IATA: Air travel markets expanded strongly in Aug-2013; possible acceleration in growth
IATA reported (02-Oct-2013) air travel markets expanded strongly in Aug-2013, with a solid increase in air travel volumes over the month. The slight pickup in air travel growth in Aug-2013 is a “reflection of improvements in the demand environment, with business confidence gaining momentum as the US and Europe show signs of better economic performance,” according to IATA. The association noted that the same improvement is not being seen in some emerging markets, like Asia Pacific, where economic conditions are stabilising “at best”. The demand environment for air travel continues to show signs of improvement, pointing toward a possible acceleration in growth toward the end of the year. Business confidence is increasing, export orders suggest slightly stronger growth in world trade, and the slowdown in some emerging markets appears to be stabilising.
- International markets: Performance for international air travel was positive across all regions, with Middle Eastern carriers continue to experience the strongest rates of increase, and “the trend is likely to continue”. The strong increase is positively biased by the timing of Ramadan, but year-to-date growth is strong. In Europe, modest economic improvements and rising consumer confidence supported a rise in international RPKs. Regional emerging market indicators have been weak for several months, but conditions appear to be stabilising in China and Asian trade volumes rebounded in 3Q2013, after a sharp Jun-2013 decline. There are already some signs of improving demand conditions, with emerging Asia trade volumes rebounding. These positive developments could help sustain further growth in international travel on Asia Pacific airlines. Other emerging market regions also saw strong growth, including Latin America and Africa. Load factors on international markets rose to record levels;
- Domestic markets: Air travel growth was also positive in all markets, but rates varied considerably. Air travel in China recorded a strong rise in Aug-2013 on a year ago, with recent data suggesting that the slowdown in economic activity seen earlier in the year has stabilised. Air travel in Japan continues to increase. Japan’s economy, much like the rest of the developed world, is showing signs of steady improvement with business activity and trade demand continuing to rise. Brazil’s air travel markets rose just 0.5%, as a result of both capacity reductions and sluggish domestic demand. Domestic load factors have experienced some weakness over recent months, with capacity growth outstripping expansion in demand on some markets. This has kept overall industry load factors from rising further over recent months. [more – original PR]
IATA: "August was a positive month for passenger travel. The solid performance was also supported by a stabilisation of emerging market weakness and renewed confidence in Europe and North America. Trading conditions are still tough with high oil prices, stiff competition and regulatory hurdles. But demand growth remains a bright spot with most indications pointing towards an acceleration in the fourth quarter,” Tony Tyler, director general and CEO. Source: IATA, 02-Oct-2013.