In its latest market performance update, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) noted that global passenger traffic for September rose by 5.5%, as compared to the same period in 2017.
Equating to a slowdown compared to the 6.4% recorded in August year-over-year, IATA’s also reported a 5.8% increase in capacity, while load factors slipped down to 81.4%. In the case of the latter, this dip was the first in eight months, down a mere 0.3% point compared to the year-earlier period.
While the impact of severe hurricane and typhoon activity had some impact on air travel, reducing projected growth by 0.1 – 0.2 percentage points, monthly traffic demand was still below the 6.7% year-to-date projection.
Commenting on the global market’s performance, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “While September’s traffic growth was in line with the long-term average, it represents a moderation compared to recent months.
“This is likely owing to the anticipated reduced demand boost from lower airfares due to rising airline cost pressures, particularly fuel. Heightened uncertainty about trade policies and mounting protectionist policies may also be having an impact.”
In the Middle East, local carriers saw a 1.7% rise in demand, which equated to a four-month low. IATA attributed the meagre growth rate to notable developments in 2017, such as the ban of portable electronic devices in the cabin, as well as proposed travel bans to the US.
The association added that capacity for the region rose by 5.3%, while load factor dropped by 2.4 percentage points to reach 72.3%.