Lagos — 24 hours after releasing data of global air freight markets with African carriers posting 17 per cent increase in freight demand, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday reeled out global passenger traffic results for November 2017 with African airlines increasing further growth.
It said African airlines experienced a 7.9% rise in demand compared to November 2016, indicating that volumes have started to trend upwards strongly again in seasonally-adjusted terms in recent months. This, according to the organization representing 275 airlines globally, is in line with an improvement in business confidence in key economies including Kenya and Nigeria.
"Indicators in South Africa, by contrast, are still consistent with falling economic activity. Capacity rose 3.7% and load factor climbed 2.7 percentage points to 68.3%", it said in the released emailed to our correspondent yesterday.
Globally, total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 8.0% compared to November 2016, the fastest growth rate in five months and up from a 7.3% year-over-year rise in October.
Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.3%, and load factor rose 1.2 percentage points to 80.2%.
IATA's Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac said the development represents positive outlook for airline industry in 2018.
He said, "The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November's strong demand gives the industry momentum. The number of unique city-pair connections now tops 20,000. Passengers not only have more travel choices than ever, the cost of travel in real terms has never been cheaper.
"Along with delivering great value to consumers, airlines are rewarding their shareholders with normal levels of profitability. We expect 2018 to be the fourth year in a row where the industry's return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital.
"In sum, we begin the New Year with confidence".
According to IATA CEO, there are still challenges even as security threats continue.
"Infrastructure issues persist. Fees and charges are a growing part of the cost base. And in many cases airports and air traffic management struggle to keep pace with demand and technology advancements. These and other challenges can only be addressed in partnership with governments. And doing so requires governments to recognize the enormous value that aviation-the business of freedom-provides to their economies and the world".