Thursday, July 4, 2013

● IATA: Africa's May Passenger Traffic continues strong growth as Cargo continues to flatline.

IATAThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for May 2013 with the global air travel industry continuing its April growth momentum with emerging markets, among them Africa and the Middle East, showing the strongest potential. Compared to the same period last year, overall demand rose 5.6%, while capacity climbed 5.2% pushing the load factor up 0.3 percentage points to 78.1%. Figures for global air cargo markets show that growth has continued to flatline in May, Africa included, broadly following the trend of the last 18 months. 

IATA Passenger Growth Data May 2013
IATA Passenger Growth Data May 2013
IATA Passenger Growth Data May 2013 (IATA)
"Global economic performance remains a concern; however, demand for air travel continues to expand. The primary driver is growing demand for connectivity to emerging markets. The business environment has also improved compared to mid-2012 with some indications of easing weakness in the Eurozone. It's still a tough environment, but there are some reasons for optimism in the second half of the year," said Tony Tyler, IATA's Director General and CEO.
May international passenger demand rose 5.7% compared to the year-ago period, with capacity up 5.6%. Load factor was flat at 77.0%. The strongest growth occurred in the emerging markets of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. 

The cargo sector was not so rosy.

Global freight tonne kilometers increased just 0.8% in May compared to a year ago. Capacity, however, increased by 2.1% causing load factors to fall to 44.9% - their lowest level since the post crisis recovery. As about 40% of global air cargo utilizes capacity in the belly of passenger aircraft, managing capacity at a time when growth in air travel is outpacing that of cargo is particularly challenging.

The stall in cargo markets appears to be the result of a recent softening in growth in developing economies, including China. Moreover, business confidence is flat globally and declining in some developing economies, meaning chances of a significant upturn in the near future is unlikely.

In terms of the International Passenger Markets, African Airlines' traffic climbed 9.8% in May, the second highest among the regions behind the Middle East. In addition to responding to expanding trade volumes, African carriers are also benefiting from a sustained increase in trade through developing links to Asia and the Middle East, as well as from strong GDP growth in local economies, particularly in Western Africa. Capacity rose 7.4% in May, raising load factor 1.4 percentage points to 66.2%. 

Despite buoyant Middle Eastern economies as well as a resurgent West Africa driving demand for high-value consumer goods, African carrier's freight haulage grew by just 0.2% in May. Growth on routes connected to the Middle East and Asia has more than offset the decline in demand for African goods from European markets.

Download the full May 2013 Global Passenger Traffic Report here.
Download the full May 2013 Global Cargo Traffic Report here.