News & Industry Affairs / IATA

July 2019 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis
A soft start to the peak season, but a new record load factor


  • Annual growth in industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) slowed to 3.6% in July. This is a continuation of the weaker trend seen in recent months, on a backdrop of disparate business confidence and mounting global risks.
  • The trend of moderate capacity growth at the industry level has been maintained in July (3.2% year-on-year), leading to new record load factors. The load factor of 85.7% is a new all-time high for any month of the year. All regions recorded modest capacity growth and high load factors.
  • Domestic passenger volumes grew faster than international RPKs, carried by strong numbers in China (11.7%) and India (8.9%). The softness in international RPK growth was broad-based across all regions.

Africa posts fastest growth rates in July
Though Latin America and Africa posted the fastest growth rates in July globaly,  growth for the African carriers also slowed significantly, to 3.6% in July, from a revised 9.8% in June. Deteriorating business confidence in South Africa partly countered generally solid economic conditions in other key markets in the region.

Soft start to the peak season for RPK growth…
Year-on-year growth in industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) eased to 3.6% in July, down from the 5.1% growth observed in June.
    While this is better than the recent low in March 2019 (3.2%), the latest outcome is significantly below the long-term average (~5.5%) and our forecast for the year 2019 (5%). This marks a soft start to the peak passenger demand season.
    The early signs of a modest lift in the upward trend in the seasonally-adjusted (SA) data in recent months have been unwound in July and the longer-term trend is still one of softening RPK growth. This slowing trend has been in place since Q2 2018, with SA RPKs growing at around 3.9% in annualized terms over that period. The July outcome is consistent with this slower trend, which looks set to continue. 
    We noted last month that Asia Pacific was a major contributor to the slowdown in RPK growth in H1 2019 versus H1 2018. However this month, the soft outcome has been driven more by Europe and the Middle East, with contributions falling by 0.6pp for each of the two regions. In contrast, the contribution of airlines based in Asia Pacific ticked up slightly in July...Download the full document here. 

Back to IATA news >