Airline travel rose by 6% in 2016

Published on : Monday, January 9, 2017

airline business travel  (2)According to the International Civil Aviation Organization or ICAO, a large number of people had travelled via airlines last year, and the growth was mainly attributed to low-cost carriers.


ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nation that oversee the international civil aviation standards.


The agency said in its official statement that there were nearly 3.7 billion people who had taken a scheduled flight in the year 2016. This was a figure that was 6% better as compared to the previous year.


The revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs that is used to calculate the passengers who bought airline ticket relative to the distance that they travelled, hit the mark of 7,015 billion RPKs. The figure marked a 6.3% rise from 2015, but it was slower than the 7.1% growth that had been recorded in 2014.


ICAO said that the above conditions along with the cheaper cost of oil has also helped the profitability of the airline in the year 2016.


In 2016, the airline industry had witnessed a profit of $60 billion that was an increase from $58 billion the previous year. ICAO also added that the industry-wide operating margin was quite stable at 8%. For a consecutive year, over one-third of the profits are believed to come from the carriers of North America.


The domestic market represents about 66% of the total operations, as revealed by ICAO.


It also added that improving the economic conditions that have been forecast by the World Bank would also observe a greater air traffic growth and air carrier profitability momentum, in 2017.


Also, the low-cost carriers, known as budget airlines have been widening their reach all across the world.


ICAO said that about a billion passengers representing 28% of the world’s total passenger traffic were served by low-cost carriers.


Budget airlines in Europe accounted for about 32%. It was followed by Asia-Pacific and North America that accounted for 31% and 25% respectively. ICAO said that even though the economic conditions were weak, the global passenger traffic continued to grow, strengthened by lower air fares because of lower  air fares as a result of the slump in oil prices.


The load factor that measures the capacity utilization of an airline was down last year.


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