Global air passenger traffic rose by 4.2 % in 2019 – IATA

Passengers at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos

Global air passenger traffic demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) in 2019 rose by 4.2% when compared to the full year of 2018, according to a full-year global passenger traffic results for 2019 released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  

According to the result, the 2019 result is a slowdown compared to 2018’s annual growth of 7.3% and marked the first year since the global financial crisis in 2009 with passenger demand below the long-term trend of around 5.5% annual growth. Full-year 2019 capacity climbed 3.4%, and the load factor rose 0.7 percentage point to a record high of 82.6%. The previous high was 81.9% set in 2018. 

December 2019 RPKs increased 4.5% against the same month in 2018. That was an improvement over the 3.3% annual growth recorded in November, primarily due to solid demand in North America.

“Airlines did well to maintain steady growth last year in the face of a number of challenges. A softer economic backdrop, weak global trade activity, and political and geopolitical tensions took their toll on demand. Astute capacity management, and the effects of the 737 MAX grounding, contributed to another record load factor, helping the industry to manage through weaker demand and improving environmental performance,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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