IATA: Passenger Demand Surges in April – Laptop Ban May Be Affecting Middle East-US Traffic

Published on : Thursday, June 1, 2017

Passenger DemandThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic data for April 2017 showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 10.7% compared to April 2016, which was the fastest pace in six years. April capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 7.1%, and load factor climbed 2.7 percentage points to 82.0%- a record for the month of April.

 

The strong performance is supported by a pick-up in global economic activity and lower airfares. After adjusting for inflation, the price of air travel in the first quarter was around 10% lower than in the year-ago period. IATA estimated that falling airfares accounted for around half the demand growth in April. However, the cabin ban on the carriage of large portable electronic devices (PEDs) from 10 Middle Eastern and African airports to the US appears to have weighed down Middle East-North America passenger traffic.

 

“April showed us that demand for air travel remains at very strong levels. Nevertheless there are indications that passengers are avoiding routes where the large PED ban is in place. As the US Department of Homeland Security considers expanding the ban, the need to find alternative measures to keep flying secure is critical. If the ban were extended to Europe-to-US flights, for example, we estimate a $1.4 billion hit on productivity. And an IATA-commissioned survey of business travelers indicated that 15% would seek to reduce their travel in the face of a ban,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

 

APR 2017 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market 100.0% 10.7% 7.1% 2.7% 82.0%
Africa 2.2% 15.4% 5.6% 6.2% 73.2%
Asia Pacific 32.9% 10.7% 8.1% 1.9% ​81.1%
Europe 26.4​% 14.0% 8.0% 4.4% 84.6%
Latin America 5.2% ​11.7% 6.4% ​3.9% ​81.7%
Middle East ​​9.6% 10.8% 9.1% 1.2% ​76.3%
North America 23.7% 6.7% 4.2% 2.0% 84.2%

​1. % of industry RPKs in 2016
2. Year-on-year change in load factor
3. Load factor level

International Passenger Markets

April international passenger demand rose 12.5% compared to April 2016, with all regions recording double-digit year-over-year traffic increases for the first time in 12 years. Total capacity climbed 7.7%, and load factor climbed 3.5 percentage points to 81.5%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Demand for domestic travel climbed 7.7% in April compared to April 2016, while capacity increased 6.2%, causing load factor to rise 1.2 percentage points to 83.0%. All markets reported demand increases with the exception of Australia, which showed a 2.1% decline.

 APR 2017 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic 36.3% 7.7% 6.2% 1.2​% 83.0%
Dom. Australia (4) 1.0% -2.1% -1.2% -​0.7% 76.5%
Dom. Brazil (4) 1.2% 3.0% 2.2% 0.6% ​79.9%
Dom. China P.R. (4) 8.7​% 12.7% 11.2% ​1.1% 84.6%
Dom. India (4) 1.3% 15.3% 13.5% 1.3% ​85.1%
Dom. Japan (4) ​​1.1% 6.6% 3.3% 2.1% 65.1%
Dom. Russian Fed (4) 1.3% 16.7% 16.2% 0.3​% ​78.7%
​Dom. USA (4) 14.9%​ 4.7% 3.2% 1.2% 85.6%​

 

(1) % of industry RPKs in 2016
(2) Year-on-year change in load factor
(3) Load factor level
(4) The seven domestic passenger markets for w hich broken-dow n data are available account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs

 

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