Global passenger traffic up 7.2pc in Oct: IATA

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) made the claim in its latest forecast of the global airline industry, published Tuesday.

These are good times for airlines around the world but it's still a tough business, the industry's trade association says.

While there will be growth in passenger and cargo demand, Iata's chief economist Brian Pearce warned that intense competition will continue to put pressure on passenger yields. Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September (the most recent month for which route-specific figures are available) and it remains the only global market not to have grown in annual terms this year.

The Middle Eastern carriers are poised to double profits to US$600 million next year due to a 7 per cent growth in demand and a scaling back of capacity injection.

Iata forecast a rise in overall revenues to $824 billion, up 9.4 per cent on 2017 revenues of $754 billion.

And the IATA said growth is expected to continue in 2018 by almost $1 billion to $16.4 billion.

Asia-Pacific airlines had the highest traffic growth compared to 2016 at 10.3 percent.




The price of jet fuel is expected to increase 12.5 per cent from $65.6 in 2017 to $73.8 in 2018.

Airlines and airports could also use drones to help inspect aircraft and runways or even bird-shaped drones to chase off wildlife, thus improving safety and reducing cost.

"Airlines are achieving sustainable levels of profitability", he said while highlighting the challenges of rising fuel costs and well as labour and infrastructure expenses.

The forecast growth rates are slower than the 7.5% y-o-y seen in 2017 for passengers and the 9.3% cargo volume growth expected this year. "Many of them are in the hands of governments".

He said: "To continue to deliver on our full potential, governments need to raise their game-implementing global standards on security, finding a reasonable level of taxation, delivering smarter regulation and building the cost-efficient infrastructure to accommodate growing demand".

He said the aviation industry benefits to the economy include 2.7 million direct jobs and support for 3.5 per cent of global economic activity. Aviation is the business of freedom and a catalyst for growth and development.

Total capacity climbed by six per cent in the worldwide passenger market segment, while load factor increased one percentage point to 79.4 per cent y-o-y, it said.

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