Intra-Africa air traffic up 9.4% y/y in Jan: IATA
Intra-Africa passenger growth slows to 9.4% in January after a strong increase in 2012‚ says IATA.
By Helmo Preuss
Intra-Africa passenger growth slowed to 9.4% year on year (y/y) in January after a strong increase in 2012‚ the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday.
IATA is an international industry trade group representing some 240 airlines comprising 84% of scheduled international air traffic.
Strong economic growth in many African nations - especially West Africa - was driving the demand and expansion.
Africa's airlines however recorded the lowest load factor (percentage of available revenue generating seats that were sold‚ averaged across all commercial flights flown by IATA's African member carriers) at 67.9%‚ ie. planes were flying with more than a quarter of their seats unsold. The global load factor was 77.6%.
Intra-African premium air traffic grew by 14.7% in 2012‚ while economy traffic increased by 11.5% compared with global international air traffic growth of 4.8% and 5.9% respectively‚ IATA said that the premium travel markets were driven largely by demand for business travel‚ which is why the double-digit growth in this sector is good news for African economic growth.
Looking ahead‚ IATA said there were some promising signs for world trade growth.
Changes in new export orders tend to lead changes in advanced economy trade growth by three to four months‚ and although the Global PMI for new export orders has been at decline levels for many months‚ recent results are showing significant improvement.
The new export orders index is now almost out of “contraction” territory‚ indicating that world trade growth could stabilise in the months ahead.
Business confidence is a good leading indicator of premium travel growth itself.
IATA said global attention was focused on the US to understand the economic impact of mandated budget cuts.
For millions of travelers and the aviation industry‚ the concerns go deeper. There are threats of reduced availability of government-provided services for airport security‚ border control and air traffic management.
Tony Tyler‚ IATA’s Director General and CEO said that the connectivity of the world’s largest economy was being held captive to politics was not acceptable.
“Airlines pay for air traffic management services through fees and taxes that average 20% of the cost of a typical domestic air ticket. Clearly there are some difficult budget decisions for the US government to make. But compromising connectivity — which supports 9.3 million jobs and $669.5 billion in economic activity in the US — is not the right choice‚” he said.