News & Industry Affairs / IATA

October 2019 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis
Annual growth slows, but the upward trend remains solid


  • Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) grew by 3.4% year-on-year in October – a modest slowdown from 3.9% in September. Despite that, seasonally adjusted volumes sustained their moderate upward trend.
  • The industry-wide passenger load factor reached a new all-time high for the month of October (82.0%) as demand continues to grow faster than capacity. All regions except for Africa recorded a higher load factor than a year ago.
  • International RPK growth was unchanged from last month as a faster expansion recorded by the Middle Eastern carriers broadly offset a slowdown in Europe and Latin America. By contrast, growth in domestic RPKs softened this month largely on the back of weaker China and US market outcomes.

Another month of softer growth in Africa…
African carriers flew 1.8% more international RPKs compared to a year ago. This marks a second consecutive month of weaker growth which is in line with the broadly sideways SA RPK trend that emerged since July. With ASKs increasing by 3.6% year-onyear, Africa is the only region to see a lower load factor than a year ago.

Modest slowdown in year-on-year growth
Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) grew by 3.4% year-on-year in October – down from 3.9% in September due to a weaker performance from domestic markets. Nonetheless, the moderate upward trend in seasonally adjusted (SA) RPKs remains firmly in place with passenger volumes rising at a 3.7% annualized rate since Q2 2018 – broadly unchanged from that of previous months.

Key economic indicators remain mixed
Drivers of air passenger demand continue to show mixed outcomes. The latest Q3 2019 GDP results point to ongoing weakness in economic activity across a number of a key passenger markets, especially in Asia Pacific and Europe. Looking ahead, however, the latest IMF forecasts, suggest that global growth is expected to improve in 2020. This improvement is likely to be led by the world’s emerging markets.
    The global composite PMI (a reliable leading indicator of RPK growth in the past) eased this month, to its lowest level since 2016. This indicates that any sharp improvement in industry-wide RPK growth is unlikely in the near term...Download the full document here. 

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