African airlines posted about six per cent rise in demand for airline passenger transport as demand slows globally in September 2018, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
IATA noted that passenger traffic in September went down from 6.8 per cent in August, but capacity rose 4.9 per cent and load factor edged up 0.8 percentage point to 74.6 per cent.
“The healthy growth is taking place against an increasingly challenging economic backdrop for the region’s largest economies, South Africa and Nigeria,” IATA noted.
However, IATA said globally demand rose 5.5 per cent compared to the same month in 2017.
This was a slowdown from the 6.4 per cent growth recorded in August year-over-year.
Capacity climbed 5.8 per cent and load factor slipped for the first time in eight months, down 0.3 percentage point compared to the year-earlier period, to 81.4 per cent.
IATA estimated that impacts from severe hurricane and typhoon activity in September shaved around 0.1-0.2 percentage point off expected growth. However, even after accounting for these impacts, monthly traffic demand was below the 6.7 per cent year-to-date pace.
“While September’s traffic growth was in line with the long-term average, it represents a moderation compared to recent months.
“This is likely owing to the anticipated reduced demand boost from lower airfares due to rising airline cost pressures, particularly fuel. Heightened uncertainty about trade policies and mounting protectionist policies may also be having an impact,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.