The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced global passenger traffic results for 2015 showing demand (revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose 6.5% for the full year compared to 2014. This was the strongest result since the post-Global Financial Crisis rebound in 2010 and well above the ten-year average annual growth rate of 5.5%. While economic fundamentals were weaker in 2015 compared to 2014, passenger demand was boosted by lower airfares. After adjusting for distortions caused by the rise of the US dollar, global airfares last year were approximately 5% lower than in 2014.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO commented: “Last year’s very strong performance, against a weaker economic backdrop, confirms the strong demand for aviation connectivity. But even as the appetite for air travel increased, consumers benefitted from lower fares compared to 2014.”
Annual capacity rose 5.6% last year, with the result that load factor climbed 0.6 percentage points to a record annual high of 80.3%. All regions experienced positive traffic growth in 2015. Carriers in the Asia-Pacific region accounted for one-third of the total annual increase in traffic.