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Global aviation clocks slower but steady passenger growth in 2019: IATA

This reflected the impact of the US-China trade war as well as weakening business confidence and economic activity. Capacity rose 4.1 per cent and load factor ticked up 0.3 percentage point to 80.9 per cent.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced full-year global passenger traffic results for 2019 showing that demand (revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose by 4.2 per cent compared to the full year of 2018.

The 2019 result is a slowdown compared to 2018's annual growth of 7.3 per cent and marked the first year since the global financial crisis in 2009 with passenger demand below the long-term trend of around 5.5 per cent annual growth. 

Full-year 2019 capacity climbed 3.4 per cent and the load factor rose 0.7 percentage point to a record high of 82.6 per cent. The previous high was 81.9 per cent set in 2018.

December 2019 RPKs increased by 4.5 per cent against the same month in 2018. That was an improvement over the 3.3 per cent annual growth recorded in November, primarily due to solid demand in North America.

"Airlines did well to maintain steady growth last year in the face of a number of challenges. A softer economic backdrop, weak global trade activity, and political and geopolitical tensions took their toll on demand," said IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

"Astute capacity management, and the effects of the 737 MAX grounding, contributed to another record load factor, helping the industry to manage through weaker demand and improving environmental performance," he said in a statement.

2019 international passenger traffic climbed 4.1 per cent compared to 2018, down from 7.1 per cent annual growth the year before. Capacity rose 3 per cent and load factor edged up 0.8 percentage point to 82 per cent.

Asia-Pacific airlines' full-year traffic increased by 4.5 per cent in 2019 which was a large decline compared to 8.5 per cent growth in 2018. This reflected the impact of the US-China trade war as well as weakening business confidence and economic activity. Capacity rose 4.1 per cent and load factor ticked up 0.3 percentage point to 80.9 per cent.

(ANI)