African airlines record 6.5% passenger traffic growth

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced global passenger traffic results for July showing strong but moderating demand growth.

Estimates by IATA, the global clearing house for over 275 major airlines in the world, indicated a total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rise by 6.8%, compared to the same month last year, down from 7.7% year-over-year growth recorded in June.

African airlines experienced a 6.5% increase in traffic compared to a year ago, down from 9.8% demand growth in June. Capacity rose by 1.7%, and load factors jumped 3.4 percentage points to 74.1%.

Meanwhile, prices of international airfares have gone up a few notches in Nigeria. A check on the portals of some foreign airlines and travel agencies revealed an upward review of ticket prices by about 10%.

According to IATA, conditions in Nigeria and South Africa, the region’s two largest economies continue to diverge. Whereas South Africa remains in recession, business confidence levels are at a two-year peak in Nigeria with impacts on the air travel market.

All regions reported solid or better growth in passenger volumes over the past year. Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.1%, and load factor rose 0.6 percentage points to a July record of 84.7%.

IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac, said as was evidenced by the record high load factor in July, the appetite for air travel remains very strong.

However, “the stimulus effect of lower fares is softening in the face of rising cost inputs. This suggests a moderating in the supportive demand backdrop,” he said.