Asia leads August
Hanoi - The International Air
Transport Association (IATA) released international traffic data for
August that confirmed a continuing downturn.
International passenger demand growth slowed to 1.3%,
following disappointing growth of 1.9% in July. Passenger load factors
fell to 79.2% a sharp drop-off from the 81% recorded during the same
period last year as capacity growth outpaced demand.
International freight traffic saw its third consecutive
month of contraction with a 2.7% decline following drops of 1.9% in July
and 0.8% in June.
“Passenger traffic grew by 5.4% in the first half
of the year. That slowed to 1.9% in July and 1.3% in August. The contrast
between the first half of the year and the last two months is stark,” said
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “The slowdown has
been so sudden that airlines can’t adjust capacity quickly enough. While
the drop in the oil price is welcome relief on the cost side, fuel remains
30% higher than a year ago. And with traffic growth continuing to decline,
the industry is still heading for a US$5.2 billion loss this year.”
has declined for the past three months, led by Asia Pacific carriers that
posted a 6.5% decline in July and a 6.8% decline in August. “Airlines
carry 35% by value of the goods traded internationally. The three-month
decline - led by weakness in Asia-Pacific markets - is a clear indication
that global trade is slowing down. This shows that the impact of the
financial crisis is broad geographically and will worsen before it gets
better,” said Bisignani.
Asia Pacific carriers reported a 3.1% contraction,
following a 0.5% decline in July. Economic distortions surrounding the
Olympics in China and a weakening Japanese economic outlook contributed
to the decline. While some recovery in this weak performance is expected
in coming months, clearly the region’s economies are feeling the impact
of the turmoil in the financial markets.
Eastern carriers saw traffic growth drop to 4.3% following 5.3% in July
and well below the 10.6% growth recorded during the first 6 months of
international passenger traffic carried by North American airlines
accelerated from 4.2% growth in July to 5.2% in August, in Latin America
from 8.1% to 11.9% and in Europe from 1.3% to 1.6%.
usually the second strongest month of the year, but the 79.2% load
factor achieved was 1.8% points lower than last year although scheduled
capacity is planned to slow very sharply to the point where it barely
grows by the end of the year.
decline in international freight shipped by carriers in the Asia Pacific
region had the greatest impact as they comprise 45% of the global air
big market players also showed weakness. European carriers experienced a
0.9% decline, while US carriers reported weak growth of 0.8%.
declines in freight traffic in Latin America (-13.2%) reflect
restructuring in Brazil with cuts in capacity.
crisis is deepening and no region is immune. Urgent measures are needed.
From taxation to charges and operational efficiencies, all areas impacting
the business must be examined for ways to reduce costs and drive
efficiencies. It’s a matter of survival,” said Bisignani.
noted significant progress in Brazil where a Presidential approval for the
removal of a fuel tax for international flights was published on 26
September. “After a two-year campaign, this is great news and the US$411
million savings over the next four years could not be better timed. The
challenge is for other governments to follow Brazil’s example, conform
with global standards and free the industry of crazy taxation. This is
particularly true of India. Its carriers will post the largest losses
outside of the US - US$1.5 billion this year - and they are being crippled
by enormous taxation on fuel, particularly in domestic markets,” said
full August traffic results
Notes for editors:
(International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines
comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.
of measurement terms:
Revenue Passenger Kilometres measures actual passenger traffic
Available Seat Kilometres measures available passenger capacity
Passenger Load Factor is % of ASKs used. In comparison of 2008 to
2007, PLF indicates point differential between the periods compared
Freight Tonne Kilometres measures actual freight traffic
Available Tonne Kilometres measures available total capacity (combined
passenger and cargo)
statistics cover international scheduled air traffic; domestic traffic
is not included.
are provisional and represent total reporting at time of publication
plus estimates for missing data. Historic figures may be revised.
International passenger traffic market shares by region in
terms of RPK are: Europe 32.8%, Asia Pacific 31.4%, North America 19.2%,
Middle East 9.2%, Latin America 4.4%, Africa 2.3%
International freight traffic market shares by region in
terms of FTK are: Asia Pacific 44.7%, Europe 27.2%, North America 17.2%,
Middle East 7.7%, Latin America 2.1%, Africa 1.1%