Passenger traffic climbed 7.2% in August compared to the year-ago period, while freight demand was up by over 12% — the fifth double-digit increase in six months.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported strong growth in both passenger traffic and freight for the month of August.
Passenger traffic (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) climbed 7.2% in August compared to the year-ago period, though the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has eased from that seen at the end of 2016. Load factor climbed 0.7% percentage points to 84.5%, which was just below the record for the month set in 2015.
International passenger demand rose 7.0% compared to August 2016, with all regions recording increases, led by airlines in Latin America (+9.3%), followed by Asia-Pacific (8.6%) and Europe (6.9%).
August also saw continued double-digit growth in freight demand (+12.1%), for the fifth time in six months.
The strong performance of air freight demand corresponds with the pick-up in global trade. World trade volumes grew 4.2% in the first seven months of 2017 compared to 2016, the strongest performance since 2011. This is consistent with rising export orders, which are currently around their highest levels since March 2011, and upbeat business confidence indicators.
African carriers led the way, at 29.4%, followed by the Middle East (+14.1%) and North America (11.7%).