International passenger traffic rose 6.7 percent in August, with all regions showing growth over the previous year, according to the global passenger traffic results for August released recently by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
According to the data, total revenue passenger kilometers increased 5.9 percent compared to August 2013, which was above the 5.4 percent year-over-year increase recorded in July. August capacity climbed 5.5 percent and the load factor stood at 83.9 percent, which is a 0.3 percentage point rise over August 2013.
“August was a good month right across the industry. All regions reported an expansion in demand for air travel. And load factors were high, reflecting the fact that August is peak travel season in the Northern hemisphere,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
However, Mr. Tyler added that caution is necessary for potential downside risks.
“European travel, for example, continues to show robust growth… But it remains a question how long the robust trend in passenger travel can continue in light of the continent’s increasingly worrying economic outlook,” Mr. Tyler said.
European carriers’ international traffic climbed 6.8 percent in August compared to the year-ago period. Carriers based in the region are experiencing strong demand despite the economic difficulties in the Eurozone. Sanctions related to the Russia-Ukraine crisis are among the factors having a dampening effect on key European economies including Germany. Capacity was up six percent pushing load factor to 86.9 percent, which is 0.6 percentage points above previous-August levels.
IATA’s data also showed that domestic demand rose 4.5 percent in August compared to August 2013 with all markets reporting growth, led by Russia and India. Domestic capacity climbed 3.4 percent and load factor rose 0.9 percentage points to 83.4 percent.
In addition, IATA underlined that the continuing Ebola crisis took on a new dimension with the first confirmed diagnosis of Ebola in the United States. IATA is closely coordinating with the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO evaluates the risk of Ebola transmission occurring on an aircraft as “very low.” WHO also continues to recommend against travel restrictions and border closures.