Air passenger market sees slower start in 2015

Growth in Europe reflected only among low-cost carriers
There has been a slower start to 2015, as global air travel was up 4.6% in January compared to a year ago, weaker than the 5.9% expansion in 2014, new analysis by the International Air Transport Association shows. But this does not necessarily imply the beginning of weakness in an otherwise robust growth trend, IATA stressed.
International revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) were up 5.4% in January compared to the same month a year ago. This is below the 10-year average RPK growth rate of 6.3% and in level terms international travel, RPKs have now been broadly flat since August, except for a spike in volumes in December.
Business confidence has been weakening since mid-2014, which could continue to limit international air travel volumes, IATA said.
Air travel growth statistics for Europe are reflecting robust travel on low-cost carriers – as well as on airlines registered in Turkey – which IATA says is helping to negate some of the ongoing economic weakness in the region. Airlines in the Middle East and Latin America were up 11.4% and 5.6%, respectively.
Annual growth in Russian domestic RPKs remains strong, up 9.3% in January year-on-year. But this is likely to fall back sharply later in the first quarter of 2015.
TTG Nordic
[photo courtesy Air France]