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Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO

  ASSOCIATION NEWS

IATA PEGS RPK GROWTH AT 6.3% IN 2016

T

he International Air Transport Association (IATA) in early February announced full-year global revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) increased 6.3% compared to 2015, or 6.0% if adjusted for the leap year. IATA says the growth is well ahead of the 10-year average annual growth rate of 5.5%. Capacity rose 6.2% compared to 2015, pushing the load factor up 0.1 percentage points to a record full-year average high of 80.5%. Driving the increase was a strong performance in December with an 8.8% rise in demand outstripping 6.6% capacity growth. In 2016, IATA reported that airlines added 700 new routes and few 3.7 billion passengers flew safely to their destination. IATA’s breakdown by region follows: Asia Pacific carriers recorded a demand increase of 8.3% compared to 2015. IATA said the pace is considerably ahead of the five-year growth average of 6.9%. Capacity rose 7.7%, pushing up the load factor 0.4 percentage points to 78.6%. European carriers’ international traffic climbed 4.8% in 2016. Capacity rose 5.0% with a load factor of 82.8%. Passenger volumes have been increasing at an average of 15% year-over-year since June, easily compensating for a slight decline over the first six months of 2016. North American airlines saw demand increase 2.6% in 2016. Most of the growth occurred in the second quarter, and traffic has been strongest on Pacific routes. Capacity rose 3.3%, reducing the load factor by 0.5 percentage points to 81.3%. Middle East carriers had the strongest regional annual traffic growth for

58  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2017

the fifth year in a row. RPKs expanded 11.8%. Capacity growth grew 13.7% continued to outstrip demand, with the result that the load factor fell 1.3 percentage points to 74.7%. Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 7.4% in 2016. Capacity rose 4.8% and load factor strengthened by 1.9 percentage points to 81.3%. International traffic from Latin America remains very healthy despite some economic and political uncertainty in the region’s largest market, Brazil.   African airlines had their best growth performance since 2012, up 7.4%. Growth is being underpinned by strong demand on routes to/from Asia and the Middle East. Capacity exactly matched demand, with the result that the load factor remained flat at 67.7%. Domestic air travel rose 5.7% in 2016. Capacity rose 5.1% and load factor was 82.2%, up 0.5 percentage points over 2015. All major markets except Brazil showed growth, but India and China, with RPK expansion of 23.3% and 11.7% respectively, were the standout performers. “And the four billion people who will travel by air this year are an opportunity to build an even better world through the positive impacts of globalization— mutual understanding, innovation and business opportunities among them,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Aviation is the business of freedom. And we must defend its social and economic benefits from barriers to travel and protectionist agendas.”

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PAX International AIX March/April 2017  
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