Strong air passenger demand expected in 2019, braking slightly: IATA

07 Feb 2019, 23:25

  DF-Xinhua Report

Photo source Neste.

Demand for global air passenger traffic rose by a healthy 6.5 percent in 2018 year on year from a year earlier, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed Thursday, adding there should be a similar, but "moderating" performance this year.

   Although this represented a slowdown compared to the 2017 annual growth of 8.0 percent, it was another year of above-trend growth with domestic demand, led by India and China, unchanged from the year before.

   All regions recorded year-over-year increases in traffic, led by Asia-Pacific, according IATA.

   However, North America and Africa were the only two regions to post stronger demand growth in 2018 compared to the prior year's performance.

   Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO said 2018 was another year of strong passenger demand, as aviation continued to support the global economy.

   "Nevertheless, slowing growth in the second half of 2018, coupled with concerns over issues including Brexit and U.S.-China trade tensions, is creating some uncertainty to this positive outlook," said de Juniac.

   Asia-Pacific airlines' 2018 traffic rose 7.3 percent year on year from 2017, driven by robust regional economic expansion and an increase in route options for travelers.

   Domestic air travel accounted for about 36 percent of the total market in 2018 and climbed 7.0 percent, unchanged from the rate in 2017.

   All markets showed annual growth, led by India and China, which both posted double-digit annual increases.

   Although Asia-Pacific recorded a slowdown from the 10.5 percent year-over-year growth recorded in 2017 versus 2016, it was strong enough to lead all the regions for a second consecutive year, said IATA.

   De Juniac said that aviation continued to demonstrate why it is the "Business of Freedom" in 2018 as IATA safely transported more than 4.3 billion passengers.

   "These people used air connectivity to conduct trade and business, reunite with friends and loved ones, explore the world, and, in some cases even to begin new lives.

   "Aviation makes the modern world possible, but we depend on borders that are open to people and trade to be effective," he said.