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Home » News » IATA REPORTS NOVEMBER 2012 RESULTS; STRONGEST GROWTH IN ASIA PACIFIC
IATA REPORTS NOVEMBER 2012 RESULTS; STRONGEST GROWTH IN ASIA PACIFIC

Geneva: IATA's traffic results for November 2012 show an improvement in both passenger and air freight demand.

Air travel was 4.6% higher compared to November 2011, up on the October result of 2.9%. Air freight volumes edged up 1.6% over the same period after declining 2.6% in October, year to year.

Passenger capacity rose 3.2% and load factor improved one percentage point to 77.3% compared to the year-ago period.

“November brought some positive signs for air transport demand—particularly for air cargo. It is premature to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets in terms of bouncing back and regaining lost ground. But, when coupled with positive economic developments in the US and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013. In 2013 we expect that cargo volumes will grow 1.4%, and passenger traffic will increase by 4.5% worldwide,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Passenger markets have held up better than cargo in the face of adverse economic conditions. But the current level of air travel is just 2% higher than at the start of 2012. This is considerably weaker than the long-term average growth rate.”

Compared to October, November passenger traffic grew 0.6%. The majority of growth came from domestic markets, particularly China. November air freight volumes increased 2.4% on October. This reflects a shift in seasonal shopping to online retailers, which depend heavily on air cargo. It also shows improved consumer confidence in the US. Seasonally-adjusted air freight volumes have now risen back to the levels of mid-2012, after declines in the third quarter.

International Passenger Markets November international passenger demand grew 5.6% compared to November 2011. However, the month-on-month increase was only 0.2%, indicating that year-on-year growth was more likely owing to depressed demand a year ago. Nevertheless, emerging markets in particular continued to perform well, and capacity increased 3.1% compared to a year ago. Load factor rose 1.8 percentage points to 76.3%.

 Asia Pacific carriers experienced the strongest growth among the major regions, with demand up 6.2% year-on-year, on a capacity increase of 2.5%. Some of this growth, however, likely reflected depressed results in 2011 owing to the severe and prolonged flooding north of Bangkok in Thailand. The growth of 1.7% in November compared to October could be due to volatility in the data given the extended period of slower growth since early 2012. Airlines in the region have experienced increased competition on long-haul markets, and continued improvement in the month-on-month growth would be needed to determine a change in trend. Load factor surged 2.6 percentage points to 75.7%.

 North American airlines’ demand was up 2.6% compared to November 2011, an improvement on the weak 0.2% growth in October, when Hurricane Sandy impacted international flights across the North Atlantic. Airlines in the region have experienced some of the slower growth rates in international traffic throughout the year, but that is largely a result of tight capacity management rather than particularly weak demand. Capacity climbed 0.4%, pushing load factor up 1.6 percentage points to 79.6%, the highest for any region.

 European carriers saw demand grow 4% compared to November 2011, while capacity climbed 0.8% and load factor was 77.8%, up 2.3 percentage points. Traffic rose 0.5% compared to October.

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