China And India Lead Airline Growth

Aside Africa, virtually all the continent's airlines from Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America and Latin America recorded appreciable traffic growth. Europe will provide the biggest increase in net income at a gain of $1.7 billion as travel continues to rebound from a spate of terrorist attacks and trans-Atlantic demand remains strong. "And we will see record load factors in 2018. something like 81.4 per cent".

Traffic has been heavily affected by the now-lifted ban on portable electronic devices, as well as from the proposed travel bans to the US.

October's performance, IATA said, was a strong bounce-back after the hurricane- related disruptions in September, adding that domestic and worldwide travel growth largely was in balance.

Capacity rose 5.2% and load factor dropped 1.1 percentage points to 79.2%.

IATA said there "continues to be indications" that inbound USA travel is being deterred by the additional security measures now involved when travelling to the country.

The forecast growth rates are slower than the 7.5% y-o-y seen in 2017 for passengers and the 9.3% cargo volume growth expected this year.

Yesterday, Ryanair said that its passenger numbers rose 6pc to 9.3 million in November, with its load factor one point higher at 96pc.

Global trade has also helped cargo operators, with an estimated 62.5 million tons of freight to be carried in 2018, constituting an increase of 4.5 percent from the 2017 forecast. "This reflects the nature of global travel in the region, which is predominantly short-haul and hence, highly price-sensitive".

African airlines' traffic grew 7.5% year-on-year in October, up from 3.6% in September.

"As expected, the recent severe weather in the Americas region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth", said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general.

The robust performance would equal the highs of 2015, led by three state-owned Chinese airlines and despite the difficulties faced by two of the region's most prominent carriers, Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines. Airlines saw traffic grow 7.5 percent, capacity 3.4 percent, and load factor increased 2.7 percent.

While the total number of reported incidents previous year actually fell by nearly 10 percent to 9,837, the portion that were deemed a higher risk increased from 2015. Domestic markets have strengthened in China, India and Japan.

  • Wendy Palmer