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African airlines record 6.8% traffic surge



The International Air Transport Association (IATA), has announced global passenger traffic data for August 2018 showing that African airlines’ traffic demand climbed 6.8 per cent.

On the overall, traffic climbed 6.4 per cent compared to the year-ago period. This was slightly above the 6.1 per cent annual increase for July.

August capacity increased by 5.5 per cent, and load factor climbed 0.7 per cent percentage point to 85.3 per cent, which was the highest for any month since at least 1990.

While the African traffic demand was a slowdown from the 7.4 per cent growth recorded in July, IATA said that the bigger picture is that demand remains strong, despite an increasingly challenging environment in the continent’s largest economies.

South Africa slipped back into recession in the second quarter and business confidence in Nigeria has moderated in recent months.

Capacity rose 3.8 per cent, and load factor surged 2.2 percentage points to 78.2 per cent.

IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac, said the industry experienced continued strong traffic growth in August, putting the cap on a very good peak travel season.

“The all-time record load factor reflects that airlines are maximising the efficiency of their assets at a time of rising fuel prices and other costs that are limiting the opportunities for low fare stimulation,” de Juniac said.

August international passenger demand rose 5.6 per cent compared to August 2017, in line with 5.5 per cent year-over-year growth achieved in July.

All regions recorded increases, led by airlines in the Asia-Pacific region. Capacity climbed 5.1 per cent, and load factor edged up 0.4 percentage point to 85.0 per cent.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ August traffic increased 7.5 per cent compared to the year-ago period, which was an acceleration compared to a 7.2 per cent rise in July.

Capacity rose 6.1 per cent and load factor rose 1.1 percentage points to 82.6 per cent.

The upward trend in passenger traffic remains very strong, supported by structural changes, including ongoing rises in living standards in the region, as well as more route options for passengers that translate into time savings and ultimately stimulate demand.

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