African airlines had a 5.1% traffic increase in April, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Capacity rose 4.6%, and load factor edged up 0.4 percentage point to 72.8%. The upward demand trend remains strong, helped by continuing signs of improvement in the region’s largest economies: Nigeria and South Africa. This is only the fourth time in the past 41 months that both economies have been on an upward trajectory at the same time.
“Demand for air transport continues to be above the long-term trend. However, increases in airline cost inputs, most notably fuel prices, means that we are unlikely to see increased stimulation from lower fares in 2018, compared to previous years,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
IATA’s global passenger traffic data for April 2018 also showed that demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 6.2% compared to April 2017, which was down from a 12-month high of 9.7% in March. Comparisons with the year ago period are impacted by developments a year ago – including the comparatively late timing of Easter in 2017, which boosted April traffic. April capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.9%, and load factor climbed 0.2 percentage point to 82.3%, which was a record for the month of April, surpassing last year’s record of 82.1%.
IATA statistics cover international and domestic scheduled air traffic for IATA member and non-member airlines.
Total passenger traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of RPK are: Asia-Pacific 33.7%, Europe 26.5%, North America 23.0%, Middle East 9.5%, Latin America 5.2%, and Africa 2.2%.