African airlines posted the second highest demand growth globally in May, with traffic up 9.5 per cent, compared to a year ago, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.
The IATA, in its global passenger traffic results for February which was issued by its Director General, Mr Tony Tyler said: “African airlines’ traffic rose 9.5 per cent, continuing the trend of strong growth that is linked to the expansion of long-haul networks by the region’s carriers, particularly Ethiopian Airlines.
“Capacity rose 10.4 per cent, and load factor slipped 0.5 percentage points to 64.5 per cent.”
According to the statement, Middle East carriers had an 11.8 per cent rise in demand in May, compared to a year ago, which was the largest increase among regions.
However, it noted that there was a strong growth in air travel demand for both domestic and international traffic globally.
The statement said total Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) rose 4.6 per cent, compared to the same month in 2015, which was the same level achieved in April.
According to the statement, capacity climbed 5.5 per cent, which pushed the average load factor down 0.7 percentage points to 78.7 per cent.
It said: “After a very strong start to the year, demand growth is slipping back toward more historic levels. A combination of factors are likely behind this more moderated pace of demand growth.
“These include continuing terrorist activity and the fragile state of the global economy. Neither bode well for travel demand. And the shocks of Istanbul and the economic fallout of the Brexit vote make it difficult to see an early uptick.”
According to the statement, the shockwaves of the Brexit vote have extended worldwide and the fallout will affect the air transport industry, from both economic and regulatory perspectives.
The statement said:”Aviation plays a vital role in supporting economic growth and development.
“As the post-Brexit regulatory framework is negotiated between the EU and the UK, it is critical that there are no steps backward for aviation connectivity.”
Source: News Agency of Nigeria