KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Global passenger traffic rose 9.5 per cent, year-on-year, (y-o-y) in March 2018, its fastest pace within 12 months, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Capacity grew 6.4 per cent, y-o-y, and the load factor climbed 2.3 percentage points to 82.4 per cent y-o-y, tracking the record high set in February 2018.
IATA Director-General and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said demand for air travel remained strong, supported by the comparatively healthy economic backdrop and business confidence levels.
“While we still expect 2018 to be another year of above-trend growth for industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), we forecast a moderation in full-year passenger growth compared to 2017.
“This is mainly because increases in airline input costs — notably fuel prices but also labour costs in some cases — means that we expect to see a reduced boost to demand from lower airfares in 2018 than we have in recent years,” IATA said.
It said Asia Pacific-based airlines posted a double-digit annual international RPK growth for the first time in five months, registering 11.6 per cent, up from 9.4 per cent in February 2018.
“Passenger traffic is continuing to trend upwards, supported by robust regional economic growth and ongoing expansion in options for travellers,” it added. — Bernama