate why it is the Business of Freedom in 2018. We safely transported more than 4.3 billion passengers. These people used air connectivity to conduct trade and business, reunite with friends and loved ones, explore the world, and, in some cases even to begin new lives. Aviation makes the modern world possible, but we depend on borders that are open to people and trade to be effective. In 2019, we will be strong advocates against a rising tide of protectionism and trade conflict, so that the Business of Freedom can continue to do its part to make the world a more prosperous and happier place,” said de Juniac.

 

Tornos
  1. 19/02 10:04

    Cyprus’ residents trips abroad grow by 11% in January 2019

  2. 19/02 09:59

    Eminent US archaeologist wants Parthenon marbles return to Greece

  3. 19/02 09:52

    Athens Benaki Museum Pireos opens its architectural archives to children

  4. 19/02 09:48

    Tourist arrivals to Cyprus up by 8% in January 2019 due to rise in UK flow

  5. 19/02 09:42

    Scoot: Flights from Australia to Greece for only $299

  6. 19/02 09:35

    Athens-based company presents Euripides-inspired play to London theatre

  7. 19/02 09:29

    The Telegraph: Foreign Airbnb golden visa investors booting Greek tenants

  8. 19/02 09:23

    Climbing Tourism: Female expedition to plant Greek flag on Mount Everest

  9. 19/02 08:55

    Ancient Greek phisosopher Aristotle: Pursuit of happiness not a destination but a journey

  10. 19/02 08:47

    City Break report: Athens can be a changed city by the 2021

  11. 19/02 08:42

    Medical Tourism: Greek-Australian philanthropist donates $500,000 for health care

  12. 19/02 08:33

    Ten Athens eateries distinguished at FNL Best Restaurants awards

  13. 19/02 08:28

    Expression of interest for "Thriassion II" logistics park near Athens to take place in March

  14. 19/02 08:22

    Report: Real estate market growth can boost the Greek economy

  15. 19/02 08:13

    Greece’s top-10 archaelogical discoveries during the last decade

  16. 18/02 10:16

    AHEPA welcomes Congress support for United States-Greek relations

  17. 18/02 10:12

    Undeclared work decreased significantly in Greece during 2018

  18. 18/02 10:08

    BBC radio provides translation of quintessential Greek words

  19. 18/02 10:00

    Video of Good Samaritan saving stranded sea turtle in Crete goes viral

  20. 18/02 09:56

    International tender for casino at Helleniko site on the horizon

  21. 18/02 09:52

    "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo to play for Greece in FIBA World Cup

  22. 18/02 09:48

    Concession contract for Crete's new Kasteli Airport to be inked by end of February

  23. 18/02 09:40

    InSETE report records 7% drop in air seats to Greece after several years of rises

  24. 18/02 09:35

    Saudi Arabian Airlines launches new Riyadh-Athens flight connection on June 5

  25. 18/02 09:28

    Juncker expresses condolences for iconic Greek "Baker of Kos" passing

  26. 18/02 09:22

    Book on Google promotes direct hotel reservations in more European markets

  27. 18/02 09:12

    AP: Hundreds stranded as British carrier Flybmi collapses due to fuel cost and Brexit

  28. 18/02 09:07

    EU Commissioner Cretu in Ancient Olympia: Greece has ingredients and tools for success

  29. 18/02 09:01

    Movie Tourism: Cyprus joins race to attract filmmakers for shooting

  30. 18/02 08:52

    Visitors and revenues to Greek museums and sites rise in first ten months of 2018

  31. 17/02 13:06

    Athens airport concession contract extension approved by Greek Parliament

  32. 17/02 12:44

    Award-winning Australian writer Hannah Kent to visit Athens and Thessaloniki

  33. 17/02 12:37

    First Energy Leadership Summit to be held in Athens in June

  34. 17/02 10:20

    Road rules restricting use of vintage cars amended in Greece

  35. 16/02 22:40

    AHI President visits Greece and Cyprus for series of meetings and events

  36. 16/02 22:36

    US government offices in Greece to stay closed on Monday, February 18

  37. 16/02 22:26

    Norwegian Air offering summer deals with $159 one-way to Athens

  38. 16/02 22:13

    Thessaloniki Regional Forum hosts three-day event with Balkan agenda

  39. 16/02 20:44

    Folk Tourism: Greeks mark arrival of Spring with ancient tradition of Martis

  40. 16/02 18:32

    Cyprus Religious Tourism: Spiritual leaders urge churches' restoration

  41. 16/02 16:22

    Athens Half Marathon to take place on March 17

  42. 16/02 12:10

    Mountain professionals gather in Germany to seek their way to the top

  43. 16/02 10:06

    Greek banks: Deal on first home protection a positive step

  44. 15/02 23:57

    Cabinet greenlights changes in Cyprus Investment Program

  45. 15/02 23:50

    Greek “Blessings and Vows” wins best documentary awards

  46. 15/02 23:38

    Greek Minister stands firm on realizing Crete-Attica power connection

  47. 15/02 23:13

    The Hellenic Initiative supports “Agigma Zois” with a $17,000 grant

  48. 15/02 22:19

    iMEdD marks launch with a 24-hour program of events in Athens (video)

  49. 15/02 21:07

    Thessaloniki Metro's trial operation to commence soon

  50. 15/02 19:23

    Six major motorway projects underway in Greece during the next 5 years

  51. 15/02 19:02

    Ancient Greek tragedy "Agamemnon" at the National Theatre of China

  52. 15/02 17:04

    Greek supermarkets to record turnover growth of 1.5% from last year

  53. 15/02 15:59

    Greek MPs back separation of president's election from dissolution of Parliament

  54. 15/02 13:50

    AP report: Seven arrests for counterfeit cash targeting tourism in Greece

  55. 15/02 13:09

    Prince Charles supports more than 2,200 young unemployed people in Greece

  56. 15/02 13:01

    Greece selects Katerine Duska for Eurovision Song Contest 2019

  57. 15/02 12:31

    Greek violin workshops presented in Tarpon Springs, Florida

  58. 15/02 11:21

    Athens to welcome carnival season with event in Plaka on Sunday

  59. 14/02 23:00

    New documentary on Giannis Antetokoumpo’s fascinating career (video)

  60. 14/02 22:52

    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki cooperates with historic foundations

  61. 14/02 22:20

    New UNWTO report: Walking tourism promotes regional development

  62. 14/02 21:41

    62% rise in US air travel demand in next 20 years

  63. 14/02 20:32

    Fashion meets cinema at 1st Athens Fashion Film Festival on February 25-27

  64. 14/02 18:01

    Pet Tourism: Young Greek man in Crete dedicates his life to stray dogs

  65. 14/02 17:09

    City Break: Saint Valentine’s evening out in Athens costs nearly €70

  66. 14/02 16:49

    MasterCard: Contactless transactions in Greece grew 3,662% since 2016

  67. 14/02 16:41

    Media: ExxonMobil to announce huge discovery in Cyprus's plot 10 next week

  68. 14/02 16:18

    Ferry service to resume from Greek ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio on Friday

  69. 14/02 15:34

    Greeks in UK will have to travel to EU countries to vote in European elections

  70. 14/02 14:28

    Exiled Turks fleeing Erdogan regime find new lives in Greece

  71. 14/02 12:54

    IMTM: More than 700,000 Israelis to visit Greece in 2019

  72. 14/02 12:53

    Europarliament event on rebuilding Korakou Bridge to take place in Athens

  73. 14/02 12:03

    Main opposition leader repeats pledge for private universities in Greece

  74. 14/02 10:29

    AP report: Penguins celebrating Valentine’s Day with red felt hearts

  75. 13/02 23:43

    World’s largest espionage headquarters opens in Berlin after 12 years

  76. 13/02 23:38

    Mars One goes bankrupt ending private planet colonization project

  77. 13/02 23:37

    Giannis Antetokounmpo holds baby during entire TV interview (video)

  78. 13/02 22:53

    The story behind an ‘Olympic Airways’ plane resting in an Oregon forest

  79. 13/02 22:43

    Athina Onassis to visit Greece for equestrian event after 12-year absence

  80. 13/02 22:33

    Countdown for Cosco's €500 million master plan for Piraeus Port in Greece

  81. 13/02 21:44

    Tourist regions boost construction sector in Greece

  82. 13/02 21:28

    Thessaloniki Documentary Festival organizers announce Greek film lineup

  83. 13/02 19:26

    10 Greek startups participate in Infacoma 2019 exhibition

  84. 13/02 15:02

    Melbourne prepares for Lonsdale Street Greek Festival on February 23-24

  85. 13/02 14:52

    Strong winds keep ships docked at ports across Greece

  86. 13/02 13:55

    Athens Acropolis Museum presents scholars of Ottoman Archives

  87. 13/02 12:39

    Crete University researchers win prize for stroke response platform

  88. 13/02 10:18

    Giannis Antetokounmpo stars in Aegean Airlines commercial (video)

  89. 13/02 02:40

    Air France to connect Athens and Heraklion to French airports this summer

  90. 13/02 01:56

    Greek port of Piraeus signs deal with Italian ports of Venice and Chioggia

  91. 13/02 01:35

    Airline seat planning for flights to Greece stalls after years of soaring

  92. 13/02 01:29

    CERN chief: Cooperation with Greece can be developed further

  93. 13/02 01:08

    Green main opposition leader meets representatives of German firms

  94. 12/02 23:17

    German Rail DB launches ‘world’s fastest laboratory’ test train

  95. 12/02 23:05

    Procedures for changing signs and passports underway in Skopje

  96. 12/02 22:44

    Greek 'super fund' eyes state-run enterprises in its portfolio

  97. 12/02 20:06

    Religious Tourism: ‘Church’ of scientology sets shop in central Athens

  98. 12/02 20:03

    Aegean Airlines cancels February 13 flight to Brussels due to strike in Belgium

  99. 12/02 19:57

    'Airbnb-effect' cited for strong demand and price rises in certain Greek neighborhoods

  100. 12/02 18:21

    Media: Decisions on borrowers' main residences protection expected next week