Published on Thursday, January 11, 2018

Air travel 'robust', says international body

Airlines are continuing to see 'robust' demand from passengers, according to international body IATA, which said passenger traffic in November was significantly up year on year.

Total revenue passenger kilometers increased 8% over November 2016, the fastest growth rate in five months.

Capacity rose by a slower rate of 6.3%, pushing the overall load factor up 1.2 percentage points to 80.2%.

"The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November's strong demand gives the industry momentum," said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac.

"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."

However, he said airlines and passengers continued to suffer security threats, infrastructure issues and rising fees and charges.

"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," added de Juniac.

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