IATA reports continued strong air passenger growth in February

4th April 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is the global representative body for the airline industry, has reported continued strong growth in global air passenger demand in February, in year-on-year (y-o-y) terms. Total demand rose 21.5%, while international demand jumped 26.3% and domestic demand increased by 15%. Total capacity increased by 18.7%, also y-o-y, with international capacity growing by 25.5% and domestic capacity by 9.4%.

The total load factor in February was 80.6%, with the international load factor being 79.3% and the domestic load factor reaching 82.6%. These were all y-o-y improvements, being increases of 1.9 percentage points (ppt) for the total, 0.5 ppt for the international, and 4.0 ppt for the domestic, load factors.

“The strong start to 2024 continued in February with all markets except North America reporting double-digit growth in passenger traffic,” highlighted IATA director-general Willie Walsh. “There is good reason to be optimistic about the industry’s prospects in 2024 as airlines accelerate investments in decarbonisation and passenger demand shows resilience in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainties. It is critical that politicians resist the temptation of cash grabs with new taxes that could destabilise this positive trajectory and make travel more expensive. In particular, Europe is a worry as it seems determined to lock in its sluggish economic recovery with uncompetitive tax proposals.”

The region which registered the greatest y-o-y increase in total demand in February was the Asia-Pacific, at 37.8%. It was followed by Africa, at 22.5%. Thereafter came the Middle East (19.7%), Europe (14.8%), Latin America (13%) and North America (8.9%).

In terms of international demand, the Asia-Pacific again took first place, with a y-o-y jump of 53.2%. But second place was taken by Latin America, with 21%, with Africa just behind, at 20.7%. The Middle East was next, with 19.7%, then North America (16%), which was just ahead of Europe (15.9%).

The six large domestic air transport markets that IATA regularly followed were Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan and the US. Of these, the one that saw the greatest y-o-y increase in demand was China, at 35.1%. Second place was taken by Australia (14.9%), followed by Japan (9.1%), then the US (5.7%), India (5.3%) and Brazil (3.2%).

IATA cautioned that, as 2024 was a leap year and so February had contained 29 days, this slightly exaggerated the y-o-y growth figures for both demand and capacity.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter





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