Growth Hits Five-Year Low
Geneva - The International Air Transport
Association (IATA) released international traffic data for June that
showed a continued slowing of demand growth for air transport. Cargo
contracted by 0.8% compared to June 2007. Passenger demand growth fell to
3.8%, the lowest level since 2003. Passenger load factors dropped to
77.6%, 1.2 percentage points below the 78.8% recorded for June
“The global economic turbulence clearly shows in the 0.8% drop in
freight volumes compared to last year. Although the passenger demand grew
by 3.8%, this is the slowest growth that we have seen since the industry
was hit by the SARS crisis in 2003. With consumer and business confidence
falling and sky-high oil prices, the situation will get a lot worse,” said
Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA.
- Global passenger traffic growth of 3.8% is well below
the 5.4% recorded year-to-date.
- Capacity growth of 5.5% outstripped demand, pushing the
passenger load factor down to 77.6%
- North American airlines saw demand
growth drop to 4.4% (sharply down from the 8.2% growth recorded in May).
Domestic traffic in the US contracted by almost 4%.
- European airlines saw demand drop to
2.1% (compared to 4.1% in May). Declines in business confidence and
industrial production in key European economies may well drive this
- Asia Pacific airlines saw their
international passenger traffic growth fall to 3.2% in June from 4.5% in
May, influenced by weakening long haul destination economies and
- Middle Eastern carriers saw their
traffic growth slow to 9.6% June from 12.8% in May. This is sharply down
from the 18.1% recorded in June 2007.
- Latin American carriers turned in the
strongest performance with 12.5% growth. Strong commodity-driven
economic growth in Latin America is the driving force.
- International freight traffic declined -0.8% in June.
This is the first decline seen since May 2005 and follows several months
of falling manufacturing sector confidence indicators.
- Asia Pacific airlines led the
contraction with a -4.8% year-on-year decline for June traffic.
- Latin American airlines recorded the
largest contraction (12.7%) as the region’s cargo sector continues to
re-structure its capacity.
- European carriers saw freight demand
growth fall to 0.7% in June from 1.4% in May.
- North American carriers also saw
freight demand growth slow to 4.0% in June from 4.6% in May.
- Middle Eastern carriers delivered the
strongest performance with 12.1% growth (up slightly from the 10.7%
recorded in May).
- African airlines recorded a -1.9%
year-on-year decline in June.
“The airline sector is in trouble. Losses this year could
reach US$6.1 billion, more than wiping out the US$5.6 billion that
airlines made in 2007. Falling demand and rising costs are re-shaping the
industry,” said Bisignani. “To survive the crisis, urgent action is
needed. Airports and air navigation service providers must come to the
table with efficiencies that deliver cost savings. Labour must understand
that efficiency is the only path to job security. And governments must
stop crazy taxation and give airlines the freedom to merge and consolidate
where it makes business sense.”
View full June traffic results
- IATA -
Notes for Editors:
IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some
230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.
Explanation of measurement terms:
RPK: Revenue Passenger Kilometres measures actual passenger
ASK: Available Seat Kilometres measures available passenger
PLF: Passenger Load Factor is % of ASKs used. In comparison of
2008 to 2007, PLF indicates point differential between the periods
FTK: Freight Tonne Kilometres measures actual freight traffic
ATK: Available Tonne Kilometres measures available total
capacity (combined passenger and cargo)
IATA statistics cover international scheduled air traffic;
domestic traffic is not included.
All figures are provisional and represent total reporting at time
of publication plus estimates for missing data. Historic figures may be
revised from what was previously published.
International passenger traffic market shares by region in terms
of RPK are: Europe 32.8%, Asia Pacific 32.5%, North America 19.0%,
Middle East 9.1%, Latin America 4.4%, Africa 2.3%
International freight traffic market shares by region in terms of
FTK are: Asia Pacific 45.0%, Europe 27.3%, North America 16.9%, Middle
East 7.7%, Latin America 2.0%, Africa