IATA figures show freight traffic falls in June

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IATA is pointing to more evidence of the difficult market conditions for airlines as global air passenger traffic grew at is slowest rate for five years and freight traffic fell for the first time since 2005.

Figures for June air passenger traffic as measured in RPKs grew 3.8% over the same month last year, well below the year-to-date growth figure of 5.4%. Air cargo traffic meanwhile fell almost 1%.

IATA director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani says: “The global economic turbulence clearly shows in the 0.8% drop in freight volumes compared to last year. Although the passenger demand grew by 3.8%, this is the slowest growth that we have seen since the industry was hit by the SARS crisis in 2003.

“With consumer and business confidence falling and sky-high oil prices, the situation will get a lot worse,” he adds.

Passenger load factors dropped more than a point from 78.8% to 77.6% as the lower passenger growth levels failed to match capacity increased 5.5%.

Air passenger traffic growth slipped among North American carriers – down to 4.4% in June as opposed to 8.2% growth seen in May – as domestic US traffic fell 4%.

European and Asia Pacific carriers saw growth rates slip to 2.1% and 3.2% respectively. While Middle East airline traffic still grew 9.6% in June, this was down from nearly 13% growth in May and more than 18% in June last year.

In the freight sector traffic fell 0.8% against the same month last year. This compares to year to date growth in cargo sector of 2.8% and marks the first fall in freight traffic for just over three years.