Global Air Passenger Traffic Rose in August, Setting Load Factor Record
By Harvey Chipkin
Global passenger traffic demand rose 3.8 percent in August, above the 3.5 percent annual increase for July, according to the International Air Transport Association. August capacity increased by 3.5 percent, while load factor climbed 0.3 percent to 85.7 percent, a new monthly record, as airlines continue to maximize asset use. Alexandre de Juniac, CEO, said that while demand was up compared with July, growth remains below the long-term trend and well down from the roughly 8.5 percent annual growth seen over the period spanning 2016 to the first quarter of 2018. Nonetheless, he said, airlines are doing “a great job” of matching capacity to demand. The record load factor, he said, is good for overall efficiency and passengers’ individual carbon footprint. North American carriers’ international demand rose 2.5 percent compared with August a year ago, up from a 1.4 percent increase in July. Capacity rose 1.3 percent and load factor grew by 1 percentage point to 88.3 percent. While this was an improvement over July, it remains relatively soft compared to long-term norms, most likely reflecting trade tensions and slowing global demand.