Air passengers demand rose in September – IATA … launches FACE-UP Competition for graduates specializing in air transport logistics

The demand by air passengers globally in September 2017 rose by 5.7 percent when compared to the same period in 2016 as announced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).The demand by air passengers globally in September 2017 rose by 5.7 percent when compared to the same period in 2016 as announced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

IATA global passenger traffic results for September showed that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 5.7% compared to the same month in 2016. This was the slowest year-on-year increase since February. Hurricanes Irma and Maria weighed heavily on the results, although growth already had been tapering. Capacity climbed 5.3% and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage points to 81.6%, which was a record for the month of September.

“September’s growth in passenger demand was healthy, notwithstanding the heavy impacts of extreme weather events on the Americas,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Global economic conditions support rising passenger demand, but with higher cost inputs, the demand stimulation from lower fares has waned, suggesting a moderating trend in traffic growth.”     International Passenger MarketsInternational RPKs climbed 6.5% with airlines in all regions recording growth compared to 2016. Total capacity climbed 5.6%, and load factor rose 0.7 percentage points to 81.3%.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ traffic rose 8.7% in September compared to the year-ago period, the strongest growth among regions. Capacity increased 7.8%, and load factor climbed 0.6 percentage points to 78.3%. A solid regional economic backdrop, helped by robust growth in China, is supporting passenger demand within the region.

European carriers saw September demand rise 7.1% over September 2016, in line with August growth of 7.0%. The upward trend in seasonally-adjusted demand has slowed considerably since May, but business confidence remains high and the economic backdrop is supportive. Capacity rose 5.2% and load factor surged 1.6 percentage points to 86.8%, which was the highest among regions.

Middle East carriers had a 3.7% rise in demand, the slowest rate of increase since February 2009. The Middle East-US market has been hit hard by the now lifted cabin ban on large portable electronic devices, as well as the various proposed travel bans to the US. Traffic between the region and the US has fallen for six consecutive months through August (the most recent month for which route data are available). Capacity rose 4.3%, and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 74.5%.

North American airlines experienced a 3.0% rise in demand in September. Capacity rose 3.6% and load factor fell 0.5 percentage points to 81.0%. In addition to the impacts of hurricanes Irma and Maria, anecdotal evidence continues to suggest that inbound traffic to the US is being deterred by additional security measures now involved in traveling to the country.

Latin American airlines’ performance also was affected by hurricane activity but strong underlying demand meant that traffic rose 8.5% compared to the same month last year. Capacity climbed at the same rate and load factor was flat at 82.2%, the second highest among regions.

African airlines posted a 3.6% rise in traffic in September, down from 6.5% in August. Capacity rose 0.3% and load factor jumped 2.4 percentage points to 73.8%. Conditions in the region’s two largest economies—Nigeria and South Africa, are diverging again, with business confidence levels in South Africa consistent with falling output.

In the meantime, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched FACE-UP – a competition for recent graduates to present their thesis at the 2018 World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Dallas, USA. To be eligible, graduates must have a thesis topic about air transport logistics (e.g. air cargo, supply chain management, mobility, IT solutions, etc.).

The FACE-UP finalists will present to over 1,200 top-level industry professionals at WPS. Besides being a unique networking opportunity, the event will also provide a valuable chance to gain knowledge and build a better understanding of all elements across the air cargo supply chain.

“The idea is to bring fresh energy into the air cargo industry by offering opportunities that will assist the professional development of talented graduates with a passion for the industry. Air cargo is growing at an impressive rate and we want young people to be a part of unlocking, and benefitting from this potential,” said Glyn Hughes, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo.

A senior panel of judges from across the industry will choose the three finalists, who will present at the WCS closing plenary for the audience to nominate the ultimate winner of the FACE-UP competition. The winning theses will not only show innovation but also the potential to transform air cargo.

The closing date for entries is 19 January 2018. For more information and a full brief please go to

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