March Passenger Demand Remains Robust

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for March 2015 showing demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 7,4% compared to March 2014. This was an improvement on February, when year-over-year growth was 6,4%.

The acceleration in the year-on-year comparison reflects the residual impact of the February Lunar New Year celebrations, which tend to boost leisure travel in the weeks before and after the holiday. In 2014, the holiday occurred at the end of January. However, underlying traffic trends confirm demand remains robust. March capacity rose 5,6% and load factor climbed 1,3 percentage points to 80%. Domestic markets experienced ger growth than international markets, but both performed well.

“March traffic continues the trend of healthy demand for travel. We may, however, see a softening of demand in the second quarter. There are signs that regional trade activity in Asia-Pacific may be slowing and Eurozone economic weakness continues to disappoint,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

March international passenger traffic rose 7% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity climbed 5,4% and load factor increased 1,2 percentage points to 78,9%. All regions recorded year-over increases in demand except for Africa.

African airlines endured another month of declining demand, as traffic dropped 1,1% in March compared to a year ago. The weakness reflects aerse economic developments in parts of the continent including Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, which is suffering from the collapse in oil prices. Accompanying cuts in capacity of 3,2%, pushed load factor upwards 1,4 percentage points to 65,7%, still the lowest among the regions.

“The devastating earthquake in Nepal has gripped the world’s attention. It also has highlighted aviation’s vital role. Airlines help transport the responders who perform their heroic efforts in bringing food, medical supplies and equipment to those in need. All our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this disaster and to those who are working around the clock to deliver hope and aid,” said Tyler.

Source : The Namibian