January Demand Shows Further
- Industry to Remain
in the Red For 2010 -
Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA)
today announced that January 2010 demand for international scheduled air traffic
showed continuing improvement. Compared to the previous year, January
passenger demand was up 6.4%. Against this improving demand, a 1.2%
increase in passenger capacity in January pushed load factors to 75.9% (up
from the 72.2% recorded for January 2009).
International cargo demand showed a 28.3% improvement with
only a 3.7% increase in capacity. This pushed the cargo load factor to
49.6% which is a significant change from the 40.1% recorded in January
The large increases in year-on-year comparisons reflect a
steady improvement from the precipitous fall in demand that characterized
the early part of 2009 rather than a dramatic improvement in January.
Compared to December 2009, and adjusting for seasonal variations, passenger
demand grew by 0.5% while air freight volumes increased by 3.0%.
“Airlines have lost 2-3 years of growth. Demand is moving in
the right direction. The 3.0% increase in freight volumes from December to
January is particularly encouraging. We can start to see the future with some
cautious optimism, but better volumes do not necessarily mean better
profits. Passenger yields are still 15% below peak. And we expect 2010
losses to be US$5.6 billion,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director
General and CEO.
There are large geographical differences in the
improvements. The strongest upturns have been seen in markets where
economic recovery from the recession has been strongest—Asia, Latin America
and the Middle East.
International Passenger Demand
Compared to the low point in the cycle (February 2009) international
passenger traffic is up 8.6%. The market has not yet recovered from the
losses of 2008 and early 2009. Demand must improve by a further 2% to
return to the peak levels of early 2008.
- Asia-Pacific carriers experienced a 6.5% increase
in demand compared to the previous year. Of the improvement in demand
seen since the early 2009 low point, 31% has been realized by carriers
in the region which is leading the global economic recovery.
- Carriers in North America and Europe saw demand
increase by 2.1% and 3.1%, respectively. Although both regions have
gained 6% from the early 2009 lows, they remain 4-6% below the early
2008 peak levels. This reflects the jobless recovery from the recession
in which consumers are focused on paying down debt.
- Middle Eastern carriers grew throughout the
recession. Growth accelerated to 23.6% in January.
- Latin American carriers saw demand increase by 11%
in January on the back of a strong regional economy.
- African carriers recorded a 6.3% improvement in
January, assisted by robust regional economic activity.
Compared to the low point in the cycle (December 2008 - January 2009),
international freight traffic has regained about 28%. This is still
3-4% below the early 2008 peak level.
- The sharp improvement in air freight, which
accelerated to 3.0% in January compared to December, is being driven
by businesses re-stocking depleted inventories. This part of the
inventory cycle will not last much longer. Durable air freight growth
will require consumers to start buying again and businesses to return
to making investments. While these improvements are beginning to be
seen in Asia, Europe and North America lag behind.
- With an 11.6% improvement in January compared to
the previous year, carriers in Europe stand out for their sluggish
demand recovery. Freight volumes are only 7% above the December 2008
low and 15% below the cycle peak.
“We are starting to see some encouraging signs in demand,
albeit with large differences among the regions. Unfortunately, the
constraints of the archaic bilateral system limit airlines from being able
to respond as normal businesses to market opportunities. Political borders
limit opportunities for consolidation. And we still require governments to
negotiate open markets,” said Bisignani.
Under the auspices of IATA’s Agenda for Freedom initiative,
in November 2009, seven governments (Chile, Malaysia, Panama, Singapore,
Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States) and the
European Commissions signed a multilateral statement of policy principles
focused on liberalization of the air transport industry. Premised on
maintaining a level playing field, the policy principles support
liberalization of ownership, market access and pricing. Its latest impact
can be seen in the recent signing of an open skies bilateral agreement
between Panama and Colombia.
“With each open skies bilateral, we take a step in the right
direction. Recovering from the years of lost growth as a result of this
crisis is a long and hard journey. Governments should not make it any more
difficult by maintaining policies that restrict airlines ability to do
business,” said Bisignani.
full January traffic results
- IATA -
For more information, please contact:
Director Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 22 770 2967
Notes for Editors:
New Data Collection
- Starting from January 2010, the traffic statistics
now include low cost carriers and estimates for non-reporting
airlines. As IATA member airlines carry 93% of international
traffic measured by RPKs, this change does not make a large difference
in the statistics. View FY
2009 vs. FY 2008 table (pdf)
- There is very little impact on air freight but the total
market in international air travel shows a slightly smaller decline in
2009 than for RPKs carried by IATA member airlines (-2.5% vs -3.5%),
mostly because of the growth of LCCs in Europe
- Other regional differences
- African airlines now show a smaller decline
because of the inclusion of North African airlines who did better in
2009 that the Sub-Saharan African airlines
- Inclusion of relatively faster-growing recent
entrant airlines in Asia-Pacific has reduced the passenger traffic
decline in this region by a relatively modest amount.
monthly growth rates for total international traffic for 2009 (pdf)
based on the new data collection methodology
- IATA (International Air Transport Association)
represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international
- Explanation of measurement terms:
- RPK: Revenue Passenger Kilometres measures actual
- ASK: Available Seat Kilometres measures available
- PLF: Passenger Load Factor is % of ASKs used. In
comparison of 2009 to 2008, PLF indicates point differential between
the periods compared
- FTK: Freight Tonne Kilometres measures actual
- AFTK: Available Freight Tonne Kilometres measures
available total freight capacity
- FLF: Freight Load Factor is % of AFTKs used
- International passenger traffic market shares by
region in terms of RPK are: Europe 36.2%, Asia-Pacific 29.7%, North
America 14.5%, Middle East 10.9%, Latin America 5.1%, Africa 3.6%
- International freight traffic market shares by
region in terms of FTK are: Asia-Pacific 45.1%, Europe 24.3%, North
America 15.9%, Middle East 10.5%, Latin America 2.9%, Africa 1.3%
- 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.