Figures from the International Air Transport Association have revealed demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometres) climbed 3.8 per cent in September when compared to the same month last year.
The trend is broadly unchanged from the performance recorded in August.
In September, capacity (measured in available seat kilometres) increased by 3.3 per cent, while load factors climbed 0.4 percentage point to 81.9 per cent.
Th latter is a record for any September.
“September marked the eighth consecutive month of below average demand growth.
“Given the environment of declining world trade activity and tariff wars, rising political and geopolitical tensions and a slowing global economy, it is difficult to see the trend reversing in the near term,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general.
All regions recorded traffic increases, led by airlines in North America.
“These are challenging days for the global air transport industry.
“Pressure is coming from many directions.
“In a matter of weeks, four airlines in Europe went bust.
“Trade tensions are high and world trade is declining.
“The IMF recently revised down its GDP growth forecasts for 2019 to three per cent.
“If correct, this would be the weakest outcome since 2009, when the world was still struggling with the global financial crisis,” said de Juniac.
He added: “At times like these, governments should recognise the power of aviation connectivity to ignite the economy and drive job creation. Instead, too many governments - in Europe in particular - are fixated on aviation as the goose that lays the golden eggs of taxes and fees.
“It’s the wrong approach.
“Aviation is the business of freedom.
“Governments should harness its power to drive GDP growth, not tie it down through heavy and punitive tax and regulatory regimes.”