Europe airlines see strong demand growth

IATA August report puts European airlines in good spot

Demand for air transport is continuing to flatten out but with significant regional variations, according to a new report by the International Air Transport Association. Business and consumer confidence continue to slip. Demand for air travel expanded by 5.1% in August compared to the same month in 2011. However, this partly reflects a positive distortion owing to the timing of Ramadan. Adjustment for such seasonal fluctuations reveals that passenger demand has been basically flat since June – and with only 1.2% expansion since January. Carriers continued to slow their capacity expansion, limiting it to 4.1% growth, taking load factors to 82.1%.
European airlines recorded strong demand growth in August (5.6%), ahead of the 4.7% expansion seen in July. Despite recession conditions in Europe, airlines in the region are expanding on international routes, growing capacity by 4.4%. Load factors rose marginally to 84.9%.
However, North American airlines saw just 0.5% growth in demand, and Asia-Pacific carriers were among the weakest in terms of demand growth at 2.9%. Middle East carriers were again the strongest performers, but the August growth rate of 16.7% may have been boosted by the impact of Ramadan falling across the whole of August last year. Latin American airlines were the second-best performers in August (7.3%) and African carriers’ demand rose 3.2%.
Among domestic passenger markets, demand rose 2.4% in the US, 9.4% in Brazil and 10.8% in China, but fell 2% in India and 2.1% in Japan.
[pictured: Lufthansa’s Europa Cabin]