Airlines report 12-year high in travel growth, on course to break season record
Air association Iata says global demand for air travel rose almost 8% in June as all regions reported growth, due to brighter economies and lower air fares
Gdynia — On Thursday, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said it expected a record-breaking summer travel season for the northern hemisphere after global carriers reported a 12-year high in traffic growth for the first half of 2017.
Global demand for air travel rose 7.8% in June as all regions reported growth, thanks to brighter economies and lower air fares, Iata said. In the first six months, demand was up 7.9%, while load factors — a measure of how full aircraft are — reached a first-half record of 80.7%. Europe’s airlines have been benefiting from the demand, with many increasing their profit targets for the year and reporting strong first-half figures over the last few weeks.
"But as costs rise, this stimulus of lower fares is likely to fade. And uncertainties such as Brexit need to be watched carefully," Iata head Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement, referring to the UK’s upcoming exit from the EU.
Overall, June capacity measured in available seat kilometres rose 6.5%, slower than demand, meaning load factors increased one percentage point to 81.9%, Iata said in its monthly traffic update.