NEW DELHI: India posted its 50th consecutive month of double-digit growth (15 per cent) in October. While this was a slowdown from 19.6 per cent in September, the strong upward trend in traffic remains in place. The data on global passenger traffic announced by International Air Transport Association (IATA) for October shows that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose 6.3 per cent compared to the same month last year.
This marked a rebound from 5.5 per cent growth recorded in September 2018, which was an eight-month low. The capacity also grew 6.3 per cent and load factor was flat at 81.1 per cent, matching last year’s record for the month.
“October’s healthy performance is reassuring after the slower demand growth in September, some of which was attributable to weather-related disruptions. However, the bigger picture is that traffic growth has moderated compared to earlier in the year, reflecting a more mixed economic backdrop and reduced demand stimulation from lower fares,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ traffic rose 5.8 per cent compared to the year-ago period, up from 5.4 per cent YoY growth in September. Capacity climbed 5.4 per cent and load factor rose 0.3 percentage points to 78.9 per cent. Underlying passenger demand is continuing to be supported by structural changes, including rising living standards in the region, as well as network changes that stimulate demand.
Domestic demand climbed 6.4 per cent in October YoY, unchanged from September 2018, while capacity rose 6.7 per cent. Load factor slipped 0.2 percentage to 83.3 per cent. China, India and Russia led all markets with double-digit growth rates. The IATA report said demand for air travel is strong as we head into the holiday travel season.