December 2019 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis
Below-trend but still solid air passenger growth in 2019


  • Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) expanded by 4.2% in 2019. This marks the first year since the Global Financial Crisis with passenger demand below long-term trend (~5.5%).
  • The 2019 air travel demand outcome was impacted by a softer (but still supportive) global economic backdrop and weaker business confidence amidst international trade tensions.
  • Capacity expanded by 3.4% in 2019 as a whole, a slower pace compared to that of demand. As a result, the industrywide passenger load factor reached a new record high of 82.6%.

African carriers posted the fastest RPK growth
International RPKs for African carriers rose by 5.1% y-o-y in December – a pace broadly in line with the expansion in 2019 as a whole. Airlines in the region benefited from a generally supportive economic backdrop in 2019 – including improved stability in a number of countries – as well as increases in air transport connectivity.

Passenger demand below trend in 2019
Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) ended the year on a positive note, rising by 4.5% yearon-year, up from 3.3% in November, primarily on the back of a solid performance from the North American carriers. The underlying seasonally adjusted (SA) traffic data also ticked up – disrupting more moderate upward trend that emerged since Q2 2018...Download the full document here. 

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