The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that the aviation industry has registered record traffic volumes and load factors in July.The highlights are:
Year-on-year passenger demand was up 5.9% for July 2007 over July 2006.
Passenger demand grew 6.2% during the January-July period over the same period in 2006.
Much of this growth is facilitating economic development as business traffic is growing faster than economy traffic on long-haul routes.
The average passenger load factor hit a record 81% in July, up 0.3% from the previous high in July 2006. With the exception of April 2007, monthly load factors have risen every month during the past two years. The average load factor during January-July 2007 was 76.5%, up from 76% recorded during the same period in 2006.
Airlines in the Middle East continued the double-digit growth seen over the last three years with demand growth of 18.8% in July. Improved demand growth in Asia Pacific (5.5%) and Europe (4.5%), which together comprise almost two-thirds of total international traffic, boosted overall July results.
Freight demand continued its recent rebound with 5.5% demand growth in July, up from 4.9% growth in June, and well above the 2.7% growth seen for the first half of 2007. Year to date freight demand has risen 3.8%.
Middle East carriers led demand growth in freight in July with 11.1%. Airlines in Asia Pacific boosted global totals with above average freight demand growth of 8.2%, reflecting strong levels of economic and trade growth in the region.
“Efficiency is the story of the summer. More people are travelling than ever before with airlines registering a monthly record of over 220 billion revenue passenger kilometres in July with record load factors. Combine that with a 10.5% improvement in fuel efficiency and a 56% increase in labour productivity since 2002 and it’s clear industry efficiencies have hit an all-time high,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA. “But there are risks. If the volatility in global stock markets begins to affect the wider economy, the spin-off effect could put a drag on demand. Airlines will have to maintain a prudent approach to adding new capacity.”
From 18 to 28 September the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will meet in Montreal. Aviation and the environment will be the number one issue discussed.
“Industry efficiency translates into improved environmental performance. Airlines contribute 2% of manmade C02. IATA’s vision is to do even better. We are targeting carbon neutral growth in the near term. And in the longer-term our goal is nothing less than to become carbon-free. The challenge for the 190 contracting States of ICAO is to deliver the global political leadership needed to bring this vision to reality,” said Bisignani.