IATA’s latest passenger statistics record largely encouraging passenger figures during August. Growth in international air passengers improved in August with a rise of 4.5% compared to a year ago, up on the July result of 2.6%. Premium and economy passenger numbers rose at the same rate, 4.5%. There was also a strong expansion in passenger numbers between August and July, which counters the negative trend seen in previous months.
IATA says the expansion in passenger numbers is consistent with signs of improving business conditions, after a period of weakness in international trade and business confidence earlier in the year. It adds that the improvement in international passenger numbers has been supported by strong growth on markets like Europe – Far East (6.7%) and North and Mid Pacific (7.1%) but says the recent weakening of the Eurozone economy is yet to have an obvious impact on air travel growth. By contrast, air travel within Far East and markets connected to South America continue to show weakness. IATA believes the economic and political turmoil in Thailand has damaged tourism demand over recent months while Malaysia air travel has been impacted by tragedies related to the flag carrier. The North America – South America market has been hit by capacity cuts to Venezuela as well as weakness in key economies like Brazil and Argentina.