Rising fuel prices slow airline passenger growth in September
The International Air Transport Association has announced global passenger traffic results for September showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometres, or RPKs) rose 5.5 per cent compared to the same month in 2017.
This was a slowdown from the 6.4 per cent growth recorded in August year-over-year. Capacity climbed 5.8 per cent and load factor slipped for the first time in eight months, down 0.3 percentage point compared to the year-earlier period, to 81.4 per cent.
IATA estimated that impacts from severe hurricane and typhoon activity in September shaved around 0.1-0.2 percentage point off expected growth. However, even after accounting for these impacts, monthly traffic demand was below the 6.7 per cent year-to-date pace.
“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,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general.