Air traffic in Nigeria, others’ rises by 10.9 pct – IATA

Nigerian airlines and others in Africa have recorded a 10.9 per cent rise in passenger traffic.

The International Air Transport Association, in its global passenger traffic results for June 2018, stated that the rise was due to stability in the economies of the countries.

“African airlines’ traffic soared 10.9 per cent in June, up substantially from just 2.1 per cent growth in May, although this partly also reflects volatility in the monthly data. Capacity rose 5.5 per cent, and load factor jumped 3.3 percentage points to 68.0 per cent. Higher oil and commodity prices are buoying the economies in a number of countries, including Nigeria,” the IATA said.

According to the association, global passenger traffic results for June show that demand, measured in total revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 7.8 per cent compared to June 2017.

It stated that this was up from 6.0 per cent year-over-year growth recorded in both May and April, adding that June capacity increased by 6.5 per cent, and load factor rose 1.0 percentage point to 82.8 per cent.

IATA said the first six months of 2018 produced demand growth of 7.0 per cent, a strong performance, but down from 8.3 per cent growth recorded in the first half of 2017.

The Director General and Chief Executive Officer of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac, said the first half of 2018 concluded with another month of above-trend demand growth, “which is a good indicator for the peak summer travel season in the northern hemisphere.”

“But the looming prospect of a global trade war is casting a long shadow. Additionally, rising cost input (fuel prices have soared by approximately 60 per cent over the past year) is reducing the stimulus of lower fares,” he said.

The association said all regions recorded growth, led by airlines in the Middle East and Africa, while capacity climbed by 5.9 per cent, and load factor increased by 1.4 percentage points to 81.9 per cent.

It added that Asia-Pacific airlines’ June traffic rose by 9.5 per cent compared to the year-ago period, up from 7.7 per cent growth recorded in May year-over-year; Middle Eastern carriers posted a 11.0 per cent demand increase in June compared to the same month last year.

“This was a sharp turnaround from the flat traffic growth in May, which was partly attributable to the timing of Ramadan between the two years. Results were also affected by unfavourable developments in the year-ago period, including the ban on large portable electronic devices, as well as the travel restrictions imposed by the US for visitors from certain Middle East and African countries,” IATA said.

According to the association, European carriers saw traffic rise by 6.1 per cent in June compared to June 2017, while North American airlines’ demand rose by 5.9 per cent compared to June a year ago, and an improvement from 5.0 per cent growth recorded in May.

It added that Latin American airlines, on the other hand, experienced a 5.6 per cent rise in traffic compared to the same month last year.